[I’m willing to] forfeit more of [my] incomce to help [poor people]
[I’m] getting sick of all the angry, violent, whiny, yet privileged, people. I think I will just have to ignore them, so that their misery doesn’t infect me. It’s just too bad for them that they don’t know what happiness feels like and where it comes from.
– facebook quote
It’s amazing how emotive claims to the moral high ground, in bumper sticker fashion, fit so well with the level of discourse needed for the
socialist leftist (ok, ok) liberal (I hate the misuse of the term “liberal” in this country) to maintain it.
This proletariat comment about the evils of we bourgeoisie was brought on by discussions on the healthcare bill. These comments afford me the opportunity to highlight some clear distinctions between opposing worldviews but in a manner not befitting the twitter mentality required by facebook.
Intentions verses results
Notice it’s not the results that matter, it’s the intentions. All acts should be judged moral on the outward appearance of the intentions. This means a quick statement about caring provides immediate access to the moral high ground.
Never mind that this bill is a gift to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries (they now have 31 million more customers).
Never mind that these types of moves, always result in lower quality at higher costs – for everyone (please read, say, the first 20 pages of Thomas Sowell’s “Basic Economics”).
Never mind that the individual liberty to manage one’s resources as they see fit is diminished.
Never mind that the entitlement attitude and the “I have a RIGHT” mindset fostered by the ideology expressed in the quote leads to what’s going on now in Venezuela, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland (though Ireland has implemented some serious austerity measures to put themselves back on track).
Never mind that repeatedly, moves in the opposite direction (that is, smaller government and more individual responsibility), have consistently yielded results that have taken entire nations to new heights (Chile’s recent improvements is a case that come to mind).
Never mind that the majority of those that didn’t have insurance that will now be getting it have cell phones, or cable tv, or internet connectivity, or all of the above, and rather than view their lack of “insurance” as either their own “personal decision” in the way they chose to allocate their resources, we need to subsidize their health care so they can continue to avoid responsibility for their own choices.
Never mind that “the problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money” (Margaret Thatcher) as much of Europe is now learning the hard way.
All of that makes no difference. It’s the fact that they care, we don’t.
This hearkens to a point Dostoevsky made several times in his portrayal of the Proletariat of privilege. The one whose guilt for actually being bourgeoisie was so great, they felt they needed to identify with those poor souls and prove that they knew what was best for them. Usually this character can be identified by their love of mankind yet their hatred of (individual) people.
And this leads me to ….
Elitism is, by definition (and Wikipedia never lies – just point me to where it does and give me a minute) “the belief or attitude that a select group of people with, intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes whose views and/or actions are most likely to be constructive to society as a whole.” It’s the very antithesis of individual liberty (which, by the way, shares the same Latin root for the word “liberal” and explains why I can’t stand the American use of the term).
When you hear the objection, usually raised in loud tones, and again in bumper sticker fashion: “Don’t cram YOUR morals down MY throat,” it’s usually from the mouth of someone on the left as the main premise in a counter-argument against someone that just MENTIONED what they thought was right or wrong. That same person, naturally and hypocritically drawn to elitism, is more than ready to force their morals (like say, everyone ought to “forfeit more of [their] incomce to help [poor people],”) down the throats of everyone else only using the power of the state as their means.
If you’re willing to “forfeit more of [your] incomce to help [poor people]” then go ahead, I don’t think anyone would complain. However, when, in clear elitist fashion, you use the power of government to force everyone to comply with your morals, don’t be surprised when someone that has a different set than you does the same thing. After all, you set the ground rules. Personally I’d prefer you both just left me alone.
It’s for this reason the William F. Buckley once said that he’d rather be ruled by the first 100 names in the Boston phone book, than by the Harvard faculty. BTW, have you seen who’s in charge lately?
Who are we anyway?
When someone claims we’re a Democracy and you reply with the truth, that we’re a Constitutional Representative Republic (or as such we were founded), you usually get strange looks. It wasn’t that long ago that people understood that our freedom is inversely proportional to the size of the Government budget. It’s for this reason that the Constitution strictly restricts the roll of the Federal Government to those jobs specifically enumerated therein (see the 10th amendment – which is pretty much a dead letter – but shows that the framers of the Constitution understood what was needed to preserve liberty). Funny – I didn’t notice anything about healthcare.
Senator Conyers recently said that the healthcare bill was constitutional because of the “Good and Welfare Clause” (isn’t it wonderful to know how Constitutionally literate our Senators are?). Needless to say no one has ever been able to sue for their rights under the preamble and Madison, in the Federalist papers (in case your one of those educated in a modern American public Skool – the Federalist papers are the commentary on the Constitution by the main writers) found it absurd that anyone could think that Federal policy could be driven from that clause (though this was something that the Confederacy fixed in their short-lived constitution).
A couple of points on the specifics
Other than the government regulation of another industry that needed a completely different policy, there are two very specific issues with this bill that makes it a clear monstrosity.
First, and this is the lesser problem, as previously mentioned this bill is a gift to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries – it doesn’t punish them. Portions of the bill were written by them. They now have 31 million more customers. For anyone that doesn’t get it, please follow a chart of stocks in these markets the day the bill passed. People know what this means to the bottom line of the industry giants.
Secondly, you are now REQUIRED to have insurance. Several people have tried to make the point that you’re required to have car insurance, as if this settles it. This displays a complete lack of understanding of (once again) the Constitution, and more importantly the difference between a “right” and “privilege.”
In case no one noticed, it’s the STATES that require insurance, not the federal government. That is, it complies with the notion that those powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. (- hey look – you just read the 10th amendment. Congratulations if that was your first time).
More importantly, driving is a PRIVILEGE and with the privilege comes certain responsibility. Such as taking responsibility for any harm YOU CAUSE while driving. The States have the right to make sure you can afford to take that responsibility by requiring insurance in order to get licensed.
However, while I can choose not to drive (as it is a PRIVILEGE), I cannot choose NOT TO BREATH. Now, the act of breathing requires me to get insurance when the only one that should be harmed by my NOT having insurance in MYSELF (and so that is one of the things that a right healthcare reform bill would have allowed).
But then again, all it takes is good intentions, no matter how much harm you do, to gain the moral high ground.