Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why Socialized Medicine Is Less Disastrous Overseas

One possible reason socialized medicine is less disastrous overseas (it only produces a brain drain and chases medical development to the U.S. market), is that it was started during the era of competent bureaucracy. According to Megan McArdle:

But in the 1960s, they say, there were also some really first class managers in the senior ranks of the civil service. By the 1980s, however, they had all retired.


One theory is that this is sheer nostalgia. But another theory is that this was the legacy of the Great Depression. When the whole world was going to hell, the safest place to be was a government job in a big city such as New York; at least you knew your employer wasn’t going to go out of business. The vast expansion of the government bureaucracy that took place in the 1930s made room for a lot of top candidates who probably would have gone to more lucrative jobs in the private sector, if there had been any lucrative jobs in the private sector. By the time things got back to normal, after World War II, these folks were in their thirties, maybe even pushing 40, and they stuck around for the pension rather than starting over in a private firm. It may be that one reason there was more support for government intervention during the postwar boom is that, with these folks at the top, local government really was much better at getting stuff done.

Maybe the U.S. missed the boat when it came to establishing a government-run medical system that was a minor disaster instead of a Major Disaster. (This is compatible with the theory that the ACA disaster was the result of Gall's Law as competent bureaucrats would have taken Gall's Law into account.)

One consequence of the above: Relaunching the space race will probably not work.


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