[FoRK] Accidental theorist lost, wanted back

geege schuman geege4 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 16 11:15:33 PDT 2009


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/16/AR2009071602242.html

On Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 1:02 PM, Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

> I agree that health insurance company reform is what is needed.  I think
> that the public plan is supposed to be competition that causes that.  Better
> would be some creative incentives that encourage everyone involved to be
> ever more efficient.
>
> It is being said that the public plan idea will be killed, and instead
> non-profit coops will be created.  This works pretty well for credit unions,
> despite long-term and constant constraint and attacks by commercial banks.
>  Being an entity separate from the government allows a lot of flexibility in
> how it is set up, incentivized, etc.  It can vary from nearly commercial to
> pseudo- or semi- governmental (Freddie Mac et al, postal service).
>
> sdw
>
> Jeff Bone wrote:
>
>>
>> Bryan Caplan, as usual, nails it:
>>
>>  http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2009/07/the_world_needs.html
>>
>> The Krugman we've got is sold on the House health bill.  But the Krugman
>> we had, the thoughtful economist who wrote The Accidental Theorist, would
>> have responded differently.  Krugman Past, unlike Krugman Present, would
>> have pointed out that when the unemployment rate is 9.7%, it's a bad idea to
>> legislate an 8% payroll increase on businesses that fail to offer health
>> insurance.   Employers are reluctant to hire workers at today's wages; how
>> are they going to feel once the marginal worker gets 8% pricier?
>>
>> It's not just Krugman who should be against such legislation at a time
>> like this; so should any sensible Keynesian.  If you're a dogmatic believer
>> in market-clearing, you might say, "No problem, wages will fall to prevent a
>> rise in unemployment."  But if you accept the reality of wage rigidity, you
>> know that's pie-in-the-sky.  In the short-run, employers will mostly respond
>> to higher labor costs by letting workers go.  And even in the long-run,
>> employers usually cut real wages by keeping nominal raises below the
>> inflation rate.  In an economy with very low inflation forecasts for years
>> to come, this stealth adjustment process will take years.
>>
>> --
>>
>> This health care reform bill is a monstrosity;  almost everyone who has
>> anything to do with the health care industry abhors it, almost everyone who
>> pays for health care in one way or another abhors it, and almost everyone
>> who uses health care recognizes that this is going to dramatically reduce
>> quality of care and *raise* --- not reduce --- costs across the board to
>> everyone involved.  It's a bad idea all around, from being a 1000+ page
>> monstrosity that isn't even going to be read before a vote to the very idea
>> that the entity that does such a good job w/ e.g. the USPS, Amtrak,
>> Interstate road and bridge maintenance, Social Security, and Medicare should
>> even be *allowed* anywhere near this critical industry.  In many cases the
>> added tax burden involved is going to eliminate the ability for (up to 60%
>> of) the current stay-at-home moms out there to continue doing so.  Not to
>> mention the fact that this will kill most of the small rural providers and a
>> large number of the smaller urban providers, private physicians and group
>> practices, etc.  And then there's the massive chilling effect on job
>> creation and maintenance, as noted above:  this will add several percentage
>> points *permanently* to our baseline unemployment nation-wide, and slow new
>> business creation while accelerating losses in small businesses.
>>
>> As far as I can tell the only people that think this is a good idea are
>> the Dems in DC, died-in-the-wool partisans, and people that were hoodwinked
>> by Michael Moore's health care opus.  We *need* health care reform but it
>> should really be focused at *insurance company reform* rather than creating
>> another mass-entitlement and letting the government "compete" with them (at
>> a loss, funded by you and me.)  Oh, and the ever-growing ranks of the
>> completely economically-innumerate.
>>
>> Call your reps and senators *now* and oppose this absolutely abysmal bill.
>>
>>
>> jb
>>
>
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