James Pinkerton: "Most Republicans Are Not Libertarian," So Deal With it

Louisiania Gov. Bobby Jindal's recent health care proposals in the Washington Post drew a mixed response from free-market commentators, including Reason's own Peter Suderman and the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon, especially over the sticking point of requiring insurance companies to cover anyone who applies. The critiques provoked a sharp slap at libertarian purity from conservative thinker (and occasional Reason contributor) James Pinkerton. Excerpt:

Everyone has a right to his or her principled position, but the majority has rights, too. In the case of a ban against discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, some 89 percent of Americans support such a provision, according to a Wall Street Journal poll. The Cato Institute, never having to worry about elections, will suffer no harm from upholding a position held by just a smidgen of the population--and can even hold up its minoritarian resolve as a badge of honor--but politicians are in a different category. [...]

So while it was not surprising to see Cato denounce Jindal, it was a bit surprising to see a conservative publication, The American Spectator, join in the denunciation; within hours of Jindal's op-ed, Philip Klein, writing for the Spectator, had posted his response, headlined, "Jindal's Incoherence on Health Care."

Why the surprise on the Spectator's attack on Jindal? Because while the libertarian Cato Institute can always be expected to uphold ivory-tower free-market purity--completely abstracted from the chore of actual governance--conservatives, for the most part, have given themselves the task of forging a "governing conservatism." Libertarian heroes are figures such as Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, and Ayn Rand, none of whom ever ran for office, much less were ever in charge of anything. Indeed, the great value of libertarian thinking is its purity [...]

Yes, it's true that any sort of government mandate is un-libertarian. But here's a newsflash: The American people are not libertarian. Most conservatives are not libertarian. Most Republicans are not libertarian. Yes, conservatives and Republicans have libertarian impulses, but they are more likely to be moved by instincts toward traditional morality, patriotism, and nationalism.

That's why conservatives and Republicans tend to support plenty of regulation that is un-libertarian. Most are pro-life, for example, and supportive of other government efforts to bolster family values. Moreover, conservatives and Republicans support the police, the military, and other upholders of public order. Indeed, most conservatives--and virtually all elected Republicans--support at least some form of Social Security, Medicare, public education, pollution controls, and other restrictions on perfect freedom. And in the realm of health care and medicine, most conservatives support government restrictions on stem-cell research, organ trafficking and euthanasia.

Governing conservatives, such as Jindal, must take this lumpy political and ideological reality into account. Libertarians can be expected to take their shots at Jindal & Co., because the mere act of getting elected can be taken as proof that a man or woman is prepared to make compromises.

Cannon responds here; Klein here.

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  • Jesse Walker||

    Sounds like a new paradigm!

  • ||

    So when libertarians express doubts that forcing insurance companies to cover high risk people will really help the system the way dems and cons say it will, we are just being puritanical about the market, not facing the realities of political compromise. Damn our naysaying!!! Why do we hate America???

  • Duck Season||

    That looks like a smarmy ass pimple if I ever saw one.

  • ||

    "Most Republicans Are Not Libertarian"

    This gets today's "No Shit" award.

  • ||

    "Most dogs are not cats"

  • Rich||

    "Indeed, the great value of libertarian thinking is its purity ..."

    ;-)

  • ||

    . The Cato Institute, never having to worry about elections, will suffer no harm from upholding a position held by just a smidgen of the population--and can even hold up its minoritarian resolve as a badge of honor--but politicians are in a different category. [...]

    "Keeping that boot on the face of America 24x7 is hard work. You just don't know what we have to go through to keep ourselves employed! So back off! Just leave Bobby ALONE!"

    James, you forgot to add, 'NYAH NYAH, NYAHNYAH!!"

  • ||

    That's a very punchable forehead.

  • ||

    Being anti-abortion is not necessarily un-libertarian. If you believe life begins at conception, then anyone but an anarchist has to agree that the government has a right to protect the unborn and ban abortion.

    The same goes for cops. Just because you have a problem with cops kicking in doors and shooting people's dogs without a warrent and no idea if they have the right house, doesn't mean you are anti-cop.

    This guy seems to confuse "libertarian" with "libertine". At some point, even the most conservative religous Republican has got to realize that in the long term he is going to lose and the leftists are going to win in virtually anything involving government. Leftists are like termites that will invade any government bureaucracy and turn it to their ends.

    For example, you start out being shocked and upset that the hippies next door are running around naked with their kids and sacrificing chickens to the earth goddess. I mean my God that is so unChristian and un American. Let's let CPS go after them for it. That sounds nice except that CPS is infected by leftists and once you give them that power it is just a matter of time before anyone who tells their kids global warming is bullshit or that MLK wasn't a very good guy is on some kind of a list and answering to the man.

    Any bureaucracy no matter how well intentioned is going to be subverted to leftists ends. Hell, the damned defense department is full of do gooder leftists doing all kinds of crazy things like banning "aggressive breed dogs" from post housing. If you can't keep leftists out of the Pentegon, what chance do you have anywhere else? The answer is to stop looking to the government for sollutions and form your own communities. Conservatives, especially religous ones have got to figure that out. The government will never be their friend no matter how much they dream otherwise.

  • JB||

    Many religious conservatives already realize this. Another reason why this article is so off-base.

    Religious conservatives are natural allies of libertarians in many ways. I'm not talking about the talking heads and 'Family Values' coalitions, but the everyday people realize government is a problem and they want it kept away from them.

    Of course, there are exceptions, but from what I've seen (including surveys and data) religious conservatives are a lot more libertarian than most other groups.

  • dagnabbit||

    What I like about religious people is that they hold a higher power than the government.

  • ECOA||

    Yeah, those damn leftists. Jebus.

    Any bureaucracy is going to be subverted to leftist ends? Really? That must be why we're fighting two unpopular (at the moment) and unconstitutional undeclared wars, which leftists love so much. That must be why we have contractors in foreign countries who are above the law, because everybody knows that the damn leftists filled with a hatred for using the law to reign in mercenaries.

    Bureaucracies are suborned to the needs of the bureaucracy, no more, no less.

  • ||

    Liberals wanted both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, buddy. Only after the wars became clusterfucks did the libs try to distance themselves from it. Nice try.

  • Geotpf||

    No they didn't. Stop making shit up. The vast majority of liberals were strongly against the war in Iraq. Heck, a majority of Democrats in Congress (who are not all liberals) voted against the war.

    Now, as for Afghanistan, 90-95% of the overall population supported that war (in the beginning). Liberals certainly didn't want such a war, but most liberals, along with 90%+ of all Americans, realized that once you are attacked, you must fight back. Some liberals are against all wars on general principles, however.

  • ||

    Liberals wanted both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, buddy. Only after the wars became clusterfucks did the libs try to distance themselves from it. Nice try.

  • John C. Randolph||

    If you believe life begins at conception, then anyone but an anarchist has to agree that the government has a right to protect the unborn and ban abortion.

    Nope.

    If we start from the premise that an unborn child has all the same rights as an adult, there is still no legitimate basis for banning abortion because:

    Let's suppose that some other person's life depends on getting a transplant from you? Do you have a duty to surrender your organs to save the other person's life?

    Now suppose that instead of organs, that person only needs a continuous blood transfusion. Do you have a duty to let that other person live on your blood?

    The way I see it, the abortion debate hinges entirely on the right of a woman to control her own body.

    -jcr

  • ||

    I would have to agree dude, just deal with it. Thats all you can do!

    RT
    www.anon-web.int.tc

  • ||

    The anon guy must have gotten some good smack last night. He seems to be on his game.

  • ||

    My way of dealing with it is to vote against them, even if it means a vote for an honest Democrat. I'd rather an honest Democrat than a dishonest Republican, so the Republicans can either learn or lose as far as I'm concerned.

  • ||

    "Any bureaucracy no matter how well intentioned is going to be subverted to leftists statist ends."

    If, OTOH, by 'leftists', you include modern conservatives/neocons as well, then I agree with that statement.

  • ||

    Or to put it another way, there is no way to control a bureaucracy once it is created. So, it doesn't matter how noble its originally intended purpose was, it will always take on a life of its own and stray far from its original purpose.

  • libertarian democrat||

    Yup

  • ||

    "Concentration of money and authority in any single entity necessarily attracts those that would abuse that power for their own selfish interests." -RR

  • robc||

    JW,

    Since neocons are Trotskyites, I would assume he was including them under leftists.

  • Xeones||

    My way of dealing with it is to vote against them, even if it means a vote for an honest Democrat.

    And this worked so well in 2008. No, in the absence of feasible libertarian (or even libertarian-ish) candidates, if you must vote, vote for whoever will contribute to gridlock, whether it be a dishonest Republican, a blue dog Democrat, or Dennis Kucinich.

  • ||

    Voting for a major party candidate is almost always a stupid evil act.

    Not voting is acceptable
    Voting Libertarian is commendable
    Voting for a write-in (preferably either Bugs Bunny, or yourself) is cmmendable.
    Voting major-party, your part of the problem.

  • Tony||

    Say we have a national election. Your real choice is between two candidates of either national party. That's it whether you like it or not. Say you live in Florida and your vote might actually count. Voting third party is tantamount to voting for the mainstream candidate who least represents your views.

  • Geotpf||

    Not precisely, but close. Voting third party is voting to not to vote, to not change the outcome of the elction. If you are going to vote third party, you might as well just stay home.

