[ExI] Nothing succeeds quite like a failing government program/was Re: Who are the people? Who suffers?

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 18 18:52:51 UTC 2009

--- On Sat, 7/18/09, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>> ...On Behalf Of Stathis Papaioannou
>> ...
>> I recommend that the US introduce a single payer
>> health 
>> insurer covering everyone... Stathis Papaioannou
> Stathis, I don't know how much of the current debate is
> making it into the
> European press.  The notion of a major overhaul of the
> US medical system was
> sunk yesterday by a report by the Congressional Budget
> Office, which claims
> that total health care costs under Obamacare will not go
> down, but would go
> up.

Is this a surprise? Virtually every government program proposed anywhere is supposed to come in on budget and on time -- and the general tendency is when the program actual gets under way, it's way overbudget (think of the recent federal perscription drug program ushered in under Bush and the GOP-dominated Congress in the US or national health in Britain back in, IIRC, the 1950s) and often enough the program is in shambles. Then ever more money is pumped in to the program.

This is also a salient different between voluntary interactions and coerced ones, especially government ones: if the voluntary interaction fails, the parcipants often change it radically or end it. For instance, a private firm doesn't make a good enough product for a low enough price and it's out of business. This is a measure of success: what doesn't work, fails. A government-sponsored firm or agency, however, tends to get ever more funding even when it fails miserably. A recent example are the two mortgage giants in the US -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- and the various banks and just about any government program, such as the aforementioned medical programs in the US and Britain.




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