Thursday, January 21, 2010

Krugman's Magic Bullet: Coercion

Paul Krugman calls himself a "liberal," but it certainly is not of the "government-leave-us-alone" liberalism. Instead, it is a belief that no one should be able to be left alone, especially in the area of medical care.

In his January 21 posting, Krugman rightly (yes, I give him some credit) notes that by itself banning discrimination on purchasing insurance will create "an adverse-selection death spiral, in which healthy people opt out and premiums soar." Krugman's solution? Coercion, of course:

You can’t solve that without both requiring that healthy people buy insurance and helping those with lower incomes afford the premiums.

I think this is something the ancients once called "rule of force." Remember, the government wanted to send you to prison for a few years if your refused.

Once upon a time, liberalism meant something else other than having the government force you to purchase a product you did not want. That liberalism is dead today. Perhaps Krugman should name his blog, "A liberal with no conscience."


Andy Katherman said...

Yes, it's so sad the butchery the "Progressives" have done to the whole concept of liberalism. You are doing yeoman's work describing the fountain of perpetual fallacies, we all know as Paul Krugman.


Unknown said...

Why doesn't Krugman advocate sweeping deregulation, allowing insurance companies to balance their pools of risk, thus lowering premiums and encouraging people who wouldn't buy insurance because of higher prices to enter into the market?

The government can then end the silly tax code practice of coercing employers into offering medical insurance as third-party payment in lieu of higher wages and allow for more regular medical needs to be paid for directly by consumers. This would slash away administration costs and allow doctors to create a proper environment for price signaling and impart awareness and responsibility to the actual users of healthcare.

Those with "lower incomes" need not be subsidized by government, if prices are still too high for some then private charities and charitable medical providers will be capable of assisting far more efficiently than the bureaucrats.

I guess all of this would require the destruction of the greatest Ponzi schemes ever devised: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and an immense reduction in government interventionism.

A liberal, Mr. Krugman, is not.