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  • Quote of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on March 24th, 2012 (All posts by )

    Kevin D. Williamson:

    Under our current arrangements, market forces are eliminated or excluded in more than half of all U.S. health-care transactions (and the president’s health-care reform, if it stands, will reduce the scope of real market activity radically), while in K–12 education, market forces are excluded in 90 percent of the transactions or more. It is not a coincidence that these are among the worst-performing sectors of American public life. The tragedy is that they are among the most important. Once the 1985 [regulatory] regime was in place, the development of wireless Internet and similar products ceased to be in the main a political problem and became an engineering problem. We have dysfunctional political institutions, but Americans are excellent at solving engineering problems. Where it is possible to do so, we reap extraordinary benefits from converting political problems into technical problems. But there is a very strong tendency among self-styled progressives to convert technical problems into political problems.

     

    5 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

    1. Ginny Says:

      OT but on Williamson’s: a few years ago appropriate MLA citing began including Print to signal that the writer actually used something in print – clearly the tipping point where that was the exception.

      I’m all for free market, but free market in medicine is going to be more complicated and we have expected the community to offer schools since the 1600’s. I’m not saying Williamson is wrong about either the free market or the dismal – disastrous – state of schools. The form of the open market in each is going to take some ingenuity; the entire educatinal system needs cleansing, but we still have good medical basics that can be best left alone.

    2. David Foster Says:

      One difference between the medical situation and the school situation: the disastrous state of the K-12 schools was brought about very largely by the false “expertise” promulgated by the education schools, and mindlessly lapped up by idiot administrators. I don’t *think* there is a medical equivalent, which would be major medical schools advocating homeopathy and the curative powers of magical crystals (under proper astrological conditions).

      Professors as a class love to protest–one of the best things they could do for the country would be if the professors in serious academic departments would protest the ed schools on their very own campuses.

    3. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “major medical schools advocating homeopathy”

      UC, Irvine received a very large grant a few years ago from the wife of a computer billionaire to start a school of “alternative healing.” Stupid people with money can do a lot of harm.

    4. David Foster Says:

      Still, though, this kind of thing isn’t the mainstream in medical education (i hope)…while it pretty much IS the mainstream in the education world, as near as I can tell.

    5. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Having dealt with the California legislature for years on behalf of the medical association, I am well aware of the level of ignorance among politicians. I am also aware that efficacy is not a consideration where cost is an issue. I have been reminded hundreds of times that alternate health treatments are cheaper than conventional medicine. Alternate beliefs are fostered by the NHS, for example, for this reason. Have you ever wondered at the proliferation of alternative remedies in pharmacies, for example. As prescription drugs are discounted by insurance companies, OTC remedies flourish.