Thursday, August 13, 2009

Steyn Makes a Good Point

I'll admit, I find it hard to care too much about the great debate on Obamacare. I will say that the level of service I received when I went to an emergency room in the US blew my mind when I'm used to waiting in line just to be ignored here in Canada. Americans are rightly concerned that under a nationalized system the level of care they can expect will steadily decrease.

What I find most interesting about the debate though is the fundamental, philosophical arguments that are being brought forward. One of the most interesting points was how becoming dependant on governments to meet all our basic needs hurts society. I read it first in a Macleans article by Mark Steyn:

A few weeks ago, Charles Murray gave a speech in Washington on “the European
model.” Please, no Carla Bruni gags. Mr. Murray is a very sober political scientist, and he eschewed such time-honoured jests.

Nonetheless, it was an arresting address, beginning with this diagnosis of “the European model’s” principal defect: “It drains too much of the life from life,” said Murray. “And that statement applies as much to the lives of janitors—even more to the lives of janitors—as it does to the lives of CEOs”—or novelists or musicians. As Murray sees it, government social policy is intended to take “some of the trouble out of things”—getting sick, having a kid, holding down a job, taking care of elderly parents. But, when government takes too much of the trouble out of things, it makes it impossible to lead a satisfying life.

“Trouble”—responsibility, choices, consequences—is intimately tied to human dignity. And thus the human dignity in working hard, raising a family and withstanding the vicissitudes of life has been devalued. And society is just a matter of passing the time.

It's true, it's in overcoming our 'troubles' that we gain both valuable experience and satisfaction.

1 comment:

Poo Pant Party said...

May the force of the skidmarks be with you!