Saturday, June 20, 2009

Trying to thread the needle.....

The whole theory behind free-market Capitalism is that it harnesses individual self-interest in a way that ends up spreading benefits widely. As I've often said, it's good at accomplishing some things, other things, not so much. But whatever solution we propose to whatever problem we perceive has to take in account the fact that individual self interest isn't going to go away and that any solution that doesn't take it into account is doomed to failure.
The other point is that a lot of political arguments are based on others being 'undeserving'. Spob made clear several threads ago that his arguments against any Health-care reform was based on the notion that some undeserving poor person who brought it upon himself might nevertheless get some health-care on the public dime, therefore costing spob personally. In his worldview, poor people are morally suspect freeeloaders.
But you folks who are arguing over how evil Insurance companies and lobbyists are are applying the same kind of thinking. By assuming that powerful people are powerful by virtue of their gaming the system, you blind yourself to their worldview which only suggests that they are delivering a valuable service at a fair price and bemoaning people who want something for nothing.
There's nothing inherently evil about being poor and there's nothing inherently evil about being rich. Only when we get past the stereotypes and ask ourselves how we can design a sytem wherein individual self-interest nevertheless results in widespread benefit then we will be dealing with the Health-care crisis rationally.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Where the Right went wrong in one sentence or less:

The problem as I see it is that having started with an idea that seemed plausable in the Eighties concerning competitition and markets and efficiency, instead of testing that idea and checking where it made sense and where it didn't, they instead proclaimed it as an article of faith, and now that it's slammed against the wall of reality they refuse to consider that perhaps they've failed to correctly identify the problem that their solutions are supposed to solve.