Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


We’re All Neo-Liberals Now!

From time to time my family will engage in email-debate. I like this, and look foreward to Google Wave to enhance the experience. This time, the debate over health care continued with my Grandfather sending out the article above. Below is my rebuttal and commentary in general on the healthcare debate. Refer to the article for quote context if you are confused.

“protest and dissent are pulling us apart”


Protest and dissent were essential in the formation of this nation, and the Liberal Enlightenment which preceded it. Change and dissent are necessarily correlated, as for one to promote change is to promote a dissenting view of the status quo.

There is a logical contradiction in the statement itself, as the nature of dissent is to separate ones self from the so-called “us”. Those who dissent from “us” are not part of “us”, and therefore cannot be pulling “us” apart unless some of “us” are swayed by “their” opinion. Upon being convinced “they” are no longer part of “us”. Point proven?

“conservative protesters do not recognize the structural origins of what is happening to our politics and our economy”

Over half of all money spent in the health care industry is spent by government. The spending of money directs the flow of resources. Therefore over half of the resources employed in health care are directed by government. Therefore, we are already living in a government run system.

This is the basis of the voluntarist stance on the issue. It is imperative diagnosis a problem before treatment, to put it in medical terms. The structural origins of all changes in society can only be found in the minds of individuals, and therefore no one can ultimately recognize the origins of change, only recognize the changes themselves once they have manifested from the actions of those individuals. The actions over the past hundred years have been to collectivise the means of production. Why are you Statists complaining? You are getting what you want! “We” are moving in “your” direction!

“The force for change is technology and not malice nor ideology nor politics”

I mostly agree with that statement, so why is the author taking the stance that it is politics which should dictate the advancement of technology? Technology cannot be legislated. It must be discovered. Technological change only comes from necessity; its origin is man’s mind. The driving force behind technological change come from the need to satisfy an end, and to politicize any means of production removes the incentives for change, as technology necessarily replaces some form of work previously performed by a human being. That person, if granted political power, may use it to inhibit the process of change via technological growth, and in a political economy individual effort is not rewarded at the scale of the voluntary economy.

I disagree in that the other three items mentioned are indeed forces for change, although the changes they produce are often arbitrary and immoral.

“The free market becomes a myth when the new normal installs a handful of firms that control product, price and distribution”

If a “new normal” installs a handful of firms that control product, price and distribution, you are not living in a free market.

The free market is as much a myth as it is a system. It does not exist in itself; rather, it is a term which describes the concept of economic voluntarism. Socialist societies can exist within a free market society, so long as the interactions are of a voluntary nature. It is when socialism is forced from the top-down that a free market cannot exist. The two are only mutually exclusive when force is involved.

I don’t want to force anyone to operate for profit. No capitalist does; besides, it is impossible to do so.

The free market is the lack of a prescribed, arbitrary system of resource distribution, i.e. the state.

The fact is, a handful of firms which control product, etc. has only historically arisen due to government collusion. In economics, we call this “Regulatory Barriers to Entry”. I suggest you check out the concept, as I will apply it in my following point.

“Had an alternative been offered, the situation might be different.”

An alternative was not offered by the Repubs in office because they too are Statists. The proper alternative would be a stripping of all regulations and government involvement with health care, and a grandfathering-out of Medicare, etc. (improve production first, end entitlements last)

The reason Republicans will not do this is because the regulations they have placed on big pharma, insurance companies, and other sectors of health care, are set up to keep competition from threatening the good-ol-boys club.

So you see, regulatory barriers to entry have ruined health care. Republicans wouldn’t dare suggest removing them because they are maintaining the status quo by guaranteeing that competition cannot grow to the size where it could affect profits. This is why big business lobbies for industry regulation.

Ever wonder why big business doesn’t support libertarians, those who would strip away regulation? That was the question which sent me down the path to voluntarism, perhaps it will send you, too.

“No one is in favor of big government, much less socialism.”

I haven’t been rude at all, so now’s the time. That statement is a load of crap and you all know it.

Elitists are in favor of big government. Those who seek to maintain control of resources through political means favor big government. Those who are in favor of big government are more likely to move in the socialist direction than the direction of liberty.

What of voluntarism? What of self-ownership? What of responsibility?

Are you in favor of those? I am, and I recognize that each of those tenants outright reject the legitimacy of arbitrary government and forced collectivism.

Ben was right, and his quote runs contrary to the point made by Paul’s article, and all government intervention in the private lives of human beings.

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

— Ben Franklin

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