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Having an online discussion with a progressive- could use your ideas re: social contract, health care

I've been having an online discussion with a progressive who is aware of the Fed and banker fraud, but loves big government. I'm going to think about my response to his last message after my kids have gone to bed. I thought it would be helpful to hear from some of the brilliant minds here on the DP. He seems to have settled down about roads and bridges and now he's on to healthcare (he's an American living in Ireland). Here's what he said:

"Susan, that was pretty good stuff. I know that libertarians like to think of taxes as 'theft', but that's not true. It's part of the social contract that we have with each other, by living in America whereby there are certain things that are taken care of for us, with the use of our money. I would expect you to say something along the lines of: "I didn't sign that contract!", which is true, but your representatives in government (all levels) did. And, as I mentioned in one of these number of posts on Monica's wall ;-) there is a reason we moved away for anarchy and into a society based upon a social contract. It may not be the best for everyone, but it does its best for the most. No one likes paying taxes - I now pay.... about 40% (and that's a REAL 40%) on income, I pay one of the higher VATs in Europe (23%) on everything I buy, I AUTOMATICALLY pay 52% on stock (I work for Amazon, so I get some stock as part of my pay package, and they sell more than half of it as soon as I vest it). Does it piss me off - of course it does. Mostly because while Ireland has such high taxes, it doesn't have the highest services in Europe - and most of this money is going to pay off the fucking banks. I always say that it's funny - in the US I'm some Leftist Pinko Communist, but in Ireland I feel like Ron Paul. If they gave better services I wouldn't mind nearly as much. But even as it is, there is universal healthcare, free schooling of a high level (including college), and other benefits I can't think of at the moment. I don't mind the free market - I think it's a great thing. BUT, I don't think it will provide the services that the people need. Business is about making money - that is ALL it's about (and I agree with that idea). Business is NOT for altruistically helping the populace.

I also have a relative here who is having serious health problems. In the US he would be bankrupt, or more likely dead by now because he couldn't afford the care. That's the reality of the free market. I actually think that the healthcare exchanges are a great idea. I think it would be great for the government to have a plan and compete with the insurance providers."




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She doesn't see that the free

She doesn't see that the free market has an inherent efficiency that provides what people want at the lowest price. She has some concept of government waste, but she doesn't understand that the govt is inherently wasteful. The govt's costs are not based on the value people put on the services with the prices they are willing to pay, but on arbitrary budgets, so the govt subtracts from the net wealth of society. In a free market, each trade is done because both sides benefit, and wealth is created with each trade.

With healthcare, she seems to think that what we had before Obamacare was free market healthcare. She doesn't see that the loopholes anyone has to jump through to provide services blow up the cost of services by a factor of ten, a hundred, or more, depending on the situation. A nurse isn't allowed to see and treat patients for issues that they're perfectly capable of handling, and if they could do so, they would charge much lower rates than doctors. She doesn't understand that the whole medical system is a prohibitively expensive behemoth created by the govt. Ask her why patients end up flying out to less regulated foreign countries to get medical care for cheaper. Should they not be allowed to seek services they can actually afford to pay for?

I used to be liberal in my economic thinking, and I thought healthcare costs were the result of too many businesses with their hands in the pot and driving up costs with all their expensive machines in hospitals. I didn't see that more businesses involved would actually drive down prices if the govt kept its hands off.

Show her how unregulated the electronics industry is, and how electronics are always going down in price, decade after decade, year after year, month after month, every timeframe, pretty consistently going down. And they're doing it so well that even inflation can't stop it.

ConstitutionHugger's picture

Thanks for your help- I totally plagerized your answer

here's what I wrote, in case you're interested:

FREE MARKET:
The free market has an inherent efficiency that provides what people want at the lowest price. You have some concept of government (herein after referred to as “govt”) waste, but you don't understand that the govt is inherently wasteful. The govt's costs are not based on the value people put on the services with the prices they are willing to pay, but on arbitrary budgets, so the govt subtracts from the net wealth of society. In a free market, each trade is done because both sides benefit, and wealth is created with each trade. What we had before Obamacare was not free market healthcare. My own doctor said he was thinking of closing shop because of the paperwork.
The loopholes anyone has to jump through to provide services blow up the cost of services by a factor of ten, a hundred, or more, depending on the situation. A nurse isn't allowed to see and treat patients for issues that they're perfectly capable of handling, and if they could do so, they would charge much lower rates than doctors. The whole medical system is a prohibitively expensive behemoth created by the govt. Why do patients end up flying out to less regulated foreign countries to get medical care for cheaper? Should they not be allowed to seek services they can actually afford to pay for? Healthcare costs are not the result of too many businesses with their hands in the pot driving up costs. The involvement of more businesses (competition) would actually drive down prices if the govt kept its hands off. Businesses may not be altruistic, but voluntary exchanges result in win/win situations otherwise the exchange would not happen.
The electronics industry is unregulated, and notice how electronics are always going down in price, decade after decade, year after year, month after month, every time frame, pretty consistently going down. And they're doing it so well that even inflation can't stop it.

Silly video about gov mandate health ins. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cdfn0Wiywk4&playnext=1&list=P...

Video about socialist healthcare in Canada and the United States: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R52Ejz47ySc

FREEDOM OF OUR MINDS:

The poor Irish – to extort that much money requires great tyranny of the mind.
You are living in a country where, for centuries, they were treated as serfs and taught that governance was to be left to the aristocracy. In this country we were taught that all men were created equal and we were to govern ourselves. We started out libertarian. Our social contracts are the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights. Little by little our independence has been diminished. Bankers took control of the economy, crashed it, and then offered govt programs to the starving. They took over the schools, taught children that govt programs are necessary and *poof* a few generations later, we’re socialists. Some can’t imagine it ever being any other way. We’re ruled from afar, by people we don’t know. We obey. We rely on them, not each other. Why would socialists go through so much trouble? Because when govt is centralized and socialized they can live like kings as leaches on the system. It’s a great gig. And we’re the chumps.

Taking care of ourselves has become harder due to govt interference in the market. Savings no longer earn interest, and some people have lost their life savings. Our dollars don’t buy a tiny fraction of what they used to. They’ve created a system that devalues the currency, and forces many of us to be dependent on them. They’ve broken our legs and now offer us wheelchairs. “Thanks for the wheelchairs, gosh, where would I be without you, government? Hey, everybody, the government is good and kind, they’re handing out free wheelchairs! Look at all the people with broken legs, thank God government is finally doing something to help.”
Another point- if govt is paying for your health care then they have the right to tell you not to drink whiskey, eat donuts, or smoke cigarettes. Do you really want to the govt to be the boss of you? (self ownership vs. socialism http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FVMGsPS4oQ)

It takes a leap of faith and some imagination to believe that we cannot only take care of ourselves but each other. Isn’t it a big complaint with our society that people are isolated? Isn’t the healthiest thing to do emotionally is to help other people? Why is everyone on anti-depressants? Because govt has taken over OUR role of providing care and service to each other. I believe we can do it. Church going conservative types give money every week and could support charities steadily (we give $100 a week to our church). And progressives in the urban areas always impress me with their good hearts and genius ideas to help people. Without income taxes everyone would have a lot more to give. I could hire a gardener, a maid, and a babysitter and create more jobs.

FORCE:
A huge problem is that govt has been allowed to use force (fines, arrest, imprisonment, levies, garnishments, property seizure) to enforce false philanthropy. Monopoly of force is dangerous and inclined to be abused by those in power. The only justifiable time that force can be used is in self-defense. That applies to you, me, and govt too. Govt force should be used only in cases of self-defense (i.e. when govt steps in to defend us from theft or violence). Govt does not have the authority (at least it shouldn’t) to use force to invent laws about every aspect of our lives and fund charity causes. That’s not a social contract, that’s tyranny.
Liberty to me is; individual rights, tolerance, and non-aggression.
Look up the terms “collectivism” and “individualism” and see which theory you’d rather live with.

Human livestock video, since you relish the idea of being compared to a cow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VvliKHA1u8&list=PLE0A8618810...

Looks good, I hope it helps!

Looks good, I hope it helps!

ConstitutionHugger's picture

So far, no reply

so either I won the debate or he lost interest. Either way, he can't unhear it. The other reason I post tons of information is because other people are "listening" to the debate. You never know what seeds will grow. Thanks for your help.

Y'alls exchange on this post....

Feels like friendship :)

Right on.

Try the concept of free market insurance

If a consumer of insurance has a choice between A or B and A is very expensive and instead of providing insurance A causes injury instead; while B is less expensive and B actually pays off in case of injury.

If he or she does not see the light, at that point, then ask anyone, you, me, anyone, where I can get an anti involuntary tax insurance policy, or an anti-despotism insurance policy.

If there are none, anywhere, then there is no such thing as government, it is all a racket, everywhere, all it is, everywhere, are criminals that give themselves badges.

Anyone, anywhere, pays X for this insurance policy, and if anyone taxes the insurance policy holder against their will, the insurance policy holder is paid back all the money that the criminals with badges stole.

Why do you volunteer to pay taxes?

