Mandatory Purchases: New Lane on the Superhighway to Serfdom

Not enough fear mongering has been done about the mandatory purchase of health insurance. I know it’s a slippery slope argument, saying having mandatory health insurance will lead to government specifying mandatory purchases on everything. The slippery slope  helped make mandatory health insurance purchase requirements possible, by virtue of mandatory auto insurance.

It’s not a stretch to assume at some point, something else will be added to the list of mandatory purchases. Health and auto insurance will be used as the justification for further governmental control of personal income. I can’t predict what the next mandatory purchase will be, or how many there will be. Once the government has been granted a new power, it inevitably discovers additional “need” for exercise of the new-found power.

To avoid abuses of such authority, the next logical step would seem to be to set limits on how far government can go in requiring mandatory purchases. This obviously won’t work, because the federal government has repeatedly shown itself to ignore limits. Case in point, the federal debt limit:  each time the debt limit is reached, congress simply votes to raise the debt limit. Once a limit has been placed on power, they simply vote to extend the limits of the power.

There is the belief that as long as you have freedom of speech and religion, you still live in a free country, or that if you loose some of the ability to decide what to do with your own money but still have these basic rights, you are still free. The fallacy of this belief becomes clear as the percent of control the government has over income becomes closer to 100 percent than to zero percent.

Once the amount of taxes crosses fifty percent of income, people take notice and start to complain. They quickly come to realize the closer you get to being taxed at 100 percent, the closer you are to having zero freedom. If 100 percent of what you make is taken by government, then basically government owns you and the fruits of your labor. So government has to be careful not to go too far past the halfway point to enslavement.

The TEA Party protests indicate to me the government has pushed the boundary of taxation about as far as it safely can. While I’m sure there is still some room in there to squeeze in minor taxes, there is no room for large-scale tax increases–the type needed to fully fund health care coverage for all Americans. That’s why a new form of governmental control over income was needed. Enter mandatory purchases.

Allowing the federal government the ability to mandate purchases has opened up this new lane in The Superhighway to Serfdom. You’ll still have somewhere around half of your income in your hands, but the amount of your income you’ll have control over will gradually decrease through mandatory purchases.

Government needs to be careful not to load up this new lane of serfdom to quickly. Once people are heavily taxed and burdened with mandatory purchases, seeing they have little control over their lives, it sometimes produces consequences like the French Revolution. I hope a movement will form to undo this new dangerous power, and I hope it will be called the BABE Party, Bitten At Both Ends.

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