Rand Paul

Rand Paul's "Slavery"


Nothing if not uninteresting!

Doesn't matter whether it's a media scold using the analogy to declaim unpaid contributions to the Huffington Post, or the Senate Majority Leader criticizing opponents of ObamaCare, or the most interesting man in the Senate trying to make a point about the dangers of establishing a "right" to health care–comparing slavery to anything short of, well, slavery, strikes me in the best case as wildly, off-puttingly inaccurate. Here's Rand Paul:

"With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to healthcare, you have to realize what that implies. It's not an abstraction. I'm a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me," Paul said recently in a Senate subcommittee hearing.

"It means you believe in slavery. It means that you're going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses," Paul said, adding that there is "an implied use of force."

"If I'm a physician in your community and you say you have a right to healthcare, you have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That's ultimately what the right to free healthcare would be," Paul said.

Watch him here:

Could slaves free themselves by changing professions? Do doctors in Switzerland get taken away at gunpoint? To treat the analogy with technical seriousness, even setting aside (as if you could) the colossal weight of America's most lasting shame, is to render it ridiculous, in my opinion.

Some relevant Reason reading:

* Rand Paul, the "Great Non-Compromiser"?, Brian Doherty, Feb. 4, 2011

* Stop Smearing Federalism, Damon W. Root, Nov. 10, 2010

* Paul and the Private Parts, Jacob Sullum, May 26, 2010

* Up From Slavery, David Boaz, April 6, 2010

* Who Wins Today's Godwin Award?, Matt Welch, Dec. 7, 2009

* Crying Wolf, Michael C. Moynihan, August 2008

* The Uses of Hyperbole, Matt Welch, August 2008

* The 'White Slavery' Panic, Joanne McNeil, April 2008

Nick Gillespie and I interviewed Paul in March:

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  1. It’s called hyperbole and it’s used to illustrate a point, not to draw a direct equivalency between a doctor having his services conscripted and slaves in chains working a plantation.

      1. All slavery is partial slavery. Even the slaves went to their wives and some free time in the evening. I agree that Paul is using metaphorical language. i think it makes his argument more visual and more powerful.

        1. the partial slavery argument would have been better if he actually equated the TAXPAYER as a slave, not the DOCTOR.

          1. It may actually work better politically if the taxpayer sees something like this and says “That’s ridiculuous. The Doctor’s not a slave. If anyone’s a slave here, it’s me. Hey, wait a second…”

            Compare this to just another libertarian rant about how taxes are slavery. Yawn.

          2. I disagree. He didn’t say “If we pass such and such version of health care reform in America you will be enslaving doctors”. He was explaning the meaning of the belief that you are owed health care as a payment for being alive and needing it.

            What he said is absolutely true as far as it goes and I’m glad he said it. He said that the idea that you have a right to health care, means you have the right to the work of doctors and nurses and hospital administrators and janitors and pharmaceutical manufacturers in exchange for nothing at all. Whether the government wants to lift the burden and have the middle/upper classes pay for it through taxes is a side issue. The question is “Do you, an individual, have a RIGHT to health care?”. If your answer is yes, you are pro-slavery and, like everyone else who has ever been pro-slavery, you want to be the master.

            1. Thread over.

            2. Absolutely ridiculous. No one is saying that doctors and nurses should not be paid for their work. No one is saying that universal health care is cost-free and no one is advocating stealing one man’s skills and labor to benefit another. A basic education is regarded as a right and a public good, and we certainly pay teachers — they’re not slaves. Randroid Paul is an irrepressible jackass who will stretch an argument to absurd lengths to grab attention. He only succeeds in making himself, and his defenders, look like idiots.

              1. Education is not a right. All of us being forced to pay for it are slaves.

              2. “No one is saying that doctors and nurses should not be paid for their work.”

                What if the government can’t raise the money to pay doctors for all the healthcare that Americans want to get? It’s not exactly an unlikely scenario the way things are trending. Government can kick the can down the road with debt and taxes for a while, but not indefinitely.

                Eventually, either government decides not to give some people some healthcare (in which case it ain’t a right, so we win), or else Congress tries to salvage their system by forcing price controls on doctors. Which is only different in scale from saying they should not get paid for their work — once you force people at gunpoint to buy or sell at a price they would not otherwise find acceptable, you’re cheating them.

              3. “No one is saying that universal health care is cost-free and no one is advocating stealing one man’s skills and labor to benefit another.”

                So you understand that it’s not free, you just want it to be provided to you free of charge and you don’t want anybody to have the option of refusing to provide it to you but you resent being accused of forcing others to work for you? What kind of evasion are you trying to get away with. The doctor may not be working for you for free against his will but someone certainly is. If you believe that a system ought to be set up to have the services of others provided for you, the bill for which, you won’t be asked to pay and the people who are asked to pay cannot refuse, and if you believe that all this is yours by RIGHT, then you believe in slavery.

                1. FM, this is what is called “doublethink”.

                  1. Good call

            3. “Could slaves free themselves by changing professions?” No. The law said that slaves were property with no right to autonomy. The point is not that we treat medical professionals as slaves now. As other thread contributors have said, it is the taxpayers who foot the bill for “free healthcare,” who are the actual slaves AT THE MOMENT. But what if more and more medical professionals decided to free themselves by going into other lines of work? How easy would it be to, for example, reinstate the draft on behalf of an escalating “war on terror,” and then simply nationalize the health care sector and staff it with military conscript medical professionals indefinitely? If you believe in a “right” to health care, then the above scenario is one version of the ultimate consequence of such belief.

              The point is not that the noose is yet tightened to the choking point, but that we have allowed it to be fashioned and then slipped around our necks at all. Taking the noose from around our necks requires upholding the principle that nobody has a right to another’s time, effort, product or property. We might give government the power to extract a little bit of those things from each of us in order to promote clearly shared goals (such as national defense, e.g.). But beyond that minimum, the government should be prevented from increasing its takings, ESPECIALLY when taking from some, in order to transfer that wealth to others, no matter how noble-seeming the cause might be.

          3. The degree of control over doctors make them more the slave than the taxpayer – some of whom pay no taxes at all. But it is a good point that excessive taxation is itself a form of partial slavery.

    1. Let’s not forget that most aspiring doctors use the possible paycheck they can bring in as an incentive for becoming doctors in the first place. Sure some of them might be in it 100% for the patients, and if those people are completely honest, they’ll work for free and live off scraps while living in a box behind their local Wendy’s. However, most doctors have debt, multiple ex-wives, and scores of hookers to take care of so conscripting them, even at a discount price, should be abhorred.

      To those who say “Well, if the Doctors don’t like it, they can always find other work,” I agree, they can and they will, as long a semblance of a free market exists. Also, why should they be given the false choice between dropping several tax brackets or giving up their life’s work? That may not be slavery, but it sounds like some horrible shit to me. Paul is arguing philosophically of course, trying to get people see the meaning behind ejaculatory buzzwords like “free” and “universal,” and most people don’t want to think about the true meaning of things that make their gentials feel warm and fuzzy. Of course, entertaining such ideas is obviously the occupation of a deranged racist mind.

      1. Nice use of one of Obama’s favorite phrases: “false choice.”

    2. Yeah, he’s arguing the difference between positive and negative rights. If you believe that people do, in fact, have positive rights, then as he points out, you do not believe in negative rights.

      Whether or not you call that slavery is a matter of degree, I suppose, but he is illustrating a very salient point here. If you think one man has a positive right to a service, you must also believe that another man has no negative right (to be left alone). Matt’s just looking at this from the perspective of a single doctor – that guy can leave the profession – but what happens if they all decide to leave and people still think they have a right to this service? You would be denying their “rights” if you didn’t force someone to labor on their behalf. The slavery argument is valid. It just doesn’t fit well into a soundbite.

    3. Speaking about the endless war against hyperbole, I miss Moynihan.

      Is it bad that i hope that Vice goes tits up so Mike will come back to Reason?

      1. I miss him all the more every time I read a Riggs post.

    4. even setting aside (as if you could) the colossal weight of America’s most lasting shame

      Because there was never any slavery of any other kind anywhere else in the world.

      1. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

        No other country was founded upon that basis, either.

        It’s a great hypocrisy, and it’s one we should both own up to and be glad is over. It happened, it was terrible, let it never happen again.

        I believe that was Matt’s point.

  2. The one difference between a right to health care and slavery – no is forcing someone to become a doctor or work in health care. That is a huge difference, and one that can not be overlooked. He needs to back away from those comments now.

    1. I suspect it is a difference that won’t last for long. If it becomes economically unviable to be a doctor, the supply will dry up. What, do you imagine, our Commerce Clause-wielding friends do about that?

      1. Once the government becomes the sole provider of college loans, they can say “we will only loan you the money if you study what we central planners have decided you should study”.

        You’ve got a choice between studying what they tell you to study, or not studying anything at all.

        What would you do?

        1. I hope they start pushing for Underwater Basket Weaving. That shit needs to make a comeback.

        2. I’ve always wanted to go back and get a degree in Womyn’s Studies.

          1. Believe me, you don’t. I picked up some easy humanities “A”s in things like “Peace studies”. I figured I could regurgitate political BS so well I could’ve prospered during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
            Then I signed up for a “women’s studies” class…

            “What’s the archaeological evidence to support the existence a matriarchal society in European prehistory?”

            I may as well of raped them all and forced them to carry the babies to term.

      2. Wow, you’re right. If the health insurance mandate is upheld, and government can regulate inactivity, then they could force retired doctors to return to work.

        Good call.

        1. can’t wait. I hear women shave

      3. Japanese-designed, Chinese-built, robot doctors.

        1. I’d think I’d prefer that to a conscripted surgeon.

    2. Indentured servitude? Might be a better meme but I doubt anyone listening even knows what that is.

      1. Something about chicks getting to vote, right?

        1. No, no, no…”indentured” means you have false teeth. It’s about making old people work.

          1. Its about making old people wait tables at Denny’s

            1. and subsist on steamed pot roast and boiled carrots.

            2. Denny’s is for winners.

    3. no [one] is forcing someone to become a doctor or work in health care… yet.


    4. You have a point, but as sarcasmic EES point out, there is a lot of coercion that will take place, and I totally, absolutely agree with the following about the implications of the “right” to healthcare:

      “If I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to healthcare, you have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free healthcare would be,” Paul said.

      1. sarcasmic and EES

      2. Actually, there already is this fractional form of slavery. My wife is a doctor. If she is on call, and someone comes into the Emergency Room at the local hospital, they have, under law, the positive “right” to demand that she treat them for free if they have no money.

        If my wife refuses to do so, she has broken the law and faces serious consequences. I’m not sure if they would ultimately put her in a cage for that, but the fact that no doctor dares defy that law speaks volumes about the degree of fractional slavery that is occurring.

        Where leftists are going with Obamacare would result in greater and greater levels of such fractional slavery.

        1. A first EMTALA violation is a $50,000 fine for the institution AND the doctor involved (each). Like all federal fines first they hold your tax return (if any) then they jail you for contempt of court if you don’t pay it. So yes, eventually they would put her in a cage for that.

    5. I think he was taking it to the extreme slippery slope case, by looking at principles — if you truly believe that health care is a right on part with say, the right not to be murdered, then you support the government using violence against people to enforce that right. If you don’t, then it’s some sort of lesser right, and treating it as equivalent to other rights is confusing and misleading.

      Basically, it’s true that the government doesn’t do that now, because it doesn’t have to do that now, but it would if it came down to it, per the positive right theory.

    6. Listen, he’s not saying that being a doctor is anything like slavery and he’s not saying it will be like it under Obamacare. He’s saying something that’s completely true and can’t be repeated enough. He’s saying that if YOU believe that YOU are entitled to free health care then YOU believe in slavery. That it is proper that you should benefit from the conscripted service of others.

      If you, a person, believe you have a “right” to the time, work and abilities of others, whether they have to do the work for free or they are to be paid by someone other than you, then you believe in slavery. There is no hyperbole at all.

    7. mdb makes a good point. Full out slavery is forcing the person to be a slave – they can’t choose another ‘profession’ – but it is still a matter of degree because once government can force a doctor to only do medicine as government says it should be done, and only for the wages it decrees, all that is left is to tell students which will become doctors and which will be something else. So, Rand Paul was exercising legitimate hyperbole.

  3. Meh. If someone has a right to health care, then someone else has a duty/obligation to provide it, and government to extract it at the point of a gun if necessary.
    Is it slavery? Maybe not. But close enough for government work.

  4. What do you call it when the law says you must serve someone regardless of their ability to pay, and if you don’t then nice men with guns will invite you to explain yourself to a nice man in a black robe?

    1. Kinetic Service.

      1. This one almost went under the radar for me… but +100, wylie! Nice work.

    2. Federal Income Tax system??

  5. The analogy was rendered ridiculous long ago.

  6. So, the only form of slavery that “counts” is one that exactly matches the slavery of the antebellum South? Why is that?

    1. Working at Wal-Mart may be an equivalent form of slavery as well in some circles.

      1. Since there is no coercion I don’t think so.

      2. I worked at Wal-Mart. I was happy to have a job and it paid the bills, but it sucked and thy couldn’t do shit when I said “So long Unlce Fuckas!”

