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September 27, 2017


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Thanks, Mort, and I agree! But with global warming, Canada will in a few decades be breezy and warm, so better go now.

More seriously, the notion that freedom largely revolves around the ability to make choice in free markets, and hence socialist-leaning countries don't have it, needs some unpacking.

Amartya Sen's book, Development as Freedom, notes how the lack of capabilities also limits our freedoms. Because socialist-leaning countries often have excellent records in terms of education, this expands freedoms (I'm not talking about communist societies that have little freedom of press or media).

You also noted differences in incarceration rates, which to me is a signal of how well young people are socialized to get along in the community, which is itself a form of capability.

Some of this can be helped by government. Quick example: under British socialized medicine my wife was allowed to stay in the hospital several days after childbirth; state-paid nurses helped teach her how to breastfeed and other tips (her own mother was thousands of miles away). Nurses later visited her in the home to offer more advice as the baby grew and its needs changed. This is expensive preventive medicine, but it is cheaper than the side effects of a serious health complication. Being healthy is a capability and a form of freedom. :) --JBW

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