Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Zombie Doctrine

"Call me naive, but I actually hoped that the failure of Reaganism in practice would kill it. It turns out, however, to be a zombie doctrine: Even though it should be dead, it keeps on coming."

Paul Krugman, "Reagan's ideas failed, yet we won't let go," Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 25, 2009.

The key Reagan idea under examination is that "government intervention" is bad and always ineffective. The context: health care and the public option.

As a left-leaning libertarian, I sometimes find the sport of government bashing appealing. But the last few years of private sector meltdown, malfeasance and indulgence -- along with reminders like New Orleans of what happens when government doesn't work -- have made me appreciative of good old-fashioned government.

We've made it happen in many areas of life -- social security, medicare, infrastructure and innovation. Sure there are problems,things that need to get fixed, as well as fraud. But let's put that in perspective of what the private-sector has been up to the last few years.

There is lots of tinkering needed. But I haven't seen a persuasive policy or implementation argument about how you expand coverage or drive down costs without a medicare-like option. That is, what the public option is. And we've done it. States have done it in there own way.

Let's build on some successes and take on the challenge!


Anonymous said...

You're a retard.
Left leaning libertarian? Oxymoron much?

Securities said...

Read Galbraith, The Affluent Society, for an explanation of the conventional wisdom and how it dies over time.

Bob Giloth said...

Yes, the notion that all people on left might not be big government must be very hurtful