Those Troubling Consenting Adults

Everybody’s doing it. Well, maybe Morrissey isn’t doing it. For some reason, every interview he does, the lame nut holding the microphone feels the need to ask that question. And on each occasion, he’s dismissed it. It has nothing to do with his music, he says. It isn’t important. Good for him for holding out so long. Seriously, who cares? Just keep performing for us. Keep showing us your talents. I don’t care who you’re sleeping with or not even engaging in it.

Which gets me to thinking. Be afraid. Be very afraid when I say that.

What busy-bodies we are, going about whispering suspicions, gossiping about truths. What is the bigger trash? People magazine or it’s consumers? Perhaps I judge too soon. It might be innate jealousy to see others having all the fun. I’m afraid that I am probably correct; in that, we’re always going to be a species that meddles in each others affairs. The prime governor is that in most cases, the greatest blow is against a self-esteem, by either being the target or throwing rocks at the innocent. Because we are of such character, jealous and wanting to be saviors, we have created a second governor – Government. Government should be instituted to protect the rights and property of the people. But what happens when politicians stray from that simple premise? This one is the fire George Washington feared.

When people with power decide they don’t like your choices, they can put limits on them. Ultimate Busy-Body Bloomberg is making it his personal mission in New York to save everyone from sugary goodness, loud music, smoking and so on. There are personal choices that government has no business being in. Examples are use or abstinence of drugs, what you choose for personal protection, gambling, assisted suicide, pornography, cohabitation, fornication or religious choices. It’s Nobodies Business if You Do said Peter McWilliams, regarding consensual behaviors.

The most intimate behavior a person can engage in is sexual relationships. These acts tend to be conducted in the most private of places, out of sight from anyone not wanting to be there. Yet, in America, the home of the brave and the free, we actually have laws on the books against certain sexual behaviors. Sodomy, lewd and lascivious cohabitation, gross indecency between a man and a women, gross indecency between and man and a man, gross indecency between and women and a women, etc. Other than Sodomy, none of the others are exactly defined. It operates on the “I know it when I see it” interpretation. Be afraid. Be very afraid should law enforcement define your act as “lewd” or “lascivious”.

Alan J. Sanders did a great job in a recent article on the subject of Shame. There are ways of dealing with behaviors you deem unacceptable that don’t involve law enforcement. Feel free to shame your neighbor who has nightly visitors, but don’t send him to jail over it. Remember, if you can put on your grown up pants and tolerate a behavior you disapprove of, your neighbor may do the same of yours. We can all live a lot more free.

Tolerance.

Tolerance.

Tolerance.

Tolerance.

But a national debate was raging this week over a sexually charged issue and there was a great lack of tolerance. This one went deeper than just the act of petting and the physical side of things. This involved whether or not same-sex marriages should be legal. Here we have another consensual behavior being impeded by government.

On March 26 and 27, the Supreme Court of the United States took up the subject of same-sex marriage. From discussions of California’s Prop 8 to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), SCOTUS had to actually hear arguments on whether or not gays and lesbians could marry. The answer to this seemed so obvious that on the first day of hearings, I took out a pad and pen and went to town for an hour. But I couldn’t believe I actually had to write out a defense in favor of it. I now know what it was like for abolitionists in 1860, or a fighter for the allowance of black/white marriage in the 1960s (odd we get stupid every hundred years, and in the 60s – coincidence? Another article perhaps. One for the Skeptical Inquirer). But after several starts, stops and head shakes and deep sighs, I erased everything and typed one word: “Yes”. I think it was my best piece to date.

What gay and lesbian couples want is to have the same one-thousand-plus benefits married couples have – property rights, legal rights, insurance, right to pensions, etc. Jeff Rhodes noted some of the benefits they already have. (And I must say, isn’t it nice to see, as he said, “Gay couples in committed, permanent relationships have become widely accepted in the public eye, in the media, and in the hearts and minds of many, if not most, Americans.” That says a lot about how change can come without government). But special treatment is given towards those listed as “married” which, to date, can only be One Man, One Women. Rhodes notes you can Will an estate to anyone but that means doing so ahead of time. An untimely death without the net in place does not auto-default to the partner as it does in a heterosexual marriage. Also, when filling out taxes, there’s only an entry for married or single. If you can’t say you’re “married”, you don’t get the government benefits. The current system is more akin to a separate black and white drinking fountain. Looks equal but it ain’t.

