Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Health care and the finance system

Is it just me, or is the Bush administration's (and, I guess, the Republican Party's) stance on our finance system highly similar to its stance on our health care system? In both arenas, it favors a hands-off, free market approach, assuming that the invisible hand will take care of any problems that arise. When crises do arise (in the form of major bank failures or emergent illnesses), then it's okay for the feds to jump in. That is, federal intervention in the marketplace is only justified at the point when it's at its most expensive. Never mind that some modest regulations or federally-subsidized health insurance could help prevent some of those crises. It's far better to just let things go to hell and then have the government clean up the mess. After all, you can always bail out AIG or go to the emergency room.


Anonymous said...

great story on NPR today about this.

I love how he put it; they want to privatize profits and socialize losses.

SAM-I-am said...

Joe Stiglitz
2002 American Economic Review
"Information and the Change in the Paradigm in Economics"

"The set of ideas that I will present here undermined Smith's theory and the view of the role of government that rested on it. They have suggested that the reason that the hand may be invisible is that it is simply not there-or at least that if is there, it is palsied. "

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but then when ordinary Americans need bailouts, like when they're unemployed or poor and supporting a family and need food stamps, Republicans call them dependent and irresponsible, parasitic and lazy.