Arthur Laugher

One reason it's very difficult to have a meaningful discussion about health care reform is that people do not seem to have a basic grasp of certain facts.  Enter economist Arthur Laffer, someone who ought to know better:

"If you like the Post Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles and you think they're run well, just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid and health care done by the government."

The government already runs those things–and people like them.  In any case, maybe I don't always get my copy of Good Housekeeping on time every week, but for very little cost (and I think I'm ripping this off from Jon Stewart) someone delivers it to my front door.  Besides that, the DMV seems to work fine as well.  For me, the most difficult consumer experience of any kind I've ever had is with the cable company–and that was when I was trying to have cable installed.

via Steve Benen.

3 thoughts on “Arthur Laugher”

  1. “Entire economist Arthur Laffer”: was that supposed to read “enter”?

  2. A Laffer story–
    my first post-college job was with a DC trade association tasked with ‘defending’ the interests of its members, producers of a certain agricultural commodity that rhymes with ‘dork.’  Laffer’s Napkin (band name!) was all the rage; it hadn’t done its damage yet, but my employers and their shareholders were hopeful.  Laffer was guest of honor at the convention and I was tasked with writing intro remarks for his keynote.  I hadn’t heard of this cat so I did some research and the more I read the weirder it seemed.   I remember taking notes that deteriorated into question marks, then question mark/exclamation points (maybe I invented the interrobang, I’m not sure.)  Also the more I read the less I knew what to write.  And the more I read, the more I was sure I was in the wrong line of work.  By the time Laffer delivered his keynote, I had decamped from Washington and was on the way to becoming the happy and fulfilled high school English teacher I’ve been since then.  If it weren’t for Doctor Laffer’s idiotic theories, I might now still be a K-street Mephistofeles, wealthy and damned.
    The DMV is a state-run operation; some run better than others, but let’s put it this way:  most of the people who have problems with the DMV failed to do their business via the US Postal service.
    And you can send a first-class letter by private carrier for $9.  Of course, it is possible to argue that if there were no Post Office private businesses would step in.  See how well that has worked for thinly settled or rural places, like my mother-in-law’s, where she has none of the offerings we all take for capitalist granted–no cable, no garbage collection, no pizza man.  But the post office is there six days a week, even when it’s -40, and they plow the roads promptly and well even though few people use them, and the electric coop and phone company–publicly regulated to do so–provide the basics, and seem to function beautifully despite their communism.

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