George Will's Libertarian Evolution

The nation's most syndicated columnist talks about political philosophy, drugs, isolationism, optimism, and his political development over four decades in Washington.

(Page 3 of 7)

reason: There's a new book out by Erica Grieder. She's a liberal who writes for Texas Monthly. She talks about Texas as opposed to California. Isn't the vision of the country somewhere between California and Texas, and Texas is winning right now?

Will: This is why we have federalism. Two reasons: You're more apt to have three or four smart governors than you are to have a smart president at any time, so you disperse decision-making and experimenting. Beyond that, we can now practice under federalism what the late Daniel Boorstin, great historian and librarian of Congress, called "entrepreneurial federalism." That is, let the states compete for mobile businesses.

President Obama the other day went to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and gave a speech in which he said two particularly riveting things. He said it's just terrible that Maytag pulled up from Illinois and went to Mexico. No one said: Yeah, Mr. President, that's because your friends in the labor unions chased them out. A few sentences later he says, but wonderful things are happening-Airbus, the European consortium, is going to build in Alabama. Well, why'd they go to Alabama? Because it's a right-to-work state.

reason: Do you think somebody like Obama doesn't understand that disjuncture, or is he just kind of dissembling?

Will: This is a man who says ATMs and airport ticket kiosks cause unemployment. We had this argument a long time ago, whether or not automation in the Ford plant would mean that nobody would be able to buy Ford cars. Surely we've had that argument. But, it hasn't percolated in Hyde Park, Chicago.

reason: One of the things that's interesting about your work over the past couple decades is that you were as tough on George W. Bush as you have been on Barack Obama. If economic growth started slowing down in the first decade of the 21st century, what were the policies that Bush was pushing that helped contribute to that, or Republicans more broadly? Have they internalized their role in this scarcity America?

Will: No, I don't think they have. Those people who have internalized have asked the simple question: Every proposed policy, how does it contribute to or subtract from economic growth? That's everything now. We have an ongoing national tragedy. We're losing a generation. We have what percentage of young people are now living with their parents from 18 to 28?

reason: The real tragedy is for the parents.

Will: Tell me about it. I've got four children, none of them live at home. I've dodged that bullet. But the sheer waste! Americans are prodigies at wealth creation. It's hard to stop them. We're industrious, educated, have a continental market, we are a mobile people. If things aren't working in Michigan, we move to Texas. Yet still, the cumulative weight of lots of little policies…

reason: So what were some of those policies in particular that Bush or the Republicans layered on top of the cake?

Will: First of all, the regulations. I was asked to come out and talk to the House members two years ago and they asked what they should do. I said, first of all, pledge that you will not publish the Federal Register. You're not going to do it anymore, you're not going to have any more regulations. Then-and this is something Romney endorsed, and others have-any major regulation, understood as one that has a $100 million impact, has to be voted on. Put their fingerprints on it. It'll work wonders.

reason: But that did happen with things like Dodd-Frank more recently, with Sarbanes-Oxley. And-it's not a regulation, but the Medicare prescription drug expansion.

Will: What made the Medicare prescription drug particularly pernicious and Republican was that it was the first major expansion of an entitlement without a dedicated funding. They just simply said: We'll make it up as we go along. We'll borrow from the Chinese.

reason: What was going through the Republican mind then?

Will: In the pithy statement of Dick Cheney, Ronald Reagan proved that deficits don't matter. He didn't do any such thing, but he did prove that to Dick Cheney. And in fact, deficits don't matter politically. Americans talk about a balanced budget, but they don't care about a balanced budget at all. In fact, what deficits have done-and Reagan gets some of the demerits for this-deficits have made big government cheap. For giving the people a dollar's worth of government and charging them 65 cents for it, and the American people say, we can live with that.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Swiss Servator, Original Gnome||

    Ha, beat you to it bow tie boy!I figured out TEAM RED was not the guardian of freedom they claimed to be while I was still in the first half of life.

