Again, the original posting from a reader:
“Really? You equate paying taxes with slavery? Would you have us pay *no* taxes, or just not have to pay taxes for things we disagree with? And why do you ignore my analogy with cops and firemen? Should cops only help those who pay them? Should firemen only respond to calls from people who have paid their fire insurance? And your comment about government only worsening peoples lives...would you abolish all government? These are silly arguments. The government is not the enemy. The government is us. We pick our leaders. We tell them what we want them to do while in office. And if they don't do that, we 'fire' them. So, in the end we the people end up with the government we asked for. I ask that this government enforce a minimum wage. I ask that this government offer unemployment insurance (which we all pay into). I ask that this government offer a guaranteed retirement program (which we all pay into). And now, I ask that the government make sure that everyone has access to affordable health care (that we all pay into). The individual can NOT do everything by him or herself. Sometimes we need to collectively do things for the good of us all. Or would you like to be responsible for that section of road out in front of your house and let your neighbor take care of that section of road in front of his house? Or, better yet, why don't you pick up a gun and head on over to Afghanistan and hunt down your share of Taliban fighters?”
Time to address this quote:
“I ask that this government enforce a minimum wage. I ask that this government offer unemployment insurance (which we all pay into). I ask that this government offer a guaranteed retirement program (which we all pay into). And now, I ask that the government make sure that everyone has access to affordable health care (that we all pay into).”
First, some questions.
1. What limit would one place on “which we all pay into” or how long such “benefits” be allowed to continue for those obviously “working the system?”
2. What limit should there be on a minimum wage or should there even be a limit?
3. How is the Social Security (retirement) program working out with retirement funds being given to many who have never even paid into the system?
4. If the government is to make sure that everyone have access to affordable health care, who is to decide what is affordable?
5. Who really believes that government even has the capability of efficiently running a health care entity without affording favors to some and denying coverage to others?
This area of the comment to the blog seems to be on the verge of advocating socialism, which brings one more question to mind; would someone care to tell me where socialism has been successful, especially for the “little guy?” If there is anyone to answer this question, it might be interesting to see what country we all need to move to.
Now, for the questions listed above. I know from first-hand knowledge that many work the unemployment and welfare systems to get everything that they can. I have written in previous posts where the welfare system has actually been harmful to low income families because the program encouraged women to stay unmarried to get more money from the system. They also found that the more kids they had, the more money government would give them. Even prominent black leaders have spoken of the horrible effect The Great Society had on the poor; the very group that it was supposed to help.
What should the minimum wage be and why set an arbitrary number on it? Sadly, again the poor and the young are victims of the minimum wage. Every time the minimum wage is increased, there are fewer jobs for those just entering the job markets (the youth) and the loss of jobs for those who are less skilled. When labor costs go up to business, business tends to cut back on personnel. If government is going to set a minimum wage, shouldn’t they also set a higher price for the goods or services of those businesses affected so they won’t cut back on labor? If so, at what level should government set limits? Price control by government…..disaster in the making.
Social Security was supposed to be more of a survivor’s benefit when it was first established. At that time, few men even lived long enough to reach the “retirement age” and thus the benefits were to go to widows and orphans. Now, it is estimated that the life expectancy of workers is high enough that they will actually draw more than they paid into the system. In addition, Social Security now provides funds to those other than survivors and retirees. If the government can’t run Social Security, who really believes that it could run another retirement fund without tapping into the funds for other social programs?
In “universal” health care systems around the world, none have shown to be profitable and fully beneficial to those who they are supposed to help. Plus, the care given is sub-standard and sometimes outright criminal. There was a finding in Britain where patients were actually having to drink the water from flower vases because the staff wouldn’t bring them water. Also, a lot of people from countries with government managed care are coming to America for their care.
Plus, government has shown to want to control things in ways that most of us would find horrible, especially in comparison with private insurance companies. If you want a horrible example of the effect of government in health care read Tim and Robyn’s comment at RV Dreams forum near the bottom of the thread at this link:
Robyn passed away because the government didn’t want to provide the proper level of care. Who in government should be deciding what level of care we receive? As for the government insuring “access to affordable health,” it has shown to be incapable of efficiently operating any system, so why should we believe it can in the future?
Most social systems put into place by the government, especially the federal government, have proven to be failures in their purpose and harmful to the citizenry in the end. Socialism doesn’t work because it doesn’t provide an incentive for those who wish to better themselves. Government, almost by nature, tends to stifle those wishing to start businesses by imposing excessive regulation and taxation. Businesses are the greatest engine for job growth, not government, because other than a few projects such as hydro-electrical generation, no agency of government can make a profit with which to fund government.
Government is a net “consumer” of private capital. Creating more government jobs, such as the current administration has done, only applies more pressure to the private sector, which is where profit is made. Like it or not, even insurance companies are a part of that.
One final point: in the last posting, I made a suggestion to remember that part of the Preamble of the Constitution which referred to the “providing for the common defense” and I pointed out the word “providing.” Many a politician has touted the “general welfare” clause as a reasoning for creating yet another social program. What those men would have us forget is that in regards to “general welfare,” the Preamble uses the word “promote” instead of “provide.”
To me, that means to “promote” a climate in which citizens themselves “provide” their own general welfare instead of government trying to do what it is incapable of doing. Government can best promote a climate by reducing its own involvement and regulating.