Re: Property rights

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Wed Apr 23 2008 - 18:24:01 MDT

On Apr 20, 2008, at 6:55 AM, Byrne Hobart wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 5:27 PM, Stuart Armstrong <
> > wrote:
> > 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.
> I was specifically responding to a comment implying that it was not
> the national nature, but the way things were run, that made
> national healthcare such a good deal. If it's really only a good
> deal because you can coerce people into not accepting anything else,
> that's something that should be noted! I could probably make food
> really really cheap if I just mandated a prison sentence for selling
> a meal for more than $5. That would deprive us of a very useful set
> of signals about the actual demand and cost for various food items,
> and would make people think twice about becoming good chefs -- but
> if we're measuring success in terms of the most for the least,
> rather than the right amount for the right price, that would be the
> way to go!

A) This is not remotely SL4 material;
B) The notion you can make food cheap (and presumably plentiful) by
mandating its price (regardless of production costs) marks you as
economically illiterate.

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