Libertarianism: an abject moral and ethical failure, IMO

What do you tell a guy who is sick, goes into a coma and doesn't have health insurance? Who pays for his coverage? Are you saying society should just let him die?

That’s the question put to Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) by Wolf Blitzer in the closing moments of Monday night’s Tea Party Express/CNN GOP Debate.

Before Paul could answer, several members of the Tea Party laden audience enthusiastically shouted out “Yeah!”

Yeah, let him die! Yeah!

Nobody in the crowd objected.

And then, right there, you got to see exactly who and what Ron Paul really is.


Read:  Brothers Keeper


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as poverty rates continues to increase, perhaps more may end up doing the same.   Personally, I'm going for way more than a dollar though. 
smart move

Great link.  Seriously, and I am no scientist here but if you actually think about the survival of the species (I mean before we advanced technologically and sort of just organically took over the world), it makes sense that we are programmed to take care of each other.  What I mean is that as a species we are young.  The key is survival.  If we accept that Lucy and her ancestors survived at least in part due to their brain size and ability to reason;  And if you believe that homo sapiens were able to outsmart neanderthals primarily because of a bigger brain then consider this, there are theories that explore the idea that homo sapiens survived and flourished because of some propensity to "work together" that the neanderthals did not possess.  So if we start there, then it is easy to see that the survival of the species demanded that we take care of ALL members of the clan, tribe, town, species etc.  Necessarily, those who are luckily enough to be flush with wealth feel "put upon" but I generally suspect that this is because they may not be first generation.  In other words, if they "inherited" the wealth they are less likely to understand or appreciate how fickle life is or how difficult it is to come out on top consistently.  


There are theories that assume that our society and technology have advanced far faster than our brains have so that we are still programmed to behave in ways that support the survival of the species.  How can these people honestly (it is not out of the question that they lie to themselves in much the same way that religious people do) say that it is ok to let some people of the species live while others should die?  They cannot.  The concept of "personal responsibility" breaks down when applied broadly.  If anyone understands the difference between micro and macro economics and the fact that sometimes microeconomic concepts do not translate to the macro then we have a common thread.  Just because we have smart phones and internet and wifi hotspots does not mean we can stop worrying about our own existence as a species.  Extinction is a fact of life and we must protect what allows us to live and in keeping with that we must also protect others in our species - lest we all die.  


OK, whew.  Enough apocalyptica.  Just tell these people to hit the curb come election time.  VOTE.  Show THEM that they are in the minority and that their "doctrine" is simplistic, childish, but most importantly broken.


I agree with many people here, government is here to keep idiots in check - to reign in corporate monarchs, to keep people in power from abusing those who are not in power and many other reasons but I also think that this goes far deeper and these people are living a similar delusion to the televangelist group.  It is eerily similar when you watch and hear "Yeah, let him die" from the crowd and then watch a "faith healer" do something and hear random shouts of "praise the lord" and "Amen"... 


That would be my .02

You are way underestimating your value here Tom. Well said.
Tom: I've started to feel that one difference between conservative v. liberal government is the philosophy that people should have the freedom to step on others, v. the philosophy that some people's absolute freedom should be limited to protect others from being stepped on.
I agree.  One difference is exactly that.  The argument over whose rights to protect or trample is at the core of this.  That is why I wonder how to reach people across the spectrum.  Certainly, anything that improves the human condition overall is a better thing for the species.  I guess that the question then becomes how do we agree on what improves the human condition.
Another way to state that is Robert Heinlein's famous quote: "Your right to punch ends at the tip of my nose". Freedom exists only insofar as it doesn't hurt others, and in this day and age, the environment should probably be included. But stupid and emotion-ruled people just don't get it.

We have a healthcare system that is broken.  It is by far the most expensive in the industrial world.  Our measures of health and medical outcomes rank below the rest of the industrial world, just below Costa Rica and just above Cuba.  Americans are actually becoming progressively more unhealthy, and the baby boomers' life expectancy lower than their parents.  They are already on more medications than their parents at the same age.


This expense isn't because we care for the destitute.  Other nations with lower cost and better outcomes also do that.   It's because of the multi-payer insurance-based, private-industry-based system.  If we modeled our system after those of countries with better health care outcomes and lower cost, we could afford to care for those who can't afford it.

That is an excellent observation.  One that I agree with wholeheartedly.

Based on what I am reading I would argue that first off, health care is not a political issue.  By that I mean healthcare is something everyone is entitled to.  We can argue about who should pay for it and what kind of system or structure is in place to handle it but the fact remains it is a right that everyone should have access to healthcare.


I agree with Becca, regardless of lifestyle everyone will need healthcare.  I think that is indisputable.  So what we are really arguing about is who should pay for it.  I agree the current system is broken.  I agree also with Sentient Biped that serious change needs to take place.  


The problem however IMO is not insurance companies.  While I personally believe insurance (in all of its forms) is a huge scam it is not because of the companies themselves.  It is because our government, our elected officials choose not to do the work of the people.  They allow insurance companies to set the rules and then change the goalposts as it were.  They allow these companies to drop people or exclude preexisting conditions.  They hold hearings about steroid use in baseball when the structure of healthcare is crumbling.  I am as much to blame here as anyone but I DO feel like a small potato in a big field.  


Finally, @Chris - Natalie is right!  And I don't like many religious practices - especially the "I am holier than you" routine whereby religious people tend to think that they have the higher moral ground despite the numerous contradictions and outright moral outrages in the bible.  I loathe that someone "decides" who deserves something as basic as healthcare.  And here is another thing to ask:  So, let's say that there is a person that smoked for 10, 15 or even 20 years and quit around the age of 35.  They started running and eating much healthier.  They get lung cancer at 65.  Is there a moral dilemma here?  I am trying to understand how choice of lifestyle affects my right to healthcare.  This whole argument from the Libertarians presumes they hold some sort of moral superiority by dint of their label or philosophy.  It is just about as irritating and arrogant as religious people presuming the same thing.

The best part was the article bringing up the "death panels" hysteria. There have been so many hypocrisies that make it obvious these people will scream about anything Obama does, and even change their entire politics so that they don't accidentally have any views that coincide with his.



@ Prog Rock Girl:  I especially like the comment "They don't have a problem with the death part, just the panels."


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