Chicken Salad or Chicken Shit, Health Care Edition


If We Can Put a Man on The Moon… authors John O'Leary and Bill Eggers have an interesting piece about how markets coordinate behaviors and goals better than many top-down systems (health care reformers, are you listening?):

The "Chicken Delivery System" of New York is pure chaos, with no one to complain to if you are unhappy. No one is in charge of getting chickens to Manhattan. But the organized chaos of the market delivers results that often surpass the highly organized public delivery systems in areas such as education and public safety. Indeed, the more complex the task, the harder it is for the highly organized, hierarchical public sector to cost-effectively deliver public value. Remove the information rich signals of price and profit, and you now face the daunting challenge of organizing productive activities in some other way. This isn't an argument for market anarchy, but merely a cautionary tale for those who would seek to expand the authority of government to achieve the public policy outcomes they desire.

Read the whole thing here.


NEXT: County Bureaucrats Kill Off Complementary Crullers

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  1. This isn’t an argument for market anarchy

    Well yeah, actually, it is.

    1. WTF is “market anarchy” anyway? Markets are self-organizing. I think they’re trying to say “this isn’t an argument for zero regulation”, which as you said, well yeah, actually, it is.

      1. Epi’s and JP’s comments were my first take on the article, too.

      2. Simple. “Market anarchy” sounds infinitely more sexy than “zero regulation”. Hearts and minds, Epi. Hearts and minds.

  2. Yeah, but if Government guarantees every criminal a lawyer, shouldn’t every American be guaranteed affordable health care?

    1. Public doctors? Like public defenders?

      1. Hey now. My dad was, I’ll have you know, a spectacular public defender. Problem was, he got so stressed out that he lost his hair, put on about fifty pounds, and quit after 10 years.

      2. Yes! Public doctors! Nancy Pelosi believes it and she’s way smarter than I.

    2. And it doesn’t pay for every criminal lawyer. If you have a job, you are paying for your own lawyer even if doing so means you have to sell everything you have.

    3. I hate this argument. You don’t have a government’s comparatively limitless resources working against your health like you do if the local prosecuter decides to go after you.

    4. That would make perfect sense if the government was causing your health problems. But it doesn’t, or at least I hope not.

      1. Ok, I somehow missed seeing Brett L’s comment saying essentially the same thing right above mine. I blame threaded comments.

  3. Threadjack:

    The Atlantic’s new website design is a cluster fuck.

  4. Jersey got there before I did.

  5. Well yeah, actually, it is.

    You know that and i know that, but “anarchy” is still a scary word to a lot of people.

  6. It is amazing how thick headed liberals are. This argument was settled by the fall of communism. Communism didn’t just fail because it murdered millions. It actually got away with the murdering part. But what it couldn’t get away with was the complete ineffectiveness of a centrally planned economy. If single payer government control doesn’t work with anything else why would it work with health care?

    1. because it’s a right, silly.

      1. So is legal representation, but as I said above, we don’t have single payer legal.

      2. [citation needed]

        1. [sarcasm detector needed]

  7. While the market does well with chickens, health care does not follow market principles for a variety of reasons such as you often can’t delay health care purchases or shop around for better service etc.

    1. If my car breaks down, I can’t delay a purchase of a new one because I have to get to work. Does that not follow “market principles”?

    2. Of course you often can. But so what if you can’t? There are lots of areas of the market where you can’t always shop around. Take legal services. Everyone has a constitutional right to representation. Just like when you are sick and cannot forgo medical treatment, you cannot forgo legal services when you are charged with a crime.

      And just like health care, thousands of people every year are bankrupted by attorney’s fees associated with criminal charges or divorces. Yet, no one claims that the market doesn’t work for legal services. No one is calling for single payer legal.

      1. that’s because the lawyers pay the democrats.

    3. The consequences of not being able to buy a chicken for Sunday dinner are not nearly as dire as waiting until one’s fever hits 104 to seek help. So BE RESPONSIBLE and plan for the more serious things in life. Society is tolerating far too many whiny irresponsible greedy crybabies who erode the charitable impulses of those who want to help the deserving.

      1. Simple game theory — If “from those with the greatest ability, to those with the greatest need” becomes popular, in aggregate people will become less able and more needy.

    4. Thank you for demonstrating conclusively you don’t understand markets or principles. You may now return to your ignorance untainted by contact with reality.

    5. You often can’t delay eating, either. That is not a good argument.

      And you most certainly can shop around for better service in health care, as the patients who flock to my wife’s practice, sometimes from thousands of miles away, can attest to.

      Health care is not different in principle from food provision, other than that the government has gotten so involved in health care that a lot of market signals have been lost or distorted.

