Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Health of the State

As our health care system grows increasingly nationalized, either through direct government management, or through back-door government-imposed regulation, is it any surprise that we are starting to face a shortage of doctors? Whenever students tell me that they are interested in medical school, I suggest to them to think twice about it. Why spend seven or more grueling years of training for a job that does not pay all that much, relatively speaking? More and more, it seems, our young men and women are figuring that out on their own.

And then there’s this item. New York, it seems, wants to place a special tax on non-diet soda. Why do that? Because the state is on the tab for so much health care, obesity costs money. The logic, however, extends well beyond fatty foods. The logic of government run, (or sponsored or mandated) health-care the logic of government regulating our lives in great detail, in order to minimize the likelihood that we will impost additional costs on the system. Why stop with soda. What about fois gras (is this a class thing?). Etc.

In the Jewish tradition, the law told us what to eat and when to eat it, and other things much more personal. Nowadays, the law is starting to do something similar. The difference is that purpose of the law in Jewish tradtion was to promote holy living. Nowadays, we are starting to get similar regulations, in the name of physical health. But is physical health the greatest good? If so, what separates men from beasts?

Discussions - 5 Comments

Whenever students ask Adams about medical school, he tells them to think twice about it, because seven years pursuing a career that does not 'pay that much' is worthless. They think twice, alright, about ever listening to someone who places such a low regard on devoting one's life to helping others. The students who listen to Adams become CEO's and hedge-fund managers who screw people over for a few years.

Which explains why I am a professor of history . . .

Hey, when New York City puts extra taxes on Coca-Cola original formula, you know its time for a serious soda-dumping party on the Hudson.

"Why spend seven or more grueling years of training for a job that does not pay all that much, relatively speaking?"

To become a professor of history, obviously! :)

A professor's "pay" comes in other forms--a flexible schedule, a fairly uninstrusive system of management, a great deal of professional freedom, job security (post-tenure), etc. And don't forget that the physician--unlike the professor--exposes him- or herself to lawsuits every time he or she goes to work.

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