Down with stakeholders.
The pediatricians have a point, albeit a weak one. You can't say the same about teachers unions, whose top priorities are to take care of their members, even when such care comes at the expense of students. In
In Michigan, until reforms from Republican leaders kicked-in, the SEIU and state Democrats sought to require anyone — including parents of kids with disabilities — who received Medicaid to join a union. That way the union could collect dues.
I cite these examples because they involve children, the constituency everyone claims should come first. But this dynamic is endemic to society. The sugar lobby bilks taxpayers to subsidize an industry that shouldn't exist in the United States. The life insurance industry lobbies to keep inheritance taxes because, after all, people buy their products to avoid such taxes. The health insurance industry remains bought-in, literally and figuratively, to Obamacare because the prospect of becoming the equivalent of guaranteed-profitable utilities is worth the headaches of government incompetence.
When I say that this dynamic is endemic to society, I do not mean endemic under President
The standard left-wing complaint is to blame only big business and capitalism. But if you don't think the exact sort of thing happens under socialist and communist systems, you don't know anything about those systems.
Despite a century of anti-corporate rhetoric about the power of corporations, they actually come and go with amazing rapidity (Only 13% of firms on the Fortune 500 list in 1955 were there in 2011).
But government is forever. The state has the unique ability to protect existing "stakeholders" from the threats posed by innovation and competition, whether those stakeholders are businesses or unions, fat cats or philanthropies. That's where the votes are and where the checks comes from.
But progress — material, medical, economic — comes from innovation. Economist Deirdre McCloskey notes that until the 19th century, innovation was a negative word because innovators upset the established order and the powers that be.
In her wonderful book "Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World," McCloskey describes how for all of human history, humans lived on about $3 a day, using today's dollars. For 200,000 years, the line was essentially flat until around 1800, when a culture that valued innovation spread from England to Europe and the New World. Since then, wealth has skyrocketed, all thanks to a culture willing to let innovators pull up the stakes of the existing stakeholders.
In Silicon Valley, where government's touch is light, we can see the rapidity of innovation at work. In healthcare, education and other areas where the government's hand is heavy, we see stakeholders holding on for dear life.