Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Main Street" Economics

While I'm loathe to post about the "bailout" (or "rescue" or whatever they're calling it these days to make us feel better) the simple fact is that it is the most fitting example and practical application of the economic ideas we have been discussing in class.  That being said, I'll try to tackle an angle other than just the bailout itself: the idea that the general public has no idea what the hell it wants or needs in regards to the plan, or lack thereof, but the armchair economist is looking for someone to blame.

Anchors, pundits, analysts, and presidential hopefuls are all fond of regurgitating the "Wall Street vs. Main Street" scenario, casting the two as arch economic rivals (bourgeois and proletariats?  Socialism?), eternally locked in a duel of wits, attempting to see who can outsmart whom, and how much each can make the other pay for it.  This characterization, which Senator Obama is especially fond of using, allows those using it to create an invisible but inescapable division between we plebes on Main and the Dom Perignon quaffing, caviar guzzling, yacht sailing elites that run Wall Street.

Or so the talking heads would have you believe.

In the eyes of this admitted denizen of Main Street, the only difference between those that have been demonized and me is that they're just much, much better at what they do.  Well, and they've been at it a little longer maybe.  The idea that "rich" people are "bad" people, though comforting, is completely absurd.  Unfortunately for the more level headed, or just Eubanks educated, among us, current events lend this idiotic world view even more credence.  With a bailout plan that continues a long standing tradition of interventionalist economic policy poised to pass in the near future, it might be prudent to examine why exactly the Main Streeters are willing to get behind it rank and file.  Is it truly that we feel the only way to right the troubled ship of our economy is to turn it over in its entirety to the government?  Is it that we really do fully believe a $700,000,000,000 Band-aid placed on a gaping, gangrenous wound will make it better?  Or is it, as a class mate mentioned today, that the Main Street "economist"  is really just interested in his "bread and the circus," in a good old fashioned bloodletting where we toss those dastardly Wall Streeters into the pit and watch the lions tear them to pieces? We all like to blame people, and no one likes a parachute made of gold (how would that be of any use anyway?!) but is revenge a valid basis for happily (ignorantly?) skipping down the path to Socialism?

Interventionalist Turds

Close your eyes and listen....relaxed? Now ask yourself what happens when government has to fix a policy or a law? Many wonderful pictures of a giddy lawmaker rushes through your head and you can picture him getting passed by congress and signed by the president. And you think to yourself what a lovely picture....

But then really think what government does when they do this... The answer we have learned about in Eubank's class is that government intervenes. So lets say for example that there was a failure of governmental policy where the Fed backs up many loans from institutions with taxpayer money and reserve. Then you give those loans some time, now take into account that most of the loans are low to middle level income earners, meanwhile it has been about 15 years since the last real recession....

...then when it is time for a financial fluctuation and business cycle to hit a low. A big low...another recession. Now remember that lawmaker who passed the first law? Now he has to fix a problem in his original bill and fix it with another. OK lets use the people's money and bail out those loans? Not only bail em out, heck we'll use 700 billion dollars to bail em out. We will buy them, and appoint government hired officials to run and organize/coordinate them. And in say five or ten years from now, well see if they made any money, and if they didn't then we'll ask the corporations to pay for them then.

Now keep your eyes closed, and picture the government with 700 billion of worthless assets. Now the Bill maker has to make another law to bail out the first and second laws. Then a couple years later he has to make another and another and another??!!??!!


Now the lawman has to ask himself why this all happened. And his answer could be Well maybe I should have not intervened?

In all seriousness, I have to ask why these lawmakers with a bailout plan such as this, did not think about their plan? I sure would if I were responsible for 700 million, and not have to intervene again? Wouldn't you?

Are Europeans doing any better with their financial markets?

Not only does the US have financial issues but so does England, Belgium, Germany...
Many countries like the US are creating bailouts and Darwin-like behavior to internalize overweighted companies by transferring assets to neighboring institutions.
A few examples of those companies suffering under their own type of financial difficulty have somewhat different theories of bailout... Could we impart some of these theories in the US? Or are our problems much more complex than these following examples?

-Fortis= Dutch Central Banking and Insurance Co. that according to Wikipedia is a "banking, insurance, and investment management company is the 20th largest business in the world by revenue". Fortis operations are based in the Benelux countries( the Economic Union in Western Europe) which is composed of Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxemburg. Fortis' banking operations include network (retail), commercial, and merchant banking; its insurance products include life, health, and property/casualty lines. Products are sold through independent agents and brokers, financial planners, and through Fortis Bank branches. It is listed on the Euronext Brussels, Euronext Amsterdam, and Luxembourg stock exchanges.

