Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Moral Superiority of Federalism

I was thinking about the right to self-determination today, and thought I'd get some of those thoughts out to share with you, Dear Reader, this evening.

I think where most people go wrong - either Democrat and Republican - is that they elect people to legislate their point of view with the idea that this will accomplish something. It often results in short-term change, but no change instituted thus is long-lasting, by any measure.

Take the current Congress for example (please, take it!). We might very well see the Demos roll back some recent (think: last 6 years) legislation. This happens all the time with taxes, as a ready example. Capital gains tax cuts may be repealed, only to be instituted again in a few years.

I can speak most effectively from a conservative point of view, but from either the conservative or liberal perspective, Federalism is the answer. I think that our system of government would function best - as it was intended - with a limited federal government by design, along with the concurrent ability of the citizens to decide how much local government they want. This can be achieved by re-establishing the principles of federalism as outlined by James Madison in Federalist 45. Let's allow states and communities to have as much government as they want, I say! If my town wants to provide universal health care for all residents (or JetSkis, or Cadillacs, or whatever), I can choose to live in that type of community or pick up and move one town over. I can't pick up and leave the United States... correction, I won't, although I could. It is this ability for citizens to determine how much government they want, be it a little or a lot, that evidences the moral superiority of Federalism.

After all, if most people can acknowledge the superiority of free markets, why shouldn't there be a free market for human capital?


Daniel Webster said...

Speaking of universal healthcare, I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating...

In my State we have something called "Sooner-care." This is my State's version of socialist healthcare for the poor and dejected. I wouldn't qualify for it, even if I agreed with it, unless of course I lied about my income - which would be relatively easy for me to do given my profession - or I decided to quit being productive, but anyway...

recently I was injured on a job. The injury occured at about 7:00 pm, and you all know what that means medically speaking - emergency room visit. Now, since I'm an old hand at ER visits (family members, employees, and so on), I know exactly how much it costs at my local hospital - an average of $1300. per visit.

With this particular injury, though I was in severe pain, and though I was down for about three days, I determined it was not serious enough to go to the doctor with, and certainly not the ER. Why? Because it would have cost me $1300. on top of the lost days. And I would much prefer to wait a few hours, when possible, and spend a couple hundred as opposed to the other. Plus, I ain't particularly fond of ER visits anyhow. ;)

When I returned to work (and it happened to be the same customer's home who hit me with the democracy thing), he used the example of my injury to hammer me over the head with universal healthcare as a top priority of the new democrat led Congress: "the democrats have to push this thru', that's what the people voted 'em in for," or something to that effect - I admit to being less than interested in hearing that line of bs. But that's basically what he was saying, in a nutshell.

On that particular deal, I didn't challenge the guy. I didn't challenge him because I figured that if he couldn't see the moral superiority of one paying one's own medical bills, and governing oneself to the extent that you'd rather suffer a few hours/a few days pain and discomfort as to burden your fellow citizens with them (whenever it is at all possible to do so), then any challenge I threw his way would just fly over his head.

The point is this: The problem with the concept of universal healthcare (in any governmental form at any level of government) is that it encourages, nay, it invites, and almost guarantees abuses of the system all the way down the line - from the providers, to the recipients. This point is not even debatable. Abuses of the system invites what? Yep, you got it - more government control. And so on and so forth, until the whole system is absolutely corrupted, and totally inefficient.

I agree, Hamilton, let the States initiate their own versions of universal healthcare. They'll all learn a valuable lesson if the fed is prevented from bailing 'em out when they begin to show signs of failure.

Elsewise, we're in a world of hurt, no pun intended.

Samuel Adams said...

I was pretty dejected on 11/8. I need to move to Oklahoma!

Daniel Webster said...

Hey brother!, you're welcome here anytime!