Archive - Oct 10, 2013

Your Occasional Reminder

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Memo to America: TIME FOR A REMINDER.

As we plummet headlong into the abyss, I think it's long past time for a refresher course on basic civilized society. I've said these things before, but they bear mentioning every once in a while, especially in the context of the incredibly stupid fight we're having now and the incrediblyer stupider arguments we're using in that fight.

Since this debate started about health care, before it devolved into general-purpose spending rants and a vague desire to extract unspecified concessions so that certain parties don't look like the incompetent, sociopathic extortionists that they are, let's address a basic question frequently posed by fuckwits:

"Why should I have to pay for someone else's healthcare?"

Let's ignore, for the moment, that you do pay for someone else's healthcare. You do it all the time. When you pay an insurance company a premium, they take that money, pool it with everyone else's premiums, use some of it to buy the paper they use to mail you three thousand explanation of benefit forms and, eventually, one bill; some of it on lavish executive salaries; some on an annual bonus for the guy who figures out how much they don't have to pay for someone else's health care, and, eventually, other people's health care.

And then, when you need health care, the process is repeated, only with you as the beneficiary.

But ignore that. Let's say that the Tea Party diet of Cheetos, Bud Light, and the occasional "treat night" at Applebee's ends up conferring perfect health and immortality. You still get to pay for other people's health care. Happy Fucking Holidays.

See, you live in what is, despite recent appearances, a modern civilized society with a functioning government. And what government does is that it takes your money and spends it on services for everyone in the society. Remember the You Are Dumb Official Retort To Glibertarians:

Taxation is not theft. It's the cover charge to get into civilization.

Your taxes pay for traffic signals you'll never use, in intersections you will never drive through in your entire life. You get no benefit from those traffic signals, but society benefits from not having piles of mangled metal, plastic, and corpses at every intersection. so government takes your money and uses it to fund services that benefit other people.

Most civilized societies have also reached the conclusion that it society benefits from not having piles of bankrupt, terminally ill people begging for food money at every intersection, so those governments take some of your money and use it to fund health care services that benefit other people.

Similarly, food stamps alleviate the societal ill of starvation under overpasses and rampaging mobs of hungry people breaking into houses to steal canned goods to feed their families. And nuclear weapons to alleviate the societal ills of being taken over by the damn Russkies.

This is a non-negotiable fact. Your entire life is made possible by government. Even when it's corrupt. Even when it's oppressive. It's still better than the nihilistic anarchy that passes for the modern conservative and libertarian view of ideal government.

Is there inefficiency? Fuck yes. Inefficiency is the price you pay for scale. This is true of anything. If there were one McDonald's in the entire country, the people in charge of McDonalds could probably ensure that nobody would ever spit into anyone's Big Mac. But it would be inconvenient for most of us to drive there. So instead, we opt for scale, and inefficiency, and every once in a while, there's a little spit or a $200 hammer or someone slacking off somewhere when local news has a hidden camera. This doesn't invalidate the concepts of restaurants or government.

This debate isn't about health care, or spending. It's about a bunch of assholes who reaped the benefits of living in a civilized society for the past four to five decades, and now want you to suffer so that they can keep all those benefits for themselves.

Reject them. Reject their basic fucking premise. Shut your piehole and be grateful for civilization, because we both know a Lord Of The Flies libertarian island wouldn't last a fucking week.