Government Control vs. Free Market Capitalism

Over at Coffee Milk Conservative, One Ticked Chick has a Winston Churchill quote at the bottom of her page, and I believe it to be rather sage (that’s why I stole it and added it to my own page; hope you don’t mind, Chick, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all).  Reading that quote prompted me to do a bit of web surfing for more Churchill bits o’ wisdom, and I found this one:

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. – Winston Churchill

I have to say that this pretty much sums up, for me anyway, what is happening in this country with regard to the healthcare “debate” (“brawl” is probably more apt, given the fingers that have been lost.  Okay, it was one finger, but still . . . .).  I honestly don’t believe that race has anything at all to do with whether or not one supports government-run healthcare, despite what Jimmy Carter and Bill Cosby have said (it’s hard to take a man who sees UFO’s and gets attacked by bunnies seriously, and Cosby . . . well, he’s old-school, like Skippy Gates, so he can be excused for being dead wrong on this one.).  BO got elected, and that would have been impossible without his pulling a huge white vote.  Many of whom, including some black people who voted for him, have since regretted that decision, but not because he’s black–or they wouldn’t have put him in office in the first place. 

Another side of this race charge is the one that Reverend Wright tossed over his shoulder at an airport, that conservatives are racist not because they don’t support BO but because they don’t want “poor people” helped, the implication being (as this is Rev. Wright after all) that there are more poor black people than there are poor white people.  But that is not true.  According to the U. S. census there are more than eight times as many white people living in poverty in this country as black people and more white people living in poverty than all other races combined (Asian, Hispanic, and black–the only races covered in the census).  The only thing that’s coming out of this race baiting is that people are getting aggravated that they can’t disagree with this administration without being draped in white sheets and pointy white hoods.  If anything is going to block future black presidential candidates it will be this race baiting to silence opposition, not his (or her) race.

Back to my point.  I think that the primary problem with the government option is that it’s too much government control for conservatives and many moderates and that it will cost far too much money.  And it also is not a logical solution to the proposed problem.  BO tells us that the problem is that 30 million (he’s backed off from the 45 million because that was a lie, as I and others have pointed out) people do not have health insurance and that healthcare costs are skyrocketing and unsustainable.  Both true.  Both sides agree on this point.  The question isn’t should we have reform, but what form that reform should take.  Do we find a way to preserve the unequal sharing of blessings or do we all share equally in miseries?

Democrats and progressives LOVE big government.  They love the idea of the government paying for everything for them from the minute they are born until the day they die.  And after.   “Free” government burials are probably a part of the radical left’s vision.  If they could, they would just hand over their (and our) entire paychecks to the government and be given a weekly allowance like they got from mommy and daddy at home.  Well, actually, that’s not quite true because dems and progs don’t seem to understand that the money has to come from somewhere and that all their lalalala save the planet crap will actually end up costing them (and us) more money.  They seem to think that the government just poops out money from nowhere: yay! tax the big bad polluting electric companies out the butt, that’ll show ’em.  Whoa, why did my electric bill just quadruple overnight?  And why does everything from a new car to new pantyhose cost twice as much?   D’oh!  They don’t seem to be capable of seeing a big picture or any instance of cause and effect.  It’s just do this and to hell with the consequences.  Childish.  Naive.  Short-sighted.  Narrow-minded.

And they think that everyone should, as Churchill says, share equally in misery.  The trouble with this vision is that it’s the quickest route to ensuring a country’s and its citizens’s mediocrity and poverty (look around the world, take a peek at history, show me where it’s led to utopia.  Ever.).  With all the taxes coming up (from cigarettes to soda to being overweight to electricity and every product or good that takes electricity to make–thanks cap and trade and good-bye electricity as an alternate fuel source.  Who’s going to buy an electric or hybrid car that costs more to run for a year than the car is worth? But gee Sister Sunshine Wind Between Your Ears, it’s so groovy.), the middle class will continue to whither away.  There is no way to sustain a middle class if the majority of their earnings are going to a myriad of taxes designed to “spread the wealth around.”  It just can’t happen.  So, with less available money, the economy will suffer, the quality of life of the middle class will decline, and eventually, we’ll look like the former Soviet Union and Cuba.  We’ll have the very rich (government officials) and the very poor (everyone else).  But yay! we’ll all be able to go to the doctor once every three years and stand in bread and toilet paper lines together.  Maybe we can all sing songs about the glory of our leader or the paradise that awaits us upon our death.  Heck, we could even sing that old Coke song.

