Free Markets, Free People

So Again, Why Are We Headed Down The Same Road?

In a little noted Financial Times article yesterday, it reported:

The European Union’s public debt could by 2014 rise to 100 per cent of gross domestic product – a year’s economic output – unless governments take firm action to restore fiscal discipline, EU finance ministers will be warned on Monday.

The EU claims that the measures the countries of the union took to “rescue Europe’s financial sector and combat recession” are to blame.

But then, 7 or 8 paragraphs later, we get to the real “tip of the iceberg”:

The Commission identifies five countries as at particular risk – Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Spain and the UK – because their public finances will come under strain from large increases in pension and healthcare costs, and high deficits triggered by the financial crisis.

This is particularly the case for Greece, which faces the second-highest increase in age-related expenditure in the EU, while its high debt ratio adds to concerns on sustainability.

Pension and health care costs? Translated into US lingo – Social Security and Medicare. You know the two programs with 50+ trillion in unfunded future liabilities? So tell me again why we want to go even further off this debt cliff by enacting government run health care?

Now I know you’ve been led to believe that Euro socialism is magic and that their health care delivers amazing care at much less cost than ours. But in reality, it doesn’t do better on either measure. The 5 countries listed above are only those in the “worst” shape. Any guess what they’ll have to do to bring their “free” health care costs in line, so, like Greece, they won’t see the cost at 135% of GDP next year?

Cuts in spending. Cuts in benefits. Cuts in care. Rationing.

And for countries like the UK, where the medical workers work for the government, what options or choices will medical consumers be left with? There is no real private market.  Government killed that decades ago.

Is that really what we want here? My goodness, the evidence is out there and many of us seem to want to remain willfully blind to the consequences of what we’re considering here in countries who are now doing it. The arrogance and hubris of that is simply mindboggling. Want to see the economy killed and debt skyrocket? Hope the Senate passes “health care reform” then. We can race Greece to see who can run up the biggest percentage of debt vs our GDP. And given the way this Congress and President think, we’ll “win”.



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5 Responses to So Again, Why Are We Headed Down The Same Road?

  • Can I trot out the old excuse of, “It’ll work with the right people in charge.”
    Funny how they never seem to find the ‘right’ people.

  • I think that this is sustained, in part, by the belief that we can simply continue to increase our national debt without consequence.  This makes health care “free.”  Few people are willing to accept the notion that we’re very close to running out of ways to avoid a reckoning.  I have two worries.  One, that we will do nothing to even slow the impact of the financial crisis we are on the way to precipitating.  Two, that even when the crisis hits us full on, our politicians will continue to do everything they can not to deal with it.

  • The european countries do a good job of cost containment; they spend 1/3 per capita what we spend on health care. Here’s how they do it: virtually no R&D expenditures. massive rationing of care (far beyond what we do), and zero litigation allowed. In exchange, they get universal coverage and the kumbaya feeling that everyone is treated equally (except the rich of course, who simply fly to switzerland). What I can’t abide are the utopianists who think Obamacare will achieve all the good aspects of Euro-care while avoiding all of the negatives…like massive rationing.

  • Do not disturb the dems from their myoptic vision of universal healthcare by pointing out that it will not work, never has worked.  Our leaders are much more interested in obeying the party mantra than their constituents.  There’s only one solution:  RENO….reelect no one!   Clean house.  We always seem to think that the other guy’s representative is the problem while our’s is okay.  The truth is they’ve all lost sight of their original purpose.  Remove all incumbents and get that renegade pseudo-intellectual out of the White House.  Then, and only then, can we begin to reclaim our country.