So You Want European-Style Health Care?

by Don Boudreaux on November 3, 2009

in Health, Myths and Fallacies, Video

In this new Center for Freedom & Prosperity video — less than five minutes long — Eline van den Broek warns Americans that European health-care ain’t all that its advocates claim it to be.

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Anonymous November 3, 2009 at 8:00 pm

In reference to this monstrosity of a healthcare plan, on the way to a friends house to pick up a gift for the grandchildren I was listening to talk radio.

This is a paraphrase as I can not remember anything but the phrase set out in hyphens.

“We must blah blah blah – so that the economy works for all”.

At what point in human history has the economy not worked for all? Who is prevented from buying or selling in direct relationship to the money he has to spend or the goods/services he has to sell?

Anonymous November 3, 2009 at 9:05 pm

I’ve heard the usual canard that the economy works for those born into certain advantageous circumstances and not for those born without them. Which of course is an insult to anyone born of lesser means and pulled themselves up by their bootstraps to become professionals or successful businessmen. But because capitalism can’t ensure 100% success, it’s evil.

Anonymous November 3, 2009 at 10:27 pm

What you need to look at is the presumptive lie in that statement, “so that the economy works for all”, as if there are some for whom the economy does not and will not work.How can this be? Even if I am the most devout thumbsucker in the world, refuse to life a finger in my own behalf, and receive all sustenance from charity, the economy still works in my behalf. It has to or else there would be no charity to receive. That is pure straightforward logic that even a country bumpkin like me can figure out.If a man is intentionally and deliberately ignorant, and/or stupid, and works at the most menial tasks and receives the wages such labor deserves, the economy is working for him. If a man is the holder of the most prestigious degree in Engineering he can obtain but has to work at the same menial task and receive the wages such labor deserves, the economy is working for him.The economy works, the market works, and they work for all in direct proportion to what an individual puts in and that never changes, what does not work is government interference in the economy and market.Capitalism can not ensure 100% success, neither can any other ideology that has ever been conceived; but capitalism has superior tools and methods, and of that there is no doubt.

That there are some that are stupid enough to view that as evil is proof of their own broken brains and values.

Anonymous November 3, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Also you have to keep in mind, in really olden times thumbsuckers were allowed to starve. Back then if you wanted the charity food and shelter you had to work for it. Now all you have to do is have a pulse. That’s the most sickening change for me.

Anonymous November 3, 2009 at 11:35 pm

:-) I’ll keep that in mind.

Gil November 4, 2009 at 4:29 am

“Back then if you wanted the charity food and shelter you had to work for it.”

Would such work actually be considered ‘employment’?

Sam Grove November 4, 2009 at 2:28 am

At what point in human history has the economy not worked for all?

When the politicians interfere.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 5:08 am

At what point were there no politicians?

There was a time… when there were Kings, Lords, Vassals and serfs that’s when. Or when there is a place like Somalia.

Sam Grove November 4, 2009 at 5:38 am

That may be the dumbest thing you’ve ever said. Of course there were politicians then. They didn’t have to shine on voters of course, just the landed gentry…and each other. Politicians are people who seek and wield political power, kings and nobles had plenty of that.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Not dumb at all. Kings owned their land fair and square. Strict property rights were observed. You’re not a politician if you own all the land. That’s what would result if we set up a true libertarian society.

Sam in a libertarian society how does the land not come to ALL be owned by an elite minority? How does that NOT happen?

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 1:49 pm

You’re trying to overthink this, Sam.

A politician’s interference in economics is like a boulder in a stream. The boulder can cause alterations in the flow of the water, but the water will flow around it and beyond the boulder it can become a broad stream again. The stream adjusts to a boulder and the economy adjusts to a political interference but neither ceases to flow.

If politicians are stupid enough to try to cut off the economy and shut it down so that no transactions, organization, or exchanges can be made, it could be done; but, only temporarily and would be a totally self-defeating act. The stream can again be used as the perfect example.