Republicans and moderates tend to shy away from big government and from buying the world a home and furnishing it with love.  Love does not make good furniture.  Sure, corporate greed is an annoying side effect of the free market and capitalism, but so, too, are the far less annoying side effects of the potential for individual success, scientific innovation, and a chance for a decent, even good, quality of life.  “Corporate greed” is what we have when big business gets out of hand, but government greed is the exact same thing.  Why do you think BO won’t consider (seriously consider) tort reform?  Because he knows that trial lawyers are among the largest contributors to democratic campaigns.  They do this because they can then control policy and protect their massive incomes from enormous malpractice settlements (lawyers typically get 40% plus court costs and other fees for cases that go to court, so why on earth would they want to cap “emotional and psychological trauma” awards that so often run into the multi-millions?).  And yes, the same is true of the corporations and big business that control republicans.  It sucks, but that’s our system.  One we need to fix, no doubt, but turning over 1/6 of our total economy to the government, which we all know is run by special interests like big pharma and trial lawyers, will not improve it, it will make it worse. 

Give me freedom and the American Dream over bread lines and being denied care because I’m over 55 (well, when I get there) and can’t be expected to contribute much more to society or to the government coffers.  Give me choice, real choice between something other than going to jail and getting government healthcare.  Give me opportunity and a real chance to pursue happiness in whatever way I define that (don’t worry, it’s legal!  It actually involves buying lots of expensive shoes, but we all have our vices.).

This idea of a government takeover of the healthcare industry in order to cover 30 million (or far fewer) people is nuts.  The only way to cover them via a government option is to put us all on the same system (except Congress and the White House, they are too good for it and are exempted anyway).  That’s just basic common sense.  Despite what fantasyland hopeandchange man says, you cannot provide for every American citizen comprehensive care with no rationing and complete choice left in the hands of the doctors and patients.  That can’t be done.  And it certainly can’t be done for free. Again, basic common sense here.  What he is really proposing is that the only way to cover those 30ish million people is to pull us all into the same government-run system (this means that it will be impossibly inefficient–been to the DMV lately?, grossly expensive, and fraught with “waste and abuse” as are all the other government-run programs–according to BO himself, no less.).  He wants us all (not him, though!) to share the misery, as Churchill might say. 

Think about it.  Let’s say you have 355 people on a cruise ship.  They’re all laughing and dancing and feasting on mutton and mead.  These are happy people who are enjoying good music and weird medieval food and drink.  Suddenly, someone spots 30 people bobbing out in the water, shivering and cold (and wet, obviously, because they’re in the water).  They’re there, treading water, trying desperately not to drown.  What do you do?  Do you tell all 355 people to abandon ship and jump overboard, each holding an extra life-vest for each of the 30 people in the water, because that’s “only fair” and “neighborly”?  Or do you find a way to bring these 30 people onto the ship? 

It’s a no-brainer to me.


15 thoughts on “Government Control vs. Free Market Capitalism

  1. Thanks for the link Fuzzy. That Churchill quote kind of sums up my conversion from liberal to conservative. What I think the libs don't understand is that conservatives aren't opposed to healthcare reform per se. We're opposed to government control of healthcare. Huge difference. There have to be solutions that don't include turning our healthcare decisions over to the government.

  2. Hi Chick! 🙂 I think that they don't understand that because they have no way of knowing it. BO says, in every one of his hundreds of speeches, that opponents to government-run healthcare “don't want change,” “like the status quo,” and “don't want reform.” The MSM simply write down whatever he says and then do op-eds to expound on it. Between these two things, anyone on the left who depends on the MSM for “news” is getting the wrong picture. Of the whole debate, including what moderate and conservative Tea Party goers want.

    In the wake of the Van Jones and ACORN scandals, one really has to wonder what the point of the MSM even is. They didn't report either until they blew up so big they couldn't be ignored any longer, and even then, spend more time attacking the kids who broke the story, did the REAL investigative journalism. It's like some kind of weird parellel universe. Anyway, I think the MSM is deader than a dodo. The more level-headed and mainstream readers/viewers must realize that they are getting a pretty biased view if they aren't even trusted with stories that might not support BO. I'd be pretty darned ticked off if my support for someone was based in such blatant propaganda.

