Quote Originally Posted by santafe2 View Post
I don't disagree with your point regarding healthcare DC but your thesis may be too narrow and you're blaming the messenger. Healthcare cost in the US can be ridiculous but it's not the only basic modern requirement that is out of control. Borrowing for education in the US has created a huge burden for the middle class and these are full recourse loans. For most people, you pay them off or die to resolve them. Transportation is an almost equal burden but as everyone here should know, you don't borrow money to buy a car. The largest burden for most families is rent/mortgage. Consumer mortgage debt is 5-6X student loans, auto loans or credit cards. But these are all symptoms.

If incomes in the US had continued to move up commensurate with productivity increases we wouldn't be having this conversation. Teachers et. al., would be making $100,000 a year. But we don't value people who do valuable work for the great majority of the population, we only value and pay for innovation. I don't see any change in this direction.
If you think innovation is valued or well paid, you should talk to more scientists making $70k per year to toil in obscurity to make some MBA or College President rich. Money's about perceptions of power, not merit. If it was about merit, inheritance would be illegal. This is also why kids who clerk for supreme court justices for $70k per year get hired by firms a year after earning more than the President makes, and lobbyists make more then Congressmen. Actually doing the work or wielding the power isn't worth as much as the illusion of influence.

You're absolutely right about the productivity piece. So maybe healthcare's a second-order problem behind that. Still, it's the leading cause of middle-class bankruptcy and the easiest way to get wiped out, on top of an income-share hog that keeps growing vs other compensation. Other countries do not make going to the hospital a high-stakes game of financial russian roulette. Of all the problems in the US, and there are myriad, this one seems among the easiest to fix. Hell, if the Truman admin had the Roosevelt admin's skill at whipping votes in the Senate, or if Roosevelt had lived just three more months, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation right now.