4,665 Comments

Comments

Clare McD says ...
<p>A courageous article. Well said, from a man (and a company) that has found a way to be profitable and offer benefits to lower-wage workers. I'm a bigger fan than ever. </p> <p>As for all your detractors'¦ Looks like healthcare reform will pass without most of the recommendations you make. Won't be long before this country realizes they've been duped. I live in Tax-achusets and my family just received news of our premiums for 2010. Up 20%. Co-pays up 200%. That's what happens when you offer healthcare reform'¦ it's really just a new way of taxing businesses and workers. The harder work is in reforming the business of healthcare (from tort reform to reimbursement reform), not just paying for more of it.</p> <p>This country is going to hell in a handbasket (though I'm sure it will be an eco-friendly, fair trade handbasket). Whatever.</p>
10/14/2009 8:35:00 PM CDT
Vicky says ...
<p>I agree with things you say and disagree with others I will explain and why; </p> <p> I do agree with some but definately not all your points. </p> <p>There's no question that doctors in the United States make a lot of money, especially compared with their counterparts abroad.</p> <p>Another reason U.S. doctors get paid a lot is market forces: In a single-payer system like Britain's, the government can bargain down the prices of treatments, which leads to lower income for doctors. No such entity exists in the United States'Medicare is big, but not that big.</p> <p>Doctors' net take-home pay amounts to only about 10 percent of overall health care spending.* So if you cut that by 10 percent in the name of cost savings, you'd only save about $26 billion. That's a drop in the bucket compared with overhead for insurance companies, billing expenses for doctors' offices, and advertising for drug companies. The real savings in health care will come from these expenses. Health care reform will have some leveling effect on doctors' salaries.</p> <p>I am opposed to President Obama's plans to reform health care by cutting Medicare taking away benefits from existing senior citizens.</p> <p>Rockefeller said, 'omission of a government option from the measure was a virtual invitation to insurance companies to continue placing profits over people, and he predicted they would raise their premiums substantially once the legislation went into effect.</p> <p>Big Pharms and insurance companies favor the public option and have 6 lobbyist per each voting congress member plus millions to buy the votes they want in the reform bill, it'll be interesting and a bit scarey to see what comes of this.</p> <p>And if a market approach were to be, there would need to be just as many non-profits for private insurers to compete with otherwise it won't happen and I heard mention of using co-ops to compete, that actually made me laugh because a co-op would die before it even got started I am afraid. </p> <p>Insurance companies are going to fight to the end rather than take a huge cut in profits we do know that.</p>
10/15/2009 6:39:00 AM CDT
Vicky says ...
<p>After further readings here , I have found alot of the readings here uncomforting'¦. I see alot of blaming this person(president) or that one(congress) or party, wake up call time I guess; they are not the ones calling the shots, they are guided to do what they do, need I say more? look it up if you do not(elites; trilateral commission, CFR, bilderbergs)</p> <p>Are you people that naive? We have already lost democracy along the way and our constitution has been violated both of these have been robbed and picked at for years. </p> <p>Dont listen to anyone but yourself and do what YOU feel is right , my job is to pass along what I know and teach those who do not.</p> <p>I believe in capitalism, but greed is getting the way moving toward one world government by both partys'¦</p>
10/15/2009 7:04:00 AM CDT
Alan Rivenson says ...
<p><strong>Inflammatory </strong>Csn't keep your mouth shut, I see. Your clientele is liberal and you MUST sound off on your rightwing ideology. I'm done with Whole Foods.</p>
10/15/2009 12:22:00 PM CDT
Lisa says ...
<p>Thank you, John for your words. I was saddened when so many reacted negatively to your initial comments in the Journal. We have such a lack of tolerance in this country for differences. While I agree with much and disagree with other points you have made, I appreciate your willingness to share your views. We need dialogue ' open, honest and accepting dialogue around this very difficult issue that we all face. I fear, however, that we are sidestepping the real issue. That is, how we define health and what we believe and fear about death. They are the underlying drivers of this healthcare debate. But perhaps we are not yet ready as a society to tackle that deeper and more difficult conversation. Until that time, I am truly grateful for you and your company, the values you live by with your employees and the commitment you have given us as consumers to help us on the road to true responsible health through our nutrition. Thank you.</p>
10/16/2009 12:37:00 PM CDT
Dennis says ...
