Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Free Market Doesn’t ‘Do’: It Liberates You to Do

[Below is my reply to a comment posted on Paul Mulshine’s column My generation is kidding itself about Medicare]

In a post that was eventually deleted for inappropriate comment, nyquill012 made two points; one concerning free markets and one concerning where healthcare companies’ profits come from. I left this reply:

“it's [a] delusion that the ‘free market’ can solve anything.”

This is true. A free market doesn’t solve problems. It’s not an entity. A free market leaves individuals free to plan and advance their lives according to their own judgement, including solving their own problems, without aggressors and predators getting in their way. That’s what the “free” in free market means; freedom from aggressive force. This feature of a free market—the absence of aggression and predation, including by government officials—is what makes free market capitalism the only moral social system. If the free market is a “fairy tale,” then so is any chance of peaceful coexistence among people.

The real delusion is that government bureaucrats can solve the problems of millions upon millions of people simply by seizing their money and imposing “solutions” at gunpoint, without creating bigger problems than it “solves”. The extraordinary cost of healthcare is a prime example. Government pays nearly 90% of our healthcare bill—either directly through government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, or indirectly through government-controlled “insurance” companies. As any decent economics textbook will tell you, when you disconnect the consumer from the responsibility to pay his own way, price discipline disappears. Then you have a government dictating prices through monopsony power and healthcare decisions properly left to healthcare consumers and providers.

As to private healthcare companies “profiting on death and suffering”: In fact, they profit on valuable products and services that reduce suffering, cure people, and extend life. The only people who profit on death and suffering are power-hungry politicians, people who seek escape from the responsibility of paying their bills, and spiritual parasites who push socialized medicine under the guise of caring for people.

Related Reading:

Free Market—the Ayn Rand Lexicon

1 comment:

Steve D said...

'...profiting on death and suffering...'

More precisely, they are profiting on preventing death and relieving suffering. How could that possibly be a bad thing?

(and how can people not see that?)