Bastiat’s warning rings true to anyone familiar with crony capitalism.
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
Opponents of universal healthcare tell a lot of tall tales. In particular, one common tale we were told in the debates about whether the US could provide near-universal healthcare insurance coverage (the so-called Obamacare) was that “socialized” medicine doesn’t work. In fact, an oft-repeated tale is that the Canadian socialized insurance system is supposedly so awful that Canadians can’t get enough doctors and that doctors flee the Canadian system to go to the land of opportunity, the US.
Well, it’s more than a tall tale. It’s a lie. The Windsor Post points out how for the last ten years, the net flow of doctors has been from the US to Canada. Yes, that’s right. To the degree that doctors are migrating at all, they’re moving away from the bloated, inefficient, costly system that the US runs and moving to Canada.
“The job here is better,” is how Florida native Dr. Christopher Blue summarizes why he moved here in 2010 with his wife, Dr. Kristen Kupeyan (a Windsor native), after attending medical school in the Caribbean, and training in the United Kingdom and Michigan. Here, he works as a hospitalist, an emergency doctor and assists in surgeries at local hospitals, and has two practices with his wife. Having such a varied career is something he couldn’t do in the U.S. [bolding mine)]
But the lure of the Canadian system is more than the ability to have a more varied (and likely more meaningful) career, it’s also a matter of sheer economics. Despite the US system ultimately costing Americans a multiple of what the Canadian system Canadians, and despite Canadians living longer and getting more out of their healthcare, for doctors, it’s dollars and cents.
The presentation I’m making to some open classes on campus this week and to a community group in early May. Bottom-line: When media pundits and politicians tell us that the older generation is “screwing” the younger generation, they’re lying. There sound economic theoretical and empirical reasons for intergenerational transfer programs and social compacts like Social Security and Medicare. And, there’s not factual reasons to say “Social Security and Medicare are going bankrupt”. Quite the contrary, these programs will be there in the future when the younger generation retires and even when my as-yet-unborn grandchildren retire. The only real threat to Social Security and Medicare comes from an overly-privileged 1% of the wealth and income distribution that frankly doesn’t understand how the programs work.