Archive for the ‘First Things’ Category

The future of the health care system

March 26, 2010

Here is a concrete example of the clash between negative and positive rights.  The new health care legislation has set up a very interesting conflict: creating ‘health care’ for roughly 30 million people while at the same time a number of doctors will likely be leaving their practices.  Let’s look at implications of this.

Progressives believe that everybody has a ‘right’ to health care.  Furthermore, they believe that those with the resources to pay for health care must be taxed to pay for those who don’t.  The net result of this will be an increased demand for health care.  There will more and more folks that expect that they will be able to get the care they want when they want it.

Now look at the supply of health care.  There will be a decreased number of doctors to treat an increased supply of patients.  This will result in wonderful things like rationing and long wait times, that is, if you can even find a doctor (as is happening in Canada).

Those doctors who leave practice while still able to provide care are a ‘resource’ that can be used to help address the supply-side problem.  Additionally, many of these doctors were trained with public subsidies.  Progressives would argue that these doctors ‘owe’ society their services.  The free market solution to the lack of doctors would be to allow prices to rise enough to entice the doctors back into practice.  This isn’t going to happen under the controls being imposed by Washington.

This leads to my challenge to any progressive readers out there: Should doctors who no longer wish to practice be compelled to provide their services to patients in our reformed health care system?  Why or why not?  Remember, if there is a right to health care, patients have a right to the services that doctors provide.

Hopefully this scares the daylights out you, the reader.  How can liberty possible survive?  Talk about a brave new world!

Negative vs. Positive Rights

March 12, 2010

The US Constitution was designed to create a republic with a weak central government and strong member states.  The Bill of Rights reflects this principle quite well, listing rights that the citizens inherently possess and the government cannot infringe upon.  Barack Obama has described the Constitution as having a “blind spot” in that it doesn’t specify the things that government must do for the citizens.  Look at FDR’s Second Bill of Rights for an example of what Obama would like the government to supply to the citizens.  These are confiscatory or “positive” rights that require the redistribution of the fruits of the labor, i.e. property, of one party to another party deemed to have a deficit of the same fruits.  Judge Andrew Napolitano gives us great explanation here:

Take housing as an example.  The negative right view of housing that we’re all familiar with is that you have option of finding housing proportionate to your willingness and ability to pay.  This can mean purchasing, renting, staying with family or living under a bridge.  A positive right to housing means that the government is obligated to provide you housing.  How is this to be accomplished?  How about things like electricity, water, natural gas and septic, which are all needed to make your government-supplied dwelling livable?

A system such as this would require a government body to weigh all the various and ever-changing needs of the people that come before it to demand housing.  Think about this: Once you have obtained your new pad, what is to prevent the commissars from deciding that some other family has a greater need for your house than you do and that you must decamp for another ‘home’ deemed more appropriate for your situation?

Liberty and freedom cannot survive such a regime.

Hello world!

February 16, 2010

Welcome! This blog was created to comment on current events around the world that can impact the citizens of Northern Colorado from the perspective of one whom believes in God and the founding documents of the United States.  Praise and brickbats will be laid upon all parties, irrespective of race, gender or political party, when called for.  The progressive viewpoint put forth by the mainstream press and government agencies will subjected to the most criticism.

The US is approaching a point where our way of life will be drastically changed and not for the better.  An open discussion of the issues is critical if the country is to survive these changes and give our descendants a chance to prosper.  We know enough history to see that our current path cannot be continued even though the progressive mindset is that the “experts” in charge will tax here, regulate there and nirvana will be ours.  Good luck with that!