|Lesson 24: Rational Rationing
The current debate about rationing health care has revealed the main flaw of the Socialists,
who deny that they want rationing. It also shows a streak of dishonesty in some
conservative propagandists who accuse them of doing so. The word ration comes from
ratio. A ratio is the result of the calculation of division. (Ratio is actually Latin for
calculate). Rationing is the process of dividing up a limited supply.
All resources, including doctors and MRI's, must be rationed because all resources are
limited. The question is not IF you ration, the question is HOW you ration. The main flaw
of Socialism is that it is blind to limitation. Socialists deny that they ration because they
don't believe in limits. After all, how can you divide something that is infinite? * Because
there are no limits, they ration by turn: They get in lines and take turns devouring a supply
like locusts until it is all gone. Because the government owns the resources, the politically
connected are allowed to cut in line.
Capitalism is conservatism. The capitalist, realizing that resources are limited, will conserve
those resources. We do this in the most rational way possible: we ration by price. Price is a
negative feedback system.
A negative feedback system is a term most commonly used in biology. It is a system where
the result of a process suppresses the continuation of that process, like a thermostat. For
example, your pituitary stimulates your thyroid to secrete thyroid hormone. The thyroid
hormone in turn has a negative feedback effect on the pituitary - it suppresses the pituitary.
This keeps a nice, even supply of thyroid hormone in your blood. When something stays at
a constant level, that is called a steady state.
In capitalism, people own the resources and we set prices on them. As the supply of a
resource goes down, "greedy" capitalists raise the price. That suppresses demand and
consumption until supply comes up again. This negative feedback system keeps our
supplies in a steady state. We are, after all, biological creatures.
* Limit blindness is what leads to the idea of open borders.