    2. I would also accept slavery comparisons that were similar to: rowing a galley, gladiator school, sexually servicing imperial japanese soldiers

      1. Most galley rowers were free men, Abdul. In the Roman era they were often non-citizens who took on the job to gain citizenship. The Greeks used citizens or mercenaries.

        /the more you know…

        1. I was thinking of the Ottoman galley slaves at Lepanto…doesn’t everyone?

          1. And I was thinking Jean Valjean.

          2. I thought those were prisoners?

            1. A prisoner has a right to refuse to work but not to leave his confinement. When put in a galley and forced to row, lest your sentence be extended, one ceases to be simply a prisoner and becomes a slave, albeit not prrmanently, IMO.

    3. Perhaps because he is a Senator from Kentucky?

  7. “””Could slaves free themselves by changing professions?”

    So freedom is doing what the government is not presently forcing you to do?

    “”‘Do doctors in Switzerland get taken away at gunpoint? “”‘

    Most laws are ultimately enforced at the point of a gun. Try not following the law and see now long it takes before someone shows up with a gun

    “””colossal weight of America’s most lasting shame”””

    So America’s colossal shame is a system which existed in almost all countries around the world and which still exists in some countries that Matt Welch thinks we should have “Free Trade” with including the trade in forced labor goods.

    1. Exactly right. Welch also ignores the plight of doctors who trained before Obamacare, who are getting roped into some things ex post facto. Also, if one has run up 200k in debt going to med school, then he cannot easily just walk away … yes, sounding more and more like slavery, no?

      1. Don’t worry, they can just go into Americorps for a few years, and *poof,* we’ll make those loans disappear.

        1. How about you shine my shoes, Barry?

  8. So, the only form of slavery that “counts” is one that exactly matches the slavery of the antebellum South? Why is that?

    Because it serves our purposes.

  9. On the other hand, Paul shouldn’t just expect his audience to understand he’s making a point about positive “rights” and how they inevitably incur obligations upon other parties.
    It taxation slavery? Well, if you don’t pay, eventually men with guns will come and take you away, or shoot you — and, of course, your dog.
    Does a “right” to health care mean slavery? Well, if you don’t do you’re part, whatever the government determines that to be, men with guns will come and take you away, or shoot you — and, of course, your dog.
    But very few folks follow that trail to its logical conclusion.

    1. Cuz its a pretty stupid trail.

      1. I agree that it’s stupid for the government to send armed thugs to your medical practice if you don’t comply by their absurd rules.

      2. ppft yeah. shit’s all retarded and gay that stupid ron pual..ROFLOLMAO

        1. Laughin’ your ass off, Sy? Your ass belongs to me and your fellow man, sucker. Because WESAYSO.

  10. The slavery analogy should probably be avoided (outside of the draft), but it’s not “ridiculous” to people who know that their have been various kinds of slavery throughout history, not all of them as onerous as chattel slavery.

    1. Aargh! “there have been”

      1. Typo! Your point is invalidated and anything else you say is just racist! Obama Rules!

  11. He should have learned from the CRA kerfuffle. There are better ways to make his point.

    1. I don’t know. If you’re Rand Paul, why pull your punches?
      Serious question.

      1. Like you posted above — it’s great that he’s willing criticize the “positive rights” aspect of this. and I wouldn’t counsel him to ease off on that. but how you frame the argument is important too. he has to understand that the press is going to look for anything to paint him as nut. and they will anyway. but he doesn’t have to make it easy for them. this was a hanging curve ball.

        As soon as the word “slavery” was uttered, his entire point was lost and it added another chapter to the “what’s up with Rand” and race.

          1. I admit I’m torn between the desire to nuance the libertarian argument in hopes of drawing more to the side of good, and the desire to shout “Fuck you, slavers!”

            1. we can be the ones to shout fuck off slavers.

              when was the last time a US senator even had the desire to make that argument? i believe (as i think all of us here do) that this can be a winning argument. but the opposition isn’t going to go quietly and you know they’re not going to play nice. they don’t even have to defend their flawed argument if they can point to Paul and say “racist.”

              talk about negative rights and how important they are. freedom from, etc. talk about how this is a rehash of FDR’s second bill of rights and why they are flawed.

              you can do all that without ever mentioning slavery. be a statesman.

              my 2 cents anyway. I also blame staff for this. someone in that office should know better.

              1. “someone in that office should know better.”

                On the contrary, I think that attitude of has led to much of our political trouble. Why should we cede control of the political language to our enemies?

              2. NoVAHockey, you might want to enslave your shift key.

        1. I actually don’t have a problem with Rand pulling out the slavery card. Hyperbolic? Yes, but he’s doing what we do around here all the time: taking the concept to it’s logical end.

          The press is going to be hostile to him no matter how he frames it. If he calls it indentured servitude (which is also inaccurate), then he gets castigated as a pedant. If he calls it slavery, at least people will be forced to address it one way or another. Bomb throwing can be tiresome, but at least use its powers for some good for a change.

          AFAIC, it’s refreshing to see a politician not genuflect to the omnipotence and power of the state and actually question it’s authroritie.

        2. I think if he had used the term “fractional slavery” it would have been more effective.

          1. It’s not slavery – it’s a tax you pay for being allowed to be a doctor. Just like the health insurance mandate is a tax for being allowed to be alive in this country. Or wait, maybe it’s a fine…no, it’s a debt…no, a tax. Oh fuck, just do it! Why? Because WESAYSO – that’s why!

    2. Would anyone be talking about it if he used any other term? It got Welch’s panties in a bunch and he’s a sympathetic ear. Good for Rand for continuing to make bold statements that get attention. Everyone who says its a bad idea to do that assumes he has his eye on the White House some day. Maybe he just wants to cause an enormous stink and make everyone talk about issues in ways no one wants to talk about. It helps that he’s fucking right even if Welch doesn’t adore his comparison.

  12. Could slaves free themselves by changing professions?

    What about the ones who don’t? Or what happens when they all do?

    1. If you don’t try to flee the plantation, then, obviously, you’re not a slave.

  13. I realise that I’m very cynical about our “political process” and the part our “independent journalists” play in it. But I very much doubt that it matters how Paul says it.

    Yeah, he could skip the slavery point and give a long detailed explanation of what he means…which the media will skip right over. “Journalists” like Rachel Madcow will just repeat over and over that Paul hates poor people.

    1. Paul hates poor people.

      Paul hates poor people.

      Paul hates poor people.

  14. However one couches the discussion, there is most certainly an internal and obvious contradiction in the idea of the “right to healthcare” – which is precisely the reason they don’t say a “right to the time and effort of medical professionals” – it is fairly embarrassing and a little off-putting that Welch can’t be bothered to mention that.

  15. The other day, there was a story in the paper extolling the virtues of a local high school program which requires students to provide their time, free of charge, to pre-selected “worthy” causes in order to receive a diploma.

    Guess what: “compulsory volunteerism” not same as “voluntary”.

    So, quibble as you wish about the terminology, forcing doctors to provide uncompensated (or “discounted”) services is theft.

    Fuck off, slavers.

    1. Guess what: “compulsory volunteerism” not same as “voluntary”.

      But but but….it’s for the community…….

  16. A willingness to criticize one’s own side. Points for integrity!

    1. Yes, Reason earns it’s title. Twice in two days, mind you. Yesterday they defended the right to parody over the Koch Brothers.

  17. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Let’s have single-payer for lawyers.

    See how they like it.

    1. I’ve been saying more or less the same thing ever since the Hillarycare scheme was proposed. I wanted to see Hillarycare for lawyers, with a series of “legal care alliances” with the government determining what types of specialty law one could practice and where one would practice them.

      Hillary Clinton would under this system be drafting wills in Watertown NY.

      1. I thought Watertown was in New Jersey?

  18. I think we can all agree that the chubby chick behind him might be kinda hot if she smiled.

  19. We have a right to a fair trial which includes a right to an attorney. Are they slaves?

    1. They would be if we had something akin to Obamacare for the legal profession.

      Which I endorse, as you can see above.

    2. Saying that you have a right to a lawyer, when accused of a crime by the state and they pull a lawyer from a pool of lawyers who specifically took that job for that express purpose, is exactly like saying you have a right to any doctor to cure that nail you drove you through your hand last night during a bender.

      Except for the part where it’s nothing like that, it’s exactly the same.

    3. Analogy fail.

      The only lawyers who do criminal defense, choose to do so.

      1. knowledge of legal profession fail: some states do require lawyers to provide indigent defense as part of their licensing–New Jersey for example.

        NJ lawyers joke that it’s a built-in “ineffective assistance of counsel” defense to have an estate planner or tax lawyer do criminal defense.

        1. I guess I never understood why the right to assistance of counsel was the same as the right to provision of counsel. Perhaps my presumption that the writers knew the difference between having the right to something and having the right to have that something provided to you is faulty.

    4. The “right to a fair trial” is a misnomer. The government has an obligation to provide you with a fair trial if it is going to accuse you of a crime.

      1. Agreed. The state should also provide a defense attorney regardless of ability to pay. State always pays for a prosecutor so fair is fair.

    5. We have a right to a fair trial which includes a right to an attorney. Are they slaves?

      Not so much the public defenders who have volunteered to do that work. In that case, the fractional slavery is thrust upon the taxpayers forced against their will to pay for the public defenders.

      But, a judge can conscript an attorney against their will into defending someone if no public defender is available, and that is fractional slavery for the person so compelled.

      So, yes, in every case where someone is compelled to either pay for a public defender or be the public defender against their will, that is fractional slavery.

      Now, if the money for this came from voluntary donations rather than taxes, and no attorney could be compelled to defend a defendant, than it wouldn’t be slavery — but then it also wouldn’t be a positive right to have an attorney, since in some circumstances the volunteered money or an attorney willing to work pro bono wouldn’t exist.

      That positive right necessarily involves some degree of slavery.

  20. Maybe I’m the only one who thinks this, but shouldn’t people who are against slavery actually be against anything that even comes somewhat close to slavery?

    What Paul talks about might not be slavery per se, but it’s reasonably close. Close enough that people who oppose slavery should think that it’s too close to the line.

    1. It seems that you are unfamiliar with the concept of slavery.

      Getting slapped is not “reasonably close” to murder.

      Comments like this do grave damage to the cause of freedom.

      1. Well, in the Constitution (13th) it reads as “slavery or involuntary servitude”.

        Sounds like it’s servitude and it’s involuntary.

        Close enough.

        1. Get back to your plow, AmishDude, and stop doing such grave damage to the cause of freedom.
          (I just though of a question — Would electrocuting an Amish murderer be cruel and unusual punishment?)

          1. No, poetic justice.

          2. As long as it was hooked up to a generator and not to the grid, it’d be fine.

        2. If the government compels you to volunteer then you are volunteering, which is not involuntary.

          Working for nothing with a gun in your back is not involuntary if the guy with the gun says it isn’t.

        3. Sounds like it’s servitude and it’s involuntary.

          What part is involuntary? Who would be forcing me to practice medicine under such a system?

          How would it be different from Adrian Peterson’s form of slavery, exactly?

          1. When you’ve got 200k in debt to service that is not bankruptable as well as a huge sunk cost of a decade of your life into medical training, there’s a large element of force involved. It’s no easy thing to just quit if you don’t like it for the average physician.

            1. So a philosophy major with 200k in student loans is also being compelled by force to practice medicine?

              Look, there are plenty of reasons to be against universal healthcare, but this is just absurd.

              1. No, but they are compelled pretty strongly to find some means of repaying that 200k. You completely took the argument out of context then complained about how absurd your juxtaposition is.

                1. No, but they are compelled pretty strongly to find some means of repaying that 200k.

                  Well they did take on 200k in loans. I still do not to see the point at which they become slaves.

                  You completely took the argument out of context then complained about how absurd your juxtaposition is.

                  That was not what I was calling absurd.

                  1. “Well they did take on 200k in loans. I still do not to see the point at which they become slaves.”

                    The point is where the government changes the rules of the game after they incurred the debt but before they got to the point where it is repaid.

                    If only doctors who began their training after Obamacare was passed were required to participate, you might have a point. As is, you’re just being disingenuous.

                    1. If only doctors who began their training after Obamacare was passed were required to participate, you might have a point. As is, you’re just being disingenuous.

                      Who is being required to participate in what? Are we talking about current law where close to nothing has changed at the doctor’s level, or Rand’s hypothetical scenario where doctors are kidnapped from their homes?

                      If we’re talking about “Obamacare”, while I am 100% against it, but I don’t feel the desperate need to invent crazy scenarios that will come from it.

                      If we’re talking about Rand Paul’s crazy hypotheticals, then I am against the kidnapping of doctors regardless of when they received their training and whether they have paid their student loans. I’m not sure why you seem to be OK with it under any circumstances.

          2. What part is involuntary? Who would be forcing me to practice medicine under such a system?

            Give away all your assets. Go into an emergency room and demand free treatment. The law says the physicians in that emergency room are compelled to treat you without pay.

            Is that involuntary servitude for those physicians or not?

            1. Is that involuntary servitude for those physicians or not?

              No, because the hospital is being compelled to treat you, not the doctors. They took on that responsibility knowingly when they opened the hospital.

              The doctors could legally quit the job at any time (except maybe halfway through surgery) if they didn’t like the terms of their employment.

