Figures don't lie, but liars can figure
By Thomas E. Brewton
Is Paul Krugman at it again?
Whose statistics are the right ones?
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is not in doubt. In his November 2 column he writes:
In contrast, a MedScape Medical News report, dated August 22, 2007, is headlined "Cancer Survival Rates Improving Across Europe, But Still Lagging Behind United States."
The article states:
What seems not to be in doubt is that, whatever statistics one uses, prostate cancer survival rates are measurably higher in the United States.
The lower level of PSA testing in the UK is an unavoidable consequence of the very nature of socialized medicine, as the British discovered at the outset of it nationalized health service after World War II. Just as the French found after instituting socialism following the 1789 Revolution, social justice under socialism is based on the theory of meeting everyone's needs, without regard to personal circumstances, abilities, or work contribution. What in practice happens is that demand for "free" goods and services has no limit, as it is based on desire, not need.
The study of economics came into being because of the observable truth that the demand for any good or service that people want is always greater than the supply. The only effective way to balance supply and demand is free-market pricing. As demand exceeds supply, prices rise until only people truly needing the desideratum will be willing to pay the price.
The income and wealth of any society is no more than the volume of useful goods and services it produces. When people work productively, society’s wealth increases. Under socialism, of which a "national health" plan is an example, social justice permits people who do not work to get equal shares, guaranteeing that supplies will have to be rationed.
In Britain and Canada, where national health service expenses were rapidly outstripping tax revenues, socialist governments had to put a maximum limit on health service expenditures and leave it up to the hospitals and doctors to ration availabilities among patients.
Mr. Krugman's brand of economics, however, appears to levitate somewhere above real world facts, like a sand castle built in mid air. To credit his assertion that health care is better under socialized medicine is to ignore the floods of people coming to the United States from Canada to receive timely medical care.
The facts of long wait times in the UK and Canada, both for routine medical care, and for major surgery, have been well publicized for more than a decade. Mr. Krugman's faith in the religion of socialism blinds him to reality.
Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. His weblog is The View From 1776. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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