TCS Daily

Are You a Conservative?

By Arnold Kling - June 14, 2006 12:00 AM

"what's happening politically on the Left, the other big idea there besides malignant narcissism, is existentialist nihilism. It's the idea that nothing really does matter; that humanity is in and of itself a problem...

Socialized health care and the idea that everything would be better if the state ran your lives is because, of course, humanity can't be trusted. The average person can't be trusted."
-- Tammy Bruce, speaking at the recent Bradley Foundation symposium on Ideas that Move American Politics.

Are you a conservative? Try this test.

1. Do you believe that bringing children into the world is a very serious responsibility for the parents?

Taking parental responsibility seriously starts before children are born. It requires self-discipline in sexual behavior. It requires achieving emotional maturity, the ability to make a living, and a solid marriage before having children.

After children are born, you have to spend money, time, physical effort, and emotional energy on them. You have to recognize that your marriage now has a higher purpose.

Most of my friends who have a liberal political persuasion meet these expectations for parents about as well as they can be met. They just do not believe that it is reasonable to hold other people to these expectations. Thus, they support government programs to help people who do not meet these expectations. If you are a conservative, you believe that government support causes more problems than it solves.

2. Do you believe that the flaws and imperfections of human beings are reflected in government?

Human beings are flawed. We have ethical weaknesses. We make mistakes in judgment.

Our institutions, including businesses, churches, clubs, and associations, are flawed. They are subject to political infighting, organizational dysfunction, mismanagement, and incompetence.

Government is merely one instance of a human institution. It has a history of accomplishments as well as disappointments.

What is distinctive about government is its ability to engage in persistent failure. Ill-conceived or poorly-managed projects that are in the domain of private institutions eventually lose support. Government programs face much less discipline than what is provided by the competitive market or the oversight of charitable donors.

A big advantage of our first amendment's prohibition of an established religion is that it serves to keep government from adopting a doctrine of infallibility. A big reason to fear radical Islam is that it wants to endow government with sacred powers. A big reason to be pleased with the religiosity of Americans is that it means that most of us do not confuse government with God.

Liberals see government as having a limitless capacity to do good -- provided that power is given to those who share their beliefs. I cannot help but see this as a form of substitute religion. (See The Moses Complex.)

3. Do you believe that it is better to try to accumulate wealth for retirement or to rely on a pension?

People who try to accumulate wealth have the millionaire next door mindset. They start businesses. They try to live well within their means, so that they accumulate financial assets.

Liberals will argue that there are many people who do not have the self-discipline to save for retirement. However, this ignores point (2), which is that all institutions are flawed. Corporations default on their pensions. Governments make promises for retirement benefits that are impossible to keep. Individuals, with all of their flaws, would do a better job of addressing their retirement needs.

I have many liberal friends who are personally frugal. They will not need Social Security when they retire. However, they do not think that other people are capable of saving for their own retirement.

4. Do you believe that your health is your responsibility?

When it comes to your health, your choices are more important than health care services, health care services are more important than your health insurance, and your health insurance is more important than what government can provide. Government cannot make you healthy.

Your choices affect your health. Avoiding substance abuse, paying attention to nutrition (particularly when pregnant), driving safely, and so forth, all can pay big dividends. Knowing when to see a doctor, how to communicate with a doctor, and how to use a doctor's advice are all important.

Health care can make a difference. However, we do not need to have all of our procedures paid for by insurance in order to have health care. Instead, we could have health insurance that only pays off in the case of an extremely expensive illness.

Government health insurance is no more affordable than individual health insurance. Medicare's projected shortfall is the biggest long-term fiscal problem that we face. Again, the flaws of the institution of government magnify, rather than mitigate, the flaws of the individual.

Even if government health insurance were financially sound, it would not overcome the other issues in health care. Doctors cannot cure everything. And individuals who make really bad choices are going to be disproportionately poor and disproportionately sick.

Most of my liberal friends take good care of themselves. They would buy health insurance even if it were not provided by an employer. However, they believe that we need universal health insurance provided by government.

5. Do you believe that education is more important than public schools?

As individuals, my liberal friends clearly believe this. They send their own children to private schools in droves.

On the other hand, I do not think that liberals give other parents credit for having the same degree of care or wisdom about their own children. Thus, liberals think that regardless of what is right for their own children, public schools are right for everyone else.

