Of course the state can make you buy stuff

A couple of days ago a man named Henry Hudson, who claims to be something called a “federal judge”, struck down a part of the new so-called “health care bill” that would force so-called “citizens” to buy health insurance from state approved companies. The argument he used was interesting. His claim was that the government lacks the enumerated powers from the constitution to mandate that so-called “citizens” purchase health insurance. Of course Mr. Hudson has no problem with the government mandating that people be forced to buy his “services” even though I doubt there is a phrase in the constitution that specifically allows for this.

While it may be true that there is no actual phrase in the constitution that says that the so-called “federal government” can force individuals to purchase health insurance, this is still a silly argument. Of course the government can do this. They have the guns. They can force people to buy anything they want. In fact, forcing people to buy stuff is all they do. They could not exist without the power to force people to purchase stuff they would otherwise not purchase.

In reality the state is nothing more than a group of men and women that force everyone else to buy services from them. So even if the document that they claim is the foundation of their law, the constitution, does not give them permission to do this, so what? Why should they care? They have a monopoly on interpreting and applying the constitution. No one else gets to do this. So as you would predict given this situation, they have been interpreting it in favor of themselves for years, if not outright ignoring it. It really is an irrelevant document. 250 year old parchment is not going to stop bullets.

The foundation of the power of the state is force, not law. It is silly to think they will not do something just because the constitution does not grant them the power. Their power does not come from the constitution! It comes out of the barrel of a gun. And, as you would predict, they use that gun to take money from people. Of course to make this scam look good they pretend to provide services to people in exchange for this money and they claim that these services are necessary for the functioning of society. They also do this to fool themselves. No one wants to think they are an immoral thief, and no one wants to think they are a victim. So there is a psychological “let’s pretend game” played around the constitution by both masters and slaves in order that both can pretend that the relationship is something other than it is. Political activists, minarchists, constitutionalists, libertarians, conservatives, and sometimes even liberals all pretend that the constitution is what the government bases its power on, and so-called “federal judges” pretend to make court rulings based on it. This way both parties can pretend that the gun is not in the room and avoid facing the psychological and moral consequences.

The government forces people to buy stuff all the time. Henry Hudson himself forces you and me to buy the “services” he claims to offer as a judge despite the fact that I have never requested these services, I don’t want them, I can’t afford them and Hudson is in no way actually obligated to provide them to anyone. The government forces people to buy the “service” of firing missiles at impoverished Pakistani villagers from robot planes despite the fact that the same circumstances as above apply here. Not only is this a dubious service, it is morally horrifying and something no decent person would be involved in unless they were forced. The government forces people to buy the “services” of so-called “public schools” even if they don’t have kids and can’t even use these schools as a babysitting service. And of course the government forces everyone to buy the service of police protection from them and them alone, even though they recognize absolutely no legal obligation to provide this service. So what is health insurance on top of all this?

Some people have made the argument that in this case the government is forcing people to purchase something from a third party, which is why it is invalid. But that is irrelevant. Who cares if they force you to buy services from themselves or a third party that has paid them money to force you to buy their product? You are being stolen from either way. The issue is the force, not what is being forced or who is benefiting. That is what we should be focusing on and objecting to, not the particular service that we are being forced to buy.

13 thoughts on “Of course the state can make you buy stuff

  1. Bill

    So what you guys are saying. Is if I’m poor or rich the rules apply I just don’t have go by them because I’m poor or rich?

  2. George DeMarse

    The writer of this article seems to be saying “yes, the Federal government can make you buy health insurance,” but in the end condemns the practice because government is supposedly “coersive” in forcing people to buy services “from them” ["them" being people in government, I guess]. I don’t get the point of this argument. The government here is not “forcing” anybody to buy “health insurance from it.” It wants people to be covered by insurance from insurance carriers, not the government itself. So I fail to see how purchasing insurance from insurance companies benefits the government and “them” (those so-called government people). Major mainline economists have made reliable estimates that the overall cost of health care in the U.S. will be less under the AHCA than without it through shared risk and cost. Are you saying the government can’t do anything about the cost of healthcare? Why not?
    The only other argument I have heard against the healthcare mandate with any legs is the one which points out that government can’t make you “buy anything,” which the individual mandate requires in the AHCA. The counterargument to that is government makes you buy “car insurance” to drive public roads to avoid risks to public safety (other drivers). The counterargument to that is the government can do this only because it “protects others,” not the policy holder himself. Besides, you could walk or take a bus. Healthcare coverage is an “individual mandate,” and does not protect others.
    I don’t think that is true. Currently, those who have health insurance are paying for those who don’t have it because treatment is required by hospitals regardless of insurance c0verage. So the American public “does have” an interest in the noninsured being covered because they are already paying for the risk by the non policy holders. So there is an element of “public interest” in the cost and coverage of healthcare for all who use it. Further, the option to “walk or take a bus” both involve public investment and interest in infrastructure, namely public sidewalks, roads and transportation. All publicly shared cost infrastructure.

    George DeMarse
    The Sage of Wake Forest

  3. aed939

    Just to clarify: if the federal government wants to require everyone to have health insurance, they have to pay for it through taxes–through a combination of general funds or a new dedicated tax. They are not allowed to mandate that everyone purchase health insurance. They were unable to pass a bill that authorized these new taxes. Therefore, the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

    This is not the same as auto insurance. If you live in Manhattan or downtown SF, you don’t have a car, and are thus not required to pay for auto insurance. Likewise, if you are independently wealthy, you can self-insure–you have no need to buy health insurance. The health insurance mandate is a hidden tax and an artificial demand boost to the health care industry, which will result in even higher insurance premium and health care prices.

  4. Alan

    “The government forces people to buy the “services” of so-called “public schools” even if they don’t have kids and can’t even use these schools as a babysitting service. “(Cited)

    Hi, I’m from Europe (Italy), and, while I’m with you on the “force abuse” of the “Government”, I think it is a tax-payer duty to build up a public education system, even if I personally don’t have children (for now.. ).

    It is also a duty to criticize when that public education system is corrupt, lazy or simply stupid.



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  6. Gil

    Do you believe all car drivers have to be force to have car insurance or should people be allowed to have no insurance if that’s what they want?

    1. Mike P (the emptiness pro) Post author

      Of course people should be allowed to not have insurance. If they damage someone else’s property then they will be personally liable for the full cost of the damages.

        1. Mike P (the emptiness pro) Post author

          This could happen today anyway. So the state hasn’t solved this problem with the use of force. The risk of this happening certainly is not a sufficient argument for the existence of the state or the initiation of violence.

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