August 21, 2007
(A Lack of) Synergy
The relationship between the Governor’s office and the legislators is like watching a fight break out between two rookies at a Black and Garnet scrimmage.
How are we ever going to get to the next level of economic development and prosperity in South Carolina, achieve our goal of higher per capita income, and solve our problems (underperforming schools etc.), when the executive and legislative branches of state government are constantly at loggerheads with one another?
Have you ever looked at a wall of golf or tennis champions at a small, local private club and seen it has been dominated by one or two players for decades?
Well how about this.
1988 – George Bush
1992– Bill Clinton
1996 – Bill Clinton
2000 – George W. Bush
2004 – George W. Bush
2008 – Hilary Clinton
2012 – Hilary Clinton
2016 – Jeb Bush
2020 – Jeb Bush
2024 – Chelsea Clinton
2028 – Chelsea Clinton
Welcome to the United States Golf and Country Club. You’ve got to admit, it’s not beyond the realm of the possible. If Hilary is elected and reelected, we will have close to 30 years of Bushes and Clintons. Can we please just throw in a Huckabee for 8 years and put an end to this dynasty?
Here are a few other The Economist rankings to mull over. The United States is:
• Number 1 in the world on its Innovation Index (measuring the degree of interaction between the business and scientific sectors)
• Number 2 in the world for E-readiness (broadband and cell phone penetration).
• Number 3 in the world in terms of its information and communication technology (measuring per capita usage of Internet, cell phones and personal computers)
• Number 2 in the world in terms of number of patents granted to citizens.
The relevant question to ask is how does South Carolina rank within the US on these key measures?
As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), the US spends way more than any other country on health care, yet life expectancy and infant mortality are better in Cuba. Put in business terms, the US health care system delivers a lousy return on investment (ROI). Lousy ROI means someone gets fired.
With the aging population, health care is expected to rise to 22% of GDP.
The best way to deliver any product or service to the marketplace is to let the free market do what it does best – deliver better quality and more competitive goods and services to market.
But when they admit in The Economic Report of the President that “poorly functioning markets may have led to excessive spending and inefficient patterns of medical care utilization”, you have to figure there is a problem. Isn’t it the role of government to ensure functioning markets? They broke up Standard Oil in 1911. Isn’t it time that the government intervened in the health care market in one epic antitrust battle?
There’s no panacea for the health care system.
I’m all for globalization and open and free trade, and the new owner may very well be able to build a global brand like we have never seen in the industry, but I still think it’s sad that Rupert Murdoch owns the Wall Street Journal.