Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Faith, Hope, And Charity

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

The most important thing to remember is that Megan McArdle doesn't want anyone to have health care that cuts out the corporate middle man. That is all we know and all we need to know. She is still in the fight, bloody yet unbowed, to ensure thousands of dollars pour from the pockets of every single member of the middle class into the hands of multi-millionaires and billionaires.

I don't think that, in the end, Congress is going to be able to take much money out of Medicare. This is not something I'm happy about--it's something I've been lamenting for a decade or so. But reforming senior entitlements has always looked difficult. In the wake of Social Security reform, it's starting to look damn near impossible.

No Medicare, no Social Security, no national health care. However, she ignores everything else for which the tax-payer pays. She doesn't mind billions wasted in military defense and warfare. It might possiblely keep her safe and therefore the billions wasted are money well-spent. She graciously permits the government to police her bar-hopping, repair the roads she drives on, clean her water and deliver it to her door, remove her bodily waste, treat it, and release it far from her view.

The government hauls away her garbage, keeps her lights on, pumps natural gas into her water heater, for far less money than it would cost if she had to do it on her own. It keeps food manufacturers from poisoning her, and inspects the restaurants she visits, the buildings she lives and works in, the cars that whizz by her on the freeway. It created the internet she works on, and much of the medication and vaccines she has benefited from. It educated most of the people who fix her dishwasher, her car, her hair, her dog. All of that is perfectly okay. But health care for people drowning in rising premiums? Megan McArdle has declared that there the benefits must stop, there the line must be drawn. She doesn't need them so nobody else should have them.

This woman is so out of touch that she didn't know premiums had sky-rocketed, that companies practice rescission. She utterly ignores successful national health programs. Yet she feels quite qualified and confident to tell us that we can't have what everyone else has, what everyone else considers a natural human right, and the moral thing to do. This emotionally stunted person has decided that no matter who is hurt, nothing can or should be done to help others because it would hurt the pockets of millionaires and billionaire.

Why does anyone listen to this? What happened to the words of Christ*, in this supposedly Christian country: I am my brother's keeper. Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me. The Kingdom of Heaven is not for the faint of heart, who purse their lips at the thought of helping the unwashed masses, or who harbor hate in their hearts, crowding out love and empathy. Our nation lets cruel, cold, vicious people set the moral standards for us, ignoring their Savior, ignoring basic moral values. It's a sin to be silent and idle and let them.

*still atheist


clever pseudonym said...

Ecclesiastes 3:11 Screweth thou. I hath mine.

Susan of Texas said...

Their golden rule: whoever has the gold makes the rules.

Ken Houghton said...

correct-in-fact-but-not-in-context-typo: "companies practice remission." (Ask 'Norma Rae.')

S/b "recission," which is another word that, until several months ago, I thought was only used in Health Economics classes.

Kathy said...

Congress is not SUPPOSED to make money out of health care, any more than they make money out of- oh, I get it! Congress's PALS should make lots and lots of money from whatever law is passed. If by chance they don't make money, or HORRORS! might even loose money- well forget it!

Substance McGravitas said...

She's not even on The Atlantic Top 50!

But Andrew Sullivan is...

Barbara said...

I agree it is troubling, to say the least. I suspect the difference here is that the individual benefit is so direct, and there is a fear of "fraud." People cannot grasp that we can either have a health care system (and various government direct pay systems) that ensure that all eligible people get the benefits (in which case, a few non-eligible people will also get in) or we can have a system in which only eligible people get benefits (resulting in denials of lots of eligible people). With health care, that concern, that someone "not eligible" will get the benefit quickly becomes, "and then there won't be enough for me when I need it." I am not trying to justify it, just understand it. FWIW.

Susan of Texas said...

People don't have a problem with free riders on roads or sewers or streetlights. I don't understand why health care is different.

bulbul said...


why Ecclesiastes? The funny thing is, Ecclesiastes 9:11 is a perfect rebuke for any libertarian:

I returned, and saw under the sun,
that the race is not to the swift,
nor the battle to the strong,
neither yet bread to the wise,
nor yet riches to men of understanding,
nor yet favour to men of skill;
but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Anonymous said...

It was probably Damon Runyon who rephrased Ecclesiastes slightly. The cynic in me resonates:

I returned, and saw under the sun,
that the race is not to the swift,
nor the battle to the strong,
but that's the way to bet.

Susan of Texas said...

"Time and chance happen to them all" pops into my head a lot when reading libertarians. Death was very familiar to these early tribes and they had no illusions about autonomy. People couldn't make it without kinship and mutual cooperation.

Even the Done Gone Galters imagine themselves as a civilization, a (very small select) group that cooperates with each other.