One of my all-time heroes, Dr. Milton Friedman, once said that we should judge our programs by their results, not their good intentions. In an earlier 2 Paragraphs edition I discussed this in relationship to minimum wage laws, saying that it was far more productive for a society to have 100 people working for $15 per hour than 75 people working for $20 per hour. Of course, the harsh reality is that some workers are not (yet) worth $20 per hour, so they will lose their jobs. (Remember that we used to order our Big Macs from a cashier, but now we order them from a computer.) And many of those who lose their jobs are young people who have recently entered the work force so they have not yet had the chance to develop a good work ethic. Accordingly, with the passage of minimum wage laws, they will lose that opportunity showing, yet again, that Milton Friedman was right.

So that brings us to the current movement to set up a single-payer healthcare system. Truly sounds good and fair doesn’t it, because no one wants people in any walk of life to go without needed healthcare. But what would be the result of putting the State in charge? Can you think of any government program that produces good and cost-effective results? As an example, remember how California’s Employment Development Department dealt with unemployment insurance during the pandemic? Waste and fraud prevailed! So how can we trust the State to manage our healthcare? In addition, next time you run into medical doctors who get paid with insurance money, ask them what percent of their time is spent dealing with paperwork and bureaucracy. The answer will probably be a full 35 to 40 percent! And the bureaucracy will only get worse if the government is in charge. As Sally Pipes put it in a column she wrote for the February 10, 2020 edition of the Wall Street Journal, “Medicare for all could mean doctors for none. Under single-payer, drastic pay cuts for physicians would drive sharp young people into other, more lucrative fields.” Yes, maybe the intentions of people favoring a single-payer system are good and noble, but the results would be disastrous! Among other things, bureaucrats will decide who should receive what healthcare and, if they need to reduce expenses, will also decide how much to pay the medical providers. A sure loser! Instead, allow people to set up Medical Savings Accounts wherein they could choose what they would pay for their healthcare in the Free Market. Then let the government financially contribute to those accounts for people who have limited resources. Under this system all participants would have an incentive to act efficiently. The patients would have an incentive to choose wisely, because all unspent money from their accounts could be rolled over to the next year, and eventually be used for their retirement. And the doctors would have to compete for your business, so they would act efficiently as well. Aren’t those the results that all of us want? So let’s all work to avoid this healthcare trap of single-payer!

Thought for the Week: Have you ever seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul truck? (i.e. You can’t take it with you . . .)

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

Please listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely ssues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand at And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at, as is my wife Grace’s and my new novel centered about School Choice entitled 2030 KIDS: We are the Rising Heroes of the Planet. Please read and discuss them with your friends, and send in a review.