“The roads hold such a special position in our brain that we use logic around them that we would never use around everything else,” [Prof. Michael] Manville said.Other countries have socialized health care, parental leave or housing, Jeffrey Tumlin, a transportation consultant at Nelson\Nygaard, pointed out. In America, we’ve socialized driving — and housing for our cars.“We don’t let people put their self-storage containers in public parks, but it’s just fine to store their cars on other public land for free,” Mr. Tumlin wrote in an email. . . .
In other words, we think of socialism as freedom in the case of highways. But in this particular case it doesn't work well in major cities because it leads to overuse and congestion. However, different markets work in different ways. We don't think of education as being overused -- we want all children who have the basic intellectual capacity to at least get a basic education and be prepared for employment. In health care, because of provider induced demand, we get overuse with a fee for service system.Industry publications [in the 1930s] linked the need for “free” roads to patriotism, the Bill of Rights, even the Minutemen.Today, because most people seldom pay directly for roads — or because general funds do — it can seem as if no one does.
Socializing health care -- or at least health insurance, we're really talking about a Canadian system in which providers are still private operators -- is a way to reduce overuse and yes, make everybody more free. Let's link free health care to patriotism, the Bill of Rights, and the Minutemen.
Update: Comment thread from Lawyers, Guns and Money