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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Monday, April 26, 2004

Medical Outsourcing?

We've been hearing an awful lot about outsourcing all sorts of jobs to India these days. Well move over Dell, it looks like medicine and dentistry are movin' in (hat tip: Dad). Since I don't have unlimited funds, I have been unable to read the entire WSJ article is in this Thursday's edition: "India Emerges as New Drug Proving Ground," Marketplace section (hat tip: Marginal Revolution)

Although this particular issue cuts closer to home for me, personally, than outsourcing computer programming, I'm sticking to my guns. Outsourcing is both overblown and incorrectly considered detrimental to our economy and society. While, it is certainly true that people lose jobs to outsourcing, I have yet to see statistics indicating that they don’t find other jobs particularly considering the good economic news of late. Don’t believe me, try here, here, and especially this one on the shrinking trade gap.

Further, there is certainly no evidence (to my knowledge) suggesting that outsourcing decreases the quality of services or products. So, in a micro sense outsourcing seems terrible because people lose their jobs. This is completely understandable. However, on the macro scale outsourcing is simply another way that the Market exerts its influence. I am certainly no economist so I will refer to the opinion of someone I have come to trust greatly on such matters. Daniel W. Drezner has a great blog that I have recently added to the Blogroll. He has also written an insightful article on outsourcing. Here’s the gist (I suggest a full read):

Protectionism would not solve the U.S. economy's employment problems, although it would succeed in providing massive subsidies to well-organized interest groups. In open markets, greater competition spurs the reallocation of labor and capital to more profitable sectors of the economy. The benefits of such free trade -- to both consumers and producers -- are significant. Cushioning this process for displaced workers makes sense. Resorting to protectionism to halt the process, however, is a recipe for decline. An open economy leads to concentrated costs (and diffuse benefits) in the short term and significant benefits in the long term. Protectionism generates pain in both the short term and the long term.

Definitely read it all, especially if you’re turned off the by the very idea of outsourcing.

On the topic of medical and dental outsourcing there may be somewhat different issues. This is not because medicine and dentistry are not subject to the rules of market economics, but because people refuse to accept that they are. It will certainly be interesting to see how our handle this as it becomes a bigger story. Stay tuned.


Here's an email on the topic (if you'd like to get in touch with the sender, let me know).

Still on subject of outsourcing health care, I followed the Apollo Hospital links to a complete women's exam, including complete physical with breast and gynecological exam, complete blood test, diabetes, urine, and stool analyses, chest x-ray, ultrasound scan of pelvis, mammogram, and Pap smear. Fee: 1,700 rupees, or $38.66 USD. (My routine mammogram earlier this month cost $260 alone.)


Typical R.T. JFK-Bombay $1163, with 25% senior discount for females >60, males >65 (sorry, guys) on Air India.

Update 2:

Check out what Eugene Volokh has to say on Radley Balko's piece over at techcentralstation.com.


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