How the government or investors are trying to fix the companies assets from buying out smaller companies and trying to remain afloat.

- Lets other companies (A) in the market internalize risks by letting companies A ( insitutions that take some of the overbearance of assets by purchuse of companies or other banking or insurance institutions) from companies B that reduce thier load to buy less risky investments.

- When purchuses occur between seller and buyer of assets there is set policies or condtions of the ammount of risk that a company buys.
* These two theories may not work however because there is still no injection into the banking system because of uncertainty of Chinese buyer. But the idea that these institutions it appears to me can buy and sell amongst themselves before asking for bailout money from the government.

Fortis's Story from International Herald Tribune: Link- http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/09/30/business/EU-Netherlands-Fortis.php

Fortis NV announced a series of moves late Tuesday and early Wednesday that follow from the €11.2 billion (US$16.4 billion) government bailout it received over the weekend to ward off insolvency.
First, Fortis said Ping An, China's second-largest insurer, had pulled out of a €2.15 billion (US$3.39 billion) deal to buy a 50 percent stake in the Dutch-Belgian bank's asset management arm.
The company blamed "current severe market disruption and the ongoing uncertainty in the global capital markets."
Second, it said the Dutch central bank would not approve the sale of some ABN Amro assets in the Netherlands to Deutsche Bank AG, pending further review.
Deutsche Bank had agreed to buy the operations for €709 million (US$1.1 billion), in what was widely considered a bargain given that they had earnings of €140 million (US$221 million) in 2007.

Fortis had been ordered to sell the operations by the European Commission's antitrust regulator in order to gain approval for its €24 billion (US$38 billion) acquisition of ABN Amro's Dutch operations last year.
However, as a condition of the bailout, Fortis must now resell ABN Amro anyway.
The Dutch central bank cited "the exceptional circumstances on international financial markets, the uncertainty with regard to the future (owner of) ABN AMRO Bank and the implications of this uncertainty for all parties involved."
If the sale of the Dutch units to Deutsche Bank are scrapped, then Fortis may get a capital boost.

-Some large banks rather than buying and selling assets amongst each other, sell themselves to private owners to reduce the risk without losing the company.

- There is a financial service authority ( media doesen't seem to describe who) that checks to make sure certain financial decisions seem either sound or legotimate with past contracts (?)

Bradford and Bingley announced to their shareholders that they were to be privately owned by over 50,000 individual owners.

Bradford and Bingley's story according to Times Online: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article4856317.ece

This alternative theory is still pretty risky especially since a financial service authority and state treasurer are speculating the value of the shares for its respective private owners.

Not sure if these theories would help the US with our current financial standing but they are at least theories rather than blame.
With that said, in closing I found through the internet a British spoof of their take on America's Crisis.

Below a British comedy video about the financial crisis overseas from NPR.


Government Intervention in the Custody of Children

Some people don't consider the economics of having kids before they commit, but it really is an economic decision. People have fewer as the opportunity costs rise when wages rise and as retirement depends less on your own adult children. Whatever changes occur in the market are reflected in how many parents will supply, but this is one area in which government intervention is common place, particularly when state governments regulate child custody and support payment laws.

When a couple splits, they theoretically have joint custody over their children, but many times the mother gets the child regardless of either parent's fitness. I know this personally, because when my parents got divorced, my father was told he could get custody if my mother had ever committed a felony, if she had been adjudged insane, or if he was willing to plant evidence. I have heard that this was not always how it is now in Colorado, but I read this: http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2008/09/i-refused-to-settle-for-becoming-disney.html and it looks like that's not the case in every state. As that blogger writes, "...it makes me think that if Baldwin had such problems with the system with all his fame and money, what chance does the average joe have?"

Transferring custody away from a parent who hasn't committed a crime is a violation of his (or sometimes her) right to private property. This could be settled much more efficiently and freely with contracts between the two parents, with government only enforcing their decision. Then government would not have to know what was best in every case because the people with the knowledge for it could do it for themselves. It actually seems to me that it would probably end more equally as one parent wouldn't be forced to give way to the other by coercion.

