March 29, 2012 9 Comments
Quick note on the administration’s current-favored Obamacare defense, that they’re just regulating how we pay for a market we’re all in – because even if we choose not to buy insurance, we are still ‘participating in’ the health care market. If they mean that seriously and sincerely (which I doubt), once again we have a limiting-principle problem. Why?
Because (in that sense) everyone ‘participates in’ all markets.
For example, somewhere right now there is a Madonna-pap-smear-in-a-jar market. You might think you’re not involved in that market. Oh but you are wrong! You are ‘participating in’ that market just as much as everyone else is: as a Madonna-pap-smear consumer whose bid is $0. Clearly that bid affects the market (I mean, if your bid were higher, prices and supply would rise, at least a little). Clearly, that market could be ‘interstate’ or ‘substantially affect’ interstate commerce (if you had a higher bid, someone in Alaska might be more willing to ship to you).
Hence, that’s a market that (unbeknownst to you) you’re ‘participating in’. And since Congress can ‘regulate’ it, in the process they can force you to buy Madonna pap smears (if that serves the purpose of their ‘regulation’).
Not buying something, anything, could always be rephrased as ‘participating in the market with a bid of $0′. Bids of $0 automatically ‘affect’ that market. So, we’re all ‘participating in’ all markets, all the time. Hence Congress can do whatever the hell it wants to us, all the time.
That seems to be what ‘liberals’ think.
UPDATE: Slight correction; my bid for the pap smear is not $0, it’s less. Like maybe I’d take it off your hands if you paid me $40. See? Everyone. Is. A. Participant. In. All. Markets. On at least some level.
UPDATE 2: Backing off my -$40 bid for the moment. It occurred to me I’d better review the regs for/costs of disposing of biohazards first….