    Now, that hurts the major party candidate closest to your views, just as staying home does. But it hurts only half as much as voting for the other major party candidate. That is, you withhold a vote from the major party candidate closest to your views, but you don't also give a vote to the other major party candidate.

  • dagnabbit||

    Any one vote actually counting? That's funny. The monkeys will be flapping off into the sunset.

  • ||

    Or even Ralph Nader?

    Somebody told me once to vote for the party not in power. If Dems are in the WH, vote for Rep. Congress and vice versa.

  • ||

    Or even Ralph Nader?

    Somebody told me once to vote for the party not in power. If Dems are in the WH, vote for Rep. Congress and vice versa.

  • ||

    Crapping all over liberties and the free market isn't pragmatic--it's just a power grab. After a long series of power grabs.

    In other words, jerk, you're either with us or against us.

  • MP||

    89% of Americans support a ban on pre-existing condition denial. 89% This is a number that cannot be waved away by simply believing that you're right and they're wrong, regardless of who is actually right. You have to deal with the political reality here. Putting aside some of the other incorrect points in Pinkerton's piece, this is the item that deserves real attention.

    The only way to sway that 89% is to show exactly how you're going to deal with the pre-existing condition issue. Saying "the market will deal with it once all of the government regulations are swept away" simply won't win the day.

  • ||

    People that are uninsurable due to pre-existing conditions can join Medicare. Problem solved, unless the aim is not dealing with the problem, but rather creating a "reform" bill that is a stalking horse for single-payer.

    Offering solutions you don't like is not the same as having no solutions.

  • ||

    No kidding. How about this idea. If you have a pre-existing condition, the government will insure you. But, it will only cover really big expenses and if you can't afford to pay, you have to go through what amounts to a bankruptcy process where the government tells you how much money you can spend on what. That way, you get treated and you don't die. But, it still sucks to be uninsured so people have a reason to buy health insurance. Problem solved.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    It depends on whether we're talking about "pre-existing" or incurable, chronic or terminal conditions.

    A curable pre-existing condition is not a bar to getting insurance, the insurance company simply won't pay any claims related to it.

    An incurable or chronic condition means that you will be stuck with long term and unpredictable costs. This cannot possibly be something an insurance company that expects to stay solvent should be expected to handle.

    In line with SF's reasoning (I think) how about a means tested program to pay for incurable or chronic conditions?

    And maybe it could be Medicare. Maybe with a little tweaking it could be made into a means tested program to pay for incurable or chronic conditions including the incurable and chronic condition of being to old to insure.

  • mark||

    I still firmly believe that in an unencumbered free market, there would be many insurance companies offering "cancer management insurance" and trying to get it into the hands of as many cancer patients as possible as early as possible. There would be insurance focused on heart disease, depression, HIV, and so on. And by making actuarial judgments about how the long-term cost of managing these conditions can be brought down, the insurance companies will profit as costs come way down for consumers and life expectancies go up.

    Or you could just dump these patients on Medicare. Nice alternative.

  • Hugh Akston||

    The only way to sway that 89% is to show exactly how you're going to deal with the pre-existing condition issue.

    One of the problems/virtues of libertarian thought is that we don't have all the answers. We don't have the blueprint for a perfect society. We believe that society will shift and change to fit the needs of its people. The Party, OTOH, believes that people need to shift and change in order to meet the mandates of the state.

    Someone out there has a brilliant idea on how to insure people with pre-existing conditions. Maybe several people have competing ideas. libertarians want to structure society so that those people have the opportunity to try their ideas out. What we don't have is the one best way to handle it, because the belief in a one best way is profoundly unlibertarian.

  • ||

    Someone's been reading his Hayek!

  • Rich||

    Well said.

    And even if people don't believe in the power of the free market we still can have a contest to gather brilliant ideas. Lotsa tax-free money if yours is implemented and pans out.

  • robc||

    Ive seen one idea for it. Buy term insurance like with life insurance. This doesnt help anyone with current pre-existing conditions, but some currently healthy 25 year old could buy 80 year term health insurance and it would never matter what condition they got from that point on.

    Term life insurance isnt available to someone already dying, but you dont get denied coverage if you get cancer then change jobs. At least not until your term runs out.

  • MP||

    25 year olds likely couldn't afford term health insurance due the actuarial rates that would come with it.

  • robc||

    Boo fuckin hoo.

    Buy a shorter term. Or buy cheapo insurance like I did when I was 25 and hope you dont get a condition.

    Im not suggesting it at the exclusion of other forms of insurance. There is no one right solution for everyone.

    However, if you are concerned about the issue at hand, you can pay the extra money now. Plus, since its term, your insurance rate will be uber-cheap when you are 90.

  • MP||

    That's why libertarians rarely get elected. The mindset of our society has completely bought into the progressive mindset (that being that action via legislation can get things done).

    I'm not suggesting that libertarians should change their views to be less marginalized. I'm simply agreeing with Pinkerton that smart politicians craft policy that will get them elected. The long term effects of such policy are irrelevant.

  • ||

    Libertarains don't get elected because we don't promise free ponies.

    The punch line is that they never do get that pony, but they keep voting for the scmubags who promise them, that really, this time they will get the pony, because *the other guy* will pay for it.

  • Brian Lockwood||

    You never actually catch the dragon.

  • JB||

    I think you should pay taxes according to how you vote.

    Democrat - 55% total taxes
    Republican - 40% total taxes
    libertarian - 10% total taxes

  • ||

    I think one of the problems with the health care debate is the focus on making health insurance cheaper, which is only part of the problem. The central issue should be how to make health care cheaper. Not necessarily the same thing.

  • Rob||

    Where's the "digg up" button when I need it?!?

  • ||

    Pinkerton's claim on this 89% figure is misleading. He states that it relates to "a ban against discrimination based on pre-existing conditions."

    But the actual question asks about "Requiring that health insurance companies cover people with pre-existing medical conditions." It says nothing about discrimination. You can require coverage, but then let companies charge actuarially sound prices. I'm not claiming most Americans would support such a policy, but it is logically coherent.

  • ||

    Don't let insurance companies dump people who are already sick in the first place. How about that?

    If you get sick while uninsured, you pay out of pocket.

  • robc||

    MP,

    The political reality is that the majority is always wrong. Hence, they can safely be ignored.

  • hurlybuehrle||

    I think what he's trying to say is: "None of your corrupt, incompetent, dirtbag politicians is libertarian, and none of us d-bag sycophants in the media are libertarian, so you really need to just take our shit and like it".

  • ||

    Take it! Take it right now!

  • hmm||

    Awesome logic. 100% of the population wants free money. Since this is true politicians trying to get elected should give away free money while people not trying to get elected don't need to worry about giving away free money.

    Wait a sec. Isn't this already done and isn't it considered a problem? So now instead of just giving something away we want to force someone else to give it away just because the majority wants it. Jesus fucking christis that seven different kinds of stupid.

  • ||

    Duh. Most Republicans are not libertarian. But most Republicans do support and believe in a free market.

    Then, and more importantly, I've seen a lot of libertarian hate lately, and from both sides. That's an indicator that the philosophy of freedom is winning, right? Picking up speed? Speaking to the young folk?

    Just give me something, people.

  • Hugh Akston||

    But most Republicans do support and believe in a free market.

    [citation needed]

  • ||

    At least ostensibly? I'm basing this off of rhetoric from the last campaign. I don't have a way to cite "supports free market" for "most" of the Republican party, obviously, but I'm assuming you were just being coy...

  • JB||

    Many rank and file are huge free-marketers. Same goes for many independents.

  • ||

    Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste [or views] of the American public. Mencken

  • Xeones||

    But most Republicans do support and believe in a free market.

    Except when it needs to be bailed out, or when it's a market in something they disapprove of.

    Just give me something, people.

    Well... the weather has been really nice on the east coast lately.

  • ||

    Well... the weather has been really nice on the east coast lately.

    Thank you.

    Except when it needs to be bailed out, or when it's a market in something they disapprove of.

    My point was only that a Republican, free market argument for healthcare would not be anything out of the ordinary. Pinkerton is wrong. And ugly. That's all I was trying to say.

  • JB||

    Xeones, there were quite a few Republican Congress critters who voted against bailouts because many of their constituents called and told them to.

  • ||

    I haven't read Jindal's proposal, but what's to stop me from carrying the cheapest coverage available, only to switch to the Cadillac coverage once I'm diagnosed with lupus?

  • Xeones||

    FrBunny: it's not lupus.

  • ||

    ONE DAY IT WILL BE LUPUS!

  • ||

    Solana,

    We've been worthy of attack since the 90s. That is progress, though it's not enough to stop the growth of government. Or even to slow it much.

  • ||

    Worthy of attention or not, I've noticed a spike in actual mainstream familiarity with the philosophy/movement, paired with either contempt or bewildered respect.

    Then, on the point that we're totally failing... uh... I don't know.

    *looks to Mars

  • ||

    I think many or at least a good majority of Republican voters are pro-free market. The problem is that their politicians aren't. They aren't for a three reasons. First, being pro free market is not consistent with stealing. So, that rules out many politicians from both sides. For an example of this see Trent Lott.

    Second, most politicians have no balls. Most politicians are worried about what their piers and what the bigwigs in the meida think of them. They would rather sell out the free market cause and be liked inside the beltway as a "maverick" than do what is right and be seen as a right wing nut. See people like McCain and Orin Hatch for an example of this type.

