Thursday, September 15, 2016

Economics 101

Or how the government messes things up by Kevin Williamson --

The perverse fact is that government efforts to make politically important goods such as education and health care less expensive make them more expensive. This is because most government programs are designed as though supply and demand do not actually exist, or as though they are optional. Consider not only Obamacare but all of the other efforts we’ve made over the past several decades to make health care more affordable. None of those programs subtracts from the number of Americans needing or desiring medical services; none of them adds to the number of physicians, dentists, nurses, or pharmacists available to meet that demand, or to the number of hospital beds, clinics, or pharmaceutical factories. Demand is what it is, and supply is what it is, and the government simply dumps money into the equation. A larger quantity of money chasing an unchanged supply of goods is something close to the classical definition of inflation, so it is no surprise to see medical prices increasing far more rapidly than those of other consumer goods.

...Pouring an extra $1 trillion into health-care subsidies will not make medical care less expensive; it probably will end up making it more expensive. If you really wanted to bring down the cost of medical care, there are more-direct ways: You could increase the supply of providers by allowing non-physician specialists such as nurses to provide a wider array of services; you could lower taxes on medical devices rather than raising them, as Obama does; you could use immigration law and, if necessary, expedited licensure to add 5 million doctors to the market in a very short period of time. Similar approaches could provide savings in education and housing. We don’t do that, in part because very influential people have a financial stake in high prices for medicine, education, and housing. The National Rifle Association, which is widely regarded as a one of the capital’s most fearsome advocacy organizations, doesn’t spend a tenth of what the National Association of Realtors spends on lobbying.

From Bookworm's website --

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