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CaptainPanic

Healthcare compared to mandatory purchase of a gun

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Well I doubt anyone thinks giving a "loony" a gun is a good idea. Law abiding citizens, though, hell yeah. Give every law abiding citizen a gun and you'll effectively equalize the power between the innocent and criminal element, at least as long as they're carrying their gun. Another reason why is because police can't be there for your emergency. They can only be there to take notes after your dead. It's immoral to deny anyone the means to protect themselves.

 

There's a couple of reasons "why" giving every law abiding citizen a gun is a good idea. No loonies though, that one won't work very well.

 

Unfortunately, if we knew exactly which citizens were law-abiding and which weren't, we wouldn't need to be giving out guns, because we'd have gotten rid of all the non-law-abiding ones.

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There's also the problem that being a loony doesn't mean you aren't law-abiding.

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Say the government decided it was important to help the American auto industry, and said everyone had to buy an America car. Not only do you have to buy American, but you need to buy a car by the 1st of next year, or go to jail or be fined. This would help the industry and give everyone a car, right?

 

One should have the right to buy any type of auto they wish; free commerce. Free commerce is good for competition to help keep prices down. Also you shouldn't be forced to buy a car under the gun of a deadline. Say my car is working fine and is already an American car, why do I need to buy another one?

 

I understand the value of everyone having access to health care. But if done using the free market, it is more efficient and less monopolistic. The health care industry is anticipating a big surge in demand for health care and is already gearing up, needing to raise cost. It would be like GM, Ford and Chrysler knowing there will be a forced demand for their cars. They will need to expand operations to meet the rise in demand. But since they also know they have a demand monopoly, enforced by the government, prices can go up. The government is not suppose to favor any industry, turning it into a monopoly, while also using bayonets to force people to buy.

 

If the government took in taxes and built in own hospitals, this is different. But the medical industry would complain if this cut into their business. One would think that forcing a monopoly and forcing demand for a business would be supported by the republicans. But this cuts into other industry via costs. It is unfair for all the other businesses. Most business would not mind if the government set up hospitals, since they might be able to get their employees to sign up saving money. But the medical industry would cry unfair business practice.

 

So what you need to do is see where the lobby money is going to see if this equates.

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"Works both ways -- prove that carrying a gun won't reduce crime. In your opinion it's "silly", but others feel differently. "

I thought it worked in this way; if you can prove that a change is (at least probably) worth making then we make it, otherwise we maintain the status quo.

 

So we should leave Kennesaw alone, is what you're saying? ;)

 

But seriously, it's not an easy thing to study -- crime statistics have many variables. But as I said earlier, the statistics on this are equivocal at best (according to that link, anyway).

 

(BTW, "loonies" are explicitly excluded from the Kennesaw law.)

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I understand the value of everyone having access to health care. But if done using the free market, it is more efficient and less monopolistic. The health care industry is anticipating a big surge in demand for health care and is already gearing up, needing to raise cost. It would be like GM, Ford and Chrysler knowing there will be a forced demand for their cars. They will need to expand operations to meet the rise in demand. But since they also know they have a demand monopoly, enforced by the government, prices can go up. The government is not suppose to favor any industry, turning it into a monopoly, while also using bayonets to force people to buy.

 

 

I don't understand this. Isn't the insurance industry already a "demand monopoly?" Can you buy insurance somewhere else? And since they are non-governmental institutions, isn't this using the free market? I go back to the example of car insurance. Constitutional issues aside, how is this different in practice? If you claim that mandating insurance for a population of people is inherently broken, then the car insurance trade must be broken. Do these insurance companies not compete with each other? Are these TV commercials claiming that you can save money by switching just figments of my imagination?

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Well I'm not sure if this is what pioneer meant, but one contention/concern is that by increasing regulation we create a situation in which all insurance costs the same because it all has the same features, as required by law. At some point the the rules could become so restrictive that it's no longer an independent industry, and competition might no longer possible.

 

The flaw in that reasoning is that increasing regulation doesn't mean that we've taken away all of their decision-making capability. But what makes this a hard problem is that it's difficult to say exactly where the line is and when we've crossed it. Presumably there's some threshold at which we tip the scales to the point where it becomes nearly impossible for companies to compete, which may may have the same practical outcome.

 

So both sides in the argument have merit and neither can be lightly dismissed. We have to (as I believe we have, for the most part) carefully weigh the merits -- the costs against the benefits -- and figure it out. And even then we're still going to have to take a leap of faith to some extent and "see what happens".

 

I believe that's the stage we're at now, and we really will never know whether Obamacare can work until we've tried it and seen what happens. IMO we have to stop ping-ponging national policy and leveraging successes and failures to influence elections, and instead focus on what works and what doesn't work, in the fullness of time and complete understanding of the problems. There's no other way we're ever going to fix something as complex as health care.

 

Personally I like it when American takes a different path from other countries and tries to forge new ground, even if that ground turns out to have major pitfalls, or just cost a lot more. We should be an innovator -- it's what our massive economy and our high motivation and our independent spirit is supposed to mean. Even if we end up innovating the certain knowledge that capitalism is a bad approach to health care, at least it will be certain knowledge! :)

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