MR wisdom

Best sentence award:
"It will not escape notice that New York buys subway construction the way all of America buys health care."
-Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution, covering an excellent New York Times article on why subway construction in New York is so insanely expensive.

France -- supposedly bureaucratic, dirigiste, labor-protected France -- builds subways and high speed trains for far less than we pay. Something about the US government makes us singularly inefficient in public expenditures. Don't expect the French health care model to cost the same here either.

A prime candidate, in my view, is the US habit of federal financing plus state and local decision making. Local politicians who are spending national taxpayer money have very little incentive to reduce costs.

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