When Hillary Clinton designed her Rube Goldberg healthcare plan the reaction was short and not so sweet — there was a resounding “WTF!” and it was over. Plus, when Hillarycare was designed, it was done in the cover of darkness so that the nation was spared the daily spectacle of cronyism, deal-making, incompetence, back-stabbiing, and the general inanity of the effort.
With the present reform, and with the information age going into high gear, we’re inundated with the ugliness of government central planning and the stark reality of myopic special interests. Politicians, the media and academics have denigrated capitalism for many decades now as a failed system which cannot address the greater good of the many and only benefits the powerful few. You can be assured that what we see now in the healthcare debacle is not capitalism — it’s statism and the process of socialization.
Capitalism has never promised that businesspeople will act in some ideal fashion of perfect competition. Most people who understand capitalism realize that systems are important, and that capitalism is not about individual businesses or individual business people, it’s about a system where businesses fail or succeed based on how well they provide what consumers desire, and by how well businesses are managed to deliver products and services and to maximize profit. Capitalism requires freedom from government interference, except when government interferes to prevent any violation of rights. The economic system of capitalism depends on the basic, individual rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. If these basic rights aren’t protected, then you can’t have capitalism. This makes capitalism, above all else, a moral system, even if practiced by some immoral players. However, if government is doing its job protecting the public from coercion in any form, then the bad players are weeded out — the only way bad players can survive is if they are protected by government.
The economic system under which we presently operate is not capitalism — it’s what I call State Marketism. The State is managing the economy through laws and regulations which have less to do with protection of individual rights and more to do with picking winners and losers and socializing losses of favored businesses and industries. Government interference and protection have allowed large enterprises to survive which in a capitalist system would have failed — GM is a prime example. Now, politicians are preparing to kill off some businesses while co-opting others to work for State purposes.
Since State Marketism is the new system, businesses are scrambling to position themselve as winners, or to at least get some scraps thrown their way. In the healthcare reform process, drug companies, physicians, hospitals, insurance companies, unions and consumers are forced to fight for the best deal to protect their interests. Government holds the power to choose winners and losers, and in the process individual rights will be violated. As a nation we are dangerously close to embracing and finalizing the acceptance of an idea which has infected and slowly killed the capitalist system — individual rights take a backseat to the greater good (whatever that is decided to be by whatever gang is in power).
Protection of individual rights has always been the core of the American Experiment, but for years individual rights have become less important than what politicians determine to be best for the “people” — or is it what’s best for the State?
Members of congress are going forward with their healthcare plan, despite opposition from the public, making deals with the drug industry, trying to satisfy the unions, attempting to co-opt the physicians, and developing plans to squeeze the insurance companies — the whole healthcare industry is balkanized into warring groups. The jungle and guerilla war of capitalism, as the left is disposed to frame it, are nothing compared to what the State has created with its power to coerce and violate rights — what we’re entering now is unbearable — it’s a war against life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.