    However, better late than never.

  • playa manhattan||

    How can you know when the first half of your life ended?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Ask your actuary.

  • playa manhattan||

    I'm defying the odds.

  • Swiss Servator, Original Gnome||

    I am assuming I will make the family average for men - 94 years.

  • playa manhattan||

    That's about my family average, too. Slightly higher for men in my case. The last few years aren't what I would call "quality", though.

    I'm aiming for late 70s. If I still have my marbles then, I'll reevaluate.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    If your parents ate food the government told them were healthy before they had you and fed you the same you might not live as long. Same if you don't do high-intensity weightlifting and let your muscles die out from old age.

  • Sevo||

    Pro Libertate|11.13.13 @ 1:47PM|#
    "Ask your actuary."

    But now I have to change actuaries!

  • Almanian!||

    Agree with Swiss - I always found Will tolerable, but lately he's clearly moved toward the (L) end of the diagram.

    Better late than never. All are welcome, ALTHOUGH NOT ALL ARE WELCOME TO THE KOCHTAIL PARTEEZ.

  • Hyperion||

    Or the KOCHTAIL CRUIZEZ.

    Speaking of cruises, does anyone know the fate of the lone wimin folk that braved that last one?

  • Almanian!||

    She turned lesbian.

    Tragic. But not surprising...

  • creech||

    He still has a way to go, but Wills has long been one of the most readable of the conservative columnists. Let's encourage his conversion.

  • Brett L||

    Pssh. That's not how we do it. We have to keep the brand pure! Purge early! Purge often!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Actually, we do it through pick-up artists techniques. So we "neg" Wills by reminding him that he caterwauls like an old senile woman when it comes to video games and the "hippity-hop" music.

  • Ted S.||

    Can he convert away from baseball?

  • Swiss Servator, Original Gnome||

    Seconded.

  • ||

    Baghdad Bob...I mean Jay Carney, is on the TV now talking about how much progress has been made fixing the obamacare site and how they are confident the site will be fixed by the end of the month.

  • Pro Libertate||

    BELIEVE. OBEY. SUBMIT.

  • JW||

    "Don't think of us as your callous overlords, think of us as your friendly, neighborhood dominatrix. Without the happy ending."

  • playa manhattan||

    Apparently, the medicaid site is working really well. A little too well, actually:
    http://pjmedia.com/blog/medica.....hcare-gov/

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm not sure what Steinberg's problem is.

    This “enroll first, confirm later” regulation, combined with the ACA’s easing of verification requirements, allows anyone, from a computer anywhere in the world, to successfully auto-enroll for 90 days of Medicaid by entering fraudulent information about being a certain category of legal alien living in the United States. [bold his]

    So? What benefit is it for someone not on US soil to engage in Medicaid fraud? It's not like they can visit the US to use it.

    Foreign entities looking to flood the Medicaid rolls with fraudulent auto-enrollments are, of course, beyond U.S. prosecution and able to cause such chaos.

    Herc has come with more plausible conspiracy theories, and his involve Zionist cats.

    An organized effort by domestic or foreign entities to create countless numbers of these fraudulent enrollments could challenge Medicaid with an unsolvable administrative situation. [bold his]

    I, for one, welcome our foreign Medicaid-destroying overlords.

  • PD Scott||

    And now I want to see pictures of cats wearing yarmulkes.

  • ||

  • BakedPenguin||

    Damn, I hope their mohels have steady hands.

  • Killazontherun||

    -3 y +2 x down is clearly a dog trying to pass as a cat.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I dunno, good amount of our fraud lives overseas now. It's Russia's cottage industry.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, sure, the Russkies could engage in Medi-fraud provider side. But I fail to see how signing up for O-Care abroad benefits the fraudster, except in the bizarre "Chinese Cyberwar" scenario Steinberg paints.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You underestimate Putin's power.

