Sunday, June 10, 2007

Loving Spoonful 1965

Here's another fine example of the wonderful effects of the "invisible hand" of free-market economics:

Students frustrated with waiting lists for nursing programs.

"Statewide more than 2,000 qualified applicants, those with the necessary prerequisite courses completed, were not admitted to nursing programs in 2006."


"With hospitals offering bonuses and increased pay to nurses, recruiting faculty for clinical and classroom instruction positions is a challenge.

"We don't really have that ability to compete with their salary and incentives," Mesa Community College nursing chair Peggy Fridell said."

That's a royal pisser, as my old friends from Long Island would say. We do not have enough nursing instructors because hospital nurses get better pay than the people that teach them to do their jobs.

You might think that the good old laws of supply and demand would come into play here, with demand wrenching up pay for (and the supply of) nursing instructors, which in turn would help fill the demand for staff nurses in hospitals.

But that is not happening.

You don't have to pay a nurse who isn't there. Those nice people who have completed all their prerequisite courses and who are patiently waiting for positions to open for them in nursing schools are not on the payroll. They do not eat into the profit margins of healthcare providers.

The nursing shortage helps to maximize the takings from the subsidy system that funnels profit to healthcare companies.

Sometimes you just have to look at what's actually happening from the point of view that such is the way things are really meant to work. By somebody. As if it was no accident that there's a shortage of nurses, as if nursing instructors are intentionally underpaid, and as if consumer demand has nothing at all to do with market supply.

Then of course there's the little matter of the forty-some-odd-million people in the U.S. that have no healthcare insurance coverage.

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