              1. Not true. If you are on call for a hospital you are legally obligated to provide emergency care to anyone who shows up. You cannot either pick and choose or quit. Most physicians (except subspecialties like dermatology) have to have hospital privileges in order to practice, almost all hospital require you to be on the call schedule to have admitting privileges.

                1. So the market for doctors has deemed that being on-call for the ER is a job requirement, without the law saying so. I’m fine with that, but welcome any doctor that feels compelled enough to negotiate that out of their contracts.

      2. OK then, what is it, if not an enslavement? Thralldom?

        1. I like thralldom. We use serfdom too much as an analogy, and no one ever remembers the oppressed thrall.

        2. bureaucracy

    2. Slavery has been equated to racism.

      Drawing a parallel between positive rights and slavery doesn’t compute because positive rights don’t make a distinction between which race they coerce.

      If you coerce white people it’s not slavery. It can only be slavery if you are coercing black people.

      1. Tell me more about how I can conscript these “white” slaves? Are they as fresh and tasty as “white leaf” iced tea?

        1. White Slavery: More refreshing and 25% less calories!

    3. BUt…AmishMang…Maddow told me most doctors are rich…so you know…fuck those guys.

  21. It does sound extreme, but he’s illustrating a valid philosophical principle, just like saying taxation is theft.

    Of course, the mainstream media, the government, and most of the people in this country aren’t interested in philosophical principles.

  22. Rand simplified it a bit by saying it is the doctor enslaved. As applied here, there would be a level of misdirection, where the government would in fact pay the doctors. The practitioners would be (relatively) free, while the providers (taxpayers) would be the ones required to pony up at the point of a gun (and changing professions won’t help there).

    1. Forced work is slavery even if compensated. Kidnapped cotton pickers were given room and board on the plantation just like a nanny. Conscripted soldiers got paid. It’s still slavery. There are differing levels of bondage but it is bondage nonetheless.

  23. “Universal healthcare is slavery.”

    “Not paying someone a living wage is slavery.”

    “Getting paid tens of millions to be a running back in the NFL is slavery.”

    All of these statements are equally stupid. There is not the slightest bit of difference between them.

    Slavery is slavery.

    1. I believe Some Guy speaks for most of America when he proclaims “There is not the slightest bit of difference between them.”
      There, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why we’re fucked.

      1. I believe Some Guy speaks for most of America

        That’s a shock to me. I’d doubt even close to half of Americans would agree with my statement.

    2. None of these statements is a quote by Rand Paul. If he was asserting that the legal status quo is slavery, he’s way out of bounds.

      However, if he’s asserting that a broadly asserted legal “right to healthcare” could be used, in the extreme, to justify slavery, he’s absolutely right — when there’s plenty of health care to buy, the government will buy it from doctors that sell it voluntarily (I’m ignoring the taxpayer here). But if the supply dries up, government either fails to intervene (thus revealing that the so-called “right” is just a political convenience), or else it conscripts people with medical training — or, if there aren’t enough of those, conscripts people without medical training and forces them to learn it.

      The easiest way for an opponent to turn the argument into a draw is just to say “jesus, it’s just a metaphor, man.”

  24. He’s throwing rhetorical bombs to change the landscape of the conversation. Good for him.

    1. ^This, precisely. There would be no larger discussion of the ultimate source of these health care “rights” if someone wasn’t throwing bombs. I think what bothers Matt (and other folks here) about this is the tradeoff against Rand’s future electability, and the question of whether Rand knows what he’s doing, or is just prone to saying politically ridiculous things.

      1. What’s the point of preserving electability if to do it means violating most of the principles you went into office to advocate for?

        If it’s six years and out for Rand, and he makes a big impact, is that better or worse than being a career politician like Mitch McConnell and hanging on to your job by violating all your beliefs?

        It’s not like Rand can’t find gainful employment as a physician again in six years.

        1. Shorter: I was thinking Rand would be another bullshit turncoat conservative once he got ensconced in office. I have been proven delightfully wrong.

          1. Yeah, but if he could get re elected without violating his beliefs and make a career out of promoting them, we would pretty soon have more representatives like Rand Paul. If he’s 6 years and out, nothing changes.

            I hate catch 22 situations like this.

  25. It would be interesting indeed to see what would happen if all of the doctors, nurses, paramedics, and everyone else working at state hospitals decided to go on strike.

    After all, teachers think nothing of going on strike at the drop of a hat, and doctors have about three times the workload that teachers do.

    1. But…M Squared…Maddow told me most doctors are rich…so you know…fuck those guys.

    2. It is illegal for doctors to strike. As private contractors any strike or “sick-out” or even deciding en mass not to accept Medicaid rates has been defined as collusion and is a jailable offense.

  26. Hyperbole or not, that’s a stretch, Rand. It makes him look like a fringe nut.

  27. Slavery is not all or nothing. To the extent to which a person is forced to do something they don’t want with their mind, body, or property they are a slave. Whether you are forced to pay a percentage of your income, forced to provide services to people you don’t want to, or forced to practice your trade according to someone else’s standards you are being enslaved.

  28. This illustrates something that has always bothered me about Rand Paul: he is very, very inconsistent in his supposed libertarianism. About a year ago, Paul spoke out against cutting Medicare payments to physicians, stating that “physicians should be allowed to make a comfortable living.”

    So, according to Rand Paul, it is perfectly fine for the government to steal money from me in order to pay him to treat Medicare patients. But if I get sick and need medical treatment, it is “slavery” for the government to pay him to treat me.

    I am opposed to universal healthcare, but Paul’s hypocrisy here is stunning. And this is not really an aberration for Rand Paul. It is par for the course.

    He whines about the government forcing him to use low-flow toilets, but supports detaining people without due process in Gitmo.

    He criticizes the Civil Rights Act, but refuses to criticize the Drug War.

    A common left-wing criticism of libertarianism is that it is a ideology for selfish, rich, old white males. In most cases, that is a completely unfair description of libertarianism. In Rand Paul’s case, it seems pretty accurate.

  29. I would have gone with saying that a right to health care is a negative right that destroys the positive rights guaranteed in the constitution.

    But that is just me.

    Also he should have stuck with conscription rather then slavery. When you have the entire left calling you a racist for wanting a balanced budget it would be a good idea to stay away from “slavery” in your metaphors.

  30. Under current trespassing laws people with property take money from me to give to police to protect their property.


    1. So you have absolutely no property that the police are protecting right now?

      Tell me, how do the people in the internet cafe you are typing from feel about you using their services, for free, in the nude?

      1. So you have absolutely no health care needs that universal health care would address?

        1. I pay for my own health insurance, and have at times paid for health care out of pocket. I don’t demand other’s serve me at my whim.

          1. Then when you, and Paul, feel the same way about the police I will say “consistent.”

            1. You are making no sense. Again, you are not simply paying for police that protect other people’s property. You also are paying in to protect your own property. Furthermore, those with more property, pay a greater share, through higher property values, which equate to higher property taxes.

              1. And under universal health care you will pay for services for your own health as well as others.


                1. Hang on, how exactly are you comparing the police officer with the doctor?

                  The private doctor is told what he or she can charge for a particular service (if anything), by the government. The police officer, a government employee, collects a salary from his employer, the government.

                  Where exactly is the apples to apples comparison here?

                  1. “Where exactly is the apples to apples comparison here?”

                    Under universal health care systems taxes pay doctors to care for people just like taxes pay police to protect people and property.

                    1. Couple of things here:

                      1. Whether I agree or not with doing away with a public police force is irrelevant (side note, as I am a firm believer in the market over the state, I would not be opposed in trying it).

                      2. You are ignoring the difference between positive and negative rights. Positive rights require an action. A right to health care requires that someone provide that care.

                      To be secure in your property, not be the subject of a crime, is a negative right. Someone cannot assault me, rob me, etc. One of the basic functions of government, usually agreed upon, is the protection of its citizens against crime, therefore enforcing negative rights. They are not requiring any action, they are merely stating that people cannot commit a certain action against another.

                      3. Under the scenario of universal care, do the doctors become employees of the government? Again, there is a difference between the government hiring police, to enforce negative rights (not harming others), versus the government telling doctors that people have a right to their services (positive rights).

                      4. My objection to Matt Welch would disappear if the government somehow implemented some system that affects only those in high school and younger, so that those who have not already sunk an extraordinary amount of time and money are required to simply eat those costs or move on.

                      Saying that a doctor can simply switch jobs, after paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, and spending years preparing for study, isn’t really simple a matter of free choice now, is it? That is, unless you consider the choice of “either stay at your job, or you can quit, and go bankrupt…oh, and you still can’t discharge all that debt in bankruptcy” a free choice.

                      To be sure, I’d have other objections, but I would not call people making the decision to become doctors, knowing the situation they face up front, slaves. In that instance, you, and Matt Welch, would be correct. They freely chose their lot. But that is hardly the situation we find ourselves in today.

                    2. Jeebus, you are an idiot.

                      “This” is just like “that.” Except not at all. Except that CONSTITUTIONS, not legislators, decide what is and isn’t an appropriate role of government. Except that you’ve glossed over the ENTIRE real debate, which is that, as a society, we have to decide what will be private and what will be subject to public control.

                      But there you go, skipping around merrily in your happy land of rainbows and unicorns.

                    3. “You” above refers to MNG, not Alex.

                    4. And this applies to the bullshit system in place now and under the ACA in what way?

                2. I like it! I can abuse my body with alcohol, drugs, gluttony and refuse to exercise and I pay exactly the same for healthcare as the dopey schlub who takes care of their health.

                  At least until the dopey schlub notices that he’s being taken advantage of and decides to use the government to regulate my lifestyle.

              2. No, this is actually one thing where MNG actually gets it right, sort of.

                Demanding that other people pay for your police protection is wrong. Pay for your own police coverage, or get someone to voluntarily pay it for you.

                MNG doesn’t go far enough. You should be able to opt out of paying for government police entirely and hire your own private security guard service if you want.

            2. Even if Alex isn’t, you know plenty of us here are in favor of private security rather than publicly funded police, and that taxes to fund such police are theft. What do we get for our consistency?

              1. You get a plaque that says “You are consistent”

                In the fine print at the bottom it says “Certification of consistency not guarantee against lunacy.” 😉

                1. When can I look forward to receiving this plaque?

                  1. When can I look forward to receiving this plaque?

                    As soon as MNG can lobby the government to steal enough taxes and thus enslave a taxpayer to make the plaque and give it to you. =)

              2. No, no, no — don’t let this slanderer and thief set the tone of the debate. HE doesn’t get to decide what does and doesn’t constitute “consistency.”

                I am PERFECTLY within my rights to judge that certain laws have my consent and certain others do not. I am also free to judge whether or not I even want to remain under this government or not. But it is people like HIM that think they get to decide when and how they have a claim on your life.

                MNG, YOU be the one who’s consistent. At least be an honest fascist and admit that you believe a “democratic” government can decide, through its “legitimate” processes, how and when one’s life and property should be disposed of, and that all resistance short of TOTAL resistance is hypocrisy.

            3. When you agree to let me opt out of the system AND keep my money, then I’ll call leftist aholes like you “conssitent.”

              The problem with people like you is that you’re going to take my money one way or the other, but then if I try to get some of it back, then I’m supposedly the hypocrite.

              Grow up and quit using that bullshit sleight of hand argument.

    2. Your name is Toby now!

      1. Okay. Why?

        1. “Roots”reference. Brush up on your Levar Burton.

          1. Aware, just playing dumb. WhatcanIsay? It’s my schtick

            1. I also have to tell you, I’m very impressed by your sticking with the “proegg antichicken” meme from the debate last week.

      2. “I thought ‘Chris Barksdale’ sounded too white, so I changed his name to the Black Guy.”

    3. Police traditionally have been paid through property taxes…and the more valuable your property the more you pay.

      If you want to go back to the days before the feds gave police grants and sales and state income tax payed for police I don’t think you would get an argument from the libertarians here.

      1. “Police traditionally have been paid through property taxes”

        Citation needed.

        Lots of local, state and federal taxes go to fund police.

        1. And the police have now arrested and incarcerated 1 out of every 9 black men, while indiscriminately barging into people’s houses based on the suspicion they like to put poison in their bodies, while ensconced in paramiliatry gear and armed with machine guns and high explosives. Meethinks, there be a connection.

          They have been doing shit the National Guard at Kent State would not have dreamed of.

          1. Drax

            I’m no fan of any of that, my antipathy for the WOD is my primary draw to libertarian circles and sites.

            1. It would behoove you to consider that the reasons you don’t like the WOD are the same reasons we don’t like universal health care.

              1. I’m not much of a fan of universal health care myself dude, I just don’t think it is slavery.

            2. When the government is involved in your healthcare, they will certainly continue the war on that which is not approved, be they certain drugs, procedures, providers, treatments, etc. In fact, I expect they will ramp it up big time.

              1. This is my absolutely favorite mental disconnect that Obamacare supporters have. They are all 100% convinced that there is no-freaking-way the government will ever abuse its newly-granted powers in ways they will disapprove. Every medicine and procedure THEY would ever want will be completely and totally allowed.

                The law of unintended consquences just doesn’t exist in their world.

        2. Citation needed.

          Are you an idiot?

