Sunday, August 02, 2009

The beauty of competition

In the late 1500's, the lives of three great artists converged in a single place: Venice. And, the competition sparked by these intersecting talents produced a flurry of masterpieces we socks still appreciate today.

The artists in question were Tiziano Vecelli, Jacopo Comin, and Paolo Cagliari--though, ye may know them better by their nicknames: Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese.

The Museum of Fine Arts up in Boston is hosting an exhibit dedicated to this rivalry thru the 16th of this month. (

One wonders if, individually, these three great masters would have achieved the heights of their greatness without the competition.

I doubt it.

And, that lesson resonates today--and in more than just the arena of fine art.

For example, as The ObamaNation has recently turned our collective consciousness to it's latest pinata of healthcare reform, those of us who appreciate the beauty of competition should make our voices heard.

The greatest opportunities for real reform lay not in the creation of some behemoth new federal entitlement program or bureaucracy. Rather, they may be found in the removal of existing barriers to competition.

Were ye socks aware that current regulations allow . . . nay, encourage . . . insurance companies to charge nearly twice as much for policies written in New York than they do for policies written in Pennsylvania?

We do not need to create either a single-payer system or a glideway to it as folks like Barney Frank suggest. Either of those "solutions" would effectively kill competition.

Instead, our elected representatives would do well to foster an environment that encourages competition among the various insurance companies that already exist.

Let those underwriters in Pennsylvania compete in New York and elsewhere, and ye will see premiums plummet.

And, the beauty of THAT sort of competition will resound for generations, too; because, unlike the alternatives proposed by the administration and its minions in Congress, it will not bury posterity under a mountain of debt.

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