Archive for October, 2007

Anti-Universal Health Care Coverage

October 27, 2007

I stand with the Cato institute on this one. (link) I don’t support the idea of either providing universal health care coverage or forcing people to cover themselves. If I am to be free, then I am to be free to not buy health care insurance, not to see a doctor when I am sick, and not to go to the emergency room if I have a medical emergency. I have the freedom to take care of my body or to refuse treatment.

The idea that someone else can force me to buy insurance or to see a doctor is the exact opposite of freedom and liberty.

Why I Don’t Protest

October 5, 2007

Communists protest. Nazis protests. Maoists protest.

They also murder and spread lies and propaganda.

This isn’t a coincidence. Protestors tend to protest for people and ideas that murder and lie.

Why is that?

Because there are exactly two ways to influence people: persuasion and intimidation.

Persuasion works by convincing someone it is in their best interests to do what you want them to do. If there is even a hint of a threat, persuasion begins to turn to intimidation, so persuasion’s fundamental rule is, “You have a right to disagree and disobey me.”

Intimidation works by force. “Do what I want, or else.” Else what? “Else I shall destroy you politically, economically, and even physically.” It works by instilling fear into the hearts of the audience. It doesn’t rely on persuasion, not one bit. The only “persuading” that occurs is persuading the audience to take the threats seriously.

One thing all of the false ideologies in this world share in common is that they are incapable of using persuasion. It is foreign to them. They want no part of it. They believe it doesn’t work, can’t work, and never did work. Of course, they avoid the reason why it doesn’t work–for them. It doesn’t work because they are wrong. See, people can only be persuaded (long-term) to the truth. If you want people to believe a lie, you have to really work hard at it and eventually they will figure it all out. So persuasion is a very poor tool for the liar.

On the other hand, the job of the modern liberty-loving capitalist is quite simple. All they have to do is explain what they believe in. And when they do, the vast majority of the people will be persuaded by it. That’s because they are right.

Ronald Reagan didn’t need rallies or demonstrations or protests to convince people that limited government was the right thing to do and to sweep two presidential elections. He didn’t need to stir up the American people to bring down the Iron Curtain. He only had to say a few words, express his beliefs, and declare the virtues of capitalism and liberty. That was enough.

That’s why today you see the communists agitating to pass SCHIP and agitating to end the war in Iraq and agitating to get Rush Limbaugh banned from radio. They cannot convince anyone that their ideas are correct, especially with freedom-loving capitalists getting the word out so effectively. So they have to resort to intimidation.

“Let’s get a whole bunch of unwashed, drug-addicted people out to behave like neanderthals and chant stupid slogans that barely rhyme,” they say, “because maybe people will be scared that there are a lot more of them out there and they might, you know, do something one day.” Maybe a few people reading the paper will think, “Gosh, these guys are serious. If we don’t pass SCHIP, maybe they’ll protest in front of my house! Think of the lawn!” Or perhaps, “Maybe I am a weird guy in America because I don’t want government writing checks for my children’s health care. After all, these guys represent the vast majority–look at them protest!” And so they will vote democrat or something.

Meanwhile, the conservative movement–the movement started by our Founding Fathers–continues to march along, convincing and persuading and spreading like a wildfire. It spreads naturally. It spreads through ideas and words. It spread without protests, without violence. Conservatives meet opposition with a phrase like, “If you feel that way, then go ahead and do what you want within the law. Just remember that you are wrong.”

Of course, it is important that men be freed from intimidation, usually by eliminating the source of the intimidation or by having the means available to do so. (This means carrying a gun and being able to use it and organizing into militias.) Otherwise, you get things like Stalinist Russia, the Hitler’s Holocaust, Tiananmen Square and the Burma Uprising where those who refused to be intimidated were slaughtered by the thousands and millions.

If the communists in America ever decided to carry out their threats of violence against the freedom-loving people, they would be met with greater force. That’s why communism doesn’t spread here.

SCHIP and the children

October 4, 2007

As the democrats agitate in a manner reminescent of Hitler and Stalin, let us remember why President Bush’s veto was a veto for and in behalf of the interests of the children.

See, socialism never works, never. It never has, and it never will. It doesn’t work because socialism is diametrically opposed to the freedom of the individual.