    Finally, some of them are born again do gooders who, like their leftists counterparts, have been seduced by the idea that government actions can make people's lives better, despite all the evidence to the contrary. See, GW Bush as an example of this type.

  • MP||

    I think many or at least a good majority of Republican voters are pro-free market.

    I think you're hopelessly optimistic. They're just as rent-seeking as the Democrats.

  • ||

    Maybe so. If that is true, then take your socialism and enjoy it. If everyone is a socialist rent seeker than it is only fair that that is the government we have. If you really beleive that, then you need to stop bitching and moaning all the time.

  • MP||

    I've sharply curtailed my B&M exactly because my cynicism has reached new heights. 89% Think about that number some more and get back to me when you are able to reconcile that with your mistaken belief in GOP voter free market principles.

  • Long time reader||

    I'd say most of the small business owners who vote republican are pro-free market, especially since the chances of rent-seeking at that level are near impossible.

  • Xeones||

    My point was only that a Republican, free market argument for healthcare would not be anything out of the ordinary.

    True, a free market argument from a Republican would be a lot less surprising than one from a Democrat.

    Pinkerton is wrong. And ugly.

    On that we are in perfect agreement. He is almost Waxmanesque.

  • mark||

    You just reminded me of Barney Frank's Free Market Day on Sept. 15th. Forgot to celebrate this year...

  • cmace||

    "One of the problems/virtues of libertarian thought is that we don't have all the answers."

    The other side does. They're millennialists. Enact their proposals and the lion will lie down with the lamb.

    All freedom can offer is constant change and uncertainty and struggle.

  • Xeones||

    I'm a panarchist; if people want to be told what to do, that's fine with me. My problem is when they want me to fund and obey their chosen leader too.

    The world is not a friendly place for panarchy.

  • ||

    Sadly, I wasn't familiar with "panarchy" until Wikipedia, a moment ago, enlightened me. I imagined you running around terrified of everything in a fishbowl-like world of chaos.

  • GILMORE||

    You believe in anarchy while playing a flute and wearing furry chaps?

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Enact their proposals and the lion will lie down with the lamb.

    I thought the lamb was supposed to tow the lion.

  • dagnabbit||

    Kinda like that. The lamb draws the lion, then crosses it.

  • Attorney||

    This gets today's "No Shit" award.

    I was going to say "Duh," but yours is pithier.

  • ||

    Everyone has a right to his or her principled position, but the majority has rights, too.

    No. The majority has power, not rights. Only the individual has rights. I'm afraid Mr. Pinkerton suffers a catastrophic failure right out of the gate.

    The only way to sway that 89% is to show exactly how you're going to deal with the pre-existing condition issue.

    By deregulating health insurance, so catastrophic coverage is easily affordable.

    By allowing insurance companies to write policies that exclude certain pre-existing conditions but accept others to craft a policy that gives you as much protection as you can afford.

    By maintaining a safety net insurance program, so that you will always have health insurance no matter how sick you are.

  • MP||

    "Safety net insurance"

    i.e. Medicare for all. You see, you can't get away from the pre-existing condition issue without government health payments.

  • ||

    What's the problem? The problem is that while a majority of Americans surely are pro-free market, they're used to hearing that the system we have now is a free market. So they accept the heavy hand of government in many areas without much question.

    What's good about the current situation is that the government is beginning to act overtly enough in its regulation and interference with the optimal functioning of the marketplace as to engender more widespread discontent. What Cato, Reason, and others can do is help people put words to the feelings they have. A lot of times, libertarian perspectives are born in an epiphany--you see that great amounts of power are dangerous, you realize that political decision-making shouldn't affect things like the market or your freedoms, you understand that much greater prosperity for all is possible in a system with less government intervention, etc.

  • ||

    Last time I checked, there were 301 co-sponsors of HR 1207, over 100 were Democrats. S 604 (Senate version) only has 30, mostly Republicans. S 604 was sponsored by Bernie Sanders.

  • Xeones||

    I imagined you running around terrified of everything in a fishbowl-like world of chaos.

    That's sort of how it is these days, innit?

  • Qualis Artifex Pereo||

    The American people are not libertarian. Most conservatives are not libertarian. Most Republicans are not libertarian. Yes, conservatives and Republicans have libertarian impulses, but they are more likely to be moved by instincts toward traditional morality, patriotism, and nationalism.

    So we might as well just vote for Huckabee and be done with it, right?

  • Rich||

    Just give me something, people.

    Solana, I've noticed much more interest in libertarianism recently as well. Good interest manifests as bus-loads to protests, reasonable conversations, contributions to Campaign For Liberty, etc. Bad interest manifests as fear-mongering about the nature of the protests, ad homs, focusing on fringe elements, etc.

    I was talking yesterday with a small business owner who is totally disgusted with what he considers Obama's bait and switch, and is thinking of leaving the country. I believe many people like him are essentially libertarian and just need to have some resources pointed out to them.

  • ||

    I agree. Honestly, a book like Atlas Shrugged is sometimes enough to shake statism out of a person. Then it's Paterson, Lane, Hayek, Friedman, etc.

    Or just point them to Reason?

    Or just talk to them yourself, I guess. I have a handful of friends who are basically libertarians at this point, not because I "converted" them, but because I pointed out that they were already libertarians. Their votes were undermining their own beliefs.

  • ||

    But here's a newsflash: The American people are not libertarian.

    Yeah, but they used to be, at least ostensibly. So I will always consider the burden to be on the statists to justify why it's OK to tinker with the basic American system. No matter what they think, history did not start with the New Deal, and in the grand scheme of things, it's not the American status quo.

  • @||

    "Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, and Ayn Rand, none of whom ever ran for office, much less were ever in charge of anything"

    Pinkerton's pragmatism is almost as revolting as his premise that free-agent individualists aren't "in charge of" anything. That they took charge of their own lives and influenced millions doesn't count for much, evidently.

  • MP||

    It doesn't count for didly when we're talking about legislation out of D.C.

  • ||

    Unless those individualists influenced the legislators. Which, for the record, they totally did. Or at least a bunch of them.

  • Kevin||

    One of my big problems with Obama's candidacy was that he had never run anything. As far as being elected to office, that's just a popularity contest. I find it infuriating that Pinkerton even associates the two, as if being a politician was anything like a real accomplishment. As far as his "majority has rights" comment, in the "Two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner" scenario, he sides with the "rights" of the majority.

  • P Brooks||

    I imagined you running around terrified of everything in a fishbowl-like world of chaos.

    Isn't everybody?

  • roystgnr||

    Most Americans think less about basic economics than they do about vector calculus.

    It should be grossly obvious that, in a world where preexisting conditions must be covered, the smart consumer will carry no insurance until discovering a medical condition, at which point he can switch to insurance that is forced to pay for that condition. Insurance companies still have to make money or go out of business, so if they can't discriminate against preexisting conditions they will have to charge everyone premiums that reflect the costs incurred by the already-sick. Anyone who wants to buy insurance that actually reflects the mathematically expected costs of his future health care will find that purchase impossible.

    If 89% of Americans can't see that, then perhaps we shouldn't be running our health care system by popular vote.

  • mark||

    This is thread winner so far.

    Mandating that insurance covers pre-existing conditions is tantamount to universal health insurance, which I believe is as anti-liberty as single-payer insurance. So it ought to be a non-starter with anyone who is opposed to single-payer.

  • P Brooks||

    Just give me something, people.

    There is a guy I know, who is a thoroughgoing pinko.

    However, I saw him in a sputtering rage, recently, immediately after having received the tax assessment "adjustment" on his commercial building. Being a thoroughgoing asshole, I said, "Well those guys figure, if you own a commercial building, you must be raking in the dough, and it's only fair that they get a cut."

    He said, "Yeah, that's right. If you make it so small business owners can't make any money, that'll really help the economy."

    Of course, he still thinks the tax rate on "rich people" should be about ninety per cent.

    Baby steps.

  • P Brooks||

    ONE DAY IT WILL BE LUPUS!

    Never; lupus is so..... pedestrian.

  • ||

    The last show of the series, it will be. IT MUST BE.

  • Ass of Catalonia||

    Lupus ended up being the final diagnosis in an episode already.

  • Xeones||

    Baby steps.

    Indeed. I've been working on getting various members of my family to come to the dark side; my wife and one of my brothers are almost there.

  • ||

    This is not the tune they sing when an election is looming. In election season I'm swamped by these assholes trying to convince me that Republicans are libertarian or at least sufficiently so to induce me to vote for them as the lesser of two evils.

    So, Pinkerton, you'd better fucking remember you said this come November 2010. Because I sure as hell will.

  • ||

    One thing that even a lot of liberals have is a vague distrust of government--which is, of course, completely contradicted by their politics of increasing the size and scope of government. However, it's a kernel of possibility. Freak everyone out enough, and we could become a libertarian nation again really quickly.

  • Bingo||

    But, they don't have a distrust of government in general. They have a distrust of whatever current government fails to pass legislation to fix the critical problem du jour. They bounce from crisis to crisis looking for the government to enact a fix. As the saying goes, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    There is almost zero distrust of the concept of government interference in general, its expected and welcomed in every event.

  • ||

    A lot of American liberals, maybe.

  • ||

    "Most Republicans Are Not Libertarian," So Deal With it

    I have. As of 2008, I stopped voting for them. It's a third party candidate or I leave the slot empty. No more enabling for me.

