August 8, 2010

Maxine Udall: Beach Houses and Health Care

I think that Maxine Udall is my favorite economics blogger. Every time I check her site there is another great post that gets me thinking about economics, and then how that relates to anthropology and all of the issues that I focus on. Here is a key quote from a new post about those wonderful folks who equate health care with every other good and service (like a nice beach house):
It's more likely that someone somewhere said that "free markets" make everyone better off, but didn't bother to explain that markets fail for a variety of reasons that are rampant in health care. Believers in beach house-health care equivalence are really just trying to make everyone better off. Someone somewhere said that people at the top are more productive and therefore deserve more. Believers in beach house-health care equivalence are often at the top, they know in their hearts that they are way more productive, so it's obvious that this is true and fair. Someone somewhere told them about moral hazard and unanticipated side-effects. As a result, believers in beach house-health care equivalence have developed a morbid terror that someone somewhere will free ride or, worse, distort resources away from the beach houses that would otherwise be built.
Read the rest here.

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