I have spent, sometimes, hours trying to explain the negative effects of the "free lunch" to friends and acquaintances. On most occasions, I have failed miserably. I attend a Canadian university. So, by default, the position on health care is that it should be 'free'. Many go as far as to say that the entire cost of university education should be provided for by the government. The combined top, federal and provincial, income tax rate is over 50% in Ontario. It ain't coming down thanks to my ultra-liberal colleagues.
Last year, the president of the student union stated that since the tax rates in Canada are so high, the younger workers have trouble paying off their student loans. Solution: the government should pay for our education. I kid you not. This would be a brilliant policy for driving out the best people in their respective fields. Think about it. One could get a decent education in Canada for 'free'. Then when it comes time to pay for the 'free' education via high tax rates, one could migrate to the US and enjoy their lower tax rates. This would in turn push the tax rates in Canada even higher.
That's an awful policy because it leads to higher tax rates and a brain drain from Canada. Now, understand that not all the geeks will make a go for the US. A lot of them will take into consideration their family and friends who live in Canada plus many of these pros will likely be liberal and will think twice before going to Bush country. Though, what can't be denied is that they're given a juicy incentive to make a living in the US instead of in Canada. You can bet that some will go for it.
I concur with John Hawkins. Along with price controls, a minimum wage is also considered a compassionate policy. See my article from last December on the compassionate consequences of the minimum wage.