We dam a stream and the water flow is shut off. But, the water is building up behind the dam and it is seeking a way to flow. At some point unless active measure are taken to extend the height of the dam the water will flow over the top of it, and if the source of the water is higher than any potential of heightening the dam, in time it will flow over.

Let’s go back to the point where the stream was dammed and the downstream flow was blocked and we see that the water is seeking a way to return to its proper flow, but the water is not idle. It is extending itself into every nook and cranny it can get into as it seeks to by pass the dam. In other words the water doesn’t stop, it just grows in a new direction.

There are some things politicians have some power over and there others they only have the illusion of power, and the economy is going to work in some form or some fashion for everyone. When the politicians dam the economy, we see it doing the same as the water. It is extending itself into areas previously ignored, unavailable, unaccessable, in other words it doesn’t stop it just moves in new directions.

Sam Grove November 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm

And you suggest that I’ve over thought this?

I think the crux here is the idea that the economy works FOR someone.
I agree that the market always functions whatever politicians do. If they try to control it completely, it shuts down.

But the purpose of political interference in the economy is to make it work more for some at the expense of others, yet still, it does work for all.

JohnK November 4, 2009 at 7:37 pm

There have always been politicians. Government is an organization with the monopoly on violence, and politicians are the people who control those who “are allowed” to inflict violence on others.
Even Somalia has a government, it’s just spread out among tribes and gangs, each of which have the monopoly on violence in the area that they control. And those that control those tribes and gangs are politicians.

Sam Grove November 4, 2009 at 9:32 pm

I understand that, but were you intending to reply to me or muirgeo?

JohnK November 5, 2009 at 12:25 am

Should have been in reply to the guy who is a shining example of the fact that someone can graduate at the bottom of their class and still manage to practice medicine.

JohnK November 5, 2009 at 12:25 am

Should have been in reply to the guy who is a shining example of the fact that someone can graduate at the bottom of their class and still manage to practice medicine.

Anonymous November 3, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Is it even useful to discuss European health-care as though it were a monolithic entitty? I understand while the UK has single-payer and it’s awful, that France, Germany, Belgium have hybrid systems that seem to work quite well. Japan has single-payer, but they also have a single ethnic group and a different culture that emphasizes healthy living more then ours. So I think we need to control for all factors before one arrives at the health clinic.

Mr. Econotarian November 3, 2009 at 10:36 pm

The UK has a government-operated health system called the NHS that runs in parallel with a (much smaller) private system with private health insurance.

France is single payer, though many hospitals are government-run, and it also has an expanding private medical sector, generally used by those with more money.

Only Canada has a pretty monolithic government-operated health system, but recent court cases have lead to new privately operated health care, though that sector is very small.

John Dewey November 4, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Of course, Canadians have access to U.S. medical care providers as well. Though most do not require that access, many with the most serious conditions do.

Anonymous November 3, 2009 at 8:09 pm

As I understand it this Pelosi’s version of the healthcare idiocy also contains the creation of 111 new bureaucracies; and God knows we all know how a bureaucracy improves efficiencies.

Anonymous November 3, 2009 at 9:16 pm

So Europe pays 40 to 50% less for health care, they live longer and they get 6 weeks vacation compared to our average of 8 days. But stubborn American ideologues think letting the system loose will improve there lot when in fact history shows it will only concentrate wealth and decrease the quality of life for the great majority of working Americans.

Sometimes I just wish The Invisible Hand God would force 40 years of complete strict libertarian policy on this country so we could let these people see just what they are wishing for.

Anonymous November 3, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Well I can say this much, that second paragraph sure is an interesting thought experiment.

You give European departures from the market far too much credit in the first.

MWG November 3, 2009 at 11:19 pm

I think you give muir “far too much credit”.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 5:02 am

I don’t know every survey I see shows Europeans far happier then most Americans.

We are here working our butts off while they hike our national parks.

Seriously that 6 weeks off versus 8 days is a real number and hugely telling number.