Marx's 10 Measures of Communism

Last Thursday, Professor Eubanks asked each one of us whether our government was capitalist, socialist or interventionist. We all agreed that our government practices a great deal of interventionism, but it is difficult to know if the current level of intervention still allows for unrestrained capitalism or if our government’s interventions are increasingly socialist in nature. I decided to re-read Marx’s 10 measures of communism to help me get a feel for where we rank. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch02.htm

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
· The federal government is the largest land owner and maintains control over 650 million acres or one-third of the land in the United States (86% of Nevada is owned by the federal government). http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/bg1282.cfm
· Private property rights are slowly being eroded as private organizations lobby to protect the ever growing list of endangered species such as the Panamint Alligator Lizard, Brown Pelican, Giant Armadillo and the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse.
· The government’s power to seize private property for public use under eminent domain laws is being abused not only by the federal government, but also by private corporations to “provide for the public good” by building condos, restaurants and shopping malls.
· Zoning laws often prevent property owners from utilizing their personal property as they see fit.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
· The top 1% pay as much in taxes as the bottom 95% of the population combined, and the current democratic presidential nominee would widen that gap even further. http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/tw-novdec2007.pdf

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
· Current laws allow the government to confiscate up to 55% of a family’s wealth if left unprotected.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
· Colorado law currently states that “whenever a police officer is permitted, with or without judicial approval, to conduct a search to investigate a potential crime, the officer may seize and keep as much property associated with the alleged criminal as the police officer considers appropriate. “ http://www.davekopel.com/CJ/IB/ForfeitureReform.htm

5. Centralisation of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
· The government seized control over our country’s largest mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on September 7.
· The current 700 billion dollar bailout offers US taxpayers a stake in each of the firms the government bails out. The collective ownership of capital IS socialism.

6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.
· It is illegal for anyone but a United States postal employee to place mail in mailboxes.
· The federal government has always had major control over our transportation system. Are they gaining even more with the federal takeover of airport security and the intermittent bailout of the airline and railroad industries?

7. Extension of factories and instrument of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste land, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
· Today’s labor unions are the modern-day equivalent of the industrial army. Federal and state laws have a hand in enforcing the labor unions power and control.
· Government subsidies to farmers have maintained control over the agriculture industry for years.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
· We have achieved free education for all children in public schools and abolished child labor – which, of course, are good things. But there continues to be an assault on the freedom to choose where you want your child to be educated (school vouchers and home schooling) and the things you wish for them to be taught.

Of course, we could find countless amounts of evidence to argue either side of these 10 measures – I only pointed out some of the points that were obvious to me. The current economic and financial crises will force our politicians and the American people to take a stand and show their true colors for either capitalism or socialism.

A sigh of relief and a sign of things to come or a calm before the storm

A day after the Stock Market plummeted 778 points, it has bounced back almost 500 points. This was done by bargain shoppers and others who saw the low prices as a chance to jump in and buy some stock. Maybe this trend will continue and the stock market will bounce back in no time. I mean in the middle of the page I was reading there was an advertisement for "Etrade"! Then again this could just be a fluke and our economy could fall more and more, unless some action is taken.

In response to our troubled financial situation, many have taken action to make sure they don't make the same mistake. "The benchmark London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, that banks charge to lend to one another, rose sharply Tuesday, making it more expensive and difficult for consumers and businesses to borrow money." "LIBOR for 3-month dollar loans rose to 4.05 percent from 3.88 percent on Monday. LIBOR for 3-month euro loans, meanwhile, rose to 5.27 percent, from 5.22 percent Monday." This will hopefully make it harder for banks to give out loans that can be seen as high risk and could probably fail. That's what got us into this situation in the first place...


so what now?

The 700 billion dollar bailout plan has stalled. The idea was that this money would somehow stabilize the markets. And now it has been voted down, but not out. The idea of a bailout is still floating around in washington.
Stock prices bounced back after record losses but most analysists say it is because of the hope the bailout plan may still go through. America has gotten itself into a crisis and there does not seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. It appears the only thing holding stock prices up is the thought that a bailout may still come. Personally, I say let the stocks fall. Sense when does the government have the power to take over private businesses? And the bailout.... taking money directly from the taxpayers and giving it to a private business for the good of the economy.... um..will somebody please explain to me where exactly in the constitution it says the government has the power to take from one individual and give it to another.
I don't feel that government can fix this problem. The problem was created by the actions of governemnt in the first place by setting up federally insured loans.

The U.S economy has proven time and time again that its strength lies in its ability to be flexible and bounce back from recessions. Without the bailout, several companies will go out of business, and stock prices should fall. But as businesses go under, new companies will emerge to take their place. As Stock prices fall lower and lower, eventually people will start buying up stock and the prices will go back up. I say keep government out of it and let the market correct itself.


