Home › Forums › Discuss Austrian Economics, Step by Step › 'Healthcare' and the free market › Reply To: 'Healthcare' and the free market
I see what you mean in principle, but aspirin and bottled water? Their price in pennies would not, it seems to me, be good examples of the monstrously expensive ‘healthcare apparatus’ that has taken on an inflationary life of its own in the last 30 years. The same market principles may apply to a degree but there must be additional forces at work to drive the price of a sector of goods and services through the roof.
How much is a ladder worth to a guy who has fallen into a pit and can’t climb out? If you were to equate getting sick with falling into such a pit and suppose that all the ladders in the society were controlled by ‘highly trained professionals’, then wouldn’t the price of a ladder be subject to forces of inflation beyond what would be the case if they were only used for house-painting and gutter-cleaning? Isn’t it ‘natural’ that in a free market the supplier of ladders would take advantage of his customer’s predicament and charge him more… and more… and more? Isn’t this what is happening in fact in our society as the free market is allowed to be ‘in charge’ of delivering healthcare to people? And isn’t that why there needs to be a way to get ladders to people that puts the human-natural tendency to ‘gouge’ one’s fellow man out of play?