November 8, 2009
A voice from the past predicts the future
Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992), winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, warned us about last night's vote for national healthcare "reform".
F.A. Hayek was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics (1974) in 1974, an award not polticized in the manner of the Peace Prize. As America slides into socialism, his works become more relevant. Consider these words in light of last night's House of Representatives vote on nationalizing healthcare.
"In many fields persuasive arguments based on considerations of efficiency and economy can be advanced in favor of the state's taking sole charge of a particular service; but when the state does so, the result is usually not only that those advantages soon prove illusory but that the character of the services becomes entirely different from that which they would have had if they had been provided by competing agencies. If, instead of administering limited resources put under its control for a specific service, government uses its coercive powers to insure that men are given what some expert thinks they need; if people thus can no longer exercise any choice in some of the most important matters of their lives, such as health, employment, housing, and provision for old age, but must accept the decisions made for them by appointed authority on the basis of its evaluation of their need; if certain services become the exclusive domain of the state, and whole professions - be it medicine, education, or insurance - come to exist only as unitary bureaucratic hierarchies, it will no longer be competitive experimentation but solely the decisions of authority that will determine what men shall get...It is sheer illusion to think that when certain needs of the citizens have become the exclusive concern of a single bureaucratic machine, democratic control of that machine can then effectively guard the liberty of the citizen. So far as the preservation of personal liberty is concerned, the division of labor between a legislature which merely says that this or that should be done and an administrative apparatus which is given exclusive power to carry out these instructions is the most dangerous arrangement possible." The Constitution Of Liberty, 1960, p. 261
The GOP lacks a clear statement of its ideological principles. Meanwhile, Democrats, through their majority of elected officials, enact their ideology. Republicans are incapable of articulating a compelling counter argument. The 11th hour entry of a Republican healthcare reform plan merely illustrated the GOP's ineptness.
Consequently, the GOP today merely exists as the "other party."