Who Will Pay Physicians, Lawyers etc in the Future?

Some careers such as medicine and law are often considered to be far more stable and lucrative than others- though that is changing. However most people who enter these careers still believe that they will be very well compensated in the near and distant future. Even though these professions have strong professionals guilds which restrict the number of entrants in the system- one question is rarely asked.

How can a shrinking economic system afford to keep on paying these scumbags without imploding?

Until the last 40-odd years, professions like medicine and law were well paid but did not reach the absurd levels we see today. Some of you might say that technological advances in fields like medicine and the changing role of lawyers justifies their increased compensation. I disagree..

If anything technology should have brought down the cost of health care- which it would have IF most doctors were not greedy scumbags. How much of the spending on healthcare helps the patient, at a quality of life or outcome level? How much of it is bullshit perpetrated to increase the income of doctors? The same can be said about law- how much of it has net positive social utility?

The rapidly growing post-ww2 economy (1946-1970s) did create a lot of new money and wealth, as did the credit-based version from the 1980s to the mid 2000s. But that was then..

Today we have a real economy that is shrinking, both demographically and monetarily. However the demands on the system- healthcare, pensions etc are growing. So how can you plug the gap between increasing costs and utilization of systems such as healthcare with a decreasing amount of money? The same goes for lawyers- how can a poorer system pay more for less?

While some people, including myself, believe that euthanasia will become increasingly popular- it cannot make a significant dent in healthcare costs for the vast majority of problems which are fixable.

It is certainly possible that doctors might refuse to treat patients unless they are paid a ransom. However doctors often have kids, an office and a place of work which is public knowledge. It is therefore conceivable that a number of them might die in gruesome and unnatural ways once more than a small percentage of the population is not treated. Let us not forget google-type solutions, medical tourism and increasing use of cheaper immigrant doctors.

Ultimately politicians and bureaucrats care about their survival, and WILL throw the medical lobby overboard if retaining them means sinking along with them.

The same is true as far as lawyers are concerned. A significant part of corporate law might be unsupportable for the same reasons as inflated earnings for doctors- there is not enough money under the current economic paradigm.

Comments?

  1. John
    May 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm | #1

    The folks with two rabbits and a butchered half a goat…

  2. DoesNotMatter
    May 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm | #2

    you have not done your homework. Somewhere in the beginning of the last century, the doctors union (AMA) lobbied (bribed) congress to
    1. Ban or heavily regulate competing medical philosophies (homeopathy, naturopathy, accupuncture etc.)
    2. Limit the number of Doctors graduating per year to 20,000. This number stands today.

    By limiting the supply, you create a demand supply imbalance. Once you limit the number of doctors, it does not matter what medical system you have. All sorts of abuses will happen. It’s like feedback. If your engineering system does not have feedback, you are not sure what will happen, but you know that what you want will not happen. Tell me which system of medicine will work if there are only 100 doctors in all of the US.

    This limiting of the supply is the root cause of all problems. And because this is the root cause, no one including you addresses it. Some how all you people have an aversion to addressing the root cause and prefer to put it down to greed, svaric, sin, and all such bullshit. Humans are like machines. They will react based on feedback given to them. If someone smacks you in the face and you give him a hundred bucks. He will continue smacking you in the face. Are you really trying to tell me that only doctors are greedy and that All other professions are altruistic? Of course everyone will be greedy if you give them the power to act out their greed. Doctors are able to act out their greed because they know that the patients have no other options. Even the lousiest doctor is booked for weeks. Why? Because their supply is so low. It’s like women. Increase the supply of doctors 10-fold and lets see if the system has the same abuses.

    Seriously, grow up and address the real issue instead of picking up on your prejudices like a little girl.

  3. V10
    May 23, 2011 at 2:58 am | #3

    It’s far less likely the legal profession would be thrown overboard, as a large percentage of politicians have their professional roots in law.

  1. May 22, 2011 at 1:17 am | #1

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