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The Dangerous Fallacy of Government Healthcare

We approach the moment of decision when it will be determined whether or not this country will embark on a Titanic voyage into an iceberg of monumental proportions.  Mark Steyn recently provided for us the primary reason to use the adjective “dangerous” to this decision.  Those thinking that we should allow the Dumocrats to pass Obamacare so that the contrast to the Republicans and conservatives (not necessarily the same body) is more readily visible, expecting the GOP to reverse the entitlement after this coming November’s blood bath at the polls really need to get a better grasp of history.  (Emphasis added.)

I’ve been saying in this space for two years that the governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture. It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible. In most of the rest of the Western world, there are still nominally “conservative” parties, and they even win elections occasionally, but not to any great effect (let’s not forget that Jacques Chirac was, in French terms, a “conservative”). The result is a kind of two-party one-party state: Right-of-center parties will once in a while be in office, but never in power, merely presiding over vast left-wing bureaucracies that cruise on regardless.

Republicans seem to have difficulty grasping this basic dynamic.

Note that:  a PERMANENT left-of-center POLITICAL culture.  That is what Obamacare in any form imposes on us now and on our children and grandchildren.  Why?  Because of the redefinition contained in this monstrosity that Mr. Steyn brings so visibly to the surface for our viewing.  History repeatedly and clearly demonstrates that, once created, the Frankenstein monster becomes very hard to nail down and actually kill:

The short history of the post-war welfare state is that you don’t need a president-for-life if you’ve got a bureaucracy-for-life: The people can elect “conservatives,” as the Germans have done and the British are about to do, and the Left is mostly relaxed about it because, in all but exceptional cases (Thatcher), they fulfill the same function in the system as the first-year boys at wintry English boarding schools who for tuppence-ha’penny or some such would agree to go and warm the seat in the unheated lavatories until the prefects strolled in and took their rightful place.

The lack of a political backbone, unless the rare leader (who can actually lead his party) with one appears on the scene, ensures this outcome.  Thus Mr. Steyn points out with his usual picturesque eloquence the benefits for the Dumocrats, which proves not to be so dumb after all (emphasis added):

Indeed. Look at it from the Dems’ point of view. You pass Obamacare. You lose the 2010 election, which gives the GOP co-ownership of an awkward couple of years. And you come back in 2012 to find your health-care apparatus is still in place, a fetid behemoth of toxic pustules oozing all over the basement, and, simply through the natural processes of government, already bigger and more expensive and more bureaucratic than it was when you passed it two years earlier. That’s a huge prize, and well worth a mid-term timeout.

 

obama akbar

 

Thus, the cartoon above only depicts the short-term effects of this policy.  The long-term impact will be more widespread, and be a cultural suicide.  For those who would disagree, choosing to view this as progress, I would urge you to meditate on George Santayana’s famous quote in context (The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905):

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In the first stage of life the mind is frivolous and easily distracted, it misses progress by failing in consecutiveness and persistence. This is the condition of children and barbarians, in which instinct has learned nothing from experience.

The fundamental fallacy of this whole proposition, the reason this may be labeled a Socialist endeavor to begin with, was clarified for us recently by Walter Williams’ column entitled Is Health Care a Right?  The problem is that all liberals, including the leading Dumocrats, most politicians, and even many Americans (thanks to the failure of our current public edjumacation system) answer that question incorrectly in the affirmative.  The clarity of his explanation is achieved by giving us a concrete example to which we can relate of what is really proposed with this legislation:

Say a person, let’s call him Harry, suffers from diabetes and he has no means to pay a laboratory for blood work, a doctor for treatment and a pharmacy for medication. Does Harry have a right to XYZ lab’s and Dr. Jones’ services and a prescription from a pharmacist? And, if those services are not provided without charge, should Harry be able to call for criminal sanctions against those persons for violating his rights to health care?

Thus the scene is set.  The “natural,” “liberal,” “Leftist,” and “fair” response is, yes, Harry should have the right to these services and the right to sue if he doesn’t get them.  At least if you are not thinking critically.  However, Mr. Williams postulates a rational response and proceeds to show why it is rational, and lawful (emphases added):

You say, "Williams, that would come very close to slavery if one person had the right to force someone to serve him without pay." You’re right. Suppose instead of Harry being able to force a lab, doctor and pharmacy to provide services without pay, Congress uses its taxing power to take a couple of hundred dollars out of the paycheck of some American to give to Harry so that he could pay the lab, doctor and pharmacist. Would there be any difference in principle, namely forcibly using one person to serve the purposes of another? There would be one important strategic difference, that of concealment. Most Americans, I would hope, would be offended by the notion of directly and visibly forcing one person to serve the purposes of another. Congress’ use of the tax system to invisibly accomplish the same end is more palatable to the average American.

Indeed, it is a sad commentary on our ability to think critically that letting Congress commit fiscal rape is more palatable to the average American.  This is the consequence of allowing the Left to take over the education system.  Ignorance of logic, history, and the demolition of critical thinking skills combined with the inculcation of subjective and emotional response processes, and the concealment factor becomes a piece of cake for those seeking to use it.  Thus, to clarify the truth, the key reasoning here is as follows (emphases added):

True rights, such as those in our Constitution, or those considered to be natural or human rights, exist simultaneously among people. That means exercise of a right by one person does not diminish those held by another. In other words, my rights to speech or travel impose no obligations on another except those of noninterference. If we apply ideas behind rights to health care to my rights to speech or travel, my free speech rights would require government-imposed obligations on others to provide me with an auditorium, television studio or radio station. My right to travel freely would require government-imposed obligations on others to provide me with airfare and hotel accommodations.

For Congress to guarantee a right to health care, or any other good or service, whether a person can afford it or not, it must diminish someone else’s rights, namely their rights to their earnings. The reason is that Congress has no resources of its very own. Moreover, there is no Santa Claus, Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy giving them those resources. The fact that government has no resources of its very own forces one to recognize that in order for government to give one American citizen a dollar, it must first, through intimidation, threats and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American. If one person has a right to something he did not earn, of necessity it requires that another person not have a right to something that he did earn.

Again I say, this understanding is key.  This is why Ayn Rand refers to people seeking power by granting “entitlements” at the expense of others who provide the resources that make those entitlements possible as “looters.”  Mr. Williams’ conclusion is one with which I agree 100%:

None of my argument is to argue against charity. Reaching into one’s own pockets to assist his fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else’s pockets to do so is despicable and deserves condemnation.

We are at a critical crossroads.  If ever there were a time for prayer and action, now is it.  God have mercy on our country!

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