Saturday, March 08, 2008

I'm not feelin' too good myself, oh oh

Conservatarians are really stupid. In fact, they might just be too stupid to live. Example: Megan McArdle attempts to swat down Ezra "I know more about health care than anyone alive" Klein:
Ezra Klein offers an analogy about mandates:
First, Obama aside, mandates matter because, sometimes, folks have to be protected from their worst instincts. That's why we force everyone to pay into fire departments through taxes. Otherwise, some folks would opt out under the theory that they don't do much cooking, and we don't want their houses to burn down.

But this is not true. We force everyone to pay into fire departments because fires have very bad negative externalities: if your house catches on fire, unless you live on a rural farm, there's a good chance that your neighbor's house will burn down too. Fire prevention is a genuine public good; most health care, with the exception of things meant to stop the spread of infectious disease, simply isn't.

If she means most health care isn't a genuine public good because it's designed to provide the most profit for the insurance companies, then she's right.

If she means that most health care isn't a genuine public good because healthy, happy workers are more productive and take less time off, then she's off her conservative meds.

And if she means that health care isn't a genuine public good because companies have to pay to help keep their workers healthy and more productive, she's being an idiot.

Too often conservatives adopt simplistic world views: spending money = teh bad. Instead of realising that spending a little money for insurance results in more productivity, not only within a company but within a country, they try to be penny-wise, pound foolish.

And as is often the case, the ideology gets in the way of self-interest. On that note, it's really fun to watch them justify ideology, even when it results in a negative outcome.

Maybe some day they'll grow up.