Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Debate Roundup: why the Dems’ solutions won’t work

After watching the first round of debates, it is pretty clear, at least in my mind, that the Dems have put forth some pretty lame solutions. Here’s a couple of examples.

Kerry’s Global Test: When Kerry was asked about whether the US would leave its foreign policy in the hands of foreigners, Kerry reserved the right to preemption, but then oddly stated that it ought to pass a "global test." I know that this has been written on a lot on other blogs, but it is worth mentioning. Firstly, what in the world does this mean? What nations must be included for it to pass this global test? Is it only global if France and Germany are involved? The fact that Kerry would spout off such a policy without any explanation of what it means, or its ramifications seems a little odd.

Kerry's "We will hold a summit": ok, lets be honest here. How will holding a summit, get other nations to want to commit troops? What in the world is Kerry going to tell them. Just imagine Kerry sitting around a table with our current allies (who he has repeatedly belittled) and then asking nations like France (who has always said they would never commit troops) to join this "quagmire" of a war which is "in the wrong place at the wrong time." Does anyone really think that holding a summit will do anything? The truth is, it won’t, and Dems only mention it because it might sound good to anyone who doesn’t take the extra second to think about it.

Edwards' View on Outsourcing: In the debate, Edwards went out of his way to reveal the horrific fact that the Bush administration is in favor of, "outsourcing" that's right, "outsourcing" american jobs to those oversees. To anyone who has absolutely no economics background, this does sound menacing, after all, if foreigners provide services americans used to provide, what will the americans do? However, economics reveals that letting nations do what they are best at boosts the economies of all the nations involved. Its a little concept called "competitive advantage," and is the key to why free trade makes nations that participate better off. To those of you who are still sceptics, imagine what the US would be like if all the states acted like foreign nations and practiced protectionist trade policies? Those living in state A, could only buy and use products produced in that state, or pay a higher premium, even though state B could do it for alot less. It is a foregone conclusion that "free-trade" works, and that includes outsourcing. If India can perform a service cheaper and better than americans can, let the american workers do what we are best at. That way, its cheaper for consumers of both nations to purchase services, and both nations are doing what they are best at.
I simply cannot endorse a party, who professes that they know how to improve the economy when they fail to grasp the most basic and fundamental concepts of capitalsim.

Edwards’ Solution to Rising Med Mal Costs: This by far, seemed to be the oddest suggestion of both the debates so far. The very notion that submitting potential cases to independent review will somehow cure rising insurance premiums is far fetched, and Edwards knows it. Such a mechanism is already in place to screen frivolous cases. (its called a demurrer, motion for summary judgment, and Rule 11 sanctions). The problem with Med Mal is not that there are large numbers of frivolous cases, but that there are large numbers of cases that on their face, look like someone really screwed up. Unlike any other profession, we demand absolute perfection from our physicians. Whenever anything goes wrong on the operating table, it is almost a foregone conclusion that someone, somehow, affiliated with the hospital was negligent. Legal standards of causation and negligence essentially go out the window and everyone focuses on damages. In addition, its not the doctors getting sued per se, but the insurance companies, and what could be a better target for trial lawyers than the deep pocket insurance companies. While there are solutions to the Med Mal problem, submitting cases to independent review isn’t one of them. In my opinion, the best solution is to cap Med Mal cases at a certain figure.


At 12:04 PM, Blogger jbob_sqpants said...

RE: Edwards' View on Outsourcing

Your comments regarding the benefits of outsourcing were right on; however, good trade policy doesn't appear to be in either platform. Both Dems and Repubs have economists that push for free trade and market friendly policy; however, many times their voices are drowned out by political advisors that push a policy that will get votes. The average voter doesn't understand the benefits of competitive advantage, so politicians will often take the "protectionist" position. Bush did so when he enacted the steel tariffs a few years ago. Overall, Repubs are more "free trade" oriented, but no individual party or politician is immune to the interest group or lobby that is hurt by free trade policy.


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