The Costly Category Error of Big Government Healthcare
The statement, “Government can solve all ills,” rises to the level of a category error. More specific examples are:
The government’s war on poverty . . . category error.
The government’s attempt to solve all inequities, racial, gender, whatever . . . category error.
And nowadays, the government as the means to all Americans (and illegal aliens) being covered by health insurance . . . this is yet another category error being foisted upon us.
So what the heck is a category error? It’s a misattribution of a characteristic that’s so severe that it couldn’t possibly be a property of whatever is being described. For example, all green bell peppers are Democrats . . . sure, there are similarities like green bell peppers sporting the favorite color of environmentalists and Hamas, and green bell peppers mostly being empty space on the inside, but that doesn’t change the fact that green bell peppers are a vegetable. And, vegetables can neither be Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, or any other party. Attributing a party affiliation to a vegetable is a misattribution of a characteristic that humans can take on, not vegetables. Hence, the category error.
Recently, I heard a priest giving a sermon that mentioned healthcare in the context of the plight of the uninsured. His figures were the gross exaggeration variety that includes illegal aliens and people transitioning from one job to another. In the end, though, the priest didn’t really advocate for or against government intervention. He did however oversimplify the issue by implying that a big government solution is one of a few viable options. This was, in my opinion, a category error. Attributing this power . . . the power to ensure that all Americans have health insurance . . . is simply not a property that the government has. It’s a lot like saying that all bananas are communication devices . . . if you witnessed some fellow trying to call his wife using a banana instead of a cell phone, the error would be obvious. It’s just as obvious an error to maintain that the government can solve the health care crisis by taking over, lock, stock, and barrel.
Unfortunately in the case of a government takeover of health care, the obvious category error isn’t as obvious to most of the public as is using a banana to make a phone call. There has been too much obfuscation perpetrated by media and politicos, so much so, that the obviousness of the error has become clouded. People have been programmed to think that the government, led by an Obamessiah, can do it . . . it amounts to millions of people grabbing for their banana phones.
The government can’t do it . . . witness England and Canada and any other country with socialized medicine. The result is a mess and a rationing of health care based on bureaucratic mandates. An overarching, government-based solution is quite simply a fantasy.
The priest giving the sermon did have a point though. Charity and love should indeed prevail. The government, however, is not the vehicle for that. In fact, it’s no more capable of it than is a green bell pepper of being a registered Democrat (unless it lives in a Chicago area produce bin and was registered to vote by ACORN). People who cherish charity and justice need to realize that big government solutions are not solutions at all. Next time you hear such a sermon, politely and kindly point out the folly so that your fellow congregants aren’t also reaching for their banana phones.