  • JB||

    I made that declaration but the Obamination changed that. I just can't resist voting against the fucker and his minion zombies.

  • ||

    "Most Republicans Are Not Libertarian"

    Most people aren't giant-foreheaded, opinion-spewing partisan fucknuts, slobbering to polish the knob of whatever power-grabbing douchbag happens to be carrying my "screw you while we get ours" flag at that moment, either.

  • ||

    J sub D,

    Me, too, except I'll likely vote straight GOP in 2010 for Congress. I like my government divided. That could be an issue in 2012, since Obama is looking very much like a one-and-out president, but I'll worry about that then.

  • Geotpf||

    Obama is closer to Clinton than Carter. He will almost certainly be re-elected, although he might lose one or both houses of Congress along the way.

    Seriously, name a potential Republican candidate who could get even 45% of the vote against Obama. Remember that Obama will be the incumbent, which gives him a +5 bonus or so to start with. Palin, Romney, Jindal, etc. probably wouldn't even get to 45%, let alone more than Obama.

  • hurlybuehrle||

    "Just give me something, people."

    I'd have to also say that the truth seems to be popping up out there a lot more frequently than it did a year ago. My current hometown is about as Democrat-loving as you can get (Cambridge, MA), and the volume and tone of anti-government sentiment I'm hearing these days is striking. Granted, this is based on the completely unscientific sampling of people I run with and chat with in the pub. But you have to wonder if times are a-changin' when you find yourself discussing Hoppe and Rothbard in a bar next to Harvard.

    My speculation is that there are a lot of people very frustrated with government, and with a keen interest in alternatives to the status quo. They just don't know what to do about any of it.

  • ||

    What J sub said.

    Fool me 47 times, well, shame on somebody.

  • creech||

    I'm telling my grand daughter to start learning Mandarin.

  • ||

    If we could only unify on one point, that the government is not to be trusted and not to be entrusted with much power, we'd go a long way towards being a truly free society again.

  • ArkhamOutpatient||

    My kid has cerebral palsy. Fortunately mild. But in working with her I've met a lot of families with kids who have moderate to severe special needs. Most of these kids will need care for the rest of their lives, in one form or another. Private insurance covers from none to some, depending on the need (therapy is often denied or limited).

    I have thought a lot about how you could craft a plan that doesn't rely on government care, but still provides some coverage for these kids. I know there are parents who have filed bankruptcy due to therapy and medical bills. If you waited until you had enough money to pay for a kid's potential medical needs, you'd never have a kid. Private charities exist, but their resources can't begin to cover the need. I wish they could.

    Don't get me wrong; I don't want public health care; I think it would be far worse for these kids (not to mention almost everyone else) than what they have now. How would a workable free market system handle this?

  • ||

    I think it's a sucky answer, but in a truly free healthcare market it would be vastly cheaper to pay for such care out of pocket.

    On the other hand, term insurance or plain old health insurance sold before the children are born would be a fairly profitable market.

  • hotsauce||

    Also, private charities would have more money to dispose of. No income tax and vastly reduced other taxes = more money in people's pockets = more to give to charity.

  • robc||

    By the parents paying out of pocket.

    That was easy.

  • ArkhamOutpatient||

    Wonderful. Sure, I have tens of thousands of dollars available. See my previous statement about not having a kid if you have to have that kind of funding first.

    I think buying a policy before the kid is born is a great idea. It would be interesting to look at the variables there (number of normal vs. special needs kids, average cost of special needs kid, how much it would cost, would it be renewable at age 18, etc.)

    Would there be a legitimate state role in caring for kids/people who have to be institutionalized? Not trolling, just enjoying the insights on a topic I've spent way too much time thinking about.

  • ArkhamOutpatient||

    One other thought. My daughter had surgery a year ago. While the surgery itself relieved her spasticity, physical therapy was required afterwards several times a week for close to a year. would be required afterwards We met another family at the airport, afterwards, whose son had also had the surgery. They were Indian nationals who had lived in the states for a few years. They told me they were moving back to India as the cost of physical therapy was vastly cheaper there. I would imagine it primarily has to do with lack of governmental mandates, licensing requirements, and tort lawyers, and not India's nationalized health insurance program. I could be wrong.

  • JB||

    Cost of labor is so much cheaper. Indians have a much lower cost of living than here. You could hire 6 therapists for the cost of 1 here.

    There are other factors, but that is a huge part of it.

  • mark||

    Dr. robc's prescription is sound. In a free-market system, private charity would have a lot more money to help out. Also, with most people paying out of pocket, costs would come down.

  • MP||

    It would bankrupt you.

    One thing I think you'll find consensus on, even among some libertarians (Arnold Kling, for example) is that government assistance for special needs individuals is simply a bitter pill that must be swallowed by libertarians. There isn't a better solution.

    Note though that even a government assistance program should be need based. One should not qualify simply based on their medical condition. If you have a medical condition and substantial assets, well, kiss those assets goodbye (which, from a societal standpoint, is as it should be).

    Unfortunately, what the Democrats push for in health care is health maintenance, which is far from special needs. They also (like most Americans) have a disfunctional view of health "insurance" as a necessary third party payer of all health care, instead of actual insurance. This clouds the debate and distracts from the medical needs of those who are actually in a hardship position. Being uninsured is not a hardship position. Being broke and having CP is.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    I have stopped being amazed at the number of liberals I meet whose justification for a national health plan is "I shouldn't have to spend my life savings on medical care."

    In the end this impetus for socialized medicine isn't based on any genuine concern for the poor or less fortunate it comes from people who just can't understand why they should ever be under any obligation to plan for their own needs.

  • ||

    The 89% figure shows that the vast majority of the public have no idea what "insurance" is.

    I have to give a hat tip to whomever came up with the "getting fire insurance while your house is on fire" analogy. It saves a lot of time and gets to the heart of the matter when stuck talking "health care" with statists. They can grok that.

  • Richard Stands||

    Agreed. I use that one all the time.

  • Geotpf||

    Nobody has proposed government run health care. The public option is government run health insurance. For good reason. There is no profit in insuring people with pre-existing conditions like your child.

    The choices are:

    1. You spend all your money on health care, go bankrupt, etc.
    2. The government forces private insurers to cover your child at a loss. (So they raise the rates on everybody else to compensate.)
    3. The government insures your child (and loses money as well).

    The difference between #2 and #3 is minimal-both are not libertarian, free market solutions-both socialize the risks amoungst the public at large. The only free market choice is #1. Denying you coverage is the free market at work.

  • ||

    My speculation is that there are a lot of people very frustrated with government, and with a keen interest in alternatives to the status quo.

    Which will wane as soon as their attention is diverted to something shiny, that their party hacks will use as a wedge to get everyone back to the ramparts.

    I have zero faith in the public to do the right thing. All they seemingly want to do is to keep voting themselves free lunches.

  • hurlybuerhle||

    I don't deny that I'm grasping at straws here. Or that you're almost certainly right. My memories of the Summer of Brain-Dead Messiah Worship (2008) around here are still too fresh.

  • Xeones||

    I'm telling my grand daughter to start learning Mandarin.

    My five-year-old recently greeted the grocery store sushi counter guy with "Ni hao." He responded with, "Is that Chinese? I'm actually from Thailand."

  • Richard||

    What does it mean to have 'purity' of thought? Fo you mean, say, coherence? And if the Republicans have no ideological 'purity' what does that say about them?

    BTW- not all Libertarians are Objectivists either- so you have to separate the market anarchists (Ls) from those who want a government that defends individual rights (Os)

  • Randy Ayndy||

    All Objectivists are small-l libertarians, but most libertarians are not objectivists. It's too rigorous for them, intellectually, as Objectivism requires consistency in thought and action.

  • mark||

    And you know what they say about a foolish consistency...

  • Cliché Bandit||

    This guy is the reason the Red team is losing so many players. The problem with that is they don’t know why they are leaving the red team exactly. And (as arrogant as it may sound) libertarians are really the only ones who can even understand what happened to the Rs (and is now happening to the Ds but to a lesser extent). Baby steps is right. Frustratingly slow, but right. I try to do my own ostrich impression by not antagonizing the lost ones because my BP is 140 over 90 when sitting calmly. Any more stress and my head will pop.

    It is not lupus, it is obviously sarcoidosis

    p.s. HOUSE SPOILER BELOW*****

    I can't believe the stupid twist the show has gone through. At least the formulaic and repetitive older seasons were satisfying. And I miss all the good one liners. Killing a patient...sharks have been jumped.

  • ||

    The first two episodes of the season really upset me, but this last one was a bit of a return to the show's strengths. The end of last season was phenomenal, though. It might just be difficult to top...

  • Bingo||

    Everyone has a right to his or her principled position, but the majority has rights, too.

    Citation fucking needed. The political language in this country is that of demagogues looking to leverage mob-rule.

    You know who has rights too? The minority has rights. The individual has rights. Everyone has fucking rights in this country because they are outlined in the "worthless piece of paper" that supposedly tell our government how to work. Where does the majority get a free pass to browbeat those who disagree into submission?

  • ||

    "Safety net insurance"

    i.e. Medicare for all.

    Not at all. Medicare is not a safety net, as it is provided to all regardless of ability to pay.

    Medicaid is a safety net.

    You see, you can't get away from the pre-existing condition issue without government health payments.

    I can get away from it in the private sector, by confining it to a true safety-net program.

