You’ve heard me speak of the linkage between the trade deficit and the federal budget deficit – the latter driven by the need for spending to offset the consequences of the former. Unemployment insurance is the best example. But it will soon be dwarfed by another: the price tag for health care reform.
First of all, I should point out that there is no health care crisis in America. Health care is top quality and abundant. There are clinics, hospitals and drugstores at practically every corner. They advertise incessantly, begging you to choose this hospital, that insurance plan and to stock your medicine cabinet with every drug imaginable.
What we do have is an income crisis – income meaning both wages and benefits. The median income, adjusted for inflation, has been declining for decades as millions of manufacturing jobs have fallen by the wayside, thanks to intense foreign competition while our manufacturers get no access to equivalent markets. As a result, anything whose price has risen faster than inflation has become more unaffordable – health care being at the top of the list.
Now the wealthy few who have benefitted the most from our idiotic trade policy will face an unintended consequence – footing the bill for Uncle Sam’s tab for health care. Taxes will have to rise dramatically for the upper income brackets, since there’s not much left to be squeezed from the middle and lower class.
Economic collapse, high unemployment, deficit spending and government-run health care – all thanks to our economists’ love affair with their 18th century theories, their closed minds toward the economic consequences of overpopulation (especially the imported consequences of free trade with badly overpopulated countries) and their inability to question their own conventional thinking. The future of the U.S. isn’t looking good.