How many free-marketers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
This is a short follow-up on my live-blogging post regarding a debate on our health care system that I attended last night. I have been chewing on it a while, and I just can't wrap my head around the application of a free market system to medical care, mostly for some of the points I mentioned previously.
Look, capitalism is great, but it doesn't necessarily function best entirely on its own and perhaps not at all in certain situations. I think scrambled eggs are great too, but I have a hard time choking them down without salt, or salsa, and I don't think they would go too well with ice cream. My point is that whenever free-marketers talk, they never seem to acknowledge previous failings or the possibility that there should be any sort of restriction on their system whatsoever or else it will be too hindered to work... they're kinda like the Underpants Gnomes:
Phase 1) "Privatize and deregulate!"
Phase 2) " "
Phase 3) "Profit!"
I am actually think I have pretty decent credentials as someone who supports the free market... I get pissed off at farm subsidies and other handouts to industries who go to the government instead of adapting to conditions to continue to compete. But at the same time, I am also a realist in that the consumer is not always considered, not all markets are really open, and sometimes the playing field needs to be leveled a little. Free market with some reasonable limits is the bottom line.
Update: I almost forgot to give you the answer to the joke in the title... none. If the light bulb needs to be changed, the free market will do it all on its own!