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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.


Russell Hanneken said...

What do you think of this comment by James Buchanan?

He takes issue with the idea that "individuals . . . carry around with them fully determined utility functions, and, in the market, they act always to maximize utilities subject to the constraints they confront." I think the gist of his point is that people actually sort out what they want in the process of making choices. Therefore, the problem of central planning is even worse than Hayek supposed. It's not just that central planners don't have the knowledge they need; some of the facts they need to know don't actually exist until they emerge from market activity.

Sheldon Richman said...

I agree with Buchanan completely. I hope that point is reflected in my work. Moreover, I think it is to be found in Mises and Hayek.

D. Saul Weiner said...

President's name should be Barack Hussein Orwell

Sheldon Richman said...

More on Buchanan's point: One cannot overstate how radical and important it is. As he says, even an omniscient being couldn't predict the details of a spontaneous market order. The fact that the market process produces -- and not just reveals -- the "data" of supply and demand should actually be uncontroversial with a few moments thought. Think about your own actions in the marketplace. Discovery and entrepreneurship are on both the supply and demand sides.