Minor Thoughts from me to you

Archives for Rationing (page 1 / 1)

Selling Reservations Democratizes the Dining Experience

Selling Reservations Democratizes the Dining Experience →

Tyler Cowen, writing for the New York Times.

When restaurants don't charge for reservations, they tend to hold back tables for regular customers, celebrities, very attractive people and the politically and socially well connected. You might be dying to go to that restaurant for a special birthday or anniversary, but you'll simply be unable to get in. Money is ultimately a more egalitarian force than privilege, as everyone’s greenbacks are worth the same.

This applies to far more than just restaurant reservations, of course. All scarce goods must be rationed. That rationing can be done by connections or cash. I'd prefer that it'd be done by cash, putting everyone on an even field of play. (Those without cash can earn it, raise it, or be given it. Connections are much harder to come by.)

The 3 ways to ration what you get

Here's Warren Meyer, talking about the different types of rationing.

So here is what it boils down to: For every product or service purchase, someone makes a price-value trade-off to determine if that product or service should be purchased for a given price in that particular instance.

One option for making this decision is to have the person who actually will consume the product or service — and whose money will also be used to complete the transaction — make this price-value tradeoff.

... A second way to do this would be to have someone who has you specifically in mind make the price value tradeoffs for you. This might be like your wife volunteering to go out to buy you some new underwear.

... So a third model, and almost certainly the worst in terms of individual satisfaction, is to have a third party make price-value tradeoffs for me only with some notion of average preferences for average people, or worse, with an incentive system that has absolutely nothing to do with my satisfaction at all. This is clearly the case for the government, and is probably the case for many private insurers today[.]

When it comes to your health care choices, who do you want making your decisions? I definitely want to make my own decisions and I think most Americans would agree with me. But the reforms that are on the table would cement the status-quo. The status-quo overwhelmingly encourages us to pre-purchase our health care through expensive health "insurance" policies. Then a bureaucracy will take a look at our care and decide what to reimburse and what to deny. That's true whether you're on an HMO plan, a PPO plan, or a government (Medicare / Medicaid) plan.

Isn't it time that we had real reform? Isn't it time that we put patients back in charge of their own health care decisions?