    ArkhamOutpatient, a free market would allow individuals to buy their own policies, so that parents could buy policies on their kids before they are born or diagnosed, and keep those policies even if they change jobs, etc.

    Of course, this requires that parents exercise foresight and responsibility, by getting a policy early and paying the premiums on it without fail.

  • Xeones||

    Of course, this requires that parents exercise foresight and responsibility

    RC, haven't you heard? Personal responsibility is so not in right now.

  • Anonymous||

    Not to mention, private charity would undoubtedly play a far greater role in a truly free market than it does now, because individuals would have far more of their own money to give to causes (or particular people) of their own choosing -- which is how it ought to be really in the first place.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I really don't understand why most people forget their profit motive over certain things.

    government assistance for special needs individuals is simply a bitter pill that must be swallowed by libertarians


    In a more free or truely free system SOMEBODY will try to make a buck off of people with disabled children (put away you indignation for a moment). And then SOMeBODY ELSE will compete with them and lower costs. This is how it works. in todays market it would of course bankrupt the parent but imagine if I could open an insurance only for parents with diabled children. Then I charged outrageous premiums. The costs of tratment being high causes this but then I am incentivised to find new and cheaper treatments which drive down my costs. Then my competitors finds even cheper and better treatments that parents like and undercuts me while still making a healthy profit. Etc. etc. etc.

    Is it perfect? No. Is it better than a system that only encourages the status quo? Absolutly. This is not just a fancy theory. It works in every sector.

    To a stick figure the world IS flat

  • Bingo||

    Oh my god, from the comments on the Spectator -

    I had this epiphany in another thread yesterday:
    A libertarian is a conservative who grew up in a dysfunctional family.

    This explains their praise for the "individual" above all, rather than understanding that the family is the "cradle of civil society."

    Pro Lib, that's what your Red Team vote is enabling. No wonder "it's for the children" works so well to enact over-reaching, stupid, costly, rights-infringing legislation.

  • ||

    I saw this too, and laughed. I thought, the real difference between a libertarian and a conservative probably has more to do with IQ...

  • ||

    The real difference between libertarians and everyone else is balls.

  • Attorney||

    What Cato, Reason, and others can do is help people put words to the feelings they have.

    Yes.

    It wasn't so long ago that the conventional wisdom was: "All-volunteer army? Oh, that will never work." Well, libertarians kept the volunteer-army idea from being completely marginalized, and now it's CW.

    Eat that, defeatist bitches!

  • Xeones||

    Bingo, i didn't realize the Spectator's readership was so heavily into Confucianism.

  • JB||

    It's called leadership you moron. Something the Republicans know nothing about just like their retarded cousin Democrats.

    'People want something! Let's give it to them no matter the consequences!'

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    So, how did those two pragmatic conservative President Bushes and Republican majority in congress work out for you?

  • ||

    Hey, I didn't say I liked, trusted, respected, or anything elsed the GOP. I'm just voting against single-party rule. The Democrats in my mind are worse--keeping most of the bad aspects of the last administration and Congress while adding some economy-killing features of their own. We're better off with neither party can easily pass legislation to its benefit.

  • Richard Stands||

    Yep. Government interference in anything but defending citizens' rights is predictably: fewer citizens' rights. Absent a reduction in size and scope, go gridlock!

  • T||

    Being a thoroughgoing asshole

    I thought that was implied, since you post here.

  • ||

    We're better off with when neither party can easily pass legislation to its benefit.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    In the case of a ban against discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, some 89 percent of Americans support such a provision, according to a Wall Street Journal poll.

    Once again, economics is not Family Feud. The survey can say whatever it wants. The reality is that when you force insurance companies to take losing bets, they either go out of business or collectivize their costs in ways that punish all their customers.

    You cannot achieve universal coverage with an insurance-based system. That's just reality. Libertarian cant has nothing to do with it.

    It's true: Any elected official has to make compromises. Unfortunately, reality doesn't have to make compromises with wishful thinking.

  • JB||

    "Most are pro-life, for example, and supportive of other government efforts to bolster family values."

    Holy fuck is he dense. Many Republicans and libertarians see abortion as a basic rights issue that is balanced between the life of the mother and the life of the baby.

    "most conservatives support government restrictions on stem-cell research"

    That's also bullshit. They support restrictions on government funding of stem-cell research. I know of very few conservatives who wanted the government to ban all research.

    This article is full of sloppy thinking and writing. I hope any future articles he writes for reason are better than this tripe.

  • ||

    This argument from Pinkerton is stupid. Yes, the politics of today is determined by what the majority wants today. But the politics of tomorrow is determined by what the majority of tomorrow wants, and what the majority of tomorrow wants is usually determined by groups or individuals that are very much in the minority today but who are effective at agitating for their views. And sometimes "tomorrow" arrives very quickly - in a matter of months or a few years. Pinkerton's argument amounts to saying that we have to take the majority opinion of today as a given and work within the limits set by it. But the intellectual activist isn't interested in working within the current majority opinion; he wants to shift majority opinion closer to what he thinks is right.

  • Bingo||

    Pro Lib - But both parties can and regularly do pass legislation to their own benefit and their supporters benefit.

    I'm beginning to suspect that the current government resembles some sort of proxy mob-rule with unchecked power to pass any legislation.

  • P Brooks||

    I have stopped being amazed at the number of liberals I meet whose justification for a national health plan is "I shouldn't have to spend my life savings on medical care."

    That money is for round-the-world cruises, you fool!

  • ||

    I have stopped being amazed at the number of liberals I meet whose justification for a national health plan is "I shouldn't have to spend my life savings on medical care."

    Oh, yeah. Apparently, society has an obligation to maintain their lifestyle and personal net worth regardless of what happens to them.

  • Tony||

    But isn't the libertarian justification for leaving healthcare up to the market that the market delivers it more efficiently than a centralized program would? Except it doesn't. Because there is no (or very little) choice involved. Sure you can shop around for doctors but you can't decide whether to get cancer or not. Your guys' lack of empathy for other humans borders on the sociopathic. Yet you call it virtuous. You don't have a leg to stand on with this subject because healthcare is not a typical commodity subject to market forces, and our system, the most free market of all in the wealthy world, is also the least efficient and least fairly applied.

  • WWJGD||

    Your guys' lack of empathy for other humans borders on the sociopathic.

    If it isn't already, this should be a DRINK! moment.

  • ||

    Your guys' lack of empathy for other humans borders on the sociopathic. Yet you call it virtuous.

    I would call yours pornographic. Lefties get off on pretending to care, which is all well and good for you, as long you do the caring and someone else pays for and does the actual work.

  • Tony||

    I make a comfortable living and will thus be a payer in the system. In reality nobody has to be out a dime for universal healthcare since we could shave a sliver off the Pentagon budget and make it happen. But that aside, I don't think taxes are the greatest oppression in the world. We already collectively pay for our healthcare system, and pay more than other countries with better systems. Half of the point of reform is to save money for individuals.

  • robc||

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • ||

    In reality nobody has to be out a dime for universal healthcare since we could shave a sliver off the Pentagon budget and make it happen.

    [citation needed]

    We already collectively pay for our healthcare system, and pay more than other countries with better systems.

    [citation needed]

    Half of the point of reform is to save money for individuals.

    [citation needed]

  • MP||

    Fair. There's that word again.

    OK Tony, why is it not fair that a person with a medical condition would have to spend down their non-critical assets before they would qualify for public assistance? Why is it fair that I should be forced to pay for their second home in the Hamptons because they have cancer while I forsake cable TV to save money?

  • Tony||

    The moral premise is that one's access to healthcare (which is necessary for life, which government is charged to protect) should not be dependent on one's wealth. It's not a luxury, it's a basic necessity.

  • robc||

    No one is denied access to healthcare. The amount of healthcare you buy after you walk in the healthcare store, depends on your wallet.

  • robc||

    No. The libertarian argument is that centralized program is immoral.

  • Tony||

    Well that's dumb.

  • Joshua Holmes||

    But isn't the libertarian justification for leaving healthcare up to the market that the market delivers it more efficiently than a centralized program would?

    For some. For others like me, it's a moral stance against taxation.

    [O]ur system, the most free market of all in the wealthy world, is also the least efficient and least fairly applied.

    It's certainly possible that there are markets that have worse outcomes than government programs. Our healthcare market is the most free-market healthcare in the developed world, but that doesn't say very much, and by no means is our healthcare market anything remotely resembling a free market.

    For me at least, the fact that the government already spends more per capita than just about any other nation means that switching to a government healthcare system here is fairly neutral w/r/t rights. If it has better outcomes and spends about the same, it's a wash morally.

    Ironically, that puts me in the position of supporting a free market first, a very unfree market second, the market we have third, and the upcoming reforms fourth.

  • ||

    Bingo,

    Obviously, the complete answer is to dismantle a giant chunk of Leviathan. But we're not going to get the chance if government keeps expanding towards open tyranny. The only way to buy some breathing room is to slow the growth of government. We're probably screwed, anyway, but maybe we can teach the horse to sing.

  • T||

    I have stopped being amazed at the number of liberals I meet whose justification for a national health plan is "I shouldn't have to spend my life savings on medical care."

    Do what I do. Ask them 'why not?' The sputtering about 'not fair' usually starts right there.

  • ||

    It's one of those things that sounds completely awful while it's coming out, but only because we've all been conditioned not to say it.

