The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Conservatism: what is it?

Recently I saw another column in the Washington Examiner that I thought a bit puzzling. This one was written by Gene Healy and entitled “Newt Gingrich is no conservative.” Among the things that Healy uses to characterize Gingrich as “no conservative” include his support for the Medicare drug plan. I suppose Healy favors a cruel, extreme-libertarian kind of conservatism that decrees that if you can't afford to pay for your prescription drugs, you should just die and leave the world to the next generation! For to my way of thinking, the way the Medicare drug plan is structured, it's a good way of introducing conservative ideas into a Medicare-type program.

Rather than a one-size-fits-all sort of “insurance” plan, it fosters competition. Different private insurers (and I emphasize private) compete for the senior citizen's premium. When I got my booklet, it gave me choices between insurers who had lower monthly premiums and higher co-payments and others who had higher monthly premiums and lower co-payments. And various in-between combinations as well. I think this is a good idea. The government helps the insurers provide their plans at an affordable rate, but it doesn't, as “Obamacare” does with basic health care costs, force identical coverage by all companies. It seems to me this is exactly what a conservative wants. But I wonder what Gene Healy would require of someone to be called a “conservative.”

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