[ExI] Yet another health care debate

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Thu Sep 25 08:49:44 UTC 2008

Damien S. writes

> Conservative/libertarians sometimes deride liberals/socialists as making
> the State their God.  I'd say this is partly true: where the religious
> worship an unprovable God, progressives set out to build a god, finite
> and fallible but real, to do the things God is asked to do, like help us
> in need.

I can hardly believe I'm reading this. It's all the worst claims
of the right-wing extremists come true, namely, that the left
wants to turn government into some kind of god.

> Or enforce the laws, showing this actually goes way back
> before progressives, but the progressive vision extends to making a
> paradise on this earth, as best we can, starting with absence of fear
> and want.

Well, the last time anyone had nerve enough to say things like
that was when they were talking about the "workers' paradise",
and how the state would wither away.

Absolutely the state is needed to enforce rule of law and private
property.  Me, I'm not that extreme a libertarian, (nor, I think,
are most libertarians). But as for humans having the ability to
design utopias, why don't they wait until they've done something
a lot simpler, like design a good AI.

> As for us being richer, well, I'd agree about some government actions,
> like massive military expenditures and outright wars.  OTOH, I don't
> think the EPA has left us poorer, especially in things money can't
> easily buy.

I think the EPA has hurt. It costs industry hundreds of billions
of dollars annually, which is passed on to people, and we get
further and further off the exponential economic growth curve
we should have been on.

Can you perhaps help me with this? My friends can't. Why
don't people who think pollution is too high in the cities just
move to small towns?  (Oh, right, because their standard of living
would go down. Well---it should be up to them to decide
what is more important. And companies that relocated to
the countryside might find a lot of very good employees waiting,
or drag good employees with them.)

> Anti-discrimination laws bug my "freedom of association"
> bone, but seem to have been helpful in breaking through
> two centuries of racism and making people better off.

I think black people have suffered because of those laws. Sure,
you have some superficial hireings here and there, but often at the
cost of introducing underqualified workers. And now, even
when they are qualified, instead of enjoying the enlightened 
respect they deserve, everyone wonders whether it's just another
case of affirmative action. 

Sowell has explained how hideous this turns out in practice.
Consider school admissions, he says. Bright kids who ought
to be going to some UC (sorry, California example) schools
are tricked into going to Harvard, and those that should be
going to state or junior colleges are going to UC. And at
every level they get flunked out at a higher percentage than
they would without affirmative action! So then we are left
with even more intelligent but completely disenchanted and
alienated black people.


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