Friday, September 18, 2009

Will Your Doctor Shrug?

Paul Hsieh has an excellent editorial on the subject. Check it out!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Putting a Price on Freedom

The Undercurrent's Fall edition is now out. So far I've had a chance to read Noah Stahl's editorial which is truly excellent.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Physicians Poll

There's a lot of interesting facts and data in this story. E.g.:
-[In Massachusetts] The percentage of primary care practices closed to new patients is the highest ever recorded.
-The U.S. today has just 2.4 physicians per 1,000 population — below the median of 3.1 for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the official club of wealthy nations.
-The AMA, in fact, represents approximately 18% of physicians and has been hit with a number of defections by members opposed to the AMA's support of Democrats' proposed health care overhaul.
-Four of nine doctors, or 45%, said they "would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement" if Congress passes the plan the Democratic majority and White House have in mind.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Principle for Politics

I have a column out today entitled: We Need a Return to Principled Government. As always, comments and links welcome.

PS I submitted it with this post's title, any thoughts on which is better?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Announcement (1)

Dear Subscribers and Friends of The Objective Standard,

Given the Obama administration’s efforts to nationalize the health care industry—and the Republicans’ rush to capitulate on the matter—we are making Paul Hsieh’s article “How the Freedom to Contract Protects Insurability“ (from the forthcoming issue of TOS) accessible on our website early and for free. Dr. Hsieh’s article shows that, contrary to proposals being put forth by Republicans, a genuinely free market in health insurance is not only moral, in that it respects the rights of producers and consumers, but also practical, in that it enables businessmen to solve problems for profit—which leads to more and better products and services at lower prices for consumers. Please forward the link to everyone you know who might be open to reason.

Two other TOS articles pertaining directly to this national emergency are:

Mandatory Health Insurance: Wrong for Massachusetts, Wrong for America,” which identifies the theory behind the Massachusetts mandatory health insurance program, exposes the program as a fiasco, explains why the theory had to fail in practice, and sheds light on the only genuine, rights-respecting means to affordable, accessible health care for Americans—and . . .

Moral Health Care vs. “Universal Health Care,” which surveys the history of government interference in health insurance and medicine in America, specifying the rights violations and economic problems caused thereby; enumerates the failed attempts to solve those economic problems by means of further government interference; and shows that the only viable solution to the debacle at hand is to gradually and systematically transition to a rights-respecting, fully free market in these industries.

America is slipping into statism, and, if we do not reverse course soon, we are going to slip all the way. Please promote these articles—which provide clear, principled, moral arguments for a free market in health care—in whatever ways you can. Our freedom and health are at stake.

Thank you,

Craig Biddle, Editor
The Objective Standard
Phone: 804-747-1776
Fax: 804-273-0500

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

H. W. Jenkins Ghost Writes Obama's Health Care Speech

The WSJ has a humorous but trenchant take on how Obama's "reforms" are following a bipartisan path we've been on for many decades.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Health Care is neither a Right nor a Privilege

Here's another good editorial. A short excerpt:
Nor is medical care a privilege. A privilege is something authority figures permit us to do at their discretion. No one considers auto repair to be a right, but it’s absurd to consider it “a privilege.” No one grants you the “privilege” of having money to repair your car. Rather, if you want to own a functioning car, you must take responsibility to finance its repair by earning wealth. The same goes for medical treatment.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Typical Conservatives