    6. Shhhh! Don’t anyone tell him about Angie’s List.

    7. Hence the point of insurance for unforeseeable catastrophic expenses.

    8. Everything follows market principles ? EVERYTHING. You WILL delay health care purchases if the cost is too high. If the state makes a drug illegal, the market price of the drug goes up ? WAY up. Natural laws can’t be repealed.

    9. You should watch NBC. They have all the answers. They even had a hit show where people in desperate need of medical care were brought to facilities in trucks and vans with flashing lights and administered help right away.

  8. Cornelius: [reading from the sacred scrolls of the apes] Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death.


    1. You know, the Ape Party has a really nice platform. They have my vote this year.

      1. If you join the Ape Party, you have to get a gorilla mask, ProL. But not from me. I laser. It’s like a turtle shell down there.

        1. All patterned, bumpy and ridged with bony plates? You might want to dial back the juice just a bit.

          Of course, Epi likes precede each lasering ceremony with:

          “Do you expect me to talk?”

          “No! I expect you to die, Mr. Bond.”

          1. Your failure to get an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia reference marks you for the colossal, overwhelming douchelord that we all know you to be.

            Oh, and your attempt to insult me was just…awful. I’ve seen plagues with better opening nights than that.

            1. Wait, *not* committing Always Sunny to memory makes you a douche?

              Way to swoop in and save the day, Captain Ass-Backwards.

              1. And now you’ve missed a Calculon/Futurama reference. This really isn’t your day, is it? Maybe you and ProL can go down to the gym and pump each other.

                1. I knew your stuff was too good for you to be writing it yourself.

                  Look, ProL and I have have kids, not you know, copious free time to enjoy life, slathering ourselves in pop culture and fine meals. We outsourced that burden to you and Sug and the rest of the childless/DINK gallery of ne’erdowell libertines.

                  1. You made your bed, you fucking lie in it.

                    1. Oh, I do, believeyoume, I do. :::sob:::

                2. With or without Shamu?

        2. LOL, It’s Always Sunny.

      2. You are wasting your vote. The chimpanzees will break off and start their own peace party and split the vote.

      3. And also rumor is that Steve Smith is going to be their VP candidate.


          1. The is the subject of a great deal of debate in simian scientific circles.

            1. I’m disappointed the “clown college” crack didn’t get a reaction from you.

              1. I thought it was pretty funny actually. And truthfully considering what goes on a lot in college, “clown college” is a pretty good description of it. I am actually going to remember that for the next time I am in a meeting and want to make some point. “Well you know back when I was in clown college, we were taught differently”.

              2. Never fear, Epi. The mental image of giant evil apes in clown suits, raping elephants and whatnot…Tr?s bien.

                1. Just another Saturday night in Seattle.

                  1. If only.


            FIFY, Furboy.

        2. Bringing the NRA to the Planet of The Apes
          George Taylor: Don’t try to follow me. I’m pretty handy with this.

          Dr. Zaius: Of that I’m sure. All my life I’ve awaited your coming and dreaded it.

        3. Bringing the NRA to the Planet of The Apes
          George Taylor: Don’t try to follow me. I’m pretty handy with this.

          Dr. Zaius: Of that I’m sure. All my life I’ve awaited your coming and dreaded it.

          1. I hate every ape I see, from chimpan-A to chimpan-Z. No, you’ll never make a monkey out of me!

            1. Julius: [Julius stops hosing Taylor briefly] Shut, up you freak!
              George Taylor: Julius, you…
              Julius: [He turns on the hose again] I said shut up!

            2. What’s wrong with me doctor?

              I think you’re crazy.

              I want a second opinion.

              You’re also lazy!

              Dr Zaius, Dr Zaius!

  9. order arises, not as the result of top-down mandate by hierarchical authority, whether political or religious, but as the result of self-organization on the part of decentralized individuals

    Ah, but whence the decentralized individuals?

    1. If you don’t know where babies come from by now, this is not the place to be asking. Whatever information you receive will almost assuredly never result in viable offspring.

  10. I really do think the best arguments against a top down system are qualitative.

    Healthcare at some point in everyone’s life becomes a quality of life issue with factors that can’t fit on yours or anyone else’s spreadsheet.

    The Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador (in Canada) recently traveled to the United States for treatment for his heart condition–which is causing him a lot of grief among his constituents. Canadian healthcare is good enough for us but not good enough for you?

    “An unapologetic Danny Williams says he was aware his trip to the United States for heart surgery earlier this month would spark outcry, but he concluded his personal health trumped any public fallout over the decision.

    In an interview with The Canadian Press, Williams said he went to Miami to have a “minimally invasive” surgery for an ailment first detected nearly a year ago, based on the advice of his doctors.