    As a kid I felt the same way when I thought, uh, this whole Jesus thing is kind of ridiculous.

  • ||



    Everyone has a right to his or her principled position, but the majority has rights, too. In the case of a ban against discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, some 89 percent of Americans support such a provision, according to a Wall Street Journal pol.

    So 89% of the people support a stupid economic policy that will cause huge deficits and massive wealth redistribution. The fact that I am in a one-in-nine minority is supposed to make me stop opposing a catastrophe in the making?

  • Kroneborge||

    I think it should be noted that most people aren't all one thing. They are often libertarian on some things, conservative on others, and maybe even liberal on a couple. It just depends on the issue.

    For example, libertarian answers are often very efficient, but many people don't feel that the outcomes are "fair" or equitable. So you get things like progressive tax rates, or the safety net.

    Real life involves trade offs, with no perfect answer.

    As for healthcare, it's true you can't make insurers except everyone with a prexisting condition, without also having an indvidual mandate. You could just offer everyone with a prexisting condition Medicare, but then you are still going to pay for it with higher taxes.

    IMO, the real key is going to be when they start basing premiums (or offering rebates) based on lifestyle choices, and staying healthy.

    We need to restore the link between people's choices, and their financial costs.

    Final thought, agreed that it's reasonable to make people pay for their medical care, but I don't think it's right to put them into bankruptcy to do it.

  • Bingo||

    Pro Lib - true. But the thing is that even when we have a "divided government" or a split house it isn't even really all that split. Divided government is great when the two parties are at odds over a number of issues because it results in gridlock. But Team Red and Team Blue are very rarely at ideological odds anymore, they mostly seem to differ in the degree of the legislation they need to enact.

    Jindal and Romney both show that the R's are "Democrat Lite" with 30% less fat. It's like two morbidly obese people rolling up to a fast food drive-thru and they both order a super-sized combo, only the R's get a Diet Coke instead of regular. The worst part of this is that the R's are extolling the virtues of eating healthy and calling the D's a lardass.

  • ||

    Something fundamental to our Constitution that quite regularly gets overlooked by today's left is the fact that it was designed to protect, in many ways, minority interests from the tyranny of the majority. Look no further than the First Amendment for an example of that philosophy.

  • Tony||

    Does that mean that all the other parts about how majorities decide most things are invalid?

  • ||

    Does that mean that all the other parts about how majorities decide most things are invalid?

    The majority picks the people who are to supervise the protection of these minority interests.

    Do you not understand the difference?

  • Tony||

    Minorities have certain, specific, protections--but even those protections are subject to change with a large enough majority. This is like intro to Democracy 101. I don't understand the point except "if only the 1% of the country that believes like I do had total control, we'd have freedom!"

  • ||

    But this is not a democracy. It's a republic -- i.e., a system in which the majority picks the people who are to supervise the protection of minority interests.

  • Tony||

    That's not their only job. I don't get your point at all. It's a simple fact of life in a democratic/republican system that majorities get most of what they want--that is the fairest and most practical application of the central idea behind the system: rule by the people. Minority rights are specific exceptions to this rule.

  • mark||

    I see you've been studying at the Obama School of Constitutional Sophistry.

  • ||

    I used to think that people like Tony ignored the already existing definitions of words like "democracy," "republic," "liberty," "rights," etc. because they had an agenda. I thought it was this kind of Marxian assault on our vocabulary.

    Unfortunately, it seems they just haven’t read very much.

    It’s strange how much more comfortable I felt about the world while under the impression that it was largely run by a small group of evil geniuses rather than an uneducated, unreasonable, largely unthinking mob.

  • Tony||

    I know the definitions, I just don't think it's that important and that you're being pedantic. "Democracy" is quite often used as shorthand for the type of government we have. Yes, I'm aware we don't have 300 million people showing up at fora to decide everything.

  • Richard Stands||

    Yep, 9 out of 10 people enjoy a good gang rape.

  • ||

    "Minorities have certain, specific, protections--but even those protections are subject to change with a large enough majority. This is like intro to Democracy Totalitarianism 101."

    FTFY.

  • Richard Stands||

    But if one does look further, other excellent examples are the 9th and 10th amendments.

    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

    "The 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."

    The document which established and is supposed to define our constitutional republic describes specific enumerated powers of the Federal Government. All other powers are "reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The Constitution (which these officials swear an oath to preserve, protect, and defend) describes what is and is not on the table for tyranny by the majority. It doesn't matter how many wolves vote, the system is not authorized to make that sheep their dinner.

  • ||

    Bingo,

    Agreed. The degree to which they'll cooperate to screw us is distressing, and it ruins much of the benefit of competing parties and checks and balances. But semi-divided still beats unified.

  • P Brooks||

    IMO, the real key is going to be when they start basing premiums (or offering rebates) based on lifestyle choices, and staying healthy.

    We need to restore the link between people's choices, and their financial costs.

    This is very true. I used to (still do) say auto insurance companies should be able to limit (or refuse) payouts to people who were not wearing seat belts.

    There are obvious considerations of practicality, but the basic issue is: if you, the client, cannot be bothered to assume some responsibility for reducing your risk, you shouldn't expect the insurance company to unquestioningly pick up the tab.

  • P Brooks||

    You don't have a leg to stand on with this subject because healthcare is not a typical commodity subject to market forces, and our system, the most free market of all in the wealthy world, is also the least efficient and least fairly applied.

    [citation needed]

  • Kroneborge||

    Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by fair. If you think it's fair that someone else should pay for your healthcare, then I guess their are fairer systems than ours. If you think that people should pay for their own care, then our system is fairer than many.

    That being said, our system is certainly not efficient, the consumer of the services is in most cases not aware of the costs, which results in inefficient consumption.

  • Tony||

    I think it's fair for people to have to pay for things they can choose to take or leave. Healthcare is not one of those things. I think it's not only unfair that whether you live or die is dependent on your wealth, it's absurd and immoral in the 21st century.

  • MP||

    Clue in Tony. Few here take the "pay or die" position. It's "pay until you can't pay anymore". What's so wrong with that?

  • Tony||

    What's wrong with people going bankrupt over a medical condition they have no control over?

    This is a moral dispute. I say this situation is a moral outrage. You seem to think people giving a pittance up in taxes to mitigate this risk is a greater outrage. You're entitled to that opinion but I think it's crazy.

  • MP||

    I didn't mean to imply bankruptcy. Ability to pay is not typically defined as "having assets > 0". Are you saying that Medicaid's asset limits should be discarded?

  • ||

    Seriously? You're basing your entire epistemology on what's "fair?"

    What? Are you 9?

  • ||

    No, because even most 9-year-olds can understand that it's not fair to steal from other people.

  • JB||

    Everyone dies you stupid fuck.

  • Tony||

    JB your contributions are always so thought provoking.

  • JB||

    They at least contain thoughts about reality unlike yours.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    I think it's fair for people to have to pay for things they can choose to take or leave. Healthcare is not one of those things.

    Neither is food.

  • Tony||

    If access to food vs. starvation was as dependent on wealth as healthcare is then I would be advocating for a similar safety net. Civilized societies don't let their citizens starve (imo, even if they're contemptible people who don't work because they're lazy).

  • robc||

    Society != government you fuckwit.

  • hurlybuehrle||

    "Medical services" =/= "life", FYI. In fact, if you account for mortality related to surgical and prescribing errors, as well as hospital-acquired infection . . .

  • hurlybuehrle||

    And "health insurance" =/= "access to medical services" either.

    FTFMS.

  • hurlybuehrle||

    And the ability of large numbers of people to spend vast quantities of other people's money on specific goods does what to their prices?

  • P Brooks||

    DRINK!

  • ||

    It's not just in the Bill of Rights where minority interests get protected. It's in the whole original structure of our government. If we wanted majority viewpoints to have unfettered control, why checks and balances? Why the federal system? In fact, why a constitutional framework at all? All we would need to properly project majoritarian power would be a single legislature or, perhaps, pure democracy.

    For some odd reason, we didn't want that. And we still don't, though to a much lesser extent. To our great folly.

  • Kroneborge||

    Wait Tony, so you are saying it's fair to force people to provide medical care for otheres? Are doctors and nurses just slaves to the needs of others?

    What if they refuse to provide care, do we lock them up?

    I'm not totally opposed to the idea of a safety net, but let's never for a moment pretend that healthcare is some type of right.

    That other people HAVE to provide it for you.

  • Tony||

    Well as a progressive I think that healthcare should become a basic right provided for commonly just like armed forces protection is and just as it is considered in every other wealthy country on the planet. I believe that societies can and do evolve, and part of the unfinished business in our quest for a more perfect union is healthcare as a fundamental right. You don't have to agree, it's not written on stone, but neither is free speech. People decided it was pragmatically useful and morally laudable for speech to be protected as a fundamental right. I just want to add to the list for the same reasons.

  • ||

    Well as a progressive I think

    I have my doubts. Serious doubts.

    Shorter Tony: FREE PONIES! They're a basic human right, you know. Oh, and mob rule is the best form of governance. No one gets hurt as long you do as we say.

  • Tony||

    I don't believe ponies to be a basic human necessity. What are basic human necessities can certainly be up for debate. Every other wealthy country has decided to make healthcare one of them, though none that I'm aware of have gone down the slippery slope you imply and added ponies to the list.

  • ||

    "Every other wealthy country" IS NOT AN ARGUMENT! That stands on exactly zero logic. Pleae. For the love of God. Stop citing "other people do it" as a reason to do it.