          You think there were local sales taxes or income taxes 100 years ago? 70 years ago?

          1. I honestly don’t know, do you?

            Do you have a citation showing that police were paid for only by property taxes?

            Even if they were btw there were people who did not own property, say renters, who got police protection.

            TEH SLAVERY?

            1. Renters pay property taxes through their rent payments to their landlord who pays property taxes. Come on, MNG. You’re smarter than this.

            2. Found this:

              The general property tax applied to all wealth — real and personal, tangible and intangible. It was administrated by elected local officials who were to determine the market value of the property, compute the tax rates necessary to raise the amount levied, compute taxes on each property, collect the tax, and remit the proceeds to the proper government. Because the tax was uniform and levied on all wealth, each taxpayer would pay for the government services he or she enjoyed in exact proportion to his wealth.


              I am sure you can google around yourself if you wish.

        3. Do you actually think about ANYTHING you say before you say it?

          The “citation” you need is called “history.” See, not until a bunch of do-gooders like you got together and expected government services did federal or even state dollars go to police.

          Once again, you just skip over the WHOLE argument. So WHAT if federal and state tax dollars go to them?! Just because it DOES happen doesn’t mean it SHOULD happen!

    4. You forgot “Roads!”. (You really can be a bore, MNG. Time to step up your game again.)

      1. I don’t know if I ever spent much time talking about roads.

        The fact is that anything paid for with generally collected taxes is TEH SLAVERY in many libertarian’s eyes, so Paul should be against police enforcement of trespassing laws, no?

        Are the police not paid for via taxes collected from others?

        1. You’re preaching to the fucking anarchist choir, MNG.

          1. Part of why I’ve always criticized minarchists calling others slavers is that they seem to not realize that the same charge can be made against them by anarchists.

            1. Yeah, but the miniarchists are OUR slavers!

            2. yes, but SOMALIA!

            3. Then, apparently, MNG, minarchists and anarchists are all equally useless, because they worship this false god called “consistency.”

              The real freedom says, I choose to consent to laws I consent to and withdraw my consent from others, and I recognize the right of others to do the same. If I’m willing to pay my taxes for police but not for universal health care, it doesn’t mean that I’m interested in making others pay taxes for police. It just means that I am willing to do so.

              You people really have to get past the “all or nothing” thing. The reality of freedom is INDIVIDUAL CHOICE, not worship of an ideology.

              1. They are not taxes if anyone is allowed to opt out of them and forgo the services. They are fees.

        2. That’s completely not Paul’s point, though. Nothing to do with taxation. His point is that a positive right to healthcare can only be fulfilled through some obligation on the part of healthcare providers. What does your right to healthcare mean if doctors have no obligation to treat you?

          1. When people exercise their right to police protection and education they don’t force people to act as their teachers or cops they take money from others and pay people to be teachers and cops.

            1. Nobody has a right to police protection. They have a right to life. Police protection is the mechanism we’ve chosen to protect that right.

              1. Who’s this “we” you speak of, compadre?

              2. Who’s this “we” you speak of, compadre?

              3. Jordan’s point is key. The “right to healthcare” is predicated upon actions by a healthcare provider. A “right to police protection” would have the same problem. A right not to be murdered, however, does not. I don’t have to find someone to not-murder me to fulfill it.

            2. How exactly do the police protect us, MNG? The last time I checked, they show up after the crime has been committed. They don’t stand guard outside the house, and I’m pretty sure speed traps aren’t stopping much crime that most people would consider important.

              1. The last two times I got mugged were around April 15th, and at a speed trap where a thief wearing a badge coerced money from me for driving at a safe speed.

                Not so happy with the “service” those unionized public workers wearing dark black uniforms are doing to me.

          2. The right to healthcare is a negative right.

            Free speech is a positive right.

            You got your signs mixed up.

              1. positive rights permit action

                I am confused are you supporting or denying my claim?

                because the wiki post supports my claims.

    5. Fuck that. I live in Texas. I can shoot your dumb ass myself, I don’t need the cops.

      They do get touchy when I try to dispose of the bodies myself, though, so I do need the meatwagon. But I’d be fine with a per trip fee.

      More seriously, it would take very little to route my alarm signal to a different armed response team if that were allowed. But strangely, it’s not. So complaining that I use state services when the state has outlawed competitors is a non-starter with me. Try again.

  31. I prefer that he comes to my place to take care of me but if necessary, yes, I will beat down his door.
    The good news: I won’t kill his dog, and the janitor won’t need to clean up the mess. I’ll tell SWAT to be dainty

    This man is outr

    1. “We’re outre, slavers!”
      Naw. I’ll pass.

      1. “My first mental development had in it much of the uncommon – even much of the outre.”
        – E. A. Poe.

        I think someone needs to make tee-shirts: “I’m outre, slavers!”

        1. (I’ve obviously changed my mind on the worth of rather’s post.)

          1. the ghost of Jsub?

  32. Well, the standard response from a lot of libertarians, when someone doesn’t like his job/home/environment/local laws/living arrangements ( regardless of the reason for his displeasure, such as big corp/big gov) is “tough.. Life’s not fair. Get another job. Move.”

    1. And a lot of this “advice” is offered to those whose lives are negatively affected by big government, fwiw. And no one gives a shit.

      1. “…a lot of libertarians…”
        i.e. a guy wearing a “Who is John Galt?” tee-shirt Greg C. met while jogging one day.

    2. Maybe you can identify where force is involved in any of your examples? (except for local laws; Libertarians don’t defend unjust laws at any level). No, you can’t.

  33. Do doctors in Switzerland get taken away at gunpoint?

    No but is it even legal to work as doctor there and not work for the government?

  34. I think the point that Matt Welch misses is that Paul is basically saying that if we become a nation that accepts the argument that “health care is a right,” then it’s not too far a leap to consider that a form of slavery. It’s not slavery today, but who knows what can happen when society states that health care is a right, and all of a sudden we start enacting laws on the principle that people have a right to the time/services/goods of others, at a whim, whether or not they can pay for it?

    And it strikes me as strange that a libertarian would argue that merely the fact that a doctor can change jobs makes the issue go away. So someone spends about 25+ years of their life becoming a doctor, and then in a year or two, we decide that health care is a right, and that doctor cannot charge what he or she wants for his or her time/services, but must accept that people have a right to his/her services, and must give out those services.

    The fact that person can simply change jobs, after that debt and time commitment, should be considered an argument for freedom of choice? So if the government starts mandating a bunch of rights, the right to cable tv, a cell phone, etc., and mandates price controls in all sorts of industries, the fact that people can simply quit their jobs, is freedom of choice? Hardly. Unless, of course, the government chooses to compensate freely the time and resources spent into going into that particular field before it is arbitrarily decided that a certain good/service has become a right.

    No, Paul is absolutely correct. A doctor who has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, and decades of his life, cannot simply “quit his job,” as if it were a simple matter of choosing what to eat for lunch. Telling that doctor that he has to serve some other person, and cannot charge fairly for his time/services/goods, is nothing more than slavery. It may make people feel better by avoiding using the term, but let’s not kid ourselves.

    1. The fact that doctors GET PAID makes them not slaves.

      Nobody is forcing any doctor to accept any payment or treat anyone he doesn’t want to, which is more than can be said for a lot of professions.

      1. The reductio ad absurdam comes when every single doctor decides to retire at the same time.

        What does Big Government do then?

      2. And slaves got compensation in the form of room and board and free meals. Who knew they were free all along!

      3. More of this leftist bullshit?!

        You people seem to think that physical coercion is the ONLY type of coercion. Economic slavery is very real. When you have people who spend money to earn a degree under one set of economic assumptions, and then they have to operate on an entirely DIFFERENT set of assumptions in their work just because some idealistic ahole from Chicago feels like changing the rules mid-game, then you can’t say that doctors are “free” to do whatever they like.

        You are “free” to run naked through the street, but I bet you won’t. Why? Because the costs will be too high. Because you recognize the coercion.

        So don’t just use this flippant “doctors can do what they want” bullshit, because you’re talking about people’s lives and livelihoods, you arrogant prick.

        1. So what you’re bitching about is that doctors, who are totally free to accept payment however they choose from whomever they choose, might have the extra option of accepting payment from a government-subsidized source? That’s equivalent to chattel slavery to you people?

          1. We already have that “option” and most of us don’t want to accept the government payment, because it’s a pain and there are huge amounts of paperwork involved, there are strings attached, and the reimbursement sucks relative to our costs. As for us being free to accept payment however we choose, see my comments above.

            1. Whoops, below.

          2. This is bullshit BTW. Doctors cannot get together to negotiate pay rates. Doctors cannot charge anyone less than Medicare rates and still participate in medicare. Doctors cannot balance bill Medicare participants (i.e. get more than the approved Medicare rates). Your understanding of the economics of medical practice is fail.

      4. Drafted soldiers of the Civil War were paid too.

        1. Drafted soldiers of the Civil War were paid too.

          Ironically they were drafted and paid to fight a war to end slavery.

      5. Roman slaves were often paid and encouraged to save this pecunium (cf. pecunia) to buy their own freedom. Just because a slave receives some form of compensation, whether it be in the form of food, shelter, or wages, it does not alter the basic state of bondage.

        1. Even slaves in colonial Virginia were often allowed to make money on the side for work they did in addition to their required duties.

      6. Yes, they do, Tony. Why don’t you try talking about something else so you don’t sound so damn ignorant. I do have to treat you if you come into the ED, regardless of your ability to pay, if I don’t like you, you take swings at me or my nurses, etc. Medicare does in fact force you to accept a certain level of payment, regardless of what you might charge. You really do at times make yourself looking abysmally uninformed.

        1. So now you’re complaining about medical ethics. Sorry, if you can choose not to be a doctor, you are not a slave. Most professions come with conditions.

          Doctors have the option of opting out of accepting Medicare payments, do they not?

          1. Tony in 1859, talking to a black person in a cotton field in a really reasonable tone of voice:

            Look, you don’t have to pick cotton. You can choose to work in the blacksmith’s hut instead. So, you’re not a slave — and if I hear any more backtalk out of you, I’ll let that man with a whip over there give you my rebuttal.

            1. You guys do realize that the act of equating being a doctor with being a slave renders anything you ever say legitimately worthy of being ignored?

              1. And you realize your uninformed statements make you look like a clown?

              2. Your defense of fractional slavery renders your statement that you are qualified to be the sole judge of the legitimacy of arguments casts doubts on the legitimacy of your argument.

          2. If you work in a facility that provides emergency care or obstetrical care, you are mandated by law to provide care to whoever presents, regardless of their ability to pay. That’s not an ethical question.

            And the only way out of accepting Medicare payments is to refuse to treat Medicare patients. What happens when its single payer? I refuse to treat everyone?

      7. The fact that doctors GET PAID makes them not slaves.

        So, if the government conscripts you to fight in a war, and you get murdered by strangers you have no beef with, but you got paid the pittance the government decided to pay you before you got killed, you weren’t a slave in any sense of the word?


  35. Is this the same Rand Paul who has spoken out against lowering the amount Medicare pays doctors?

    I guess Medicare funding is collected via bake sales.

    1. Considering that many doctors are starting to refuse to take Medicare, it sounds like wise policy.

      But supply and demand is hard.

      1. Wise policy? So TEH SLAVERY is OK as long as it is wisely practiced?

        1. Jeebus, you are an idiot.

      2. the pendulum will swing back

  36. People pay you to stop barking at them, don’t they, McNatteringGruff?

    1. Aw, did I criticize your heart-throb?

      Shouldn’t you be spending your day watching TV and cursing some pundit all day?

      1. I think John is over on some national security thread, MNG. I hear he misses you.

        1. I imagine he’s championing waterboarding some more. Boring.

          1. He should be championing slavery like me – now that’s exciting!

        2. I thought John and MNG broke up?

          I remain confused.

  37. Glad to see this. Highly related article from about two years ago:

    But these new so-called “rights” are about the government ? who the Founders saw as the enemy ? giving us things: food, health care, education? And when we have a right to be given stuff that previously we had to work for, then there is no reason ? none ? to go and work for them. The goody bag has no bottom, except bankruptcy and ruin.

    Does that ring a little familiar these days? Because isn’t the danger here that if you’re offered something for nothing? you’ll take it?

    Only it’s not something for nothing. “Free” health-care costs us something precious, and no less precious for being invisible. Because there’s a word for someone who has their food, housing and care provided for them? for people who owe their existence to someone else.

    And that word is “slaves.”

    It’s a good read for a NR article.

    1. When food, shelter, clothing, health care, and other basic needs are all provided to you, then you are free from having to worry about those things.

      This frees you to pursuits higher up the hierarchy of needs.

      You are allowed to rise to a higher plane of existence when the government takes care of you.

      You can only be free once you are a slave.

      Freedom is slavery.

      1. So when people pay their parents bills when they get old they have reduced their parents to slaves?


        1. No, but when the facility they are living in is forced to take care of them at 60 cents on the dollar under threat of prosecution, someone is being enslaved there.

          1. But that is the point. Sage quotes a NR article that implies it is th recipient of government goodies that is the slave. So the person who pays and the recipient are slaves, that’s bizarre. And I simply point out a common case where one person pays for another’s needs where few think the latter has been ‘enslaved.’