6. Do you believe that the world would be better off if more countries were like America, or not?

Most of my liberal friends have no plans to move elsewhere. Their revealed preference suggests that they agree that America is a great country. However, at the Bradley Symposium, Michael Barone cited a Rasmussen poll showing that close to 40 percent of Democrats in 2004 disagreed with the statement that the world would be better off if more countries were like America.

My conclusion from all of this is that most Americans try to adhere to conservative values. They prefer to exercise autonomy and to take responsibility for their children, their health, and their retirement. This may explain why California soundly defeated a proposition for universal pre-school.

What is distinctive about liberals is their belief that they are the only people who can exercise freedom with responsibility. They believe that a paternalistic government can make better decisions for those who not in the elite.

Compared with my liberal friends, I have a bit more confidence in the average American. I know that many people make mistakes, but I think that people are somewhat more capable of fending for themselves than is commonly believed. I certainly believe that we are better served by a government that treats people as if they were competent than by a government that treats people as if they were helpless.

Compared with my liberal friends, I think that there are better alternatives than government for helping people who cannot take care of themselves. Private charities, private schools, and other voluntary associations can better address the pathology of poverty.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party under President Bush has not been doing very well on this quiz. On education, health care, and other domestic issues, the Republicans have become a party of paternalism. The people of California had the wisdom to vote down "it takes a village" as a philosophy of pre-school. Too bad that none of the major political parties shares that wisdom.

Arnold Kling is a TCS contributing editor and author of Learning Economics.



Are you responsible and do you want our institutions to reward responsible behaviour?

I just watched Cinderella Man. Braddock was so ashamed to take welfare that when he earned enough he paid it back. Even then some thought he was stupid.

Beat them strawmen!
It's neat how your "liberal friends" prove each and every one of your points.

A Contract with the Devil
“…the Republicans have become a party of paternalism.”

Politicians have historically tended to support paternalism (otherwise known as socialism and /or tyranny). The founding documents of the US were a line-in-the-sand across which tyranny would never again cross. Unfortunately, the vision of founders has not withstood the test of time.

There can only be ONE explanation that explains this long terms trend…US CITIZENS support paternalism. The question is why? I believe that many have come to view government as a check-n-balance against the potential abuse of power by individuals and organizations. Support for big government is a strategy for hedging one’s bet, diversifying risk or securing insurance. This acceptance of an encompassing, benevolent and utilitarian government role is nothing less than a contract with the devil…it will only lead to a bad end.

The citizens of the US must accept that they are responsible for the “elite” brand of government that has characterized the last 100 hundred years. If the American people wish to change course and return to government according to founding principals, they must embrace personal responsibility and “vote” to right-size the government role. If not, OBL and friends will be the least of our problems.

Do you beat your wife?
Kling is saying that conservatives are the ones with decent moral values. I read a blog post yesterday comparing modern conservatives who disavow Bush to post Stalin Communists who said that true communism had never been tried. Look at Bush, the corruption, the incompetence, the amorality and hypocracy. This is conservatism.

Democrats also seem more willing to ignore negative feedback.
Democrats also seem more willing to ignore negative feedback. They ignore the fact that a program like Social Security leads to less private saving and makes living off directly your children (On SS you live indirectly off your children) less sociality acceptable. They then point out how difficult it would be for many without SS.

I believe like democrats that many individuals are stupid but I believe that society is smart. For example I believe saving norms would build up if SS did not exist. I also believe that it would not be shameful to live with your children late in life without SS. I believe that without SS many people would start to save a large portion (maybe 1/3) of their income when they hit 60 and then would work as long as their health would allow. Some might buy insurance against living too long but not all.

I think that democrats also believe that their values are universal. Like that no one gets enough value out of smoking to make up for the pain and early death from lung cancer.

Try reading the article with your eyes open
He never said that Republicans are the ones with decent moral values. He quite specifically showed that his liberal friends share the same values that he does.

His point was that liberals don't think other people are capable of living up to any moral values.

Liberal children
Liberals are not willing to use government programs to reinforce negative feedback.
Negative consequences of stupid behaviour are not penalized.
Except, of course, you are a conservative.
Congressman Kennedy slams his car into a roadblock under the influence of...something and will get slapped on the wrist. Or his father kills a girl while driving drunk.
Rush is dragged through the mud for over two years.
Ah, those tolerant liberals.

