Doubtless you’ve all heard about the Law of Unintended Consequences, which can be paraphrased as an intended solution that makes a problem worse. “Wait a minute!” is a typical response. “This isn’t supposed to happen! We didn’t anticipate this!”
Examples are easy to find. Welfare started out as a great idea, something to help the needy, to help single moms, to help a specific group that was struggling. But what were the unintended consequences? Fathers became not only unnecessary, but downright in-the-way. Children grew up without seeing responsibility and a work ethic modeled, so they knew their career choices only had to consist of having more babies to get more money. Multi-generational professional poverty victims sprang up.
Taking away those awful dangerous guns sounds like such a good idea, right? But remove firearms from law-abiding citizens and, unsurprisingly, crime explodes. “Wait, wait!” cry the progressives. “This isn’t how it’s supposed to work out! We need to outlaw … um … kitchen knives! And baseball bats!”
We federalized public education, and now people are shocked – shocked! – that children are being indoctrinated with progressive Marxist propaganda and can’t read their own diplomas.
And now from all over the country, we’re hearing cries of pain from Obamacare. Insurance companies are doubling rates and/or dropping customers by the hundreds of thousands. Employers are cutting employee hours to under 30 hours/week to avoid providing health care. Other employers are dropping family coverage or not hiring that extra person to stay below government mandates for insurance coverage. Gee, who’da thunk?
Even more comical is the reaction of progressives when they learn what it’s going to cost them for their “free” health care. The classic and perfectly phrased example came from a Cindy Vinson of San Jose, Calif. “Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”
I’m sorry, who did you think was going to pay for it? The Magic Health Care Fairy? I’m sorry, Cindy dear, but pixie dust isn’t real and “free” health care isn’t free. (I’m guessing that Cindy learned economics at Marxist public schools.) It’s the Cindys of the world who actually expect a government solution to work and cost nothing. Amazing.
Unintended consequences are far more prevalent with government solutions than private-section solutions. The reason is because the private sector is subject to the forces of competition in the marketplace. When people have the freedom to choose whether or not to purchase a product, companies are forced to improve their goods and reduce costs to attract those customers. Duh.
But government is a monopoly fueled by coercion and force. It doesn’t need to improve or economize; but it can force you at gunpoint to accept the rotten products or services that, in a free market, would have been eliminated in a heartbeat.
“When people set up a program for themselves,” notes Harry Browne in his splendid book “Why Government Doesn’t Work,” “most of them act as they agreed to. But when a program is based on coercion, everyone involved changes his behavior – and the outcome is far different from what was intended. Government programs promoted by well-intentioned citizens are almost always derailed by unforeseen consequences.”
And that is why national health care will NEVER work. Never. Ever. Ever. Health care will become like public education – stagnant, expensive and ineffective.
To continue quoting Harry Browne: “Government, with its power to coerce, seems to be a magic wand that can make your dreams come true. … Because of government’s power, controlling it is the grand prize – the brass ring, the pot of gold, the genie of the lamp. [T]he dreams – of instant riches or social reform – lead inevitably to disappointment, and sometimes to nightmares. The plans almost always ignore the inevitable complications:
- The people you want to help get past a difficult predicament will decide it’s easier to continue receiving the help than to move onward.
- The people you believe need help will be joined by people who would rather receive help than give it.
- The people whose lives must be turned upside down for the program to work – those who must be coerced to make the program work – will do what they can to avoid complying.
- The people who are kept from doing what the reformers don’t like will find something worse to do instead.”
Can anyone tell me why Mr. Browne isn’t absolutely correct? Can anyone defend Obamacare on the grounds that it will be efficient, fair, cheap and innovative?
Right now (even before Obamacare has been fully implemented), this program is already destroying jobs, it’s destroying doctors (including those thinking of entering the field), it’s destroying personal finances, it’s destroying hospitals, and it’s destroying insurance companies. Destroy destroy destroy.
Of course, government officials are professing “surprise” at all the difficulties incumbent in Obamacare. They are “surprised” that people are shocked and unhappy with the costs. They are “surprised” that insurance companies are dropping the coverage of up to a million people (so far). They are “surprised” at endless unintended consequences.
Unless, of course, they AREN’T surprised and these consequences WEREN’T unintentional. Just saying.
“[G]overnment never has to say it’s sorry,” notes Mr. Browne, “never has to take responsibility for the misery it causes. Instead, it can blame everything on personal greed, profit-hungry corporations, and the ‘private sector.’ And the government’s cure for the problems is to impose bigger programs, more regulation, and higher taxes. … Each government program carries within it the seeds of future programs that will be ‘needed’ to clean up the mess the first program creates.” [Emphasis added.]
Look, the unintended consequences of a government health-care takeover are still being determined, but every speculation – every single one – is grim. It appears to be designed to implode. Nothing could be worse than faceless, nameless, uncaring government goons in charge of whether you live or die. Do you really want your body to become the property of the federal government? Tell me how this differs from slavery?
Are you feeling warm and fuzzy yet? Or does the Magic Health Care Fairy have to sprinkle some more “free” pixie dust on you?
Unless we rein in our tyrannical government and restrain it to within the boundaries of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, America will be “unintentionally consequenced” into extinction. My, what an accomplishment to be proud of.
Government is the problem. It is NOT the solution. Don’t ever forget that.