The definition of marriage is the issue. If gay and lesbian couples could call their relationships “marriages”, they’d get government goodies. And I think it’s more the cake and cookies than actually giving a damn about a term. But let’s roll with it anyhow for shits and grins.

There are those on one side saying that the term should remain defined for One Man, One Woman because it’s a tradition and that same-sex marriage should be called something else. Civil Unions, or something will satisfy them. But I don’t think those saying such have looked into this very well. Since it’s the Judeo-Christian group that seems the most opposed to changing the definition, I wonder, do they know it’s already been done?

The great Norweigen, Annette Davis, reminded me that we’ve already re-defined the term marriage. The Religious-Right says, “One Man. One Woman” But they must be quoting some other manuscript because the Bible is more like, “One Man. Many Women.” King David had many. Abraham had his share. And King Solomon had seven-hundred! God was cool with it. And the women here were referred to as wives. That, is Biblical marriage. Even outside the Bible, polygamy was widely practiced. Mormons are the only ones doing it Biblically correct.

So the Judeao-Christians have already re-defined it by making marriage a monogamous relationship. It seems to me that the only argument left is that the Bible specifically makes it a no-no to even have sexual relations with the same sex. Here’s the kicker: The Bible is  not in any way a guide book to American government. In the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by John Adams, it is written: “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…”

The final argument against same-sex marriage is that if we change the definition to allow this, perhaps men will one day marry their Corvettes. Well if you’re afraid of that (and really, in the end, what would it matter to me anyhow?) define marriage as between Homo-Homo-Sapiens. There. Done.

If the government wasn’t handing out special benefits to a special arrangement of people, we might not be having this discussion. Step One is to get government entirely out of this. Let free people define their own relationships among each other. End government benefits for every consenting, adult relationship. Everyone could keep their definitions of marriage.

Government benefits for special groups cause war between the sides. Affirmative Action divides White against Black. Tax breaks for those with children irks those without. Benefits for a businesses with a “green” heating system pits them against businesses that can’t afford it.

A solution to ending government benefits and meddling in consensual behaviors could be to reduce political positions to part-time. This would force them to hold real jobs, live in real neighborhoods, see and meet real neighbors (real people) and live under the laws they write. Then, perhaps, they could meet once a year to discuss real issues facing the country. There wouldn’t be any time for lobbies to grind them over until they role over.

I would have been more fulfilled, making Christmas cards with the mentally ill, then having to write these words today. But leave Morrissey alone. Butt out of the sex-lives of everyone over the age of eighteen. Leave gay and lesbian couples alone and let them marry. Let the word marriage evolve and change. It’s been done before and the world keeps spinning.

POST SCRIPT

A friend of mine showed concern that the Catholic Church would have to recognize these marriages, and perhaps, perform them if this definition was changed. I pointed out that the government could easily now force women to be priests. Allowing same-sex marriages isn’t going to change the fact that government has the power to pick and choose how peaceful people assemble and associate. We’re dealing with the same problem. Government approves some relations, denies others.

Harry Browne wrote an excellent article discussing such things. I direct you to it for further reading on how even the best of intentions go wrong in government hands.

What We’re Up Against…Still

1988 was the first year I could participate in a presidential election. That was the year I turned eighteen. It was also the year (in fact, the exact day of my birthday) that the Soviet Union committed to withdrawing it’s troops from Afghanistan. It was the year I finished high school and started college. And despite all these things “adult”, I refrained from being involved in politics and abstained from voting. I was happier in the knowledge that I could legally buy tobacco and porn but upset that my “juvenile transgressions” were now “adult crimes”. These things were more important to me then.

My father was a Goldwater Republican and voted for the Libertarian Party since their founding in 1971. I grew up with the kind of political philosophy that no one owes you anything and any happiness had to be earned – by me.

The second big influence to my political philosophy came from music. Today I couldn’t tell you if Jello Biafra is an ignored genius or a paranoid schizophrenic but back in the late 1980s, he was a hero of mine. Punk rock was always laid with political overtures but the Dead Kennedys were polluted with it.

So when November 8, 1988 came around, and one of my best friends voted for Bush (Republican) and my other best friend voted for Dukakis (Democrat), I ate cookies or drank a milkshake or something more satisfying and a better use of my time.

Come 1992, I had a second chance to vote and this time, I did. I did because of Ross Perot. He didn’t win.

