The Gordian Knot of Entrenched Special Interests

Some economic/governmental problems cannot be solved. Too many powerful interests have become deeply entrenched in the existing, massively complicated system constructed over many decades by political maneuvering. The politicians cannot cut this Gordian Knot because they are themselves completely under the sway of the entrenched interest groups.

The U.S. healthcare system is such a problem. It will never be solved in any meaningful sense of the word. It will, however, prove unsustainable, and it won’t take a very long time to become so. When the existing mess collapses of its own weight, interest groups and politicians will enter into a great struggle for positions in which they can continue to exploit government power under the new, revamped system constructed on the ashes of the old, unsustainable, terminally messed up system.

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Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute and Editor at Large of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, the University of Economics, Prague, and George Mason University. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.