  • Tony||

    You don't think it's relevant at all? Like that it might be evidence for it being a good idea?

  • ||

    It's sad because you're serious.

    No, Tony. No I don't. I don't think that a lot of people doing something doesn't makes it a) beneficial or b) right. In the case of healthcare, as in the case, for example, of European-style "freedom of speech," it would be neither beneficial nor right.

  • mark||

    I believe that societies can and do evolve, and part of the unfinished business in our quest for a more perfect union is healthcare as a fundamental right. You don't have to agree, it's not written on stone, but neither is free speech.

    This is troll level stuff. Tony-spoof level. But just in case you were serious...

    "Free speech" is written in stone, on paper, broadcasted over the airwaves, and communicated from one to another every day. Every time we engage in free speech, and fight for free speech, we preserve and increase it.

    Every time we legislate "free healthcare", on the other hand, it becomes decidedly less free. More "progress" in this realm means more chains and more whips.

  • Tony||

    This slavery hysteria is really quite tiresome. You live in one of the freest societies that has ever existed. One might be grateful for that fact and feel a duty to contribute to its continuance. No, not here. Y'all are like a bunch of whiny rich toddlers.

  • robc||

    Positive "rights" are morally equivalent to slavery.

    The only fundamental rights are negative rights. Your rights cannot depend on my labor.

  • Tony||

    So the right to a lawyer is the moral equivalent to slavery?

  • GILMORE||

    If you ever met a public defender, I think you'd probably think "yes"

  • Anonymous||

    The right to a lawyer though is quite different from a right to health insurance (or healthcare). One has a right to be provided with a lawyer given certain circumstances (one is charged with a crime and are unable to afford a lawyer, etc); one cannot simply demand a lawyer free of charge because one wants to draw up a will and cannot afford to -- or is unwilling to -- pay for one.

  • Tony||

    It's still very much a 'positive' right, which according to robc is equivalent to TEH SLAVERY.

  • Anonymous||

    Not really as things stand, because it is only a means to an end: the protection of the fundamental negative right to due process, not as a right in and of itself. Hence, one cannot simply demand any lawyer for anything (drawing up a will for instance or for general legal advice); the state provides one, if necessary, to ensure due process: a fair trial and so on.

  • Bingo||

    Pro Lib - Bad Things happen when you have a majority-elected representative body with no clear minority protection. The historical example that readily comes to mind are the events that led up to the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. I don't think we're going to see any guillotines, but the majority will take advantage of the minority given the chance. "Soak the rich" is a good example of that.

  • Kroneborge||

    the military is a public good. it's conidered a public good because many people can enjoy the benefits of it without diminshing other peoople's use of it. IE the cost of protecting one extra family in LA etc, is basically nothing.

    Healthcare is a private good. When one person consumes healthcare services, that means someone else can't consume those services.

    If you can't see the difference between the two, I don't think I can help you.

    Things like free speach etc, are rights because they really don't require other people to do anything for you. For example, your right to free speach doesn't require me to go to Med school, or perform work for you involuntarirly.

    If you have a right to healthcare, why can't I have a right to a porche? or a house on the beach?

    Maybe you think I don't need those things, but maybe I don't think you need that knee replacment surgery.

    You can't have rights, that force other people to labor for you.

  • Tony||

    I think healthcare is a public good, one much more justifiably referred to as such than most of what our armed forces spend their time doing.
    When one person consumes healthcare services, that means someone else can't consume those services.

    That might be true in a private system. The whole point of universality is to do away with this disparity. Someone other than me is welcome to make the case for why porches are a universal good that should be equitably disputed. To me it's a luxury while healthcare is a basic necessity, and that difference isn't irrelevant.

    Who is forcing anyone to do anything? Are you talking about taxes to pay for it? If you're an anarchist and think taxes are theft, fine, but if you are ok with them paying for armed protection, then you can't claim taxes spent on something else are theft just because you don't like what that object is.

  • ||

    Bored now. Tautology 101 is in session.

  • ||

    If you will, please explain to me, via logical argument, how socializing an industry will eradicate rationing and, as you've just ostensibly claimed, create an unlimited resource out of a finite resource.

    *looks to, for example, every government-run healthcare system in the world

    *looks to housing in NYC

    *looks to food and automotive distribution in the old Cold War Communist states

  • Tony||

    Other systems manage to cover everyone and do it more cheaply per capita than we do with our millions of uninsured. Even if I accept the premise that more rationing will occur than does already, I suppose I prefer a system in which it's rationed just as much for the wealthy as it is for the poor.

  • ||

    Thank you for admitting that you want everyone in the country to have worse healthcare. That's all I was looking for. I respect your honesty.

  • T||

    Your guys' lack of empathy for other humans borders on the sociopathic. Yet you call it virtuous.

    Well, we all lack empathy for you. I don't think it generalizes, though.

  • ||

    Mine does...nobody pays any of my bills for me, therefore I can't afford another badly run gobmint program. Shit happpens, deal with it.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    In Atlanta progressives enjoy spending their extra cash on overpriced in-town housing. [Kinda funny when they start whining about crime being so high.]

  • Brian Lockwood||

    Ahh, Thank god for Tony. Good for hours of entertainment.

  • Ample Bosoms||

    I think that if you end up with a face like Pinkerton's you should be able to sue G-d.

  • Bingo||

    It might be an acquired trait given how smarmy he comes off in that article.

  • alan||

    Oh, Pinkerton. I'm not going to rag on you for that bit of establishmentarian agitprop because I know there is a conscience inside of you that feels a little bit more slimier today than the day before for having written it. May you crawl out of the cesspool and walk on two feet again like a man one day. I wish you well.

  • Kroneborge||

    Ok, let's go over the definition of a public good again.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_good

    healthcare goods and services are consumed by use. If I get a flu shot, you can't get that same flu shot. Another one must be produced for you to get one.

    Going back to the tax thing, there is a difference between paying taxes for a public good, or paying taxes that are used as a form of redistrubtion of wealth. One if for a government services, the other is stealing.

    Society is not better off, by "spreading the wealth around". Society is better off when people get to keep the fruits of their labor. This encourges them to work more. When they don't get to keep what they work for, guess what they stop working, make some other sucker do it.

    IE, see Soviet Russia etc.

  • Tony||

    All taxation is redistribution and all pay for government services. The debate should be about which services are appropriate, and that debate is settled via elections and Congressional action. But you want to make an end-run around that debate by declaring *this* service illegitimate and theft, just because you say so.

  • Brian Lockwood||

    Kroneborge,
    You are fighting an uphill battle here. First, you are arguing with someone who is not interested in honestly debating the subject. Second, you ceded the high ground by saying the military was a public good. Once you have opened up the door in saying that one "public good" can be funded through taxation then its just matter of opinion as to which other ones can/should be funded.

  • mark||

    Some libertarians would be OK with the idea of a "natural monopoly" that is best provided by government. Obviously health care doesn't come within 100 miles of that.

  • Brian Lockwood||

    I come from the more objectivist side of things, so the only "natural monopoly" of government I support is the monopoly on force.

  • alan||

    The Night Watchman State can be tightly defined by necessary function. In political reality, the devolution of the political system of the United States being the prime example, it doesn't work out so well in practice.

  • hurlybuehrle||

    @Kroneborge: I think the concept of healthcare as a right is more problematic, really. If something is your right, that seems to necessarily imply that it's yours regardless of things like ability to pay. Which strongly implies that you should get it for free. If this thing that's your right requires actual productive effort on someone's part, then the only way of getting that thing that's your right is by (a) depending on their goodwill, or (b) compelling that person to produce it for you without compensation, otherwise known as slavery. To the extent that your demands exceed that person's good-heartedness/patience/physical endurance/ability to earn a living, (a) is almost certain to turn into (b).

  • Kroneborge||

    I suppose you are right, if you can't tell the difference between the two types of goods, then I guess it's ok to fund anything.

    And it's not even that I am totally against having a safety net. But let's just not pretend that these people have a "right" to what I worked for.

  • ||

    Or put another way "Most Republicans do not endorse liberty. Deal with it."

  • ||

    probably been said but that is one very punchable face.

  • ||

    The moral premise is that one's access to healthcare (which is necessary for life, which government is charged to protect) should not be dependent on one's wealth.

    Tony, I think you're making a category error in conflating the government's obligation to protect life with a government obligation to pay for goods and services.

    Even setting that aside, every single person in the US today has the right to emergency care regardless of ability to pay. Every single one.

    Now, if you want to argue that there is some kind of universal human right to non-emergency care, go right ahead. Be sure to specify at what point your need for non-emergency care exceeds my right to be left alone.

  • Tony||

    That emergency care has to be paid for, and the costs are passed to the insured. It's not an efficient system, and if you are ok with universal access to emergency care for the uninsured, then I don't see why it all of a sudden becomes evil socialism or whatever to extend it to nonemergency care.

    You don't have a right to be left alone. You don't have a right not to pay taxes. Why are you okay with paying higher insurance premiums to cover the uninsured who need expensive emergency care but think it's oppressive to pay (probably less) in taxes to provide cheaper normal and preventive care?

  • dagnabbit||

    Tony keeps catching you half-libertarians giving it up. He's right, if somebody has a "right" to have the government take your money for his emergency care, then a bona fide right has been established. Then it's all about quibbling over what an "emergency" is. If a government has the "right" to take your money for the kind of "defense" it deems profitable, the right to take your money has been established. Face it, either the government has "rights" to coerce you or you have the right to be free from coercion. You pick. -- Gosh I love "quotes".

