Equality of consumption

You may already have heard that the Supreme Court upheld the Obamacare mandate. The response from libertarian Tyler Cowen is that the government is trying to equalize “health-care consumption”: “A rejection of health care egalitarianism, namely a recognition that the wealthy will purchase more and better health care than the poor. Trying to equalize health care consumption hurts the poor, since most feasible policies to do this take away cash from the poor, either directly or through the operation of tax incidence. We need to accept the principle that sometimes poor people will die just because they are poor. Some of you don’t like the sound of that, but we already let the wealthy enjoy all sorts of other goods — most importantly status — which lengthen their lives and which the poor enjoy to a much lesser degree.”
Slacktivist discusses Cowen’s point that if poor people drop dead, that’s just the efficiency of the free market in action. I’ll just note that Cowen’s term for this is bullshit. It’s not “equality of consumption”–nobody’s going to force the poor to buy health care or to use as much healthcare as someone with a “gold-plated” health plan. It’s just equality of opportunity—providing people who can’t afford health care with access to it when they need it.
I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
In other links:
Just for fun: A shrimp so powerful it can shatter glass with its bare claws!
•Digby points out something I’ve noticed before: The right-wing fringe movements invariably move into the mainstream.
•An argument why we need unions. Hullabaloo brings up a related point: Why is it “envy” if we criticize the 1 percent for their income but entirely justified to grumble union workers make “too much.” I made a related point a couple of years ago.
•Prisoners in Gitmo have habeas corpus rights—but that doesn’t do any good if the courts won’t hear the appeal.
•Rick Perlstein looks back at the alleged religion of secular humanism. I’m old enough to remember when this was the big right-wing bogeyman, and he recaps pretty accurately.
•I’d like to devote an Undead Sexist Cliche piece to a “What are women for?” column by James Paulos, but it’s so much gibberish I’ll let alicublog handle it. But I’ll give a hint to Paulos: Nobody actually has to figure this out. You can just let each women decide for herself. But of course, that would require thinking of them as people. Daily Caller is also the one where a satirist suggesting putting lesbians in the military then screwing them into heterosexuals.
•The Former Conservative reminds us what firefighters, teachers and cops do for the economy (in addition to everything else they do for us).
•Obama’s new position on immigration and letting them stay. As the article notes, it’s a political move, but if the policy is good, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
•A recent study supposedly shows gay couples are bad for raising kids. Not so much. The study’s author, Mark Regnerus, has turned up in my blog before. More on the study here.

1 Comment

Filed under economics, Politics, Uncategorized

One response to “Equality of consumption

  1. Pingback: Obamacare battles, Ebola and other links of interest | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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