“The Survivalist’s Guide to ‘Obammunism’ & Beyond” is the current column.
“No statist lies are safe from his scrutiny,” writes Lew Rockwell about economist Thomas J. DiLorenzo’s latest book. What follows is an excerpt from my conversation with professor DiLorenzo about, ”Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government,” and the timeless truths to which it speaks.
5. ILANA MERCER: You write: “At the heart of the U.S. government’s continued takeover of the health care sector of the economy was a law passed during the Obama administration that would eventually drive the private health insurance industry out of business and transform it into a de facto nationalized industry.” Elaborate. Since, as you repeatedly warn, the natural laws of economics cannot be repealed, what will these health care exchanges achieve? How will they invariably be funded? What will be the cost to business? To the millions who’re losing coverage? Who will ultimately fork out for the per-head fee imposed on medical plans?
THOMAS DILORENZO: The Obama version of health-care socialism forces insurance companies to cover people with expensive diseases without charging them higher rates to compensate for the additional risk. This effectively will force the insurance companies to pay out billions in health care costs, and then the Obammunists will impose price controls on the industry because that’s what socialists always do once they intervene in a market by forcing businesses to offer something for nothing, thereby driving demand through the roof. The price controls will cause massive bankruptcy, at which point the argument will be made that what is needed is “single-payer healthcare,” a euphemism for health-care socialism or government-run monopoly. In the meantime, they seem to be imposing hundreds of relatively small, hidden taxes to come up with the revenue to keep the scheme going.
6. MERCER: “The Obamacare Survival Guide” is a best-seller on Amazon. The market is producing survivalist literature to help Americans navigate the treacherous shoals of this law. What does it tell you? Like me, you must know plenty of Obama-heads (doctors too) who shrugged off the idea that further centralizing health care—a modest healthcare expansion totaling $2 trillion, I believe—would cost them anything at all. As The Lancet recently confirmed, in the UK’s National Health Service funding is inversely related to patient outcomes. You speak of “inputs” and “outputs.”
DILORENZO: I cited a study by the late Milton Friedman entitled “Inputs and Outputs in Medical Care,” published by the Hoover Institution some twenty years ago. In it the Nobel laureate economist showed that, historically, as government became more and more involved in health care by taking over hospitals and funding Medicare and Medicaid, inputs – in terms of money spent – skyrocketed while “output” in terms of patients served declined. He spoke of something called “Gammon’s Law,” named after a British physician named Max Gammon, who noticed that with healthcare socialism in England, increased “inputs” in the form of massive amounts of money spent always seemed to disappear “as though through a black hole” with little or nothing to show for it in terms of health care.
7. MERCER: You touch briefly on the “private component of GDP.” Free-market thinkers get that the private economy alone produces wealth. But no. GDP is a political construct, defined, tracked and manipulated by the D.C. political machine. Unpack the GDP gambit for us, down to its deceptive components.
DILORENZO: Including government spending in the definition of GDP was a creation of John Maynard Keynes, who defined it as C (Private Consumption) + I (Private Investment) + G (Government Purchases) + X-M (Net Exports). In so doing, Keynesians concluded that the most prosperous year in American economic history – 1946 – was actually a year of revival of the Great Depression with a precipitous drop in economic activity because of the huge decline in federal government spending after World War II. Of course, this was NOT a year of depression but an explosion of private investment, consumption, and job creation.
8. MERCER: About that elusive economic recovery: My colleague Vox Day (who sadly called it a day on WND) argued that, “The Great Depression 2.0 will be worse than its predecessor.” Day chalked that up to today’s unprecedented levels of debt, consumption and credit, private and public. It’s a hunch. But I think you’ll disagree.
DILORENZO: No one can predict something like this, especially since today’s economy is vastly different from the 1930s. Capital markets are much more sophisticated, for one thing, although government regulators by the thousands do their best to destroy them – and with them what’s left of American capitalism. Predictions like this always ignore the resilience of entrepreneurs. As the Austrian Business Cycle theory of Mises and Hayek contends, it is the boom period where all the damage is done in the form of “malinvestment” – in the latest bust this was mostly in real estate. During the recession or depression is when entrepreneurs are forced to become more efficient, more inventive, more creative – or else. This is how the Japanese recovered from something much worse than a depression – long years of war and the dropping of atomic bombs on their country – in a little over a decade.
More on “sequesteria,” tax loopholes and Obamacare, at www.ilanamercer.com, where the conversation with professor DiLorenzo continues.
Read the complete column, “The Survivalist’s Guide to ‘Obammunism’ & Beyond.”