Years ago I joined a partnership that was “eat what you kill.”  In other words, if you earned it, it was yours.  No sharing.  No blending of production or money.  Things changed.  The group “voted” that they wanted to start sharing everyone’s income.  I said that those that wanted to get together and share should do so, that I had no problem with that.  That wasn’t the idea, you see.  As a high producer they needed my income in the pot for it to make sense.  One of the partners actually said this in a partnership meeting.

I think of this often.  Liberty is good on its own.  Socialism must include even those who don’t want any part of it.  Socialism is by definition then not a mutually beneficial arrangement for all parties.  Forceful property confiscation is part of socialism.  Liberty lovers are ok with what they have.  They are ok without other people’s stuff.  Liberty lovers just want to be left alone.  Socialists can’t stand to leave others alone.  Liberty lovers are ok with socialists as long as the socialists aren’t empowered to steal from them.  Socialists are not ok with liberty lovers keeping their stuff.  Socialists think they know best how other folks money should be spent.  The more education one has, the more smart they think they are, the more likely one is to succumb to this “fatal conceit,” as Hayek called it.

One of these groups (the socialists) represents a violent thief and the other is self-sufficient.  I think that’s why Leonard Read named his famous book, “Anything That’s Peaceful.”  The libertarian says “leave me alone…I’ll be alright..if not it’s not your problem.”  The socialist says, “those of you who have some stuff need to throw it in the pot in case someone else needs it.”  Everyone’s problems are shared.  Everyone’s successes are shared.  This philosophy of government is what nearly killed the Pilgrims with starvation.  What is fascinating to me (and the really hard part that socialists cannot come to grips with) is that the free market, better than any central economic planner, sees that this very sharing of successes and failures occurs in the most efficient and accountable way possible.  Failures are isolated, not institutionalized.  Successes float all boats higher.  Amazing that people continue to have this discussion.

The destructive power of the socialist’s wealth confiscation and its history of disaster, poverty and death seems to have little effect on those zealots who continue to propose this insanity.   The prosperity and improvement in the quality of life for all segments of society associated with the principles of liberty are so easily forgotten.  

The application of free market principles in medicine at The Surgery Center of Oklahoma has resulted in what the guys in suits call a serious “value proposition.”  The quality of care delivered for the price charged is simply unmatched.  This is a nightmare for our competitors.  Their only hope is the state legislator who would be bribed and bought off or the U.S. congressman who would promote hamstringing legislation to thwart our success.  These disgusting moves by our big hospital competitors are more and more obvious and meeting increasingly hostile receptions.  

Murray Rothbard wrote that the purpose of laws was ultimately to confer an advantage on those who proposed a particular law.  Conversely, a law was meant to confer a disadvantage on those competitors of those who proposed a law.  Watch for legislation that makes it increasingly difficult for newcomers to enter the scene of medical care.  Those legislators proposing these laws and regulations are basically hired thugs.  You are just as likely to see this on one side of the aisle as the other.  Watch for laws that tighten the already tight cartel of the insurance and corporate hospital groups.  Watch for more “certificates of need.”  Behind every one of these efforts is a smoke-filled room with the usual crony capitalist suspects, fascists by any definition of the word.  While complaining about access to care, our wonderful federal government, for instance, has limited the extent to which physician-owned hospitals can expand and has virtually shut down any further entrance of new facilities.  Think a little money changed hands on this deal?  Nothing but violence-loving goons, this lot.  Notice at the end of the article, a government study revealed that the effect of the specialty hospitals so feared, has never materialized.

If the peaceful market prevails and folks leave each other to their own devices without involving the violence of government, we will all be better off.  We should welcome the apologies of those “useful idiots,” as Lenin called them, when they finally realize they’ve been duped by the insanity of socialism.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.