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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/i-understand-what-youre-saying-but-in-real-16637608.aspx

Subject:  Re: WalMart leads way on 401k flexibility Date:  2/5/2002  2:06 AM
Author:  satdi Number:  61551 of 726813

I understand what you're saying. BUT.. in real life business will never succumb to free market forces and needs to be watch-dogged. Too much money at stake. What they really want is privatized profits, socialized costs, and strategic alliance WITH goverment.
I think the free market types would point out that if I cannnot afford it I should die or keep working.

No employer really wants workers or payroll except as tax breaks maybe.

Walmart, Enron, and every other big business screw job perpetrated on working people is not caused by government. Whatever the gov is doing vis a vis medical insurance has nothing to do with whether Walmart screws it's workers

I agree gov mucking in medical insurance is not the best way to manage it. (20+ yrs in the military. They kill people there and then golf with the General for career brownie points. You have no options choices or anything) BUT if markets could handle the situation we wouldn't be having this conversation.

In fact insurance itself is not constructed to operate on a free market basis. They don't want to provide ANY "goods". It's BAD for the company. They just want to take in premiums and never pay out.

But the problem with medical insurance is that it is a NECESSITY and as such cannot be relied upon on a free market basis. Even Adam Smith said that. Free markets function best with optional items. Also, he said that in a free society every person should have what he called "necessaries" (we would say necessities) and that these things are different from place to place and change over time. In other words the people will decide what is necessary.

I never hear any free market types who actually know anything about Adam Smith or even the U.S. Founders. They continually quote out of context or misquote or conveniently not quote all sorts things like those Bible people who pull out only those parts of the Bible they want to make their point of the moment. That Ben Franklin thing about security vs freedom is so overplayed it's nauseating.

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Actually, the free-market types will point at this as a wonderful example of the natural consequences of letting the government completely dominate the market - both buyers and sellers - for medical care AND medical insurance...
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