  • DK||

    So? What benefit is it for someone not on US soil to engage in Medicaid fraud? It's not like they can visit the US to use it.

    Mail-order drugs?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's a good point, but that usually also requires fraud health-care provider side.

    I'm really just thinking about Steinberg's foreigners destroying Medicaid through O-Care website enrollment theory. What benefit does it have to the rank-and-file con man overseas?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Could have Russian mob doctors over here, I suppose.

  • R C Dean||

    What benefit is it for someone not on US soil to engage in Medicaid fraud?

    Creating a bunch of fake patient accounts can be very useful in billing Medicaid for a bunch of fake patient services.

    C'mon, guys. Its almost like you've never run a lucrative scam before. And you call yourselves libertarians.

  • playa manhattan||

    Without knowing much about this guy, yeah, his theories are stupid.

    My point was more to illustrate how poorly designed and implemented other parts of the ACA are. The website is taking so much shit right now that people aren't noticing how much other parts of the law suck too...

  • robc||

    It's not like they can visit the US to use it.

    Why not? Coming here as a tourist is pretty easy. While here, get the surgery you cant get at home.

  • Jordan||

    Wow, I haven't been to PJ Media's site in a while, I guess. It looks awful.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Speaking of that; how is it that we "gain" Wills, but lose Malkin? Is there an anti-attractiveness plank in the LP's platform or something?

  • PD Scott||

    We just can't have libertarian women?

  • ||

    Malkin is way, way too good looking to be as venal as she is. What a damn shame.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Think of it this way. We upgraded to Malkin 2.0 (aka Ms. Kathryn DeLong)

    And I don't feel as bad.

  • playa manhattan||

    "Don't Tread On Me!"

    But I really really want to!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Huh, she reads Ron Paul.

  • ||

    My life is now complete. As soon as I can get my wife to recreate that pose, I can kill myself, because it's all downhill from there.

  • playa manhattan||

    The 5 minutes (1 minute?) after the pose will probably be fun too...

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Is he leaving room to wiggle out of these projection if repairs to the website fail?

    Jay Carney looks like he's one media feeding frenzy away from storming out of the White House press room, climbing the old post office tower on Pennsylvania Avenue and jumping.

  • ||

    You really have to be some kind of masochistic psycho to be White House Press Spokesman. A repulsive hybrid of pathological liar, punching bag, and presidential sycophant.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'd like the job for a day. "Fuck if I know. They told me to tell you that you losers will buy this story. . . ." "What? Yeah, I'd say this administration is worse than Bush's. Next question." "Why aren't any of you asking me about the many scandals? I mean, aren't you reporters?"

  • ||

    "Look, let's just cut to the chase. Everything I'm about to say is a lie. Can we go get some beers now?"

  • Pro Libertate||

    "The President asked me to tell you you're all great slaves, and he'll drone murder any of you who gets out of line. Have a nice day."

  • BakedPenguin||

    "Hey assholes, just print whatever made-up shit you want. You will anyway. I could recite your names, and you'd get those wrong."

  • Hyperion||

    I hope they sell tickets and set up a beer tent if that happens, I'll take the green line down.

  • ||

    HaHa
    I hope someone gets that on video. I will laugh maniacally while I watch it over and over and over....

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    I think this would be a fitting end.

  • Brett L||

    To steal a joke from Bill Hicks, Carney is such a company man, when he blows his brains out on live on 47 cable channels, his brains will form a Dem donkey on the wall behind him.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Jay Carney looks like he's one media feeding frenzy away from storming out of the White House press room, climbing the old post office tower on Pennsylvania Avenue and jumping.

    And on that happiest of days, I'll be down below at a safe distance, holding a sign saying "Jump, Jay! Jump!"

  • Drake||

    I came to Libertarianism the same way as Will - just faster and less articulately.

  • Hyperion||

    My conversion was rapid once I was done wandering in the wilderness for 47 years.