If you volunteer to pay taxes then it isn't a crime.

If I understand how the money I have stolen from me is then used to steal more, and I refuse to pay the tax, what happens to me?

A goon arrives at the door and kidnaps me?

If the person claiming that it is OK by their judgement that I either pay the "tax" or go to "jail", then that person is just another criminal giving themselves a badge.

Free Market governments have worked, are working, and can work anywhere people want them to work, but if it is crime, then why call it government?

Joe

Never wrestle with a pig.

You will only get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

πολλα γαρ πταιομεν απαντες ει τις εν λογω ου πταιει ουτος τελειος ανηρ δυνατος χαλιναγωγησαι και ολον το σωμα

I will take a whirl at it

If we have a "social contract", it is not the laws the legislators pass, those come and go. That's them executing the contract and running the business day-to-day. But the constitution is the charter that established the business and the terms on which day-to-day operations will be judged. If we have a social contract, its the Constitution. That is the foundational agreement for this nation.

You don't have to be a Libertarian to believe in the Rule of Law, that is, that the government must follow its own rules, that it must be impartial in the administration of justice. And if one does not believe in the rule of law, then one only believes in the jungle.

More after dinner. I will use this as a place market.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

The Constitution Does Not Authorize the Welfare State

"With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators" - James Madison

If you will look at the place in the Constitution where it authorizes Congress to "lay and collect taxes for the common defense and the general welfare" you will see below that there is a list of 17 things. They comprise "the detail of powers" connected with them. IOW, Congress could not lay and collect taxes for any purpose they thought was for "the general welfare", rather, they could lay and collect taxes for those 17 things if done for "the general welfare".

We don't need Madison's confirmation to see that. It is clear from the text itself. For example, if it already authorizes Congress to do anything it feels is for "the common defense" then why bother on the list below to say "provide for an army" and "provide for a navy". The power to lay and collect taxes is limited to the list.

We can still see a vestige of this in Medicaid. The states run Medicaid, so they argued that it was a state plan. That's also why the courts ruled that state's could say "no" to Obamacare. But states won't say "no" because DC is sucking money from them and the only way they can get it back is to jump through DC's hoops. But my point is that anything the feds collect taxes for outside of those 17 things on the list is something they are not authorized to do under the constitution. Over time the feds have slipped those limitations, but they did not bother to amend the Constitution to say so.

If individual states want to collect taxes and fund their own welfare programs, that is a different matter- unless their state constitutions have similar restrictions. Of course, the good thing about kicking welfare down to the state level is that I don't have to live there either. The "transaction costs" of escaping socialism and bad government in general are much lower under a true federalist system, which unfortunately we only have on paper now, not in fact.

So I say if they want to do it, make it legal. Either amend the constitution to permit it, or kick it down to the states and let them decide- without federal tax money being taken and used to push them into anything. I will move to a state where people are still grounded in reality. States don't have their own printing press like the feds, so they can't tax the next generation (who can't defend themselves) with debt like the feds can). That means that states who try to sustain a welfare state will even more quickly learn what Thatcher described as the real trouble with socialism- pretty soon you run out of other people's money.

Basically, the Federal government has been operating outside its own law since the New Deal.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

The moral case is different from the legal case

So while you don't have to take the position that "all taxes are stealing" certainly I take the position that taxes collected and spent on things that they are not authorized to spend money on is stealing, just as if they spent it on buying themselves steaks and limos. And in a way they do. They bail out the big banks, then quit government and get a "job" with those banks. So yes, tax dollars spent on things that the federal government is not authorized to spend money on is a form of stealing called "misappropriation".

But the moral case is that the limit of government is to provide justice. It is the role of individuals and churches to provide MERCY and charity. Social Gospel people like to pretend the Christian thing to do is to vote to expand the welfare state. Nothing could be further from the truth, as "compulsory compassion" ruins the joy of giving for the one paying and the attitude of gratitude in the receiver.

The Bible is full of rules, the Old Testament law had like 900 commands which we can't even follow, but you will not find one single command where the state is authorized to penalize someone for failure to be generous to the poor. God said He would punish for that Himself. Other things were "civil crimes" and He prescribed a state penalty for them.

The Social Justice Christians are nothing of the sort. They can't point to one single verse of scripture to support their case. Justice was the role for the state, mercy was the role for the individual or the church.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

ConstitutionHugger's picture

Thanks for your thoughtful response

I didn't see it until after I posted my response to the progressive. I'll remember your comments in the future. We've got a lot of people to convince. But even if it's just for my own better understanding of the principles of liberty it's good to keep learning. Thanks again.