Monday, October 26, 2009

LTE: Health Care


A common but troubling argument encountered in the health care reform debate claims that, since we already pay for the cost of some people -- such as the unhealthy, the reckless or the irresponsible -- universal participation must be mandated in order to more fairly spread the cost burden across society, thereby reducing the individual burden.

But this argument is based on the false premise that we are each "our brother's keeper," that it is our duty to equally distribute and share suffering, and that governments are established to enforce that ethic.

The problem of society paying is only a problem when otherwise free markets become socialized, with their costs and risks guaranteed by public funds. Witness the auto and bank bailouts. Public funds are transfered by the government to private businesses to aid them in their struggle for solvency. Society then feels justified in dictating the terms of bailouts through their representatives in government. The average citizen is forced into becoming a silent partner in private enterprises in which they have no specialized knowledge or financial stake. The result of all of this is the establishment of an un-free market. This is the type of economy we have in America and it is unsustainable; as we have seen.

In a truly free market, health care costs are not involuntarily borne by society-at-large. They are borne by free individuals and voluntary associations such as private charities or insurance risk pools. The proper, rights-respecting way to reduce social costs is to remove state involvement in the private economy, thereby removing the involuntary, collectivized stake the whole of society has in private sector practices or outcomes.

In those areas of the economy where there is little or no regulation, such as Lasik surgery or computer technology, quality increases, prices go down and access multiplies. The way to accessible and affordable health care is through the prosperity, innovation and economic freedom that comes from a complete separation of economy and state.

Americans don't really have a problem accessing health care. They have a problem accessing the abundant high quality, low cost health care that an unhampered free market supplies.

The costs of health care are certainly on the rise. But this is due precisely to heavy government interference that causes aberrant economic behavior. The solution is not more interference but, instead, the establishment of a truly free market in health care over the hampered, quasi-free market that the health care industry has been laboring under.

Rather than try to solve a government-created problem with more crippling government-oriented solutions, I would advocate a few simple liberty-oriented solutions instead:
  1. Remove legal obstacles to high-deductibility health insurance plans and Health Savings Accounts (HSA's).
  2. Equalize the tax advantages between employer-provided health insurance and individually-owned health insurance. Tax incentives that favor employers also inhibit portability.
  3. Regulate state laws preventing insurance competition across state lines. Making interstate commerce regular is an enumerated federal power; let's exercise it correctly, for once.
  4. Repeal federal mandates prescribing the types of coverage that insurance companies may or may not offer to insurance consumers.
  5. Reform tort law to limit lawsuits that cause physicians to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on insurance, litigation and defensive medical practices.
  6. Reform the bankrupt Medicare system before contemplating new and greater political controls on a health care system already damaged by too many of them.
  7. Revise tax forms to make it easier to make voluntary, tax-deductible donations to help those who have no insurance and are who are not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).


Self-governance Works
John Stossel | October 28, 2009
Free people, given the chance, solve what many "experts" think are problems that require state intervention.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Radicals for Capitalism


Ayn's World
Stephen Cox | Liberty Magazine | October 2009
During the past few months, sales of Ayn Rand’s novels have experienced a great resurgence. Most people think this is because her writing is once again perceived as relevant: her fictional accounts of government gone wild reflect the actual behavior of the Bush and Obama administrations.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

LTE: Robin Cape

How I learned to respect Robin Cape and why you should write her name on your ballot

by Tim Peck | Mountain Xpress | 10/14/2009

When Council member Robin Cape was elected four years ago, I was upset. I couldn't understand how Asheville could elect someone with her radical ideas about energy, the environment and a paternalistic model of government. At her swearing-in ceremony, I was reconciled to her election and said, "Maybe I can vote for you four years from now."

With that span of time now passed, I have changed and I could indeed vote for Robin Cape. But that is because Robin Cape has changed too. Coming from a background of progressive political activism, Cape has transformed into a seasoned, open-minded local legislator who well understands the mechanics of public advocacy, reasoned deliberation and the limitations of government action.

However, anyone wishing to cast a vote for Robin Cape must write her name on the ballot in November (just as they did in Woodfin in 2003, when Cape broke a 25-year precedent and won a seat on the water board as a write-in candidate with an impressive 34-percent voter turnout when she ran on the issue of protecting their precious watershed from logging).

State law allows for last-minute write-in candidates in a nonpartisan race.

Not so in the case of other local elections. Other elections are partisan and, as such, a write-in candidate must qualify by filing a "declaration of intent" with the Board of Elections 90 days prior to the general election, otherwise a write-in vote for that candidate is discarded as a non-vote. So, even though state statute says "each official ballot shall contain ... a means by which the voter may cast write‑in votes (N.C.G.S. 163‑165.5)," if a write-in candidate decides to participate after the 90-day cutoff for qualifying, no votes for that candidate will be counted. This appears to conflict with the spirit of the law.

Asheville's elections are nonpartisan; thanks to the Let Asheville Vote referendum that decided the question by the consent of a majority of citizens rather than by a majority vote of a biased seven-member City Council.

Ironically, Robin Cape originally opposed the Let Asheville Vote referendum. But she understands now the importance of protecting voters' rights and the right of citizens of any affiliation to run for public office.

I, too, have changed my mind from four years ago and will be writing the name "Robin Cape" on my ballot in 2009. May she win yet another write-in campaign.


Write-In Robin Cape
Tim Peck | September 15, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Michael Beitler for U.S. Senate

Dr. Beitler has officially announced that he is seeking the Libertarian Party's Nomination to be its 2010 Candidate for the U.S. Senate for North Carolina.

Website: Beitler for Senate
Book: "On Rational Individualism: A Moral Argument for Limited Government & Capitalism."
Audio: Rational Individualism
Free Markets Radio: Archives


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Economic Hit Man

"Very few people know anything about what really goes on behind the scene when it come to U.S. foreign policy and the corporate interests that drive it all. Our government is controlled by powerful corporate interests that have literally hijacked the powers of government and our military to advance their own selfish agendas. This interview should totally blow your mind. John Perkins was one of the men working behind the scenes to expand a global empire primarily through economic blackmail where they seduced third world leaders into taking out enormous loans that were impossible to repay so we could then U.S. corporations could swoop in and acquire control of their natural resources."

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Whole World Is Laughing


Blame it on Rio?
PajamasTV | Oct 2, 2009
Obama Discovers The World Doesn't Love Him As Much As the MSM Does