The Soviet Union: Healthcare

[Part of the Soviet Union series] In a previous post, I talked about Soviet GDP growth. In this post, I will discuss the healthcare system in the Soviet Union. I went and looked for most of the papers written on soviet healthcare. Most, if not all of them present a negative view of the system. If you think I'm cherrypicking my evidence, because it's implausible that there are zero papers claiming the system worked relatively well, you can go to google scholar and search for such evidence. There were some pe…

The Soviet Union: GDP growth

[Part of the Soviet Union series] Some data on soviet GDP growth. First, the chart many supporters of the USSR like. It supposedly shows that the soviet economy worked relatively well, and that industrialisation and growth were due precisely to central planning, when the Soviet Union was formed, in 1922, after the revolution in 1917. We can then compare the Soviet Union to the United States The USSR never did really compete in the same league as the US, and the gap between the two didn't became narrower a…

The Non-Non-Libertarian FAQ

The Non-Non-Libertarian FAQ aka The webpage you will always remember for changing your political views, maybe :) Contents 0. Introduction A. Economic Issues 1. Externalities 2. Coordination Problems 3. Irrational Choices 4. Lack of Information B. Social Issues 5. Just Desserts and Social Mobility 6. Taxation C. Political Issues 7. Competence of Government 8. Health Care 9. Prison Privatization 10. Gun Control 11. Education D. Moral Issues 12. Moral Systems 13. Rights and Heuristics E. Practical Issues 14. S…

Renta, ideología, apoyo al Estado del Bienestar, y valores sociales

Una idea relativamente extendida es que las condiciones materiales condicionan fuerte o totalmente la ideología política: la conocida idea marxista de la conciencia de clase. Para Marx, existirían unos valores de ricos y otros de obreros determinados por la posición de cada uno con respecto a los medios de producción, lo que generaría diferencias irreconciliables. De ahí la lucha de clases. Pero esa idea es falsa: la gente votaen general sociotrópicamente, pensando en el bienestar general de la sociedad y n…

The Pyramid of Economic Insight and Virtue

Bryan Caplan wrote an article some years ago presenting a tiered view of macroeconomic knowledge. I want to present here a similar tiered view. I've been thinking on it for a while, and I recently found similar thoughts in Anthony J. Evans' book_Markets for Managers:_ Or, as Arnold Kling puts it, there are three schools of thought. To Chicago economists ‘markets work, use markets’. To Keynesian economists ‘markets fail, use government’. But to Austrian economists ‘markets fail, use markets’. If there’s ine…

Liberalism's overlapping consensus

One of the notions that Rawls presents in his works is that of "overlapping consensus". The idea is that a conception of the political order should be able to be defended from a variety of philosophical or ideological points of view in order to make it stable. An idea of justice shouldn't be only defensible from a given closed ideological package. Rawls himself, however, only tried to argue that his conception of the political order could also be endorsed by utilitarians. It occurred to me to try …