manipulationhandpuppetmanipulateAs our government manipulates more of our lives, we lose the advantages that have made us a great nation.  My view is that the great power of Capitalism and a free society have helped make our nation the strongest force for good in our world.  Almost from our start as a nation, though, we have regulated and manipulated markets to make things “fair” for more people.  I think this manipulation has made puppets of all of us and it is our own government that is pulling the strings.

If you have not seen the interview of Peter Schiff on “Morning Joe” on Thursday, August 6th, please take the 9 minutes needed to watch it.  Schiff has put in a very short period of time most of the thoughts I have tried to express over the past 10 months on this blog, namely:

Capitalism works but not when it is controlled by Government intervention, regulation, and manipulation for ‘social purposes’.

Saying we have “deregulated” business doesn’t mean we have done so.  It usually means the opposite.

We can’t long survive as a “service economy.”  At some point, we need to make things again.  We need to be a productive economy.

We can’t, as a nation, borrow money short term and then use it to buy things from the people who lent us the money (China, India, etc.).  That is doing what we accused irresponsible homebuyers of doing which precipitated the housing market decline.  At some point, the Chinese and others will stop lending money to us.  At that point the dollar will lose most of its value and we will see inflation unlike anything we have seen in the past.

video here

The healthcare debate is just a microcosm of our entire economic meltdown.  People on one side say that Capitalism has failed and that our healthcare system is in need of reform because of greedy capitalists (today’s target is “insurance companies”).  The other side in the debate shows that if government got out of healthcare and stopped mandating things that most people don’t want or need, it would work much better than it does now.  Our healthcare system is not perfect and we could do a lot of things to make it better, but, regardless of all you read from the “progressive press,” in my opinion it is still the best in the world.  It is responsible for more breakthroughs in health and wellness than any other system, but, it is being slowly bludgeoned to death by unrelenting government interference.

The desire of those in Government to make things “fair” has led to more bad legislation, more interference in markets, and created more waste than any other factor, in my opinion.  I think it would be interesting to change the Healthcare Debate.  I wonder what would happen if we framed the debate like this:

Too many people are unable to afford healthcare insurance and therefore many people in our country are not covered by insurance.  The government has mandated too many medical procedures/costs be covered by any healthcare insurance policy thus driving up the cost of all healthcare insurance.  The Unions have bargained for bigger and better and more expensive medical plans with tons of things most folks don’t need.  We have too many non-citizens using our emergency rooms and driving up the costs to run hospitals.  What we need is a uniform package of minimal health services that is open to bidding to all insurance companies.  Like most purchasing departments of most big organizations, the process would start with a request for proposals.  Insurance companies would offer to large employers packages that would include all urgent care services (with reasonable co-pay), annual checkups and lab work, and a catastrophic illness coverage with a cap on cost to the individual.      The competition for this would have the insurance companies, the healthcare providers, and the actuaries crunching numbers and eventually coming up with programs that would make the system affordable for the vast majority of all companies and individuals.  They could even offer a portability rider that would allow the insured to take the plan with them if they changed jobs, etc.  People would again be covered by healthcare insurance that was affordable to their employers and to themselves.  Medical Care providers would be paid based on the value of their services, not based on arbitrary numbers assigned by government bureaucrats.