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Debating Health Care with a Libertarian

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by Ben Cohen

An interesting debate between Cenky Uygur of the Young Turks and Lee Doren of the Libertarian blog CopiousDissent:

Doren manages to confuse the issue on several occasions. Uygur points out that he isn't talking about a government take over of medical care, merely a public insurance option, but Doren ends up making it a rant about government intervention in the market rather than a debate on a public insurance option. I engaged in a furious email debate with Lee last year on the merits of neo liberal economics, and Doren engaged in similar tactics by refusing to deal with actual facts. A snippet of our exchange:

From Copious Dissent

The United States has never benefited from Nationalizing Industry. Hong
Kong, Singapore, and Japan are other examples where a lack of
nationalization works. The problem with Nationalized industry is that
it always takes more resources to produce the same comparable goods
when Nationalized vs. non-nationalized. This is basic economics, and it
why the command economy never worked in the Soviet Union.

Nationalization was also an abject disaster; it likely could have
avoided the stagnation had it not gone down that path. Nevertheless, it
succeed because of its free market capitalism, which is why it is the
greatest south American economy today......

From The Daily Banter:

I'm afraid you are merely reciting neo-liberal rhetoric my friend, not fact. Claiming it does not make it so.

United States has been one of the most protectionist countries in
history, and it owes much of it's development to central planning and
the nationalization of industry. Here is an excellent article by
Cambridge Professor Ha-joon Chang outlining the development of the U.S
(and Singapore, a country that has also benefited from massive state

point about the Soviet Union borders on the ridiculous. Russia
experienced incredible economic growth under state planning, turning a
backwards, third world peasant society into a technologically advanced
super power in a matter of decades. I am in no way defending the Soviet
Union, as the human death toll was beyond barbaric, but its growth was

Russians are now poorer under the 'free market' than they were under communism, so you point is nonsensical.

has also been a highly protectionist nation, and it's success is based
on the nationalization of key industries (like automobiles). Here is
Chang on the specifics of Japanese protectionism.

You can read the full transcript here.