[ExI] Why Cities Keep Growing, Corporations and People Always Die, and Life Gets Faster

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sat Jun 11 01:55:30 UTC 2011

On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 12:52 AM, Damien Sullivan
<phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 06, 2011 at 12:22:09AM -0400, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:
>> On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 1:20 PM, Damien Sullivan
>> <phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu> wrote:
>> ??(And lower cost
>> > too, since socialized medicine is cheaper)
>> ### No, it isn't, because it kills people.
> Funny how just about all the people with "socialized medicine" live longer
> than Americans do.  This must be some novel use of "kills people" with
> which I am not familiar.

### No, they don't. Most countries whose healthcare systems are even
more socialized than US (i.e. more than about 70% of all transactions
directly controlled by the government) have a lower life-expectancy
than Americans, especially after controlling for race. Conversely,
countries with less socialized medicine, after controlling for income,
tend to have better outcomes than the US.

The common trick of leftist demagogues is to claim that the US is
system is not socialist, while in fact it mostly is. Then the
inevitable poor performance of the system is blamed on the vestiges of
private initiative (being able to choose a physician, having access to
new medications) and presto, Obamacare.

Today I saw an 80 year old man. He was mute, very severely rigid, so
rigid I couldn't straighten his legs even though he didn't yet have
contractures. He was blinking very slowly, had some intermittent
tremor. This is very advanced Parkinson's disease - and he showed up
untreated, after a perfunctory trial of levodopa was abandoned. Where
in hell did this guy come up from, I wondered? His nursing home
attendant told me he was just transferred from the VA (Veteran's
Administration) facility in Bath. VA, huh? Now all is clear - the
guy's mistake was to let himself get drafted into the war in Korea,
and then assume the VA would take care of him in his old age.


> The nature of the feedback loop was exactly my point above.  The
> feedback usually attributed to "private business" comes from being in a
> competitive market.  Contractors who do not exist in competitive markets
> do not have the virtue usually ascribed, and in fact have many potential
> vices relative to a government agency with no profit overhead and less
> room for regulatory capture.

### Whatever your point you say wanted to make, no, this wasn't what
you wrote. And yes, private business does operate in markets, that's
why it works, while governments kill markets, which is why they fail.

Also, regulatory capture is a term not used in the context of
interactions between government and contractors.

>> Simon is a bizarre ideologue. He argues that since 90% of wealth is
>> generated by the artful arrangement of peaceful economic exchange
>> among the citizens, then somehow depriving citizens of 90% of the
> He argues that since that *peaceful* exchange is enabled by the
> government, up to 90% of it could be taken for the maintenance of the
> peace while still leaving people better off than they would be without
> government.

### Well, yeah, pretty much that's what he says.

What complete, unadulterated bullshit (both the premise and the conclusion).


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