Thursday, November 12, 2009

Time to de-monopolize state-run liquor and health-care monopolies

Horst Klaus wrote in "Free enterprise or monopoly?', (St.Catharines Standard, Nov.12, 2009):

"This came to my mind when I heard how so many Americans don't want national health insurance, claiming it would be socialism.

In Canada, we have nationalized health insurance, just like most industrialized countries in the world. Even poor U. S.-boycotted Cuba has national heath care, unlike most of its neighbours. If we want to call that socialism, so be it. But it is really a necessity, just like water, power, highways, postal service, police, fire department -- just to list a few.

However, we do generally prefer free enterprise in the same industrialized countries, including Canada and the province of Ontario. Yet, one definitely non-essential product line is state-owned and sold in Ontario. I am referring to liquor and beer sales; there is no valid reason to have "socialist," state-owned retail outlets in Ontario.

In this case, prices are artificially kept high and some of the salaries of the LCBO top management are outrageously high and supported by us. I believe the province of Quebec allows private sales of beverage alcohol and still makes enough in taxes - it probably has higher sales.

When will Ontario wake up?"

What exactly does this writer mean "we have nationalized health insurance, just like most industrialized nations countries in the world"?

If he's talking about government health care monopolies, then, he is simply wrong!! Canada, along with Cuba and North Korea, have monopolies, ie ONLY nationalized health care!!! Other countries have a private-public mix!! There's a big difference: it's called choice! In the United States, millions are insured under medicaid, but there are also millions who don't want to be forced into a government-run health system. What is it that Klaus doesn't understand? Single-payer health care monopolism is socialism.

It's not a "necessity" to suffer in a state-run health monopoly. Highways, parcel deliveries, power, water can all be provided by private sector partners. That isn't the government's role.

The same problems Klaus points out in the LCBO define the health monopolies as well.

Wake up.

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