This blog is named policy economics, and it is very interestind(and somewhat disturbing) that the policies we are trying to use and implement to make up mfor past mistakes are going to be devestating. This is a very good example of how intervention fails. The governement and financial sectors have been making loans and insuring them to people who are not actually qualified for these loans. This has obviously been a major reason for the gigantic financial crisis and the bailout plan that was proposed. The dow stock market wenbt down 778 points in one day due to these things. Our economy is in crisis right now and its because the governement intervened when it should not. If this is not a very obvious reason that binterventionism is terrible I dont know what would be.

Monday, September 29, 2008

One Man, One Vote, One Dollar

Election season is always an interesting time for me. Whereas most people grow weary from the onslaught of campaign ads and endlessly repeated stump speeches, I’m usually more put out by the constant din reminding us all of the value of a vote. The problem is, rarely, if ever, do I find any of the candidates so much as tolerable, let alone worthy of the ultimate seal of approval, my vote. Thus that vote becomes, more or less, worthless…at least to me.

It’s this last caveat that’s important. While I may see no value in my vote I imagine quite a few other people do. Why else would they be spending unfathomable amounts of their personal time and money sending out mail flyers, calling at all hours of the night, and going around door to door to drag entire neighborhoods out of the shower one person at a time? Unfortunately it is, thus far, illegal for them to simply part with their money in a more direct manner and flat out buy my vote. Instead the only thing approaching a bribe anyone can offer is a campaign promise. And I think we all know these are far from binding contracts.

My attention was called to this sad fact again when, recently a 19 year old student in Minnesota attempted to sell his vote on eBay, and was promptly arrested.

A spokesman for the district attorney said, “There are people that have died for this country, for our right to vote, and to take something like that lightly, to say, ‘I can be bought.’ It’s a real shame.” But this comment makes no sense. To begin with, the student hasn’t said he can be bought, just his vote. Furthermore, clearly no one has died to give him that vote, otherwise he would have the right to sell it, just as he does all his other property.

But since neither that student, nor any of the rest of us can sell our votes they must not be ours. It looks, instead, like they belong to the government, and are merely given to us on loan, the way you may lend a book to a friend, expecting its eventual return.

Some people are fine with this concept of voting. It’s easy to see your vote as issued by the state, especially when looking at the giant government apparatus involved in voting. Or it could be an easy, and commonly accepted, line of defense to fall back on if one sees vote selling as somehow immoral. But there are two giant flaws with this line of reasoning.

To begin with, it flies directly in the face of how our government was instituted. The Declaration of Independence says that government derives it’s “just powers from the consent of the governed,” and the vote is the enduring legacy of this concept. The vote allows citizenry, to some degree, to control and impose it’s will upon the government rather then the other way around.

Second, and more importantly, if the government owns our votes, then surely it has the right to take them back to whenever it wants. After all, it is the government’s property. And whatever it giveth, it may also taketh way.

-Jaeson Madison

Just Theories: Swiss cheese is better than none?

As far as the banking status of our economy where is our starting point? Are we able to find this starting point just like the writers we have spoke of such as Locke and Rothbard? Who cares which politicians knew better and didn't do anything or those that should have predicted this banking status. Barney Frank, rep of house, setting aside some of his personal news in the 90's, said something that I thought was kind of dissapointing when he thought that he and others( not sure who he meant) would work on these regulations next year to banks so that this action wouldn't be repeated. 'Perhaps changing regulations shouldn't be the first priority, but I think these regulations that formed particular incentives for these CEO's and associates, should be analyzed and replaced. I think the government's first priority should be to reduce the risk by subsidies from the government to REDUCE banks burden in exchange for those banks that have advisors enabled to work with thier customers with the concequence of minmal or no funding of the government without cooperation. Now, I know that not all banks have advisors, but they still have employees that have sold patrons the arms loan to. The problem still is whether these advisors would actually take up the challange or have the ability to do so, I am not sure. The problem with government advisors stepping in to replace variable rates to fixed rates may have thier own conflict of interest even in the midst of our economic status.

Monetary Policy: Current Financial Problems

I'm suprised the "bailout plan" didn't go through. It seems like we were headed towards this plan, at least that's what we heard from house leaders. I guess we need not be so easily misled by what we hear in politics.