Come 1996, somewhere around end of summer, Harry Browne flashed on the television and preached words to me that were exciting. But at the time, I was still with Perot. He had the best chance to break through the Demopublican fence. And it was strong. I was torn. For the first time, I was torn on what to do…

Some have told me that I waste my vote for the Libertarian Party because third parties “never win”. They point out the celebrity status of Ross Perot and Ralph Nader (and go back to when Teddy Roosevelt tried a final time through a third party). The nay-sayer notes that if they couldn’t get elected, a smaller figure has even less of a chance. I think they say this because, unlike some other nations, our elections are winner take all.

Look at the results of the past thirty-years of U.S. Presidential Elections and you’ll see an almost 50/50 split by popular vote. Whether it’s a Republican or Democrat winner, this margin of win is so small it’s as if voters are flipping coins behind the closed curtain. Is it true the voting population is 50/50? More than likely, it is not. We have over one-thousand religions based off the Bible, I doubt we only have two political parties (some so and some not) based on the Constitution. No, what is probably more at work is voting for the lesser of two evils, name recognition, ad time, fund raising, etc. And in the end, the winner takes all. If you had a donkey and an elephant running for president, and the donkey gets 51% of the vote and the elephant gets 49%, there is no 51/49 representation in the White House. It would be all Jackass politics. It was originally intended that the greatest vote getter would be president and the next highest getter would be vice-president. We don’t have that anymore. If we did, third parties might show a stronger vote total as people might think there’s no way Joe Smith can beat a Barack Obama but at least, he could end up vice-president.

If only the media would pay more attention to third parties. Well, it won’t unless another Ross Perot or Ralph Nader enters the ring (oh if only Clint Eastwood would do more than talk to a chair and represent the LP like his rhetoric has in the past). But even if a celebrity came again up from behind, as history has shown, that is not enough to break through.

First and foremost, the media pays most attention to front runners. This includes incumbents which, right now, are Republicans and Democrats. They are provided with media attention even if they don’t run ads. In 2012, Obama could have done nothing but sunned himself on the beach and the media would have surrounded him daily. Third parties are not in such a privileged position so no matter how many pancake flips they can do for the homeless, the news won’t be there. Third parties have very little money to run ads, to get attention. This explains why their presence is highest on the Internet which is the cheapest of mediums.

The Republicans and Democrats have also set up laws against third parties. They have passed laws on donation limits, campaign subsidies, monopolizing the debate commission and throwing up numerous barriers to ballot access.

Michael C. Ruppert described the Democrat/Republican stronghold this way. He said, “It’s organized crime. All you do is you call the Republicans the Genovese and you call the Democrats the Gambinos. The people at the top, they treat it like a crap game, like it’s their crap game, like their making lots of money. Occasionally, somebody at this table shoots each other but the moment anything threatens their crap game, they all unite to protect it.”

Instead of reinventing the wheel and dragging this post out for pages upon pages, I will direct you to a detailed description of the points noted above (if you wish such details). Written by the late-great Harry Browne, he wrote it best in his article entitled, “What We’re Up Against” and I counsel you to read it.

What we’re up against is an established and entrenched group of people who keep growing government. They keep it going to the tune of trillions of dollars annually and, with the recent Sequester, cry that the sky is falling when a lousy $85 billion must go. They take donations and, in turn, provide favors or block bills introduced in congress as paybacks. Most importantly, they forget who they represent, they forget (or choose to ignore) the importance of their jobs and get while the getting is good. This must change. I’d like to get back to a government that supports only Rights and not granting entitlements. And right now, only the Libertarian Party is doing that.

Oh yeah, what happened in 1996?

I was still a Perot supporter despite the enlightening rhetoric of Harry Browne. Like other voters today, I was going with Perot because I figured he had the best chance to beat the Demopublicans and take all. So after work, I went to my precinct, showed my ID, took my card and went behind the curtain. I debated with myself. Should I vote for Perot? Should I vote for Harry Browne? Harry spoke to me. Harry was like my dad. Harry was like me. But Perot could do it. If anyone could break the mob, Perot could. He had the best chance. So I hovered my pen over the card and went to mark the oval by Perot’s name. And I remembered Perot’s words. He said, “Vote your conscious”. And I voted for Harry Browne.

Sorry Dear Seated Scribe, But It’s a NO

Come August 7th, voters in the counties of Oakland, Macomb and Wayne, here in Michigan, will find on our ballots a new millage request. It’s called the Wayne County Art Institute Authority Millage. And why should you care if you’re not living in the tri-county area of Michigan? Because items like these appear on ballots everywhere in the US of A. This particular one can be used as an example of what appears to be a great cause but; underneath, lies the grumbling belly of a Sarlacc, getting the power of government to force the taxpayer to pay for someone else’s hobby.

