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.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Alarmism or Realism?

A standard charge against opponents of the medical insurance overhaul is that the dire predictions are nothing but alarmism. The argument is something like this: “You said the same thing when Medicare passed in 1965.”

This is actually a very funny contention. One of the arguments against Medicare was that it would pave the way to greater government control of the medical system.

Does anyone now think that was a bad prediction?

Medicare has made $37 trillion in promises (over the next 75 years) for which there is no money. Even Barack Obama acknowledges that Medicare is responsible for a major part of the federal deficit, which is creating the huge national debt. To deal with the out-of-control budget, coverage for some services is being denied. The bureaucratic burden is prompting doctors to stop accepting new Medicare patients.

By paying for the medical care for retirees, the government program has stimulated the demand for products and services, pushing up prices for everyone. More expensive medical care means more expensive medical insurance. As the price of insurance goes up, many people are priced out of that market, adding to the number uninsured. (This is not the only factor in price inflation, but it is a big one.)

Higher prices and the growing number of uninsured — in large part a product of Medicare — fueled the effort to increase government power over the medical system.

So: Q.E.D. The predictions about Medicare were valid. It has led to deeper government control of medicine, which is to say, us.

Are we alarmists or realists?

1 comment:

dennis said...

I made this very point the other day. The state is always the primary sower of disorder.