On Government Intervention in the Economy
27 June 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
Socialism has no good defense, theoretically or practically and neither does capitalism. For that reason, all the advanced economies of the world are mixed economies which use government for collective action where markets fail or are dysfunctional and markets everywhere else. Only fundamentalists or libertarians argue for pure capitalism and no government interference in the markets which they deem holy as a matter of dogma. Economists know better.
Economists focus on where and why markets are dysfunctional or fail and then attempt to engineer systems which emulate to the extent practicable the results of markets if they could operate well and were not dysfunctional. (Libertarians reverse this and claim any problems are due to prior government interference, a fallacy and a real tell on being a libertarian.) National single payor health care is a good example.
Of the 34 advanced OCED nations, all have single payer national system EXCEPT the US. As a consequence, the US population pays double on average, gets far fewer doctor hours of attention and has worse treatment outcomes in all areas except cancer -- all as compared to the other 33 OCED advanced nations. It is only because of Libertarians, economic ignorance and the campaign contributions that healthcare insurers make to our corrupt congress, that we too do not have a national single payor healthcare system. As I point out, we pay big time for our bad results.
But this is just one example. There are many others. Our whole social safety net is an effort to ameliorate the inequities resulting from our seriously skewed distribution of income where the top 10 percent get most of the nation's income. Excessive inequality of income and wealth are problems our nation won't address again because of Libertarians, economic ignorance and the campaign contributions that the rich and wealthy make to our corrupt congress.
Other advanced OCED nations, but not all, have solved this problem well, especially those of north Europe and the Scandinavian countries which have excellent mixed economies and much less income inequality, high standards of living, good infrastructures, free or low cost education, great healthcare systems and, according to many surveys, have happier people than in other nations.
We are very arrogant not to learn from them