“Everybody Steals”

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I had a friendly discussion with a fellow, a self-proclaimed republican, who wanted to see the health care bill pass.

His assertion was that they’ve been working on something like this for so long, that if politics got in the way of fixing medicine once again, he wanted to throw all the bums out of both parties and find someone who can set politics aside.

I pointed out to him that parts of the plan involved theft—taking money from one group of people and giving it to another. Theft is wrong. It is slavery. It is against every law of morality.

He declared that “everybody steals”.

I often wonder if people think before they speak, or if they just say things without realizing how truly awful they sound.

If “Everybody Steals”, then we have no more property rights. If “Everybody Steals”, then the solution is not institutionalized theft. If “Everybody Steals”, then we should stop stealing and start respecting each other’s right to own property and decide on their own what to do with their own stuff.

Of course, I don’t truly think he meant what he said. His real concerns were the costs of health care and insurance. I pointed out to him that there is a government-mandated, by the tax code, system of monopoly. Each insurance company monopolizes their own companies. Employees are not allowed to buy insurance outside of their own company, let alone their state. A little competition, real competition, would drive health insurance costs down and increase the quality. He couldn’t argue with that.

He had the strange idea that somehow government could provide that competition. I asked him how he would feel to compete with the government. And he said, “But it’s not fair,” acknowledging that there would be no competition at all once the government entered the field.

In the end, this is a guy who had somehow been stuck in the world of newspaper and TV news propaganda. He had done no or little research of his own, and allowed himself to become emotionally involved in the propaganda he had been fed.

Folks, there is no reason to turn to the newspapers or TV news anymore, or use them as an authority over other sources. We’ve shown, time and time again, that they really don’t care about you or the truth or even exposing government largess and outright fraud. If you wan to truly understand what is happening, you’re going to have to figure out how to aggregate several independent and contradicting news sources. Use a tool like Google Reader to put them into a format where you can quickly scan the articles and read the ones you want to know more about. Subscribe to the various RSS feeds of websites you find and websites that those link to. Be sure to include a wide variety of opinions, so you can see what everyone is saying.

Ultimately, one of them, somewhere, is going to have to explain why they are right and the others are wrong, and the most persuasive argument isn’t passion or propaganda, but pure and simple evidence.

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