    “This was my heart, my choice and my health,” Williams said late Monday from his condominium in Sarasota, Fla.

    “I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics.”

    Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfo…..z0gfxlLJ2n

    I gotta agree with the guy! Even if it costs you your political career, even if you could have gotten the care in Canada for free…

    If it were my quality of life on the line, I wouldn’t settle for healthcare administered by government bureaucrats either!

    Shuffle the dollars and cents around all you want–I don’t want choices made for me like they necessarily would have to be in a top down system.

    1. I should have added that, subsequent to that article, it came out that the same procedures are in fact available in Canada, contrary to how he pitched it in the article…

      “Canadian cardiac surgeons say there was no need for the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador to cross the border for world-class health care.

      “The treatment Danny Williams received in the United States is available in at least four Canadian centres including hospitals in Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, doctors told CBC News.”

      Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story…..z0gg5R5tMI

      I wonder if there’s a waiting list?

      1. The article says;

        There is a wait-list in Montreal of up to three months, but urgent cases can get the surgery right away, Jeanmart said.

        1. So it must have been a question of quality, right?

          If access weren’t a problem, if the price part of that decision favored doing it Canada…

          Then it had to be a no confidence vote in Canadian healthcare in the most fundamental way possible!

          Is there any other reasonable way to interpret his decision?

          1. I think this pretty much answers that. Again from your link:

            The Canadian health care system has a great reputation, but this is a very specialized piece of surgery that had to be done, and I went to somebody who’s doing this three or four times a day, five, six days a week.

            It appears that Canadian doctors who do the procedure don’t have the experience that the Mt Sinai doctor does and that they don’t like doing it.

            I suspect the bean counters that make the decisions for the various provincial health plans don’t like paying for it either.

            1. Isaac, he will make a claim and most likely be refunded.

  11. The Atlantic’s new website design is a cluster fuck.

    All of them are, always.

    There’s no name attached to the comment I’m quoting, or to about two thirds of the comments on any page here, still.

    This isn’t an argument for market anarchy!

    reply to this

  12. You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit. But Democrats keep trying.

  13. In an interview with The Canadian Press, Williams said he went to Miami

    So he didn’t really leave the country, he just went to the eleventh province for his surgery.

  14. You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit. But Democrats keep trying.

    The really crazy part is, they keep telling us it’s steak.

    1. No, le cordon bleu.

  15. To a lot of people, “anarchy” implies disorder.

    Disorder is what occurs when political power displaces spontaneous organization.

  16. USA up on Finland 6-0 at the first intermission. WOW.

  17. So, I understand that pole dancers are trying to get certified for the Olympics.

    1. URKOBOLD obviously hasn’t been to many strip clubs around the world. Because if he had, he would know the Russians and the Czechs would kick our ass in that event.

      1. I bet we’ve got the best Eastern European women here, too.

      2. Fuck, even the Canadians would. Montreal is awesome.

        1. Yeah. St. Catherine’s Street is quite a din of inequity and vice.

          1. Whatever. Tampa alone could win the Olympics for the U.S. Why, we even have a stripper mobile!

            1. Oh Pro. Every city has one of those. In Atlanta they call it “The Fur Bus”. No kidding.


              Don’t let the web site fool you. They will hook you up with an independent contractor to provide the on bus entertainment.

              1. Tampa is the center of the naked universe. We have more naked webcam girls, more strip clubs, and more nudist colonies than anywhere else on the planet. Not to mention our involvement in the beads-for-bosoms program, which, of course, exists elsewhere as well.

                Interestingly, I’ve never been much of a fan of strip clubs, and I’m definitely out of that now, being married and all. Not that that limit necessarily applies to other guys, I acknowledge.

                1. They are okay. But they are expensive and the last place in the world you will ever get laid. When I was single I always thought of them as places where married men who couldn’t actually go out and pick up women went. Now that I am married, why go stare at the buffet I can’t have?

            2. Don’t forget about the following sleepers: Alaska and Guam. Many establishments in both of these locations bring in strippers (usually the best) on 6 month contracts. And yes, I am a dirty sailor.

          2. “Yeah. St. Catherine’s Street is quite a din of inequity and vice.”

            Just how loud is it?

            1. Actually, between the two typos, I’d have gone after “inequity.” Which is actually kind of funny, as that certainly would be the feminist viewpoint.

            2. I had a total RC’z Law lockdown on that one – such riches . . .

              1. The trifecta would’ve involved the use of the word “vise.”

          3. Mcgill university?

  18. Wish I’d thought of this.

  19. Does anyone have the recipe for chicken salad with? I’m looking for the recipe for chicken salad that has peas and potatoes…i had this at a baby shower on some tostadas and it was really good. does anyone have this recipe. thanx

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