Posts Tagged health care
For a good overview of the clinic in question and the devastating implications of abortion in general, I urge you to watch this video from the 3801 Lancaster Film Project and share it with those you know. (Warning: The video contains graphic images.)
“There is an effect of abortion on our community,” says one man in the video. “That effect has an impact on our demography. It has an impact on our survival. It has an impact on the health of our community, and certainly on the health of our families.” Read the rest of this entry »
Rev. Robert Sirico, president of the Acton Institute, recently released a new book, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, in which he aims to overturn common stereotypes of capitalism and dig into the real moral implications of free enterprise. Applying his usual wit and theological depth, Fr. Sirico delivers fundamental moral arguments for why capitalism does not , as the narrative goes, promote greed, selfishness, and cruelty, but instead leverages human creativity and generosity. More importantly, Fr. Sirico contemplates how we might use our economic systems to further realize our relationship with God and man.
In this interview with Remnant Culture, Fr. Sirico discusses some of the key topics of his book, including consumerism, Ayn Rand, equality, health care, and the common “caricature” of economic man.
Of course, I encourage you to read the book in full.
One of the most popular arguments Christians make against free enterprise is that it is based on or driven by consumerism. In your book, you argue that consumerism actually makes capitalism “impossible over the long term.” How so?
Of course, we all consume. That is a fact of life. The Christian concern is not with the fact that we have to consume things (as thought we were Gnostics who did not believe in the goodness of the created world), but that we not be consumed by things.
The capitalist cycle depends on people using whatever goods they have to produce something valuable for their neighbors, and making a profit in the process. People then reinvest their profit into expanding their business, and making more profit. It’s a virtuous cycle. If an individual immediately rushes out and spends every last cent he earns today, he would have nothing left over for reinvesting and expanding for tomorrow, and thus there would be no means for sustaining his business, not to mention obtaining daily necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing.
In writing about your “undoing” as a leftist, you describe a moment when you realized that the questions you were asking about Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman were similar to “the simple queries that the tall nun had posed to our First Holy Communion Class” — questions about who made the world, who God is, and why God made us. Why did studying economics inspire a return to these questions, and why are such questions important for us to consider when contemplating economics?
There is something “underneath” economics. Economics is not really about money and charts and statistics. It is essentially about human interaction. At the center of each economic transaction stands the human person. When we talk about tax levels or private property or inflation, we are talking about realities that have profound effects on the ways people live their lives, and the ways they interact with each other. When you see that economic conditions influence the decisions people make and alter their lifestyles, you realize that people react negatively to things they view as violating their intrinsic dignity. High tax levels can be immoral not only because of the negative effects they have, but simply because it is immoral to take an inordinate amount of what someone has worked hard to earn. Pope John Paul II has made clear that unemployment is a grave wrong because it jeopardizes the lives of workers and their families.
Studying these economic realities forces you to go back to those basic questions: Who is man? How much may a government justly take from its citizens? What are the limits of government? What are its responsibilities? Much more than numbers are at stake here: intrinsic human dignity, flourishing and rights hang in the balance.
Advocates of free enterprise are often assumed to be robotic devotees of Ayn Rand, the atheist novelist and promoter of a so-called “virtue of selfishness.” Yet you argue that Rand’s beliefs stand in conflict with the very free enterprise system she claimed to support. Where are Christians to find themselves between Randian individualism and Marxist collectivism?
Rand’s theory is self-defeating because it denies the fact that the free market is based on Read the rest of this entry »
In the interview, Fareed Zakaria asks a lot of important questions, but what is most striking are Zhang’s opinions about what the Chinese system lacks.
Zhang had very humble beginnings, spending much of her late childhood working in shoe and electronics factories trying to save money for her education. She eventually met her goals.
Here’s a brief bio from Bloomberg:
Zhang, 44, personifies the explosive rise of China, from the poverty of Mao Zedong’s communist rule to the riches of state-controlled capitalism in the world’s third-biggest economy. At age 30, armed with a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge in England and connections from working at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York and Hong Kong, Zhang founded Soho China with Read the rest of this entry »
If you’re not familiar with the Economic Freedom Index, it’s an index put together by the Heritage Foundation in an attempt to assign a number to a country’s level of freedom. The number is based on a variety of economic areas, including everything from trade to investment to property rights.
In the above-mentioned article, Florida observes several correlations between the Economic Freedom Index and some variables of his choosing.
His primary questions are as follows:
To what extent is economic freedom associated with tolerance and happiness? Are freer nations also more tolerant? Are their residents happier than those of other nations? To what extent is economic freedom also associated with other factors like affluence and material well‑being, the level of human capital, and the transition to postindustrial economic structures? And what is the relationship between freedom and economic inequality?
If you scroll through the article and look at each graph you will notice a positive correlation between each variable and the particular country’s level of economic freedom.
For some, such statistics reflect the expected. Most are not surprised that high economic output and healthy competitiveness are byproducts of a free society. However, I often hear Christians disdain Read the rest of this entry »
Given the recent goings on with the health care “reform” passed yesterday, I thought I’d offer some brief comments on the situation. These are simply initial reactions, and I’d love to hear yours as well.
First, in my opinion, the health care “reform” passed yesterday will most likely result in the following physical (or earthly) consequences:
- Increased red tape in health care industries (i.e. increased costs, decreased competition) — This reminds me of the damage Nixon did to the system when he passed the Certificate of Need (CON) law in 1972. By establishing more regulation and rules, there will be even more barriers in the way when it comes to creating new hospitals, cutting costs, and delivering services. Wealthy health care giants won’t mind (they never have), because like Nixon’s policy, it shuts out any start-up competitors.
- Increased mandates for employers — Rather than shifting the system away from employer-based health care, mandates will be imposed on employers who will not be able to afford the requirements without either raising their prices, laying off workers, decreasing product quality, or a combination of all three.
- Perceived necessity for a public option — Once any of the above occur, people will begin feeling the ill effects of all the government manipulation, but they will still think the free market is to blame. Once again, Obama will tour the country lamenting the free market still isn’t working, after which he will make another attempt to persuade the American people toward the necessity of a public option.
- Even more limited health care options — We currently have very little real-world liberty in our health care system. In most cases, we are virtually forced to take the health care options offered by our employers (another byproduct of government manipulation). We have some choice (to sign up or not), but for many, answering “yes” to health insurance is followed by only one or two (if any) realistic options. There are two possible outcomes of this bill, neither of which Read the rest of this entry »