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Wikipedia Owner: DangApricot

The Supreme Court sided with Hobby Lobby against ObamaCare.

When the central government intrudes into an extra-constitutional arena of life (health care) and thereby infringes on the Bill of Rights, the central government has to retreat.

That such a retreat would be demanded is entirely unremarkable except for the dilapidated state of our republican institutions. That the central government has in fact been made to retreat is thus a cause for great joy; for if the central government doesn’t have to give way in the face of the religiously informed conscience of its citizens, nothing will be able to restrain it.

In essence, ObamaCare1 has insisted all Americans give up their First Amendment2 rights so the Government can standardize access to controversial drugs, the assumption being that standardized access is more important than religious freedom. That such a notion could trump the First Amendment has been an incredible development.

Today’s Supreme Court decision has halted that development for the moment, but it hasn’t eliminated the threat. The fact that all three of the female justices came down on the opposite side of the question shows how fragile today’s victory really is.

1More precisely, the bureaucratic implementers of ObamaCare.
2More precisely, the Hobby Lobby lawsuit involved the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, not the First Amendment per se.


Original post from 2012 begins here.


Technology can be the source of a “devil’s bargain” in dealing with the frailties of human existence.

decline of the west by oswald spengler


In Decline of the West, Oswald Spengler describes Western
civilization as “Faustian” in its pursuit of the infinite.

Miracle cures are great but the downside can be dilemmas.

Want a few years of extra life no matter the price? Are you willing to trade a lifetime of accumulated wealth? Would you like for someone else to pick up the tab?

Therein lies the transformation of one dilemma into another.

In earlier times when patients did all the paying, the tradeoffs were clear and the answers were simple if not always easy.

But with the advent of cost-shifting, the dilemmas have been conflated with questions of rights and fairness and illusions of a free lunch.

Truth is dilemmas involving affordability don’t go away simply by shifting the cost to others. Instead, they just re-emerge in more consequential forms.

Alternatives in health care should be evaluated in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. Given enough resources, government can eventually be effective. But government is also inherently and notoriously inefficient.

Thus the early vision of America was to limit government to roles where the need for effectiveness outweighed the need for efficiency. The private sector could be big while the public sector could be small. And the results would be an unprecedented degree of prosperity and freedom.

Government could be small because the political dynamics were simple. Sellers would constantly seek to escape the severities of competition by having government intervene with favorable laws and regulations on their behalf, while buyers would naturally look to get something for nothing through the same mechanisms. All of that, however, would be thwarted by an economically literate and politically savvy public who would insist the government simply force the “bums” (buyers and sellers) out of the political arena and back into marketplace.

None of that dynamic seems possible anymore. Government becomes enormous as it accrues power to itself by constantly intervening in economic and financial systems, ostensibly due to defects in the capitalistic system and putatively to the public’s benefit, but ultimately and unerringly to its own self-interest, with the prospects now being unprecedented contractions of prosperity and freedom– political and economic.

With all of that as background, it is hugely ironic that present-day Americans would enthusiastically indenture themselves to a government-run health care regime in the belief their government is most concerned about them and that it can lower costs and improve quality while expanding coverage despite all logic and experience to the contrary.

The Devil would be proud to offer that bargain.

— historeo.com

historeo.comhistoreo 2

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