Video: The YouTube fisking of socialized medicine strawman arguments

posted at 4:53 pm on August 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

If you think you’ve seen the dumbest strawman arguments in favor of socialized medicine and haven’t seen this video from How The World Works, then partake of a truly educational experience — as HTWW presents a YouTube fisking of “Engio.” It’s an intellectual drubbing, mainly because “Engio” hasn’t got an economic clue, or for that matter, a political clue, either. He starts out by equating local police and fire departments with nationalized health care, and ends up arguing from complete ignorance about fire insurance. It’s a tour de force of stupidity, which HTWW skewers with glee:

Like Barack Obama, “Engio” likes the Post Office as an analogy for government control — blithely missing the point that it’s running $7 billion in the red this year alone, thanks to government inefficiency. “Engio” must have missed the reports that have the USPS closing a number of its facilities and pushing to reduce delivery services. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon to ask whether a Post Office-like national health-care system would do the same when faced with red ink. The Medicare experience should provide the answer, but “Engio” likes Medicare, too.

As for the fire-insurance analogy, HTWW dismantles it effectively, but let me add another point. Fire insurance already exists, and it doesn’t get provided by the government. Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance (which have the fire component for residential customers) doesn’t cover painting the house, mowing the lawn, trimming the trees, or hauling the garbage as part of the services provided. It covers loss after the policy has been bought.

The Coast Guard reference made me laugh out loud. Why does “Engio” suppose the federal government runs the Coast Guard? It has a constitutional duty to protect the borders of the nation, including the shores, which requires the use of force that only has legitimacy from the government. Furthermore, the only reason we put up with the inefficiency of a government-run military (and anyone who’s been in military procurement knows that first hand) is precisely because we want to limit the authority to use international force to the legitimate government in Washington, as opposed to individuals or states. It’s an absurd argument for socialized health care.

It’s lengthy, but well worth the time. (via Iain Murray at The Corner)


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