Idaho's Weekly Journal of Local & National Commentary Week 2815


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by Free Market Duck

If Idaho "needs" more nurses, let supply and demand in the free market automatically solve the "problem"
(Nov 19, 2006)

Boise, ID Why is it that every time the politicians, educators, and socialist cheerleaders down at the Idaho Statesman claim we have a shortage of some commodity, their solution is for the government to intervene into the free market?  One would think these people never heard of private enterprise, free market pricing, competition, and supply and demand.

    Even if it is true that Idaho has a shortage of nurses, the assumption that the problem is due to a lack of enough University Nursing programs in Idaho is specious.  Maybe the shortage is due to low wages for nurses in Idaho.  Maybe there is no real shortage.

   Regardless of whether there is a shortage, supply will dynamically catch up to demand in a free market when the right price is attained.  That's what's great about a free market, it automatically manages trillions of economic decisions involving supply and demand and prices without Big Brother government intervention.  In fact, intervention by Big Brother will skew, corrupt, and cause future unintended consequences, including ramifications exactly opposite to those intended.

  In addition, it is ridiculous to assume that all professional positions for all companies in Idaho, from engineers to physicists to software programmers to doctors, must come from Idaho's universities.  People move to and from Idaho for all kinds of reasons.  Salaries, weather, camping, hunting, river rafting, and a myriad of other priorities, not just where you attended university, determine where people choose to live.  Just because you receive a nursing degree from BSU does not mean that you will remain in Idaho to practice nursing -- especially if wages are 30% higher in California and you like surfing.

   Have our politicians and socialist cheerleaders down at the Idaho Statesman ever thought that maybe Idaho is too small, population-wise, to provide enough tax money to build the university capacity for every professional degree possible and that it makes more sense to let other bigger states provide university education while Idaho lures nurses and other professionals to work here with HIGHER WAGES that can be offered by NOT taxing Idahoans to death for more and more never ending public education?

   In free market economics, this is called Division of Labor and it is very very efficient.  Grow, build, and manufacture commodities where it is cheapest to do so and import them via free trade exchanges.  In short, Idaho does not have to physically produce every commodity it needs, including nurses, in order to obtain that commodity.  Otherwise, we should be creating huge greenhouses to grow our own bananas and coffee plantations in Idaho.

   Since this basic economic reasoning for Division of Labor is true for nurses and all other economic commodities, then the same economic arguments hold for NOT expending hundreds of millions of dollars to build a new Community College system in Idaho on the absurd premise that Idaho businesses can only thrive if they have home-grown grads as employees.  In fact, it could backfire.  What if Idaho taxed itself to death to expand nursing programs and the nurses all dashed off to California, Montana, and New York for higher salaries, smoother surf boards, and the bright lights of Broadway shows?

   The real reasons that Idaho politicians and the socialist cheerleaders down at the Idaho Statesman continually push for more and more taxes and spending for nursing programs and new Community College systems, more governmental intervention into the free market, are:  (1) ignorance about basic economics on the part of the socialist Statesman editors and, (2) political power and free cookies for special interest groups by Idaho's politicians. -- FM Duck

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