|Science's Big Problem||ObamaCare: Why the Rules Matter|
by Christopher Chantrill
March 12, 2010 at 11:30 pm
THE BIG question for Americans is whether they are better off defeating the monstrosity of ObamaCare now or whether it is best to let the Democrats pass it and then work to repeal it, whether it takes a day or a decade.
The short answer is: Defeat it. The passage of ObamaCare lets a genie of government power out of the bottle that will be very difficult to put back in. It will turn health care into an ineffectual government program much like education in which Americans are endlessly fighting for advantage. Nobody with an ounce of compassion could wish ObamaCare on the American people.
As Speaker Nancy Pelosi works this week to get the necessary votes for passage, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay suggests to CNN that Pelosis leadership style may be helping to defeat ObamaCare:
Nancy Pelosi writes the bill, hands it to the chairman, says get it out of committee in an hour and were going to the floor, were going to debate it and Ill break arms if you vote against me. That will come to haunt you and bring you down.
In his day, DeLay would work with members to get consensus before bringing a bill to the floor.
Theres a temptation to say: Let the Democrats pass their bill. Let them own health care. Let them start "bending the cost curve" and rationing access to health care. Let them take over the evil insurance companies and have government gatekeepers be the ones to deny care. Then well throw the Democrats out of office and repeal the bill and it will be morning in America again.
There are a number of reasons why the outcome of ObamaCare would be a lot less enjoyable than this rosy scenario.
First of all, in the period between passage and repeal many damaging events will have taken place. Taxes will have gone up. Many employers will have terminated their health plans and accepted a tax that costs them less than their employee health plan. Seniors will have lost their Medicare Advantage. Doctors will have retired rather than deal with the hassle of ObamaCare. Already the curtain will have rung up on a meaner, nastier America.
And we know today what that looks like. It looks like Greece, where the government is teetering on the edge of default and workers from a bloated the public sector are rioting in the streets over the possibility of any reduction in their pay and benefits. It looks like Iceland, where the voters just voted by 93 percent to 1.5 percent against the governments proposal to pay back losses suffered by British and Dutch depositors after its bank meltdown in 2008. And lets not forget Argentina, which has lumbered from inflation to default and back again numerous times since it opted for the empty promises of Juan Peron and the lovely Evita back in 1946.
The squalor of this kind of government is dreadful. It is government that lurches from crisis to crisis, resorting to loans, IMF bailouts, defaults on debt followed by "restructurings" that deliver a 60 to 70 percent loss to bondholders. In the Argentine crisis of 1999-2002 the government blithely seized dollar deposits in personal checking accounts and replaced them with pesos worth about 25 percent as much.
Under government like that you cant be an independent soul. You have to work for the government, join a union, pay your dues to the local party boss. Otherwise you will get run over. The glory of America is that most of the time it has avoided this misery.
Governments resort to this sort of thuggery because the political process rewards thuggery. Politicians get elected on the strength of glorious promises; they get reelected on the weight of loot acquired for their constituents. So long as people want loot from politicians, so long will politics be a squalid business of taxing, spending, borrowing, default, and the blame game.
The United States was founded in another time. It was a time when people still recoiled from the abuses of the absolute monarchs. Political leaders saw the damage that big government could do and they wanted to build a nation that was independent and free. They thought that government should be limited, and that it should have "enumerated powers," meaning that its powers should be limited to those enumerated in the Constitution.
The practice of limited government encourages a virtuous circle of social virtue, as people find that they must serve their fellow men and women in economic goods and services to gain prosperity and distinction. The practice of big government encourages a vicious cycle of rent seeking, as people find that the only way to get on is to support a politician and agitate for a subsidy or a bailout.
Wed better defeat ObamaCare now, and defeat Democrats in November, rather than defeat Democrats in November and then reverse ObamaCare.
Americas future, and her prosperity, depends upon it.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists
conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family.
Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is merely relative, is asking you not to believe him. So dont.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy
Paul Dirac: When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated
by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that
I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion.
However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and
inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he
suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.
John Farrell, The Creation Myth
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization