[ExI] Was medical marijuana. On Insurance

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Wed Jul 21 19:24:44 UTC 2010

On Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 10:40:24AM -0700, Dan wrote:

>    been the case for a long, long time. In the US, contrary to the views
>    of many uninformed people, the actual government involvement in
>    healthcare has been quite high for decades, even surpassing the so
>    called "socialist" nations of Europe in terms of percentage of
>    government money devoted to healthcare versus private spending on the


A few years old, but 44% of US health care spending was public, lower
than any other listed country, even Switzerland.

The US gov't spends more actual dollars, per capita, on health care than
many countries do in total spending, but that just goes to show how
overpriced US health care is.

>    same. (This goes along with, too, the mislabeling of many European
>    nations as socialist, including those in Scandinavia; those particular
>    nations actually tend to have less government intervention in the
>    economy than other European nations.)

Sort of true.  A relatively right-wing Swede I know noted that Sweden
sort of has socialism for people -- free health care, education, child
care, etc. -- and more laissez faire for business, e.g. letting Saab
fail.  US policies tend more toward socialism for big business --
subsidies, bailouts, protectionism -- and laissez faire for individuals:
letting them drown in medical bankruptcies, making them fund their own
education, skimping on public transit, discouraging mortgage holders
from walking away or renegotiating the way a business would.

So if socialism is gov't interference with production, there might be
less there, though there'll still be labor laws.  (Not always minimum
wage laws, but powerful unions and collective bargaining fills a similar
role.)  Of course, to a lot of Americans these days, socialism is the
government doing anything they don't approve of, i.e. anything beyond
the military or helping they themselves out.

Tangentially, in the US, we tell people to cook pork fully to avoid
trichinosis.  In Europe, the government inspects pigs to make sure they
don't have trichinosis, meaning people can safely enjoy rare pork.  This
seems illustrative, somehow.

>    And the issue of force comes in as always. If someone is going to get
>    something that she or he wouldn't get via voluntary exchange, this
>    means it's going to have to be taken or paid for by someone else. Why
>    should this be allowed or advocated? Why is it seen as ethical to use
>    force?

"mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon"

-xx- Damien X-) 

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