  • anonymous||

    So the vast majority of Americans want something that isn't possible, and it's our fault for criticizing those that promise it? Klein said that mandating coverage for those with pre-existing conditions was essentially making single payer inevitable.

    If you can't show that his argument is wrong, then you're implicitly saying that Republican politicians should surreptitiously take us down a path that leads to single payer health care because it is easier than having to explain their position and reasoning to their supporters.

  • Seeker||

    “All freedom can offer is constant change and uncertainty and struggle.” From cmace|10.8.09 @ 9:40AM
    Yup. Life is cool like that.

    Sorry for long question from this genuinely interested learner: As I am trying to understand it, human free-market libertarianism makes natural adjustments in costs and availability of goods and services due to natural market pressures. In other words, it pivots on feedback. Feedback is at the center. And the feedback, of course, naturally arises from current human interests we define as needs and often designate as rights.

    Here’s the question: what if feedback is slow? Isn’t it true that it’s the Transition between one state and another that gives rise to criticism of libertarianism? It’s the place where people get hurt and suffer and die due to unforeseen consequences of previous choices to which the market hasn’t yet had time to adjust. Libertarianism requires accurate feedback (non-intervention) and timely feedback (perfect knowledge). Dems pretend to have enough foresight and perfect knowledge to plan govt programs to prevent or mitigate the transition. Repubs pretend the painful transitions are due to moral failures. And the more zealous libertarians pretend the transition doesn’t matter. Back to the statement I liked:
    “All freedom can offer is constant change and uncertainty and struggle.”
    Live and let live, with much humility.
    Does this model work for you – i.e., looking through the lens of the pain of transitions that the market will take care of, but will do so without concern for the pain it causes?

  • Bingo||

    What do you mean by "painful transition between states"?

  • Seeker||

    We make choices freely. I want that. I discover, though, that some choices I make in my favor inadvertently cause harm to myself and others. I didn't foresee that my choice was going to come back to bite me. Now that it’s biting me – now what? Transition time.
    Bear with an example for the example's sake, regardless of my likely inaccuracy: The free market approach to chemical manufacturing with releases - from decades ago to now - cause unexpected cancers. I buy the products that need the chemicals. I don’t know the danger to self or others my financial support causes. Before there is a market pushback from the harm, much damage has been done. The financial incentive for the mfr makes it worse, incentivizing the cover-up of the needed knowledge, and creates misinformation. This isn’t government intervention that causes misinformation, but the market.

    The market is unable to transition smoothly. We could suddenly quit using the chemicals and the harm goes away. But this means jobs lost and starving families, so the company needs to keep running. Or we could just wait it out and let the “real” information eventually be understood by the market and let it adjust. This means many others suffer from the chem effects in the meantime while we stand by watching. We could be activists and govt-regulate the chem industry. We could blame the chem. company CEO as immoral. We could[...]

    Transitions are painful. There is "some" merit in every single govt theory in the response to the pain. Truth is, none of them work very well. So I advocate for humility and shared effort. Though I lean toward so-called pure freedom, trust in ideology ignores the weak link in EVERY chain: painful transitions occur due to our unavoidable ignorance of future consequences of our current choices.

    So I am trying to engage a discussion around whether libertarianism is based on a premise that ignores - or relegates as unimportant: the fact that feedback and knowledge are imperfect and that resultant transitions that occur due to our ignorance are filled with suffering. Is waiting for the free market response to our ignorance-caused suffering always the answer that leads to less suffering? And can the most moral response be captured within the confines of a single theory such as libertarianism?

    Thanks for asking.

  • Tony||

    Lots of guys here don't believe in external costs.

    My argument is that even if the market were the product of perfectly rational choices (which it's not), that still wouldn't provide optimal outcomes. First of all, what's rational depends on what term you're talking about. A rationally self-interested choice in the short term might wind up being against your self-interest in the long-term. At any rate, nobody can predict everything, and a market functioning perfectly rationally can just as easily lead to massive problems as it can to prosperity. The tragedy of the commons assumes rational actors.

  • ||

    Rhetoric janitor! Cleanup in aisle Tony!

    You do realize that a private market isn't a commons?

    Right? RIGHT?

  • ||

    Lefties get off on pretending to care, which is all well and good...

    Which is why I saw a Prius with the license plate "Liberal" flying down Wisconsin Ave NW (speed limit 25), weaving through traffic without using a signal.

    On second thought, it could have been a Smart.

  • ||

    He's enlightened and empowered. Get the fuck out of his way!

    I can't tell you how man cars with Obama stickers I've seen with owners who drive like complete douchebags in DC. And these are the non-Beemer crowd.

    Put an Obama sticker on a BMW and dear god! Death Race 2008!

  • Kroneborge||

    Actually in the case of externalities, all involved often benefit from government regulation.

    Say you have two companies which both make product X. The production of can be done for $1 a unit, but that puts toxic chemcials into the water, or $1.50 a unit with no chemcials. Both companies would like to NOT dump chemcials into the water, but if one company does it volunarily, and the other doesn't then the good company goes out of business, and the bad company continues dumping.

    Since both companies know this, they both dump.

    The solution is regulation, it prevents a race to the bottom.

  • Joshua Holmes||

    My argument is that even if the market were the product of perfectly rational choices (which it's not), that still wouldn't provide optimal outcomes. First of all, what's rational depends on what term you're talking about. A rationally self-interested choice in the short term might wind up being against your self-interest in the long-term. At any rate, nobody can predict everything, and a market functioning perfectly rationally can just as easily lead to massive problems as it can to prosperity. The tragedy of the commons assumes rational actors.

    All of this is absolutely true. Problem is, putting bureaucrats in charge often has even worse results, because the political feedback mechanism is not nearly as responsive as the market feedback mechanism.

  • ||

    It's what I don't understand about the statists: Why are politically motivated decisions and allocations better? Aren't they obviously inferior to market-driven decisions, even in the equitable sense?

  • ||

    Because, silly, market decisions are by the evil corporashuns and their dirty profit-driven motives. Political decisions are by the right people and their pure intentions.

    Furthermore, markets aren't self-correcting as political actions are. They have elections every 2 years! You can't say that about GE! And with a customer satisfaction rate of 98% incumbency re-election rates!

    Never mind the outcomes, it's the process that counts! (I'm very excited!)

  • ||

    You know, that is a high approval rate. Maybe I'm wrong about political motivations. We sure seem to love them, don't we?

  • Naturally Right||

    Presumably because many said statists take for granted that they would be making the political decisions in question and that their decisions would be best because made with the best intentions (an often questionable assertion) rather than for filthy lucre.

  • Seeker||

    So much knowing the answer and being smarter than everyone else is going on here. And with the Dems. And the liberals. And conservatives. And Repubs. Betcha we could learn from each other if we could hear each other.

  • dagnabbit||

    So what should the correct approach (the libertarian one) learn from the incorrect ones, except to run like hell when they open their mouths?

  • mark||

    This slavery hysteria is really quite tiresome. You live in one of the freest societies that has ever existed. One might be grateful for that fact and feel a duty to contribute to its continuance. No, not here. Y'all are like a bunch of whiny rich toddlers.

    Tony, you're a strawman arson extraordinaire. Of course I feel a duty to the continuance of society. You want to hand that duty over to government bureaucrats, which is exactly the opposite of what I think society needs right now.

  • Bill R||

    I love how these hacks like Pinkerton think they know what's best politically. Hey Pinkerton while you and your ilk were being "pragmatic" by encouraging home-ownership, low interest rates, and an unnecessary war the "purists" were warning of the coming disaster because of those "practical" policies.

    Enjoy the worst economic disaster in 70+ years and the two wars you beltway Beltway GOP hacks created. We'll NEVER let you forget what you HACKS did and that's what eats at you so called pragmatists.

    YOU HACKS MADE THIS MESS WE'RE IN NOW SO STFU! and let the "purists" who warned you HACKS about this take over.

  • mark||

    the "purists" were warning of the coming disaster because of those "practical" policies.

    And the sad thing is that the socialists claimed all the credit for prophesizing the crisis, and now have the "alternative". Sickening.

  • ||

    Unless Medicare is *completely* scrapped(With Medicare it´s a joke to talk about free market at medical care) I strongly support a ban on pre-existing conditions.

  • ||

    A large majority of Americans oppose a health insurance mandate, too. There is no f-ing way you're going to be able to force insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions without a mandate. It's not a matter of choice or greed or whatever, they simply will not be able to be solvent unless both are done together.

    Pinkerton's error is his implicit assumption that a "governing philosophy" must have the sole goal of making the majority happy so you get reelected. This error is shared by most of the political class, which is why we're in our current mess(es).

    A true governing philosophy must take care of the health of the society even when doing so means going against the majority's capricious wishes. It's the difference between a statesman and a politician. We don't have any statesmen (statespeople) in Washington any more, if indeed we ever did.

  • bpsycho||

    The endless dilemma of government. Emphasize majority rule & you eventually get 51% of the population pissing in the morning coffee of the other 49%. Emphasize "statesmanship" and you get 0.1% of the population effectively doing the exact same thing to the other 99.9%.

    This is one reason among many that I ditched "limited government" in favor of anarchy.

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