Quick Roundup 273

Monday, November 19, 2007

Socialized Medicine vs. Freedom of Movement

Via Matt Drudge over the weekend, I learned of the following:

A British woman planning to start a new life with her husband in New Zealand has been banned from entering the country -- because she is too fat.


When the couple first tried to gain entry to the country they were told that they were both overweight and were a potential burden on the health care system.
Not only, as we have seen in England, will government interference in the personal habits of its citizenry be an inevitable consequence of the government paying for everyone's medical care, government interference will slowly encroach upon all other areas of their lives.

Here, we see that freedom of movement is being denied to a couple who, if only the government would butt out of the medical sector, would cost nobody but themselves if they fell ill. What's next? Fines or imprisonment for people who don't comply with the government's dictates regarding medicine?

Oops. Too late. America beat the Kiwis to that.
Parents in Prince George's County have been ordered to appear at a special court hearing today where they will be given a choice: Get their children vaccinated on the spot or risk up to 10 days in jail and fines. [bold added]
Once again, the government is running roughshod over our freedom in the name of promoting our welfare. The fact that so many people fall for this ruse reflects the fact that too many fail to understand the nature and importance of freedom, without which good health, prosperity, or a good life are impossible.

There is a saying that a well-fed prison is still a prison.

So is a "healthy" prison. And yet all the political momentum of the moment seems to favor turning the West into one such prison.

Chavez too Late with "Warning"

Journalists have been repeating with thug-worshiping glee Hugo Chavez's threat that oil prices will double if, "[i]f the United States is crazy enough to attack Iran or commit aggression against Venezuela."

Too bad so many of them are too hell-bent on "changing the world" by promoting socialism to bother with a little investigative reporting.

Not only do the nations of OPEC -- which fence property stolen from American and British firms over half a century ago -- live by inflating the price of oil as it is, but look at how much oil-funded mischief already costs the West every year around the globe! Leaving aside whether we should be in Iraq, would we even be there now (at such great costs in life and treasure) had we protected American property rights long ago? Would we even have to worry about Iran building a nuclear bomb and achieving even more leverage over our interests in the Middle East? Would there be Saudi money to fund terrorist factories throughout the Middle East? I'd love to see a dollar figure attached to these expenses and factored in to the present cost of oil!

Yes. The official price of oil probably would go through the roof if we (finally) acted to protect American freedom, but that would be in the short term. In the long term, we would save enormous amounts of money from the actual cost of oil and protect something even more precious: the freedom that makes the creation of wealth possible in the first place. And the official price of oil would no longer be artificially manipulated to serve the purposes of overseas tyrants.

Good Discussions

I really enjoyed seeing some of the discussions that took place on this blog last week. Among them were threads ranging from simple pleasures (e.g., coffee and smoking) through more abstract questions (i.e., about the propriety of engaging irrational opponents in public debate).

Also notable: Rational Jenn pointed to some interesting links about "helicopter parents" that pertain to the sub-post on "Millennials" and Dismuke had some interesting things to say on the question of whether the nihilist left's promotion of sexual promiscuity is inconsistent with its crusades against smoking and eating. (The latter question arose after he made an appearance here with some hilarious "advice" for Starbuck's.)

And speaking of good discussions, I am pleased to see that Burgess Laughlin, author of The Aristotle Adventure, has started his own blog, Making Progess as "a place devoted solely to the discussion of certain ideas". I have enjoyed his contribution to the discussion here (and hope that continues), and look forward to following his blog in the future. It's linked in the sidebar.

Note to Self

One day, when the wife and I have kids (and the excuse not to travel on Thanksgiving that they will provide), I hope to try this recipe for "turkey breast with oyster stuffing". I'm ordinarily a dark meat guy, but I'd like to give this a go.

-- CAV


: Corrected third-to-last paragraph of first section.


Jim May said...

As a Canadian, I've heard that particular rationalization for such things as helmet laws expressed to defend them:

"Oh sure, they're all about their freedom of choice, but if he cracks up his bike and lands in the hospital, his stupid choices ends up costing us all."

That wedge has a smooth, well-worn edge in Canada, land of socialized medicine.

Gus Van Horn said...

And notice how "cost" is being used against an assertive foreign policy as well.

And leftists, out of the other side of their mouths, will deride capitalists for being overly concerned with money!

Mike N said...

Yes leftists are big two-faced hypocrites. Turning away that lady proves that altruists, given the power of government, can be more heartless and cruel than any profit seeking businessman they always claim would do the same thing if left free of 'caring' government regulation. It also proves they are not motivated by a concern for human life.

Gus Van Horn said...

This is especially apparent when one notes that no individual's medical costs will exactly bankrupt the New Zealand treasury, not that it should be used to cover medical expenses anyway.