Showing posts with label competition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label competition. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Obamacare: The Wrong Test

The core objection to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was never the glitchy website or the deficient number of sign-ups. (It you subsidize it, they will come.) It was the predictable harm of combining government-subsidized demand, controlled supply through administered pricing, and mandated standardized insurance products (i.e., a "market" without entrepreneurship and full, free competition). These consequences will take time to reveal themselves, but they will do so in due course. The laws of economics guarantee it. (Note: Obamacare merely intensified the antimarket features of the reigning corporatist system.)

Ignoring the real objection has distorted the debate and set the success bar absurdly low.

Monday, October 01, 2012

My Case for Socializing the Means of Production

From Cato Unbound:
In a sweeping essay, Sheldon Richman explains why private property and free competition are superior to state-provided goods and services. He warns against granting "private" corporate monopolies, which are not true privatizations, but act as arms of the state. He adds that for many state activities, the best way to privatize is not to provide the service at all — as in the case of punishing victimless crimes, which no one should do. For legitimate services, he recommends a "homesteading" approach, in which stakeholders in a public service, such as a school, would receive shares in a new, independent corporation.
See the full article.

Friday, April 27, 2012

TGIF: Can Mutually Beneficial Exchanges Be Exploitative?

The great thing about competitive markets is not that marginal utility sets prices, but that rivalry among sellers drives prices below the level that approximates many people’s marginal utility. This produces a consumer surplus. (How far below is governed by producers’ subjective opportunity costs, including workers’ preference for leisure.) We all have bought things at a price below that which we were prepared to pay. . . . In a manner of speaking, competition socializes consumer surplus.
 On the other hand, in the absence of competition a coercive monopolist is able to charge more than in a freed market, capturing some of the surplus that would have gone to consumers. That’s a form of exploitation via government privilege.
Read the rest of TGIF here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Obama's Health-Insurance Cartel

President Obama and other advocates of nationalized health insurance have tried a variety of sales pitches, which indicates their difficulty in getting traction with the public. The latest is”competition and choice.” Who could be against those things? Barack Obama for one.

The rest of TGIF is here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Government Logic

  1. Outlaw full interstate health-insurance competition.
  2. Denounce the lack of competition.
  3. Propose ersatz competition (exchanges) with a government option.
  4. Live happily ever after.