Thursday, May 24, 2012

On Head Gear and Hypocrisy

Conservatives play an ugly game in which they encourage people to agitate for free market reforms when Democrats are in power. Once in power, Conservatives kick down the libertarians and expand government.

The disingenuous nature of the conservativism movement is a primary cause of the unbound expansion of government.

Today's Mero Moment, by the Sutherland Institute, provides some insight into this ugly philosophy. The Sutherland Institute is a group that takes money claiming to support free market economics, then doesn't.*)

Today's Mero Moment is about about helmet laws. The post starts with the scientific evidence that wearing bike helmets reduces harm.

When, the left sees data like this, their knee jerk reaction is to pass laws that uses the power of state to force kids to wear helmets.

Speaking of bike apparel. Pactimo is a great source for custom bike apparel, including matching bike helmets.
Libertarians love the science. However, they question the use of state force to promote helmet usage. Passing helmet laws require spending money on enforcement and complex rules for compliance. Even worse, the people who decide not to wear helmets for whatever reasons become de facto criminals by making the choice to go helmet free. Libertarians aren't against helmets. They simply don't see the law as the right vehicle for promoting helmet usage. Libertarians look at the data and see that the data is compelling enough to make the market respond. Sure enough, bike shops, eager to get a commission, aggressively sell and promote helmet usage. Groups that organize biking events are sufficiently worried about liability to require helmets at their events. There does not need to be a costly new law.

Mero scoffs at Libertarians. His reason to oppose the law is: "The prescription to wear a helmet subordinates the primary authority of parents to the secondary authority of the state."

This is different from the position that freedom is inherently good. Mero does not believe people should have the freedom to make their own choices. His argument is about which "authority" imposes the order.

Imagine a situation in which the parents tell their kid not to wear a helmet and a the school tells the kids that any kid who rides a bike to school must have a helmet. In such a case, I would be on the side of the school.

Mero's bizarre statement about conflicting authority might help the paradoxical situation in which Conservative Republicans reject ObamaCare, but support laws that are identical in form and intent.

Social Conservatives are not driven by a love of liberty. They are driven by concerns of which authority is in charge. ObamaCare is bad because Obama is one of THOSE people. The Utah Health Exchange and RomneyCare are good because the group Sutherland likes is in charge of the program.

This strange statement also explains why Conservative groups balk at any discussion of substantive free market health care reform. They love the corrupt health care system which puts their precious little insurance companies at the top of the social feeding chain.

Once again, a post from The Sutherland Institute shows that Conservatives are not interested in restoring liberty. The primary concern of Conservatives is to maintain a top-down social order. As such, they encourage free market rhetoric when out of power and are simply unwilling to engage in discussions of substantive free market reform.

(NOTE: The reason I keep picking on Suterhland Institute is that I am trying to figure out why Conservatives encourage people to agitate against ObamaCare, but run for the hills the second a person starts talking abour real free market reform)

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