Thursday, December 3, 2009

Toward Statist Slavery

Excellent short essay over at the Mises Institute titled "On The Road to the Servile State," that is worth the read. The author, Brian Douglas, looks at the thought lines that run from Hilaire Belloc's "The Servile State" to Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" to the current debate on healthcare "reform." Together these three pieces document the horrifying unintended consequences of man's urge to "do good." I have oft quoted Flannery O'Connor's observation that "In the absence of faith, we govern by tenderness, and tenderness leads to the gas chamber."

We are seeing that good steady march now under the banner of hope and change. "Why would you be opposed to poor people getting healthcare," or "you like the status quo because you are taken care of..." are commonly heard "moral" arguments put forth by our statist friends; they dare you to take the morally impure counter - "of course I want poor people to die!" Nonsense. I simply place a higher premium on freedom. And this rampant expansion of benefits, which we cannot afford leads to this obvious consequence:
The problem with this analysis is that instead of helping the poor against the rich, what is really happening is that government is being expanded. Net tax receivers become de facto employees of the State, and thus have no natural incentive to upset the status quo. To do so would literally be to bite the hand that feeds them. In fact, these new net tax receivers, because they are dependent upon the government for at least part of their subsistence, are a slave class as well under Belloc's definition.[
The evil twist in this moralist tone from the left is that their programs are not about taking care of people, any more than the "jobs summit" today was about jobs...hint - photo op, sound bites. No, it is about getting the number of the servants of the state, i.e. the net tax receivers above 50% and forever enfranchising their power. Well, at least till the money runs out. This deceitful calculus is in full swing in Washington right now. If this were a debate about healthcare reform, the process would have begun with an extended review of the problems of healthcare and a study of reform efforts that have been underway in the 50 state laboratories across the fruited plain. Instead, Harry and Nancy and their respective staffs dusted off Clinton era bills and are busy mashing them through.

If this passes, and I still have a high hope that it will fail, the sick will not be magically cured; only about 11 million of the vaunted 43 million will be insured (if you call medical treatment to Post Office standards insurance) and the Treasury will be further depleted. But, if you are a statist, you will be VERY close to your magic 51% dependency. That's really sick.

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