Or ‘Better Left than right’.
Sorry for the hiatus in blogging. Have had a busy week working and visiting family.
However I did catch Glen Reynolds’s link to this clip of a television debate in America about the proposed changes to the healthcare system. In the clip a chap called Paul Krugman, a self-proclaimed ‘liberal’ New York Times blogger, asks the few Canadian members of the audience if they think their government-run health system is terrible, and although the proportion is not given, all or nearly all of them said they thought it was terrible.
What I found really telling was not that this was a great argument against Obama’s plans (which it is of course) but Mr Krugman’s response, which was “Bad move on my part!”.
So what Mr Krugman is saying is that it is more important to win a TV debate than to learn something (that there might be a lot of people who have a bad impression or a bad experience of government-run healthcare) or that the debate comes to the best answer it can. Left-wing ideology seems, by extension, to be more important to Mr Krugman than good healthcare.
Often I get the same impression from the current UK government and the British left in general, on the subject of the NHS but even more on education, where the ideology of ‘equality’ is more important than the actual welfare of young people. Comprehensive education is important enough to ignore its failings, equal access is more important than maintaining the quality of education at our world-class universities, and instead of dumping ideologically-driven teaching methods and curriculums in schools which have damaged state education the universities are told to bias their selection against privately-schooled applicants.
There are more examples, certainly in the welfare system, in defence, on the EU, where winning the argument is more important than finding the best course, but it is more dangerous in education and health, where the results will last for decades or are often fatal.
I also think this theme fits in well with my previous post on the intended consequences of legislation being to keep power; the intentions might also be to keep ideological purity.
Update: Obama and the British Labour Party have the same dislike of the concept of education vouchers (despite Obama saying that he would consider the issue on merit). This looks more like left-wing dogmatism than rational objection with more evidence. Yet more evidence here, but still Ed Balls, Gordon Brown and Barack Obama would rather be Left than right.
Update: It appears that Paul Krugman holds a Nobel Prize for economics. It also appears that he has no desire to get the correct answer to a problem, and that he knows nothing at all about people’s response to incentive (which is core to economics and econometrics), since he fails to understand the limitations of government-run healthcare. Are they giving away Nobel Prizes with Cornflakes now?