When are liberals in America going to admit that they need the free market just as much as their conservative counterparts?
Leftists around the country were outraged this week when CEO John Mackey of their beloved “green” grocery store, Whole Foods, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal opposing Obama’s proposed plan for nationalized healthcare. In his article, Mackey proposes eight reforms that he says will improve healthcare while at the same time move us “toward less government control and more individual empowerment.” This did not sit too well with some of his green patrons.
A recent ABC news article highlighted the indignation at Mackey’s public support free enterprise felt by Whole Foods fans Joshua and Michael. (I guess no one ever told them Whole Foods is, despite its organic theme, an evil “big business” just like Wal-Mart). The most interesting part of the reaction was not the outrage but the chosen plan of action to boycott the store.
Joshua and Michael should know that boycotting is the ultimate exercise of free market principles. If Whole Foods were run by the government in the same way they would like health care to be managed, do they realize what would happen?
Let’s say Joshua and Michael sign up for their long-awaited ObamaCare and everything is as they have always dreamed. Their taxes skyrocket, but they don’t care because every American is insured and they don’t have a co-payment when they go for a check-up. Then suppose Joshua finds out he needs a new kidney and is told his situation is not quite dire enough and he will have to be put on an 18-month waiting list for treatment. Or, even worse, Joshua finds out his doctor is a conservative and he wants a new physician. Naturally, Joshua is outraged and his first inclination, as with the Whole Foods debacle, is to take his business elsewhere.
Now — as pointed out in a recent article in Investor’s Business Daily — things get less ideal. Page 16 of the proposed health care bill states: “‘Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day’ of the year the legislation becomes law.” In other words, there is nowhere else for poor Joshua to take his business if he didn’t get the insurance when the government told him to.
It is typical of the Left to use all of the advantages of the free market while at the same time crying out for its demise. Famous left-wing ice cream makers Ben and Jerry have a statement on their website that says, “Capitalism and the wealth it produces do not create opportunity for everyone equally.” They seem to believe the only time capitalism is not evil is when selling a pint of ice cream for twice that of the competition.
Another common area where this hypocrisy can be seen is with the fair trade movement. Starbucks and American Apparel are two popular companies constantly bragging about voluntarily paying above-market prices for their goods in order to provide “fair” wages to the producers. Ignoring the severe economic effects these practices actually have on coffee growers and “sweat shop” workers, the entire fair trade movement is only possible because of the free market. Starbucks and American Apparel pay twice the market price because they have the choice to do so; a choice that will not exist under single-payer health care.
The Left is blind to all of the benefits it receives from the glorious freedom we have in the United States. Birkenstocks, organic fruits and vegetables, Priuses: all of these exist because of the entrepreneurial spirit which only the capitalist system allows. Liberals are so preoccupied with controlling everyone else’s lives that they overlook the fact that if their socialist dreams are realized, their own cushy lifestyles will no longer be possible.
The Left is in for a rude awakening when the freedoms it enjoys now no longer exist one day because they have given it away. Let’s just pray that when they finally do make the connection, it’s not too late for the rest of us.
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