I guess I flunk the test
While I agree with the author and have friends very like his description, I also believe in compassion for those who fall on hard times or are unable to find a way to get out of poverty. I also don't believe in holding children accountable for the parents faults and believe in helping them survive.

I guess that means I'm not a conservative.

What a bummer, since my liberal friends think I am one. But, then again, my conservative friends think I'm something of a liberal.

Where did you ever get the idea that conservatives aren't compassionate?

The difference is that conservatives are compassionate with their own money, while liberals use other people's money to show how much they care.

...the corruption, the incompetence, the amorality and hypocracy (sic).
corruption: Alan Mollohan, William Jefferson, John Conyers, Alcee Hastings, Robert Toricelli, James McDermott

incompetence: Harry Pelosi, Nancy Reid, Al Gore, John Kerry, Howierd Dean

amorality: William Clinton, James McGreevey, Gary Hart, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton

hypocrisy: John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, John Murtha, Teddy Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy, Robert Kennedy Jr.

I presume this is what you meant. The contrast with the honest, focused, moral, sincere G.W. Bush is truly breathtaking, isn't it?

Where does it put someone like me;
I have a degenerative autoimmune disease unaffected by my diet and exercise. Right now I can work, which pays for doctors and medicine. Private health insurance would be prohibitive; I have already had 11 major surgeries. One of 12 medicines would cost over 1400 a month without insurance. I am a conservative but can I continue to be one by your definition if I lose my ability to work and require assistance from the government?

You all fail!
This peice is a bunch of bromides. If you care about something, like the poor and want to help them the do it. Stop demanding that the governement do it! Thats not its job!

Look its simple. There are powers the government should have, morally, within a framework of individual rights. Otherwise its tyranny. PERIOD.

EVERYTHING else is up to the individual to solve on his own by cooperation with others, not forced through governement. Conservative versus Liberal is not important and meaningless anyway. Its all just a power struggle that would not exist if rights mattered anymore. What happened to those little things? They got covered up in political sophistry.

requiring assistance
I hope that a cure is found for your illness.

There is nothing wrong with requiring assistance. And as it stands today, government has the best financial resources to help. As a conservative, I would prefer a society where compassion is expressed through families and private organizations. That way, assistance comes with love and caring.

Libertarians are the median position
Libertarians tend to take the best of both worlds, being mostly socially liberal and economically logical.

There's room for you
I too hope that your doctors can make you more comfortable, more healthy, and extend your life.

There are certain classes of people who we small government types should recognize that we have to assist. Look, even if in our hearts, we don't believe it, it's expedient. If we could cut 1/3 of non-retirees from government health care based on them having adequate health or having adequate earnings to deal with it themselves, then we've made more progress than 12 years of Republican control of Congress has made. Assuming your story can be taken at face value, any reform plan which makes you the ideal poster boy of the opposition ain't gonna fly. You have nothing to worry about.

What happened to friends, family, and private charity?
Why the instant belief that if you can't support yourself, it's the job of govt to support you?

It is not fair. . .
It is not fair to bring up the occasional Democratic Party scum and then brand the entire party.

All Democrats are not like the Kennedys or the Clintons. Some of them are sober and very few of them are married living apart.

Also, very few Democrat office holders would think of putting $90,000 in their freezer. They have safe deposit boxes in the Bahamas for their cash.

Finally, you mispelled Howierd Dean's name. It's Howeird Dean.

nice piece of blather and pandering
What an interesting article. I like how Kling's liberal friends totally defuse the right's clamoring bullhorn to denounce anything leftist. But then the bullhorn revives at the end of each point to make sure we all know that Kling's liberal friends are the exception, that even though these liberals are good people, we can rest assured that all the other liberals are evil and socialist.

Nice loaded questions to kick off each point too.
"1. Do you believe that bringing children into the world is a very serious responsibility for the parents?"
Of course. Only a moron would answer "no" to this question.

Kling's piece is really not about liberal vs. conservative. Its about wealthy vs. poor and smart vs. dumb. How much you wanna bet Kling's liberal friends are wealthy? And intelligent? All the points presented hinge more on whether a person has money and/or intelligence versus his/her political persuasion.

Having money doesn't cure all the points, but it sure makes it easier. And intelligence is even more important. Only an idiot thinks the governemnt has limitless capacity to do good. Only an idiot would rely on a pension and not do any saving on his/her own. These are common sense, not some proprietary belief of a political persuastion.

