Yesterday Krugman attempted to diminish the dispersed power of the consumer in an attempt to argue for its theft.
Being a consumer allows all of us acting in concert to price goods based on their demand and need.
This is a collective power over the economy that we all share. It is also a power that is lost when handed off to a third party.
Krugman diminishes the importance of this power with references to mundane daily transactions in an attempt to argue that the power of being a consumer is worthy of little consideration and that it should be passed to an advisory board of health-care experts. He is wrong to do so.
To understand how wrong Krugman is one must understand the incentive structure behind his suggested ménage à trois.
First, Kugman demotes health-care recipients from consumers with influence to business costs with no influence. How? By removing them as the source of the health-care industry's income. From the health-care industry's perspective providing health-care to individuals becomes an expense rather than a service. From the perspective of the health-care consumer their health-care is diminished as it becomes an expense to be minimized.
Second, Krugman shifts the obligation the health-care industry once had to consumers to a new consumer ... the federal government. Where once the health-care industry kissed the ass of consumers for their dollars, under Krugman that same industry would kiss the ass of the federal government. Under Krugman the health-industry's new service is that of kowtowing to government, its source of income. From the health-care industry's perspective providing health-care to individuals becomes an expense rather than a service.
Third, Kugman sets the government up as the primary beneficiary in the health-care system. The government would receive the dispersed power and influence of the consumer over 1/6 of the US economy. The health-care industry would receive what the health-care advisory board is willing to pay and the health-care consumers would become no more than a business cost to be minimized.
Krugman, by first diminishing the dispersed power of consumerism among the many as if to say, 'you aren't loosing anything, trust me', then goes on to argue for an unholy alliance between government and health-care, an alliance similar to what we have been saddled with between financial institutions and government, in which the dispersed power of consumerism becomes a focused power in the hands of the few and in which the people least served are those promised the most.
It is a wicked thing to argue for thieving from the many to benefit the few as Krugman does.
What is Krugman supposed to be doing, anyway? Maybe he’s what Thomas Sowell is talking about, when Dr. Sowell uses the word “intellectual” as a put-down: Krugman’s specialty begins in the arena of ideas, and ends there as well, so there’s no way to measure how well the idea meshes with reality, therefore no way to measure Krugman’s competence.
"It is a wicked thing to argue for thieving from the many to benefit the few as Krugman does."But it's exactly what we've come to expect from this......person.
He is billed as an economist, but what economist would deny that a patient is a consumer?