<p>I thank you for this very clear piece. I just wanted to take a second to let you know that I will actually be visiting your store's in the area more often now that I have more insight into the way you operate. Thank you for having the courage to openly state how a successful business does/can operate.</p>
10/17/2009 3:27:00 PM CDT
Daria says ...
<p>Your article makes sense; therefore congress will never go for it. I don't think this is about healthcare really. It's about power. What you have outlined keeps the power in the individual's hands just like our founding fathers intended. I don't think congress or our president are interested in that. However, I am, and so are everyone with whom I speak.</p>
10/18/2009 9:48:00 PM CDT
Daria says ...
<p>We should think about limiting what lawyer's can make from settlements, while considering what a doctor's errors will cause the patient. A legal settlement with a patient should cover the expenses that the doctor caused. Simply limiting what the settlement is totally might not cover all circumstances. That is the only thing that I question in your article. However, if it was passed as law, we would be in much better shape than we are in now!</p>
10/18/2009 9:51:00 PM CDT
Allan R says ...
<p>Dear John,</p> <p>That was an absolutely brilliant piece of logic, and writing. I agree with you that tort reform, with outragious settlements being eliminated would go along way to reducing costs. We need to address cost containment, number one. We should never be told we can't go to the doctor of our chosing. (if we are willing to pay for it). I do agree that a few of the rules have to be changed and the playing field leveled between business and private payers. ie and insurance company pays $250 for an mri while and individual $2000. Standardized fees. Obamacare rules call for all doctors making the same money. Just crazy.<br> What we do need is for the senators and congressmen to get the same plan as the people of the us who pay their salaries. Thank you for your insights you got it 95% correct which is more than anyone else has.</p>
10/19/2009 3:43:00 AM CDT
Lisa says ...
<p>John Mackey is out of touch to say the least. He doesn't mention all the millions of Americans who are denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. A high-deductible or HSA plan is not an option for people with Chronic illness. I beg to differ about the 'wait-lists' in all countries with 'socialised' medicine. I am from New Zealand and if you need care, you get it, no waiting. Now, if you have something that can wait, a bunion, a minor knee tear, etc. you will wait a few months in the public system. And if you don't want to wait, you can go to a private hospital if you want to pay for it, or have private insurance (which is MUCH cheaper than here.)<br> I will leave the current American health care system to Americans. I'm off to New Zealand, and can't wait!</p>
10/21/2009 12:50:00 AM CDT
MarkRight says ...
<p>Cool article as for me. It would be great to read something more about this topic.</p>
10/21/2009 6:36:00 AM CDT
Steve Williams says ...
<p>Mr. Mackey:</p> <p>I have been in management or consulting in health plans and health administration for 26 years. I say this only to establish my bona fides to comment on your proposals above to reform health care. You are not alone in some of these ideas; in fact, you may very well be in the mainstream of opinion, but with all due respect, most of what you propose is sheer nonsense and shows an almost total ignorance of our system of health care delivery and payment and of the American political system.</p> <p>I won't comment on all of your points, but I'll pick three to try to show you why what you propose doesn't reflect an understanding of the how health care is delivered and paid for. </p> <p>Your first point about high deductible plans misses the point of high costs entirely. There is a simple fact in health care in any risk pool'roughly 5% of patients (or consumers if you will) consume about 50% of all costs. These 5% are the chronically ill, for the most part, and their spending is not affected by having them bear a signifciant burden of the cost. In fact, the impact of HDHPs on this population is trivial. Moreover, HDHPs are highly complex administratively and consume enormous dollars in system expense, product configuration and design and customer service. These dollars do not add value in any way, and in fact take dollars away from care and shift it to administrators. The bottom line'because of the private and fractured nature of health care and health benefits generally the system incurs perhaps $100 to $150 billion in excess administrative costs to support HDHPs and the many other variations of benefit plans. This cost cannot be wrung from the system in the current state. The only way to drive this cost out of the system, in my opininion, is through a consolidation of the payers and regulation of providers. </p> <p>That brings me to a second point you make about transparency. It is the very nature of a private and splintered system that makes transparency a virtual impossibility. Let me explain. I'll use the health plan I work for as an example. You may not know this, but health plans pay providers differently for the same service. They maintain multiple fee schedules across the country. Even within the same state or region, the same physician specialty can be paid different rates. In one city in Michigan, for example, radiologists are paid 160% of the prevailing Medicare rate; in another just 50 miles away, they are paid 120% and in yet another 100%. Multiply this by 40-50 physician specialities and you get utter confusion about what any particular visit or procedure costs. Additionally, Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers or self-funded employers all pay differentially for the same hospital stay or outpatient procedure. They all pay differently for office visits, lab tests, x-rays and all manner and mean of care. How you could reduce this to a simple look up table on the internet is beyond me. Don't you think if it were simple we would have done it by now? Those who have tried have either failed because of the underlying complexity or provided costs that do not reflect what any particular patient would pay for any particular episode of care.</p> <p>If you'll indulge me one more point you make about the need to reform the Medicare system. It is beyond question that Medicare requires reform. Future taxes cannot support the actuarial projections much longer. But here's where I take exception'your entire approach defined above ignores a fundamental truth about health care'both here an abroad. It is all connected. When you call for reform of Medicare or of state laws regulating health insurance or of the tax code you perpetuate the very things that cause health care costs to continue to increase so rapidly. You somehow think that all of these things are separate and can be addressed independently of each other. Reform Medicare, reform tort laws, reform insurance regulation, reform the tax code. The reason we are in the mess we're in is because we have tried for several decades now to address health care in its pieces rather than as a whole. </p> <p>Because we have maintained a private and lightly regulated system, we have created and continue to support an enterprise that is so utterly complex, no one, and I mean no one, understands it. Without that common understanding, meaningful reform and cost control are simply not possible. Your support for the reform simply perpetuates the notion that 'if we just changed' you fill in the blanks, everything will be fine. I say this with no disrespect, but your proposals will lead to more of the same. </p> <p>I would be honored to sit down and explain this further. I think you are well-intentioned in your views, but you simply don't understand the system as it exists.</p> <p>Respectfully,</p> <p>S. L. Williams</p>
10/22/2009 1:09:00 AM CDT
Vivian Low says ...
<p>Your suggestions are all about business and competitive ventures to improve health care.<br> I've been a nurse in community health education for over 35 years and when people are ill and for no fault of their own wind up without health insurance, or when they've worked all their lives and been decent people and wind up without sufficient health insurance reading everything you wrote won't speak to their immediate needs. I don't get the feeling that you have ever been without in your lifetime. Your statement that people shouldn't have an intrinsic right -comparing it to an intrinsic right for food.<br> I wouldn't have guess that would be your feeling as your store sponsors some very worthy programs that help feed others like the FEEDBAGS'¦..<br> It's that type of compassion and sharing that I would support, but not a stance that everyone should just get their act together and find the competitive spirit and price that works. Most of my patients can't afford to shop at Whole Foods ' you serve quite an elite clientele that I hope will find compassion as we search for realistic health care solutions for our country. Frankly, your lack of compassion has spoiled my desire to shop at whole foods.</p>
10/22/2009 1:35:00 AM CDT
moonlight lacewing says ...
<p>What an incredible article!! I try to eat as healthy a diet as possible and prefer food and herbs as my 'medicine.'<br> My son is embarrassed to identify with the 'organic' and 'health food' communities because most of the people interested in healthy living seem to be extreme environmentalists, extremely liberal, and think the government will solve all our problems by redistributing the money they take from all of us. (The government NEVER gives more than it takes.) Now with John Mackey and Joel Salatin (farmer and author) we finally can hold our heads up when we identify ourselves with the 'local' 'health food' ideology (and give people reading suggestions!).<br> Thank you so much for your sensible, logical, practical, article and suggestions! If you run with Ron Paul in 2012, I'll vote for you!</p>
10/22/2009 5:04:00 AM CDT
Nancy says ...
<p>I reread the Mackey article today and remembered why I had originally thought Mr Mackey is out of touch with Americans. I can not, in good faith, shop at Whole Foods any longer. I was a good customer and like Mr Mackey, I speak with my wallet and my heart. I will miss WFM, and I do not go willingly.</p>
10/23/2009 1:55:00 AM CDT
David E. Wade, MD says ...
<p>Dear Sir: </p> <p>I have been proposing the below-described health plan to our country ( USA ) for several years, but it doesn't seem to be getting much traction. Maybe you will see more merit in it, and can use some of the ideas. </p> <p>Health delivery plans have deductibles which discourage many patients from seeking medical advice. After the deductible is met, many patients 'want the works,' demanding many additional tests, medications, treatments and surgeries, even though they might be (and frequently are) inappropriate, costly, and dangerous. </p> <p>A solution is to make a certain amount of money depending on one's wealth available to everyone. This is similar to Safeway's plan touted by their CEO Steve Burd. He calls it 'skin in the game.' He gets it. </p> <p>Then patients will not hesitate to seek the initial medical advice or care. After that, the patient will need to pay a graduated percentage (from 0 to 100%, again depending on their wealth) of the cost for tests, medications, treatments, surgeries or return visits. The result: patients will not hesitate to get the initial medical opinion (low or no cost to the patient), but they will aggressively question the need for any tests, medications, treatments, etc. (significant cost to the patient). Only then will the patient have an incentive to limit costs. </p> <p>A second, necessary, major part of a workable plan (and a plan that might very well benefit your country) is to require doctors to limit the tests, medications, treatments and surgeries to a list of the most likely diagnoses arranged in a decreasing order of probability as offered by my computer-assisted diagnosis program <a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20101020182743/http://www.computeassistdiagnosis.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow">http://www.computeassistdiagnosis.blogspot.com</a> (or a better one if you can ever find a better one). Without such a list, doctors tend to order costly, some dangerous, and some unnecessary tests and treatments. For example, too many doctors order a CAT scan of the head for headaches, even though it is rarely needed to make the correct diagnosis. Head CATs cost around $2000.00. Multiply that by the millions of patients having headaches. If the doctor or patient wants to pursue diagnoses not on the list, the doctor can be required to seek authorization; or the patient can pay more for the extras. </p> <p>Some advantages of this plan are: </p> <p>* Proceeding quickly to the CORRECT DIAGNOSIS. </p> <p>* The doctor is easily, objectively, and accurately held accountable for his recommendations. </p> <p>* Decreasing the morbidity/mortality by millions of patients and cutting the cost of medical care by billions of dollars. </p> <p>* Fewer tests lead to fewer false positive tests. False positive tests contribute to: missing the correct diagnosis, more testing, additional incorrect diagnoses, incorrect treatment, more illness, and more expense. </p> <p>* Because medications frequently cause side effects (illness), they are usually high on the list. Consequently fewer medications will be prescribed which results in less illness and billions of dollars saved. </p> <p>* Many private, federal and state plans already in effect can easily incorporate these features. And they have the actuarial expertise to produce an array of new, similar plans. </p> <p>Those doctors who supplement their income with unnecessary tests, medications, treatments and surgeries will undoubtedly complain; but they have no legitimate argument. The other doctors will probably become more efficient, have increased incomes, and have more time to relax and enjoy their practice. </p> <p>THIS COUNTRY CAN PROVIDE MEDICAL COVERAGE FOR EVERYONE, for the all-important first medical visit. Payment for tests, medications, treatments and surgeries after the initial money allotment is depleted, can be obtained by buying a plan proportional to their wants, their needs and their ability to pay. (There should be a whole array of plans, from the basic, minimum, inexpensive coverage to the maximum and consequently expensive coverage.) For example, elderly patients might not want to pay for a plan that covers organ transplants, open heart surgery, extensive chemotherapy or irradiation. </p> <p>Therefore, utilizing tailored health insurance, HEALTH INSURANCE IS AVAILABLE AND AFFORDABLE TO EVERYONE. </p> <p>KEY WORDS: </p> <p>1. No deductibles </p> <p>2. Graduated percentage of cost </p> <p>3. Lists</p>
10/27/2009 4:36:00 PM CDT
Sandra Floyd says ...
<p>First of all the USA does not have a 'health care system.' We have a hodgepodge of doctors, clinics, hospitals, insurance companies, HMOs, etc. etc. It does not work well together. There are too many middlemen making profit and too many people left out and premiums going up due to waste and greed.</p> <p>If we left everything to the free market we would not have things that we value highly like national parks. </p> <p>I am tired of hearing how socialized medicine leaves people waiting for treatment. My husband and I have been living in Australia which has social medicine. We have permanent resident status and so are part of the system. We choose our doctors. If we need treatment we get it immediately. You only wait for treatments that are not life-threatening. My husband had shoulder reconstructive surgery a few months ago. He did wait for several months. But he got the treatment and is going through physical therapy and it did not cost us any more than the taxes we pay into the system. No $2500 deductible that you think is such a great deal for Whole Foods workers.</p> <p>I hope to come back to the USA after my work contract is up but the lack of availability of comprehensive health coverage is a concern that might prevent it. I had a good health care plan when I left but that was entirely employer-dependent. I have no guarantee of anything like it when I return. FOr my husband and I to get the same coverage we had we would have to pay $1000 per month. No way we would be able to afford that. Here I have the same coverage no matter what, no matter where I work or if I work at all. It is a tremendous relief to know that.</p> <p>Healthy lifestyle and diet are of course better than reliance on drugs and treatment. I think it is much better for people to get healthy foods from their own gardens, farmer's markets or health food cooperatives than from a profit-driven corporation. </p> <p>I used to shop at Whole Foods. For several years I spent over $500 per month there. I will not ever shop there again. But I guess that won't be a problem since all the conservatives plan to shop there now in support of your statement on health care reform. </p> <p>The free market giveth and the free market taketh away.</p>
10/28/2009 6:11:00 AM CDT
David hogard says ...