  • ||

    Glad to hear Will is coming onboard. Better late than never.

    I guess I had just the right influences, cuz I was always the shithead I am now.

    I remember being about 12 y/o and arguing with my parents about flag burning. They assured me that as I grew older I would drift into SoConism. They are still waiting.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm not sure what's so "SoCon" about flag burning these days. I'm sure burning the flag would be "racist" because, Obama. Just like refusing to pledge allegiance to the flag is "racist" because, Obama.

  • sarcasmic||

    Flag burning is a diss at the military, and part of being a SoCon is never ever ever ever ever ever saying or doing anything that might possibly be disparaging of the military.

  • Bam!||

    "Flag burning is a diss at the military, and part of being a SoCon is never ever ever ever ever ever saying or doing anything that might possibly be disparaging of the military."

    I know some hard-core Catholic social conservatives who've disliked everything about the military over the past decade. Dislike the police too.

    And no, they aren't Libertarian social conservatives; They actually want the government to enforce traditional marriage and the like.

  • sarcasmic||

    SoCon generally implies Protestant, not Catholic.

  • robc||

    No it doesnt.

    Bill Bennett, for example.

  • sarcasmic||

    I just remembered that Howie Carr is a Catholic.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Bill Donaghue. (sp?)

  • ||

    Pat Buchanan is also Catholic.

  • ||

    Oh and Santorum is a Catholic as well.

  • sarcasmic||

    I got SoCon and WASP confused for a moment. My bad.

  • Killazontherun||

    My image of WASP is a Masshole Brahmin lesbian crone named Ariel Hawthorne. Hardly Socon, just mean.

  • ||

    This was four decades ago. I was arguing that flag burning is political speech and any law against it was unconstitutional. Additionally, that whatever flag was being burned was the private property of the burner. Not a popular position. At the time some state legislator had written a bill forbidding it.

    Back then flag burning was seen by many as blasphemy and here in the deep south there was much support among socons, and others, for such laws.

  • Entropy Void||

    Didn't LA have a law back then, something like a 5 dollar fine for assaulting a flagburner?

  • Hyperion||

    They'll be waiting forever, you may as well just tell them that once someone has crossed over to the dark side, they ain't ever coming back. Just tell them now so they can get the disappointment over with. In the last 6 years, I went from small l to a much bigger L. The reverse is not at all likely because once you start getting informed, more cynicism is a certainty.

  • ||

    I must admit, though I was always a libertarian at heart, and in practice, It has only been in the last ten years that I have fully realized it and come fully out of the closet.

    I largely credit you shitheads on this site for that. You made me realize I am not the only freak around.

  • playa manhattan||

    This site did it for me, too. I was about 75 percent of the way there already, but reading and commenting here helped me go the last mile...

  • mr simple||

    It's only 4 miles to libertarianism?

  • playa manhattan||

    Yes. 4 mental miles for me. Could be longer or shorter for other people.

  • Hyperion||

    I had the same struggle, for decades. I could never figure out why I couldn't fit in with either team. I mean, here I was a guy who didn't favor a massive welfare state, and was anti-war and pro drug legalization. A real freak of nature so I thought.

    Oh, and glad that us shitheads could help out, that's why we're here.

  • ||

    I didi an oral report my sophomore year of high school on how the NEA (in this case, National Endowment for the Arts, not the other NEA) should be abolished. It was around the time of the Maplethorpe shitstorm.

  • Jordan||

    While I still considered myself a conservative at the time, I did a persuasive speech against hate crime laws as part of one of my college courses. Within a year or two, the Bush Administration had fully converted me to libertarianism.

  • Hyperion||

    Boosh term 2 did it for me. 2007, I stumbled upon the LP site. And I was like, OMG, I'm not alone in the universe!, there are 3 more of me! Damn, none of them are wiminz... oh well, don't talk about politics on dates, check.