            1. Well, I don’t agree with the NR story as it would relate to the scenario you posed. If, however, the government provides all of those things, at the expense of your ability to choose your own career, live where you want or attend a school and study a program you yourself decide on, then yes, it is slavery.

              What you describe is a voluntary financial association of a child with their parents. But you already knew that, didn’t you?

              1. So maybe you can answer my question, are they slaves?

                Because if not, then this assertion that people that have their necessaries paid for by others are slaves is what I thought about it at first, bullshit. There is something else that must be added to get slavery above that.

                1. You’re missing something here. It’s that if someone’s needs are being met at the expense of their free will, then they are slaves. Your bullshit analogy didn’t say that, so IMO, the NR story is not applicable.

                  Did you even read my post?

                  1. Nice backpedal dude, the NR article says nothing about being taken care of against your will (note it stands opposite “Because isn’t the danger here that if you’re offered something for nothing? you’ll take it?”).

                    See, you’ve agreed with me the entire time but are actually to stupid to realize it.

                    1. Why don’t you learn to read, buttplug.

                      sloopyinca|5.13.11 @ 12:01PM|#|show direct|ignore
                      Well, I don’t agree with the NR story as it would relate to the scenario you posed.

                      Thanks for telling me I agreed with you, and doing it like a prick. Of course, you could have read my first fucking post and gotten that I agreed from my first sentence. Too bad you’re more concerned with being a contrarian asshole than you are with actual discourse. You might make a few more friends and influence a few more people if you grew up.

                    2. for people who owe their existence to someone else.

                      There. If you owe your existence to someone else, they have absolute power over you.

        2. Jesus, MNG. You’re not even trying anymore.
          Really, dude. You’re better than this.

          1. I realize you are an anarchist but do you feel too constrained by arguments as well as government?

        3. Is this all you have to offer any longer? Equivocation, and shitty equivocation at that?

          See the big, red light above the TROLL setting? Yeah, you might want to switch that off.

          1. Analogy is not equivocation.

            “Because there’s a word for someone who has their food, housing and care provided for them?And that word is “slaves.”‘

            And so I simply point out that when we pay for our elderly parents to live in a nursing home they become “someone who has their food, housing and care provided for them.”

            So are they slaves?

            1. Using an analogy to equivocate is still equivocation. I bet you could do it through metaphor too.

              1. So are they slaves?

                You should enter a dodgeball tournament dude.

                1. So are they slaves?

                  e?quiv?o?cate | Verb : To use words of equivocal or doubtful signification; to express one’s opinions in terms which admit of different senses, with intent to deceive; to use ambiguous expressions with a view to mislead; as, to equivocate is the work of duplicity; To render equivocal or ambiguous.

                  Gosh, what possibly could be my answer? OK, that was more work than I should have bothered with.

                  1. So are they slaves?

                    I think you’re terrified to answer because you seem to sense you don’t quite know what you are talking about and don’t want to be trapped.

            2. Do you deny that slaves have their food, housing and care provided for them?

              1. Wait, you first. Are the elderly people in my example slaves?

                1. MNG you fail to comprehend basic logic.

                  A -> B does not mean B -> A.

                  Implication is not equivocation.

                  1. Are they slaves?

                    It’s amazing how many cats have so many tongues around here. It’s a simple question.

            3. Minge, do you think people who win a free trip to an all-inclusive resort like Sandals plus a new wardrobe for the trip are slaves as well? They paid for nothing, and their food, clothing and shelter are provided for?

              Piss poor analogy is piss poor.

              1. You are so stupid you do not realize that you agree with me and disagree that with the NR article I’m criticizing. I’m the one saying that people who have their needs cared for by others are not necessarily slaves, it is the NR article sage posted that said otherwise.

                That alone should make you reexamine some of your views man.

                1. I did answer that question. Why don’t you read people’s posts instead of rambling on.

                  sloopyinca|5.13.11 @ 12:01PM|#|show direct|ignore
                  Well, I don’t agree with the NR story as it would relate to the scenario you posed. If, however, the government provides all of those things, at the expense of your ability to choose your own career, live where you want or attend a school and study a program you yourself decide on, then yes, it is slavery.

                  What you describe is a voluntary financial association of a child with their parents. But you already knew that, didn’t you?

                  1. So you were simply being incoherently off topic* rather than stupidly agreeing with me without realizing it?

                    * Because the NR article and my hypo did not involve any of this stuff: “at the expense of your ability to choose your own career, live where you want or attend a school and study a program you yourself decide on”

                    My simple point was that it is incorrect to claim that having your “food, housing and care” provided by someone else makes you a slave. So do we agree on that?

                    1. I wasn’t being “incoherently” off topic. I addressed your point (by agreeing with you), then posed another scenario which would justify the NR article’s position…under a different set of circumstances. IOW, I was posing a counter to the group where I think the NR article could be correct, situationally.

                      So to answer your last question (for the umpteenth time), we agree in the scenario you posed.

                      Now, address the second part of my post.

                    2. I think restricting where people can go to school and such would be wrong.

                      But I don’t think univesal health care means that, doctors would be paid for with taxes just like teachers are and the latter go to whatever school they want to etc.

                    3. OK, so if a teacher doesn’t like the public school system in general, he/she is able to go teach at a private school for a wage he/she privately negotiates.

                      You will have no problem with a doctor opening up a private practice and charging his own rates and with him also refusing to take Obamacare patients?

                    4. If someone provides a baby with food, housing, and care, the baby is NOT a slave. Same with adults. That statement is stupid and wrong. Slavery is compelling someone, without their consent, to provide for someone else. Being the recipient of stuff is not slavery.

                2. All slaves are dependents.
                  A->B is always true.

                  However implication is not equivalence, so B->A is not always true.

                  However coming up with an example where B->A is false does not disprove A->B.

                  Slavery is dependency. No getting around it.
                  Dependency can turn into slavery if the dependent has no choice in the matter, and if conditions are then put on the care.

                  A population that is not dependent cannot be turned into slaves.

                  Simple dependency is not by itself slavery.

                  However that dependency can become slavery.

                  1. Simple dependency is not by itself slavery.

                    It took you how many posts to realize you agreed with me?

                    1. I don’t agree with your logic.
                      You are trying to imply that because your parents being dependent upon you doesn’t make them your slaves, that dependency upon government does not lead to slavery.

                      That people taking care of each other because they love each other is somehow equivalent to complete strangers taking care of each other because they want power over them.

                      Doesn’t work.

            4. Bluntly put, yes. You have the ultimate club over your parents in that situation: behave or I stop writing checks. Your parents, in that case, have to follow your rules, which makes them subordinate to you in some fashion.

              Most people wouldn’t do that with their parents, but I would with one of mine. If mom wants me to pay for a nursing home, there’s some conditions that go along with me writing checks and if she don’t follow the rules, she can die in the street.

              1. At least one person knows what the hell he is arguing here.

                Unfortunately it’s retarded. Saying I’ve enslaved my parents by taking care of them is just goofy. Why not just let this goofy slavery metaphor go?

                1. MNG, in the elderly scenario it comes down to intent, just like it does with kids. You can be a horrible monster to them or you can treat them kindly. But it doesn’t change the fact that if you are completely dependent on someone, they own your ass until you are willing to take care of yourself.

                2. “Cause we’re outre, slaver!”
                  Outre, outre, outre. I just like typing it.
                  But you know what word I’m not comfortable with? Nuance.

                  1. It’s that black and white world you live in, CN.

                    Or is that racist?

                    1. Yes. Yes it is.

                3. Why not just let this goofy slavery metaphor go?

                  In the original metaphor the implication is that the goodies were produced by the very people to whom they were “given”, under the control of a “master”. In your metaphor this is not true. Therefore your refutation is not as sound as it seems.

                4. You should talk to people who have been seriously abused. The abuser will frequently use financial (as well as emotional and other forms of) dependence to keep their effective slave trapped in the situation. Just because you wouldn’t abuse authority over your parents does not mean that other people would not. It happens every single day.

                  Oh, but that’s “goofy,” right? We shouldn’t talk about it, because it’s not nice.

    2. “But these new so-called “rights” are about the government ? who the Founders saw as the enemy”

      That seems an oversimplification at best. The Founders had the Constitutional Convention because they wanted a stronger government than the one they had under the Articles.

      1. So strong it provides food, clothing, shelter, health care, a job, and cheap gasoline?

        1. No, I agree the Founders would probably be appalled at the growth of government size and power, my point is that the ratifiers of the Constitution, while wisely recognizing and planning for the potential of the government serving as the enemy, did not see government per se as evil.

          1. “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! It is a dangerous servant and a terrible master.”

      2. They didn’t just want a “stronger government” as in they wanted to make the gov’t more powerful. Just the opposite, in fact. They wanted a constitution that protected the rights of its citizens–most importantly was forbidding ex post facto laws and bills of attainder. The Articles were painfully incomplete in that manner.

  38. Now that the second most common libertarian metaphor is, we have it on good authority, “wildly, off-puttingly inaccurate,” let’s move on to the first.

    “Taxation is theft” is…let’s see…racist! Yeah. That works. Because when people think stealin’, they think black dudes.
    (Challenging people’s trained snap-identification of non-racial phenomena with specific races is also racist.)
    Who’s next?
    “‘Happiness’ is property?” Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay!

  39. Matt, that first paragraph in your post is incomrehensible. What it it exactlly that strikes you? Try breaking it into more than one sentences and putting subjects close to verbs. Libertarianism will never prevail if no one can make sense of it.

    1. What are you doing Max? Not one mention of the JBS in your post?

      This must be a spoof.

      1. I think there are two Maxes now. The retarded troll and this new guy who hasn’t figured out that he chose a name already claimed by a retarded troll.

        1. I think new Max should get the name and old Max should have to go by, “Mad Max.” It’s apt at least.

          1. Actually old Max claimed that he was “trying” to see the world through out eyes for awhile, accounting for the strange posts we attributed to a “new Max”. He claimed this last week sometime.

  40. Wait a minute! You’re saying that Rand Paul is a fucking lunatic, aren’t you? Right on Matt!

    1. Funny how two posts above you attack Matt’s grammar, when you don’t even know what a fucking appositive is, you fucking moron.

      1. I wasn’t attack his grammar, asswipe. I was attacking his style.

        1. But he’s a nice, fresh, clean “asswipe,” Maxie. You, on the other hand, are a used one – used several times, in fact.

  41. Regardless of the validity of the point he’s trying to make the comparison causes people to tune out; it’s like making false comparisons to Hitler.

    1. Grammar fetishists are like Hitler.

      1. You know who else made false comparisons to Hitler?

        1. The Jews?

      2. that bastard killed a lot of doctors but it’s a wash because he eliminated a ton of lawyers too.

        1. Both those comments are anti-Semitic.


          1. if the Manolo Blahnik fits…

  42. Step one will be denying providers the right to choose whether or not to participate in Medicaid/Medicare

    1. No, step one was to stop calling us “doctors” and “physicians” and start calling us “providers”.



        2. Damn, I’m impressed, Rather. That’s way more cogent and well thought out that your usual posts.

  43. Perhaps it isn’t slavery, but it’s certainly involuntary servitude.

    I seem to recall an Amendment against that.

    1. That Amendment means that if someone is put into involuntary servitude, that the government has a responsibility to intervene.

      If the government compels voluntary servitude (otherwise known as involuntary servitude), then who is going to intervene?

      1. The most interesting man in the world?

        Old Spice Guy?

        Chuck Norris?

        I’m out of ideas….

        1. Whoop, here’s one more:

          The fat kid who body slammed the bully in Australia?

    2. But Minge explained the other day that the commerce clause trumps the 13th Amendment.

      1. Why the hell did those damned old, dead, white guys write so many extra words when they could have just written “Commerce Clause Bitches!” and called it a day.

        When they wrote the constitution one hundred years ago they were really verbose.

        1. Ahem. Constitution was written over two hundred years ago.

  44. Yes, its hyperbole. Whether you think hyperbole is good or bad depends largely on whether you agree with the underlying point.

    In this country, “slavery” means chattel slavery of black people. To the ignorant, apathetic mass of voters, that is all it can possibly mean. Of course, human ingenuity has generated many variations on slavery.

    Rand will probably learn to deploy hyperbole a little more carefully in the future. I think he made start on getting people to think about whether a “right to healthcare” is a serious way to look at it or not. If we take a right to healthcare seriously, then I think we have conclude that it entails a right to compel people to provide that healthcare. Where are the limits to that compulsion? Could someone qualified to provide healthcare simply stop doing it altogether, or could they be compelled to continue? Why would those who regard healthcare as a right are say you aren’t allowed to refuse to buy health insurance, but are allowed to refuse to provide healthcare? Where’s the principled distinction?

    1. Whether you think hyperbole is good or bad depends largely on whether you agree with the underlying point.


      All hyperbole is good regardless if I agree with it or not!!!

      Irony on the other hand…..

    2. Where are the limits to that compulsion?

      Oh, I know! Why don’t we all take a vote on it? Majority rules!

  45. The are many degrees of slavery, and it has existed in many forms. America’s (and most of the rest of the world at the time’s) “colossal shame” was known as ‘chattel slavery,’ but has since been abbreviated to just ‘slavery.’ 19th century American slavery was VERY different than 1st century B.C. Roman slavery, but we call them both slavery. Rand Paul is absolutely right, and his rhetorical choice of the word ‘slavery’ makes the salient points in his argument more forcefully. Silly editor is silly. Does Welch second guess all the metaphors, similes and historical analogies of every author at Reason?

