Socialism is like a Chinese finger trap. Playing with it just a bit look harmless and even fun, but once you start on that road it much easier to get further trapped than it is to free yourself.
Image based on stuck for lyfe by Chris Martin.
I read a great example of this in the comments on an article about some proposed seatbelt legislation – specifically the following interchange:
No mandate please | 8:43 a.m. Feb. 14, 2008
If I don’t want to wear a seatbelt, that’s my business. But the sponsors of this bill will cry…”it’s about safety”. Let’s all be honest. Bottom line…it’s not about safety. It’s about revenue. It’s about mining the drivers in Utah for more money over a silly (soon to be) law.
Legislators should stick to real issues. Seatbelt laws are unconstitutional.
Anonymous | 9:06 a.m. Feb. 14, 2008
How many people out there are not willing to wear a seatbelt but more than willing to sue the insurance company for injuries sustained for not wearing a seatbelt.
Anonymous | 9:18 a.m. Feb. 14, 2008
It is your business as long as you don’t expect Utah taxpayers to pick up your medical bills if you are out of work or disabled. Sort of like a smoker. Do it if you want but don’t expect me to pay your bills if you end up with cancer.
Really? | 9:18 a.m. Feb. 14, 2008
Do you really think that not wearing a seat bealt is just your business? Let’s say you don’t have insurance, like many Utahns, who is going to pay your medical bills? You will probably end up on Medicaid and the tax payers will have to pay for you… now let’s say you do have insurance. Do you think there is a possibility that my insurance rates will go up because of your expensive medical bills? Now let’s say you have a wife and kids, and you die due to your neglect, what happens to them? They may go on public assistance as well. They start getting Social Security death benefits. Can you see that more is at stake than “your business”?
YES REALLY | 9:38 a.m. Feb. 14, 2008
Hey Really… Yes I think it is just my business or whoever it is that chooses to not wear a seatbelt. You have a good point on the insurance statement, but that is just one of many things that could make your rates go up or have people get on public assistance. People can start getting Social Security death benefits from anything that might take someones life. I have to agree with the above comment, I do believe its not about safety, it really is about the money. We should have a choice whether or not to wear a seatbelt. Remember this is America.
Sagacious Inquisitor | 9:58 a.m. Feb. 14, 2008
Sadly, your comments are based on the Socialistic notion that somehow society is responsible for me. Granted, Socialism is the dangerous system into which we have already slipped too far.
Once we already have a little socialism – such as government paying the costs of health care for those who can’t afford the choices they have made – it gets easy to use that as a lever to argue that the choices they make are no longer theirs to make but are within the reach of government to make those choices for them. The problem is that each time such an argument is made it becomes that much more difficult to be free to make our own choices – responsible for the consequences of our choices, and not responsible for the choices of others.
It is too easy to paint proponents of individual responsibility as uncaring towards those who are less fortunate than they are, but that is an unfair characterization of the position. I am fully in favor of helping someone in need. I absolutely desire that doctors be paid for their time and effort on behalf of people who cannot afford the health care they need.
The difference is that I believe we do a disservice to those who receive such help when the help comes from a nameless, faceless, impersonal government agency rather than coming from caring neighbors or relatives. Not only do they feel no urgency to improve their situations or to repay the kindness they have received in their time of need when aid comes from such an impersonal source, but it is impossible for government to fully tailor that aid to their specific situation which opens up the misfortune of some people to be used as an opportunity for gain by other unscrupulous people. With caring individuals involved in rendering the needed assistance there are greater safeguards against those who would take such advantage and more incentive for those receiving aid to lift themselves as much as possible.
If the vehicle of government could be used to eliminate social ills such as poverty or homelessness we would have found that solution after decades of government intervention. For all the efforts to use government for those noble ends we show little if any progress.