Ludwig von Mises explained it way back in 1922 Socialism:
To the intellectual champions of social insurance, and to the politicians and statesmen who enacted it, illness and health appeared as two conditions of the human body sharply separated from each other and always recognizable without difficulty or doubt. Any doctor could diagnose the characteristics of ‘health.’ ‘Illness’ was a bodily phenomenon which showed itself independently of human will, and was not susceptible to influence by will. There were people who for some reason or other simulated illness, but a doctor could expose the pretense. Only the healthy person was fully efficient. The efficiency of the sick person was lowered according to the gravity and nature of his illness, and the doctor was able, by means of objectively ascertainable physiological tests, to indicate the degree of the reduction of efficiency.
Now every statement in this theory is false. There is no clearly defined frontier between health and illness. Being ill is not a phenomenon independent of conscious will and of psychic forces working in the subconscious. A man’s efficiency is not merely the result of his physical condition; it depends largely on his mind and will. Thus the whole idea of being able to separate, by medical examination, the unfit from the fit and from the malingerers, and those able to work from those unable to work, proves to be untenable. Those who believed that accident and medical insurance could be based on completely effective means of ascertaining illnesses and injuries and their consequences were very much mistaken. The destructionist aspect of accident and health insurance lies above all in the fact that such institutions promote accidents and illness, hinder recovery, and very often create, or at any rate intensify and lengthen, the functional disorders which follow illness or accident.
Feeling healthy is quite different from being healthy in the medical sense, and a man’s ability to work is largely independent of the physiologically ascertainable and measurable performances of his individual organs. The man who does not want to be healthy is not merely a malingerer. He is a sick person. If the will to be well and efficient is weakened, illness and inability to work is caused. By weakening or completely destroying the will to be well and able to work, social insurance creates illness and inability to work; it produces the habit of complaining – which is in itself a neurosis – and neuroses of other kinds. In short, it is an institution which tends to encourage disease, not to say accidents, and to intensify considerably the physical and psychic results of accidents and illnesses. As a social institution it makes a people sick bodily and mentally or at least helps to multiply, lengthen, and intensify disease.
Synopsis: The IRS declares war on two retired Christians who swore a vow of poverty and run a ministry. Even though broke no law, the IRS trumps up every charge in the book, fines them more than the maximum fine, and gets them jailed for more than twice the maximum time for the law they allegedly broke. American Christians need to stop thinking of themselves as Americans. We are strangers in a strange land. Like Paul, we should take advantage of being citizens when we may but never identify more with America than with Christ.
Karen DeCoster makes the case that it may be irresponsible to pay your mortgage. The line we are sold is that it would be irresponsible and morally reprehensible to renege on our financial commitments, yet those holding our commitments were not nearly so upstanding. Rather than manfully resign in disgrace, confess to their crimes, and go to jail where we, the taxpayer, could take care of them for the low cost of ~70k/year, they had their former CEO (and/or golfing buddy) Henry Paulson to loan themselves billions of my dollars. Meanwhile, using my borrowed money, Bank of America bought my mortgage from Countrywide at 30 cents on the dollar. I wasn't offered this opportunity—only the opportunity to keep paying the full price on my mortgage and possibly face 25 years of rate hikes starting next year.
Yes, reneging on my mortgage hardly seems as nefarious in that context. Anyway, read the article.
Synopsis: Judge Napolitano (Andrew, not Janet) makes the case that not only can the government not protect us, the more it acts, the more less security we will have.
What else needs to be said?
At least not in the humanities. The author makes the case that PhDs in the humanities are being overproduced while the number of full time positions is shrinking. Moreover, if you fail to make tenure, you find yourself suddenly almost unemployable. Think carefully.
Synopsis: The reactionary title is the author's conclusion to the news that many schools have stopped teaching spelling. She maintains that the written language is a code and that spelling is the key to encoding and decoding. Without spelling, there is no sense in reading. She recommends a strong dose of phonics and spelling as the antidote to the moribund effort we call modern education.
A few days ago, I posted a story about a shotgun that seemed to be unloaded when it actually was loaded. Today, I'd like to talk about a different kind of safety violation—the one ultimately responsible for probably the majority of all gun accidents: putting your finger on the trigger. But a movie is worth 10,000 words, so watch the videos, and then we'll talk.
Michael Pollan does a fabulous job describing how U.S. government agricultural policy not only influences what is grown in the United States, but U.S. obesity rates and world hunger. So next time you complain about being overweight, you can blame the government. It sounds silly, but that conclusion is not too far fetched. (I do disagree with his conclusion that additional policy is needed to fix things. Just get rid of ALL U.S. government intervention in our culinary lives.
This is a preview of Food, Inc., a movie documenting Big Agriculture. For those of you who know me, you might be wondering why I would be posting, such an "anti-capitalist" flick. The answer is the at Big Agriculture is a creation of fascist and socialist government policies dating from (if not before) the New Deal.
Big Agriculture and its government patrons are extremely anticompetitive (anti-capitalist). This year, the Congress is working on new legislation that could potentially destroy farmer's markets. Of course liberal websites like this one downplay the danger, because although the fine could apply to small farmers and farmer's markets, they don't think the fines will be applied against the little guy. It's funny, because that same logic was used when Congress implemented the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) targeted at a mere 155 of the "uber-rich" and the same logic was used in laws prohibiting concealed carry (they'll only be enforced against blacks).
But WAIT!!! There's more! Barack Hussein Obama appointed a former Monsanto (one of the largest agricultural companies in the world) executive as his "food czar"—yet more proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same. So yes, there are some kooky, silly, wacko-leftist sentiments among those who support the movie, but overall, I think we need to hear the message, especially the part where we have power to change, after all, "You are what you eat."