  46. This guy’s going to be the lulziest Senator in history.

  47. There is little evidence that being hyperbolic, loud, obnoxious, etc… doesn’t get political results. Think feminists. I see nothing wrong with what Paul said.

    1. You think that feminists haven’t gotten political results?

      1. They have gotten very good results by being loud, obnoxious, hyberbolic, etc…

        1. Well let’s see, they’ve gotten Title IX, anti-male divorce laws, affirmative action even though women are a majority, special protections in the workplace including the right not to be offended, just off the top of my head.

  48. Thank you for pointing out the nonsense in this rhetoric. If Sen. Paul were right, every doctor who accepted Medicare payments, and every doctor in the rest of the developed world, is a slave.

    What’s disturbing is that a man of Sen. Paul’s age hasn’t been able to graduate his thinking from this bullshit. What’s even more disturbing is that neither has a man of his father’s age, who is running for president.

    1. C’mon, Tony. Bullshit wins elections. Just ask Obama.

      1. Not the kind of bullshit that calls the elderly slave masters for taking Medicare.

      2. T, for winning elections, better than bullshit is hate, but you have to package it correctly. Just ask Hitler (or Obama).

        1. So hope is a code word for hate now?

          I guess the gays really were threatening to destroy all families in 2004.

          1. The way Obama meant it, why, yes, I think it was.

        2. Or Godwin.

  49. Right, i have the “right” to force you to work, for pay of my choosing, without your input, as I tell you the specifications… without choice on your side.

    And if you call it slavery, you’re a bad person… how dare you oppose my right to force you to work to fulfill my “rights”?

    And what other “rights” do you have that allow you to take the fruits of the labor of another exactly? Most of your rights are freedoms to do something yourself, not the “right” to force me to do something for you against my will.

    When did we start reading “rights” into the Constitution to allow us to control the actions of others, instead of limiting the control government had over those actions?

    When a liberal starts talking rights, you know this is like the “right to remain silent” and you’re going to be punished with the newly found “rights” to be expressed.

  50. Good for Paul for stirring the shit and putting the useless motherfuckers on the left on the defensive. It forces them to make the ‘nuanced’ argument, and when they do, they can’t hide behind the euphemism ‘right to health care’.

    1. I think it makes objections to the concept seem all the more fatuous.

      How come Randian ?bermenschen never indicate that they have perspective that extends beyond their daddy’s basement, let alone out of the country? Is every other developed country on earth an oppressive regime because they recognize the right to health care?

      1. Fuck off sockpuppeteer.

      2. Is every other developed country on earth an oppressive regime because they recognize the right to health care?


  51. Just a footnote, but we do indeed still have — at least theoretically — bona fide, unarguable slavery in this country.

    It’s called the Selective Service System.

    I look forward to Paul & Paul introducing bills to abolish THAT.

  52. What I admire the most about the Pauls’ rhetorical approach is that it stresses PRINCIPLES. They don’t take the utilitarian “liberty is the most cost-effective” CATO approach. They will have to keep that principles-first mentality as they continue to grow in influence, because it is what makes them so unique (even more than the actual views).

    Ron Paul has compared the income tax to slavery, which is even more of a “stretch” than Rand’s comments, but has a sort of internal logic.

  53. Being forced to work for wages significantly below what the market says your labor is worth, isn’t that what all the liberals and Marxist call EXPLOITATION? Guess it’s okay if you’re only exploiting people from a traditionally high-oaying profession.

    1. No doctor is forced to take any particular form of payment.

      1. You mean they can take more than their government approved pay-out? Oh, you mean they can take less… now I get it.

      2. I’m forced to treat you even if you can’t pay, in which case I guess you’d say that I’m free to take no payment at all?

        1. If you want to equate medical ethics with slavery, be my guest. It can only serve to discredit anything you ever say.

          1. Is it ethical to deny a person food?

            I suppose your argument is that people should be able to walk into a restaurant and eat for free, b/c it’s unethical to deny a hungry person food.

            You’re a colossal idiot Tony.

            1. Ever heard of food stamps? We do subsidize food for the poor in this country. It is unethical for a wealthy society to let people starve.

              1. Ethics does not mean what you think it means, slaver.

                You also seem to be a bit unclear about the meanings of “we”, “poor”, “society”, and most definitely “starve”.

  54. Matt, a counter-example, taken from the fantastic but short-lived series Dollhouse:
    Is it slavery to sign a contract that gives up all your rights for 5 years and some serious money? I say yes and it is even voluntary. Yes, you can turn away from that contract and yet, it is still slavery.

    Also, what happens when a doctor provides health-care he knows he shouldn’t give and then gets sued for something? IS that fair?

  55. Here’s a really excellent piece on Ron Paul’s campaign. It’s totally respectful of his views and never once calls him a “long shot”. Instead, it uses the much sexier term, “dark horse”:

    Election 101: Ron Paul sets sights on 2012. Ten things to know about him.

    1. I think a “swarthy horse” would be sexier.

      1. Horse of color would be more PC.

  56. I’m sorry to see Mr. Welch caving to political correctness (‘the ultimate evil is slavery and the ultimate human atrocity was slavery in the US’ *).

    Freeloading is freeloading, call it slavery, theft, or a right to healthcare. It all comes down to taking my efforts or properties and transferring them to someone else without my consent.

    * … or wait, was that the holocaust, or global warming or…???

    1. I didn’t consent to you mooching off my armed forces and highways and police, so pay your way or get out, slaver.

      1. I would gladly, if the fucking option to use private alternatives existed, which of course, as you know full well, it doesn’t.

        1. The option to opt out of civilization certainly does exist. Just don’t expect anyone to give you free land on which to practice your lifestyle.

          1. I have said this many times on this thread, and I’ll say it one more time:

            First of all, neither you nor anyone else gets to set the terms and conditions of consistency. If I choose to give my consent to some laws and not to others, I am perfectly in my rights to do so.

            And when the day comes that I can opt out of the system AND be left alone, in peace, with my own money, THEN we’ll see what choices I make. But hypocritical assholes like you think that I have to surrender my money AND surrender any of the scraps I might get in return for it.

            I say, take your own advice: admit that you think you have the right to tell anyone what to do about anything so long as your precious “democracy” decides it “legitimately.”

            Until you admit that people DON’T have free choice in our system, kindly STFU.

            1. If I choose to give my consent to some laws and not to others, I am perfectly in my rights to do so.

              Then that’s no law at all, and you should know that.

              But hypocritical assholes like you think that I have to surrender my money AND surrender any of the scraps I might get in return for it.

              Your money? That stuff printed and given value by the US government?

              You are the hypocrite. You want all the perks of civilization (including money) and you don’t want to pay for it. You ARE free to have your own personal duchy. You just have to find some land that hasn’t already been claimed. And you can’t bitch if you don’t find any, as it’s a finite world.

              1. Civilization does not equal government.

                You are retarded.

                1. Name a civilization that lacked government.

                  1. Name a civilisation that lacked murderers.

                  2. Name a civilization that lacked government.

                    Name a civilization without a language.

                    By your measure civilization is language.

              2. Don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but you can’t charge for benefits conferred without consent.
                I’m pretty sure everyone here supports a free market alternative to money. The fact that the government insists that everyone accepts their money for services is just on justice among many.
                And by the way, some of us don’t need to find some land that hasn’t been claimed. We already live on it.

          2. I’m not asking anybody for free land, Mr. Strawman. I’m paying for my land, as we speak. Once it is fully paid for, then tell me one more time why I should not be free to use it as I see fit?

            1. Do you believe you should be able to murder people on your land? Why not? If it’s your sovereign territory, don’t you get to make up all the rules?

              The fact is what you call ownership of land more accurately resembles leasing from the government. Ownership of a piece of dirt is a privilege offered to you by the society that protects your claim to it.

              1. I don’t want and never asked for society to protect my claim to it. You’re correct that the situation as it exists right now is that it’s more like I’m leasing land from the gov’t…the problem is, that’s fucking disgusting and wrong since I have no choice in the matter.

                1. You do have choice in the matter. You even have the choice to attempt to claim the land as your own sovereign territory, which is what you seem to want. That doesn’t mean you’ll succeed or that the US government is required to accept your actions’ legitimacy. You are also free to leave. Your acceptance of the terms is a result of your not having done so. I’m sorry if you feel that’s a form of oppression, but it’s really the only way to do things in a world in which new people are born.

                  You want a right that no human being, except kings, has ever had.

                  1. You want a right that no human being, except kings, has ever had.

                    So the world began with the rise of the Roman and Chinese empires? There was absolutely no human organization or civilization before centralized states? And no human beings ever existed outside of their borders?

                    I’m not replying to anything else you write. I always thought you were arguing in good faith, but you’re not, you’re just a fucking fascist who hates freedom and believes in collective slavery. Neither one of us will ever convince the other, so there’s no point in continuing.

                    1. Neither one of us will ever convince the other, so there’s no point in continuing.

                      Then there’s no point to any post ever made here…

                      Look, I am arguing in good faith and I love freedom. But life among other human beings is about striking the right balance between freedom and order. I wish we could get to debating our preferred policies on their merits, but we’re endlessly bogged down in fantasies about utopian worlds that never existed (no way of life has ever been as free as in a modern liberal democracy), or dishonest claims to moral superiority, when in reality we just have policy disagreements.

                    2. But the reasons behind those policy disagreements are philosophical. If you want us to shut up about philosophy then we have no argument and their can be no discussion.
                      And, due respect, but your preferred society has never existed either. I agree that no way of life has ever been as free as liberal democracy. That doesn’t mean I don’t think there are alternatives that result in more freedom.

                    3. My preferred society does exist. It’s called Sweden.

                    4. Then. Go. To. Sweden.

                    5. And by the way, before Sweden existed, no such society existed. So by your logic it would be stupid to want a society like Sweden because it had never existed before. Which is dumb.

              2. “Ownership of a piece of dirt is a privilege offered to you by the society that protects your claim to it.”

                Nope – it’s a right – not a priviledge.

                And you aren’t the least bit capable of proving the case is otherwise.

                1. So what you’re saying is you have a right to conscript police and court officials and surveyors and appraisers and lawyers.

                  1. No, he’s not saying that. He’s saying that he has the right to ownership of the land – and that any violation of his ownership of the land is a violation of his rights. He is also (probably) saying that he has the executive right to protect his property (I’m sure you’ve read your Locke). This does not mean he recognises a positive right to have his property defended.

              3. Ownership of a piece of dirt is a privilege offered to you by the society that protects your claim to it.

                So the people who have robbed me and taken away various of my property rights to my land are really protecting my property rights? Because they say so? Because they have robbed me of even more of my property without my consent to hire people who they allege protect my property rights?

                There isn’t this “society” you claim. There are a handful of politicians who claim to be our rulers.

              4. Do you believe you should be able to murder people on your land? Why not? If it’s your sovereign territory, don’t you get to make up all the rules?

                The fact is what you call ownership of land more accurately resembles leasing from the government. Ownership of a piece of dirt is a privilege offered to you by the society that protects your claim to it.

                The cloths on your back don’t allow you to murder people. “why not” you ask “those cloths are your property”

                Anyway your argument fell apart long before I finished my first sentence..

                Your rational afterward is simply gibberish.

              5. The fact is what you call ownership of land more accurately resembles leasing from the government. Ownership of a piece of dirt is a privilege offered to you by the society that protects your claim to it.

                You got things kinda ass backwards there, sonny – the land doesn’t belong to the government, or to society. Government just has jurisdiction over it. Who or what is this society you speak of? It seems to include everyone but the individual under discussion. Simple truth is: His claim wouldn’t need protecting except for and from society. You want a man to pay for property and then pay again to be allowed to keep it. Next you’ll be telling us you want him to pay for his life and then pay for the privilege of you and your society not taking it away from him.

  57. Here’s my thing: it’s one thing if Paul wants to criticize the notion of positive rights. But why dumb down the discussion of positive rights with hyperbole? If it goes over most peoples’ heads, so be it – at least thinkers would have a debate about it instead of roundly criticizing him for gross oversimplification.

    Were the government forcing licensed doctors to fulfill the Hippocratic Oath unwillingly regardless of pay, personal risk or employment status, we could carefully dip our toes in the water for this discussion. That’s not (yet at least) on the table.

    Moreover, taking the Hippocratic Oath is a voluntary obligation, like being a doctor is a voluntary action. You agree to certain terms when you join certain professions. Teachers are required to teach and soldiers are obligated to serve their term. Oh no! Slavery!

    1. But nobody is talking about completely changing the pay structure for teachers, nor are teachers required to comply with the pay scale furnished by the government. They are free to seek employment in private schools, universities, occupational training centers, etc. When many of us joined the medical profession, these changes were not on the horizon. You’re changing the rules mid-game, so it’s not like we voluntarily entered into the deal.

      1. Corporate regulations change all the time. By accepting government liability protection, you are conversely permitting the government a level of control over your actions as an organization, since the government determines the rules of that status. By accepting a medical license, you are ceding to changing government conditions to keep that license. By accepting a visa, you are inherently agreeing to adhere to the laws of the country you’re going to.

