Re: Just Say Yes to Drugs
Who is this Megan McArdle chick? She can't even pronounce Ayn Rand! And what's the deal with ramping up the rhetoric against a fat tax? Is the market price of Pringles sacred? Last I checked, we don't make our choices in a vacuum; the companies peddling these products are engaged in massive propaganda campaigns, especially pernicious because of their direct appeals to children. Moreover, these advertisements are not intended to appeal to our more rational, enlightened sensibilities.
Health care markets do differ from other markets and not just because of adverse selection. Yes, if we move to a single-payer model some people will consume more health-care because it's "free." But there's also the slight, slight, slight, niggling little problem that they were not consuming enough before, you know, when they were uninsured. Then there's the whole life-time issue and preventive care vs. emergency room care. So-called "libertarians" would have us believe that people will be running to the doctor's office given the slightest scratch. Is that how rich people behave? Is that how the more civilized world behaves? I mean, "free" or not, people do not generally enjoy going to the doctor's office. It arouses fear (and irrational superstitions are another reason why health-care markets fail), and it costs time (a non-renewable resource). The only great advantage is that you can catch up on what happened six months ago in the worlds of sports, entertainment and politics.