I have seen people on the internet who should know better credit proponents of "universal", or "federal government" or "central planning" health care with "noble", if impractical, goals based on a strong "moral" sense". Hogwash. Balderdash's. "1984" style Big Lie.
Walter Williams (conservative black economist--I think he is an economist; look him up on Wikipedia) likes to use this analogy. Say you are a person out on the street who sees a SICK homeless person living on a grate. You figure the person needs at least a thousand dollars for food, shelter and health care. You disregard the fact that giving such a person a thousand dollars may KILL the person (used on alcohol, drugs etc.), because you are a leftist moved by guilt and sentiment rather than thinking. Leftists--"moral" people that they are--routinely kill people in the name of "helping" them. You decide to give this person 1000 dollars.
What is the "noble" thing for you to do? Right. Give the person one thousand dollars out of your OWN money. That is the "noble", self-sacrificing, "moral" thing to do, if you believe that is the way to help this person. Or you could offer to take the person to a doctor/hospital, and directly pay the bill--along with taking the person home for dinner, and providing a room. That would avoid the problem of what the person would do with money. Even more to the point, you could join with Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, George Soros and other like minded individuals to set up a PRIVATE ORGANIZATION to efficiently deliver health care, food, housing, and other necessities to the poor. Some of the "rich" people I have just mentioned (notably Bill Gates and Warren Buffet) have done something like that.
If you do any of the things I mention in the previous paragraph, I am willing to call you a "noble", "moral" person. Otherwise, you are simply a hypocritical leftist. Walter Williams likes to describe what you do if you are an immoral, hypocritical leftist.
What you do is that you get a gun. Then you go out and find some prosperous looking individual and ROB him (armed robbery) of $1000.00. Then you to to the poor, homeless person and give him the thousand dollars, thereby feeling good about yourself.
Is this "moral" conduct on your part? Not in this universe. Yet, that is exactly what the Federal Government does when it takes money from the "rich" and gives that money to the "poor" (for health care or anything else).
Now I understand that this is oversimplification--more on Walter Williams' part than on mine, since I don't delude myself that this argument is conclusive. It does, however, dispose of the idea, conclusively, that people who want to take OTHER PEOPLE'S money by force, and give it to third persons, are not automatically "moral".
I am willing to go further. I am willing to say that Walter Williams is right to at least a degree, and that the MOST "moral" system is one of VOLUNTARY charity. And make no doubt about it. It is charity. One of the many faults of leftists is that they lie--including refusing to call tings by their real names. Still, there is nothing wrong with helping people voluntarily. It is, indeed, a "noble" thing to do. Hospitals do it (when they are not trying to get the taxpayer to assume the burden in a fascist deal with Barack Obama). Doctors do it (ditto). Drug companies do it (ditto). Private individuals do it. Local comm unites do it (when they are not trying to engage in the FICTION of "free money" from the Federal Government). States do it (ditto). Yes, local communities and states are "government", but they are government closest to the people who are FORCED to "apy as you go" and realize exactly where money is going. Is there any objective doubt that VOLUNTARY efforts to help those who cannot afford to help themselves, including with health insurance, represent the more "noble" system. This objectively true--not even a matter of opinion. Walter Williams is right about that, and it is not even an arguable point.
"But", you sputter, "that is "IMPRACTICAL". "It can't work.". Who says? I am going to show you that it is CENTRAL PLANNING that "can't work" in future entries. It is a massive, bloated Federal Government that "can't work". But note how the argument has been reversed. Leftists are not really "noble". They want to take money from OTHER PEOPLE to give to third parties, and their only excuse for this theft is that the alternatives "can't work". That is hardly "noble" or "moral'.
Yep. Leftists are doing what they do best: being HYPOCRITES and intellectually dishonest. Th his is not a matter of "good intentions". I accept the idea that many liberals have "good intentions", but so do conservatives. Liberals may think conservatives are "hard hearted", but conservatives (ore justly) consider liberals immoral because they do HARM to the people they purport to have "heart" for int he name of "compassion". That is not real compassion. That is real "hard heartedness": where you think more of relieving your own guilt, and "feeling good", than you do of actually promoting policies that will end up benefiting the people for whom you supposedly feel "compassion".
Bottom line: Leftists/liberals deserve NO credit for the "goodness of their heart", and their "noble" aims--to the extent they really have them and are not interested mainly in personal power. The issue on health care, AND EVERYTHING ELSE, is what policy BEST accomplishes public policy goals, IN THE LONG RUN. "Noble" has nothing to do with it. "Noble" is defined totally by RESULTS. "Moral" has nothing to do with it, other than the fact that principles matter. For example, this country was founded on FREEDOM. Does an all powerful Federal Government fit at all with that concept?
Ultimately, that is the point. Central planning (by an all powerful Federal bureaucracy) does not work. Just as importantly, or more importantly, it CANNOT WORK. Experience shows you that the Federal Government cannot run things. From the post office to the military commissaries, to the Senate cafeteria/food service, the Federal Government has proved a failure. That is no accident. Central planning cannot work.
I will explain further in a future entry (or entries). But take food stamps. Has the government set up "public option" grocery stores, or "co-ops", to COMPETE with private supermarkets? You say that is ridiculous? Sure it is, but no more ridiculous than the government running health insurance/care in this country. It is the same thing. The government does this sort of thing BADLY--disastrously, in fact. There is nothing to stop the government from setting up government "supermarkets" selling food cheaper than Wal-Mart (good luck, except that the government can set any pice it wants, because it can print money.
You sy that health insurance is not as competitive as supermarkets? well, then why are you not advocating ending mergers between health care companies and otherwise promoting real competition ("real" competition and the "government option" being an oxymoron when lumped together). The idea that the government "knows" the proper price for health insurance, or anything else, is absurd. If the idea of the government deterring both what doctors/health care providers are paid, AND what coverage can be offered in health insurance policies at what price does not scare you, then you have no understanding of how the Federal Government operates (even given good faith, which does not always exist). The elderly are beginning to fully appreciate the danger here--if only our "establishment" would start listening. Yes, I think the public in general better understands the problem--the IMMORALITY--of coercive central planning than our "elites" (including Republican "elites) do.
However, the fundamental point of this entry is that "morality" is basically a side issue, and that it is absurd to credit only liberals with "compassion". "Compassion", in terms of FEELING, has NOTHING to do with it. This is a matter of the BEST policy, and if you argue "compassion" as a way of avoiding that issue you are being IMMORAL (not to mention hypocritical and intellectually dishonest). I would mention that I would prefer not to talk about these issues in terms of "morality", or who is more "noble". But since that appears often to be the sole leftist argument--their fallback position when all of their other arguments predictably fail--I have no choice but to address these concepts.