        However, by existing or being of a certain race/age/gender I am not contracting with the government, although I am granted certain rights and protections based upon my citizenship or residency status. By forming a voluntary relationship with others in which commerce occurs, I am not contracting with the government.

        In the case of licensing, the government monopoly and the barring of actions by the unlicensed is the problem, not the conditions to keep the license or punish for certain actions or inactions while under license. Likewise, corporate regulation is not really the problem – incorporation and restrictions on private voluntary action is the real problem.

  58. “Debt slave” is the last term I’d forfeit if I were a political writer these days. Strunk and White are on Rand’s side here, omit needless words. He didn’t mean “analogous to” or “philosophically similar to”, he meant “slavery.”

    1. “Here” is needless in the 2nd sentence. How could I miss that when it’s sitting between a “Strunk and White” reference and “omit needless words”? I’m a jackass.

  59. Okay, “involuntary servitude” would have been a better choice of words. Same principle. Next article.

  60. It’s becoming ever more clear that Rand has spent precisely zero time arguing his views with others and learning from his mistakes. Every time he flubs a libertarian talking point, he sets back the movement by a few years, and further ensures his own failed re-election.

    1. Wow . . that is just so interesting . . .

      [head plops on table as Pendant explains the slippery slope of positive rights]


  61. Not only is healthcare a right, but people have a right to eat, so food should be free, too. I also think people have the right to gym memberships. The government should raise taxes and force everyone to go to the gym, and force gyms to let people in for free.

  62. Meanwhile – the other 99 members of the US Senate oppess, rob, rape and murder with impunity – and no one raises a word of objection.

    Is that hyperbole? Not as much as you’d wish.

  63. There are a bunch of misnomers in this whole discussion, beginning with Rand Pauls’ complaint. He complains about a right to healthcare. There already is a right to healthcare. If you’re sick or injured, you can walk into an emergency room and a doctor is compelled by his medical oath to provide services (an oath Rand Paul seems to have forgotten).

    Secondly, the ACA provides access to health insurance, not healthcare. So this whole argument is completely bogus since it is not arguing about the actual issue, but the one Rand Paul and others would like to argue about.

    1. Yet another post that demonstrates how the left is forced to go on the defensive by Paul’s slaver rhetoric. The more you try to keep that ‘right to health care’ meme while also trying to raise the stink on this matter, the more it becomes bunched up like a pair of panties riding your ass. Time to go commando now while the possibility of salvaging the remainder of your argument still exist.

    2. If you’re sick or injured, you can walk into an emergency room and a doctor is compelled by his medical oath to provide services (an oath Rand Paul seems to have forgotten).

      I don’t get what an oath has to do with that situation. The hospital will send you a bill for its services. If you don’t pay the bill, the hospital will turn it over to a collection agency.

    3. And if we lob cruise missles at Khaddafy and call it “kinetic military action”, then we don’t have to argue about war, either.

      “Access to health insurance” means some will pay for more than they get, and some will get more than they pay for. More HEALTHCARE. That is a particularly dishonest and unecessarily restrictive form of welfare. How is that not the issue?

    4. If we can rely on doctor’s self-sacrifice, why is the ACA necessary?

    5. a doctor is compelled by his medical oath to provide services

      I think someone at wikipedia excised the part of the hippocratic oath where the incoming doctor swears to become a slave to his patients and work without pay because everyone has a right to their uncompensated services:


  64. Alright, I don’t know if this has been raised before because frankly I can’t read through three hundred comments online and keep down my breakfast. So I’m going to shoot my mouth off and go away and if you’ve read it already, tough titties, this is the internet.

    Mr Welch, the notion that slavery is a deep national shame is ridiculous, pernicious, and intellectually grabasstic. It makes my gallbladder throb. Slavery wasn’t invented by Europeans in the eighteenth century as a way to exploit black people. Slavery has existed since before the long and arduous process of civilization began. It is not unique to Americans, nor was it particularly bad in America in a way that makes it something we ought to be nationally ashamed of.

    We do, however, have the distinction of fighting the most destructive war in history (until the guns of August in 1914, that is) to END slavary. And that makes the United States the only nation in history to have fought such a war. Sure, the Royal Navy went to sea in the late eighteenth and throughout the nineteenth centuries with the mission of interdicting the slave trade, but they never opened military conflict with the intention of ending a practice that has punctuated human society since humans have had societies. I am sorry to see well-educated and intelligent people still going about flagellating themselves for the sins of people they never even knew, but as someone who can trace his genetic lineage to corpses on both sides of the battle line of the Civil War, I don’t have any goddamn patience for it.

    Americans should be proud of their history with slavery. We ended it.

    And then fifty years later, we ratified the income tax to reinstate it. Oh the huge manatee.

    1. “Americans should be proud of their history with slavery. We ended it.”

      Uhh, no. That’s like saying Russians should be proud of the pogroms, since the bloody fall of the czar ended them. Or China should be proud of the Great Leap Forward, after millions died and they realized it was a bad idea.

      We’re not “flagellating ourselves” to be ashamed of a blight on our nation’s history and a huge stain on the Constitution, which should have been the greatest statement of human liberty in history. Our ancestors’ treatment of the Native Americans is equally shameful. Almost every country likely has something worthy of shame in its history. The shame helps us keep learning from it and not making the same mistake twice.

  65. I think you’re wrong, Matt. Here’s what I posted on facebook this morning on this precise issue:

    The difference between being a slave and not being a slave is entirely one’s willingness to perform the task in question. I’m guessing he wants to be a Senator; I’m also guessing he does not want to perform medical work at single-payer rates.

    With respect to single-payer health insurance, telling someone whose livelihood is medical work that they cannot contract privately to perform such work, not because no one is willing to enter into a contract but because the government prohibits such contracts, is hardly distinguishable from slavery. ….

    Similarly, with respect to tax-funded systems in general, telling someone the only way they can refuse to be involved is to stop earning any money at all is hardly distinguishable from slavery. Of course you can stop making money and go live on the street, thus making it not *actually* slavery in the literal sense… but this is even more obviously not an option.

    1. Of course you can stop making money and go live on the street

      Not always even that.

  66. Apples and oranges. I expect better from Reason.

    Sen. Paul is talking about the ethical equivalence, not the practical action. One valid purpose in analogy is to reveal parallel or opposing principles when existential aspects do not seem to be similar, or when they DO appear to be similar.

    Precisely because government mandated healthcare as a “right,” it does not look like slavery. Sen. Paul’s point is that it is ethically very similar, and the lack of superficially common features makes the core principles involved harder to recognize.

    Another conceptual “leap” that is missed here is that Obamacare doesn’t really exist yet, and when it manifests it will only be the seedbed for the man-eating jungle the runaway, imperial Congress will grow from this innocuous-seeming soil. Sen. Paul is not tippy-toeing through the elementary aspects of the issue that, apparently, even Reason personnel could use refreshing in, and is looking at the long game.

    The difference between human and animal cognition is in the length of the chain humans can develop and sustain. Well, some humans anyway. In all too many it is the last sound bit Jon Stewart dropped, in a clip from Hulu, without context. Both Ron and Rand Paul frequently stipulate that water is wet and move on to speak of things that are coming rather than things that are, or were when last we checked our Tweets. They are, in this regard, statesmen, not para-journalists.

  67. Rand is right, since:
    1) Men are (or should be)free to choose what they will and will not do, under what conditions and to what extent.
    2) When force or the threat of force is used to affect (in any way, shape, or form) that choice (so long as it itself does not infringe on the liberties or rights of another), then it is slavery. Government, outside the scope of protection from violence, enslaves.
    Slavers are unequivocally EVIL.
    Therefore, proactive government, and the subhumans who engage therein, are unequivocally EVIL.
    Justice requires whatever steps are necessary to remove such vermin from power.
    Arguments or modifications to the contrary endorse slavery, and make the arguer therefor as guilty and as evil as any slaver.

  68. “Could slaves free themselves by changing professions?”

    Can US citizens free themselves from being forced to pay for other people’s healthcare (and all sorts of other stuff) by paying federal income tax?

    No they can’t.

    Being forced to work wthout compensation to provided something for someone else in any way, shape, form or fashion is indeed slavery.

  69. Let’s see if I can put it in terms that MNG would accept.

    1) The sole purpose of government is protection from force and fraud.

    2) Police protect us from force and fraud.

    3) Policing is a legitimate function of government.

    4) Provision of health care has nothing to do with protection from force or fraud.

    5) There are no secret, penumbra-lurking, additional responsibilities of government beyond protection against force and fraud.

    6) There is no government role in health care.

    So, MNG, and those who agree with him, I guess it comes down to whether you accept the validity of (1) or not.

    1. I prefer promoting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Preventing force and fraud is one element of this.

      What you can’t claim is that taking taxes to pay for police and armed forces is somehow not theft while taking taxes to pay for other things is.

      Own up to your policy of needlessly expensive, inefficient, and unequal healthcare on its merits and don’t hide behind incoherent moral or constitutional presumptions.

      1. The Founders (and certainly all minarchists since) assumed that you couldn’t adequately provide legal protections without a monopoly agency (the government). They may or may not be wrong. But since we know as an empirical fact that you can adequately provide cars, houses, food, and health care in a marketplace of competing providers, there is no reason to provide any of those things through government.

        This is why they referred to government as a “necessary evil.”

        1. We also know as an empirical fact that you can’t deliver things such as education and healthcare on a universal basis with only the marketplace. If you value these things–not the product but the product’s universal availability–then you need government. Doesn’t really matters what the founders thought, especially since they disagreed on this question (the small government types lost the argument–you guys just haven’t figured that out yet).

          1. [citation needed]

          2. There is a difference between universal availability and universal delivery. But you know that, right, Tony? You also know that some people don’t want the provided education or healthcare, but you seem to have no problem demanding they pay for it anyway.

            Finally, you can’t ever prove that you can’t have universal delivery through the market for just that reason: some folks ain’t buying.

            1. I suppose if poor people just sold those cell phones and “color TVs” they could afford education and healthcare.

              1. But then they wouldn’t have cell phones and color TVs. Which would be a market failure, because they want them.

      2. I prefer promoting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

        I believe you, but once you go beyond securing negative rights you necessarily enter into a utilitarian bargain, wherein you trade negative rights for positive ones. The relative value of those rights notwithstanding, what gives you the right to do this? Majority rule? As the man said, the right to liberty is “self-evident”. The “right” to health care is not.

        Own up to your policy of needlessly expensive, inefficient, and unequal healthcare on its merits and don’t hide behind incoherent moral or constitutional presumptions.

        Healthcare in America is made expensive and inefficient by market distortions caused by large buyers (Medicare & incentivized private employers), and successful rent-seeking by tort lawyers. Both are due to existing government action. The solution is not more government action.

        There is no denying that it would be more unequal in a freer market. But why should my choices be limited so that (other) people with pre-existing conditions can lie to themselves about getting a handout? A simple welfare program would be preferable to this “insurance” fiction. Best of all would be to cut taxes and allow people to give the savings to a charity of their choice. Then the giver can be generous, the receiver can be grateful, and the market can be efficient.

        I think the reason progressives laugh at such notions is that they just can’t believe their fellow citizens are as good-hearted as they are. I do.

        1. you necessarily enter into a utilitarian bargain, wherein you trade negative rights for positive ones.

          True, but that’s just life. I don’t distinguish negative from positive rights. Your freedom from harassment or whatever almost always requires tax-funded positive action. So to me, maximizing freedom means making the correct tradeoffs. It’s pretty simple when it comes to healthcare. Just at a purely basic level, the loss of money to taxes is simply not as great an infringement on anyone’s freedom as the lack of access to adequate healthcare is. Beyond this–it’s simply proven many times over that universal systems are cheaper, which should come as no surprise, since the principle of insurance applies. The bigger the risk pool, the cheaper per person.

          I disagree with your claim about the causes of our healthcare cost problems. At the very least we could copy another country’s and bring down costs. That it would entail more government control is just too bad for you.

          You can’t escape the facts here–facts created by experimentation in the world. We have the most free market system in the developed world, and also the most expensive. This is not a causal claim, but it’s certainly not evidence of too much government.

          I think the reason progressives laugh at such notions is that they just can’t believe their fellow citizens are as good-hearted as they are. I do.

          But I prefer not to have a society that encourages mooching off the kindness of strangers. It wouldn’t work to provide universality anyway. And that’s the point I’m trying to get at. The question is what policy do you want and how do we get there. I want universal healthcare not merely because I’m a bleeding heart, but because it makes the most economic sense. The market can function perfectly robustly in the presence of universal healthcare. Quite a bit more, if you ask me, because you’ve taken a basic human need out of the pool of stressors on individual consumers. People can act more rationally in the marketplace when they aren’t at risk of bankruptcy at any random moment. You want a system that is both less equitable and less efficient because of your ideological hangups.

          1. Then your right to take taxes from one man and give healthcare to another comes from the value you place on “freedom”, which you appear to define as the minimization of certain risks, chosen by you and those who agree with you. That is indeed the societal trend, but it is not “just life”. This exchange of fundamental liberty for security will not end well. It never has.

