Friday, February 22, 2008
The Anti-Life Premise of Government Rationing
Paul Hsieh and Amit Ghate point to a New York Times story about government rationing of medical care which so perfectly illustrates the thoroughly anti-life premise behind socialized medicine that there is no such thing as bringing it up too often:
Officials said that allowing Mrs. Hirst and others like her to pay for extra drugs to supplement government care would violate the philosophy of the health service by giving richer patients an unfair advantage over poorer ones.In other words, the animating philosophy behind socialized medicine is not seeing to it that as many lives as possible are improved or saved, but that nobody gets more of anything good (i.e., life-sustaining) than anyone else.
Coincidentally, I learned from Dismuke (who is blogging actively again) of an even more intrusive and blatant application of this premise. Hugo Chavez, the socialist dictator of Venezuela, is seeing to it that families can't purchase "too many" daily necessities:
[I]n the planned network of large (PDVAL) and smaller markets (PDVALitos) run by the PDVSA subsidiary, they will keep a register of all purchases, limiting purchases to once a day. Moreover, they have done the studies of how much food a family may need and purchases will be limited to those amounts. They will have a "file card" (read rationing card) to register purchases so as to avoid repeats and people exceeding the limits. [bold added]I guess if you starve the peasants, they won't "need" as much medical care, either. The death premise of central planning does have a way, I must admit, of simplifying things.
I will take the complexity and joy of life as a free man any day.
Early Greek Lawgivers Reviewed
There is a short, positive book review of Early Greek Lawgivers by John Lewis over at the Bryn Mawr Classical review:
The book has some good suggestions for further reading, divided into a general section on sources, histories, and modern discussions of Greek law (pp. 85-88) followed by a chapter-by-chapter list (pp. 88-92). Some useful questions for further study are given on pp. 93-94, followed by a glossary of technical terms (pp. 95-96) and a short index (pp. 97-100).The review calls it an "excellent introduction" to its material and it strikes me as good for a general reader. Although I could not find it at the Ayn Rand bookstore (which does stock Solon the Thinker), it is available through Amazon for $20.00 new.
There is a lot in this short book, which is succinctly written, stimulating, and introduces to students earlier lawgivers as well as the better known figures of Draco, Solon, and Lycurgus, who all too often are the only ones studied in courses.
Holland -- or Bangladesh?
Galileo Blogs draws the following excellent analogy pursuant to a recent Ayn Rand Institute press release on calls by global warming panic-mongers for global dictatorship:
The proper image of our future, should the global warming dictators be successful, is Bangladesh, a poor and authoritarian country where thousands of people die every few years from floods. Contrast Bangladesh with Holland. Thousands of Dutch have lived below sea level for hundreds of years, yet they are safe from floods, protected today by a multi-billion dollar system of dikes, high-tech sensors and dams. However, the real protection of the Dutch against floods is their wealth. The Dutch can afford to protect themselves from floods.And this would be if they are right that the earth is warming. Otherwise, our lives will still be nasty, brutish, and short, but other methods than flooding will have to put us out of our misery. See the first section of this post for details and note that the global warming hysterics want human beings to have no "unfair advantages" over the inanimate environment.
Comedy on Both Sides of the Pond
When I was young, I was introduced to British comedy, which I really enjoy, by my mother, who watched Fawlty Towers on PBS and would later introduce me to Mr. Bean and the ingenious Keeping up Appearances. (Come to think of it, between my Mom's comedy and my Dad's Soccer Made in Germany, we could have just about gotten by on one channel!)
In any event, I found the thoughts of Briton Valda Redfern on the difference between American and British humor interesting, and feel somewhat vindicated by her take on Seinfeld.
It will be interesting to see what I think of the British Office. I am planning on renting it at some point having exhausted the American series DVDs some time ago.