The Spectre of Math

September 3, 2009

Suppose I were a greedy bastard

Filed under: Economics,Politics — jlebl @ 6:32 pm

Suppose that were true. Would I want the current healthcare in US, or would I want something different? As a greedy bastard, I want to pay the least amount of money. Given that we all need to see the doctor at some point, I am not going to get out of it. So, we have a choice, pay some sort of tax that goes towards some sort of public health plan. Ideally single-payer or some such. Or we can have what we have right now. Now look at the cost of healthcare (see previous blog post). See how much more it is here, than say Norway or Luxemburg? Why did I pick those two countries? Those are countries with very high cost of living. Things over there are generally more expensive than here in the US. Furthermore they have GDP per capita higher than we do. They should have expensive healthcare. Yet, those damn socialists seem to be doing better. That is: they are paying less period. That is, if you add up the money that they pay in taxes or insurance premiums or to the doctors or whatnot for your healthcare, they end up on top. And given that they end up living longer by a few years and their infant mortality is half of what it is here, I’d venture to say they get better care.

I don’t care if the money goes to the government, or insurance companies, or directly to the doctors, or to tiny green leprechauns. If I am a greedy bastard, my only motivation is to reduce the amount of money I pay. I want to keep my money. Why are republicans OK with paying some insurance company who will charge them apparently a lot more than a working socialized health care plan. Are we supposed to be capitalists even in areas where it is obviously is not working any better (and in fact, much worse) than a government can? Is capitalism a religion? Are you supposed to blindly worship capitalism at all levels?

Why are we fine with police not being done by capitalists principles? Why do we pay firemen out of our taxes? Why are roads paid by taxes? Why do we have public schools? Why isn’t the military a private enterprise? Obviously the vast majority of the population is fine with the government doing a whole bunch of things out of taxes. What’s the deal with health care?


  1. I think the deal is that we don’t want our money being spend on Black people and Mexican people. We do have public schools but they’re largely funded locally, in racially consistent units. Same for firemen and police.

    I think this is the reason that Western Europe is struggling with the Turkish and African immigration. They already share the cost of health and education but now that the society is starting to cover people who look browner people are freaking out a bit.

    Comment by Ian McKellar — September 16, 2009 @ 2:21 pm | Reply

    • My point is that the argument that republicans are driven by greed is not true. Republicans are not greedy, they are stupid (as are many Democrats). It reminds me of the experiments you can find on youtube where a child is given a marshmallow and told that if they wait and not eat it for a while, they’ll get another one. And how many kids can’t wait a few minutes and will just eat their marshmallow immediately. This is the Republicans. They see their first marshmallow, and they try to rationalize eating it right away in any possible way. Being racist is one such rationalization (of course then you have to rationalize being racist by something else, because you’d feel bad if you thought of yourself as a racist at this day and age).

      One reason I will pay less for healthcare if it is socialized: There is this annoying oath that doctors have to take which requires them to help anyone in dire need. Then they charge me (once I have to go to the doctor) if that person can’t pay. If on the other hand we all pay for preventive medicine, and those annoying poor people (and that actually includes say illegal aliens because hospitals have to help those too!) can go to a regular doctor for things that don’t require an expensive emergency room, I will be paying less because the system will be more efficient. Remember, if someone is dirt poor, they go to the emergency room when they have a cough and don’t pay. The hospitals cannot turn them away. The more efficient the system is, the less I pay. If I also don’t have to pay huge bonuses to insurance company CEOs, then that reduces my cost further.

      Now I am also not a greedy bastard. So I have double incentive to want socialized medicine. I want 1) to not pay much over the long term and 2) I want the system to be fair and treat people decently.

      Comment by jlebl — September 16, 2009 @ 5:12 pm | Reply

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