            My chief ideological hangup is that I do not expect government to do anything as well as it could be done otherwise. There’s a lot of empirical evidence to support this. I even doubt that government will provide you with the universality you seek; people will fall through the cracks like rain.

            If you sincerely think the ACA is the correct application of the insurance principle, you are mistaken. If you and I enter into the same pool for the same premium, and are of equal risk, that is insurance. If I’m sick when I enter the pool, and don’t pay the expected cost of my treatment in additional premiums, that is a transfer payment from you to me, masquerading as insurance.

            Finally, isn’t it possible that part of the reason our healthcare system is costly is that we get more out of it, particularly with regard to treatments that bureaucrats in other countries don’t allow?

        2. I think the reason progressives laugh at such notions is that they just can’t believe their fellow citizens are as good-hearted as they are.

          Oh, it isn’t that. It’s that they think their fellow citizens are just as rotten-hearted as they themselves are.

    2. Wow, that is one of the clearest logical discussion of the libertarian proposition that I’ve ever seen! Well done!

      1. And I’m sorry I didn’t hit return 4 minutes earlier, so that I would be clear that I was responding to Draco directly, *not* Tony.

  70. 1.) You can’t join the army and expect to take a holiday whenever you want. You can’t be a police officer and stand there laughing at somebody being brutally murdered. Certain types of employment requires certain conditions that you accept upon taking that license or position. Doctors already have all kinds of restrictions on their voluntary on-the-job actions, and they voluntarily pledge to help all in need regardless of ability to pay. I’m not saying this is the ideal state, just that it there is nothing unique about restrictions or conditions upon certain professions.

    You accept a government license as a doctor, unfortunately you play by the governments’ rules. A license is essentially a government contract that you will follow the conditions of the license, or risk penalties. I’m personally against government professional licensing, and support a black/grey market in services until then; however, one can’t be shocked that you’d lose your government license to practice if you don’t follow the regulatory laws.

    2.) How can the government “protect us from violence” without government employees being mandated to take some action as a condition of employment? Anarchism is the only case where there is zero force from a formal government, but anarchism would result in even more force by the mafia or the wealthiest private army. Sorry, some level of force won’t be escaped no matter what system you have.

    1. So in other words, once I accept a license to practice medicine, I am thereafter obliged to follow any rule you might decree, regardless of how unjust it might be?

      1. Pretty sure most jobs come with contractual terms.

        1. Pretty sure that you cannot modify the conditions of a contract without the consent of both parties.

          1. The alternative would be the government writing up a new contract with every doctor each time a medical law changed, and the doctor has the right to either agree in writing or reject the contract and void his license. Fairly impractical, but would result the same way. Inherently the application for an acceptance of a government license to practice medicine is far more of a contractual relationship than, say, the thievery of the income tax. The requirement to license in order to perform actions itself is what is wrong, not the restrictions and obligations made upon those with licenses.

        2. Is slavery a permissible contract term?

      2. Sounds like a good reason not be a doctor. Of course, if you accidentally kill a few government employees on the operating table, you’ll probably lose your license, and your obligations will be discharged.

      3. Hobo’s argument begs the question: Should a doctor (or anyone else, for that matter) need the government’s permission (i.e. license) in order to provide a good or service?

        1. Ideally, no – and there shouldn’t be anything wrong with unlicensed people performing medical actions as long as they don’t claim to be licensed/registered.

          Private licensing agencies could set standards that their members have to comply to to remain members. If a doctor is licensed to a specific agency, and the agency changes its rules to compel the doctor to do something, the doctor has to comply with or challenge the change or redact his license. Since the same action done by a private agency is not slavery, it’s also not slavery if the government does it.

          What is inherently wrong is that the doctor can not sell or perform his services without a license (i.e. that he is barred from action, that there even is a monopoly in the first place), not that he is compelled to certain actions to keep his license by the current license monopoly (which is not slavery).

      4. Unfortunately. The government makes the laws and decides who they apply to. Accepting a license means you inherently agree to either adapt, lose/retire your license or challenge them in court. I’m all for current doctors challenging the law in court by any means possible, but the idea that adding new regulations that compel some action in order to remain licensed by the government = slavery is a huge stretch. A lawyer is required to act ethically or they get disbarred. Some police officer must be required to make their best effort capture criminals or they may lose their job. Conditions change – adapt, resign or challenge. Hyperbole frankly isn’t the best challenge, however.

        1. But if people have a right to health care, then wouldn’t any licensing requirement have to be viewed as an impediment to the exercise of that right? It might still be allowed, but like other regulations that tread on the rights that still get some respect (1, 2, abortion, and that’s about it), it would be subject to some fairly strict judicial scrutiny.

          Same goes for FDA regulation of drugs (would have to viewed as regulating speech) or DEA confiscation of marijuana used for therapeutic purposes (would have to be viewed like grabbing guns).

          1. Yes, I argued that a few posts down. Technically “the right to health care” is a right I have, not an obligation on the part of anyone else. Thus any government interference with my ability to choose my health care and my medical provider (regardless of license) would be an interference with my “right”.

            I have the right to contract, but I don’t have the right to compel anyone to enter a contract with me. I have the right to health care, but I don’t have the right to compel anyone to provide me health care. Thus it can be interpreted as a negative right.

  71. So Reason gets outflanked on the libertarian wing by a politician. Well I never…

  72. There’s this idea that ‘slavery’ doesn’t have any meaning external to one particular historical event. It’s like saying nobody can have an armada but the spanish. Slavery means forced labour. Rand Paul was referring to forced labour. His use of the word was completely appropriate.
    Of course, he’s still going to get slapped around by the press.

    1. There’s no forced labor here – every doctor can cancel their government medical license and have no obligation to perform an action as far as I’m aware.

      I can’t reject military conscription or income taxes – these things resemble slavery far closer than conditions on voluntarily accepted government licensing.

      The same logic could be extended to regulations on corporations that take government-delineated liability protections. The idea of corporations as a special legal class of business, like the idea of doctors as a special legal class of worker, implies willingness to cede to government regulation over that class. If corporations take governments’ artificial liability protections, the government implicitly has interest to control their actions to prevent society from bearing the burden of their socialized liability. If the government has a monopoly on licensing doctors, they have an interest in setting standards doctors must meet since they are assuming a gatekeeper role on the provision of healthcare.

      Remove mandatory licensing and government incorporation, the government would have no right to compel action or bar voluntary, nonfraudulent and contractual actions and every person would be fully responsible for their own actions.

      1. No, I agree. I wasn’t saying that doctors are slaves now. I was saying that Paul’s use of the word was accurate: if you consistently recognise a right to healthcare, slavery follows. It implies that if nobody decided to become a doctor, somebody would have to be forced to.

        1. To be a bit pedantic, if it’s the right to *access* health care, it obligates the government to provide it at whatever cost, but does not necessarily grant them the right to force an individual to provide it. Taken to an extreme conclusion, it would be slavery if conscription is implemented because the supply of doctors does not meet the demand.

          But theoretically, it puts the burden on the government to define what constitutes “health care” and who can provide it. If there aren’t enough people willing and able to be doctors as defined, the government could lower its standards of what “doctor” means and open up the definition of “health care” instead of conscription. They could allow everyone to be health care providers, for example.

          The “right to health care” would work in our favor even more – if slavery remains by law illegal, the “right to healthcare” must be interpreted as “I have the right to determine what I consider health care and who I want to voluntarily provide it to me as long as I do not force that person to do so”. It’s MY right, not an obligation upon others. I can perform it on myself if I so choose without even requiring another person’s involvement. Government restrictions on my ability to seek and access such services thus violates my right to health care, and I can sue the government for interfering. In other words, “the right to health care” could be interpreted as a negative right, technically.

  73. OMG you commenter guys, with very few exceptions, are morons.

    1. Insightful and compelling.

  74. It’s not slavery if you can leave, Rand. So leave. You’re going to need another career however. Because you won’t be able to practice medicine in any other country because ONLY THE US thinks health care isn’t a right.

    1. Okay, maybe I just can’t read, but I’m pretty sure Paul didn’t say ‘doctors are slaves; I’m a slave’. I think he was making a philosophical point that positive rights by their nature authorise the enslavement of our fellow man. A thought experiment: there’s only one person on the planet who has the skills to provide healthcare, but he wants to be a fisherman. Doesn’t the existence of a right to healthcare mean that this man has to be forced to provide healthcare? A positive right necessarily entails an obligation in someone else to provide for that right.
      Also, I am so, so fed up of the ‘you can leave’ argument. I’m sure the people who make that argument don’t believe it, because it’s absurd. Another thought experiment: congress makes it legal for members of congress to have sex with anyone they want whenever they want. If you resist, you go to jail. Is this state of affairs tolerable because ‘you can leave’?
      Of fucking course not.

      1. If the conscription of people to provide a service paid for by taxes is slavery, then we can’t have armed forces. Anarchism may be a consistent philosophy but I’ve been reminded many times that it’s not what you guys believe.

        1. Okay, well, nobody here supports the conscription of people into the armed services – and that’s not even a minority viewpoint. Voluntary military’s the way to go. Those of us who also want it to be voluntarily funded – how are we not being consistent?

        2. Yes, the conscription of people to provide a service is slavery – whether it is paid for by taxes or some other method. Quite obviously we can have armed forces without conscription, because that is what we presently have. No, you don’t have to have taxes to pay for that or the other functions of a limited government – there are other, voluntary means of financing government. And no, you don’t have to be an anarchist to have such a system.

          1. Well, some would argue that once you get rid of taxes and the de jure monopoly on violence, you have an anarchistic system, even if it very closely resembles the current one.

      2. Doesn’t the existence of a right to healthcare mean that this man has to be forced to provide healthcare? A positive right necessarily entails an obligation in someone else to provide for that right.

        That’s because positive rights aren’t really rights at all – they’re just misappropriations of power over others.

  75. Rand Paul is MORE than an idiot to equate slavery that occurred in this country–or anywhere–with the healthcare bill. NOTE: I did NOT call this Obamacare as it was approved and passed by the CONGRESS. If he should run for president, I would welcome it so he could lose soundly. EGADS! Maybe we should repeal free speech if this is the best he can do. Where did HE go to school to come up with the metaphor and analogy of slavery for healthcare and then to say it’s like HIM.

    1. He didn’t say he was a slave. He said that a right to healthcare entails slavery. He also didn’t equate anything to the slavery that occurred in America. Slavery means forced labour. It doesn’t refer to one specific historical example of forced labour on a large scale.

    2. We’re outr?, slaver!

      1. We’re outr? exterminators.

    3. “Rand Paul is MORE than an idiot to equate slavery that occurred in this country–or anywhere–with the healthcare bill. ”

      Who says he did? He attacked one of the justifications for the bill, he didn’t actually say that as implemented it was a form of slavery.

    4. “Maybe we should repeal free speech if this is the best he can do.”

      Yeah, maybe we should repeal yours first, Suzy.

  76. Mr Paul you do not belong any where near congress you are a racist. Mr Paul resign your office and get your white sheet out.

    1. Woah. Now they’ve unleashed their REAL brainpower. What part of “We’re outr?, slaver!” don’t you understand, beyatch?

      1. Admittedly, I don’t quite understand it myself. But that’s beside the point.

    2. Wait, now being opposed to slavery is racist? Shit, people just keep fucking changing the rules on me.

    3. Idiot. I strongly dislike drugs and wouldn’t ever sleep with a prostitute, but these actions should be completely legal.

      Paul’s criticism of the Civil Rights Act is not based in racism. It’s based on the right to be a fucking racist jerkwad on one’s own private property without being prosecuted for free speech. If you’re not committing fraud or violating or endangering the life, liberty or property of others, you should have the right to do whatever you want. Jim Crow laws violated the property of business owners by forcing businesses to treat customers differently, and the Civil Rights Act violated the property of business owners by forcing them to treat customers the same. Pointing this out doesn’t make him a racist.

    4. “Mr Paul resign your office and get your white sheet out.”

      Oh come now – didn’t you really mean to say that he should get his white ass out?

  77. HAHAHA ophthalmologists make a healthy living in countries with a national health service, Dr. Paul, and I’m sure you know it! But watch out because there is a real threat to your greed–cheap glasses from China. I’m wearing some now and they’re great. You chose a good time to become a government employee because the days of pigs like you getting fat off of people’s poor vision are numbered… at least until you bring in some kind of protectionism, of course.

  78. What the left advocates and what it succeeds in implementing are usually two somewhat different things. Where they advocate a “Right to medical care” they actually implement a “right to comprehensive medical insurance.” In the latter case they do indeed use force or coercion in the for of taxation. Paul is right in his formulation if they actually implemented a “right to medical care.” The only way you could implement this is by slavery. But that is not what the proponents implement. I think this facet needs to be clearly stated.

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  80. Ah, yes, the evils of slavery at $284K/yr (average U.S. compensation for an ophthalmologist).

  81. Sounds like Reason Mag just joined the PC-crowd in their “don’t say those words, it could be offensive” campaign. Paul was simply making a point, not an exact comparison, and one of your statements sort of makes his case…
    “Could slaves free themselves by changing professions?”
    So one shouldn’t be able to practice a profession in private because the govt. forces you into only working for them? One should just move on and forget about their aspirations? Sounds a little slavish to me.

  82. Thank you.

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