I appreciate Kling's optimism for people, but its just not realistic. Its true that people in general are dumb. Its more than just making mistakes or whatever. People only think about what is happening in their own little lives. They don't take personal responsibility. If we can't even point the finger at ourselves when something goes wrong in our lives how can we be expected to save on our own or make smart health decisions? But that doesn't mean government is the answer. We must hold people individually responsible. But we don't do that, we're not even close to doing that, and 6 years of total conservative power in our government has done nothing to change it. But we're supposed to believe its a conservative value to be personally responsible? Right. GW Bush is a great example of how to be personally responsible. As in, avoid it all costs.

Its interesting how Kling ignores what he sees with his own eyes in the experience of life so that he can stay in his ideological comfort bubble and believe what he was led to believe as the definitions of liberal and conservative.
"My conclusion from all of this is that most Americans try to adhere to conservative values. They prefer to exercise autonomy and to take responsibility for their children, their health, and their retirement."
This is incorrect, people do not prefer to exercise these things. This is the main reason conservatives cry about moral decline, because parents do not take responsibility for their children. They do not take responsibility for their health or retirement. This is incorrect in another way too, if these are conservative values I guess I'll turn in my liberal-club card. These are not conservative values, they are good values, they are American values. Conservatives fail at these things as much as anybody. Or worse, they throw their weight behind a president that totally stomps on their supposed values. Their response? More of the same. Sheep in a herd.

Quite possibly more private charity would be available if. . .
Quite possibly more private charity would be available if the government weren't taking over 40% of national income and spending it very inefficiently. One example - indigents and drug addicts freeze on the streets while New York subsidizes the Metropolitan Opera so the upper crust doesn't have to pay full freight.

Also, aside from a very few full blown libertarians and randians, most of us believe in a safety net at some level. The problem is that it is very hard to have redistribution without the money flowing to the most powerful or the best organized beggars.

Why should they?
"This is incorrect, people do not prefer to exercise these things."

If irresponsibility is not discouraged by society, why would you expect responsible behaviour?
In fact, irresponsible behaviour is rewarded in our society.
Students, even in very poor school districts, can excell when they are challenged and are EXPECTED to meet that challenge.

MarktheGreat, you really can't understand the possibility of
huge medical bills eating away all savings within 4 or 5 years, can you? Sons and their families are in the army; they are sacrificing enough. There are no more charitable people than those where I live in an impoverished area of a southern state. They will see that everyone is fed, clothed, and befriended. Massive medical bills are not within their means. Doctors would probably give freely of their services but hospitals and drugs can be overwhelming also. I and others might never need government subsidies. I am completely against universal health insurance because rationing would greatly impact services for those of us who can take care of ourselves as long as we continue to get expensive surgery. Just understand that there are individuals who do not want to be dependent on government but would like to know help would be there if needed. Private charities probably have more working capital in Westchester County than in rural Arkansas. As ideal as having family, friends, and private charity coming to the rescue of those in need would be, it is not always possible.

Next time a rich liberal politician (that's redundent, sorry) cries out that taxes for the rich are too low, and the debt is too high, ask him how much he has donated for debt relief.
The government will accept any donations.

Kling wrote:

"What is distinctive about liberals is their belief that they are the only people who can exercise freedom with responsibility. They believe that a paternalistic government can make better decisions for those who not in the elite."

Until "Joe Six-Pack" takes care of his own house the liberals will be happy to help and the conservatives will decry America's loss of personal responsibility. And oh yeah, nothing will be done...

Are you guys kidding with this stuff?
First, Floccina. You're stretching it to say its a fact that SS lessens private saving, but its logical at least. And SS has changed the traditional cultural norm of kids living with their parents later in life? So I suppose SS is to blame for all the other cultural shifts we've seen related to this, like: families tend to be smaller now. Mom and Dad both work. Single parent families.
You can make an argument for this point, but it seems unlikely to be true. Your other comments are equally unfactual. You really think people would suddenly start saving a large portion of their income if SS were gone? They would have a better chance to, as long as the SS tax is abolished also. But you don't know people very well if you think we'll have a saving bonanza if SS is removed. And how exactly can individuals be stupid but society be smart? That makes zero sense.

