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Sowell and Williams on the health care vote

Posted by Richard on March 23, 2010

Two of my favorite living economists have slightly different takes on the House vote for government-controlled health care. Dr. Thomas Sowell, as I would have guessed, has a somewhat pessimistic take:

With the passage of the legislation letting the federal government take control of the country's medical care system, a major turning point has been reached in the dismantling of America's values and institutions.

Even the massive transfer of crucial decisions from millions of doctors and patients to Washington bureaucrats and advisory panels — as momentous as that is — does not measure the full impact of this largely unread and certainly unscrutinized legislation.

With politicians now having access to our most confidential records and having the power of granting or withholding medical care needed to sustain ourselves or our loved ones, how many people will be bold enough to criticize our public servants, who will in fact have become our public masters?

The corrupt manner in which this massive legislation was rammed through Congress, without any of the committee hearings or extended debates that most landmark legislation has had, has provided a road map for pushing through more such sweeping legislation in utter defiance of what the public wants.

Too many critics of the Obama administration have assumed that its arrogant disregard of the voting public will spell political suicide for congressional Democrats and for the president himself. But that is far from certain.

Dr. Walter Williams, predictably, is somewhat more optimistic: 

If there is anything good to say about Democrat control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives, it's that their extraordinarily brazen, heavy-handed acts have aroused a level of constitutional interest among the American people that has been dormant for far too long.

Part of this heightened interest is seen in the strength of the Tea Party movement around the nation. Another is the angry reception that many congressmen received at their district town hall meetings.

Yet another is seen by the exchanges on the nation's most popular radio talk shows such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and others. Then there's the rising popularity of conservative/libertarian television shows such as Glenn Beck, John Stossel and Fox News.

 Read both columns, please. I think both make valuable points. I agree with Sowell that this is a terrible turning point, and one that could usher in a new era in which this country permanently abandons the ideals and principles that have made it unique among nations.

I also agree with Williams that there are reasons for optimism — that the brazen and outrageous nature of this bill's passage and the contempt Democrats have shown for the will of the people will serve to awaken the populace and lead to a wide-spread public reaction and "Constitutional reawakening." 

Of course, I hope Dr. Williams is right. But I won't just hope. I'll do what I can to help make it come to pass. 

I hope you will, too. 

And keep an eye out for that new Reagan or Thatcher, too. We could really use one. 

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