The Fraser Institute in Canada is supposedly a supporter of free enterprise, private property rights and capitalism. And, yet, according to its senior economist (a position I once held there before I was fired) Bacchus Barua stated: “Let’s be clear: the goal of our health-care system — universal access to health-care services regardless of ability to pay — is admirable. The problem is that we are failing to deliver these services in a timely manner.”This is is just terrible. I am going to coin a new phrase here to describe people like Barua: limps, standing for libertarian wimps, that is, people who should know better but because of peer pressure, institutional pressure, whatever, fail to take clear and principled libertarian positions.
In other words, this free enterpriser supports socialized medicine, Canadian-style. To be fair to him, he also opines that “relatively successful systems generally involve the private sector — either as a partner, or an alternative…” And yet, and yet, somehow we expect more and better from a source that bills itself as “A conservative/libertarian public policy organization which promotes the view that competitive markets provide for the economic and social well-being of all …”
Of course, the reason for long wait times is that under Canada’s (or any other) socialized medicine scheme, prices are zero, and at that point demand outstrips supply. In economics 101 that is called a shortage; hence, long wait times. The only proper way to address such a problem is to all freely fluctuating prices, and, horrors!, economic freedom. It would not be so bad if the Fraser Institute did not claim the honorific “libertarian” and support “competitive markets.” Socialized medicine deviates so greatly from these elements that this claim of the Canadian think tank almost amounts to fraud.