  • Ted S.||

    What finally did it for me was seeing the difference in treatment between a prominent athlete developing problems with a "wrong" drug (Michael Irvin) and one who got into trouble with a "right" drug (Brett Favre).

  • Jordan||

    While I still considered myself a conservative at the time, I did a persuasive speech against hate crime laws as part of one of my college courses. Within a year or two, the Bush Administration had fully converted me to libertarianism.

  • Jordan||

    SQUIRRRRRELS!!

  • Hyperion||

    The squirrels are out in force this afternoon. A herd of them moved one of my post up in a thread below and totally threw it out of context.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I come from a family of faithful Dems. Half think the dole is okay and are on it, the other don't think the dole is okay, but are too afraid to actually say anything about for fear of appearing..."Republican."

  • playa manhattan||

    Takes all kinds. The only common thread I have noticed among all of the libertarians here (anecdotally) is that most of us had jobs as teenagers and are hard workers. My parents told me to get a god damn job as soon as it was legal, and I was the exception among my peer group. Shit, I still have friends in their 30's who have never had a real job, and they sure as hell aren't libertarians...

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    I am one of the exceptions: My "job" as a teenager was to get the best grades and test scores I could, while finishing as much college work as possible in high school. It was made very clear to me that I would save my parents more money doing that than I could make with summer jobs, part-time work, etc.

    So, although I didn't have a job as a teenager, I was presented early (and often) with hard economic realities. Perhaps that is the common thread here?

  • Lord at War||

    pm--

    The only common thread I have noticed among all of the libertarians here (anecdotally) is that most of us had jobs as teenagers and are hard workers.

    The last time I saw a doctor (other than broken bones/cuts needing stitches) was as a 14 yr old (in 1978) wanting a job- and being required (as a youth under 16) to have a "work permit" from the state that included a physical by a "doctor".

    I had already been reading Heinlein for a couple years by then... I still voted for Reagan in 84. By 1988, I learned about the LP, and wasted my vote on some goofy OB/GYN from Texas that talked about freedom.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Better late than never.

    "Weird- the last tweak didn't fix the problem. What if this new tweak doesn't fix the problem? Or the tweak after that, or the next one, or the next one? OMG, WHAT IF MORE AND BIGGER GOVERNMENT CAN NEVER FIX THE PROBLEM?"

  • Hyperion||

    There's a point when big government, in it's natural exponential expansion of itself, reaches critical mass and implodes. There should be a name for that point, but I can't think of anything right now. Anyway, we are rapidly approaching that point, when big government will reach it's maximum in problem solving skill, by ceasing to exist.

  • Bam!||

    "There's a point when big government, in it's natural exponential expansion of itself, reaches critical mass and implodes."

    I don't think so. Look at Europe. Governments kept getting bigger until they become an uber-government: The European Union.

  • R C Dean||

    There should be a name for that point

    Revolution?

    Somalia?

  • Brett L||

    Careful, comrade. Once you go down that path, it isn't far to chaos. Well, anarchy, which is just a form of chaos where there are no Top. Men.

  • Hyperion||

    Since what we refer to as Top Men in this day and age, are generally the most immoral, underhanded, backstabbing, dishonest con artists and thieves in society, I totally OK with not having any more of them.

  • Brett L||

    Now you just need to make the leap to see that in every age you are more likely to be governed by a pack of thieves than benevolent, restrained tyrants. And even some of the "good" rulers might decide, like Marcus Aurelius, that its better for their government if you're dead.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    It's tweaks (and nudges) all the way down (the rabbit hole/death spiral)...

  • mr simple||

    why wouldn't that clearly indicate that two men or two women should be allowed to marry with all the privileges that the state secures?

    Damn reason SoCons denying our right to polygamy. Hope those cocktails are delicious!

  • robc||

    This is yet another reason to oppose "the privileges that the state secures".

    Eliminate those and polygamists are free to marry.

  • Warty||

    Now that we've talked about a columnist who's an excellent writer and a good thinker, let's look at one who's not.

