Just a short while ago, I was retrieving a fresh cup of coffee, and I happened to hear something on the television that caused me to do a double-take. FoxNews was on and America’s New Headquarters had a contributor on to talk about obesity in America, and the fact that obesity and even the classification “overweight” seem to have plateaued in the country. The doctor, from Mt. Sinai in New York, a David Samadi, was discussing the implications of the new study showing this plateau. The thing that caught my attention was not so much the discussion of obesity, but what this idiotic doctor was prescribing: He wants new taxes, for instance, a “soda tax,” and he wants to reduce the number of fast-food outlets in the country. Excuse me? Physician, heal thyself! This is the nature of the stories even allegedly “conservative” news outlets like FoxNews cover when most of us aren’t watching, and it almost always leans in the direction of socialism.
Let me say from the outset that like many Americans, I could stand to eat Five Guys burgers somewhat less frequently, but let me also suggest that it is none of this doctor’s business what I eat or drink, where I eat it or drink it, and most of all whether I am taxed for so doing. Samadi’s view seems to be that he can issue prescriptions for three-hundred-million people, never having examined more than a few hands-full of them. More, since he has no such authority or power or the ability to control, he exhorts government to do so on behalf of his preferred prescription for people the vast majority of whom he has never met, never mind examined or treated. What sort of collectivized thinking permits this arrogant [expletive deleted] to sit there in a television studio and proclaim to all that he has the answers for your life, but that he needs government’s power to coerce and to tax in order to implement them?
There is something wicked about the minds of those who view their fellow men as cattle, to be poked and prodded and driven in a direction that they may not themselves wish to go. It is born of a mindset that does not respect first and foremost the lives and rights of individual people. These people are those who I term “regulators,” who wish to regulate all persons in a given society of which they are members to conform to their view of what is right for all people. Mayor Bloomberg’s various bans on salt or saturated fats in cooking oils are just two examples, but it is the mindset of a tyrant that is troubling in all of this. I don’t need Mayor Bloomberg, Michelle Obama, or Dr. Samadi telling me what to eat, when to eat it, or whether I ought to have access to it at all. It’s simply not their concern. Or is it?
Now we arrive at the meat of this issue, because there is much more than burgers at stake here. What is under examination is not whether they have the authority to control us, but how they derive such authority in the first place. The answer is simple: They rely upon the faulty claims of the notion of “the public health.” You may have noticed that they always portray this as a “public health crisis,” and as an “epidemic,” but this is a lie, and their authority in the matter only arises because of health-care, and the fact that government is the biggest player in that segment of the market. They have routinely positioned the matter in such a way that they can make the claim that by virtue of governmental expenditures in this field, it therefore becomes an issue of public imperative. Worse, by allowing their colossal medical expenditures and controls to grow out of all bounds, you have permitted them to enter this field, and thereby exert control over your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and evening snack besides. More damaging still is the fact that the government is now the largest food provider on the planet. Again, I remind you: We have permitted this.
Here’s a basic rule of nature, and of civilization that the statists know and are now turning in their favor: If you are the provider of a thing, you can decide when to provide it, how to provide, how much of it to provide, and under what conditions you’ll provide it. For instance, if I invite you to my home for a meal, since I am providing it, it is my natural right to determine all the particulars. If you provide me a service without compensation, it is clear that I have no ethical or moral claim with respect to the manner in which you provide it. Only paying customers have any say-so in the matter. The old adage “beggars can’t be choosers” should immediately leap into one’s mind. That simple old adage merely paid homage to that which is self-evident, and yet it is this same concept that has been bent and twisted into the service of the state’s aggressive aggregation of power. The strategy has been to blur the lines. Let’s see if we can reconstruct the approach.
First, we create simultaneously programs to:
- Provide food to the poor
- Provide health-care to the poor
- Provide “health insurance” to the elderly
Do you see how this has mutated? The idle poor are fed, but they are fed rations excessive for a person at hard labor, and we wonder why there is obesity? We then provide these same people health-care, and we wonder why there is a “public health crisis?” Add to this that we simultaneous have a system of health “insurance” for our elderly that further obscures the difference between paying and non-paying, and at the other end of the spectrum, we now have federal food programs in schools, as the manner by which federal funds are dispersed and control exercised.
By exercising control over the disbursement of these commodities and services, the government is essentially putting itself in the position of the provider, and therefore has become the “chooser,” with all the beneficiaries effectively having been rendered “beggars.” Those of us who are paying for this are the real providers, and yet we are now told it is a matter of “human rights” that we do this provisioning. Obamacare is simply the latest in this chain, but it’s hardly the only “improvement” to the system that has been foisted upon us in recent years, with the Bush Medicare Prescription Drugs program added to the mix.
With the government now being the largest payer in the health-care market, you can expect that it will naturally displace market imperatives in the delivery of health-care goods and services, and it will necessarily prioritize that delivery(death panels, for instance,) while reaching into unrelated markets to regulate those things that it will make the case as having some influence over the costs to government.
This then leads to the grotesque spectacle of Dr. Samadi appearing on FoxNews telling us what we can eat, where we can procure it, and what taxes we ought to pay along the way, as the whole miserable assembly comes lurching into plain sight. You can be told what you can eat because you will [eventually] rely upon government to pay for your health-care. The market can be told what it may provide, and how, because the government has an interest in reducing its costs. The tax-payer can be told to shut up about it, since it’s virtually established as some sort of irreducible premise that every person ought to be somehow entitled to that which does not pour from the heavens, but must be obtained by human effort. As you can therefore see, it is inevitable that government has now used this to become a dictator in every important facet of our lives, and all because somewhere along the march from our founding to present, we permitted them to make our needs the means to its ends.
When you consider that this is the sort of thing that is discussed on allegedly conservative media when most of the country isn’t watching, it ought to alert you to the underlying premises of the discussions in media many more of us witness. What we should note is that in most every media outlet, there is a sort of inherent reverence for the state, and for the under-girding foundational constructs of collectivism, and we ought to be very careful not to ignore that these media outlets are fundamentally in favor of it, almost all of them, and widely across the board. It’s easy to dismiss this sort of news story as simple time-fillers on a weekend with no ongoing crisis-bound event on which to report, but I think we should be careful to see that is also a sign of what lies behind the blaring headlines, and it is key to understanding why the country continues to be dragged ceaselessly leftward.