MWG November 4, 2009 at 5:11 am

Muir, this post is about “European-Style Health Care”. I think you’re on the wrong thread…

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 1:03 pm

It’s all related MWG

Santtu November 4, 2009 at 6:17 am

You should read Johan Norberg on happiness studies. You’ll find out wonderful things.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 6:28 am

Yasafi,You ducked out (Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!) on MWG’s question about Hayek on the other thread. I’m taking the liberty of pasting it to this thread to see if you’ll duck it again:You ARE an idiot if you think Hayek was for universal healthcare.“But there are strong arguments against a single scheme of state insurance; and there seems to be an overwhelming case against free health service for all. From what we have seen of such schemes, it is probable that their inexpediency will become evident in the countries that have adopted them, although political circumstances make it unlikely that they can ever be abandoned, not that they have been adopted. One of the strongest arguments against them is, indeed, that their introduction is the kind of politically irrevocable measure that will have to be continued, whether it proves a mistake or not.”FA Hayek”The conception that there is a an objectively determinable standard of medical services which can and ought to be provided for all, a conception which underlies the Beveridge scheme and the whole British National Health Service, has no relation to reality. In a field that is undergoing as rapid change as medicine is today, it can, at most, be the bad average standard of service that can be provided equally for all.. But since in every progressive field what is objectively possible to provide for all depends on what has already been provided for some, the effect of making it too expensive foremost to get better than average service, must, before long, be that this average will be lower than it otherwise would be.”FA Hayek”There are so many serious problems raised by the nationalization of medicine that we cannot mention even all of the more important ones. But there is one the gravity of which the public has scarcely yet perceived and which is likely to be of the greatest importance. This is the inevitable transformation of doctors, who have been members of a free profession primarily responsible to their patients, into paid servants of the state, officials who are necessarily subject instruction by authority and who must be released from the duty of secrecy so far as authority is concerned. The most dangerous aspect of the new development may well prove to be that, at a time when the increase in medical knowledge tends to confer more and more power over the minds of men to those who possess it, they should be made dependent on a unified organization under a single direction and be guided by the same reasons of state that generally govern policy. A system that gives the indispensable helper of the individual, who is at the same time an agent of the state, an insight into the other’s most intimate concerns and creates conditions in which he must reveal this knowledge to a superior and use it for the purposes determined by authority opens frightening prospects. The manner in which state medicine has been used in Russia as an instrument of industrial discipline gives us a foretaste of the uses to which such a system can be put.”FA HayekI got my quotes from here:http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=5176What crazy socialist site did you get yours from?Also, would you be so kind as to provide the whole quote? At least the part before the “nor”? Or should I cut and paste it for everyone to see how disingenuous you are?You’ve been demanding a lot of answers lately. Try answering one.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 6:34 am

Yasafi,

I apologize for using the word “liberty” in the post above. I know the word offends you.

MWG November 4, 2009 at 6:43 am

Thanks brotio, I was considering doing that myself.

I have a pretty good idea about where he got the quote, but I don’t expect a response.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 1:25 pm

What’s there to say? I haven’t read the book those excerpts are from. But it was written in 1960. The Road to Serfdom quote I used was from 1944. Apparently like Reagan and Milton Freidman he went from a more liberal view to the more conservative position as his brain got older.

Bottom line 1944 Hayek supported the idea of public insurance.

Mr. Econotarian November 3, 2009 at 10:32 pm

If after 10 years, if the US isn’t paying 40% to 50% less for health care, and we are not living as long as Europeans, can we go back to the old system? Or perhaps even a deregulated system without employer health insurance cost tax distortions, state insurance mandates, etc.?

One should remember that before Medicare, doctors made house calls…

But yes, it would be awesome if we could allow one state to go “complete strict libertarian”. Let’s do it!

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 5:12 am

Seriously! Why don’t you all move to Delaware. You should be able to come up with about 500,000 of you’s. Take it over. Succeed and start your own Libertopia. It should be doable. Put your money where your mouths are and withdraw from your current dependence on Uncle Sam. You won’t do it. Each and everyone is too comfy complaining about your current government overlords on one hand enjoying every benefit on the other hand.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 10:21 am

First off, succession has been tried before and the results were not pretty. I don’t imagine they’d be any prettier as those succeeding wouldn’t be ‘Left’ alone.

