I thoroughly enjoy down-hill skiing and even more so now that I am enjoying it with our four boys. I find skiing most enjoyable when I ski with the mountain rather than fight against it. That principle holds true in all areas of life. When we fight nature or natureís laws we are sure to lose.
Vermontís battle with controlling the costs and quality of health care seems much like a battle against a mountain. For at least two decades health care in Vermont has become increasingly controlled and/or paid for by the state, with a clear goal of complete state control. Yet for a relatively small group of people to control a service for a much larger population, severe limits must necessarily be placed on that service. This is just a mathematical reality similar to that in computer-controlled systems. The lower the computing power or the more complex the system, the more limitations have to be put on the system so that the computer can control it. It is as true as the law of gravity.
Humans are no different in that regard. We have a limit to what each of us can handle effectively. As we are asked to control more complex systems, we have no choice but to limit the complexity or soon we will find ourselves in a situation that is out of control, much like a skier who fights against a mountain.
That is why the most effective and innovating environments have been those that are guided by the free interaction of the people, putting the maximum computing power (everyone) at work. Additionally free environments open feedback channels so the effectiveness of ideas is more clearly revealed. Ideas that are effective succeed and are improved upon. Ineffective ideas vanish as no one uses them.
Collectivist ideas, no matter how well intended, fail because they ignore very real laws of nature. In addition to human complexity limitations, humankindís inability to handle power raises havoc with ideas that rely on centralized control. They are breeding grounds for corruption. Successful ideas diversify power, putting as little pressure as possible on those human weak points. Thus explains the success of the American experiment in liberty. A limited central government limits corruption, while also encouraging the best in creativity and innovation. That is exactly what is needed to foster truly sound solutions.
© Mark Shepard
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