In “Socialism: The 2020 campaign’s early battle line” (June 24), columnist Erin Murphy explores socialism as a dominant issue on the minds of Iowa voters as the campaign season unfolds. With Democrat candidates pushing hard socialist programs such as universal health care and other sugary temptations, Republicans warn, “Not so fast! How will you pay for them?”
The writer then ponders voter acceptance of “soft socialist” programs, Medicare and Medicaid, already in place. A little bit of socialism never hurt, right?
Except “a little bit of socialist” is like being “a little bit pregnant.” The inherent flaw is that it doesn’t stay little. Socialist programs mean a government-controlled command economy, which disconnects the natural free-market supply/demand relationship, destroys the incentive for competitive innovation, obliterates the balance of expected versus realizable results, and therefore forfeits the self-refining advantage of competitive free enterprise. It thus spawns ever-expanding expectations it can never fulfill and must increasingly parasitize other sectors to cover its costs.
Medicare and Medicaid are prime examples. Their third-party-payment schemes are what have catapulted health care costs into today’s outlandish inflation. Medical services are the only consumer good whose very consumption now requires an insurance plan. Obamacare, the Democrats’ gallant steed intended to vanquish the errors of its predecessors, became a lame horse right out of the gate.
And now, “Medicare for All” will somehow be the magic bullet? Color me skeptical.