Jethro Bodine, that inimitable character from the old Beverly Hillbillies show, could never quite decide whether to become a brain surgeon or a fry cook. Sadly, such such career dilemmas are all too real under socialized medicine. Arnold Kling relays the following gag that illustrates this reality as it manifests itself in Cuba:
One Cuban young woman complains to another. “He lied to me! He told me that he was a luggage handler! It turns out, he’s nothing but a neurosurgeon!”
The joke, unfortunately, is on the Cuban people. Kling explains:
Luggage handlers working the tourist hotels often make more in one day than medical doctors receive in a month.
Such absurd resource allocations inevitably result when government arbitrarily sets the wages that physicians receive—a fact that CMS has yet to absorb.