Monday, October 31, 2005

California Proposition 78, 79, and 80: VOTE NO!

These are the three upcoming California Special Election ballot issues that are the 'no-brainers' of the ballot. As a libertarian-leaning conservative who is a strong supporter of "promoting individual liberty and economic freedom through the idea of limited government, private property rights, and free market capitalism" (as our masthead states), I emphatically urge everyone to VOTE NO on 78, 79, and 80. All three are anti-capitalist, pro-big government measures that will result in shortages and more regulation.

and are competing attempts to regulate prescription drugs. One is sponsored by the drug companies, the other by trial lawyers and consumer advocate groups, and both would mean government regulation of prescription drug costs. Government imposed cost controls always result in lower quality, lower supply, and frustrated consumers. I cannot think of a single circumstance where the imposition of government bureaucracy and regulation has resulted in lower costs, more choice, better quality, and more supply. The opposite is ALWAYS the result.

, if passed, would re-regulate California's electrical supply. While deregulation of a decade ago was poorly planned, and even more poorly executed, the re-imposition of government controls is not the answer. Like Prop's 78 and 79, the result will be less supply, fewer choices, and lower quality.

If you doubt my conclusions on free markets versus a regulated market, consider how the telephone service market developed. First, under the regulated market of the first five or six decades of telephone service here in the USA we though we had good prices, features, and quality. However, compare those days to the current, relatively unregulated mobile phone market. Prices are lower, features are too many to list, and long distance is FREE! In addition, the monthly costs keep dropping, and the features list grows longer.

Don't put the prescription drug market nor the electrical markets back into the stone age.

Vote NO on 78, 79, and 80.

Key words


Anonymous said...

Any chance I could convince you to reconsider on 78? It gets at the issue of giving discounts to just the people that really need them without creating a bunch of unnecessary bureaucracy and lawsuits... I think it could actually help!

James Z. Smith said...

Well, you'll need to start with a more convincing argument. Give me facts and references to support your contention and I will consider with an open mind your position. If you can convince me that my position is wrong, I will do so here publically.

We don't have much time, however.

Thanks for the comment, by the way!

Anonymous said...

True, there isn't much time. Thanks for responding and I am happy to take on your challenge.

1. If nothing else, a vote for 78 is a vote against 79. If you look at, you'll see that 79 would result in years of lawsuits and governmental messes...something I think we would all like to avoid. Yes, if both fail this isn't a concern, but even the chance that 79 might pass is reason enough for me to suggest voting for 78 pre-emptively.

2. Whether you want to make sure that people pay for their own healthcare or not, if they show up at the hospital without insurance and need drugs, taxpayers end up footing the bill. Both 78 and 79 are trying to address this hole in the system , and as you would likely guess, of the two, 78 will do it for less money for less people - concentrating only on those who really need it.

3. Voting for 78 and getting it passed means that this issue will be resolved and we can all move on. Don't we have other things worth discussing?


James Z. Smith said...

Time is very short indeed.

Latest polling shows both likely for defeat.

If so, this discussion is moot. I want to provide for those less fortunate, however, I don't believe that anyone has a "right" to healthcare. Indeed, I believe that the lack of market forces in healthcare, and the assumption of "entitlement" to it, are the reason costs are so out of whack. If we all had to pay out of pocket, we'd all be much more selective about our care. That selectivity would bring market forces to bear on the costs, bring them down.

Perfect world, I suppose, and it is a complicated question. I hope neither passes so nothing changes, but we still have a fight ahead of us to bring sanity to the cost of healthcare.

Your turn...