That is glaringly obviously right and the need is so universal there is no room for a market either: as I again argue in the Courageous State, when there is universal need markets are simply a mechanism for capturing the revenues of the state for private gain.
Food is a universal need. Thus markets in food are simply capturing the revenues of the state for private gain.
It\’s just Ritchie reveling in his ignorance, isn\’t it? Even a moment\’s thought shows that his statement is untrue, is simply another opportunity for him to express his prejudices.
The actual point about elderly care (which is what he is talking about) is that the need is not universal. That\’s what causes the problem. Some of us will pop off after a 5 minute illness and need no elderly care at all. Others of us will require decades of care.
It is this uncertainty (risk might be a better word) which leads to the necessity of insurance and there\’s a very good argument that, as with pensions, the State should be involved in the provision of that insurance. Not the provision, note, but in the insurance, the financing.
So he\’s doubly wrong which even for Murph is pretty good going. Universal need does not mean that markets are contra-indicated. And the problem with elderly care is precisely that not all need it. That\’s why it needs and insurance based financing mechanism.