The Statist Trap

I thought this comment was kind of interesting for what it reveals:

And to some degree, doctors are the property of the state. It
is impossible to have medical education without significant state
subsidization, and although I don't know the specifics of every single
country in Africa, that's a safe generalization to make.

For instance, here in the US, your medical education is
heavily subsidized by the state. Probably on the order of 100k/student.
Resident training programs also receive about 100k/resident from
government entitlement programs.

I haven't a clue whether or not there is a net subsidy of medical education in this country, but assume it to be true.  This is the statist trap in a nutshell.  Statists insist that the government should subsidize (or, in more extreme cases, entirely fund) public education.  But once you have attended these government schools, which one virtually has to do because of the steps the government takes to maintain its education monopoly, you then become the property of the state because the statists claim "well, you took our money for your education..."


  1. JohnF:

    Does this mean that if I send you a Christmas present you are required to be my slave for life?

    This sounds like a good deal for me.

  2. Kmoffitt:

    ...but...but, didn't I give my money to them first?

  3. Quincy:

    Kmoffitt -

    They'd nail you there too. Since they paid for your education, obviously you were their property when you began earning taxable income. In fact, they could use this as a claim to anything you'd earned in your adult life. Hmmmm...


    The original article was about about making it illegal under international law to recruit health care workers from Africa

  5. bill-tb:

    I want my 'free' healthcare now!!!

  6. Xmas:

    Barack Obama likes that statist trap:

    "When subprime-mortgage lending took a reckless and unsustainable turn, a patchwork of regulators were unable or unwilling to protect the American people," Sen. Obama said to a crowd of around 200 at the Cooper Union in Manhattan.

    His most far-reaching plan would allow the Fed to set capital and liquidity requirements for securities firms that borrow money from the central bank. Currently, the Fed only has such power over commercial banks.

    "When the Fed steps in, it is providing lenders an insurance policy underwritten by the American taxpayer," Sen. Obama said. "In return, taxpayers have every right to expect that these institutions are not taking excessive risks."

  7. Larry Sheldon:

    Somebody famous said "He who pays the piper, calls the tune".

    Not sure what that actually means, but it has always seemed to be good idea to own what I want to control.

    Some times that leads to what some people say are silly things, but in the course of several lives I have held licenses required to hold jobs. In every case I did what was needed to qualify, and paid the fees to get the licenses. My licenses.

  8. JimS:

    I'm not sure about the 100K residency subsidy. When my wife was an intern she averaged being at the clinic or hospital 96 hours per week (I kept track, although so of the time she was asleep in the call room). The residents saw all the migrant workers at the clinic and took care of those the private docs didn't want for the county hospital. She made 24K that year. I wonder how much medicaid and insurance companies were billed?

  9. Allen:

    Good point JimS.

    The other thing that goes along with this is the step before this. They will claim that this education can't occur without the states' intervention and subsidies.

  10. Bob Smith:

    A friend of mine (rather infuriatingly) argues that because you received attended public schools and received the benefit of our legal system that nothing you do is really yours, it's the government's (he tries to finesse this by using the word "society" rather than "government"). He then argues for high estate taxes on the basis that estate taxes are merely returning to "society" what society gave you. According to him the tax measures what you received from society, not your personal talents and ambitions, which don't matter.

  11. markm:

    The institutions are getting a subsidy from the government - although I don't know how it compares to what they lose in the form of government mandated care of non-paying patients. (Of course, that affects non-teaching hospitals, too.) But the students pay the schools with tuition and the hospitals with cheap labor, so I doubt that they are receiving much if any net subsidy.

    But if receiving a government subsidy for education makes you a slave, that applies to everyone who every attended public schools...

  12. Dr. T:

    Indentured servitude disappeared even before slavery was abolished. Now some cretins want to bring it back.

    Education is fully or partly subsidized starting with K-12, then colleges and universities, and then graduate and medical schools. So, should every educated citizen become an indentured servant? The claim that physicians (and only physicians) should be forced into public servitude is astonishingly audacious.

    Becoming a good physician is one of the most difficult tasks a person can face. Shouldn't those few who accomplish this task be rewarded in the market place? Shouldn't they earn at least as much as an MBA-holding junior vice president in a corporation?

  13. BlacquesJacquesShellacques:

    Hamstring them all.

  14. happyjuggler0:

    If I give a woman dinner, she thus becomes my property. One of us might like that, although I am far from sure of that. Not to mention that it is a violation of the 13th amendment.