Monday, January 03, 2005

Some interesting links

Truck and Barter - Ian suggests public health would be improved if people had to pay for their own healthcare. Because poor people know their healthcare costs will be paid for by the state, they have no financial incentive to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I am not sure I agree with him.

Catallarchy - Patri Friedman says donating money for tsunami relief is inefficient. Every year more than a million people die from malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS, so you'd save more lives by giving money to relieve these ordinary diseases that kill every year than giving for a one time extraordinary event. As a follower of Ayn Rand's objectivism, I don't believe in giving money to charity, but if you have to give, why not make your gift efficient?

Jujitsu Generis - Jason Turner predicts that, in 2005, Israel will bomb Iranian nuclear reactors. "As the international community pussyfoots around with the mullahs, Israel will take steps to ensure its own security." I think Iran deserves to have its reactors bombed, so I won't complain if Turner's prediction comes true.


Andrew C. Quinn said...

Malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS have permanent funds and charities and organizations working to fight them year-round. This disaster does not.

Bowly said...

It's OK, I'm still writing 2004 on my checks too.

Libertarian Girl said...

I changed the date to 2005, in case people are wondering what the last comment was about. Sorry, I was being ditz.

Brian Macker said...

What do you mean by "as a follower of Ayn Rand's objectivism"? Are you an objectivist?

I am very familiar with her philosophy and posted a little on why I am not an objectivist over on my blog. If you are considering becoming an objectivist I hope you take it to heart.

Ian said...

Well, it's not so much that I think poor people have no financial incentives, but rather than I think the blanket extension of health insurance at whatever cost to the public isn't going to achieve the policy ends it seems to be aiming for. A lot of time and energy is devoted to finding ways to cover the uninsured, but without much discussion as to why this is an unqualified good thing. If the issue is catastrophic care, Medicare/Medicaid covers a good deal of it. If it's emergency care, that's covered since it's illegal for doctors to turn away people that need treatment. (That option is incredibly expensive for those who use it, but they still receive the care.) But if it's to deal with longer term, healthy lifestyle issues, then coverage by insurance simply doesn't create a healthier populace since you introduce standard moral hazard problems.

Jeremy said...

WTF? Where did Rand say that you can't give to charity?

I believe her point was that the natural response to charity is gratitude, and that people who feel entitled to your wealth don't deserve it.

I have no problem giving to people who recognize my gift as such and are willing to use it to better themselves. We all have had bad luck from time to time, and following objectivism doesn't prevent this. What objectivism opposes is not charity but mooching.

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