Mark J. Perry at Carpe Diem is the scourge of cartels everywhere. Refreshingly, he doesn't restrict himself to the standard libertarian shibboleths. He's a also a great source on, say, farm subsidies, which so many of the sideshow libertarians in the RepublicanParty work so hard to protect.
A few weeks ago I posted a somewhat snarky comment asking if he'd ever taken on the medical sodality. I still don't know the answer to my precise question (I could have, but did not, search the archives). But whatever his past behavior, he's in the fray now with a typically challenging post on the costs of medical cartelization. It's a start, although I'd have to concede that it is a complicated issue, not likely to be blown away by a single blog screed (the commentators on this post, generally unsympathetic, raise some important questions).
But it does prompt me to wonder: how do libertarians feel about medical licensure? Does Ron Paul want to abolish the Board of Medical Examiners? Does the von Mises Institute advocate freedom of movement for medical professionals (giving new meaning, I suppose, to the phrase "Doctors Without Borders")?
And come to think of it, what's the attitude to other health-related nanny interference? Somehow I gather that the Food and Drug Administration is in the crosshairs. But how about the Center for Disease Control? Are we to infer that this is just another "government function" that can be served, if people want it, by a private market?
As I imply, there may be readily available answers to all these questions that I been just too passive and indolent to suss out. And I'll be frank to admit that I am so retrograde as to believe that yes, there may be some residual social purpose for these troglodyte artifacts of our dark socialist past.
But are the libertarians with me on this? And if they are--if they want to save the Board of Medical Examiners and the Center Disease Control--what business do they have calling themselves "libertarians"? Wouldn't their support for institutions of this sort imply that they, like the rest of us, are just cafeteria libertarians, picking and choosing those places where we want government service and where we do not? Put briefly, are there libertarian doctors? I mean, real libertarian doctors, not just some kind of wuzz?