Optimisten Gary Becker

Wall Street Journal har i dag et stort opsat weekendinterview med nobelpristageren Gary Becker, som giver en frisk indsprøjtning af historisk perspektiv og optimisme til avisens læsere.

Om sundhedsreformen:

Here in the United States, we spend about 17% of our GDP on health care, but out-of-pocket expenses make up only 12% of total health-care spending. In Switzerland, where they spend only 11% of GDP on health care, their out-of-pocket expenses equal about 31% of total spending. The difference between 12% and 31% is huge. Once people begin spending substantial sums from their own pockets, they become willing to shop around. Ordinary market incentives begin to operate. A good bill would have encouraged that.

Om midtvejsvalget i november:

One of the points Secretary Paulson made earlier today was how outraged – how unexpectedly outraged – the American people became when the government bailed out the banks. This belief in individual responsibility – the belief that people ought to make their own decisions, but should then bear the consequences of those decisions – this remains very powerful. The American people don’t want an expansion of government. They want more of what Reagan provided. They want limited government and economic growth. I expect them to say so in the elections this November.

Om Milton Friedman og nutidens økonomer:

When Milton was starting out, people really believed a state-run economy was the most efficient way of promoting growth. Today nobody believes that except maybe in North Korea. You go to China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, even Western Europe. Most of the economists under 50 have a free-market orientation. Now, there are differences of emphasis and opinion among them. But they’re oriented toward the markets. That’s a very important intellectual victory.

Om fremtiden:

When I think of my children and grandchildren, yes, they’ll have to fight. Liberty can’t be had on the cheap. But it’s not a hopeless fight by any means. I remain basically an optimist.

Læs hele interviewet her.

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