“It sounds so virtuous to insist that “healthcare is a right.” Thus, if you do not believe medical care should be free, you are not a moral person.
This technique echoes Aldous Huxley’s view that “the propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that the other set is human.” (Of course, bearing arms is a constitutional right, but guns are not given away for free. Indeed, gunowners are thought by some to be horrible people).
Free medical care for all is short, simple, and seductive.
The promise: Medical services are free.
Reality: Government may deny the request for prior authorization for your treatment, or ration treatments for older folks, such as hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery.
In the government health system 307,000 Veterans might have died waiting for medical care.
The promise: Drugs are free.
Reality: The medication your physician thinks is best for you is not on the government’s formulary.
The promise: There are no out-of-pocket costs.
Reality: Private health insurance is abolished, leaving no consumer choice.
The promise: It’s free!
Reality: Your taxes will be raised to heights unknown.
“Free” is America’s new verbal Potemkin village of health care, where Susie gets a free birth if she survives her abortion, free medical care for life, and even free food. All Susie has to do for herself is breathe.
This is a panderer’s view of America. In fact, we are a country of individuals who want to govern their own lives and of physicians who want the freedom to properly care for their patients.”
Pursuing life, liberty & happiness must be accomplished by individuals, and can’t be granted to us by bureaucrats or gov’t programs.
Milton Friedman understood this and trumpeted this message throughout his life.
“I should be glad…if you had really discovered a beneficent and inexhaustible being, calling itself the Government…which can provide for all our wants…correct all our errors, repair all our faults, and exempt us henceforth from the necessity for foresight, prudence, judgment, sagacity, experience, order, economy, temperance, and activity.”
Government. We say to it ‘I should like…the possessions of others. But this would be dangerous. Could you not facilitate the thing for me?…the law will have acted for me, and I shall have all the advantages of plunder, without its risk or its disgrace.'”
The Political Dogma:
Government social “reinvestment” programs benefit the poor at the expense of the wealthy.
The Political Reality, as instantiated by Director’s Law:
Public program expenditures primarily benefit the upward rising middle classs at the expense of the wealthy AND the poor.
“Without economic growth, there is no wealth to share.”Johan Norberg
Lessons for America?
Welcome to another edition of Friday’s Philosophical Foray beyond Healthcare!
One of the most important history lessons in the power of economic freedom to alleviate poverty and improve the lot of the ordinary citizen did not occur during the industrial revolution in America. It has its roots in a relatively obscure Swedish leader & political philosopher. He was a Finnish-Swedish clergyman, writer, and political philosopher, whose ideas and advocacy pre-dated that of Adam Smith.
The freedom of Swedish people to pursue self-determination which empowered individuals to trade, act and associate voluntarily with others was championed by the words & deeds of Anders Chydenius (1729 – 1803).
After his death in 1803, Chydenius’s libertarian ideas where perpetuated by the Aftonbladet news publication in Stockholm, a news outlet started by Lars Johan Hierta, which was instrumental in spreading the message of economic freedom against the guilds and mercantilism which dominated Swedish economic policy under the King.
In 1840, the new Finance Minister Johan August Gripendstedt, the architect of Sweden’s new market economy, continued the market reforms. His policies ignited economic expansion and growth based on free trade, sound monetary policy and modicum of govt regulations.
Between 1850 – 1950, Sweden’s per capita GDP increased almost seven-fold. Infant mortality improved by 86% and life expectancy increased by 26 years! By 1950 Sweden was one of the richest developed countries and had one of the most open and deregulated economies in the world; with tax rates LOWER that the United States and most European Countries.
Until 1960, Sweden had low taxes, minimal gov’t intervention in the economy, free trade and strong private property rights.
To explore this subject in detail, please watch Johan Norberg discuss Sweden’s rise to prominence in his video below.
One of the most fascinating discussions I’ve ever heard about socio-economic & socio-political issues.
Proof that honest discussions, which generate better understanding, can happen when we view different opinions as coming from different vantage points rather than as “the opposition.”
“The disconnect between the intention and what emerges”
A conversation with Dr. Thomas Sowell about the folly of political initiatives to solve disparate impact. With predictable irony, these same interventions often exacerbate the same problems the were commissioned to fix.