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A View from the Altar / First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Econotards
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First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Econotards

The dumbest argument advanced so far in support of ObamaCare: People who don’t buy insurance “drive up costs” for the rest of us. Solution obvious to fascists everywhere: Drive costs down by making everyone buy into the system.

There is no polite way to describe how flabbergastingly ignorant this argument is.

First, understand that in economic terms, the cost of a thing is not the same as its price. The cost of treating an illness is the number of doctor hours spent, the use of equipment, hospital beds, drugs, oxygen, IV bags, syringes, ambulance rides, and so on. This all involves the deployment of real, tangible wealth.

The price of treatment is the number of dollars paid to get all that done. The cost doesn’t change based on who’s paying the price. The cost is simply the cost because the resources required to get the job done stay the same no matter what the bill is or who pays it. So the fact that certain people aren’t buying insurance does nothing to the cost of treating an illness. It just means that the person receiving treatment must pay the more of the price himself. This is what the econotards mean by “driving costs up.” They just mean people have to pay their own way, which in the morally inverted universe of the neofascist left, is “unfair.”

True enough, price can change depending on who’s paying, but it works in reverse of how the Obama administration would like you to believe. People are more careful with their own money than with somebody else’s. So if you’re not paying your own money for something, the price tends to be higher. This is the real economic poison pill in socialism: Government is all about spending other people’s money, so fraud, waste, and abuse are perfectly normal.

Suppose a poor sharecropper needs a pickup truck. He saves his money for years, walks into the dealer prepared to pay cash. Yes, cash. It took him years to save it. So he shops around, rejects unnecessary options and gadgetry. He drives (!) a hard bargain, threatens to walk out when the price isn’t low enough, and generally makes the dealer sweat it. The truck sells cheap, the dealer turns pale and squirms, eventually earning a small profit. But the profit is enough for the dealer; otherwise, he wouldn’t have sold the truck.

Moments later, a buyer from the government’s General Services Administration walks into the same dealer wanting to buy a truck exactly like the farmer got. The dealer thinks, “Government? Ka-ching, baby!” He offers it for the regular sticker price plus a “handling fee,” “dealer prep fee,” and “green eco adjustment fee,” tacks on a bunch of unwanted options as a “package,” etc. The GSA buyer haggles a little, but it’s not his money. He gives up easy. Besides, his boss is a political appointee, fearful of squeezing constituents too hard, and tells his buying agents not to be too aggressive. So the truck is sold; wealth is redistributed from tax payers to car dealer. The dealer is delighted and sends a contribution to his local congressman’s campaign fund because he dang sure knows who just buttered his bread.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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