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Who decides?

This is a page from the original version of Pagan Vigil. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at

Does the common good come at the expense of the individual?

Last week I was talking with a friend and government sponsored health care came up.

"I make more than most people. I have better insurance than most. I'd be willing to pay more in taxes to make sure that everyone could get health care."

My question was simple. Who decides? Who decides that someone can share? Who decides how much to take? Who decides who gets more?

If it were charity, something that you chose to do, you are the one who makes those choices.

If it is the government deciding, you have no choices unless you are willing to resist.

Let's make it simpler. Instead of health care, let's make it property, such as happened in Kelo vs. New London. In most states now, for reasons of the common good, your property can be taken from you at any moment. Your individual rights have become secondary to the needs of the common good. Your property remains your property only at the whim of a lawmaker or bureaucrat.

My friend would tell you that it is two different things. People need health care, they don't necessarily need property. I'd disagree, but more to the point, it is the property of one person being taken for the benefit of another.

Not given.


It may be enough, it may be too much, but probably it doesn't begin to fill the need.

Besides the property, the government has taken away choice and responsibility. The government has taken away any incentive to make things better without help. So the people who could help have no reason to, and the people who could get by with just a little help become dependent.

Meanwhile, instead of a free market determining property value, it depends on who can promise the most tax revenue. Not even the actual value, but a promise of what could happen in the future.

Let's review. Property is seized and sold at below market value to someone who promises more tax revenue at some point in the future. The value of the property is based not on the worth but on speculation.

But of course, health care and eminent domain have nothing to do with one another. Except that government has been creeping into health care steadily for decades, with disastrous results in both cost and availability.

Just something to think about.

Posted: Thu - June 30, 2005 at 05:12 AM 

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