Health Care Calamity

Unless the heavens intervene, Congress is about to enact the most damaging piece of legislation ever produced by this once august body.  Government health care appears set to become a reality.

Lest my friends in favor of health care think I have joined the ranks of the semi-literate shouters who dominate the current debate, let me reiterate my position:

1) Yes, health care is broken.  Yes, changes need to be made.  However, the changes I advocate require clearing the bramble of crony (as opposed to free-market) capitalism that currently exists.

2) I realize the some people legitimately need help with medical expenses.  In my view, a true free-market solution to health care would reduce this number to a size that could be managed with private charity.

3) It does not matter that some people may benefit from this bill in the short run if it wrecks the economy.  It will.

Sick Dog

Advocates for the bill (as it is currently written) argue that it will reduce costs.  Let’s think that one through.  When is the last time you ever saw the government reduce the cost of anything?  The record shows precisely the opposite–consistent overestimation of future costs and underestimation of expenses.

Social Security, once lauded as an example of how government can actively benefit its citizens, is in fact a scam that Bernie Madoff could envy.  Current contributors are supporting current beneficiaries.  In other words, we support the generation before us, and our children will support us–maybe.  I say “maybe” simply because the number of people who receive will soon so outnumber those who give that the system will collapse.

Oh, sure, they will keep sending checks.  After all, the government can print money.  Imagine receiving your check of $900 a month, half of which will buy a can of beef stew.  This is the inevitable result of our current spending habits.  We have become a debtor nation.  So much so that other countries are questioning whether the dollar should still serve as the world’s reserve currency.  For those who remain indifferent to issues of global finance, here is a layperson’s translation.

We are toast.

If we do not stop the government from spending like inebriated seamen, we will have to pick up the pieces.  This will not be an academic matter debated vigorously but pointlessly in the halls of higher education.  It will result in massive unemployment, hyper-inflation, and severe political unrest.  You and I will feel the heat while Congress avoids the light.

So here is my plea to my good-hearted but perhaps misguided friends.  Take the time to learn why this bill won’t work.  While you are at it, take the time to understand why we are headed toward an economic cliff.  There are a thousand ways to help the needy.  This bill is not one of them.

–Terry writes this blog when he feels like it–usually once a week.  When he has so much to say that he is about to explode, he writes an extra one.  Like this week.  If you want to know more about how to survive the coming crash, buy his book Empty Nest Egg: Why You Must Start Your Own Business NOW from amazon.com.  Terry read it again last week and loved it.

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About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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