  • sarcasmic||

    So regulations that restrict freedom do not restrict freedom because of intentions, and true freedom is forcing other people to pay for stuff.

    Liberalism truly is a mental disorder.

  • playa manhattan||

    This is the kind of thought exercise I would expect in a freshman polysci class. But nope, this guy does this for a living!

  • Hyperion||

    You have to engage in some serious twisting of logic to come to the conclusion that the progressive doctrine is workable or even desirable in the real world.

  • ||

    OK, somebody tell me what this means:

    The critical role of government in guaranteeing those freedoms never gets a look in.

    Bad writer indeed. Incoherent, more like it.

  • Warty||

    I'll give it a shot. Um...is he trying to tell us he has an inoperable brain tumor in his frontal coherence lobe?

  • sarcasmic||

    I think he means that you're not free unless you're asking permission and obeying orders.

    Freedom is slavery.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    As a certified linguist, I can tell you that sentence meets the definition of the grammatically correct but devoid of semantic meaning sentence posited by Chomsky in his Syntactic Structures.

  • R C Dean||

    The critical role of government in guaranteeing those freedoms

    This formula makes some sense, if government = night watchman and freedoms = negative rights.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    No matter where each of us stands on the key issues of the day, it is time for all of us to widen the debate on freedom in America. We need to move from a focus on negative freedoms to a focus on positive ones. We need to distinguish sharply between liberty and license. We need to ask ourselves why we prefer to live under rules privately determined by insurance executives we do not appoint than to live under rules publicly decided by the politicians we elect.

    Fuck. Off. Slaver.

    What makes the politician better than the profit-seeking insurance executive? Are they molded from different clay or something?

  • Hyperion||

    What makes the politician better than the profit-seeking insurance executive? Are they molded from different clay or something?

    They have armed thugs to come and take your stuff or throw you in a cage when you don't buy their shitty product that you don't need or want. That's the difference.

    How this retard sees that as better defies logic.

  • sarcasmic||

    What makes the politician better than the profit-seeking insurance executive?

    I have actually been told by leftists that the reason government should control all health care is profits. Profiting off of sickness is immoral. Since government doesn't give profits to rich people, government should control all things related to health care. Doesn't matter if it does a crappy job at twice the cost. The morality of keeping profits out of the hands of rich people outweighs the reduced quality of services.

  • Hyperion||

    Since government doesn't give profits to rich people

    Hahahahhhaaahhaaahhaaahhha, OMG, hahahahahhaahahhhahahahah, wow, my side is hurting, hahaaahahhhaahhaaaa, I can't take it anymore! Haaahaahhahaaahaaaaa... Whoo, that was a doozy, haahahaaahahhaaaaa!!...

  • Hyperion||

    Oh.... wait... that was money stolen from other people, not profits, that they hand out 100s of billions of, to rich people, my bad...

  • ||

    "Since government doesn't give profits to rich people..."

    False premise.

  • sarcasmic||

    False premise.

    Leftists have many of those. The worst of which is not understanding the distinction between society and government. They honestly believe that the act of voting somehow makes you part of government.

    It is as if the mafia ran an extortion racket in a neighborhood, and allowed business owners a chance to select the mafia's leader from a list of guidos. Would that somehow make the extortion acceptable? After all, the business owners get to vote.

  • Killazontherun||

    That actually sounds preferable to our democratically devolved system. I'd trust an actual mobster over a government bureaucrat to have an inherent understanding of his own limitations in the power dynamic.

  • ||

    Well, one operates because they are seeking profit, which is, of course, terrible. The other operates because a majority of a minority of voters elected them, which is, for some reason, wonderful. And totally representative of what people want.

    Remember: these people are animists. Not just about guns or other physical objects, but also about concepts like government and democracy. Where guns have become evil totemic objects, government has become a good--perfect, even--totemic "object".

