Candy Dish Lessons on Socialized Medicine

2009-07-20 19.58.42Stuart Shepard’s latest Stoplight® commentary examines socialized medicine in light of the candy dish principles.

If you work in a large office, you’ve probably seen (or maintained yourself) a candy dish on someone’s desk that is made available for public grazing.

This simple illustration sheds much-needed light on today’s health care debate. Having lived under socialized health care schemes in other countries, I can testify to having seen these principles in action.

They are human nature. They are real. And they will not be thwarted.

Candy Dish Principle #1: “Free” candy means more people eat more candy than they would if they had to pay for it.

Candy Dish Principle #2: People like “free” candy and begin to develop expectations.

Candy Dish Principle #3: There’s no such thing as “free” candy.

Now, you can keep your candy dish filled for the public if you so choose. But what would it look like if the candy dish grazers actually had power and authority to force you to keep the dish supplied?

If you’re a shameless grazer, perhaps you think that kind of arrangement is pretty good.

But if you’re one of the producers who would be held responsible for keeping the dish full, is it still fair and just?

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