Secondly, what are your personal thoughts on federalism; and a shrinking role of the U.S. federal government?

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 1:40 pm

The best argument for libertarianism is the idea of federalism. I’d support defunding the federal government and giving the states far more autonomy.

The best argument against it that I’ve heard is that all the liberal states will look like Canada while the libertarian states would look like Mexico and you’d eventually have civil war. I think that’s a serious concern to. If the right wing nut cakes prone to war could concentrate power in their Red States they’d be prone to violence against other “Atheist” progressive and successful states.

Anonymous November 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Don’t you mean New Hampshire?

Mr. Econotarian November 3, 2009 at 10:37 pm

One more thing, continental Europe also has a 10% unemployment rate and 20% youth unemployment rate at all times, not just during recessions, thanks for labor market “protections”.

sandre November 3, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Bring it on, fat guy!

MWG November 3, 2009 at 11:18 pm

“So Europe pays 40 to 50% less for health care, they live longer…”

and you accuse libertarians of being simple minded. Question for you… Why do they live longer? They must have better outcomes to things like cancer, right? Of course we’ve been over all this with you before haven’t we.

In the case of your “Invisible Hand God”, Milton Friedman often used the example of Hong Kong… but we’ve been over that with you as well, right?

Anonymous November 3, 2009 at 11:37 pm

Muirgeo, the NIH funds only 28% of the biomedical research in this country. A tiny tiny fraction of that is marketable research: a bulk of it is actually some scientific curiosity experiment done to please some stuffed shirt in a tenured position.
Real progress in biomedical and pharmaceutical research is happening in the private sector. They are creating new drugs and formulations, new surgical devices and other stuff as we speak because each project is fueled or killed based on the profit it can bring in. It is a good system, and gives ample incentive to incremental research.
European countries (as I have said before) depend a lot on private research that takes place in the USA.
If healthcare in the US went socialist, innovation here and even in precious Europe would stagnate.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 2:01 am

But you and your ilk would never stand for it. Let me quote Robert A. Heinlein; a quote that I believe describes your behavior to a tee:

“Thing that got me was not her list of things she hated, since she was obviously crazy as a Cyborg, but fact that always somebody agreed with her prohibitions. Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws— always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: “Please pass this so that I won’t be able to do something I know I should stop.” Nyet, tovarishchee, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them “for their own good”—not because speaker claimed to be harmed by it.”

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 6:23 am

Bravo!

Anonymous November 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm

So true! I especially love the line saying that nobody ever asks for a bill to pass that would restrict thyself from doing something. Brilliant.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 4:58 am

So Europe pays 40 to 50% less for health care, they live longer and they get 6 weeks vacation compared to our average of 8 days.”

No … they don’t pay 40 to 50% less for health care, they pay 40 to 50% less to collectively and voluntarily mitigate their risk. Consequently, they have greater risk. It’s a trade-off. Longevity and risk are different things, so people with risk outside the collective and “voluntary” limit seek free markets — in expectation of longevity. Since “access” is a right, it must be controlled — free access must be denied and suppressed.

But you have government mandated eight week vacations … as opposed to whatever you can negotiate or whatever you’re worth. That ought to work well …

This isn’t freedom — this is slavery.

Create a commune with some of your friends, and show the rest of us how all of this works. And once we see a good working model, let me be the first to present you with a franchising opportunity. That way, you can exploit capitalism to spread the good word.

Did it ever occur to you that some people won’t give a damn? Have you ever considered their rights?

pauliv November 4, 2009 at 2:26 pm

I love that “Europe pays so much less but lives so much longer” stat–a red herring in its most pristine form.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 10:40 am

Prof. Boudreaux,
As far as i understand your point of view, you would prefer a system where everybody buys catastrophe-insurance-health care,
and optionally whatever more insurance cover with high or low deductibles as they please.

