Rand Paul's Return to Slavery

Taxes and regulations as slavery?

All Washington is agog with Senator Rand Paul (R, KY)'s latest politically incorrect pronouncement: according to him, socialized health care is slavery!

With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to health care you have to realize what that implies. I am a physician. You have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. You are going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants, the nurses. … You are basically saying you believe in slavery.

Needless to say, this didn't go down well; Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders brushed it off with a derisory query of government employee Dr. Dana Kraus, who was testifying, as to whether she felt like a slave.  Certainly not!

I love my job. I do not feel like a slave.

She's not a slave, of course.  As she left the Congressional hearing in her government-provided car to return to her government-provided office, and thence to her no-doubt-expensive home paid for by her lavish government salary, Dr. Kraus has no reason to feel badly done by.  She's receiving a more than ample wage for her services provided.

In fact, virtually every person who actually provides medical care is paid for their time.  Even when a homeless bum is dragged into the emergency room for treatment, the doctors and nurses there are on the time clock.  There's no deduction from a doctor's salary for the time he spent on patients who didn't pay.

So what was Dr. Paul getting at?  He had a point, a very vivid and true one; but it's not the point that first appears.

Government Regulation and Taxes Are Slavery?

No, the health care workers aren't slaves, whether they're government employees or work for a private clinic.

But as we've seen, emergency rooms are required by law to treat needy patients whether they can pay or not.  If the doctors themselves are paid, but the homeless bum doesn't pay... who does?

Sometimes it's the government; for many years, the Feds sent along some of our tax money to provide a subsidy to hospitals which provided "charity care."  This subsidy has been shrinking for years.  Some states allow a property tax exemption in exchange for charity care, which is fair enough; but the obligation to treat remains.  It's not a choice.

What's being stolen here?  In the case of for-profit hospitals, an obligation to treat those who can't pay is no different than if Wal-Mart was legally forced to give free food to people who couldn't afford to buy it.  That would be unconstitutional on its face - it's a "taking" if anything is - but the Feds have used their awesome purchasing clout to weasel around that clause in the case of medical care.

For non-profit or public hospitals, it's a little more complex.  When you and I go to the hospital, we pay, or our insurance company pays.  When Jose Boozer is dragged in off the street by the cops, he doesn't pay.  Obviously, what we're charged has to cover Jose Boozer's tab too.

Is that slavery?  Not exactly: it's a hidden tax.

As Tax Freedom Day annually reminds us, working Americans spend the first third of the year toiling for Uncle Sam's benefit.  That's not the same thing as chattel slavery; it's not even totally involuntary, since we could move to a different country or stop voting for Democrats if we really wanted.

Or can we?  In Washington DC, there are now more people taking money from the government than paying taxes, which means that the voting majority doesn't care about tax hikes.  If everyone in DC votes their own interests, taxes will always go up and never down; the few producers remaining in the city have been effectively disenfranchised.  Insofar as they stay in the District, the elections are a sham and their payments are involuntary, with no hope of democratic repeal.

Does that make them slaves?  Not in so many words... but not totally different either, and getting closer all the time.  Dr. Paul is trying to point out the risk to all Americans in a hope that we can solve the problem before it becomes unsolvable.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Economics.
Reader Comments

"Dr. Paul is trying to point out the risk to all Americans in a hope that we can solve the problem before it becomes unsolvable."~Petrarch

And here in lies the crux of the matter does it not?

That is whether the problem is or is not already "unsolvable".

I propose that the problem is already "unsolvable", that the system is in fact not one that has any interest in solving such problems. That indeed the system is dedicated to exacerbating such problems.

The author seems to view the so-called federal "government" as if it in fact has any actual technical legitimacy under constitutional law. It in fact has none.

This is no longer the constitutional republic the nation was founded as. This is a Bernaysian "Democracy", which is nothing more than a regime founded on Public Relations. There is no LAW, there are only ever shifting Perceptions.

Unless Amerikans awaken from this enchantment they are doomed. I would assert that it is already too late--they teeter on the very tip of the plank, sword tip in their back and sharks circling below.

Welcome to the New World Order...suckers


May 16, 2011 12:28 PM

"since we could move to a different country or stop voting for Democrats if we really wanted"

Or stop working since we only pay taxes on income.

Oh wait-- That's what a lot of people are doing already!

May 16, 2011 12:35 PM

Some of us have implemented this policy for years, but we don't vote Repugnican nor Demoncrat, since neither party seems interested in protecting individual rights, only the institution of State.
Short of a legit 3rd or 4th party, things ain't likely to change w/o violence.

May 16, 2011 1:29 PM

"Short of a legit 3rd or 4th party, things ain't likely to change w/o violence."~irvnx

Violence is already on the table--not in rebellion, but via provocation by the panoptic maximum security state. The dire austerity now being forced upon the population has this end as part of the agenda.

Yes...there WILL be blood.

May 16, 2011 1:44 PM

I've been telling everyone I know, when the subject comes up, "You Cannot Give someone any right that requires someone else to do something" for years.
Even my bother who required emergency medical help a few years ago and couldn't get it when & how he wanted, yelled, "Damn, it should be a RIGHT!".
I gently explained and he unhappily agreed.....

Rand is correct but needs to clarify.

May 16, 2011 2:18 PM

"Rand is correct but needs to clarify."

Rand cannot be correct as Rand is speaking to a system which is a pretense.

Can you not grasp, in light of all the historical evidence that there simply is no "federal government" but merely a syndicate of gangsters who have usurped this system for the benefit of the Moneychangers--just as Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and other of the founders warned of continuously in the 18th century.

Anyone with more than a fair knowledge of constitutional law can claim that this instrument is still in force. Everything from the disparagement of the War Powers, to the bogus concept of Executive Privilege, to the obvious unconstitutionality of the privately owned Federal Reserve makes this glaringly prima facia.

May 16, 2011 2:38 PM


Anyone with more than a fair knowledge of constitutional law can NOT claim that this instrument is still in force.

May 16, 2011 2:42 PM

Involuntary servitude is slavery, whether it is part time or full time, it is slavery.
When one is inveigled to submit to a condition that looks like voluntary servitude, (social security) a fraud has been created. When one pays money or donates time because of receiving false information or promises, he has been swindled.
The health care law that was rammed through Congress last year is at best a fraud - at worst an enslavement.
Thank ;you,
Robert Walker

May 16, 2011 5:11 PM
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