A quick review before proceeding, shall we?

What is government? I’m not going to launch into a list of optional forms of social contracts. I won’t define Marxism, Monarchy, etc, you have Wikipedia for that. Ask yourself this question and think about what it is. What makes government so different than every other agency. How is it different than a large corporation? Different than a shopping mall? What sets it apart?

In Harry Browne’s book, “Why Government Doesn’t Work”, he gives us the answer we seek. Government is force. It is nothing else. Regardless of a Communist or Monarchy or Constitutional Republic, government is an agency of force. Government is the only organization that has the power to make you do things you might or might not want to be a part of. It can make you pay taxes. It can force you to enlist in military service. It can make you participate in cutting your lawn. And in the United States, it can now make you participate in a health care plan. No corporation can do that. General Motors, Walmart, Burger King, all they can do is advertise the hell out of their products and entice you to engage with them. They can never force you to participate with them. Remember this the next time someone suggests we get government involved. What they’re really saying is, “Let’s force people to do this.”

Here is the scary part: Government’s ability to force you to do things is done at the end of a gun. Try not paying your taxes, see what happens. The first step might be a nasty pink letter from the IRS. The next would be a personal visitation from an agent. If you continue to refuse to participate, the IRS will knock on your door really loud, break it down and drag you out to stand trial. And if you continue to put up a fight, you get shot.

Do we really want to be using government to solve problems? Protecting the Rights and property of the people, sure. I like knowing we have a government that will arrest someone who breaks into my home and, with due process, provide a trial to determine guilt and, if guilty, punish the perp. That’s what government should do. But should it be involved in say, preserving an Institute of Arts…at the business end of a gun barrel?

That’s what the Wayne County Art Institute Authority Millage is. If passed, it forces a tax on property owners in the tri-county area to provide funding for the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). Feel free to look it up and come back to this.

I love the DIA. I recently spent an afternoon there with my wife who had never been. I’ve been going, every few years, since I was in my early twenties. I particularly love the collection of religious paintings from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. I also always stop by for a moment and ponder the image in Harald Slott-Moller’s, Georg Brandes at the University of Copenhagen. For years I chose not to find out who Georg Brandes was because I liked wondering what this guy was all content about up on that witness stand (as it looks). And my final stop is always in the Egyptian collection (despite how puny it is). I have to say hello to the Seated Scribe, that little basalt statue of a man bent over his papers. It’s my mascot as a writer. I took it on back in my twenties during my first visit where I purchased a replica. It remains on my bookshelf today, right next to Indiana Jones and Sallah. See?

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I have lots of memories there. I have had new experiences with each visit, taking different people with me. I wish I had lots of money to spend at the gift shop, collecting prints to complement my personal library and pieces to adorn my bookshelves. But come August 7th, if this millage doesn’t pass, the DIA could be headed for closure, permanently. It will begin with immediate layoffs and reduction of services. This saddens me. But I will be voting NO on the millage. To vote yes, would be equal to pointing a gun at every property owner’s head in the tri-county area and demanding they continue to fund a hobby of mine (and countless others).

Government should never be used to uphold, give a lift to, suspend, increase (or decrease) something outside what it was designed to do. Sadly, governments routinely ignore their reason for existence: To protect the property, Rights and lives of the people. But every now and then, we the people, get to vote directly on an issue. With every issue I approach the voting box with the definition in mind. I read every millage or proposition or proposal and ask, does this fit into the definition of government? If it doesn’t, no matter how good it might seem to me as an individual, I always vote NO. I can not fathom forcing other people to pay for things that I like, even if I think they should like them too.

I really liked the Borders bookstore in my neighborhood, but that went out like a light last year. Would it have been a good thing, when the writing was on the walls end of 2010, to put a millage on the ballot to bail them out? I would have loved for Borders to stick around but would have also voted NO on that.

In every instance where you as an individual can approach the voting box, keep in mind what you’re really doing. If a proposal comes up to fund a new public swimming pool in your neighborhood, it might sound great, especially if you have young kids. But step back, breathe, and ask yourself, would I put a gun to my neighbor’s head for this? If you answer NO, then you should vote NO. (Incidentally, if you answer YES, you should seek psychiatric care).

