Tony is back with a vengeance "responding" to the excellent recent news that the State of Virginia has rejected insurance mandates. Being the idiot that he is, he eventually reverts to the ridiculous argument that making some people give up "$100" (i.e. government sponsored theft) is a lesser violation of "freedom" than "letting people die" from lack of health care. Numbers aside, the principle is all wrong no matter what... Here's how I explained it to him (with some slight modification):
"I don't really understand why you consistently refuse to understand that this issue *isn't* actually about money, Tony.It's very easy to understand if you try... Doctors, nurses, janitors, techs, assistants, administrators, all the way down to the builders who make the hospitals and the factory workers who make the machinery & drugs are people who've got the right to live and work without having the products of their labor and effort be stolen.When you say that Person X gets health care for "free", what you are really saying is that they get to use the doctors/nurses/administrative staff's time for free... But you are also saying that Person X gets the effort and resources that went into creating the building itself and everything in it - all the drugs, the machines, the beds, the EVERYTHING for free too!None of it was free to produce, though.You fail miserably to understand the principle involved here for the same reason you've consistently failed to understand the economic implications of your ideas: You CANNOT see past the first (most obviously visible) transaction.To you Tony, the world is a simplistic place... Person X needs health care, Person Y controls "health care" and can be made to give to Person X in his time of need.Problem is, you don't seem to grasp that Person Y had to get the training from Person A, the building from Person B, the equipment from Person C and the medicines from Person D... A-D are also stolen from each time you make demands of Person Y backed by force.What's worse is that Person Y has only a finite amount of time & resources with which to treat patients (and go home and play with his kids, for that matter!), and the more people like Person X there are - the more who take but don't give back - the less of Person Y's time is available to treat people who are actually productive and contributing to the overall wealth of humanity - and worse, the less there is of anything in the world because while the doctor is giving up his time to treat patients who aren't paying him, his patients are not likewise busy producing something he might need like food or even the machinery he uses at work.This is true of any of your socialist schemes, Tony... And it's why in every instance socialism has been seriously attempted, the results are disastrous and financially devastating. I encourage you at some point to go take a walk through the former soviet nations and see how they look. It isn't pretty.Regardless, it's not about getting to keep "$100".... $100 is to some extent an arbitrary number that merely reflects some arrangement of the time & resources of real human beings.When you say you don't have the right to keep your $100, what you REALLY mean to say is that you don't have the right to keep the time or products that earned you that $100. If you're working at $8.00, and someone takes $100 from you by force, that's 12 & a half hours being stolen from you... If you're working for $300 an hour, then you're only getting 20 minutes of your time taken. But one way or another, Tony, it's not the money that you're stealing - it's minutes, hours, days, years of people's LIVES, and it's legitimately acquired property that people used their lives to create or work towards.The principle here is simple: When you pretend that you can give people health care "for free", you are directly enslaving all those who provide health care and you are stealing from those who provide the goods, technology and buildings.It's not about $10, or $1,000,000 at the root of it, it's about the deep and irreconcilable conflict between the idea of liberty, and your desire to give people free stuff by taking it from others."
And because I'm a generous, positive thinking guy, I even continued and offered Tony some snippets of real solutions (covered endlessly on this blog in the past).
"Oh yeah... Also Tony, the *solution* doesn't involve "letting people die", the solution involves the following:
- Relying on market forces to do what they always do, drive up quality while driving down price through innovations directed by information feedback mechanisms which cannot exist in your socialist utopia: prices which move in deference to demand and profits & losses which are obtained by a company's successful or unsuccessful supplying for that demand... As opposed to by using government to grant special privileges or take money in the form of subsidies from unwitting taxpayers.
- Once prices are down and supply is up (you know, like they are for pretty much everything that is supplied by people free to trade with each other adjusted for inflation), then charity should actually be enough to help the remaining cases who actually can't pay.
- Credit cards, a medical loan market, help from family & friends and perhaps sliding fee structures (as many doctors in the US used to have) are a few ways to cover the cases that are poor, but not so poor that they will get charity.Debt > Death, as you yourself admitted earlier. There are always ways to do this... But right now, no one is free enough to make these alternatives work and the destruction of the price system has divorced costs from benefits for both patients & doctors... There are many other problems obviously but I've written at length about that and you're retarded anyway so it really doesn't matter.What this comes down to is that you're cool with pointing guns at people to get you're way, and we're not. What's worse is that your system leads to worse and worse outcomes and you have decades of US history and centuries of world history to prove it."
Then another poster commented, to me:
Bronwyn|2.3.10 @ 9:35AM|#I think I love you. We need a Share on Facebook button on the bottom of your essay, here. Everyone should read"
And because I like it when people love me, I obliged the request by posting this exchange here on the blog for everyone.
The thing that I really wish people understood is that it's almost never about "money". Money is just an arbitrary measurement of wealth & value. We could measure it in other things, but we don't. Likewise, we measure time in seconds, minutes & hours... We could measure it in some other way if we wanted - we could say "many moons" have past or we could reverse the principle of the lightyear and say something like, "that was 100 miles ago". The point is merely to have a consistent reference which everyone fundamentally understands and can agree on.
When you're taking money from people by force you're taking all of the time & productive effort it took to earn that money... Like Tony, you can try to weasel your way out of that fact by talking about greed or getting bogged down in the measurement system used, but what you're ultimately talking about whenever you're talking about using government to redistribute wealth is slavery and theft. Nothing more.
But really, which is truly greedy? Someone wanting to keep the products of their time & labor and who only wants others to have the same rights? ...Or someone who believes that based on whatever arbitrary reason they choose - whether that be "need", "social contracts", "fairness", "social justice", or anything else - they have the authority to snatch up what others have earned and redistribute it as they see fit?
It's made worse when you realize that there's simply no way for other people to obtain the knowledge they'd need to redistribute wealth & resources in a beneficial way... The socialist system is *designed* to breed failure, loss, and ultimately mass poverty. Contrary to the popular mantra about Communism, the theory itself is an awful blueprint for failure, and it's proven to be immensely worse in practice.
Bad idea, bad results. And yet an astronomical number of fools like Tony forge on ahead anyway in spite of all history, in spite of reason, and in spite of sanity...
Good luck America.