Friday, March 13, 2015
Medicine: the un-exportable, rust-proof industry of the future?
Why do economists never look at the medical industry as the growth industry of the future -- the un-exportable growth industry?
When it comes to products that come in shiny packages we want growth, growth, growth. But, when it comes to not being sick there isn't the same natural intuition. Last week I read of a doctor saying medical knowledge doubles every two years.
Here's an article from yesterday: Alzheimer's 'breakthrough:' noninvasive ultrasound technique restores memory in mice
This readable online professional mag has several new such articles daily: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/
Of course most economists are still working age and therefore young enough not to think of the volume of medical care. I took my mom to the cardiologist yesterday -- I'm seeing my PCP this afternoon. Which brings up another growth prospect: as medicine keeps patients alive longer it creates an ever larger consumer base for itself (take that John D. Rockefeller). Medical jobs pay better than average too -- the new (unexportable, rust-belt proof) factory.
Okay, okay; American (that is American, not medical science-an which latter is universal) cost twice as much as it should. I read Brill. I would not worry about what (most) doctors make; their pre-tax is only 10% of overall costs (dental folks seem to have doubled their prices in real terms over the last 20 years w/o justification -- probably watching medicine double and figured nobody would notice if they did too). If Germany wants to pay pilots more than surgeons then Germany has a problem.
Once we get drug and medical device and insurance bureaucracies costs under control then we can welcome growth in the real new high-tech economy.
BTW; nothing like this will ever take place without a German/Danish style labor union take over. May be just around the corner. Once RICO and Hobbs cases begin (if they ever begin) against union busting, all the union busters will cease and desist until they see the outcome of these cases. In the time it will take for these cases to go through the courts we can have the whole country organized.
[Late note: looking at health care as a (rust-proof, non-off-shorable, non-polluting, even robot-resistant) growth industry, no state or locality has any advantage over any other. That in turn has the potential to build broad based support for government based payment which would insure equal employment opportunity in every state (think bomber built in 50 states).]