Thursday, July 13, 2006

Regulate Everything!!

Yet another strong argument for school choice in the US public school system!!

The July 12, 2006 USA Today newspaper featured one of their classic bar chart graphics, USA Today Snapshots, entitled, "Which industries should be more government regulated?". The results of this survey of 1,833 respondents age 18 and older by Harris Interactive were:

Oil -- 55%
Pharmaceutical and Drug - 51%
Health Insurance - 46%
Electric and Gas Utilities - 43%
Managed care such as HMOs - 43%
Tobacco - 36%
Hospitals - 28%

Really?? The follow up question to these 1,833 people should have been, "okay, how much MORE can we regulate these industries, should we just have them nationalized by the government so we can live in a regulated paradise like Cuba?"

I could offer several examples of how these seven (7) industries are highly regulated today so let me pick just 2 of them since I have ZERO financial interest in their well-being:

Electric and Gas Utilities -- granted state and federal laws have been amended in the last decade or so to inject some market competition/reduced regulation in this industry BUT the state public utilities commission (PUCs) are still operating at full staffing levels. The PUCs still have a lot of oversight power especially since such regulated utilities must file "rate cases" compiled by teams of lawyers and accountants to see changes in the rates they charge to customers.

Hospitals -- in an effort to use our limited resources "efficiently" most state governments require hospitals wanting to expand their operations to get approval via a "certificate of need" or "certificate of public convenience and necessity" which seeks to prevent competing hospitals from wasting money by building competing facilities.

So you think this is wide open, no regulation capitalism at work?? These 1,833 respondents need to read more books and less USA Today starting with any book they find at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute --

Educate don't regulate,


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