Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cost savings

Mark Perry posts the following graphic over at his blog:

That's remarkable. And why did this occur? Out of the goodness of the television manufacturer's heart? Of course not, it was out of a desire to make a profit. Profits provided the incentive to keep costs and prices down, while competition ensures such cost-cutting wouldn't imperil quality, and actually serves to improve it.

This is worth thinking about in the context of the health care debate. Who is really better positioned to improve health care? The same government which pays $50 million for a traffic monitoring system which doesn't work? Which spends $3.5 billion on aviation infrastructure which does nothing to alleviate pressing problems? Which already loses billions on Medicare fraud?

Or the private sector which produces ever cheaper TVs, computers and DVD players with improved quality? Which can import a bottle of wine from Spain and sell it for $10 at your local supermarket (saw this last night)? Provides round-trip travel across the Atlantic Ocean for under $500 (traveled to Amsterdam 9 years ago for $220)?

The answer is so obvious it makes one wonder why a debate is even taking place.

Update: See Mark's follow-up post here.

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