That looks a lot like the type of health insurance that entrepreneurs/independents/students (i.e. non-employees) have to purchase in Europe, as everybody is obliged to have car insurance and fire/catastraphe insurance for their house.

I agree that such system makes the most sense.

I don’t know what the “socialist” politicians are proposing in your country, but I guess from your posts, it is something different from that.
I also understand the current system is nothing like that.

But for most of recent history, those socialists were not in power in your country.
Why didn’t their opponents provide a much better system than the current one when they were in power?
How come they neglected the subject?
Did you remind them ever of how obscene it is for millions of americans not to have even a catastrophe-like health insurance ?

On-topic. The lady in the video wants to make a political point, fair enough. Just like Michael Moore makes political points with his videos.

But the “facts” she cites, are farther away from the truth than those of Michael Moore: in Belgium, Netherlands and Germany (3 of 4 of the countries mentioned), there are – to my knowledge – no waiting lists for highly urgent treatments. In Belgium there are none at all, and there is a 100% free choice of doctor, hospital, etc.

So, will you in future also start posting Michael Moore’s video’s here and consider them hard truthful facts?

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 6:33 pm

But for most of recent history, those socialists were not in power in your country.
Of course they were. Don’t look at what they say, look at what they do. Socialists have been in power since the 1910s.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 2:06 pm
Laura November 4, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Hi,

I am an outreach coordinator for the health videos website.

I wanted to add to the discussion by offering up some videos for those of you looking for more information on health care reform. We have three topics pages about health care, one is specifically about policy, one is about the current reform efforts and finally, one features videos discussing the politics of it all.

http://www.icyou.com/topics/politics-policy/healthcare-policy

http://www.icyou.com/topics/politics-policy/healthcare-politics

http://www.icyou.com/topics/politics-policy/healthcare-reform

Check out these videos for answers to your questions, and check back daily for updates and new information!

Thanks,
Laura

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 6:52 pm

If this is illustrative for the strength of arguments European conservative think tanks manage to put out there, this video just eased most of my worries: the continued existence of our European health care benefits have little to fear. Her arguments are unfounded sound bites about ‘long waiting lines’ (I never noticed them, ever), ‘bureaucrats deciding what is covered and what is not’ (private companies have bureaucrats who do just the same, in a more cynical fashion), and ‘overutilization because it appears to be an all you can eat buffet’ (no it isn’t… coverage is only 100% in the U.K., not in other countries where you still pay a % out of pocket, cutting down on overconsumption). Thanks for the video.

wholesale kids clothing November 5, 2009 at 5:10 am

There have always been politicians. Government is an organization with the monopoly on violence, and politicians are the people who control those who “are allowed” to inflict violence on others.

Anonymous November 5, 2009 at 5:12 am

Not just government, but thuggish criminals also share that monopoly on violence. Terrorizing the rest of us.

Anonymous November 5, 2009 at 5:12 am

Not just government, but thuggish criminals also share that monopoly on violence. Terrorizing the rest of us.

wholesale kids clothing November 5, 2009 at 5:10 am

There have always been politicians. Government is an organization with the monopoly on violence, and politicians are the people who control those who “are allowed” to inflict violence on others.

fullyinsuredguy14 November 5, 2009 at 8:19 am

Sure it may be six months before they get to see a doctor.. but at least they get seen! And what about all those who get SO SICK they are finally wheeled into the hospital emergency room without insurance.. and we all end up paying for a much bigger bill in the end? And what about all the WORKING people in this country who are self-employed, temporarily employed or part time employed who can’t see a doctor? And what about all those who are walking around sick coughing on the salad bars and produce sections of supermarkets because they can’t afford to see a doctor… and they end up infecting so many more of the healthy ones? This all puts a huge bill on the economy.. which other countries realize… but America can’t quite understand. THINK America!!

Rollie November 5, 2009 at 9:16 am

Why is it that when collectivism is adopted in an attempt to “fix” something, it makes things worse, and more collectivism is proposed to fix the consequences of the initial failure of that collectivism?

