Rational Discussion of Controversial Topics
Economics Education Ethics Foreign Policy Government History Politics Religion Science

Link: Why are Education and Health Care Outcomes So Bad in the United States?

FrameBenignly          3 January 2016 09:23 AM

I'm not so sure of the implicit claim that conservatives blame bad health care on poverty. My impression is that conservatives tend to avoid discussing poverty as a cause of anything. I also wish he had discussed mobility between neighborhoods as a possibility as in Raj Chetty's research, but the article makes good points.

Would you like to read similar articles in the future?
-2 -1 0 +1 +2

                  Post Comment                   

Recommended for You Optimates Populares Centrists

Show comments            Sort by        

melian 4 January 2016 05:47 AM

“Conservatives tend to blame poor education results on the fact that it almost fully government controlled, while liberals tend to blame poor healthcare results on the fact that it isn’t fully government controlled.”

This is the precisely root of the problem. The US healthcare system is the result of a complex political compromise that splits control over the medical costs between the government, insurance companies and patients. Efficient healthcare system requires some entity to be fully in charge of the costs. This entity can be the government or private individuals but it can’t be both.


VoiceOfRa 3 January 2016 05:30 PM

One explanation I've heard about education outcomes is demographics. Specifically, each individual ethnic group does better in the United States than in their ancestral homeland.


knb 25 January 2016 05:17 PM

Here is a take on the education aspect. The thrust of it is that adjusting for race, the US education system does rather well, though admittedly we spend large amounts to get these results. My view is that the focus of the US education reform at this point should be on cutting costs, as I suspect there is a lot of waste.

As for healthcare, the problem is similar. Health outcomes are the product of many inputs, and medical care is only one (and not the most important.) Again, I would focus on cost-cutting in reforming healthcare, as there is evidence that access to medical care doesn't do much to improve healthy lifespan.


is4junk 8 January 2016 07:21 AM

The outcomes aren't bad at all. But there are very well funded political groups that want to spend more money on these fields and they make these claims to further the goals. Once a government has a single payer system, the same groups have an opposite incentive (look at the efforts England makes to salvage the NHS record).

Education outcomes - easily explained by demographics but the blank slate myth prevents it from being considered.

Healthcare outcomes - usually an exercise in goal moving. Here is a detailed explaination


ChristianKl 4 January 2016 08:13 AM

I think the article is more important for the issues that it doesn't address then for the one's it addresses. VoiceOfRa already said demographics, so I won't repeat it.

It takes the metrics for education for granted where the person who's successfully drilled for standardized tests is more educated then the person who isn't. The Asian system spends more effort on drilling students and thus has higher scoring students.

Japan produces a lot of students who successfully answer question about the English language in tests but who aren't fluent English speakers. I think we have no Chinese or Japanese people on LW.

There a lot of innovation produced in the US by people educated to be able to be innovative.