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Why government is not the answer

December 6, 2009

I had a meeting recently with a government official about a project I was set to work on.  He opened the meeting with “What makes you an expert?”  I was to prove to him, right then and there, why I was qualified to do this project because, he said, he was paying my salary.  As the discussion progressed, it became obvious that he had very little knowledge of my area of expertise–yet there he sat in judgment.

This little episode explains a lot about why Ronald Reagan said government is not the answer–government is the problem.  If Congress passes its health care take-over bill, this little scene will be replayed all over America countless times.

The first problem is that this man had absolutely no experience outside of government.  He really couldn’t comprehend the value of the efficiencies I would bring to his organization from private enterprise and the free market.  Cabinet appointees in the Obama administration have a shockingly low amount of experience outside of government:

Yet by virtue of his government position this man felt he had the ability and the right to judge whether I am an expert in my field or not.   My field has certified me as an expert, but that wasn’t good enough for him.  Imagine now that bureaucrat judging whether you need a certain medical procedure or not.  Doesn’t matter whether your doctor–an acknowledged expert in his or her field–has said you need it.  It’s the government’s opinion that matters.

The second–and perhaps more serious problem–was his attitude that he would be paying my salary.  He wouldn’t: the American taxpayer would be.  People in government soon forget that they hold their positions in trust to the people and that the resources they have are not theirs.  Government as a whole soon begins to believe they have a right to the taxes they levy and can dispose of them as they wish.  That worked for Louis XIV, but we call that tyranny.  Louis XVII lost his head over the question; King George III was lucky to lose only his colonies.

A third problem is that he wanted the solution to be so universally applicable that it could be used anywhere.  There is this streak in government–socialist or not–for one size fits all solutions.  In America with its Christian heritage, we believe that all mankind is created equal–but they we are all uniquely endowed by our Creator with different strengths and weaknesses.  One size doesn’t fit all except in the dream-world of a socialist utopia.

But perhaps the biggest problem is this: today I am independent with my own business and customers.  I make my own choices, I choose my own destiny and I live with the consequences.  This is Liberty.  If I go to work on this project, pretty soon my customers will find other business partners and I will become dependent on the government.  That’s the way it will be with health care.  Today we have choices but as we go to a government “option” gradually the other options will fade away.

That’s how we lose our liberty and why we must defeat health care “reform.”

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