It seems that everywhere I look, even the most conservative and fiscally responsible voices in our mainstream media have this kind of approach:
David Walker sounds like a modern-day Paul Revere as he warns about the country's perilous future. "We suffer from a fiscal cancer," he tells a meeting of the National Taxpayers Union, the nation's oldest anti-tax lobby. "Our off balance sheet obligations associated with Social Security and Medicare put us in a $56 trillion financial hole—and that's before the recession was officially declared last year. America now owes more than Americans are worth—and the gap is growing!"
So what do they propose?
Mr. Walker identifies the disease as having a basic cause: "Washington is totally out of touch and out of control," he sighs. "There is political courage there, but there is far more political careerism and people dodging real solutions." He identifies entrenched incumbency as a real obstacle to change. "Members of Congress ensure they have gerrymandered seats where they pick the voters rather than the voters picking them and then they pass out money to special interests who then make sure they have so much money that no one can easily challenge them," he laments. He believes gerrymandering should be curbed and term limits imposed if for no other reason than to inject some new blood into the system. On campaign finance, he supports a narrow constitutional amendment that would bar congressional candidates from accepting contributions from people who can't vote for them: "If people can't vote in a district not their own, should we allow them to spend unlimited money on behalf of someone across the country?"
As for health care, Mr. Walker says he had hopes for comprehensive health-care reform earlier this year and met with most of the major players to fashion a compromise. "President Obama got the sequence wrong by advocating expanding coverage before we've proven our ability to control costs," he says. "If we don't get our fiscal house in order, but create new obligations we'll have a Thelma and Louise moment where we go over the cliff." Mr. Walker's preferred solution is a plan that combines universal coverage for all Americans with an overall limit on the federal government's annual health expenditures. His description reminds me of the unicorn—a marvelous creature we all wish existed but is not likely to ever be seen on this earth. (emphasis added)
Despite being overt advocates of socialism, here's how they label themselves:
Despite an occasional detour into support for government intervention, Mr. Walker remains the Jeffersonian he grew up as in his native Virginia. "I view the Constitution with deep respect," he told me. "My ancestors and those of my wife fought and died in the Revolution, and I care a lot about returning us to the principles of the Founding Fathers."
I'm working on a new editorial which I hope will effectively challenge this all too typical attitude and approach.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Man Haters Strike Again

Environmentalists--who value wilderness over man--appear to be largely responsible for the fires currently raging here in California. Refreshingly, a mainstream media article actually points this out:
Some critics suggested that protests from environmentalists contributed to the disaster, which came after the brush was allowed to build up for as much as 40 years.

"This brush was ready to explode," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, whose district overlaps the forest. "The environmentalists have gone to the extreme to prevent controlled burns, and as a result we have this catastrophe today."

Prescribed burns are intended to protect homes and lives by eliminating fuel that can cause explosive wildfires. The wildfire that has blackened 140,000 acres — or nearly 219 square miles — in the forest over the past week has been fed by the kind of tinder-dry vegetation that prescribed burns are designed to safely devour.

The blaze has destroyed more than five dozen homes, killed two firefighters and forced thousands of people to flee. Firefighters reported modest progress Wednesday as investigators said the blaze was human-caused, though it was not clear exactly how the fire started or whether it was accidental or arson.

Figures from the California's South Coast Air Quality Management District suggested even less was protectively burned. The agency said it granted seven permits sought by the Forest Service to conduct prescribed burns on 2,748 acres in the forest this year. The agency reviews such requests to ensure air quality in the often-smoggy Los Angeles area will not be worsened by smoke from intentional fires. But records show only 12.8 acres burned.

Four of the permits, totaling 1,257 acres, were granted in areas involved in the wildfire, according to the air quality agency.

But the Forest Service disputed those figures. Bear said the plan was to burn 1,748 acres, and 193 were cleared.

Government firefighters set thousands of blazes each year to reduce the wildfire risk in overgrown forests and grasslands around the nation. Prescribed burns can also improve overall forest health and increase forage for wildlife.

Obtaining the necessary permits is a complicated process, and such efforts often draw protests from environmentalists.
A university professor, who lives off of our tax dollars, had this to say in rebuttal:
Ultimately, he said, the answer is to stop building in fire-prone areas instead of spending huge sums on firefighting.
That's the anti-man view in microcosm.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Rationing Violates Rights

Paul Hsieh has an excellent editorial out today on Pajamasmedia, be sure to check it out. (And congrats also on getting an Instapundit link!)