"No government of the left has done as much for the poor as capitalism has. Even when it comes to the redistribution of income, the left talks the talk but the free market walks the walk. What do the poor most need? They need to stop being poor. And how can that be done, on a mass scale, except by an economy that creates vastly more wealth? Yet the political left has long had a remarkable lack of interest in how wealth is created. As far as they are concerned, wealth exists somehow and the only interesting question is how to redistribute it." ~ Thomas Sowell
The Irrelevance of Government
Exclusive to STR
It is amusing to listen to our rulers arguing for, or against, the administration's 'health care' scheme. (I put health care in quotation marks because the plan has nothing to do with health care, which existed LONG before politicians became involved with it. It has to do with taxation and regulation, i.e., government!) We are solemnly warned, by the proponents of the plan, that the present system is headed for destruction, and change is urgently needed.
What is not mentioned is that at the inauguration of the present Medicare, we got similar warnings, even though, as a physician newly in practice in 1963, I was unaware of any health 'crisis,' and my patients seemed unaware of it as well. Now it seems that the system designed to protect us from a 'health care crisis' is itself in crisis, and a new, bigger, system is called for. Why should we believe that more of a failed system is better? Do we treat burns with a blowtorch?
Opponents of the president's plan argue that it's too much, with excessive interference by government in medical care. (It's not the principle of the thing that's objectionable, you see, only some niggling details.) A strategy seems to be evolving: demand a mile, and then settle, with great fanfare--for the triumph of private enterprise!--, for a kilometer. It's as though a mugger demanded your wallet, and then, overcome with concern for your welfare, allowed you to keep a few bucks--and expected you to thank him.
Absolutely NEVER proposed is the total abandonment of government involvement with medicine, although that is the obvious path to better, cheaper, health care. The fact that at least a portion of the populace is against more government meddling with matters medical is encouraging, however. Can the body politic be awakening?
Even the most somnolent citizen would be outraged if a group of people--strangers to him--came to his door demanding large amounts of money in order to pay for his medical expenses, with certain conditions attached, of course. 'What right do you have to demand that I pay you for services I may not want or need, and to dictate how those services be provided, should I ever need them?' he might ask. It's a good question, but he never asks it when the demanding strangers proclaim themselves 'government.' In some remarkable manner, never explained, individuals who have no authority over others at all, gain such power upon being elected, although never by a majority of the people they claim to represent. They may claim that their authority is via delegation from the people, while doing things which the people could never do, and therefore could not delegate. Once they decide what we must do, or not do, according to procedures of their own devising, they write their wishes down in a book and call them 'law,' and enjoin us to treat the 'law' with great respect and reverence.
These 'laws,' which we are taught to take very seriously, and obey without question, are justified, at least by those who make them, with the claim that the lawmakers are elected by the people, and therefore do their will. Since, in a democracy, the majority rules, the whole system is based upon popular consent, via elected representatives. That's the theory. But it's all hooey.
In the first place, not all of us voted for 'our' representatives. Those who accept rule by the elected are certainly free to do so, but what about us, who don't? But even if you voted, your candidate might have lost. Are you then represented? If your candidate won, does he always vote as you would? What of the other 533 congressmen? Don't their votes on matters such as Medicare count just as much as your own congressman's? The idea of 'representative democracy' is simply absurd, as is, ultimately, the idea of government itself.
Government is only valid, in my opinion, when prefixed by the word 'self.' In the past, when most people took the idea of religion seriously, they knew how to behave, and if there was a question of the right path to follow, they looked to the churches for guidance. Today, the role once played by religion is played by government, except that moral rules don't apply, but rather, political expediency. The expression 'power corrupts' is a perfect explanation of modern government.
The ultimate irony is that our rulers call themselves 'public servants.' That they can do so with a straight face shows the level of their duplicity, or the extent of their unawareness. Happily, increasing numbers of the general public are awakening to the absurdity of that designation. Imagine the servant dictating to the master, and threatening him if he does not obey! The idea is simply grotesque.
Perhaps even more grotesque is the fate of someone who declines to subject himself to his 'servant.' He may find himself the defendant in a suit brought by his master, the government, although the government is not a tangible entity, and cannot claim hurt or injury resulting from the sovereign's 'transgression.' Nonetheless, a trial may take place, in a courtroom owned and operated by the plaintiff, according to the plaintiff's rules, with a prosecutor on the plaintiff's payroll, with jurors receiving benefits from the plaintiff, before an impartial (!) judge employed by the plaintiff. But not to worry! It's all one hundred percent proper and according to law--the law having been made by--the plaintiff.
If any good comes from this ridiculous 'crisis' involving health care, it will be that more and more citizens are awakening to the true nature of government. The sheep's clothing is tattered and torn; the wolf beneath is becoming increasingly visible. It's about time!