Something must exist in reality before it can possibly spread. Once that something exists in the market, competition leads to innovation, which causes production costs to fall (outside of monetary inflation). If costs fall enough, that good or service can be accessed by anyone.

If production costs are high at a particular point in time, this does not mean they will remain high indefinitely. How does a planner determine if the cost of something is ideal today rather than yesterday, or if it “must” be arbitrarily “controlled”? If a good or service can be supplied cost-effectively at a price that meets consumer wants and needs, it would already be doing this in the market.

European health care “works” in some countries despite government, not because of it. Government intervention can only distort the market. As a result of such distortions, consumers act in ways that do not reflect reality, thus creating additional problems/costs which are typically addressed in the form of more intervention/collectivism. And repeat…

Rollie November 5, 2009 at 9:16 am

Why is it that when collectivism is adopted in an attempt to “fix” something, it makes things worse, and more collectivism is proposed to fix the consequences of the initial failure of that collectivism?

Something must exist in reality before it can possibly spread. Once that something exists in the market, competition leads to innovation, which causes production costs to fall (outside of monetary inflation). If costs fall enough, that good or service can be accessed by anyone.

If production costs are high at a particular point in time, this does not mean they will remain high indefinitely. How does a planner determine if the cost of something is ideal today rather than yesterday, or if it “must” be arbitrarily “controlled”? If a good or service can be supplied cost-effectively at a price that meets consumer wants and needs, it would already be doing this in the market.

European health care “works” in some countries despite government, not because of it. Government intervention can only distort the market. As a result of such distortions, consumers act in ways that do not reflect reality, thus creating additional problems/costs which are typically addressed in the form of more intervention/collectivism. And repeat…

fullyinsuredguy14 November 5, 2009 at 8:19 am

Sure it may be six months before they get to see a doctor.. but at least they get seen! And what about all those who get SO SICK they are finally wheeled into the hospital emergency room without insurance.. and we all end up paying for a much bigger bill in the end? And what about all the WORKING people in this country who are self-employed, temporarily employed or part time employed who can’t see a doctor? And what about all those who are walking around sick coughing on the salad bars and produce sections of supermarkets because they can’t afford to see a doctor… and they end up infecting so many more of the healthy ones? This all puts a huge bill on the economy.. which other countries realize… but America can’t quite understand. THINK America!!

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 4:43 am

At the very least you’d be required to sweep the floors, help with the laundry. Now all you need to do us show up and have a pulse.

Gil November 4, 2009 at 7:54 am

Pfff. That reminds of a 19th century workhouse where people there had to break up rocks into smaller rocks for their keep. It wasn’t work for work’s sake but the small rocks were an ingredient in roadbuilding. Thus the workhouse wasn’t a charity it was a business and there was no charity just employment.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 1:29 pm

I’m all for liberty. I just believe an unreasonable application of the idea as professed by libertarians will lead to serfdom. How would strict libertarian policy not lead to all the property being owned by a small minority? If you can explain that to me I could maybe take the concert seriously.

Hell I really want to be a libertarian. I like the world to be simple. But I am first a realist and a pragmatist grounded in logic.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 1:32 pm

The quote I gave again was from The Road to Serfdom ….. page 133.

You used to be able to find these classic books online for free. I can’t find them anymore.

Now MWG have you seen the quotes you gave in their full context? Honest now. I can’t find them online?

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Very dumb muirhuahua, actually quite stupid.

At the level of awareness I see you demonstrate here, I speculate that even the making of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is beyond your complete comprehension.

The existence of politicians in any political structure is much more obvious and much less complex than the construction of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 1:58 pm

The very best thing that could happen to the Cafe Hayek is to lose Duplicitious Kuehn and muirduck to their own blog, where they could confound one another with their brilliance to their heart’s content, and the other Cafe patrons could engage in intelligent exchanges without having to talk around the waste.

Sam Grove November 4, 2009 at 2:52 pm

You’re not a politician if you own all the land.