  • JW||

    Funny how the people who claim to be the free thinkers among us and all about choice and freedom are some of the most authoritarian, rigid and unoriginal thinkers, incapable of brooking any dissent from their orthodoxy.

  • Brett L||

    Those are two very different statements. Liberty and license are pretty well understood and there is room for imperfect agreement to be settled without further force or fraud. What the fuck is a positive freedom?

  • sarcasmic||

    What the fuck is a positive freedom?

    The freedom to have the government initiate or threaten force on your behalf in a manner that would be criminal if done by an individual.

  • Mercutio||

    What the fuck is a positive freedom?

    Freedom from having to suffer the consequences of one's actions.

  • IT||

    Freedom (positive) is just another word for nothing left to lose.

  • ||

    I guess they are unaware of the existence of "not-for-profit" health insurance companies. Independence Blue Cross is but one example.

  • R C Dean||

    We need to distinguish sharply between liberty and license.

    Liberty = what Top. Men. approve of.

    License = what Top. Men. do not approve of.

  • montana mike||

    The pols are doing it for the "common good", execs for profit, so intentions.The commenters are even scarier than the dolt that wrote the post.

    I'n guessing these sheep will wake one day in about 20 years and realize how truly fucked they are (the young ones like my niece and her cohorts).

  • ||

    More inventive rhetoric to avoid using the word slavery.

  • Almanian!||

    God DAMN it I knew I shouldn't have clicked on that...

    At least I only made it through two bullet points (ELIMINASHUNSZT RHETORICKSZZZZ!!11one!11), so I don't think I suffered any permanent dain bramage I LOVE OBAMA MY LIFE FOR YOU! MY LIFE FOR YOUUUUUU!!!1

  • Warty||

    Oh look, his back catalog is full of hits.

    What kind of a social contract is that? Not a very moral one. In health care, the moral contract is between all the sick and all the healthy, with the healthy funding coverage for the sick in the certain knowledge that when they themselves become ill, they too will be covered by the healthy around them. That is a contract that genuinely extents freedom -- freedom from insecurity, freedom from worry, freedom from the inability to get the medical help when you need it, regardless of your ability in the moment to pay for it. Freedoms always balance out. Give me that freedom any day, over the freedom of the healthy to gamble on their continued health and to free-ride on the insurance policies of others.

    We should get him together with that guy who wrote that shitty Critiques of Libertarianism site. You know, Tulpa.

  • sarcasmic||

    freedom from insecurity, freedom from worry, freedom from the inability to get the medical help when you need it, regardless of your ability in the moment to pay for it.

    Freedom is force.

  • Doctor Whom||

    I used to live with someone who enjoyed those very freedoms. Who was it now?

    Oh, that's right. It was my cat. The world is just a bit different for human beings.

  • JW||

    The world is just a bit different for human beings.

    I dunno about that. We seem to be rapidly forging into house pet territory.

  • mr simple||

  • Hyperion||

    It's when the government decides something, and you agree or else...

  • Hyperion||

    Damn squirrels, that was a reply to playa manhattan about the word contract.

  • R C Dean||

    freedom from insecurity

    Make decisions that increase your security, then.

    freedom from worry,

    How, exactly, am I supposed to be free from my own moods and mental processes?

    freedom from the inability to get the medical help when you need it, regardless of your ability in the moment to pay for it.

    Go to a charitable health care provider. There are thousands, you know.

    I think we're done here.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Speaking of fake-ass freedoms, this Thanksgiving don't forget to give a big fuck you to Norman Rockwell. Then give one to Lew while you're in the same neighborhood.

    Jus' sayin'

  • playa manhattan||

    Contract. This word does not mean what he thinks it means.

  • larry hammond||

    Contract: A voluntary agreement. Requires offer AND acceptance to be valid.
    Libtard Contract: You will do as I say because "social contract" and FYTW.

  • ||

    Freedom, as in liberty.

    Freedom from, as in unencumbered.

