December 30 2013
ObamaCare cheerleader Michael Hiltzik asks in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece if the UPS Christmas botches will make critics of ObamaCare’s “shut up.”
Alec MacGillis of The New Republic reminds us of all the finger-wagging by private sector triumphalists to the effect that, unlike the government's health insurance enrollment system, commercial websites and services wouldn't have been brought down by a surge of users, especially when the key deadline was foreseen.
The line of reasoning advanced by Hiltzik and other big government triumphalists shows a profound ignorance of how a market economy works. Nobody I know of has put forward any claim that the private sector, which, after all, is composed of human beings, doesn’t mess up. It does.
But here’s what happens when a free-market operation makes a colossal mess: heads roll, mistakes are fixed, and the company either improves or goes under. Believe me, UPS higher ups know that this can never happen again. Surely, there are free-market innovators out there who view the UPS massive “glitches” as their opportunity.
UPS may whimper a bit about the unexpectedly high volume of shipping this Christmas, but the company knows that excuses don’t cut the mustard in the private sphere. UPS will sort this out, either by getting its act together quickly or by facing competition in the market. This is not the way ObamaCare is set up to work. I don’t know if HIltzik & Co., are really that ignorant about the free market or whether they simply live in a world where everything is a talking point. But parse this talking point and it doesn’t say what they intend.