Why spend less, if education is the most superior good around?
I think there is another dynamic that’s being ignored — and I would be surprised if an economist ignored it, but I’ll blame Scott’s eclectic ad-hoc education for why he doesn’t discuss the elephant in the room — Superior goods.
There are 2.5 people handling insurance claims for every doctor.
Construction sites have always had a lot of people standing around for every one actually working the machine.
When people get more money, they replace cheap “inferior” goods with expensive “superior” goods. In this chart, the reason healthcare hasn’t really shot up to the extent Scott discussed, as the article notes, is because most of the cost is via pre-tax employer spending.
The other big change the article discusses is that after 1950 or so, everyone got cars, and commuted from their more expensive suburban houses — which is effectively an implicit increase in housing cost.