Affordability Tradeoffs – Food for Thought

“Virtually anything can be made more affordable in isolation, simply by transferring resources to it from elsewhere in the economy” -Thomas Sowell (American economist and social theorist)

Three of the primary things Bernie Sanders, an American presidential candidate, is trying to make more affordable are housing college, health insurance. Has anybody stopped to ask, what will happen to the economy three steps down the line if his policies were to be enacted? Thomas Sowell believes that transferring extensive resources from other activities to subsidize an exorbitant luxury makes the country poorer as a whole.

Medicare for all is estimated to cost between 2.8-3.2 trillion U.S. dollars per year. This is an exorbitant luxury. Housing for all is estimated to cost 2.5 trillion dollars. This is an exorbitant luxury. College for All would cost 70 billion per year from the state and national governments per year. This doesn’t mention his cancel all student debt plan (student debt in the united states is currently 1.6 trillion dollars. This is an exorbitant luxury.

Bernie Sanders’ plan fails to recognize tradeoffs and opportunity costs. Price control hides costs rather than reducing them. Price control results in a decrease in quality and supply and an increase in wait times.

Many people may view affordable housing as a right. But what it fails to answer is what the tradeoff will be. More things become unaffordable when the government makes some things more affordable. In a population filled with 7 billion people and limited resources, tradeoffs are a necessary evil.

 

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