I have been watching the Republican and Democratic conventions. I won’t say “with interest” because it is really more “with disdain”. I don’t much like either of the most likely candidates. Why? Well… mostly because I think the process that someone has to go through, to be capable of getting elected, makes sure that they are unfit to hold the position.
I’m pretty much of a fiscal conservative and a social libertarian. What does this mean? I didn’t really know what to call myself, because I like ideas from all the parties. And depending on which site you visit to see which candidate you align with the most, you can get all sorts of different answers. Recently while trolling facebook, I ran across a term I had not heard before: Minarchist. It describes what I think pretty well. That we need minimal government. Check out the Wiki for Minarchist for an explanation.
This fits with my ideas on health care and the inaffordable health care act. I had some pretty deep conversations on facebook while this was being debated. One of my favorite quotes was from Pelosi, who said “We have to pass it to see what is in it.” Regardless of your views on any topic, anyone with this attitude, who is in a position of great responsibility, needs a new job. I don’t sign contracts or agreements without reading _and_ understanding them to the best of my ability. My job depends on it. To have a highly paid public servant make this comment was … just mind blowing. In the private sector she would have been fired on the spot. Of course there was no public outcry from her constituents.
In terms of health care, we had some really spirited discussions. And, while I, and most of my family is in good health, and in a position to afford health insurance should they choose, I had a few friends who have problems, and do not have the money to care for themselves. I feel for them. And, I asked them some questions to try to understand, from their point of view, about this legislation. Most of them thought that, without some sort of help from the government, they, or a family member, would die, or suffer greatly.
So in general I had a conversation like this: “So do you think access to health care, or access to housing, or access to food is most important?” Usually they would say health care, until I asked what if housing cost $20,000 a month. Then it was housing… similar response about food.
If you think about it, what this means is, since people can rent an apartment for $500 a month, and they can get a meal for free due to churches and charities, or even eat at a fast food place for $5 a meal, the problem is NOT related to health insurance, the problem is related to the cost of health care. We don’t buy housing insurance, and we don’t buy food insurance (there may be some esoteric exceptions). But we but health insurance. The government would have you believe (based on the supreme court arguments) that at some point every person will need access to the health care system, and I would argue that at some point every person needs to eat and live in a house.
What if McDonald’s opened some clinics where you could get a checkup for $10 and get most simple things treated for $20? What prevents this? The fact is, that operating a fast food franchise requires lots of very specific business knowledge, but minimum wage employees deliver the product. How is this different from a doctor’s office where one specialized person has all the knowledge, and (potentially) minimum wage employees can deliver the product? One way. Government interference. Our government is so far inserted up into the business of the medical profession that there is no possible hope of reducing costs.
So, you say, yes, but fast food restaurants can’t kill you. They can, if they serve bad food. But this also destroys their business so they are very careful about it. Doctors kill more people than guns, accidentally, each year. So government oversight is NOT WORKING. Part of why I am a Minarchist.
The Obama administration has promulgated so many new regulations and laws in the last four years, that I am not sure it is even possible to comply with them all. And it isn’t just Obama, but previous administrations, the senate, and the house — The TSA has made air travel painful, without significantly increasing safety; the Patriot act has infringed on the constitutional rights of Americans, but without any real success; the expansion of the powers of the EPA, FDA, and other agencies serves to create enough laws and regulations that it has become impossible to just live our lives without being in violation of _something_. This has to stop. The founders of our nation wrote that laws need to be simply written and understandable. And the power of the federal government was strictly limited. These tenets have been ignored. From it being illegal to grow a garden in your yard in some areas, to being illegal to capture rainwater on your own land, to rules against carrying fingernail clippers on an airplane flight.
This is not the nation I studied about, when I was in grade school. I wonder what the founders would say today?