Government is Responsible for Expensive Health Care

Why the hell does it cost $400.00 for inspection of a sprained arm and the wrapping of a bandage in the emergency room? How come a bag of chemo-chemicals costs $8,000.00? Why is it that a CT-Scan is about $4,000.00? How is it that a simple physical, where the doctor just has to read off a list of questions, perform standard tests and then deduce if anything is wrong, costs over $700.00? These charges are some things I’ve seen or been personally involved in here in Michigan. I agree, they are high. But why? What makes that industry so much more expensive than other businesses?

Why is it that you can buy a computer that has more hard drive space, more memory and more processing power than that which launched man to the moon in 1969? (Incidentally, that extraordinary processing power resides in your cellphone.) Why is it that a two-litre of Coke or Pepsi is still about $1.50 and has been holding there for decades? Why is it that the power of the Internet has increased, we can access it at faster and faster rates and access is in more and more places but it has become cheaper than just ten years ago? Some places, for the cup of a coffee, it’s free!

Why am I asking so many damned questions and answering nothing?

Fine. Here’s why you pay extraordinary amounts in health care that you don’t anywhere else.

Genesis:

In the Beginning, the United States Government attempted to hide the inflation it brought upon itself during World War II by implementing wage and price controls. The inflation was caused by the government printing up more money. Due to said wage controls, businesses found it difficult to hold good employees. The solution was to offer benefits, like health insurance, to keep them around. As time went on, employer provided health insurance became well established and expected. And because someone else was paying for health insurance (employer and insurance company), patients stopped paying attention to how much things costs. (1)

Secondly, government forces insurance companies to pay for testing and procedures for everybody even if the patient doesn’t need it. When you sign up for a health care plan, you may not realize that you have government mandated access to drug and alcohol abuse counseling (even if you don’t use these substances), you have access to some questionable practices like acupuncture or other new age “treatments” (even if you happen to be reasonable enough to know they’re bullshit). You pay for it in your plan because government has forced it to be covered. The government continues to require more and more coverage no matter whether you need it / want it or not or how unlikely most of the population is to suffer from it. You’re plan may cover your abortion, even if you’re a man. And as insurance companies are required to cover more, the premium gets passed on to you.

Thirdly, in the United States, we have the best equipment. Yes, the best machines to diagnose us and look inside us and find out what’s wrong. We have the best research centers and above all other country, we make the greatest advances in medicine. The best will always cost more than the mediocre so we can expect at least a higher cost than, say, your laptop or I-Pad. Only in a free society do we have these advances. It’s amazing we have come this far despite the regulations and controls by the government. Imagine where we’d be without them. (Hold that thought, we’re getting there). Note that there have been zero, zero, medical breakthroughs from oppressive governments like those in Afghanistan, Lybia or Lao People’s Democratic Republic. No one flies to these countries to seek cures. But people come to the United States from all over the world to treat their illnesses. Even privileged people who live in countries with celebrated socialized medicine seem to only give a wink and a smile to it because when they get sick, the come to the States. (2)

So there you have it: Government created the problem and patients aren’t involved anymore in planning their budgets around it because someone else is going to pay for it. And with the Supreme Court’s recent upholding of the Affordable Healthcare Act, it’s going to be more of the same. It’s what two-time Libertarian Presidential Candidate, Harry Browne would call, “An example of how the government breaks your legs, gives you crutches and says, ‘See, if it wasn’t for us, you wouldn’t be able to walk.’”

But what about your third point, Eric? The one about great technological advances here in the States? What does government have to do with that in raising prices?

The government is responsible, just as much as in points one and two.

Let’s compare medical technology to Dell computer, Hewlett-Packard, Linux (my personal favorite because it’s absolutely free) or even the more expensive Apple. While the government constantly meddles in medical equipment, there is no Department of Personal Computing. And because of this, there is true competition and freedom to innovate that isn’t available to the medical community. Because of this, you, the consumer, keep getting more powerful personal computers while costs continue to go down. My first computer, with printer and monitor cost me $2,700.00 in 1996. I now have an HP Laptop (Running Ubuntu Linux 10.04) and a Barnes and Noble Nook Color that, combined, costs me about $600.00. Were there the right App, I could be building a Chuck E’ Cheese on Mars now. (I believe there isn’t yet because the government still regulates and controls the upper atmosphere).

Imagine if there was a Department of Personal Computing. Harry Browne does a wonderful job telling us exactly what that world would look like. Each computer would cost a few million dollars, be bigger than your residence, each new model would be less efficient than the last and “…every computer would come with software that shows you how to put on a condom.” (3) The reason why almost everyone is able to engage in the wonderful world of personal computing and the Internet is because government is not involved. You and you alone get to choose from several computer companies, get to choose how much computing power you want (video game race horse or web surf / word processing machine) and how fast you want to access said information on the Internet, if you want to be involved online at all. You can choose to have a huge desktop or an I-Phone. You can choose to unplug and not get involved at all.

