Inverted Morality Yeilds Backward Questions

November 5, 2009 by  

2009-11-05.mooseSome readers may know that, since 2002, I have been the leader of Freedom Party of Ontario, in Canada. In that capacity, I have been responsible for electoral platforms, whereas the party executive is responsible for the party policies upon which the platforms are founded. The other day, I received a letter in relation to the party, and its writer asked:

You mention [in the 2007 Freedom Party election platform] how you want public health care and education to be paid for by those who use it, and have a private option for everyone else. How about those who cannot afford either, those who have been born into cyclical poverty through no fault of their own. Now i understand that these people can break the cycle, but isn’t access to health care and education necessary for them to break this cycle. This is a question that still bothers me….What becomes of those who cannot afford access to basic services for survival?

I answered that part of the writer’s letter as follows:

On the matter of health care and education, I offer you the following responses.

  1. Ontario did not have a government health insurance monopoly until 1969. It was brought in by Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives. To pay for it, the PCs also introduced a new tax to Ontarians: the Ontario provincial income tax.

    Ontarians actually fought *against* the introduction of the government monopoly: almost everyone had insurance, and most of those who did not paid as they went. In other words, it was not brought in to deal with some sort of health care problem. Rather, it created health care problems.

    Immediately, and annually, the system was flooded by people who – not having to pay – used almost no discretion about whether to use the services of a medical professional. It was perennially “under-funded” as a result.

    Just imagine the “underfunding” of gasoline, where the government to hold a monopoly upon its supply to you. Think about it: People would be filling their yachts with gasoline, taking trips they would not take if they had to pay for the gasoline themselves, et cetera. There would be gasoline “shortages”, because there would be a limit to how much money the government could tax out of your hands and spend upon gasoline. Eventually, the history books and the CBC [i.e., the government-owned and tax-funded national television broadcaster] would be full of re-written history about how horrible it was when some people could not afford gasoline and had to ride their bicycles to work, or walk, or car-pool. To expect anyone to do such things would be considered an “insult”, “degrading”, maybe even “racist”. Undoubtedly, it would be claimed that “fuel is a human right”.

    If that sounds ridiculous, consider that it is a matter of fact that that is precisely what happened as a result of the introduction of socialized medicine to Ontario in 1969. It now consumes over 40% of the Ontario budget: approximately 60 cents of every Ontario tax dollar (note that some of our budget funds are contributed by the federal government from federal tax revenues).

  2. No amount of hardship justifies morally the expropriation or enslavement of others. Those who cannot provide for their own survival must rely solely upon the charity – i.e., consensual contributions – of others. Should I lose my legs in an accident, that does not make it morally right for me forcibly to take money from you, or to threaten you with imprisonment by pointing a gun at you and telling you that you will be imprisoned if you do not mow my lawn, bath me, cook my dinner and tuck me into bed.

    In Freedom Party’s view, a government does not require the immoral (only a criminal gang does that). The proper role of government is the opposite: to protect you from those who would forcibly take your money/property, or enslave you. Therefore, the correct political question is not: what becomes of those who cannot afford health care but rather: what becomes of those who can afford health care?

I hope that helps.


Paul McKeever
Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario


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