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Sowell on the economics of medical care

Posted by Richard on November 3, 2009

Does the current debate about health care reform have you confused? Do the many arguments, counter-arguments, and conflicting claims leave you not knowing what to believe? If you're like most Americans, that may be because you know woefully little about the basic principles of economics and how to apply them to a given problem. It's not your fault; your education taught you almost nothing about economics, and some of what it did teach is probably wrong.

Investor's Business Daily is providing a resource that will correct that — specifically about health care, but in a broader sense as well. They're publishing an entire chapter of Dr. Thomas Sowell's highly-acclaimed Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One, entitled "The Economics of Medical Care." The nine-part series is available here (at this time, the first five parts have been posted). (Link omitted. Fixed now. Thanks, David!)

If you suspect that your understanding of economics is lacking — and even if you don't — I strongly encourage you to read this series. Sowell is arguably America's greatest living economist (I've been a huge admirer since reading Knowledge and Decisions, one of the most important works in economics of the past half-century, almost 30 years ago). And yet, his writings for the lay audience are remarkably readable and clear. 

Be aware, however, that in the process of getting the text on line, IBD unfortunately lost some of the formatting. I noticed that block quotes are no longer distinguished by indenting or any font change — it's annoying, but you can probably figure out where those quotes begin and end. It's only a minor distraction in an immensely valuable resource. Thank you, Investor's Business Daily!

Oh, and if that chapter whets your appetite, get the whole book. Better yet, get both it and his earlier Basic Economics. And read the latter first. 

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