Imagine what we’d have if we let patient/doctor/insurance company custom tailor a plan instead of government forcing everyone into a one-size-fits-all. Imagine if you could engage in medicine and health plans like you do when you go shopping for a computer. You and your doctor could decide if you were at risk for drug abuse or sickle cell anemia or AIDS or cancer or Alzheimer or whatever and choose, ala carte, what you’d like to get covered. You could plan and budget for health maintenance like you do with oil changes, your cable bill, water bill, grocery bill, etc. Instead of using health insurance to pay for simple doctor’s visits, well-visit physicals, immunizations, etc, you could buy a catastrophic plan to assist only with the heavy hitters like cancer or any major accident that may fall upon you. (Pun intended). In other words, you’d be using insurance for what insurance is for. Not for every time you engage with your doctor, but, like in car insurance, when something major happens. Not for adding air to your tires or car washes but in the event of a sixty-two car pile up.

In the end, if the government got completely out of Health Care, we could all engage in it on an individual level and all be able to afford whatever we felt was best for us.

On a final note and something related, let’s discuss something I like to call the myth of “I Can’t Afford Health Insurance!”

Since we do live in a United States with regulation and control of health care which forces costs to sky rocket, I keep hearing people say that they can’t afford health care unless they get their employer to do it. Some complain that it’s too expensive to engage in. I am skeptical of this claim. I think that despite the high cost of health care, you can afford at least some kind of coverage; catastrophic at least, if you really, really want it.

I’ve heard complainers say, “I Can’t Afford Health Care!” yet they have an I-Phone on their hip with unlimited voice, text and data plans: $130.00 a month. These same complainers drive vehicles they’re paying $300.00 a month. The same bitchers have cable television with HBO, Showtime and the ultimate-super-duper Football Package: $150.00 a month. Do the math. That’s $580.00 a month. These are just three examples of luxuries you don’t need. You could have a cheaper cellphone plan, you could drive a cheaper car and you could cut the cable monster entirely. You could cut down to a $45.00 cellphone plan and a $150.00 a month, cheaper car. That would save you $385.00 a month. Now consider what else you could live without. I’m asking you to decide not what you want but what you need.

For fun, I went to Atena.com (because it was the first company Google threw at me when I searched for health plans), I plugged in what it would cost for a twenty-two-year-old, single male with no children. The best plan, with dental, only costs $189.00 a month.

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For extended fun, I plugged in my own stats, a forty-two-year old, married male with a thirty-one-year-old wife and two children of six and four years old. The Cadillac plan (like that noted above) was $918.00. If all you had was our $385.00 in the stats above, you couldn’t afford that. But, you could still afford a plan, with dental as shown below.

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If you were to continue to examine your monthly expenses (Saturday pizzas, soda pops, fast food every day for lunch, designer clothing, name-brand-ketchups, etc) I’m betting you could afford an even better plan. And you don’t have to go with Atena. You get to shop around and compare plans, just like you would for any other kind of insurance.

So why don’t these complainers do that? Why don’t they give up the luxuries to insure themselves and/or their families on what I consider to be the most important thing to spend money on? I don’t know. But it’s clearly not as important to them as it is to me. And that’s the way it is with everything in life. While I cherish a speedy computer with high speed Internet access (let’s face it, it’s really about being able to play Left4Dead2 with faster load times than my opponents) some people are fine with a graduated word processor. And while I cherish a health plan for my family, some people choose not too. I think most people who drop out of health insurance do so because it’s not as important as an I-Phone or fancy clothing or a $5.00 latte. Or they think they will be lucky enough to avoid a hospitalization or major health problem. That’s the risk they take. And in a free society, it’s their risk and not mine.

Risk is a part of life. Whether you choose to speed on the highway or eat fatty foods or abuse drugs or listen to Europe’s, The Final Countdown, you’re taking risks. If you choose to not have health insurance or, at least, build something of a savings account for accidents and acts of God, that’s your choice. Government should never be handing you crutches after breaking your legs. That’s something you, as a responsible person, should be planning for.

1. David Boaz, Libertarianism – A primer, P. 225: 1999

2. Vivek Rajasekhar, The Canadian Patients’ Remedy for Health Care: Go to America! 2010

3. Harry Browne, Free The Schools! 2004