In the days before the election, I told many of my fellow Massachusetts residents that Obama was not so much a break from George Bush as a continuation of his worst policies. I am sorry to say that he has been proving me right since. And this is yet another nail in the coffin of an administration that is showing itself to be even more incompetent than the Bush presidency.
For decades the cost of medical care has risen relative to prices in general and relative to people’s incomes. Today  a semi-private hospital room typically costs $1,000 to $1,500 per day, exclusive of all medical procedures, such as X-rays, surgery, or even a visit by one’s physician. Basic room charges of $500 per day or more are routinely tripled just by the inclusion of normal hospital pharmacy and supplies charges (the cost of a Tylenol tablet can be as much as $20). And typically the cost of the various medical procedures is commensurate. In such conditions, people who are not exceptionally wealthy, who lack extensive medical insurance, or who fear losing the insurance they do have if they become unemployed, must dread the financial consequences of any serious illness almost as much as the illness itself. At the same time, no end to the rise in medical costs is in sight. Thus it is no wonder that a great clamor has arisen in favor of reform – radical reform – that will put an end to a situation that bears the earmarks of financial lunacy.
Reisman argues against many of propositions that are assumed to be true by proponents of govenrment medicine, economic ideas that are based on primitive emotions and have no basis in actual economics: » Read more
I find it pretty depressing. There was a time when we condescendingly used the term “your papers, please” to distinguish ourselves from Eastern Block countries and other authoritarian states. Post-Hiibel, America has become a place where a harmless, 68-year-old man out on a stroll can be stopped, interrogated, detained, and forced to produce proof of identification to state authorities, despite having committed no crime.
Maybe what makes it comical rather than a tragedy is that it happened to a famous guy rather than some ordinary person.
Exercising your rights and abilities as consumers, you are therefore boycotting Whole Foods. You’re using your freedom to avoid paying for products offered by someone whose attitude toward government you disapprove of.
Isn’t freedom wonderful?!
But I must ask: do you endorse my freedom to boycott paying for products offered by those whose attitude toward government I disapprove of? Like you, I have very strong opinions about the proper role of government, and also as in your case, a famous chief executive is now endorsing government policies that I find reprehensible.
Will you champion my freedom to stop supporting, with my money, President Barack Obama’s services? Will you come to my defense if I stop paying taxes to support those policies of Mr. Obama with which I disagree – policies such as the economic ’stimulus,’ more vigorous antitrust regulation, and cap and trade? Indeed, will you defend me if I boycott – if I choose not to pay taxes to support – Obamacare?
If you will support me in my boycott, then I applaud your principle and, although I disagree with you about Mr. Mackey’s political views, fully support your freedom to boycott Whole Foods. But if you will not support me in my boycott, then can you tell me on what principle you would stand to defend your right to boycott supermarkets if someone (say, Mr. Mackey) managed to secure legislation that obliges you to shop at Whole Foods?
I await your reply.
Donald J. Boudreaux
I couldn’t put it better myself. One quibble, even if Olivia Jane was not willing to extend us the same courtesy and support our desire to boycott Obamacare, we should applaud her principle. Just because she has reprehensible political views does not mean we should ignore the opportunity to teach her the value of a right to exit/disassociate.
Obama is not a dumb man. He understands that government provisioning generally produces a worse service than private organizations which are dependent on people choosing to patronize them.
Here he is pointing out that while Fedex is required by law to charge higher prices than the Post Office for equivalent services, it is the Post Office which struggles and requires constant taxpayer bailout.
Like Amtrak, USPS, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, any publicly funded insurance company will struggle to contain costs as it encourages overconsumption.