Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Episode 156, Black Markets--Dodging the Command Economy

Black markets occur when the government makes the transaction of a good or service illegal.

But illegality, while necessary, is not sufficient. The good or service must be highly desirable, and it must benefit both parties to keep the government out of the transaction.

Most of the time, black markets surface where the local government is causing shortages. The Soviet Union was notorious for shortages, and the emergence of black markets to fill the gaps.

In this show I talk about shortages and other mechanisms that are likely to cause black markets to surface on a wider scale here in America, how you can get ready for when they do, and how you can profit from them.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Episode 155, How Much Should Health Care Cost in America?

It’s actually a good question: How much should health care cost in America? At the rate we’re going, we’ll never know.

Few Americans actually know what health care costs them, because they don’t pay for health care in the same way that they pay for food or other things they need.

Health care in America has been heavily distorted for years by government intervention.

Another problem is the way health insurance is used. Insurance is a risk management tool to guard against rare but expensive events. But health insurance policies generally cover routine care and medicine. That’s like using car insurance to pay for oil changes and gasoline.

The end result is that the healthcare "marketplace" is not a marketplace. Health care does not operate at all like a free market, so supply and demand, and their relationship to price, don't follow normal economic rules.

Health care should cost a lot less than it does in America. With a free marketplace, it would.