Sunday, April 01, 2012

Unintended consequences

Health Care and the Dynamics of Intervention

"We have a crisis! We have to do something!" Actually, what we have to do is undo a lot of things.

Every time I hear some dunderhead complain that the General Government needs to control "x" because otherwise it will cost the General Government too much to continue providing x -- and especially x's new extension, "y" -- I think of all the reasons the Founders never intended the General Government to be involved in whatever "x" is in the first place. It's why the powers are enumerated: You don't get to grant yourself an interest in something so you can gradually take it over by complaining about the results of your own actions.

As it is, the General Government is free to cause the problem, and the "fix" is always to take more liberty from individuals. It's 55mph speed limits, or "We won't give you money for roads." It's our money in the first place. If we weren't compelled to send it to them, they couldn't extort us with it.

The Founders didn't have to imagine all the ways in which these problems could be created, (they couldn't have imagined the need for a 55mph speed limit, nor Obamacare) all they had to do was recognize the universal tendency of governments over the course of centuries. The Constitution is NOT a "living document." Mostly, that holds because we've learned nothing about power and corruption. We keep electing the practitioners, and it's our fault for not holding them to the contract of the Constitution.

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