philosophical differences.

At Newmark’s Door is a look at two views about the Medicare problem. One is from  Michael Hiltzik, columnist for the Los Angeles Times who thinks “the consumer-driven model has been widely discredited.” On the other is distinguished economist Alain Enthoven whose view is that “Health care in America is extremely wasteful” and “No amount of price cutting or central-government dictates will mitigate these problems.”

As Thomas Sowell pointed out long ago in his wonderful book A Conflict of Visions,
disputes such as these are unlikely to be settled by logic or by
empirical evidence. You either believe that most people are able to
conduct their affairs competently, or you don’t.

Or, from another viewpoint, how much are we all responsible for each individual’s decisions? This often gets slammed as a black or white issue, especially in arguments against libertarian ideas, but that logical fallacy only shows an unwillingness to confront the central issue. Even the current idea about ‘too big to fail’ when applied to financial institutions fit into this concept. Can we take the view that society must allow no risk and allow no failures? Or just how far do we go?

Of course, if people are generally incompetent, then who is it that is competent to make decisions for them? How has this worked out in past and current efforts? The inability to coherently deal with this question is why Dr. Sowell concludes that logic and evidence just won’t cut the mustard.

Comments are closed.