Monday, July 13, 2009

The death of innovation

This is a nice summary of the recent pieces by Glenn Reynolds and Megan McArdle about the effect of socialized medicine on innovation.  The great danger of a system that strangles innovation is that no one notices it is gone.  No particular person complains about the cure that wasn't invented.  The interesting thing is that so many Americans have a completely different picture of their health care system. Europeans even more so.  The US's innovation is either subsidizing a world of free riders or barbarically letting people die because they don't have enough money.  I have a British friend who, when I asked why she thought that government would be any better at running the health care system than it is at running airlines or phone companies snapped that providing a certain decent amount of health care for the poor was the minimal test of a civilized society.  To the rest of the world the US is still some sort of nightmare world of rag pickers dying in the street. 

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