Cal Thomas: Believing in evolution is what makes the secular left want to kill grannies

Why, exactly, do Democrats want to kill the elderly with their health care? It's a question that's baffled billions since at least last week. Politicians, philosophers, theologians, and comedians have all been at a loss to explain the motivation for the proposed geriatric genocide. Fortunately for us all, there is one who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.

In his latest column, Cal Thomas exposes our motivations for wanting to pass a "health care" bill that will allow us to whack granny. He comes up with an answer that's so simple, so glaringly obvious, that I'm honestly surprised that I was at all surprised by it. Those of us on the "secular left" are willing to off the old, Thomas explains, because we're evolutionists:

The secular left claims we are evolutionary accidents who managed to crawl out of the slime and by "natural selection" stand erect and over millions of years outsmart our ancestors, the apes. If that is your belief, then you probably think health care should be rationed. Why spend lots of money to improve -- or save -- the life of someone who evolved from slime and has no special significance other than the "accident" of becoming human? Policies flow from such a philosophy, though the average secularist probably wouldn't put it in such stark terms. Stark, or not, isn't this the inevitable progression of seeing humanity as maybe complex, but nothing special?

The opposing view sees human beings as unique creations. Even Thomas Jefferson, identified by historians as a Deist who doubted the existence of a personal God, understood that if certain rights (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) do not come from a source beyond the reach of the state, then the state could take those rights away. Those who believe that God made us and also makes the rules about our existence and our behavior will have a completely different understanding of life's value and our approach to affirming it until natural death.

But, wait! There's more!

Thomas is not content to merely explain what motivates the left to want to kill off grannies. He also delves into the more complex question of how we reached such a point, and even offers a possible solution to the problem:

We are now witnessing some of the consequences of attempting to ban people with a God perspective from the public square. If there are no rules and no one to whom one might appeal when those rules are violated, we are on our own to set whatever rules we wish and to change them in a moment in response to opinion polls. Any appeals to a higher authority stop at the Supreme Court.

The explosive town-hall meetings are indications that Americans are trusting government less and less. So where should we go? The answer is in your wallet or purse. It's on the money. Right now it is little more than a slogan, but what if it became true: in God We Trust.

I've got no idea what we'd do if we didn't have people like Cal out there helping folks understand the complexities of this whole health care issue, but I'd really love to find out.

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Though he may hate scientists due to the Grandfather Paradox.

The secular left claims we are evolutionary accidents who managed to crawl out of the slime and by "natural selection" stand erect and over millions of years outsmart our ancestors, the apes. If that is your belief, then you probably think health care should be rationed.

Hmm, I believe something more or less like that, except I want to see health care less rationed than it is. Or at least, that's what I thought I believed. I guess I don't know my own beliefs as well as Cal Thomas does.

But please, Cal, if somewhere in my deep subconscious I'm really a Yankees fan, I don't want to know.

Scott, you misunderstand Cal and his friends. They don't want to ration health care; they want to deny it completely to people who can't pay. After all, if one does not have a good job bringing in lots of money, then one must be cursed by god. And therefore one deserves to suffer.

If health care is provided for all, then Cal might have to wait in line at the doctor's office with weak,evil poor people. Now that would be the true hell of rationing.

They don't want to ration health care; they want to deny it completely to people who can't pay.

At the risk of being pedantic (oh, what the heck! take the risk!), I consider that a form of rationing. In broad terms, anything that carries a price tag, however low, is rationed.

Rationing means two things.

The basic meaning simply refers to supplies being finite, leading to the problem of not everybody getting what they want. Ideal free markets "solve" the problem using prices. When prices march up, so long as everyone believes that the prices reflect inherent natures (and not shady operators manipulating prices), would-be consumers decide they don't really want certain items after all, and everyone is "happy".

The more notorious meaning refers to deliberate government interference with supplies and prices to the point there are
visibly artificial shortages. This kind of rationing is almost always ugly.

A classic example of rationing that most people don't mind is the De Beers diamond monopoly. A century of marketing has turned diamonds into a symbol that people honestly believe is supposed to be expensive, and since the demand is low and behind the scenes knowledge of the facts is rare, few people care about the deliberate rationing.

Currently, US health-care is rationed by the price mechanism. There are numerous problems, some of which could be ameliorated by single-payer, some which can't.

For example, the AMA has a near monopoly on doctor supply. It regulates the medical schools and controls the exams, and uses its power to keep numbers deliberately low. The result is artificially high salaries. Over the decades, both patients and doctors have come to believe that these salaries are perfectly normal "free" market prices. Utter hogwash, but so long as people are gullible about the causes, they take the high prices as inevitable.

But down the road, the main problem is that insurance is a "backwards" industry. In most industries, the watchword is "let the buyer beware". The seller typically knows more about his product than the buyer. If not regarding any individual item, he certainly hears complaints after the fact and has a statistical knowledge of his product line.

In insurance, however, it's "let the seller beware". The buyer has a better estimate of his health, past, present, and future than any outside agency, private or public. Insurance companies try to use proxies (the educated have a better track record at taking care of themselves, for example) but all in all, the seller cannot really pick and choose as he'd like to.

Today's insurers, faced with stiff free market competition, have developed all sorts of small-print ways of increasing their profits. The most notorious is "recission", whereby the insurance company gets to bail out on making large payments by finding some trivial application error and calling it contract fraud. It's why their overhead costs range from 15-30%, in contrast with Medicare at under 5%.

So what is happening is that, yes, private insurance companies do ration health-care, but this is somehow invisible rationing done by the invisible hand.
As a result, those making all the hoohah about government rationing of health-care are able to peddle the most absurd economic nonsense and most responses are just feeble appeals to a presumed "socialist" moral high ground.

Obama, in fact, doesn't really believe in a full single-payer system. He wants a hybrid, something like the post office, where a single cheap price operating everywhere guarantees a standard minimal service, and then private insurers would compete out at the fancier end.

But no matter what the system is, it's all rationing.

By william e emba (not verified) on 11 Aug 2009 #permalink

This from the fellow that actually SUPPORTED a right-wing pastor who harrassed a gay music teacher in Michigan so much that he committed suicide...


Heads-up. Demagogues aren't about logic - but psychology.
I have a whole section of links on perversion of intellect via perceptual manipulation - usually called 'moving the goalposts' ...and this is classic.
'Strawman argumentation' is the name of the game here : false logic. You get to misstate your opponent's position ( and even his characteristics ) and 'poison the well' against retort.
Hit Wikipedia for similar resource. That's part of what I used.

Cal assumes because he is utterly unable to assess value without help from above that we, too, must be equally incapable. False assumptions like this crumble quickly.

I am curious what higher authority he will appeal to when his god displeases him.

Thanks for sharing, Mike.

william @ #7:

Thanks for the informative comment.

By holomorph (not verified) on 31 Aug 2009 #permalink