The Hunt for the Great White Widget - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Hunt for the Great White Widget
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Responding to Ezra Klein’s argument that pure market solutions to the health care crisis are untenable because emergency rooms and cancer specialists cannot be classified as “widgets,” Colby Cosh notes:

What exactly, on these premises, would be just another widget?

Are shoes subject to the ordinary laws of supply and demand? Try telling that to a child in a snowstorm who doesn’t have a pair! Are flashlights a widget? Even been in a blackout without one?–there are times when you’d pay a thousand dollars for a flashlight. If you’re homeless, Pizza Pops aren’t a widget. They might mean as much to a bum under a bridge as a defibrillator does to a pork-fed executive collapsed in a marbled bank lobby. To a fellow who’s just been laid off from the only job he’s trained for, food, shelter, clothing, even money itself, all have non-widgetary nature.

So all hail the new lifeboat economics, which instantly replaces orthodox price mechanisms with the scrawlings of an idiot child in the presence of any good that might conceivably be immediately necessary to life, health, or safety. Is there any reason this intrepid nescience should be limited to health care? If we can’t plan for an ambulance ride, how can we plan for anything? (Maybe, he said in an ominous whisper, there are no widgets at all.)

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