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von Mises: The Supreme Court and Natural Law

by James E. Miller - Thursday, June 28th, 2012

I won a bet today.

A few weeks ago I wagered with a coworker that the United States Supreme Court would uphold the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as Obamacare. He reasoned that the federal government has no authority under the Constitution to force an individual to purchase a product from a private company. My reasoning was much simpler. Because the Supreme Court is a functioning arm of the state, it will do nothing to stunt Leviathan’s growth. The fact that the Court declared no federal law unconstitutional from 1937 to 1995—from the tail end of the New Deal through Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society—should have been proof enough. He naively believed in the impartialness of politically-appointed judges. For the first time he saw that those nine individuals are nothing more than politicians with an allegiance to state supremacy. [my emphasis]

It was a tough but valuable lesson to learn.

As far as unintended effects are concerned, the economic justification for increased government regulation of the health care industry has been argued countless times up to this point. Proponents of intervention are convinced that more bureaucracies, red tape, and central planning are the answer. They have no knowledge of the pricing system and how it functions as the most efficient means through which consumers and producers can interact to come to an agreeable deal. They don’t realize that the undersupply of doctors and care providers is a direct consequence of previous government intervention and occupational licensing. Many actually believe that Obamacare wasn’t written by the insurance industry and isn’t a fascist-like appeasement of another deep pocketed lobbying campaign.[my emphasis]
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