Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Animal Farm – 2009: A Response

Read the emailed article and comment, Animal Farm, here:

Now, you may think that I would have a negative view of this article because of my views on healthcare, as well as other issues -- my, at times, liberal or socialistic, if you will, view. Well, overall with some exceptions, I am not in disagreement.

However, this is where I have an argument in this article and with your comment:

The uninsured categories break down in this way:

(1) Some can afford it, but do not want it
(2) I am 18 to 25 years old, healthy, and I do not need it
(3) Some are between jobs or have lost their jobs and are temporarily not insured
(4) Children have not been chosen to be covered under their plans by parents
(5) Some are eligible for government programs, such as Medicare/Medicaid, but not signed up.
(6) 9.73 million are foreigners.
(7) 9.1 million people making more than $75,000 per year who did not choose to purchase health insurance

The bottom line: Whether the number is 45 or 47 million or any other number, or for whatever other reason a person may be uninsured, it does not really matter. Every person included in the categories listed above, when they get catastrophically ill, or are in some sort of a serious accident requiring medical care, the costs of treating them is absorbed by providers, passed on to the insured by cost shifting and higher health insurance premiums burdened by the insured, or paid by taxpayers through higher taxes. Most often treating anyone of these folks, in any of these categories, is through a hospital emergency room first, where costs are very high. That is why, whatever the number might be, it matters. They are uninsured nevertheless.

James Quinn says in his article, Affordable Health Choices Act” is the Orwellian name for a bill that will create a massive new bureaucracy, cost at least $1 trillion, cost small businesses billions more in health costs, give government the final decision on whether you are worth saving, and provide more freebies to poor Americans. This will keep the poor sedated and less likely to cause trouble for the ruling class.

In the bill, I read of life sustaining treatment and consultation; nowhere in the bill does it say that consultation would include recommendations on committing suicide or whether a decision should be made as to whether a life is worth saving.

Your concluding comment to the article: If you want to know when the collapse started all you have to do is read the declaration of independence. All men are not created equal. In fact the society could not work if they were. Everyone would want the same thing and would have the same skills and so forth. But to say that all men are created equal opens up Pandora's box because it is a small step to justifying the redistribution of wealth to make everyone equal. That of course is what happened. The declaration goes on to say that we are endowed with inalienable rights. None of this is true. You do not have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. All of these have to earned. But instead most people believe that because they have these rights they have the right to other peoples property so they can eat have shelter have healthcare etc. and not work. In other words they embraced Karl Marx.

Here you are talking about the equal distribution of wealth. That the money (wealth) pot would be divided up equally, and therefore everyone would be monetarily equal. When the Framers talked about equality, they were talking about equal justice for all and not the equal distribution of wealth for all.

We do have inalienable rights or rights of which cannot be transferred to another or others. What the Framers were talking about are fundamental rights, including the right to practice religion, freedom of speech, due process, and equal protection under the law, which cannot be transferred to another nor surrendered except by the person possessing them. It seems to me that thinking differently would violate Galambos’s and your definition of property.

You are saying that life is not worth saving because people do not have the right to life, and that the right to life must be earned. I do not believe that. I believe life has value, and along with that they also have the fundamental right to liberty: free from restrictions or control; right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing; physically and legally free from confinement, servitude, or forced labor (the need to make money and taxation is forced labor through coercement in a money-based economy); and freedom from unjust or undue governmental control.

Therefore, if one has the benefit of all of the above, then they do have the right and are in effect pursuing happiness.

This in essence is libertarianism, a set of inalienable rights, which includes rights to acquire and retain property. These rights are a priori, and should never be denied.

Most people do not believe that because they have the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that they therefore have the right to other people’s property so they can eat have shelter have healthcare and not work. Most people respect the law, and do work. Eating and shelter are indispensable to ones wellbeing and their health. Just based on an analysis of cause and effect, excluding humanitarianism or the forces of taxation, but environmentally, denying nutrition and shelter to those who cannot afford it has a direct affect on those who can afford it

If we are not here to help each other through life, for then what purpose is our life?

Are we here to help the rich get richer?
Are we here to increase the wealth of the nation?
Are we here to secure our own health, wealth, safety, and ignore everyone else?
Or, are we here to secure our own health, wealth, safety, and in doing so secure it for everyone?

Obvious to me, at least, the former is our purpose in life. In securing the health, wealth, and safety of all we reciprocally secure it for ourselves. The healthier your neighbor the more secure your own health, safety, and overall wellbeing will be. When folks are not healthy they are more susceptible to disease, and that will have a direct affect on your health. Wealth, not in terms of riches or affluence, but having adequate financial resources, is directly tied to health and security. If your neighbor does not have the financial ability to maintain their environment in terms of sanitation, their health through proper nutrition and medical care, or their safety by making sure they have protected their environment from structural damage, fire, and criminality, then certainly your home and environment will be at risk, also.

Healthcare for most people who have a family is costly and is a problem, and if they lose their job their problems become manifold. For single people it may seemingly not be as important, except when they get catastrophically ill or are in an accident requiring medical attention and hospitalization. For the poor, indigent, and those for whatever reason America has disenfranchised, all illnesses and accidents are major problems in terms of not only cost, but if they are employed, their continued employment is at risk as well. To the former, their life situation and wellbeing becomes a disaster.

Our growth over time as a people, nation, and world -- our evolution, which is our purpose in life -- depends on our interdependence on each other’s wellbeing. Acquiring this mindset is the only way we will ever achieve world peace.

Short of anarchy, but realistically and logically, we have no choice but to work within the political, economic, and government system parameters in place now. Many opinions over these issues of liberalism versus socialism versus conservatism and the resulting recommendations, ideas, plans, and so forth … are greater than simply their ideology and require top to bottom restructuring. We simply can’t turn-on-a-dime. This kind of change, even if we had a consensus, to be effective need to evolve over time, and certainly everything we do must be done to work toward beneficial goals for life on earth. However, Americans look at things short term, are impatient and want change by 6 a.m. tomorrow morning, rarely look at the larger scenario, lookout for their self-interest without awareness that in order to preserve their self-interest they must preserve that of others as well -- sort of like Adam Smith’s theory of the “invisible hand.”

I want libertarianism as the Framers envisioned it for my country and for the world. I would certainly agree, we have not achieved anything close to it. But, for now, in consideration of the parameters we have to work with, “socialized medicine,” as Reagan called it, or healthcare legislation, which includes a public healthcare option along with private options for health insurance, is what is viable.

If anyone is seriously under the impression that the American free market system and private health insurance can achieve universal coverage, accessibility, and at affordable cost -- never mind reduce cost -- as do apparently many Americans, Libertarians, Republicans, and Blue Dog Democrats, then I have a question for you: Why haven’t they done it? God knows they have had the opportunity.

It seems to me that the only reason an American would not support meaningful healthcare reform is that they do not consider it a problem. They are near-sighted or they do not believe it is an important issue. That is because they mistakenly believe they are secure -- looking out for their own self-interest.

The problem is money. Every contention stated here is a result of our money-based economic system. An economic system dependant on any medium that can be exchanged for goods and services, whether that is based on fiat dollars, gold, silver, toothpicks, or pebbles of sand, will prevent us from becoming an authentically libertarian society where authentic freedom reigns.

All of us should have equal rights to nature’s resources and share responsibility in protecting those resources. In a money-based economy, natures resources are owned, managed and protected only by those who have the financial resources to purchase or support them, and most often only if it derives monetary benefit for them.

A resource-based economy, if you will, must be one of our primary goals. I do not believe it to be utopian. We must take steps toward achieving a society not dependant on money. Of course, it will never happen in our lifetime, or the lifetime of our offspring, but I believe it can be done and is our future.