However, when it comes to the Welfare State, Krugman suddenly turns into Jeremiah, excoriating the Israelites for not worshiping the God of Collectivism. In his column today, he repeats the leftist canard that in a free society, one is "free to die." (The other leftist slogan is that in a free society, one is "free to starve," which is why I guess people in North Korea are going hungry.)
I did not watch the Tea Party debate the other night and am not interested in pulling up the recordings, given I just am tuned out to hearing politicians yapping. However, there was a situation in which someone asked Ron Paul a hypothetical question about a 30-year-old man who had not purchased medical insurance, Krugman writes (always trying to put Paul in the worst possible light because, after all, Ron Paul cannot possibly be as decent a human being as is Paul Krugman):
Mr. Paul replied, “That’s what freedom is all about — taking your own risks.” Mr. Blitzer pressed him again, asking whether “society should just let him die.”Indeed, people can die from a lack of treatment, but, as Krugman notes in this interview, if who is to die is decided by government agents wearing white coats and repeating the mantra of "lower costs, lower costs," then we should "let them die." Furthermore, the notion that many people in the medical professions are motivated ONLY by money is a huge lie.
And the crowd erupted with cheers and shouts of “Yeah!”
The incident highlighted something that I don’t think most political commentators have fully absorbed: at this point, American politics is fundamentally about different moral visions.
Now, there are two things you should know about the Blitzer-Paul exchange. The first is that after the crowd weighed in, Mr. Paul basically tried to evade the question, asserting that warm-hearted doctors and charitable individuals would always make sure that people received the care they needed — or at least they would if they hadn’t been corrupted by the welfare state. Sorry, but that’s a fantasy. People who can’t afford essential medical care often fail to get it, and always have — and sometimes they die as a result.
My grandfather, Dr. William Chisholm, served as a medical missionary in Korea before World War II, and he treated many, many people who never paid him a cent. Today, my cousin, David Morton, who is Dr. Chisholm's grandson, works in the hinterlands of Malawi treating patients who cannot pay him. (According to Krugman, those men are just fantasies. No doubt, they must have evil intentions, since they were and are motivated by their Christianity, and we already know what Krugman thinks of Christians.)
Furthermore, we have many doctors all over the world, not just in the USA, who will treat patients who do not compensate them. Yes, because medical care is scarce, ultimately someone needs to pay something, and often others are willing to pay, or some doctors at least are willing to essentially charge themselves in certain situations. Furthermore, Ron Paul is a doctor and is much closer to the medical scene than Krugman, yet here is Krugman lecturing the man about medical care and essentially calling him a liar. Yes, that is what Krugman is doing.
According to Krugman, ONLY the Welfare State can ensure the moral outcomes; anything else is immoral, and those who object to any aspect of the Welfare State are immoral monsters who just want to see others suffer and starve. Am I exaggerating? Read the column and you will see what I mean.
As for morality, Krugman says that it is a good thing for governments to destroy the assets of individuals through inflation (and to oppose such a thing, according to Krugman, is immoral, as those who oppose it do so only because they selfishly want other people to be out of work and to suffer), but when a man who has been a doctor speaks of compassion within his profession, well that man is an immoral liar.
So, I guess in Wonderland, people in a free society are "free to die," and in Wonderland, Krugman is free to lie.