Archive for May 4th, 2017

Limited Suffrage

May 4, 2017

Ultimately, democracy is a terrible idea. Giving everyone, regardless of their status and condition, the right to vote, leads to the predictable results: people voting themselves money.

Here are a few proposals to limit suffrage. I am not convinced that any are great, but we’ll see.

First, the idea that only property owners can vote. If you own a certain amount of property, then you can have a vote. This would allow people who own the property in a certain voting district some control over who gets to vote there. If you don’t like the politics of a person, don’t sell them property. It would also encourage people to own property, something that rich people already do. Finally, it would likely raise the IQ and attentiveness of the voters, preferring those who are at least able to accumulate enough wealth to own property.

Another idea is to limit it based on how much taxes you pay. If you pay no taxes, you get no vote. That is, “No representation without taxation.” We could make the limit very low, say, $1, and then we would have people basically paying $1 to vote. Or we could make it quite large, say, $1k or $10k. The benefit here is the people who fund the government actually get to choose how it is conducted, while those who do not get no say. Alternatively, we can have your vote count based on how much you pay in taxes. You get 1 vote for every dollar you spend in taxes.

The problem I see here is people might pay people money just so they can pay taxes and vote. So either we make it non-optional (IE, you have to prove income and the tax rate is 5%, so you have to pay 20x to give someone the right to vote) or we make sure that we exclude people who make money from government.

Another idea is to bar people who receive money from the government from voting. As a consolation, we can also keep them from paying taxes as well, since that just plain stupid in the first place.

Here’s an option: You literally buy votes. Every election cycle, you get to spend $1 for a vote. If you really want someone to win, spend $10,000 and vote for him 10,000 times. This money would be used to run the government, obvious. The side effect of this is it sort of becomes a lottery. If I dumped $1B dollars to get 1B votes, and everyone else paid $999M, then not only would I control my $1B, but I would control everyone else’s $999M, thus doubling my rate of return.

Here’s another option: You can vote, but it doesn’t count. In this scenario, we go back to the old system where the senate is appointed by the states and not the people, and we end the practice of voting for president. If you want a say in who is president, you have to control enough state legislatures first.

Health Care is Not Health Insurance

May 4, 2017

One of the biggest pet peeves of mine is people who conflate “health care” with “health insurance”.

If you are healthy, and are worried that you might contract some expensive disease, you need health insurance. This will cover future expenses related to some unforeseen disease that you are unlikely to get. It is, in short, the opposite of gambling. You are basically aggregating the risk of getting sick with a lot of other people, with the agreement that those who have some bad event will get covered.

If you are diagnosed with a bad disease, what you need is health care. Obviously, health insurance should cover that health care for you if you did not already have that disease before you bought insurance.

In today’s medical industry, we have conflated the two concepts. We don’t need insurance for people who are already sick. We need doctors, we need hospitals, we need nurses and technicians and machines and medicines.

Ideally, health insurance would simply pay out a lump sum when you get diagnosed with a disease. They would run calculations to figure out how likely you are to get a disease, and if you end up with that disease, they write you a check. You would then use that money to pay for health care to treat that disease for the rest of your life.

Now, to address people today who have already been diagnosed with bad diseases and are looking for health insurance, let me explain what you really, really want more than anything else in the world: You want the best medical care for the lowest price possible.

Thus, you really want a free-market solution for health care, since the free market and capitalism has been proven time and again to drive down costs and increase quality.

For those of you who are healthy but worry about what would happen if you got sick, you need health insurance, and you want it at the lowest price possible with the highest coverage. So you, too, need a free market and capitalism, which are proven to bring the lowest priced goods at the highest quality to the largest number of people.

The combination of free market health care and free market health insurance would be the ultimate ideal. Not only would you get the benefits of free markets for those industries in isolation, but the fact that medical care is cheap and abundant would mean you don’t need as much insurance coverage.

We live in a world today where free market goods are readily available to even the poorest among us. It is the brutal and condescending regulations of government bureaucrats that is causing health care costs to go up and health care quality to go down, along with the problems in the health insurance industry. Keep that in mind, and look for a free market solution, even if you are sick right now.