Against Obamacare

Posted: July 24, 2009 in Politics

I like Ann Coulter’s point at the end of her article, which is offered as an alternative to Obamacare:  “Give the poor and tough cases health stamps and let the rest of us buy health care — and health insurance — on the free market.”

This is what public interest liberalism tends to favor — some form of social amelioration for the poor and needy.  In other words, give those who are most in need some help.  Conservatives, except for those who are purists in their view of no state intervention, generally accept some form of public interest liberalism.   (The debate with liberals is over how much, not whether there should be state intervention.)

Unfortunately, too much of liberalism today is welfare-state liberalism, a version of socialism or even fascism — the takeover of whole industries by government.  The mistaken idea behind this liberalism is not amelioration but making everyone equal — not politically equal but materially equal.  This requires a massive redistribution of income.

This form of liberalism will ultimately fail, for the reason that Aristotle pointed out long ago in his criticism of Plato’s socialism: it goes against man’s basic psychology.  Men want to keep the fruit of their labor, not have it taken away.  The more government takes money away from men, the less incentive they have to earn those extra dollars.  Eventually nobody wants to work, or put forth any effort.  Or they simply do enough to get by — and the economy shrinks and collapses.

But amelioration is piecemeal rather than systematic.  It is what could be called “modular.”  We solve one problem at a time.  We give food stamps to those who are hungry, health stamps to those who are sick, and muddle through as best we can, as each problem comes up.

No more big government programs!  Let’s think of piecemeal, modular programs, instead.



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