When I say libertarians are stupid, there is no shortage of data points you can find. Libertarians and libertarian minded folk gravitate to their belief system because they have a deep trust of “government”. Government is thought of as some random “other” that was imposed upon a freedom loving people who just wanted to be left alone, but all of a sudden they stepped in a pile of dog poop labeled “government”. They never quite stop to understand that the government they live in happens to be… wait for it… what people voted for. It is somehow something that was delivered to us by Martians or something.
I could go on and on about the problems with libertarianism as a philosophy, but for now I want to focus on just how stupid most libertarians actually are. And I see no better way to demonstrate it than by looking at this post on reason.com (tagline: “free minds and free markets”), that both criticizes Obamacare, yet tries to get libertarians and other people to move on from trying to repeal it.
In it, you get the typical tripe libertarians espouse, such as Obamacare is “a deeply offensive use of government power”, and how the Supreme Court’s decision to ratify it “is one of the great blunders of American jurisprudence”. As with all things libertarian, these phrases appeal to conservatives, but the author also throws a bone to liberals by also criticizing the NSA and then the idea of war in general, because the government should not be “in the business of surveilling its citizens or bombing foreign countries independent of war resolutions.”
OK, so far, so good. You use big words like “jurisprudence”, and you’ve said things that both the crazy uncle who watches Fox News all day and his hackey-sack playing nephew like. So, how does it go off the rails? Well, by first saying the government shouldn’t be in the business of guaranteeing health insurance, his fixes include… using government power to ensure people get health insurance. One of his solutions is:
“forcing insurers to compete in a national market for customers”.
Now, wait a minute. If the government is “forcing” insurers to compete, isn’t that a use of government power? What if I’m the CEO of insurance company with libertarian ideals and a framed picture of Ayn Rand on my desk, and I only want to provide insurance for people in Nebraska? And let’s say I’m really good at that, so good that I’ve ended up with a natural monopoly in Nebraska? Nobody can really compete with me because of my economies of scale and general awesomeness due to having gone John Galt on the world, and I really don’t want to sell insurance anywhere else because I love Nebraska and have no idea what kind of insurance people in Florida want or need?
If the government “forces” me to compete, and then “forces” other insurers to sell in Nebraska, that’s quite a distortion of the “free market”, right?
So, libertarians, WTF? You can’t simultaneously argue against the government doing something, but then say the government should do something.
And this is why libertarians are 100%, grade A idiots.
The rest of his solutions are also of the kindergarten variety. For example, “allowing” people to buy catastrophic plans. Why is this somehow new? This was, actually, how the system was set up before Obamacare, and it sucked ass. Catastrophic plans were so expensive that people just went without. And they were expensive because, you know, “catastrophic” things tend to cost a lot, so your premiums would be high. And, of course, the insurance company could have just said “no”, due to a pre-existing condition.
The author never deals with the concept of pre-existing conditions in his proposed fixes, which either means he doesn’t understand pre-existing conditions, or, since he is talking about fixing the parts of Obamacare he doesn’t like, then he likes that under Obamacare insurers can’t preclude you due to a pre-existing condition. Which, you know, is also is a distortion of the “free market”, because that is government power “dictating” what a private business can do.
And the rest is just a Skittles style grab bag of “government sucks” points with nothing behind them – rules about hospitals and what-not. He appears to think it is great if a drug company just throws some drug out onto the market without testing it adequately (his snide comment about new pharmaceuticals costing $1B and 10 years to produce). I guess we can all just be guinea pigs. Which then brings us to the other libertarian fantasy – that a drug company wouldn’t possibly sell a dangerous drug, because why would a company sell something that doesn’t work – that’s bad for business. Except, of course, they do all the time. Go here just to see how many drugs have been recalled – a recall forced by the federal government. There have been 17 so far in the first five months of 2014. Do you really think that if drug companies could do less testing and spend less money to bring a drug to market, there would be fewer recalls?
Egads, eyeroll, facepalm…