Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Must-Read on Health Care

I exaggerate only slightly -- and I mean slightly -- when I say that all you really need to read on the healthcare debate is Steve Horwitz's Freeman article "Profit: Not Just a Motive."

No one who is ignorant of these arguments can be counted as a serious participant in the debate.


Anonymous said...

Sheldon, just wanted to let you know that those SnapShot pop-ups are very, very annoying*, and even though their little window has an option to disable the pop-ups, it doesn't work.

* They used to simply pop-up a little window but now (on Firefox), they redisplay your page with a larger font.

Sheldon Richman said...

I think I've turned that off now. Let me know. Thanks.

D. Saul Weiner said...

Smith and Mises live on!

Sheldon Richman said...

He Steve has managed to boil the matter down to its essence. There it is for anyone to read. No advocate of government health care has any excuse for his economic ignorance.

Tushar said...

I'm a supporter of freedom in health care. However, Steve's arguments have already been 'answered' by the 'progressives.' The argument has moved forward. They propose commissions of experts to evaluate effectiveness etc. Steve's article is necessary for basic economic understanding of profits, which, no doubt many 'progressives' do not have. However, the argument HAS moved forward. The argument for expert commissions must be taken head on.

Sheldon Richman said...

Tushar, if you are being ironic, I apologize, but I can't be sure. If you think the "progressives" have answered Steve, you missed his point. Without free markets, true prices, and profit-loss, the experts can't know what they need to know to do their jobs properly. This is merely an application of the Mises-Hayek socialist-calculation critique.

Tushar said...

Yes Sheldon I'm of course aware of the whole calculation debate. But this isn't a theoretical point. Like I said I accept all these arguments as a libertarian. However, the so-called 'progressives' have simply brought up comparative effectiveness councils, like the ones in Britain, and since that system looks (broadly) to be working, we need to go beyond merely the theoretical point about price calculations, and forcefully prove what effect these councils and/or other socialized medicine policies will have.

D. Saul Weiner said...


Comparative effective councils are just another socialist panacea, much like the testing in No Child Left Behind. Our experts will test, so that all will be held to a certain standard.

You say that these councils appear to be working. But how can we make that determination? Is it based on satisfaction surveys? I am sure that most of Bernie Madoff's clients were highly satisfied ... until his Ponzi scheme blew up. Most people are satisfied with Social Security and Medicare ... does that mean these are working or are people just getting while the getting's good? The bottom line is that, in a mixed economy, failing institutions like public schools and socialized health care can be subsidized and supported for long periods of time, provided they have not yet overwhelmed the productive sectors of the economy. That doesn't mean that they are working, or at least working well. It means that they are ticking time bombs which have not yet gone off or (alternately) the camel's back has not yet broken.