Friday, July 17, 2009

Rationing Smashioning

The New York Times is hauling out bioethicist Peter Singer this weekend to sing the praises of rationing, according to NRO.

Not that Obamacare has anything to do with rationing. Oh no. President Obama has specifically told the nation's governors not to talk about it.

Come on. Mr. President. We weren't born yesterday. We understand that underneath the massive pushing and shoving on your health care plan is a direct route to rationing.

If you have a government program that gives out goodies then you have to have rationing.

All resources in this world must be rationed. The most just method is to ration goods using the price system. In this system the poor get less than the rich. That's unfair, of course, so many people try to help the poor out with charity.

There are other ways of rationing. You can force everyone to stand in line for resources on a first-come first-served basis. Everyone pays for resources at work and then stands in line for them. Problem is, as the Soviet Union showed, you get less of every kind of resource. Where's the justice in that?

Of course there's a third method. The government can sequester all resources and give them out as a reward for political loyalty. That seems to be the method preferred by the Obama administration. That is, if the stimulus plan is any guide to its political philosophy.

But which is the most just? It's a good question. It depends whether you are rich or poor, or, like Peter Singer, an academic that gets paid for thinking up bioethical policies for government programs.

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