Listening to the crazy campaign promises spewed out by the Democratic presidential hopefuls, one cannot help but be reminded of the man who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for worldly pleasures. Who isn't tempted by a bargain or, better yet, something for nothing? --free income, college, and medical care. What do we have to lose... except self-respect, the opportunity to succeed at a career suited to our talents, our privacy, and control over our bodies?
Intended to ameliorate poverty, universal basic income can be counterproductive. Some promise income merely for having a pulse and others envision the government equivalent of a mama bird regurgitating food into the open mouths of her chicks. Neither option gives a sense of pride and accomplishment or the foundation for character development.
The high cost of college is the Dems' justification for free tuition. One key reason for the continually escalating tuition is readily available student loans: no matter the cost, the student can continue to borrow. Endless direct-from-the-government money likely would cause further increases. In addition, one-third of college students drop out, a majority of them poorly prepared for--and not fully committed or suited to --university life. It is a bad idea to remove an incentive for perseverance, allow uncommitted students to waste their time on the government dime, or worse, be stigmatized as a failure.
With regard to medical care, receiving all "medically necessary" health services--including dental, vision, hearing, mental health, longterm care, home- and community-based services, physical therapy, prescription drugs with no premiums, deductibles, or copays from cradle to grave--for free sounds pretty good. However, given the direction so-called reproductive health is going, you may never make it to the cradle and, with the current laser-focus on hospice for all, you may get to your grave a little sooner.
Will free medical care halt one of the biggest drivers of poor health and medical costs? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40% of the U.S. populace is obese, and 47% of our 3.5 trillion dollar per year of health-care spending goes to treat the effects of obesity, with another 8.7% attributable to cigarette smoking. People have known for years that eating too much makes you fat and smoking contributes to heart and lung...