The failure to repeal ObamaCare is an intellectual failure

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey Tucker

"Absolutely amazing. Even tragic. The Republicans railed against the proven failure that is Obamacare for years and voted at least half a dozen times to repeal it. It was the most important issue of the entire 2016 election. Then the GOP gained control — House, Senate, Presidency — and what happened? So far, nothing. There is no agreement on what a replacement should look like. It is entirely possible that four years from now, nothing important will have changed. Who or what is at fault? People blame partisanship, special interests, public opinion, plots, bad leadership, annoying lobbyists, feckless careerism, the Democrats, the moderates, the conservatives, the CBO, the insufferable media, and Trump’s notorious lack of interest in the details of the legislative process. But really there is only one underlying source of failure: the failure to understand." (07/15/17)

  • R R Schoettker

    If the failure to repeal ObamaCare is an "intellectual" failure, then the intellectual premise that has failed is GOVERNMENT!

  • dL

    Frederic Bastiat was the first to describe the problem.

    He wasn't the first. But he certainly did describe it. But the text was "Economic Sophisms," not "That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen." Tucker assumes everyone has the same motives:

    We should take it for granted that everyone in this debate wants more, better, cheaper health care for all. The intellectual failure is a lack of clarity about how to get there.

    No we shouldn't take that for granted. He then writes:

    This amounts to a failure of imagination. The reformers have failed to comprehend – and so they cannot persuasively argue for – the creative and transformative benefits that would flow from freeing the sector.

    That's the "reform from the the top" approach(the raison d'etre of libertarian think tanks). However, Bastiat, from the chapter "Two Systems of Ethics", The physiology of plunder(Economic Sophisms) , flips that script.

    Let religious ethics soften, if it can, the hearts of the Tartuffes, the Caesars, the colonialists, the sinecurists, the monopolists, etc. The task of political economy is to enlighten their dupes.

    This is not a failure of imagination at the top. This is medicine as plunder and social control. The job of the libertarian is not to preach "failure of imagination" on the beltway cocktail circuit. Instead it is to point this out to the dupes.