Lenin, Health Care And Education

An interesting take on education and health care by Arnold Kling:

Mark Whitehouse of the WSJ blog writes,

Annual public and private health-care spending in the U.S. stands at $7,538 per person, 2.41 times the OECD average and 51% more than the second-biggest spender, Norway. Meanwhile, average U.S. life expectancy is 77.9 years, less than the OECD average of 79.4.Gaze at the chart he includes. The U.S. government spends more per person on health care than the Canadian government.

Somebody should do a similar chart for K-12 education. My guess is that there we also far outspend everyone else, with mediocre outcomes.

Health care and education are, of course, the New Commanding Heights. That is, they are the growing sectors of the economy which, if you were Lenin, you would want to be sure that the state controls.

While I believe that the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party prefers control of these sectors be vested within government, I am not convinced that represents a philosophy which culminates in complete state control of the economy.

Perhaps more to the point, the increasing inefficiency of education and health care might well convince a majority of the electorate that both are too important to be left to the political class to order. Effectively, history repeating itself as government aegis proves again to be a dubious blessing.

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