    And your being a “reformed liberal” is one thing I like about your page and your blog posts. I've been a conservative liberal for … well, forever. But a lot of my worldviews and ideas about policy (both foreign and domestic) changed in the wake of 9/11. And have been changing ever since in a slow evolution. What has finally pushed me from identifying as a liberal is how much the progressives have really taken over that party and its agenda. They are far too far left for even my youngest, most idealistic days. I was never the best liberal, anyway, I was for a strong military and the spending of the money that would take, and I've always been leary of big government and centralized power. I've been angered and frustrated by the attacks on and marginalization of white Christians that have been the real result of “multiculturalism,” and I refuse to say, “Happy Holidays.” It's Merry Christmas!. 🙂

    But frankly, I'm going to make a pee-poor conservative, too, as I am pro-choice, support embryonic stem-cell research, support gay marriage, and think that Medicaid and Medicare are underfunded and don't go far enough to help the people they are meant to help (which, in this screwed up world is actually NOW a conservative viewpoint. Go figure).

  3. Interesting piece. Generating prosperity is a complex task, and requires the confluence of many factors.

    Here’s a thumbnail of what it takes, in my view, for a society to be prosperous:

    1) An inventive / innovative class; people have to want to invent things and processes;

    2) Cross-culturalization, where multiple inventors get together and compare their inventions, and newer \ better inventions are created;

    3) Seaports or trade route intersections;

    4) Business flowing from invention / innovation;

    5) Decent Jobs flowing from business, so people can take care of their families with pride;

    6) A reasonably decent life flowing from more people having jobs; and

    7) Education encouraging the repeat of the process.

    Either some force in society sets this in motion, governs the process, and maintains it, or it does not. If you leave it to chance, you might be on top for a while but you will not be on top indefinitely. But that is a cost of freedom, when you do not direct people what to do with their lives.

    My suspicion is that China will be the next world power because they tell more people what to do, and they are more controlling. More free? Of course not. But more planning, organization, consistency, and coordination take place under their model. We in the U.S. use the “herding cats” model, and there are benefits and costs associated with it. One cost is its mercurial and uneven results, but it is the one that we have chosen.

    We’ve needed more inventors for years, and few in our country have paid attention to that issue. Simply look at the dramatic decrease in U.S. students studying engineering in this country, and the significant decline in basic research.

  4. Hi IC, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. As you can tell from my post, I don't quite agree with you about the strong arm of the State dictating people's lives, but that's okay. We can disagree. 🙂

  5. I think the capitalist answer is, “Shoot them in the water if they try to get onto the boat.”

    Or maybe, “Offer them minimum wage work without health care benefits.”

    Here's a saying I like better than Churchill's: “Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow.”

  6. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Will. I'm sure you are personally handing over all the money that you make that you do not need for the barest necessities. As you know, you are more than free to do that in this country, and I admire anyone who actually lives by their own rules.

  7. hehe, actually I could use a few bucks. Think I should put a “donate” thing on my site or is that too capitalist?

    And thank you so much for clarifying that whole democracy thing, such a tricky subject. So glad you came along.

    (and no offense, but this troll thing gets pretty old pretty fast–I'll likely not respond to another comment of yours in this thread. Unless you are *really* clever, and I can't help myself :P)

  8. Fuzzy, no worries. I probably shouldn't have said anything–I just bumped into your blog when double-checking a Churchill quote. Politically, we're not about to agree, at least, not until capitalism begins to hurt you.

    That cartoon you have here is a perfect example–I think it's a beautiful example of how capitalism works: the rich take from the middle-class to give token sustenance to the 40% of the US that has no wealth at all.

  9. lalala save the earth crap! are you serious! Do you not want a nice place for your family to live and grow up. There is not cost that is to much to secure a safe environment for your family. your an idot.

  10. A few pointers for your future trolling efforts:

    Punctuation is somewhat important. For example, when you ask a question, the correct punctuation to use is “?”. As in: “Are you serious?”

    I won't bother mentioning capital letters. You use them erratically, so you may have some idea when they are correct and when they are not.

    Putting random words together in a garbled mess may hide the wisdom of your message. For example: “There is not cost that is to much to secure a [blah blah blah–see, you already lost me]” makes zero sense. Try putting the words together according to the rules of standard English.

    Know when to use a pronoun and when to use a contraction. It's really not that difficult; most 7th graders manage it. For example: “your an idiot” means nothing. Now, if you were to write “you're an idiot” that might make sense in written form, but I'm afraid that coming from you, it's not really that meaningful.

    Tidy up your writing before you post on my blog again. This is pet peeve of mine, and I really can't get past your illiteracy to respond to what I suspect you might be saying.

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