The state is not about to adopt pseudo-market schemes unless the bureaucrats believe that the adoption of the scheme will remove competition from consistently independent private competitors. The state is not going to consider the latest pseudo-market proposal to come out of the graduate seminars of the pro-free market professors unless the scheme can be rewritten to enhance the authority, power, and efficiency of those who would suppress the independence of private men. This should be the lesson of the age: statist ideologues and their tenured hirelings do not commit suicide voluntarily. They do not abandon the ideology of the control economy simply because some new scheme promises to make the government benign or reduce the tax burden of the public.
Pseudo-market schemes, promoted in the name of the free market, are adopted by the enemies of freedom for very specific purposes: to reduce the zones of freedom. Those who believe in increasing all state sovereignty will adopt pseudo-market schemes only when they are convinced that the free market is too great a threat to pure, uncompromising bureaucratic failure — the same reason why the Soviets allow semi-market pricing in a few restricted areas of the economy. The state may adopt vouchers for education on an experimental basis, in order to test the scheme. If it does foster independent education, vouchers will be scrapped. But they will not have to be scrapped. Vouchers may well become a permanent fixture of our government education system. If so, it will be for a reason: the school voucher offers vast new powers of control over a vibrant and growing independent school system that threatens to undercut government schools.
This funneling of hot-zone travelers through screening here in the U.S. was just made mandatory, guaranteeing care to the possibly infected. The resulting outward pressure—motivating infected people to move to a previously uninfected continent—will spread the infection, not contain it. Set aside that the CDC is supposed to give priority to American lives and should first and foremost work to keep Ebola from coming here, intercontinental spread of Ebola is a disaster for the whole world. Each breach of containment endangers everyone everywhere.
During the height of the AIDS epidemic, the public-health profession abjured any focus on abstinence as a means of stopping the spread of the disease.
But the same is true of all of them, with the exception of Ross Douthat. Thomas Friedman wishes the U.S. could be “China for a day,” so we could “authorize the right solutions,” without all that congress and debate and voter business getting in the way. Friedman is also the guy who felt Barack Obama was “leading on national security,” in 2012, which would be after the president withdrew our forces from Iraq. He also wondered aloud whether Obama ”is the most pro-Israel president in history or just one of the most.” Friedman graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis and got an M.Phil from Oxford and — read his columns — he’s an idiot.