I'm encouraged to see that there are still some good people in the house. A couple of days ago I had very limited hope in our current acting government. There still needs to be a political revolution to change direction in our country. But I see people who can lead the revolution. Check out this speech by House Representitive Ron Paul before the vote:

All the financial problems we have now are not a suprise to people who understand economics. Many people saw them coming for a long time. I just read a speech by Ron Paul that he gave back in July. The title of the speech is "Some Big Events Are About To Occur". What we see happening in our current economy, I believe, are very much related to these events Dr. Paul talks about. You can read the article for yourself at this website.

(You can read the official version at the site below. However, I haven't been able to access the house website today for obvious reasons.)

Here is the crucial excerpt from the speech that ties government action to the current financial problems. He shows the progression of more and more government regulation with respect to monetary supply. This has interventionalism written all over it. The government intervenes to "fix" one problem and keeps intervening to try to correct the problem they created.

"There were several stages. From the inception of the Federal Reserve System in 1913 to 1933, the Central Bank established itself as the official dollar manager. By 1933, Americans could no longer own gold, thus removing restraint on the Federal Reserve to inflate for war and welfare.
By 1945, further restraints were removed by creating the Bretton-Woods Monetary System making the dollar the reserve currency of the world. This system lasted up until 1971. During the period between 1945 and 1971, some restraints on the Fed remained in place. Foreigners, but not Americans, could convert dollars to gold at $35 an ounce. Due to the excessive dollars being created, that system came to an end in 1971.
It's the post Bretton-Woods system that was responsible for globalizing inflation and markets and for generating a gigantic worldwide dollar bubble. That bubble is now bursting, and we're seeing what it's like to suffer the consequences of the many previous economic errors. "

Our government system has contributed to world-wide financial problems. So when people start going into the blame game about the greedy corporations, capitalists, CEOs, banks, etc., don't forget about the government that created the incentives for people to act the way that they did to all these problems. The incentives for the lenders were to lend sub prime loans. The incentives for the corporations were set up for corruption.

The bottom line is that the Fed has made the value of the dollar unstable which leads to all of these speculative bubbles. This is the reason we are seeing different markets fail now. We need to demand Economic Freedom which is our right to liberty! Economic Freedom means free markets! The Fed has regulated the monetary supply causing a build up of negative effects that we are now experiencing. The Fed needs to be viewed as a public enemy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Re: Government Should Provide Healthcare

In regard to my previous post, all I am hearing is how government-run healthcare is not the best form of healthcare. I never argued that is was. I simply said that it is our best bet to improve the current situation. I am waiting for someone to argue to me why either 1) we are better off in the current in-between system, or 2) that it would be easier and more practical to switch to a privatized system. Here are my arguments why government healthcare is the most feasible.

Politicians in general do not understand economics. We all scratch our heads as to why politicians just don’t implement sound economic policy that, if modeled, is very clear that it’s the right way to go. Well, politicians are, obviously, elected by the people. The population at large doesn’t understand economics. For the public to be convinced that privatized healthcare is the best, they must have some basic understanding of economic principles. A lot of economic policy, when first glanced at, seems to be backwards and contrary to its ends. We, as economic students, all know that even though it seems strange, free market economics can work. For instance, most people don’t understand that by instituting a minimum wage, the demand for labor decreases, and thus, people are laid off. People don’t get that by instituting a policy that is designed to help people, you are actually hurting them. When economists argue against minimum wage, the people interpret that to mean economists (or politicians) are arguing against giving people more money, or in essence, keeping more money for themselves. The public asks, how can anybody be against giving people more money? Thus, sound economic policy is not implemented.

My point is that even though privatized healthcare is clearly the best option, it is not realistic because people don’t understand it. What they do understand is government. A politician advocating for government healthcare is something people can wrap their heads around. Therefore, it has a chance of gaining a foothold and is much more likely to be put into practice. So even though privatized healthcare is better than government healthcare, they are both better than the current system we have now. And since privatized healthcare is unrealistic because the people will never follow the politicians there (and the politicians will never lead the people there), our best option for improving our current situation is by giving responsibility for providing healthcare over to our government.