Yes, they mask their rhetoric in confusion, and they claim that without socialism nobody is free. They claim that without massive government grants and funds and programs, that nobody is truly free. Let me explain why this is absolutely not the case, in ever case, for everybody.

The SCHIP program affects the following groups of individuals in profound ways. It affects the taxpayers, the medical providers, the medical consumers (including the children), medical charity, and everyone else.

First, the taxpayers. What are they losing? They are losing the freedom to choose how to spend their own money. Government rides in, with appropriate support from the military and police and courts, and forcefully takes the money away from the taxpayers. In our income tax system, it is precisely those people who know best what to do with their money that are given the least amount of freedom to use their money. In other words, the money experts aren’t allowed to practice their expertise and create more wealth in this country, thanks to the tax system.

All taxes are evil, every one of them. We put up with taxes because certain things are best handled by taxes, such as national defense and the regulation of international and interstate trade and law enforcement and the court systems. However, when we use the awful power of taxation to provide something vain that is labelled falsely as “children’s health care”, we are abusing our authority and only injuring ourselves.

SCHIP also injures the medical industry. When the government begins paying the bills, they become the customer. They make unreasonable demands. They tie doctor’s hands. They begin to say what treatments are and are not appropriate. They certify which doctors and nurses are allowed to practice. Before the government was involved, these qualifications were left up to respected individuals and groups who, if they made a mistake, could lose their reputation. But what if the government makes a mistake, allowing unreasonable treatments or preventing reasonable ones? Are they going to lose their reputation? No. There is no way to get government out of regulating and controlling the industry except to cut the industry off of government funding.

SCHIP injures the medical consumers, especially the children who the program is supposed to protect. Above and beyond the unreasonable regulations that government imposes when it begins funding a program, the children are going to miss one vital freedom and benefit: choice. No longer will children (or more accurately, their parents) be able to choose what kind of insurance program to provide for their children, if any. They won’t be able to decide which doctor to see. They will be left to consume whatever scraps are left after the government regulates the industry, and they won’t have anywhere to turn when those scraps are insufficient. This lack of freedom—the lack of choice—is the reason why the USSR fell, why Europe is struggling, and why the USA is the leading in almost every measure imaginable. When consumers (and suppliers) are free to choose, they make much better decisions than a central planning committee, even when their motivations are less than noble. This is true in every case, without exception. In fact, the socialists have been looking the world over for a verifiable case where less choice leads to better results, and they have yet to find even one! All the cases they cite are either theoretical or misrepresented.

The SCHIP program also hurts the medical charity industry. See, there are a lot of very rich people and very talented people who spend a lot of time and money on trying to provide medical care to those who actually need it and can’t provide for themselves. They are powered by donations and energy and volunteers and coordinators. This industry will suffer if one of the motivations for contributing to it evaporates. It’s awfully hard to ask people to donate to a  medical charity to help the children when there is already a government program in place and they are already being taxed to pay for it. This industry is going to suffer because of the SCHIP program. The nice thing about these charitable industries is that they provide yet another choice on top of all the existing ones, and more choices means more freedom means more success.

Finally, the SCHIP program injures everyone else. As we turn over even more power to a tyrannical and power-hungry central government, we sell ourselves, a little by little, into slavery to that government. Today, we already feel massive pain because our choices are severely limited thanks to the central federal government.

Let’s not sell ourselves anymore into slavery; let’s not bankrupt the medical charity industry; let’s not eliminate choices. That’s why the SCHIP program is bad.

One more thing: These protestors are for fools. The people who are inciting them to protest are fools. I say this because they think they can argue against facts and experience and logic and sound economic science with numbers. Argumentum ad populum is a logical fallacy, and it is just as fallacious today as it was 2,300 years ago when Socrates was condemned to death. To me, I don’t pay them any mind except to point out their foolishness. Don’t be swayed by their numbers, unless their numbers are dismal (which is likely.)

What can you do to really influence the debate? Tell your friends why government is evil, and why we should only tolerate a small bit of it only when absolutely necessary. Point out how the SCHIP bill hurts the children, the medical charities, and the doctors and nurses needed to treat sick children. Point out how every socialist experiment has failed and every experiment with more freedom and less government has succeeded.