If health care is a right, than surely shelter and clothing are as well.
I am indebted to Craig Karpel’s op/ed in the 8/17/09 Wall Street Journal (p. A11) who takes the heretical view that we are not paying enough for health care…and that it is further a critical growth component in our economy. And his keen insight about how innovation and competition are the best sources of providing for basic human necessities.
Karpel pointed out that the industrial revolution was founded on factory production of clothing, using the new technologies that replaced handcrafted clothing.
Again, the inconvenient truth is that..the government has not provided a “public option” to compete with clothing manufacturers to also keep them honest in the production of this essential human need.
Which makes one wonder, how is it possible to produce both food and clothing from private, competing sources and still satisfy, in the main, almost unlimited demand? If it’s a right…it must be guaranteed and insured by the government we’re told.
Now, let’s tackle housing. Another essential human need. Maybe a right, also.
It boggles the mind to think that America built housing for its citizens without any government assistance until the middle third of the twentieth century.
Again, there was no “public option” to provide housing, unless you count the guest lodges built in national parks by the CCC in the Depression. Government instead brought FHA-insured loans to support private development of housing.
And then the government rolled loaded dice, by providing first implicit and then explicit backing for the hundreds of billions-perhaps now trillions of bad loans–originated by government sponsored agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
And when the heavy hand of government conspired to build a generation of ugly public housing, it often had to buy dynamite to obliterate the social pathologies that flourished from such poorly designed and managed housing.
Not an auspicious performance for a gang that wants to do to the health care market what it has already inflicted on the housing market.
Here is a premise worth examining:
If government in a free and democratic society cannot produce or guarantee adequate food, clothing or shelter–other than through the ameliorative application of welfare–how can it be expected to produce something as complex and intricate as individual health care?
This is what drives the raw anger now expressed by an outraged citizenry.
And even the thoughtful and provocative analysis of a company as progressive and cutting edge as Whole Foods.