The Washington consensus has definitely lost its credibility in the last few years. However… No new model has replaced it. Chavism (Venezuela’s system under Hugo Chavez) hasn’t attracted a lot of followers for obvious reasons (not enough oil). China’s model is the supernova success of our time. However, their is no ‘China model’. China doesn’t promote itself as a model (so far) that the rest of the world should emulate (unlike China under Mao or the United States today). Nor is it obvious how other countries might ‘be like China’.
Europe would like to be a model. However, Europe is so visibly failing that virtually no one (outside of Europe) thinks that Europe’s combination of gigantic welfare states, neoliberal economics, etc. is a plausible system to emulate. That’s really the story of our time. The gods have fallen. The success stories of our time either can’t be emulated or don’t want to be replicated. Of course, no one is much interested in the ideas of the losers.
The success stories can not be emulated. Even worse, the success stories are turning into failures. Europe is a case in point: The economic disaster in Greece is part of a larger economic depression in Europe with economic contraction for the last 6 quarters.
The happy talk about how immigration provides a way for a country to improve has run up against harsh reality too.California used to herald changes that many expected to benefit the rest of the country and world. But the decline of California has made that sort of talk rare today. Peter Schaeffer explains one of the reasons: health care costs. Peter Schaeffer's shocking calculations on health care costs per American resident: $12 per hour worked. (ParaPundit added links to the sources Peter mentions)
Basically all you need is total hours worked and total health care outlays. The Conference Board publishes something called the Total Economy Database. It gives hours worked per year at 1,708 and employment at 143.823 million. That gives total hours at 245.65 billion. The Total Economy Database also directly reports total hours as 246 billion.
The Economic Report of the President (EROP). Table B-35 gives total employment at 143.305 million. Table B-47 gives hours worked at 33.7 per week. A little math gives total hours at 251.127 billion. That’s rather close to the Conference Board data.
National Health Expenditures appear to be in the $3 trillion range. Once source (“U.S. Healthcare Hits $3 Trillion”) specifically estimates the number at $3 trillion. However, there is some weirdness involving the accounting for the doc fix. Another estimate is $2.807 trillion. This is derived from a nominal GDP of $15.684 trillion from the BEA and health care spending at 17.9% of GDP.
Another source gives much higher numbers. See “The hidden costs of U.S. health care: Consumer discretionary health care spending” from Deloitte. Their estimates are way over $3 trillion. However, some aspects of their methodology are suspect (including unpaid for care by family members). Note that Deloitte also suggests that large numbers of out-of-pocket health care dollars are not being captured in the standard estimates.
If $3 trillion is the correct health care number, then $12 per hour is about right. You can tweak the number up and down a bit by changing your estimate of health care spending, but it’s going to be in that range.
See also “2012 – The Year In Healthcare Charts” in Forbes for some more data.
People with low earning power are very expensive for the rest of us. They can't pay their total life costs for medical care let alone food, housing, car insurance, utilities, clothing, education and food for their kids, transportation, parole officer supervision, cost of incarceration, cost of police to investigate and arrest them, and more.
Time to emigrate? But where?
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2013 June 23 10:44 AM|