[ExI] The Circle of Coercion

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Tue May 12 05:33:06 UTC 2009

On Mon, May 11, 2009 at 09:59:25AM -0700, Dan wrote:
> --- On Mon, 5/11/09, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> > 2009/5/11 Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com>:

> >> would be questioned? Who sixty or seventy
> >> years ago in America could have guessed that
> >> government would come to absorb about fifty
> >> percent of everyone's pay, and would soon

Man, what?  Tax rates right now are lower than they've been in
generations.  We're still in the Bush tax cuts for the upper class --
35% on the tap bracket -- and Obama's cut them for the middle and lower
class.  The 30 year postwar economic boom had top taxes of 70%; Reagan
in 1981 cut that bracket *down* to 50%.  Yet now we have tha taxophobes
talking as if 39% vs. 35% is "socialism".  Lowest tax rates in decades
and the GOP still talks only about tax cuts.

> > You keep going on about health care, but it is one of the
> > things that clearly works better when there is government
> > involvement.
> I disagree, but what's your evidence for this?  From my readings, it
> seems to me that government involvement has made healthcare much more

Well, there are lots of countries with socialized insurance (in one
case, actual socialized medicine), and they all live longer at less cost
than the US.

Also, market health care manifestly fails to provide health care who
don't have money.  Or who don't have proof of payment, as might happen
if someone got mugged and left unconscious.  The US decided some time
ago that people shouldn't die for lack of money, thus Medicaid and more
fundamentally, the ER mandate to take people in.  We already have
socialized insurance of sorts, of an egregiously bad variety.  (One that
dumps the costs on hospitals, and doesn't provide for preventive care,
and provides incentives not have ERs; top-notch insurance won't save you
if you bleed out before you reach an emergency room.)

> partly -- what might've happened had healthcare reform been in the
> direction of a free market (as in, in the US, abolishing the FDA,
> getting rid of the AMA's monopoly powers, and removing government
> completely from provisioning and mandating healthcare).

We had that back in the 19th and early 20th century.  We moved away from
it.  Ever wonder why?

> those apologists are completely, unequivocally wrong.  Central
> economic planning failed (and continues to fail; in the US, e.g., the
> central bank is central economic planning for the money system and the
> recent bust is merely its latest flop) as can be seen by how poorly it

Bad call; there's good arguments that the latest flop is from deliberate
lack of planning -- specifically, regulation.  Ideological sabotage, not
basic impossibility.  We know how to regualte banking so that it is safe
and boring and stable, but we've had a regime that disdained that in
favor of "innovations" like CDOs and hedge funds.  Voila.  Conversely,
we had unplanned banking in the 19th century; that generated major and
frequent panics.

> **  Not to mention, Mises showed theoretically why this was so and
> predicted its failure early on.  He even took Lenin's New Economic
> Policy as evidence for his view being correct -- and others have seen
> it as an open admission that central economic planning can't work.

Which is why the US is defended by lowest-bidder mercenaries.

-xx- Damien X-) 

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