April 26, 2005
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From: Paleolibertarian Physician
It is frustrating to read Vdare.com author after Vdare.com author propose that the government should ride in on its white horse and rescue us from the influx of illegal immigrants while procuring handouts for our own citizens. This is just a variation on the same old pipe dream of every right wing socialist disaster of last century.
I was motivated to write after reading Edwin S. Rubenstein's well-intentioned article concerning foreign physicians in America. I couldn't help but think, "score another one for Professor Hans Herman Hoppe!" who has correctly diagnosed the Death of the West as the outcome of faith in government intervention in place of reliance on the free market and the natural order that arises from the sanctity of private property. Rubenstein's article serves to illustrate that conservatives and immigration reformers have undertaken a complex and contrived strategy doomed to failure.
As Mr. Rubenstein correctly states, government has limited the number of spots in medical school but funded many more residency training spots. Where will these extra doctors come from? Other countries, of course.
He then goes on to suggest, correctly, that "the market for doctors is distorted by public policy."
But then, apparently with a straight face offers allocating more money for domestic physicians who already work in a bloated, subsidized industry that consumes 14% of GDP.
The reality is that doctors have secured a cartelized monopoly through government limitations on medical school admissions. In addition, government welfare programs and regulations have created an unsustainable open ended obligation to provide scarce resources.
I want to make this perfectly clear: intervention in the free market in health care in the name of "standards" and "rights" has made us vulnerable to immigration. The take-home message for all conservatives should be that intervention in the free market is the root of the problem and tweaking the system with policy change will not work!
It may seem too great an obstacle at first glance but demanding freedom is easier and more realistic than controlling the problem from centralized Washington.
Our best hope of controlling immigration is grass roots protection (e.g. the Minutemen) and local/state enforcement. Hoppe provides the proper theoretical framework. In fact, I think this will end up being the new states rights issue. Decentralization and immigration reform have a destiny.
It's obviously starting to happen, but no one is really saying it overtly.
Peter Brimelow writes: I'm particularly sorry to see this letter because I do try to ride a surreptitious free-market herd on our very diverse group of immigration reformers. I read Ed's article to mean that the government should (a) not intervene (b) if intervening at all, should shift from the demand to the supply side. That's surely arguable. Ed's fundamental point, of course, is that the government is distorting the market for doctors and creating the demand for immigrants.