“People are often stupid”…

… and “Bureaucrats are the same stupid people, with bad incentives.”

So says Megan, referencing an earlier post:

Which brings up one of my perennial peeves about people advocating national health insurance or any other big programme: they point out all the ways in which public choice problems make the current system suck, and then proceed to outline their future plans as if those problems will somehow magically fall away in their system. Companies won’t lobby. Voters won’t demand that every stupid alternative procedure they can complain about be covered, much less react to the lack of a price signal by using more of everything. People employed in that sector won’t band together to keep wages high and productivity as low as possible. Bureaucrats won’t shift priorities to minimizing their own political risk, rather than maximizing the level of service provided to the public.

Both her first and second observations I think are quite good.  I’d also recommend reading the original Tyler Cowen post linked to if you follow the last link to the quoted post.

I don’t talk much about health care because it’s one of those subjects where I don’t trust anyone who tells me they have a good solution to the problem.  The more I understand about the problem, the less I think I understand it, and the less I think anyone else understands it either.   This is, of course, going to naturally make me skeptical about government solutions to the problem.

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