You will have noted, I'm sure, the past tense in my title because I fear that since the stern, testing days of 1623, Boston has fallen under the wheels spell of the Democrat party and today its city leaders would not have the intelligence of their predecessors, as spelled out by Donald Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek in a letter to the NYT:
In 1623 the settlers of Plymouth Plantation abandoned their practice of allowing everyone to enjoy, as common property, the fruits of each other’s labor. Gov. William Bradford reported that the result was a remarkable escape from the annual risk of starvation. The institution of private property, and its corresponding requirement that each person pay for what he or she consumes, prompted more responsible consumption as well as a greater outpouring of productive efforts.
This historical experience contains a lesson for health care. The problems highlighted in your report – a surge in health-care consumption along with a shortage of health-care resources – is a predictable result of turning health care into a common-property resource. Consumers have fewer incentives to consume it wisely while physicians and other health-care providers have fewer incentives to supply it in quantities sufficient to meet all of the demands for their services.
It sounds noble to many modern ears that health care should be supplied as a ‘right.’ It likewise sounded noble to the Pilgrims’ ears that food should be supplied as a ‘right.’ But noble intentions are no substitute for proper economic incentives. Just as the Pilgrims’ experiment with supplying food as a ‘right’ failed, so, too, will our effort to supply health care as a ‘right’ fail.
Whatever happened on both sides of the pond between 1623 and now? Bloody socialism, that's what!