Debating Health Care with a Libertarian

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.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.