    Conflating these two is similar to conflating fear and respect. The result is similar too. Some people simply cant distinguish between concepts that are superficially similar.

  • Mercutio||

    Liberty can also be expressed as freedom from coercion by others.

  • OldMexican||

    That is a contract that genuinely extents freedom -- freedom from insecurity, freedom from worry, freedom from the inability to get the medical help when you need it,


    Coates makes the same mistake that Tony made in the John Stossel post: equivocating by using "free" interchangeably to mean "free to act" and "free from want". They are NOT interchangeable.

    Like I explained to Tony (who by the way continued to equivocate, which means he must be autistic) the concept of freedom is not defined in terms of nature but on human terms. You cannot be free from nature any more than the rest of the animals, plants, rocks, atoms, quarks, you name it. Defining the term "freedom" in terms of nature renders the term itself meaningless. In other words, the term must have ontological sense.

    Basically what Coates is arguing for is being taken care of. Again, it goes back to the left's fear of accountability, the idea that they own their decisions, not someone else.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Similarly the NRA is invariably far too quick to treat any constraint on access to particular weapons or ammunition as the precursor to a full-scale attack on Second Amendment Rights -- even though no such attack is contemplated by those proposing modest reforms to existing gun legislation.

    Except when they do. Which is like all the fucking time.

    Low-income Americans had the formal freedom to buy healthcare insurance before Obamacare, but that freedom was an empty one. Now it is not. Extending their freedom to buy healthcare also adds to the total size of the insurance pool, so helping to bring down the trajectory of healthcare costs for all of us.

    Oh jesus. This "freedom" has to fucking come from somewhere. You either have self-ownership or you have positive rights. We know which one these neo-Marxists advocate for.

    THE STATE FOR ALL, ALL FOR THE STATE

    SLAVERY IS FREEDOM (the actual thesis of the linked article when the fluffery is removed)

  • ||

    Forcing everyone by law to buy insurance has increased freedom. Uh huh. Would someone punch this motherfucker in the mouth already.

    Slavery is freedom indeed.

  • Tony||

    Apparently paying twice what is necessary for a product is freedom.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Apparently paying twice what is necessary for a product is freedom


    No, it's the Affordable Care Act: Paying twice than what is necessary for health insurance.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Similarly the NRA is invariably far too quick to treat any constraint on access to particular weapons or ammunition as the precursor to a full-scale attack on Second Amendment Rights

    Incrementalism? What's that? Why I had no idea that you can keep moving the goalposts further away!

    Low-income Americans had the formal freedom to buy healthcare insurance

    Just as the had the freedom to NOT buy health insurance. Now they do not.

    Extending their freedom to buy healthcare also adds to the total size of the insurance pool, so helping to bring down the trajectory of healthcare costs for all of us.

    There is nothing so free as mandating an individual engage in commerce on pain of penalty under the Taxing Power.

    If you were actually interested in lowering the cost of healthcare in America, you'd look to cut the administrative costs of practicing medicine out (which, according to Forbes is about $100 billion).

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Wow, I looked at this column and my computer, in a quest to save my sanity, would not load the comments. Thanks, computer!

    Could you give a warning when linking to (non-Balko) Huffpo? The last several weeks has made my brain delicate.

  • CE||

    reason: What was going through the Republican mind then [when they passed Medicare Part D?

    The had just seen a presidential election decided by a few hundred votes in Florida. So they jumped on the chance to give more free stuff to old people, which Florida has an abundance of.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I'm sure George Will is just as sincerely libertarian as Bob Barr or Wayne Allen Root.

    I remember the shit that hack was writing about us back when I was a kid in high school volunteering on the Ed Clark campaign.

    -jcr

  • OldMexican||

    He has the distinction of having been attacked in the pages of Doonesbury


    Like, who hasn't? I end up with eye rape every time I try to read the comic strip. If that is not an attack, I don't know what is.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement