Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Save a Socialist, Ride a Cowboy

I rejected your comment because I found it insulting, and it's my blog, so tough noogies. But, here's my attempt to respond objectively.

Your 'right' cannot ever be granted by taking property away from others. Rights are just that, rights - you have the right to life (I can't kill you), liberty (I can't enslave you), the pursuit of happiness (whatever that means). You don't - in western society anyway - have the right to take my stuff.

You don't have a right to eat my food. You have a right to earn your own darn food.

The blanket statement - "in western society, health care is a right not a good" is intellectually dishonest.

It ignores the fact that health care is in fact a set of things - services, drugs, machinery, facilities - that must be created, are in limited supply, and must be distributed. It is not some unalienable, god-given right. Health care must be paid for - if not by the patient consuming the service, then by all of society.

Let me repeat. Health care is not free. It is a service delivered by people to people. Somehow that service - that set of goods - ultimately has to be paid for by someone. Health insurance is only an abstration layer that spreads the risk - it doesn't remove the necessity to pay for the service eventually.

So we are back to an argument over the proper method for distribution of this service. You say it's a right - meaning that it must be provided in full to anyone who wants it whenever they want it. Think about that for a minute. There is not enough of 'it' to go around - never will be - so how exactly, with intellectual honesty, do you propose to distribute the services that deliver this 'right'?


My position is that distribution in this society - whether you or I like it or not - is inherently and by design decided by merit - by value created as measured by wealth.

You can argue rationally and with intellectual honesty that this is unfair. Could not agree more. In fact, it is totally unfair - purposefully unfair if by fair you mean equal or common to all. Meritocracy is not fair.

You can also argue rationally that according to your value system, you find this system of distribution wrong - it tweaks your sense of injustice! OK. Nothing intellectually dishonest with saying that. You're simply stating that your personal value system is different than the one the founding father's established.

Lots of people will agree with you. In emotional terms, people who espose this beleif are often associated with socialism. In extreme forms, some people do not believe in individual property rights at all - they beleive that all goods belong to the collective group. In emotional terms, people who belieive this are usually called communists.

Then again, lots of people don't...agree with you, that is...


Frank Logan said...

Well said!

Unknown said...

dude, was half tongue-in-cheek. Better to have this argument over beers.