The Cost of Freedom

I listened to Dan’s podcast “Read It and Weep” on the airplane home yesterday, and it made me re-think my position on something I’ve been pretty sure about for many years.

What side of the argument do you come down on in these issues:
1- seat-belt laws
2- Anti-Smoking laws
3- motorcycle helmet laws

I’ve understood and agreed that if you make bad personal choices that cost me money, then you should change that behavior (though laws) because you are infringing on my right by wasting my money. My tax dollars being spent is a form of infringement on my freedom, and your lifestyle is costing the rest of us too much money.

Anti-Tax Sentiment vs Behavioral Freedoms

The standard Libertarian definition on the correct limit of freedom is: “the right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins” (or be as free as you like until you cause harm to someone else). Now the problem is how harm is defined. We tend to group everything in one bucket but getting punched in the nose and paying taxes are not equal in terms of how much your rights were infringed on. (Direct harm vs Wallet rights) There are both Direct Freedoms (I have the right to do x) and Indirect Freedoms (If you do x, then I have to pay y for it).

The problem with the philosophy of restricting behavior freedoms based on wallet rights is that the only freedoms you are allowed to have are the ones that don’t cost anyone else any money. We have to realize that we all cost each other money. Everyone lives at the expense of everyone else. When we think about the ‘cost of freedom’, we usually think about lost lives of the American military, fighting for our freedom, but realize there are many other costs, including actual dollars and cents. The ideal that an American’s right to not pay for things is as important as other American’s right to do things is Un-American at it’s core! The part we forgot is the concept that “You support my freedoms and I’ll support yours and they all cost money and that’s just part of the deal”. Pitting us against one another based on the cost of behavior choices is one more way the US citizens are being divided.

How does this tie in to ObamaCare?

National health care will be the avenue to allow control over ALL of your behavioral freedoms and lifestyle choices. Private health care is already trying to doing this. The difference will be the government will have the power to make laws about your freedoms and choices.

If the Obama administration and Democrats was honest about what the healthcare bill would mean, they would ask “we are all going to have to give up freedom to in some of our lifestyle choices… the government is going to have to be more involved, your neighbors will have to be more involved,

Do your neighbors have a right to dictate what you eat? Just wait and see!

Government has no role telling people what they can eat, how much they must exercise or what activities they can participate in… people have died to protect these freedoms. Health care is between the individual and their doctor!

Another thought (from Ken E):
Do you honestly believe we can simultaneously : (1) MAINTAIN the insurance coverage of the presently insured (2) cover 40 million ADDITIONAL people and (3) spend LESS money?

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