I mean, why not?
If government – using its magical powers – can make health care “affordable” why not make everything people need (and hell, everything they want) affordable?
It’s a little mean-spirited to lower the cost of going to the doctor, but do nothing to make a Starbucks latte – or a new Corvette – cost less, if government has the power.
Everyone a millionaire! A turkey in every pot! Six pack abs for all!
Maybe everyone has a right to a best friend and a good head of hair, too.
You’d have to be what they call in Vegas a mark to believe it.
And yet, people do believe it.
More, they demand it.
Give us affordable health care care! Affordable housing!
Inevitably, they will demand affordable coffee, too.
As Captain Picard used to say, make it so.
But, deep down, they do not believe in magic. They know (they must know) that government – which is just other people, after all – cannot conjure things into existence any more than they can conjure things into existence.
Things have to be made by someone.
But government has one thing they don’t have – the physical power to take things from some people (those who made them) and give those things to other people (those who did not make them) . . . and the psychological power to induce resignation and acceptance among those who made the things that were taken and given to others. To regard it as normal, legitimate. The price of living in society. Our civic duty.
Ayn Rand ginned up a clever phrase to describe this. She called it, the sanction of the victim. It is the process by which the notion that other people’s needs (and inevitably, their wants) impose an obligation enforceable by violence on others is impressed upon the subconscious minds of a working majority of the people – both the takers and the producers – in a given society. And it must be subconsciously impressed. This is critical. Because consciously, most people recoil from taking things from others – using violence or otherwise.
From earliest childhood, they view that as theft.
To get them to accept thievery, especially on a large scale – to get them demanding it be done – one must compartmentalize. Individual thievery is always a no-no. You may not walk over to the next door neighbor’s place, announce that you need help with this month’s mortgage – or that your Starbuck’s card is running low – and simply take from them whatever you deem sufficient to cover the cost. Moreover, you understand that if you tried to do such a thing, your neighbor would resist – physically – and you’d accept his right to resist.