At CNN’s Tea Party-indulging debate on Monday, Ron Paul, a medical doctor, faced a pointed line of questioning from Wolf Blitzer regarding the case of an uninsured young man who suddenly found himself in dire need of intensive health care.
Should the state pay his bills? Paul responded, “That’s what freedom is all about: taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to take care of everybody—”
He never quite finished that point, letting the audience’s loud applause finish it for him. So Blitzer pressed on, asking if he meant that “society should just let him die,” which earned a chilling round of approving hoots from the crowd. Paul would not concede that much outright, instead responding with a personal anecdote, the upshot being that in such a case, it was up to churches to care for the dying young man. So basically, yeah. He’d let him die.
Ron Paul’s Campaign Manager Died of Pneumonia, Penniless and UninsuredAs it turns out, Paul was not speaking purely in hypotheticals. Back in 2008, Kent Snyder — Paul’s former campaign chairman — died of complications from pneumonia. Like the man in Blitzer’s example, the 49-year-old Snyder (pictured) was relatively young and seemingly healthy* when the illness struck. He was also uninsured. When he died on June 26, 2008, two weeks after Paul withdrew his first bid for the presidency, his hospital costs amounted to $400,000. The bill was handed to Snyder’s surviving mother (pictured, left), who was incapable of paying. Friends launched a website to solicit donations.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s 2008 story on his death, Snyder was more than just a strategic ally: He was the only reason Paul thought he ever had a shot at the presidency in the first place.
Of course a libertarian showed up to defend the concept that in circumstances addressed during the debate and in the case of Mr. Kent, that these might be sad events, but how terrible that he might be forced to pay to help these people.
My personal belief is that it is not society’s responsibility to deal with the uninsured. In extreme circumstances (national disasters for example), perhaps. My tax dollars need to go to basic government services, nothing else. I don’t need to fund the NEA, someone’s family planning mistake or alternative energy companies, etc, etc. I’m sorry to appear callous but its not my responsibility to take care of a total stranger. We are all adults here, presumably, lets deal with our own issues ourselves.
Certainly everyone should take care of themselves and learn to make the best decisions with whatever options they have. The general principle here is a standard in libertarian thinking. Blame the victim. If you were run over by a car or became infected it was somehow your fault. That you did not have insurance is also a choice you made of your own free will. The speaker, like the libertarian above is always a shining example of independence, clear thinking and virtue. They operate in the world, according to their thinking as utterly independent units. He did not get to work using a public road. He did not expect to be reasonably safe in his travels because of a publicly funded police and court system. No one made a better wage by joining a union thus could afford to buy the products or services by which he benefited. Forget that government subsidies created the internet he uses and funded the technology behind the chip in his computer. He made/created the products and services from which he makes a living all on hs own. All of his customers made enough money to buy those products and services without the benefit of public education or a subsidized university education. He lives in a relatively stable country free from airstrikes because he has willed it to be so. No planes have crashed and no people killed with the debris because planes just know where to go, we do not need the FAA. Like all libertarians he lives in a bubble of life that has never been affected for better or worse by the people around him or half a world away. He is not a product of history nor is he hampered by biology. With billions of people in the world interacting like the billions of proteins in the human body which make life possible, none of those connections, actions and reactions affect the individual self sustaining libertarian. That commenter or any libertarian is in fact not forced to take care of others. They are forced to support the basic framework that makes a civilized society possible. No one takes a few cents off the table of money he sent to the federal or state government and doles it out to the undeserving. That sounds silly, but that is what libertarians and conservatives picture happening to any taxes they might pay. In their accounting they never fill in the balance sheet with the benefits they received. They never take into account the trillions redistributed to the wealthy from labor. If he was born with an IQ of 60 or missing both legs one assumes he would be doing quite well without any help whatsoever from society or just die and get a warm cheer from Ron Paul sycophants. If he has children, they too will be self rising, self-sustaining pods. After they sit in their own feces enough times they’ll learn to do for themselves.This attitude, it does not really qualify as a philosophy is ridden with cultural biases, institutionalized discriminations based on class and gender. It is an attitude that insists on a kind of absolute equality. What other political movement insists on such absolutism – communism. There is this built-in form of tyrannical collectivism in libertarianism. There is no acknowledgment at all of the individual as anything but a unit. Liberalism, despite decades of straw man arguments to the contrary acknowledges that everyone should be treated justly and equally under the law, but never that people are in fact all equal. Liberalism is incompatible with that kind of absolutism. Libertarians think that by way of something that amounts to magic, that the best and brightest naturally rise to the top and are rewarded accordingly. They do not acknowledge the advantages that come from the accident of birth to the right family, in the right lace or the right time. Ron’s son Rand is a fair example. Rand is not intellectually deficient in terms of pure IQ, but it is not exactly gifted. Would he be a senator now if not for the circumstances of his birth.
Libertarians generally acknowledge that we need laws and some kind of judicial system to protect freedom. In that acknowledgement is contained the implicit acknowledgment that laws themselves, by their nature, do not assure freedom is infinite or is always good. Read the news today. Some people somewhere did something with their freedom that hurt others. Libertarians do say that you should be free to do whatever except hurt others. It should be obvious enough it is a given that people hurt others even when they do not have the freedom to do so.That everyday is another confrontation with reality. It will, no equivocation, present new situations for the framework of libertarian freedom that the libertarian must make new rules to deal with or maybe, be forced by circumstances after circumstances to change their world view. Over the years there have been various libertarian proposals to create perfectly ‘free’ societies. If those societies consist of more than one person, there is going to be a point, an issue, a clash of some sort that will require a rule. Once that rule goes into effect, by libertarianism’s own definition someone will have been coerced and someone will have given up some of that absolutist freedom they believe in. These people will also live in their perfect market. Libertarians generally claim they are the true rationalists. See above for compassion and how that ruins the rational dream. Yet they have a religious faith in the market. Not true, they have a fundamentalist faith in the inerrancy of the free market. A market, whether the pure one of fantasy or some more down to earth model, is a collection of entities and those entities contain people. A collection of people who are making decisions which affect the freedom of others, who will most certainly not have equal power, will be beneficiaries of a collective or its victims. Make no mistake, an unregulated collection of market forces is a collective. Because f its insistence on such purity the libertarian model always leads to collectivism or as currently hip libertarians like to say, statism. Why any individual should trust the statism of corporate markets rather than elected representatives is taken as matter of faith among libertarians and conservatives. Why they think CEO Joe is more trustworthy than Congressman Joe is also a matter of dogma, not reality. It just is. It is part of some supposedly natural order.
Rand Paul might have a kind of Magneto intelligence with a propensity for evil – With Record Number Of Americans Falling Into Poverty, Rand Paul Says The Poor Are Getting Rich
Census data revealed today that a record 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty in 2010. But in an aptly-timed hearing entitled “Is Poverty A Death Sentence,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) flat out rejected the idea that poverty in the U.S is worrisome. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Health subcommittee, Paul offered a dissertation-length statement on how the correlation between poverty and death is only found in the Third World and to claim such a connection within the U.S. is nothing more than “socialism” and “tyranny.”
Poverty and the tyranny of unstable markets are not evil, poor underpowered American are evil. This kind of thinking is libertarianism 101.