Learning from China’s History


I’m weighing in on the health care debate. I’m an impartial observer, because I already have socialized medicine through the VA. Serving in Vietnam earned me that benefit, and the VA works better than most systems.

VA Medical Facility, San Francisco

We can learn from history if we pay attention. In 141 B.C.E., a new Han emperor sat on the Dragon Throne in China. His name was Wudi. He ruled for fifty-four years. Wudi believed that all people should have the right to buy certain commodities essential to survival and they should not be included in the free-market system. He implemented government monopolies in certain critical areas like salt, alcohol and iron. Prices were controlled so everyone paid the same low price.

After his death, a national debate known as the “Debate on Salt and Iron” took place. The government monopolies were abolished, and the poor could no longer afford many essentials. The rich grew wealthier. Soon after that, the Han Dynasty entered a period of stagnation like what is taking place in America today, and the Han Dynasty eventually collapsed. 

What could we learn from what happened in China during the Han Dynasty?
Isn’t health care a commodity essential to survival?

Learn about China Investing Big in Education


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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One Response to Learning from China’s History

  1. […] What was the debate on salt and iron […]

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