Tuesday, May 10, 2005

My thoughts on libertarianism

Ugh...remember, my blog, my rules, so no one is allowed to get offended by this post.

I'm listening to a debate on health care, and one of the debaters is from the Cato Institute. Predictably, he thinks private health accounts are the solution. Naturally, he doesn't have an answer for those folks who are too poor to put away any significant amount of money. His response brings to mind what I find is a certain naivete among libertarians. It's easy to say, "Hey, if you can't afford your own health care, you go without," but that is simply not realistic in terms of today's America. Very few Americans are going to cold-bloodedly condone leaving people to die, so what happens is that those who can't afford health care simply go on welfare and use Medicaid. That, or they use ER care, which is alot more expensive than preventative care. Either way, the taxpayers are footing the bill, so I say let's foot the bill in the most fiscally and morally responsible way and just figure out some way to insure everybody.

Truth be told, I find the libertarian point of view a bit naive in general, at least where it concerns government regulation. Think of the many ways the government has regulated the free market: workplace safety, child labor, minimum wage, anti-trust ...do any of these seem bad? Would anyone seriously argue that these governmental interventions have made society worse? I realize that governmental action has not always been well intentioned or well executed, but at the same time I don't think regulation is the monster in the closet, either.

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