Over the last decade or so, conservatism in the United States has become increasingly dominated by a couple of key ideas. Several related directly to the use of force and international relations. One, though, has bubbled up from the pool of economic talking points to pop noisily and grab everyone’s attention. It is simply this: No one has the right to demand that others pay their way.
Often, this comes up in the context of health care or education or welfare or what not. An individual on welfare, after all, is effectively demanding that productive members of society subsidize their lifestyle. How fair is that, hmm? Not one bit. And someone who’s wheeled into the emergency room, but can’t pay their bills – why should I, a healthy hard-working American, be forced to pay their bills? It’s precisely the sort of thing that private charities should handle. The government is notoriously inefficient at that sort of thing anways, and the market should be allowed to find the perfect solution.
I think the real failure of conservatism is that it hasn’t been willing to take this idea all the way – probably for fear that liberals would be angry, or some pantywaisted silliness like that. I, for one, think it’s high time that we embraced the truth.
Not only is it unfair for me to pay for someone else’s health care, it’s unfair for me to pay for someone else’s police protection. After all – I live a modest life. I drive an older car and I pay my bills and I don’t keep valuable things lying around. Why should I pay for the police to investigate burglaries at the houses of millionaires? If thousands of disgruntled employees decide to lay siege to WalMart headquarters, it’s certainy not my problem.
Now, many will probably object. “Police protection benefits everyone,” they’ll bleat. Pshaw. That’s exactly what the liberals say about public education, and health care. How much of our nation’s money is sucked into the black hole of law enforcement? Far, far too much in my opinion. If you have soemthing valuable, you should be able to afford to protect it! And if you can’t, well. I shouldn’t be punished for your irresponsible behavior.
Now, if you don’t mind, I have to head off. I’m organizing a looting party for this Friday.