Pennington Toll Road

Want to ride on my highway? It’s not expensive. A dollar will take you from one end to the other, which is almost ten miles. Good deal. Besides, it’s the only thing available.

In colonial days, and in early America, there were many such private toll roads. People took it upon themselves to make a road into the wilderness where there was none, and charged for the privilege of driving on it. Those who owned the toll road not only had to make the road, but to maintain it as well. They got you where you wanted to go the only way possible for a wagon or cab.

Why don’t we have private toll roads today? Because we have found a far more efficient and coordinated way to pay for them, and in most cases we don’t even have to pay a toll. These free highways—we each “own” about fifty feet—are available everywhere in the country through the magic of tax revenue. And they are far, far more efficient, better organized, and cheaper than private roads could ever be. Instead of parallel roads going to the same place, we just have one. Instead of stop signs at every corner, we have limited access highways with on- and off-ramps. Instead of the tax collector going door to door to collect for a new road, we build it from general funds.

In other words, using routinely collected tax revenue is the most efficient and least costly way to provide our paved roads. This doesn’t surprise you, of course, because you long ago realized that the government is the most efficient administrator for things that affect the public good, that is, everyone. No profit is necessary because it’s not a private enterprise. In fact, government is the most efficient way to get all kinds of things done. There was a spate of privatization of certain government functions. An analysis found that in at least 90% of cases the government did it better.

What other things, you may wonder, might best be similarly paid for and administrated? Things that are a universal need. Things that would cost less if they weren’t private.

You realize the answer after you have thought about it for eight seconds: health care and retirement savings! Absolutely shocking! Perhaps that’s why all the advanced countries have such things. Ya think?

Well, it makes sense. Every third “health” dollar we spend is for insurance paperwork instead of health care, most of which would be eliminated. And by putting all doctors on salary, they wouldn’t be bulking up their pay by ordering unnecessary tests. We might cut healthcare costs in half, which is what the advanced nations pay, and provide it for every American, like the advanced nations do. And automatic retirement savings would make saving easy. How radical would that be? We’d be just like the advanced nations.

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Published in: on 2011/12/17 at 2:09 pm  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You mean all those countries asking for bailouts? The ones looking for ways to cut their expenses, without cutting their throats? The ones that take most of your money, if you are a working person, to pay for things the rich can afford? I don’t have a clue which countries you are referring to if not those. And if it is those, you could not be more off your mark.
    The government can not do anything cheaper the the private sector, nor can they do it as well. With job security comes complacency..Why work harder to do it right? You don’t get anything more for it.
    Ever work for anybody? Ever take anything home? Ever know anyone who did, but said nothing? No big, The company (or gov) can afford it. It aint my money. Wanna bet?
    Get real, you are way off.
    And by the way, Doctors? Why do you think most go into the profession? To help people for free, or ‘normal’ wages? No. They do it make money. Take away that incentive, see what you have left. If you believe the doctors are there for you and me, not the money, why do they not open up shop in the poor areas and charge fees that just cover the bills, not make them rich? Why dont they live in $500 apartments, instead of million dollar homes?
    Found your mistakes yet?

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  2. Finally, someone who actually says something interesting.

    All those countries asking for bailouts are not the ones with the best health care systems. Those with the best health care systems are the ones doing the rescuing. Besides, the world’s best health care systems have been around a long time. They didn’t begin with the current economic crisis.

    You seem to think job complacency is automatic with government positions. It’s not. Many of my family and friends have worked in government positions, and aren’t the slightest bit complacent. Nor was I. Nor were any of the teachers I know. If the private sector were always better, that study I mentioned would not have found that 90% of them were not.

    Nobody said doctors should suffer for their art. The doctor’s art is very demanding, and they should be well compensated, which they are in the world’s best systems. What is known is that when doctors make more money by ordering more tests and services, that’s what they do. When they earn a good salary anyway, they do not, and our costs are lower. Even so, more than a few do work part time in city clinics, just as some lawyers do pro bono work.

    So far I haven’t found the error of my ways, but I’m still open to suggestions.

    Regards,
    JP

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    • Those with the best health care systems are the ones doing the rescuing…. guess the USA has one of the best systems. Why screw it up.
      Many of my family and friends have worked in government positions, and aren’t the slightest bit complacent. Nor was I. Nor were any of the teachers I know….guess you knew them all. Bet if you asked each one of them, some would say otherwise.
      What is known is that when doctors make more money by ordering more tests and services, that’s what they do. guess thats why the do it, all of them, the only reason. none of them do the extra tests to rule out anything they may have missed.
      When they earn a good salary anyway, they do not, ……wanna bet. most of the ones that order the unneeded tests make a great chunk of change.
      What study?
      What Countries?
      Using such vast generalizations imply s you don’t have any facts, or you would have stated them. If you have them, please post them.
      Unlike some people, I must have facts, before I will modify what I believe. I will not just ‘go along’ with what others say.

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  3. Sorry, the the US is not rescuing anyone; we have our own economic mess to contend with.

    The quality of medical care worldwide is regularly assessed. To be sure, it’s rather like comparing apples and oranges, and precision is elusive, but the US is always far down the list. It’s hard to claim we have the best system when well over 50 million have no health care at all.

    Regarding “government workers”, one does not have to know everyone in a setting to get a feeling for how things are. My experience has been generally good, and sometimes great. There are some lousy teachers, but most of them are devoted and hard working. You seem to have a pessimistic view of people. I worked in a government medical setting as a clinical tech. Yes, there were fools, and even a few obstructionists, but people who work in medicine are pretty serious about their work.

    I think you misunderstood what I said about salaried doctors. There is a qualitative difference between a doctor ordering proper studies to make a diagnosis and a doctor ordering extra tests to boost his income. Doctors who are paid by salary, such as at the Mayo Clinic or Kaiser, do not earn extra by ordering extra tests. In fact, ordering extra tests in that setting actually deducts from the organization’s income.

    Sorry if this post didn’t have enough facts for you. Most of my posts do present facts, but I do not generally provide extensive references. For your part, you have also made a number of unsupported generalizations, which I can’t really address. If you can present real evidence that contradicts what I say, I will be pleased to present it.

    Best regards,
    JP

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    • Sorry, the the US is not rescuing anyone; we have our own economic mess to contend with…..We were asked. That blows your statement, either way you look at it. It is widely covered, unless you live under a rock, you saw the news.
      I never implied you need to know everyone, I said if you asked each that you knew.
      You statement about Doctors said …when doctors make more money by ordering more tests and services, that’s what they do. …If a doctor has his/her own practice, which most do (many are in partnerships) then they do make money based on the total income of the business. If you are just referring to the few that only work at a clinic, for a salary, than you should have specified that..
      …I do not generally provide extensive references….you provided none. I don’t need to provide references to counter your claims at this point. You made the statement, back it up with facts, if you can.
      At any rate, I dont fall for your smoke, and doubt many do.
      Anyone with a middle-school education can see you your claims, that is all my counter is aimed at doing.
      If someone takes the time to read your post, and my counter, at least they have some wisdom in the latter to see the truth.

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  4. Thanks for your participation. JP

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  5. Guess you don’t have anything to backup your statements.
    Thats OK, others now know the truth.

    Like


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