Monday, April 8, 2013

Slavery in the name of freedom

Krugman has it right again, as usual, this time on health insurance. Now the regressives say Obamacare and Medicaid is an affront to freedom? Really? They do this by quoting Reagan's infamous speech trying to block Medicare, noting it would undoubtedly cause “you and I...[to] spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.” And yet there is no evidence whatsoever that providing health insurance has infringed on any freedom, unless you mean limiting an employer's freedom to curtail a worker's freedom.

To the contrary, providing health insurance increases freedom. As it is one of the things tying people to jobs they hate and earn little is their health insurance, if they are lucky enough to have it. If health insurance was more widely available via a public option, for example, then people would be more free to seek without fear better work, pay and conditions. It would also likely require employers to once agan complete for workers, thereby creating higher wages and benefits. But this is exactly what greedy employers do not want; workers having the freedom of choice. Hence in the name of so-called freedom they are not the least bit reluctant to limit actual worker freedom to keep wages low and profits at record levels.

1 comment:

  1. I'm honestly reminded of southern slave owners' rationalization, that it was their freedom to enslave others. They were entitled to this kind of freedom by virtue of their aristrocratic inheritance. Also reminiscent of Supreme Court Justice Scalia's comments on the Voting Rights Act, that it promoted racial entitlement. What he meant was that it infringed on his own racial entitlement, his freedom to remove the freedom of others.


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