On The Sidelines

by Patrick Appel

Thoreau, a libertarian, makes his case for sitting out of the health care debate:

Does that mean I think the government solution will be better than a process of market evolution?  Almost certainly not.  It is, however, possible (even if unlikely) that the government solution will be better than the status quo.  Laugh if you will, my fellow libertarians, but nowhere is it written that one heavily-regulated system is automatically better than another just by virtue of being a status quo system that some big (and politically connected) businesses happen to like.  The state can deliver flawed systems with flaws of varying degree, and while I have no great confidence in the state’s competence I also have no sound basis on which to conclude that any and every regulated system will work out in practice to be worse than the status quo.  We must wait and see before claiming the pyrrhic victory of being right about the suckitude of the new system.