Re: Property rights

From: Stuart Armstrong (
Date: Sat Apr 19 2008 - 15:27:38 MDT

> It is interesting, then, that advocates of national health care don't try to
> start businesses operated like the European health care cartels, but instead
> demand government intervention.

Not really on topic, but I can't let that pass - the theory behind
publicly funded healthcare is precisely that it is universal, and
obligatory (hence needs the coercive power of a state). This (in
theory) reduces administrative costs (as there is no need to
discriminate between users) and improves outcomes (as consumers are
very poor judges of whether they received good medical care, compared
with most other domains; hence specialists make better decisions than
private individuals). That's the theory, anyway.

So challenging someone to set up a private version of national
healthcare is, sorry to say it, dumb.

But are national healthcares better or worst that private versions?
Well, that's an empirical question, not a theoretical one. Cross
country comparaisons are notoriously weak statistical tools, but
they're the best we have in this debate. And the data seems to imply
that national healthcares are better, or cheaper, or both, that purely
private healthcare. Of course, there is a range of heathcare varieties
within national systems, with different private participation and with
different results (ex: the NHS, the epitome of purely public
healthcare, is only morderately good, but is very cheap. France's
system, with greater private participation, is of higher quality,
though I believe (but can't find the figures) that it is more
expensive than the NHS, though a lot cheaper than the american model).

And one last question: what does all this have to do with the singularity?


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