You’ve imagined that power over a defined land negates the fact of political power and those that wield it over others, when in fact you’ve defined the essence of political power; control over a defined geographic area.

John Dewey November 4, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Gil: “That reminds of a 19th century workhouse where people there had to break up rocks into smaller rocks for their keep.”

Where did that happen, Gil? Everything I’ve read about public poorhouses and poorfarms indicated that able-bodied paupers were required to help support themselves – through farming, housecleaning, cooking, sewing, and caring for the disabled who resided there. Where was this rockbreaking you refer to?

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 5:58 pm

How evil that they should work to get their daily bread! No instead the 2009 model of parasitism is MUCH MORE MORAL!!!!!

Gareth November 4, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I disagree with Kuehn and Muirgeo for the most part but if they didn’t post what would the discussions be? It’s important to have a contrarian views and this blog is lucky to have two individuals willing to play the villian.

JohnK November 5, 2009 at 1:30 am

If you want them to go away, ignore them. If their posts garner no reply, they will get bored and go away. They post something designed to gain a reaction, then you play into their game by repeating the same arguments over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…

JohnK November 5, 2009 at 1:30 am

If you want them to go away, ignore them. If their posts garner no reply, they will get bored and go away. They post something designed to gain a reaction, then you play into their game by repeating the same arguments over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…

MWG November 4, 2009 at 2:34 pm

You cut and pasted your quote from a website, unless you have it memorized by heart.

My quotes are not hard to find especially since I GAVE you the link.

MWG November 4, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Hayek was not for universal health. If you want to post the full quote you posted earlier it is clearly evident. Hayek was not against some MINIMAL social safety net, but far from being for ‘free’ healthcare for everyone.

Friedman a conservative? Pretty hard to understand why a conservative would be for the legalization of all drugs.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 9:10 pm

He also had a qualifier. I even responded to your quoting of Hayek in order to get you to think and ask some tough questions of you. You dodged my reply, though; that didn’t suprise me. But now that you’re back spouting this, try explaining how Hayek advocated for public insurance provisions for those with adequate means to make their own provisions. Then, explain how we don’t already have public health ‘insurance’ for those without adequate provisions. Can you do it? Will you attempt the failure by trying to explain it? Will you concede that you’re wrong about what Hayek wrote/said and applied things way too liberally. Or, will you do what you do best…duck, duck, goose step?

MWG November 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm

You mean simple like saying “hey, Europeans live longer, they must have awesome healthcare”

Anonymous November 5, 2009 at 5:31 am

I’m all for liberty.

Your typing got ahead of your brain (not hard for you to do). What you meant to write was, I’m all for as much liberty the State decides I need.

Anonymous November 5, 2009 at 5:31 am

I’m all for liberty.

Your typing got ahead of your brain (not hard for you to do). What you meant to write was, I’m all for as much liberty the State decides I need.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 3:21 pm

“I disagree with Kuehn and Muirgeo for the most part but if they didn’t post what would the discussions be?”

Intelligent, responsive, rational, reasonable, informative, conclusive, agreeable, are some words that come to mind.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 3:48 pm

“The best argument against it that I’ve heard is that all the liberal states will look like Canada while the libertarian states would look like Mexico and you’d eventually have civil war.”

Why do think that’s a good arugment? What sort of reasoning does one use to arrive at that conclusion. Mexico is more state-controlled than the US as it is. As for the “successful” states- why don’t you look at the balance sheets of IL, CA, and NY and tell me how “successful” they are, and furthmore, why libertarian states would want to invade them and inherit their problems?

As for the war-like nature of “right-wingers” give me a break. Do you think that in a state that could be described as libertarian, a rogue element of militants would be able to gain the popularity and power needed to invade other states? This is counter to the entire concept of what being a Libertarian is- letting people decide things for themselves and not forcing those beliefs on others. Sure there may be a handfull of such people (as there are now), but no one takes them seriously enough to where they could accomplish anything.

