While I don’t wish to reproduce on this blog the entirety of Frederic Bastiat’s “The Law”, I believe the author should have an opportunity to rebut comments made on my previous quote of him regarding the definition of socialism.
I’m often challenged in political arguments with progressives, particularly on Twitter, to define socialism. My opponents claim that I’m abusing the term. I’m inclined to see such a claim as an example of conversational terrorism, but it happens often enough and I care enough about productive dialog that I’ve decided to relent and offer a definition. I might not have done so entirely to my satisfaction had I not been listening to an audiobook version of Frederic Bastiat’s “The Law” this morning. I offer here his laudably simple and clear definition.
Most of the time of a big fan of the folks at the Mises Institute. I’m also a big fan of agorist approaches to health care/insurance. However, I don’t think I can get behind Han’s-Hermann Hoppe’s “Four Step Healthcare Solution“. It lends itself too well to Margaret Sanger’s brand of eugenics.
“It is possible to successfully fend off a zombie attack, according to Canadian mathematicians. The key is to ‘hit hard and hit often.’
“Oh yes, somebody actually did a study on mathematics of a hypothetical zombie attack, and published it in a book on infectious disease. So, while we still don’t know what to do if a deadly asteroid takes aim at Earth, an unlikely but technically possible situation, we now know what to do in case of a zombie attack.”
What really made me chuckle, though, was a quote from the paper.
“‘Clearly, this is an unlikely scenario if taken literally,’ they wrote. ‘But possible real-life applications may include allegiance to political parties, or diseases with a dormant infection.'”
Allegiance to political parties is zombie behavior. I like that. 😉
I love when overambitious politicians accidentally speak the truth – to their own detriment. I mean, how could I top a gem like this?
“Obama sought to dispel talk that his ultimate goal is a single-payer federal health care system, like that in countries such as Canada.
He also disputed the notion that adding a government-run insurance plan into a menu of options from which people could pick would drive private insurers out of business, in effect making the system single-payer by default.
As long as they have a good product and the government plan has to sustain itself through premiums and other non-tax revenue, private insurers should be able to compete with the government plan, Obama said.
‘They do it all the time,’ he said. ‘UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. … It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.’“
Update 08/13/09: Lew Rockwell has tossed in his two cents about this gaffe.
“Writing in The State and Revolution in 1917, Vladimir Lenin summed up the economic aim of socialism as follows: ‘To organize the whole economy on the lines of the postal service….’
“Incredible, isn’t it? After centuries of treatises and miles of paper and tubs of ink, this is the great historical turning point: government employees carrying sacks of paper mail from house to house, and operating at an economic loss.”
Update 08/18/09: John Stossel has chimed in.
“His mistake is telling. If he didn’t notice that the Post Office, despite providing worse service than UPS and FedEX, is bailed out by Congress, will he notice when a government-run health care plan is feeding off billions of your tax dollars?
“Or would he care? Before the election he supported a single payer system. Subsidized co-ops would be an easy back-door way to achieve the same thing.”