The Alternative to the Obama Disaster? "Somehow"

by | Sep 29, 2011

Imagine if government “invested” in religion the way it invests in automobiles, banking, medical care and tons of other activities and services. What do you think this would do to religion — and government? The same applies to newspapers and media, which operate in more or less of a free market. What if government decided […]

Imagine if government “invested” in religion the way it invests in automobiles, banking, medical care and tons of other activities and services. What do you think this would do to religion — and government?

The same applies to newspapers and media, which operate in more or less of a free market. What if government decided to invest in broadcast news, on a much wider scale than NPR and PBS? How long would it be before government — since it funds most of these things — would now be calling the shots, and regulating them?

Most say this is ludicrous. “It would never happen in America.” But why not? The only thing standing between this happening, or not, is the Constitution. The Constitution allows for freedom of speech and freedom of the press. But the Constitution also calls for limited government. The Constitution expressly states that the federal government should not be involved in any activity not provided for in that document. Yet government is involved in subsidizing, regulating, controlling and (in some cases) even monopolizing just about every human activity other than religion and media. How long until somebody says, “There ought to be a law” involving what amounts to a government takeover of all things intellectual and spiritual?

People who are religious are passionate about government keeping hands off their beliefs and their churches. People who are intellectual are usually just as passionate about government keeping its political hands off their books, websites, magazines and — at the core of it all — their right to hold and espouse their ideas. This passion is well placed, admirable and even inspirational. But why aren’t people the same way about things that are just as important? Take, for example, medical care. Nobody would disagree that medical care is just as important as your spiritual or intellectual life. Without physical health, there is no spiritual or intellectual life, because you’re either preoccupied with illness, or simply dead.

Despite this fact, nearly everyone agrees that “there ought to be a law” that government control some or every aspect of health care. Don’t like your doctor? “There ought to be a law requiring everyone to have a good doctor.” That’s what ObamaCare promises. Don’t like the idea of paying for your own health insurance, or even a single doctor’s visit? “There ought to be a law.” ObamaCare will supposedly take care of that, even as insurance premiums skyrocket still higher.

The more government laws we create, the more of them we need in order to fix the effects of the last one. At some point, you think most people — or at least a few people — would start to wonder, “Is government the problem, rather than the solution? Is the solution a free market, in which government only intervenes in cases of known or alleged fraud?”

Instead, we have the equivalent of a government ministry or bureau of spirituality, or a government bureau of ideas. Most people can intuitively understand just how well those things would work, and how fair they would be. But a government bureau of Medicare, Medicaid, and now ObamaCare? Bring it on! Well, of course there’s some opposition to these things. But the opposition mostly comes from a resentment that government will get in the way of getting something for free. I see no widespread (or even small) movement in favor of having the right to purchase medical care in a free, open and competitive marketplace, where, yes indeed, you’re responsible for paying for it yourself. If any of the presidential candidates called for such a thing, they’d get even less than 1 percent of the vote that such candidates usually get. David Letterman would mock such a candidate as “extreme” and get roundly applauded for it.

People want their freedom of speech and freedom to practice religion, and they’re willing to pay the price for them. They don’t expect anyone to purchase their books for them, or to build their churches for them. But with health care, and many other things secular (such as education), it’s just the opposite attitude. People want “someone” to be taking care of these things. It’s not even as conscious a thought as “government should do it.” It’s just an assumption that of course SOMEONE should be taking care of it — it’s a right and an entitlement, isn’t it? The government is beyond broke. How are they to pay for unlimited demand for unlimited medical care for all? SOMEHOW.

“Someone” and “somehow.” These are the sentiments destroying what’s best about America.

The minute you consider something a right and an entitlement, you’re handing over all your power to somebody else. That somebody else usually, if not always, has an agenda completely different from your own. (Career politicians, none of them, have your interests at heart.)

You can’t get something for nothing. If somebody else is paying for it, then they’re going to control it in a way you don’t like. Americans show virtually no indication of realizing any of this, at least not yet, and not in the areas of greatest concern, such as health care, the financial sector and education. The growing economic and fiscal crisis in government will be the biggest wake-up call in human history. It’s coming, and it has already started.

Americans, you have to realize that once you accept what I’m saying here, the truth will set you free.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at:

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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