2012-07-18

Once Again, No Amount Of Socialism Is Ever "Enough"

I was working out at the gym yesterday, on one of those exercise bikes that have a television attached to the front of them. The screens on these things are positioned such that a person on the bike has one of two options: stare at a blank screen, or turn the TV and stare at it. No matter what, the screen dominates the rider's field of vision, so it's TV or what amounts to being blindfolded. I begrudgingly chose TV.

While I was working out, I saw a television advertisement that made the following claim: "Medicare only covers 80% of Part B. The rest is up to YOU."

I make no claims about the authenticity of this statement. Let's assume it's true. What really fascinates me is the concept of "only" 80% coverage.

I know health care costs are rising and they can be very expensive. (Believe me, I really know how expensive medicine and health care is.) But the idea that we live in a world where four fifths of a person's health care expenditures under a particular plan are covered by somebody other than "YOU" serves to perfectly demonstrate the point I made a short time ago.

Simply stated, there is no "end game" to socialism, other than the complete provision of all goods and services free of charge by a large totalitarian regime that controls how high society's incomes are allowed to be. If you doubt me, think to yourself what someone 100 years ago might have thought about getting 80% of his/her health care expenses paid for, and whether they would say to you, "What, only 80%? What a lousy deal..."

This is my fundamental criticism of all things pertaining to socialism.

Suppose the various politicians sat down and agreed, once and for all, on a plan to placate the socialists. (And note, I am including people like Barack Obama when I use the term "socialist;" if you disagree with this identifier, hash it out with me in the comments.) Suppose we all sat down and agreed that "certain things" were human rights and ought to be provided free of charge by the government. Suppose we offered the socialists everything they want. Suppose we wrote it into law...

But suppose that we could only accomplish this if the socialists agreed that, once our job was done, they could not ask for any further socialism, period.

What do you think would happen? I think we would end up with one of two situations:
  1. Totalitarianism
  2. A failed negotiation
This is because what socialists really want is more socialism now and more socialism later. The only way to accomplish this is either through totalitarianism or by asking for a little bit now, and then a little bit more later, and then a little bit more later, etc.

Please note, I am not engaging in a slippery slope fallacy. I am not suggesting that if we make any concessions to leftists, we will automatically have to make additional concessions later.

Instead, I am accusing leftists of moving the goal posts, no matter how much we give them.

Under that kind of negotiation, what do we hope to gain by making any concessions, whatsoever? Furthermore, I believe that leftists figured this out decades ago. Politics in the United States has demonstrated this perfectly. Leftists stand against free markets - everyone else favors free markets. But everyone else makes concessions on economic policy in a good-faith effort to negotiate with their political opponents. The concession is 100% of what the leftists want, because they know they will get another concession the next time.

That is the path they have taken toward total socialism, and they are succeeding. When was the last time a leftist "conceded" a free market point on any policy?