Thinking that the government should support organisations or have schemes that go against 'market forces' - ie. financed through taxation - is socialist, and is the first step on the road to tyranny and Stalinism.

On the other hand the last 30 years of free market capitalism does not seem to have come up with particularly good solutions for - reducing crime, healthcare, education - especially healthcare and education of the poor, should we think "well it could be worse, it's the best we can do, it is better than what they have in Russia" and not look for other solutions, or is it just that in a market driven democracy you shouldn't really be bothered to improve these things if the market doesn't support them? (i.e. the market shows you the problems to ignore) anyone shed light on how I should be thinking (I do want to avoid living under a socialist Stalin like regime) ?

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    Welcome to Politics.SE. You seem to have forgotten to ask the question. :) Also, can you please re-formulate the second paragraph? Seven lines in a single sentence seems to be hard to grasp. Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 16:24

1 Answer 1



On the other hand the last 30 years of free market capitalism does not seem to have come up with particularly good solutions for - reducing crime,

And yet crime is down in the USA during that period (approximating it as from 1980 to 2013).


The USA's mandatory schooling is widely regarded as weak, but the more free market college system is stronger. It continues to attract students from around the world.

There are market alternatives to the public schooling system, but they have faced opposition from the existing system. They tend to do as well academically as the public run system although they do not generally do better (advocates originally suggested that they would). They do tend to make parents happier.

On the bright side, school choice tends to help the lowest achieving students the most.

It's also worth noting that the USA does better if you control for the poverty rate. While this might suggest that richer areas can afford better schools, there is the Washington, DC counter example. DC has the third highest spending per pupil, but the third worst performance on standardized tests.


In terms of healthcare, a large part of the problem is that healthcare isn't particularly market oriented. The largest portion of healthcare spending in the USA is employer-paid healthcare. But rather than having a normal supplier/demand market, employer-paid healthcare involves a government regulator, an insurer, an employer, a recipient, and a provider. The recipient has no reason to keep costs down. The provider wants to charge as much as possible. The employer has no direct authority over what the provider charges. The employer pays the insurance company who pays the provider. As a result, recipients tend to demand the most expensive care with little wait time.

Other countries manage with fewer, cheaper providers, as they have fewer decision makers. E.g. in the UK, the government determines the tax rate paid for healthcare, the amount paid to providers, and how many providers are available. This leads to longer wait times but lower prices.

Between them, two government programs, Medicare and Medicaid, actually cover more spending than private insurance. Combined with other government programs, they cover just over half of all spending in the supposedly free market US. This is comparable to the amount spent in the single-payer UK for all healthcare. How would the free market be able to fix government spending?

There have been suggestions for market alternatives to Medicare and Medicaid, but they haven't been tried.

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