Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Free Market Convert
I confess, I have been desperately wrong about runaway health care costs and the solution. I'm deeply, deeply ashamed of my stubborn insistence that the free market is precariously tipped in favor of the providers and therefore lacks the essential mechanism for encouraging innovation, efficiency and competitive pricing. How silly of me, as has been pointed out by a number of concerned readers. The real solution is not less free market activity plus more gummit planning (intervention) but quite the opposite.
I am now bathing in the soothing light of the free market solution. Either that or there is a large locomotive bearing down on my position. If I squint, maybe I can tell which.
Clearly, as my betters point out, the gummit can't do anything right. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. The Post Office clearly doesn't work. The IRS is an embarrassment. Our Federal highway system is the laughing stock of the free world. The FBI, CIA, Secret Service and NSA are out of control and routinely trample the rights of up-standing, often gun-totin', citizens (especially those patriotic Minutemen protecting our southern border). NASA hasn't put a man on the Moon for 40 years (and maybe not even then). The CDC can't protect us from flu caused by Mexican pigs. The list of failed or anemic government programs just swells.
The free market is the answer. Given the right incentives and the freedom to innovate and compete, private enterprise could replace all of these inefficient, fraud riddled, wasteful and lumbering bureaucratic gummit sloths. I am now so convinced of this orthodoxy (think: enthusiastic reformed smoker) that I believe America should immediately adopt free market policy across the board, starting with national defense, the largest, most unwieldy, wasteful and inefficient of our federal budget gobblers.
Just think of the possibilities.
Each patriotic defense contractor, currently saddled with top-down planning coming from those yokels in the Pentagon (and we could certainly use that building and land for something more productive), would be free to approach each individual, consumer group or state to sell their wares: naval vessels and munitions to those with oceanfront properties to defend and land based military hardware to the land-locked. Everyone would be free to choose from whatever the defense industry decided to present to them, unless, of course, they couldn't afford it.
And, since places like Florida and Maine have no real beef with any Middle Eastern, Far Eastern or former Soviet entities, there would be no wasteful spending for additional vessels or munitions to patrol those parts of the world. Certainly, residents of places such as Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska are morally concerned with possible dust-ups and genocide in faraway lands but sending their artillery, tanks, bullets, armored personnel carriers and such to wield a big military stick would be seen for what it is, wasteful use of dollars.
The military equipment manufacturers would decide who needed what, based on their superior judgment and profit potential. Then they would make their case to citizens and state legislators (and here in Georgia we hold our state Representatives in particularly high esteem, at least the ones who aren't currently serving time) and then build and deliver the hardware. There would be a real scramble in the competitive bidding process to drive the costs down. Just think, acres of inexpensive Bradley Fighting Vehicles in Wisconsin, a tarmac chock-a-block full of bargain-basement F22s in Ft. Worth, etc. Then, as contractors came up with new and innovative weapons systems, regardless of the real or imaginary threats to the population, market them directly to the voters and encourage the politicians to buy (sort of like big pharma's, "Ask your doctor if you are healthy enough for sexual activity" pitch).
The current system of planning national defense and then directing private enterprise to produce the required equipment (admittedly, at a profit) is for socialist sissies. It is the Nanny State run amok. Look at the military messes it has gotten America into. We don't need no stinking planning; the providers know what's best; certainly better than those pesky four stars and gummit bureaucrats. (I don't know about you, but when I hear "bureaucrat" I think of short-sleeve, drip-dry dress shirts and clip-on neck wear.) The providers, however, are free market innovators and they would never produce and sell military equipment that wasn't desperately needed somewhere by somebody, would they?
Of course, there would still be some gummit involvement (sorry Libertarians), but just at the state level. That would be where a Congressional sub-committee, headed in Georgia by a guy whose real job is in industrial pest control in Macon, can decide how many mortar tubes the state really needs next year. Oh, and shoulder-fired missiles, don't forget them, they are really, really cool. You could buy one for home use.
Naturally, the funding would have to be arranged through the individual voters in each state to insure that it is a totally free market defense system. Deciding whether or not to take part would be up to each citizen, akin to deciding whether or not to have health insurance. The gummit shouldn't force anyone to pay for military equipment if they have better things to spend their money on--and it is their money, you tax-and-spend liberal bastards.
I'm sorry, but I feel strongly about this.
I am planning to evaluate the improvements that a totally free market orthodoxy will have on the other gummit agencies. I get goose flesh just imagining how much different and cheaper, not to mention innovative, our national highway system will be after a couple of decades of free market direction sans gummit oversight.
Rest assured, BHO is on my distribution list for this post. He has got to come to his senses and soon.
Observoid of the Day: You cannot out-think a person who isn't thinking.