Audio Clips

09 November 2011

A. Barton Hinkle recently wrote an interesting piece about how government is interfering with our lives medically.  Here is an interesting excerpt.

Merely providing resources is no longer enough. See, for example, health care: To provide the uninsured with medical care, it does not suffice simply to pay taxes that fund social-welfare programs. Under the Romney/Obama individual mandate, everyone must buy health insurance for the sake of the common good. 
The same rationale undergirds much of the campaign against obesity—which, some say, costs society $270 billion a year. Part of that total comes from direct expenses such as medical care for diabetics. An additional $73 billion allegedly comes from lost productivity due to poor health—at least according to a rather inexact study funded (surprise!) by Allergan, the maker of a gastric-band system for obesity surgery.

The social cost of lost productivity is an interesting concept. It implies not only that you have a duty to avoid becoming a burden to others, but also that you have an affirmative duty to produce resources for others. (Because otherwise, society has "lost" something that, in truth, it never had in the first place: your future exertions.)
I find it interesting that the underlying assumption is that I have a duty to provide my productive efforts to the common good.  That whole way of thinking is repugnant to me.  I voluntarily give my efforts to organizations that I believe in, but the assumption that my efforts are "deserved" by society, and particularly government, is ridiculous.

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