Coming soon!

Coming soon!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Health-Care Cons

The economist Joan Robinson (1903-1983) wrote, "The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of readymade answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists."

A better reason to study economics is to avoid being deceived by politicians; they are the far greater threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When you consider that the typical political campaign is little more than a series of confidence games, understanding basic economics is a matter of survival. Without such an understanding one is an easy mark.

The rest of this week's TGIF, "Health-Care Cons," is at the Foundation for Economic Education website.


steven said...

Unfortunately, Sheldon, I don't think that many Americans want to see through the con game. They just want their "free health care". Or they want to relieve their conscience.

Sheldon Richman said...

I agree. Bryan Caplan (The Myth of the Rational Voter) is right.

D. Saul Weiner said...

I think that the messages at the end of your column are the most critical. In order for people to avoid supporting poor public policies (in this case, relative to health care), it is necessary for them to be economically literate enough to grasp (or at least ask) why "the market" isn't working now, when it works so well in so many other areas. Unfortunately, most have a blind spot for the impact of the various interventions, such as licensing and the FDA. Instead, everybody has his own pet hypothesis about what is wrong, which usually accounts for at most 5% of the problem.

Health care is an issue of great interest to me and one where I have spent a considerable amount of time researching and analyzing. I am also an actuary by profession. I often recommend to people that they watch the documentary "Hoxsey: How Healing Became a Crime", which offers great insights into what went wrong with our system. Unfortunately, too few follow through, thinking that they already know everything they need to know in this regard.