If Democrats think their values are universal, its probably because liberalism is the natural position. Everything else is an agitation of how we naturally tend to think and act.
I think its true that no one gets enough value out of smoking to make up for the pain and early death from lung cancer. But you can still do it, thats your personal choice. Just don't do it around other people because you're killing them too. Unless you believe the conservative propaganda that secondhand smoke is harmless. Thats the good news, you can just believe them and then you don't have to worry about it.

Marjon: Thats a hilarious post. Yes, only conservatives penalize stupid behavior. Like how the House ethics committee has been so terribly busy the last few years penalizing stupid behavior. Right. What makes you think these things you say? It has to be more than Kennedy and Rush that you get your wisdom from. Or is it wisdom? Are you really just a political partisan hack picking bones?

I am not a conservative!!!! You forgot to ask about the police state and war????
I reject the lumping of me with the likes of conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and his ilk. I am not one of those people because I believe in the policies of Jefferson and not George Bush. I fail to see any justification for the current spying on law abiding citizens and the two ongoing wars and the considerable price tags of all the above.

So you need to add some more questions to your test to eliminate your "Conservatives" from the rest of us who not only despise government control over our rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in our daily affairs, but also despise government spying and stealing our wealth to squander it and the lives of our fellow citizens in these police state undertakings.

yes I can
I just don't accept your contention that your need, no matter how desperate, gives you the right to steal from others.

Is it Time for Libertarian Governance?
“Libertarians tend to take the best of both worlds…”

So I can then expect the Libertarian movement to co-op the better-half of the center in 2008 and field/support candidates accordingly. I am already getting excited…a Centrist party that disperses the despotic fringes of both the left and the right to political exile.

Many Libertarians, Republicans, Democrats and independents believe in the primacy of individual freedom and responsibility, and in a limited yet competent government role. Maybe an effort such as can catalyze a new movement to right the course of the American political ship.

How different is it?
If the government was aware that someone was coming to kill you, why would it be considered "stealing" if the government provided the fiancial wherwithal to have its police protect you? I would grant that you have the ultimate responsibility to protect yourself, but wouldn't a SWAT team be more effective protection? And would it be considered stealing if you picked up the phone to notify police that you were in danger even as you inserted a magazine into your own pistol?

I submit that that a person whose illness has robbed him\her of everything is in no different position than a person facing probable violent death.

no you can't
If you did Mark, your bucket of compassion would outweigh your bucket of hatred for government. And that obviously is not the case.

I always knew you're an *******, this makes it even more obvious. You would take a person who has been stricken with a debilitating illness and throw them on the street rather than let the government provide some comfort, after all other sources of support are dried up. Its not stealing from others if the others consent to the government spending tax revenue on the given program. Its only stealing from you, you can only speak for yourself.

Pre-emptive response: Yeah yeah, liberal this, blah blah blah, socialist that, blah blah blah. You're like a broken record of ignorance.

Other cultures
Asian and Middle Eastern cultures don't have old age pensions and depend upon savings and their children. You don't think behaviour is changed when children are no longer needed for survival?
Liberals reward stupid behaviour. They have elected Kennedy, a drunk driver killer and his son another drug addict. They elect Bill Clinton, a pot smoker, draft dodger and alduterer.

Prefer self defense?
I guess you don't believe our western culture of liberty is under attack by Islam?

Terms Hijacked
Liberal and conservative don't have intrinsic meaning anymore, they are labels, just like 'gay'.

Libertarian is probably the most descriptive term to describe a political persuasion today.

...are socialists.

Depends on how you acquired said disease
If you worked five out of the last ten years you are insured under social security disability. This covers you're health insurance. If you haven't worked for the last five years why not? If you spent the time engaged in satisfying your personal gratification why would society owe you anything?

There's always a right to steal
I have never seen anyone demanding government care confess to living anything other than a prudent, normal life dedicated to thrift and economy. In my experience we get these Queen for a Day stories from people who never thought they'd need or face an emergency and have never prepared for it. They also have no access to charity or church because they have shunned them.

But they always have a right to steal from the public purse.

So an alcoholic or drug addict has unlimited access to public money?
I submit that a person has personal responsibility for his actions and its consequences.

Do you beat your wife Goody?
Funny when I think corruption, amorality, and hypocracy I think of the president who defined is as.....