<p>Before concluding, I must state that I am highly skeptical that the Republican Party and the free market principles central to it's core values, is being unduly influenced by the medical insurance industry that is fundamentally flawed, but has extreme lobbying influence. This is the time to step up and offer a market based idea that everyone can understand.</p> <p><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20101020182743/http://healthfreak2.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/worried-about-your-future-medical-needs-buy-health-insurance/" rel="nofollow">http://healthfreak2.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/worried-about-your-future-medical-needs-buy-health-insurance/</a></p>
10/28/2009 6:25:00 AM CDT
Dmitri says ...
<p><strong>Inflammatory </strong>John Mackey,</p> <p>That's a great pity that CEO of my favorite store has such a narrow mind and a small heart!!!<br> I am so-ooo not OK with that!</p> <p>You can talk about the socialism all you want, but only after every American citizen has an ability to have a good medical service and education.</p> <p>Only then you can ask them to work and earn the rest.</p> <p>Every country in Europe allows people to see a doctor when needed, Australia has that too'¦<br> Did those countries run out of money because of the socialism more then US recently?!!!</p> <p>I think if people don't go to the Whole Foods anymore it will be better for America. </p> <p>I hope such small people, like its CEO, will have less money to sponsor campaigns like: 'Lets discuss it another 10 years ' its too serious' or 'If the poor die ' its OK, but we can't spend more money (except for war and tax cuts for the rich)'.</p> <p>Goodbye, Whole Foods!<br> Nothing personal, its a great store. <img src="The%20CEO%E2%80%99s%20Blog%20%C2%BB%20Blog%20Archive%20%C2%BB%20Health%20Care%20Reform%20%E2%80%93%20Full%20Article_files/icon_sad.gif" alt=":-(" class="wp-smiley"></p>
10/28/2009 8:35:00 PM CDT
Jonas says ...
<p>I am all for the public option, but I am totally against this boycott.</p>
10/29/2009 9:27:00 PM CDT
Jen says ...
<p>Mr. Mackey,</p> <p>I will gladly add the extra money onto my weekly grocery shopping bill and travel the extra 10 miles to Whole Foods Market because of your insightful reform ideas. I find it amazing that you've PROVEN this system works in your own company, have PROVEN it's a valid solution, and yet there are so many blinded folks who won't even look at these possibilities.</p> <p>As for healthcare being a right'¦ it is absolutely not. What other RIGHT requires a service from another person? There is none. We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'¦ none of which require someone else who has spent hundreds of thousands of their own dollars to educate themselves to give us free service. A service and a right are NOT the same thing.</p> <p>Kudos to you, Mr. Mackey. You've earned a loyal customer for life.</p>
10/30/2009 12:10:00 AM CDT
john says ...
<p>Shopping at whole foods has always been the lesser of two evils-shop at a regular store and be unhealthy and unhappy or shop in whole foods and risk buying foods that haven't been kept fresh enough (it was ironic when it was fresh fields of course)but in all seriousness I stopped shopping here for many years simply because they didn't seem to understand that fresh food without preservatives needs to be kept ICE COLD. Also the employees never seem all 'that' happy (for the most part)and now I know why (whole foods was taken over by an upper class capitalist (sic) which is one who truly believes in their heart that greed is good and all thoughts follow from that. I guess as the bible says 'all things work for good' but still you'll be happier if you have a smaller natural food store near you as they will offer you more help and won't be all about gettin' your money.One political comment-it's irrelevant to be a democrat or a republican as the usa has been a socialist country for almost 100 years at this point. Also the most radical thing you can do for your own freedom and health is to be a conscious consumer and when it comes to food if you have the youth and energy PLEASE grow some of your own food and RECRUIT others to do the same-there may be nothing else that saves our freedom (I can assure you no other 'ISSUE' will).</p>
10/30/2009 5:29:00 PM CDT
lob madstoll says ...
