[ExI] Why Cities Keep Growing, Corporations and People Always Die, and Life Gets Faster

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Jun 13 17:53:14 UTC 2011

>... On Behalf Of Damien Sullivan

>> ...I have read the US constitution word for word, and I find in there
nothing that indicates the US government has the authority to make anyone
buy anything...

>...Well, technically it's a tax increase that's waiveable if you purchase
health insurance or can prove that you can't afford to...

Interesting point, and a critically important point of law.  The health
insurance company doesn't take into account your income, but only your
health.  The tax structure doesn't take into account your health, but is
scaled to your income.  It looks to me like the current version of the
health care act makes these two incompatible.  In recognition of this, the
authors specifically refuted the notion that the health care requirement is
a tax.  If they now change their minds on this, it will be the first example
of a flat tax levied by the federal government.

Suppose they decide we can't have a federal flat tax of any kind, and
somehow scale your health insurance bill according to your income.  All the
fed knows is your income; it has no way of knowing your actual property
value.  So those who are property rich but have little income get their
health insurance subsidized by the young and poor who are working themselves
into the hospital trying to pay for the health insurance of their landlord.

If the fed recognizes this problem and decides to try to derive some kind of
wealth estimate not based on income but rather on what you own, that causes
an avalanche of capital to flood into non-productive but non-traceable
wealth such as gold.  It causes a bunch of capital intensive but non-income
intensive assets to drop in value such that many businesses are closed down.

When you say "prove that you can't afford to" one would suppose all you
would need to do is show low income last year?  Hmmmm.

It isn't a simple problem, even if one is given dictatorial powers.

>> far as I can tell, they haven't the authority to regulate non-commerce.

>A narrow reading of the constitution also rules out the war on drugs, the
air force, control of nuclear weapons and material, the Bush vs. Gore
decision in 2000, and lots of other things.  Many of which would make
libertarians happy, but it's interesting to see what gets people antsy...

This is entirely possible, but orthogonal to the question of the federal
mandate for health care purchase.

>> Individual states have the authority to require that proles buy
insurance, the fed doesn't.  Looks to me like the fed would need to pass a

>...But the fed does have the authority to shape tax policy.  -xx- Damien

Agree again, but the fed's case before the supreme court specifically denies
the legal path it would need to declare the requirement a tax (which would
be the establishment clause) relying instead on the interstate commerce
clause.  This is most puzzling for the fed is applying the interstate
commerce clause to a case which is specifically not interstate and is

If they choose to come back later and claim it is a tax, they would need to
start over, at which time the fed would be arguing from the disadvantage of
being the plaintiff rather than the defendant.  That might happen, but if
so, they would likely lose again.


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