Medical Socialism of V.I. Magaziner
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
Clinton wants to nationalize one-seventh of the American economy.
If he gets away with it, the culprit will be the sinister figure
in charge. That's not Hillary, but her control, Ira Magaziner. A
former consultant, he is now a full-time troublemaker at the White
getting his current job, Magaziner bamboozled big business into
paying him millions of dollars for unworkable reorganization plans.
Meanwhile, he was co-authoring a book with now Labor Secretary Robert
Reich, which advocated a new federal "centralized agency" to impose
a "rational industrial policy."
understand Magaziner, we have to go back to the late 1960s. After
graduating from Brown University, Magaziner received a Rhodes Scholarship
to study at Oxford. Instead of attending his classes which he
criticized as too steeped in history, literature, and religion,
i.e. Western civilization he listened to socialist lectures at
the London School of Economics and organized anti-American protests
with Bill Clinton.
had big dreams: the destruction of bourgeois society. But he and
his cronies decided they would start "small," by taking over a city.
was about resisting conventional job tracks," Magaziner cell member
Peter Laarman recalls, "rejecting conventional electoral politics,
finding some way to use our skills and our education to effect some
sort of social transformation."
Mass., an Italian working-class city and the birthplace of Rocky
Marciano, was the target of their social experiment. Magaziner and
a dozen friends, driving Swedish cars, arrived the fall of 1971.
They knew they couldn't storm the Winter Palace in Brockton, so
like other Menshevik and Fabian socialists, they adopted a go-slow
approach that relied on trickery.
and his politburo began by insinuating themselves into the daily
life of the community. Some became bank tellers and store clerks.
Others became construction workers and truckers. Still others worked
in libraries and schools. Magaziner, the Lenin of the plot, worked
on a loading dock at night, and spent his days "analyzing" the "power
structure" of the city.
conspirators also published a newspaper., Unlike Lenin's Spark,
it didn't openly advocate communism. Instead, it agitated against
the "elites" in this settled ethnic community. Editorials sought
to set tenants against landlords, homeowners against new businesses,
teachers against parents, and, of course, workers against owners.
they didn't bring the gulag to Brockton, the Saab socialists did
manage to stop a private housing development and start a money-losing
food collective. But they left in defeat, unfortunately not on a
rail. "It became clear," said the Washington Post, "that
the economic forces that controlled the fate of the city were outside
of Brockton. Magaziner set out to understand them."
and he is following much the same model in health care. The healthcare
revolutionaries under Magaziner's direction have insinuated themselves
into national life to effect a social transformation. They have
given us a new vocabulary that few people except themselves understand.
And they are setting employees against employers, big companies
against small, doctors against patients, the insured against the
insurers, and the old against the young.
we cut through Hillary's obfuscations and the Republicans' accommodations,
we can see that Magaziner is not proposing a program to improve
the nation's "health." He's not even pushing a plan to have the
government pay for everyone's health care. As someone consumed by
egalitarian envy, he is motivated by hatred of the middle class
and the market, and his plan is designed to injure both.
already have the fundamentals of such a system in place. The Great
Society gave us Medicare and Medicaid, two experiments in redistribution,
and their present cost is equal to the entire federal budget in
The Magaziner plan will cost much more, of course. It is, after
all, universal, and the demand for "health services" at zero price
is unlimited. Resources will be allocated not through the market,
but by government edict. Those with politically correct health problems
will be made better off through coerced transfers (i.e., theft),
while the rest of us will he tossed by the wayside.
scheme is even worse than the socialist systems in Britain or Canada,
which at least allow people to purchase private care outside of
the system. He will force everyone, doctors and patients alike,
into regional collectives. Private practitioners will be forbidden
from accepting "bribes" or "gratuities" from patients, that is,
from being paid the market price. Under Magazinerism, health care
will be delivered in the way Marx said all goods and services should
be delivered, to each according to his need (as defined by the government,
of course). It's why some doctors are talking about offshore clinics.
Magaziner plan will also tear open racial wounds in the same way
that redistricting has. States may not, according to the plan, "concentrate
racial or ethnic minority groups, socioeconomic groups, or Medicare
beneficiaries." And since the Medicaid experience has shown that
minorities are potentially disproportionate consumers of medical
services, premiums will skyrocket, and home values will plummet,
for those living in collectives linked to inner cities.
the administration, speaking anonymously, recognizes that the U.S.
faces demographic difficulties that other countries do not. That
is why socialized medicine, American style, will be more expensive,
wasteful, and gruesome than in other Western countries.
a market system, people face built-in incentives to do their best
to stay healthy, for they are punished by the price system when
something goes wrong. For example, the uninsured think twice before
going to the doctor because they have to pay him out of their pocket.
is as it should be. Even "private" health insurance, where the premiums
don't reflect risk, is a product of government intervention. Initially
offered by unions, it was expanded to circumvent wage and price
only makes sense if it is profitable. And it's only profitable when
the insurer pays out less in claims than he takes in through premiums.
To do that, he must put together risk pools of people who will,
on average, cost less than their payments. Otherwise insurance is
only a mistake or, in the case of government, a welfare subsidy.
subsidized insurance, a vast amount of health resources are used
up by government on people who prefer crack cocaine to fresh fruit,
or television to a brisk walk. This makes neither moral not economic
time a new socialist proposal is advanced, I turn to Ludwig von
Mises's Socialism. Written in 1922, it's still the best guide
to the schemes of the Left.
destructive "aspect of accident and health insurance," Mises wrote,
"lies above all in the fact that such institutions promote accidents
and illness, hinder recovery, and very often create, or at any rate
intensify and lengthen, the functional disorders which follow illness
weakening or completely destroying the will to be well and able
to work, social insurance creates illness and inability to work;
it produces the habit of complaining which is itself a neurosis and neuroses of other kinds. In short, it is an institution which
tends to encourage disease, not to say accidents, and to intensify
considerably the physical and psychic result of accidents and illnesses.
As a social institution it makes a people sick bodily and mentally,
or at least helps to multiply, lengthen, and intensify disease."
a junior at Brown, the man who would complete this process in America,
engineered a revolution in the curriculum, virtually abolishing
grades and required courses. Ira Magaziner organized the students
to bring this about. He recruited a task force to write a 425-page
"study." He hosted collating parties, and persuaded students to
drop his report on the desks of professors and administrators, with
intimidating looks, words, and demands. He called out mass demonstrations
and harangued them through loudspeakers. As left liberals, the faculty
was already morally and intellectually disarmed, and they voted
for it. Today, this great university is still blighted by its Magaziner
no grades, excellence is not rewarded and laziness is not punished.
Everybody is promised a free ride, and the net result is increased
waste, sloth, and demoralization. As well, under Magaziner's socialist
health proposal, formally introduced in Red October, those who work
hard and take care of themselves are forced to pay the medical bills
of those who don't. The incentive structure works in reverse, and
almost everyone ends up worse off, especially those who need and
would like to pay for the special care that the state won't provide.
1965, to entice students to go along with his grade egalitarianism,
Magaziner put on a left-wing festival featuring "poet" Allen Ginsberg,
"musicians" James Brown and Dizzy Gillespie, and non-stop movies
of the Marx Brothers trampling on manners and morals, destroying
the property of the rich, and stealing through trickery what they
didn't wreck. When Magaziner asked the culturally corrupted stuletariat,
whipped up into an anti-bourgeois frenzy, whether they favored ending
grades, they screamed, "Yeah!"
1993, Americans at large are being tricked by promises of eternal
health at no cost. May they react like the working men and women
of Brockton instead of the spoiled hippies of Brown.