The Left is the party of death, the party that sanctions partial boirth abortions; affirmative action; ***** marriage; the pardoning of terrorists; government monopoly of education; universal healthcare; the wonders of secularism. It is everything that the authors warns about.

Course you're not a conservative
If you can't help your parents then why should you assist your wife or children? That's just so Lefty.

Nice post
I guess they are many people who are tired of the term compassion being defined as the right to raid the treasury.

Take this test: World's Smallest Political Quiz
If you are really interested in libertarian ideas, check out this site.

You're no follower of Jefferson
No one who is could make such a moronic statement.

Do you object to being search when you travel on an airline? Or openning your bags at a courthouse? Or giving all your financial details to the government on your tax return?

We face more aspects of a police state when the government ignores the writtings of Jefferson and the foundiung fathers to create a giant government that steals our liberties and seeks to regulate it in every aspect.

Worse still are those who destroyed our defenses and national security agencies "as police state" appartus and so allowed our enemies to attack us. If the ragheads could accomplish what they did a few more years of similar policies might have enable a more capable enemy of luanching an attack the US could not survive.

One of the few duties the government has is to insure the defense of the nation, something you apparently regard as optionable.

Police NOT obligated to protect you
If posted before, the supreme court has determined that the police have no legal obligation to protect you.

If you are irresponsible, you should not expect the government to bail you out.

Exercise your 2nd Amendment, buy a gun and learn how to use it. That is a responsible action just as keeping your self healthy.

Shores of Tripoli: America's First Battle against Muslim terrorists
"Within days of his March 1801 inauguration as the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson ordered a naval and military expedition to North Africa, without the authorization of Congress, to put down regimes involved in slavery and piracy. The war was the first in which the U.S. flag was carried and planted overseas; it saw the baptism by fire of the U.S. Marine Corps — whose anthem boasts of action on " the shores of Tripoli" — and it prefigured later struggles with both terrorism and jihad. The Barbary States of North Africa — Algiers, Tunis, Morocco and Tripoli...",10987,1101040705-658359,00.html

Jefferson would understand Bush's policies, I think.

I shall...
...consider myself chastened.

problem with Libertarians
I think the problem with us Libertarians is that we generally tend to mind our own business and detest pestering other people because we don't like to be pestered, ourselves, unlike some Christian people who think we should pester other people to "get saved" but refuse to talk to JWs or Mormon missionaries who come to their door.

Are you a Conservative or does your chewy gum lose it's flavour on the bed post over night
The author may have meet a liberal once, but he does not have any friends that are ones. He has written a number of piece trashing why would any real friends put up with it. What a childish fool the Author is Conserve good liberal bad. Just say like that TJ and Markthetiny will love you and will go all brokeback mountain over you. Conservative like big government just like bleed heart liberals and the proof is in the reality of the current Government. Since gaining control of all levels of Gov have they decrease the size of the Gov or increased it?

Thanks for demonstrating Libertarian tolerance
Whenever I hear Libertarians talk about minding our own business it reminds me of what drug traffickers say, "why don't people mind their own business."

And so judgemental
I consider myself a libertarian and a Christian. If you don't want to be saved, don't listen. But we have every right to try and tell you that smoking dope and all other 'victimless' crimes are bad for you. (BTW, I don't believe legislation works, but peer pressure does.)
Don't like it? Tough. Be a tolerant Libertarian.

It is ultimately our responsibility to care for ourselves. The primary purpose of parenting, for instance, is to prepare the young to accept responsiblity for their adult decisions. It does them no favors to "protect" them from the results of bad choices in childhood since the implicit lesson is that there is little or no penalty attached to stupidity. Instead we should be teaching that the penalties for stupid behavior are harsh and impersonal. Even sometimes fatal...

Welfare versus Charity
"I submit that that a person whose illness has robbed him\her of everything is in no different position than a person facing probable violent death."

Even if I grant your premise as stated above what has it to do with the ethical debate between welfare, financed by resources seized under threat of incarceration, and charity, financed by the generosity of the donors? Your equation of law enforcement and health care is also flawed in that law enforcement is not actually a preventative issue. In actual fact it has to do with the apprehension and punishment of deliberate actions of one individual or group that result in harm, economic or physical, to another. (Sound like government?) Health care on the other hand can only assume anthropomorphic intent on the part of disease, which remains unproven to me. Ultimately of course the two are indeed linked by our ability to defend ourselves through foresight and positive action.

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