Monthly Archives: April 2009

Is More Government the Answer?

This article indicates another problem (one of many) with our health care system: a doctor shortage.

The mainstream answer surprises no one: more government intervention.  President Obama will have a tough time with this one: how do we increase the number of doctors in the country?

Let’s pretend we live in a true market (unregulated) economy.  (We don’t, and I know we don’t, but let’s pretend anyway.)

The market has a number of ways to solve this problem, and does so automatically, without coercion, and without indebting future generations.  As doctors become more scarce, their wages rise.  Patients (doctor’s customers) start figuring out alternate solutions to avoid paying for increasing medical bills: visit a nurse practioner first before a doctor, practice preventative medicine, home care, etc.

Doctors, fearing a loss in business, and entrepreneurs, seeing a profit opportunity, decide to open lower cost clinics to meet increasing needs.

This all takes place without coercion or force, and is completely voluntary.

Now back to the real world.  What will probably happen is that there will be some new government program or initiative which will probably cost more to the taxpayer than it is worth to patients while delivering less than is promised to both doctors and patients.  It will strive to increase access to medical care while claiming to keep costs low.  One way to do this is by implementing waiting lists.  It’s also possible that one group (i.e. big pharmaceutical or insurance companies) will benefit from this deal at the expense of the taxpayer, doctors, and patients.

The bottom line is that it is government intervention which has caused this shortage.  As individuals like Dr. Ron Paul have noted, removing that intervention can reduce the shortage and resolve the problem quickly.  Increasing intervention (which is almost sure to happen) will exacerbate the problem or transfer it somewhere else.

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Filed under Austrian Economics, fiscal policy, Libertarian, politics, role of government, Ron Paul

Old-School Communication

Let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.   – D&C 88:122

I admit it: I’m antisocial.  It used to be a little badge of shame.  Now, I don’t mind it.  It’s part of my identity.  That’s who I am.

When I do talk with people in my imperfect way, there’s a very old-school technique I strive to employ.  I try to use a scriptural word that appears hundreds, if not thousands of times in scripture.  It is this: listen.

I find that people I enjoy talking with also employ this technique and do so effectively.

I have been disappointed to find over and over again that among people of my demographic (mid 20s to mid 30s), there are people who lack the interest in, much less skill of, listening.

Don’t get me wrong.  Some listen very well.  But there are many who do not, and put very little effort in doing so.

Not listening is a significant communication problem.  One related problem is interrupting.  Tuning out to someone’s droning is one thing, but wilfully interrupting a conversation or a sentence is a whole other level of rudeness.  Butting into a conversation when uninvited is similarly rude and could even be considered an invasion of privacy.  Giving unnecessary and unwanted glares is an unspoken way of rudeness, though common in society.

Over the centuries, private discussion between individuals has led to conventions of conversation.  We call these manners.  They have been a safeguard to keep people civil and communication effective and humane.

In general, the state doesn’t care much for manners.  The IRS doesn’t seem too grateful for our taxes.  Nor do say “Excuse me” when a tax increase comes along.  They have monopolistic privileges, so it’s understandable.  (That’s not to say that people who work for the state never have manners, for humane people do and will work in large bureaucratic organizations of all stripes, including governments.)

What’s sad is to see the rising generation discounting manners.  Respect and reverence in general have declined.  This is evident in the Church, where reverence and grooming, to name two examples, have degraded now compared to a generation ago.

Why are manners important?  Here’s one line of thinking: consider the damage one ill-spoken word can do.  Then multiply this a thousandfold to get some idea of how damaging and hurtful our communication can be when we refuse to follow the conventions used to protect each other: manners.

We need a return to old-school politeness, manners, reverence, and respect, especially with respect to interpersonal communication.  It’s a simple way of maximizing personal and social benefit, and in these tough times, we need all the help and support we can get.

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Filed under Paleoconservatism, Personal, Social Commentary

End the Fed

Lew Rockwell interviews Ron Paul (podcast 116 of The Lew Rockwell Show) about the principle of sucession, ending the Federal Reserve, and the future of our economy. Ron Paul also discusses the connection between foreign policy and the federal reserve. Listen and learn from the best.

Also, Ron Paul has written a new book “End the Fed” which will be released soon. Pre-order the book from Amazon.

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Filed under Austrian Economics, fiscal policy, monetary policy, Ron Paul