Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kentucky, As Represented

Rand Paul feels the foul gates of slavery closing upon him:

With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses.

Basically, once you imply a belief in a right to someone’s services — do you have a right to plumbing? Do you have a right to water? Do you have right to food? — you're basically saying you believe in slavery.
I don't know, Rand Paul. I could point out that as a physician, you take a rather famous oath that puts you right in the path of delivering medical care to people, one that does not address the terms of payment; or I  could point out that no one is forcing you to be a physician in the first place -- you're free to give up your license any time; or I could point out that you're free to take your medical practice to some less regulated, presumably happier and freer clime, such as rural Guatemala, anywhere in Haiti, any number of places in Africa, or the border region of India and Pakistan (to name a handful). No meddlesome government bureaucrats would threaten you with enslavement in such places if you said no, hell no, to delivering medical care when some irresponsible layabout got sick or injured in your vicinity.

Since you're evidently stuck in the USA, and stuck with that medical license, and bound by an oath, and surrounded on all sides by supplicants for your services, and living under a rather fully-developed legal system, I guess you're right to call yourself a slave if that's what slavery is. That isn't what slavery is, but let's roll forward with it for a few revolutions.

If, say, a band of rifle- and pitchfork-wielding rioters decided to storm your private estate to take whatever they found -- like, say, the water or food you say they have no inherent rights to -- you would demand that the police, and thereafter the courts and the penal system, stop them in the name of your right to property. It would be their professional and legal duty to enforce your right to property. You dirty slaveholder, you!

This is true even if you had sidestepped the hated state and arranged your own private security arrangements. Those private security arrangements would be the product of a contract, and if it is a legal contract, there you've gone and enslaved at least one contract lawyer, a notary, and, ultimately, the courts in addition to the hard-working private security providers.

So please, Rand Paul, stick with this view of slavery. I question whether being pro-slavery is really, politically speaking, such a bad thing in Kentucky, and even if it is, there's something to be said for representing Kentucky in the Senate with a combination of idiocy, bluster, and crudity. Call it verisimilitude.

(via Eli Horowitz)

1 comment:

Sheldon said...

You have to wonder if Rand Paul and others who think like him really takes themselves seriously?

Of course those who argue that health care should be a human right in no way argue that doctors and nurses (the latter do most of the work) shouldn't be more than adequately compensated. In fact, just the opposite. In being for a universal health care system, I want the majority of funds to go for that, and not to health insurance company CEOs and stockholders.