MWG November 4, 2009 at 4:52 pm

“…while the libertarian states would look like Mexico…”

The fact that you think Mexico resembles even remotely a libertarian state shows just how simple minded you are.

mcwop November 4, 2009 at 5:01 pm
Rollie November 5, 2009 at 7:45 am

“all the liberal states will look like Canada”. By this do you mean, whenever s#*! hits the fan, everyone from the liberal states will run to the libertarian ones begging for mercy?

“right wing nut cakes prone to war”? I don’t know if you noticed, but Democrats were responsible for getting us into every war over the last century up until the Gulf War. Democrats are warmongers too. And just because some hick family that can’t communicate to save their lives was somehow successful enough to obtain the votes to get elected, then promptly abandoned the few remaining “principles” of their party, doesn’t mean “right wing nut cakes” are “prone to war”.

I would also like to address one of your previous statements, “How would strict libertarian policy not lead to all the property being owned by a small minority?” Considering this logic (if you want to call it that), it seems a phenomenon such as this would have already occurred under our current system. Property values in Detroit are averaging $9,000, yet I don’t see evidence of any impending fiefdoms. The rich are a-holes for providing people with employment and reducing the price of consumer goods. However, I would much prefer a government that prints it’s own money, spends it while it’s still worth something, and still can’t seem to manage things in an efficient or cost-effective manner. Right.

Rollie November 5, 2009 at 7:45 am

“all the liberal states will look like Canada”. By this do you mean, whenever s#*! hits the fan, everyone from the liberal states will run to the libertarian ones begging for mercy?

“right wing nut cakes prone to war”? I don’t know if you noticed, but Democrats were responsible for getting us into every war over the last century up until the Gulf War. Democrats are warmongers too. And just because some hick family that can’t communicate to save their lives was somehow successful enough to obtain the votes to get elected, then promptly abandoned the few remaining “principles” of their party, doesn’t mean “right wing nut cakes” are “prone to war”.

I would also like to address one of your previous statements, “How would strict libertarian policy not lead to all the property being owned by a small minority?” Considering this logic (if you want to call it that), it seems a phenomenon such as this would have already occurred under our current system. Property values in Detroit are averaging $9,000, yet I don’t see evidence of any impending fiefdoms. The rich are a-holes for providing people with employment and reducing the price of consumer goods. However, I would much prefer a government that prints it’s own money, spends it while it’s still worth something, and still can’t seem to manage things in an efficient or cost-effective manner. Right.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm

First, you can’t even manage your string of adjectives when we’re here.

Second, don’t lump me in with muirgeo. More often than not I find myself disagreeing with him. In fact, I probably agree with Don and Russ more than I agree with him.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 6:28 pm

muirgeo is afraid that people like himself would be in power. I think I like that conceit of his.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Yes but true Libertarianism requires strict conformity.. you are apparently a little out of line.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Yes but true Libertarianism requires strict conformity.. you are apparently a little out of line.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Libertariansm doesn’t prevent “control over a defined geographic region”, it promotes it.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Libertariansm doesn’t prevent “control over a defined geographic region”, it promotes it.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 11:27 pm

muirdog – the only “conformity” we libertarians require is “don’t tread on me”.

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 11:27 pm

muirdog – the only “conformity” we libertarians require is “don’t tread on me”.

Sam Grove November 4, 2009 at 11:39 pm

You say that because you don’t know what you are talking about.

The history of humanity is rife with conflict over political control of territory. And what government is all about is the administration of conquered territory. All governments, monarchies and democracies, are oligarchies subsisting on the productivity of the serfs.

Serfdom is here.

That people get to vote over who the actual administrators are leaves them no less administered than any herd of sheep.

Sam Grove November 4, 2009 at 11:39 pm

You say that because you don’t know what you are talking about.

The history of humanity is rife with conflict over political control of territory. And what government is all about is the administration of conquered territory. All governments, monarchies and democracies, are oligarchies subsisting on the productivity of the serfs.

Serfdom is here.

That people get to vote over who the actual administrators are leaves them no less administered than any herd of sheep.

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