<p><strong>Inflammatory </strong>Well, GW's friend runs a health food chain'¦ boycott!!!!!!!!</p>
10/31/2009 12:25:00 PM CDT
Sabatini Monatesti says ...
<p>John:</p> <p>Well done article, excellent points. I agree with you, insurance reform is important and desperately needed. You outline many changes that could make a difference. I'm not sure you addressed 'sick care' reform even though you titled your article 'Health Care Reform.' You did note that prevention was critical. Please let us know how you would mandate prevention? How would you measure compliance?</p> <p>If you could, please address some of the following issues. How would you handle 'errors and omissions?' I understand that these two elements contribute to about 150,000 'sick care' deaths per year. I believe we protect our 'sick care' practitioners from retribution when they kill someone. When they make a mistake we review the outcome and retrain them. How do we fix this? As you might recall, last week two pilots lost there licenses for flying in the wrong direction. They didn't kill anyone.</p> <p>Further, there appears to be a rapid infusion of capital investment in 'sick care' plant and facility, especially new technology, at very rapid speed, adding to the cost of care for all of us. How would you moderate this infusion? </p> <p>I you would, please address the 'sick care' practitioner burnout rate, the shortage of 'sick care' professionals, and the limited access to 'sick care' most citizens are dealing with throughout the country? Regarding access it might be useful to address the use of CPT and ICD9/10 codes and the 'kickback' the AMA receives for use of these codes, or the lack of codes in support of psychiatric care.</p> <p>Last but not least, please address the need for continuous quality improvement and the perceived lack of value or price transparency exhibited by our 'sick care' industry that includes pharmaceuticals and equipment providers. Does your company have an ISO9000 rating, and if it has instituted continuous quality improvement, why hasn't the 'sick care' industry?</p>
11/02/2009 12:13:00 PM CST
Lord Westfall says ...
<p>John,</p> <p>Well, it looks like the majority of people are not too happy with your views. But I think that is more of a problem of people just not understanding economics so they see your ideas as being uncaring, greedy, or selfish, and will lead to more suffering when the reality is ideas like this could save this country from economics train wreck that is the inevitable result of our government's policy of ever-expanding interference and prohibition of free exchange between people and businesses.</p> <p>To me, it seems like every time the government tries to interfere and do something that the uninformed masses think is in their best interest, it has devastating unintended consequences. I believe that policies designed to encourage people to buy homes along with low interest rates, created the price of housing to rise to a point far beyond what they would have been worth otherwise which created a nasty financial crisis. And of course, I believe there is a correlation between government interference in health care, mostly in how the tax code treats employer-provided health insurance, and how while the cost of goods typically go down (adjusted for money supply expansion), health care costs have risen'¦</p> <p>Well, that is not entirely true. Cost of heath care where the government doesn't interfere as much have actually gone down. Prices of Lasik eye or plastic surgery have fallen. I think this is because people purchasing those services are price conscious, as they are not covered under government-favored insurance policies.</p> <p>Unfortunately, I think you are one of the very few people in this nation that really understand economics. And so our nation's economic policies will continue to become more intrusive and productivity will drop'¦and deficits rise.</p> <p>In your interview with reason TV, you state that we can't do a controlled experiment, where we would be able to clearly demonstrate that our ideas are much better the people in a society and allow it to be more productive. But, Mr. Mackey, I don't think that is entirely true. I watched a speech given at a TED conference that touches on this topic. </p> <p><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20101020182743/http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/paul_romer.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/paul_romer.html</a></p> <p>The video is 18 minutes long, but I think it would be worth the time to view it. The central idea is that the 'rules' an area has can greatly inhibit productivity as well as the standard of living. He discusses the idea of setting up a city where people can go, that has different rules. I think this is a splendid idea, as if we could set up area with rules that allow free market activity as well as personal freedom we would be able to demonstrate how vastly superior Austrian economics is to economies controlled by government.</p> <p>What I would like to see is some like-minded libertarians get together and purchase an area of land (and autonomy for that land) from a poor nation, invite others that are like minded to the small nation, and then with our superior 'rules' create a world class city in the middle of an area of the world that is very 3rd world'¦much like Singapore.</p> <p>This would give us an opportunity to show the effectiveness of our economic school of though to the world in a way that couldn't be easily refuted, and then many other nations would, seeing the success of our rules, would seek to copy them, which would be a huge benefit to the entire world.</p> <p>Lord Westfall</p>
11/02/2009 5:29:00 PM CST

Pages