Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

For businesses that provide somewhat of an essential service, the 'buyer beware' mantra does not result in societally good outcomes.

For example, healthcare services should be considered essential, and therefore, should not be left up to the market forces, as these forces would mean that some part of the population who is not profitable to serve will not get served.

in such cases, the best option is a socialized mechanism (such as universal healthcare, paid for by taxation). For some reason, the US of A is very much against this idea. It's as if these ideas have been tainted with the smear campaign of communism and red-scare.




This is likely the core of our disagreement; Healthcare is not essential, it's a luxury that has been afforded to us by those who were willing to study and learn how to do it in an advanced manner. No one has a 'right' to a healthcare professionals time and effort, same as no one has a right to my programming ability or an uber drivers driving capabilities. To phrase that in the positive light, everyone has the right to the product of their own labour, including healthcare professionals, regardless of the social cost that brings.

Leaving healthcare to 'market forces' is nothing more than leaving doctors alone to do healthcare as they please and for a profit that they earn, rather than using government to force prices down and make them work for less than they're worth.

I'm not opposed to a health care option provided by government, but it has to be optional both to pay in and use in order to be a morally sound imo.


While I agree in part, somehow society has deemed it so that I have a right to have electricity provided to my house and a number of other services (to the point that it is illegal to cut off heat in the winter, etc). Arguably, healthcare has existed longer than electricity, so how do you reconcile the seemingly arbitrary distinction? In truth, I have a right to the power company supplying me power, and the government seems to have indifference to the how of that execution (which means I have a "right" to the electrical lineman's work, in a sense).

On the other hand, I would concede that one would ask, "But where do you draw the line?" And I would answer, "Society collectively draws the line." Which is evidenced by our collective evolution of social programs provided by the government (which tend to be more expansive rather than less so).

Fwiw I am not in disagreement about market forces being particularly maladapted in dictating the pay of specialists (especially considering that many laypeople can't even accurately price nonspecialist time let alone a specialist's time or actual value)


I don't reconcile that distinction, it's based on the false premise that you do have the right to the provision of electricity. I don't agree with that on the same premise as healthcare, even if 'society' has agreed.

I think we may have a different conception of what is determined as a right: I tend to conceptualise rights as inherent, things required to allow a human to live to the best of their ability. When we think of rights in this way, they aren't things that can be given; they can only be taken away or protected. If I build a hut when I'm stranded on a desert island, that's my hut and I shouldn't be forced out of it and no one else stranded on the island has a "right" to the product of my labour. If I spend time and effort gathering food, the other people on the island who haven't put that effort in don't deserve some of that food just because they're hungry. Now if I give them some out of pity or for the benefits of keeping a group around me, that's a different story than if they take it by force. If they take it by force, they've committed a moral wrong and violated the right required to live for me.

My approach is unforgiving but its from the perspective of individuals and their property rights. It doesnt exclude empathy and willing charity, just excludes forced empathy and charity.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: