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In today’s Journal, Professor Blinder enlightens us with some of these gems:

That’s where economics and law collide. Economically, the individual mandate and insurance reforms form an unbreakable pair. Legally, they are separate. So the mandate could be ruled unconstitutional while the insurance reforms are not. After all, there is no question that health insurance is interstate commerce, and no question that the federal government can regulate interstate commerce

Well, if you take a very Wickard v. Filbrun”ian” view of the world there is no question. But insurance companies are legally not permitted to sell insurance across state lines. So the health insurance market is most certainly NOT interstate commerce. But never mind – if a distinguished professor says it, that must be true. We are all scientists here ya know.

So what happens if the justices void the mandate but leave the insurance reforms in place? The answer is: We get incoherence. Which, of course, is why you don’t want judges making economic policy.

Get the fire extinguishers ready! So judicial review of legislative actions is akin to the court making economic policy? Would Blinder rail against the Brown v. Board decision on similar grounds? After all, it dramatically altered the way that education is delivered in this country? The simple fact is that Congress wrote an idiotic 2,200 page law. They could easily have pursued a mandate-like program within the bounds of the already elastic constitution, but they did not. If the judges strike down the law, it does not prevent Congress from rewriting it in accordance with constitutional principles. But I am so sorry that Mr. Blinder finds it inconvenient to have to deal with that pesky piece of paper when it impedes his grand vision. You know, Madison and the guys should have made this whole thing a lot easier, right?

This is another real shame. If we are going to have political decision-making, at least elected politicians should do the deciding. Come to think of it, they already have.

Against the “will” of the majority I would mind you. And come to think of it, if we are going to have political decision-making, at least elected politicians should do the deciding. I agree. So I look forward to Mr. Blinder’s next Op-Ed about the Fed and its independence, about the FDA and the EPA and the FCC and the FTC and all of the other agencies which make rulings, sometimes over huge portions of the economy, without any accountability either. I’ll even help Mr. Blinder write it.

Still more fires to put out, but we must be content with this for now.

5 Responses to “Blinder Brings the Torch to the Hayfields”

  1. Speedmaster says:

    >> “After all, there is no question that health insurance is interstate commerce …”

    I’m amazed that anyone with an IQ over room temperature, let alone anyone with Blinder’s credentials could make a statement like that.

    If my doctor, insurer, and I are all in Rochester, how is that interstate commerce?

  2. Harry says:

    Speedmaster, I think professor Blinder puts something in his pipe to sedate himself before he writes his windy pieces. Windy, alternative energy wind farmer Blinder.

  3. Harry says:

    Great essay, Mike. One of the good points was about the court review of Brown v Board of Education, a view of the Constitution where there is little argument, in contrast to the Blinder principle that pointy-headed professors can stick their dirty noses into our lives. Last night it was Coyote’s good essay, tonight it is yours.

  4. Harry says:

    I suppose I should be kinder to Professor Blinder, but as long as I have read him, which seems forever, not only in the WSJ but elsewhere, he has uttered few clear convincing sentences, ever. He does blah de blah every time, for at least thirty years. After reading his essays carefully, my every reaction has been that I wasted my time and effort, the same as if I had spent two hours listening to a lottery enthusiast explaining his system. I am glad the Journal publishes him, and I am glad he gets paid, and I do not doubt professor Blinder’s sincerity. Those are his ideas. Do we have anything fresher?

  5. […] / Govt. Blinder Brings the Torch to the Hayfields Senate Passes Bill Requiring Black Boxes in All New […]

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