Of course, if I could build a country from scratch, from the ground up, I would institute a private system of healthcare. But one almost has to start from the very beginning. Given our current political makeup, it would be virtually impossible to switch to a completely privatized system. It is hard to change a foundation without destroying the house. So what I am waiting for is for someone to argue to me that we could institute privatized healthcare given our current political climate. I am not asking for theory, or what could happen in a utopia. I am asking for someone to face reality and present a sound argument for a feasible switch to private healthcare. Or, argue to me that our current system of somewhere-in-between-private-and-government is better than government-run healthcare, therefore we shouldn’t switch.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Aggression: The opiate of the masses and the cornerstone of libertarianism

Murray N. Rothbard notes that the libertarianism or the libertarian creed, “rests upon one central axiom: that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else.” If no man can aggress against any other, then all violence, all devolution of rights and liberties ceases to exist. This ideal creates a perfect world in which all violence, physical or mental, fades into the socially unacceptable act. 

Just because one believes that aggression or violence (for the sake of simplicity and brevity these terms will often be interchangeable in this context) may not be okay, or may not be accepted does not mean that it will not happen. Violence in inherent to all of mankind; it is a tenant of our predisposed position, a law of nature if you will. Abraham Maslow hypothesized that all humankind followed a sort of hierarchy in which basic needs have to be fulfilled before more complex desires can be met. Let us look at man in nature or in the wild to see that his or her physiological needs will be met by the self with an inherent inclination towards aggression. Seeking shelter, the man or woman will destroy a tree or evict an animal from a cave. Then they will need to satisfy their need for food by slaughtering an animal of destroying another plant.  Violence is going to be the central tendency for humans. 

If “no man or group of man may aggress against the person or property of anyone else” and yet man is inclined towards aggression as a tool then there is an ideological and pragmatic impasse. Thus another solution exists. All people may aggress against any other person and their property. This violent sounding ideology immediately conjures a world in which violence rules and the strong dominate the weak, a world in which the only rule is the rule of violence and aggression. However, just because people may aggress against one another does not mean that they should or they will. Rothbard’s first principle of non-aggression is, in his eyes, the only way to justify the rest of libertarianism and the tenants on which it lies. The aggression principle also allows the other tenants to stand, albeit with a different logical progression. 

Because all people are aggressive and may aggress against one another, all people are essentially equal. Thomas Hobbes said that all men were equal because all men had the same susceptibility and fear of painful death. While the brute may be physically superior, the mentally inclined will create a weapon or work in social group to counteract the brute’s aggression with their own. It is that the fear and that equality which has lead humankind to its current state. Aggression is acceptable and people may aggress against other people, but in turn will be aggressed upon. This deterrence has lead humankind to its current state. Libertarianism (in its simplest form) is the idea that the government should be severely restricted in its ability to interfere with the individual’s rights and liberties. A person or group of people may be able to aggress even though they shouldn’t.

Why shouldn’t’ they? For fear of more aggression. If the individual is left alone and given safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self actualization they tend to not aggress others. Aggression begets aggression and the fear of it can lead to a libertarian society in which aggression between people is minimalized to the greatest possible extent.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Government Should Provide Healthcare

Some things transcend politics.

I am a believer in limited government and I am a believer in a free market. I believe in privatizing education and I even believe in privatizing health care. If I believe in privatizing health care, why did I just say that the government should provide it? The fact is, privatized health care is a dream. We have had well-meaning politicians and economists spouting its benefits for generations. Every election cycle we hear about how candidate X is going to reform health care, either by privatizing it, or turning it over to the government. Instead of either, America's health care system is caught somewhere in between and it doesn't look like it's going to change anytime soon.

While I truly believe a private health care system would be ideal, I also believe that it is just never going to happen. A government-run health care system is much more realistic, and for that reason alone, I believe we should adopt it. As I mentioned earlier, we are caught in between private and government-run health care. Of the three options- private, government, or in-between,- in-between is by far the worst. Since our best option of privatized health care is not very realistic, it only makes sense to upgrade to the next best option: government-run health care.

As I led off with, some things simply transcend politics. When the dollar is the bottom line in health care instead of, well, health care, nobody wins. We will let a child die from cancer simply because his parents cannot afford to pay. Thankfully, I don't think this situation plays out as often as it otherwise would thanks to generous public support. If the public finds out about a tragic situation like this, they will either put so much pressure on the insurance company so it becomes their best interest to go-ahead with the coverage, or the public raises funds and simply pays for it themselves. But if it were left to our current health care system alone, let us make no bones about it, we would let a child die simply because he cannot pay.

Only government can provide the means to ensure that all citizens are covered, no matter what their ailment, no matter what their financial situation, and no matter their age. It will not matter whether the condition is pre-existing or not. Government can and should provide health care to everybody. Politics and economics aside, it is just the right thing to do.