Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Monopoly of Government

"Likewise, didn't you know all along that Republican opposition to current health care reform is about maintaining the unconscionable monopoly that insurance companies have in the American economy. Why? For the same reason Bush went to war in Iraq, spent money we didn't have, pushed the country into financial ruin and did more to threaten our long term national security than any modern president."
~ from Alec Baldwin at the Huffington Post.
My Perspective:

Aside from an obvious ignorance of the laws of economics, and a knowledge of the history and philosophy of Business/Government relations, Baldwin is just plain stupid. First off, there is no monopoly for the insurance companies. If anything, it would be called an Oligopoly, but I would contend that the oligopoly only exists because of government. currently there are around 1300 insurance companies in the United States, but at any given time, a citizen of the united states has only a small fraction of those to choose from. Why is this? because government has restricted access to insurers that are located across state lines. This results in a shortage, which drives up cost, and restricts competition which is how costs would be brought back down.

Isn't it the Federal Government's job to keep commerce flowing freely from state to state? Shouldn't any citizen have access to choose from the 1300 insurers no matter where they live? It works for other forms of insurance, why not medical? Oh that's right, because government is dictating to the insurance companies and the citizens what must be covered, even if the consumers (you) do not want that service and are willing to go without it.

According to Mr. Baldwin, the GOP wants to keep the status quo because it is a boon to the insurance companies and their "monopoly" (just using the phrase "their monopoly" is a contradiction in terms). But, I and any free market thinker would agree that if the Leftists in power get their way, and Baldwin's way, then we truly will have a healthcare monopoly: Government.

It is shocking to realize how stupid the left thinks we are. They tell us that we are the victims of a 1300 company large "monopoly" and tell us the only way to fix it is to create a public option--which actually is a monopoly, since it will not have to operate within the laws of economics. This is Cronyism at its finest. A bunch of rich elitists think that they know what is best for everyone, and they can't stand the notion of those "below" them making decisions for themselves, regardless of the result. These people, like Baldwin, think that if they can just control a part of the world (because they know how to do it, right?) then all will be better.

When government gets involved in any part of the free market the market ceases to be free, and instead is controlled by the "benevolence" of those who think of themselves as mini-gods, holier than thou, wiser than you (even though they have no idea of your ever changing individual situation; your personal desires; nor do they have any experience in the areas they wish to legislate) Once your markets are not free, then neither are you.

Milton Friedman put it best when he said, "capitalism (meaning free market capitalism) is not a sufficient condition for freedom, it's a necessary condition for freedom...Wherever you have freedom, you have capitalism."

P.S. Mr. Baldwin, I contend that this sentence, "spent money we didn't have, pushed the country into financial ruin and did more to threaten our long term national security than any modern president." Is far more emblematic of our current president, Obama. Just where do you plan on finding the money to pay for his healthcare bill, and the countless other social programs that he has waiting in the wings, ready to take center stage as soon as this fight it over? You should probably heed the words of Margaret Thatcher who said, "the trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

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