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Longboat Key Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 4 years ago

Letter to the Editor

by: Paul A Rosen

+ ‘Curve’ analysis fails
Dear Editor:
Upon returning to Longboat Key, I look forward to the beauty of this island — sun, water, foliage and gentle breezes. How can it be that in such an atmosphere, the Longboat Observer’s editorials too often produce sewage and hot air? 

The Nov. 14 editorial tells us that seeking equality is statistically doomed because failure is ordained by the “Bell Curve,” i.e. there will always be rich and poor; sick and healthy, etc. 

In demonizing the value of equality, the editorial extols its version of Hayekian capitalism; attacks equality as a subversive plot by liberals and progressives; and ends up, where the extreme Right usually does, denouncing Obamacare.

 Because the editor’s “Bell Curve” analysis is based upon myth and slogans, it fails on several fronts. 
First, if the “Bell Curve” always applies to economic outcomes, then no economic/social system, including capitalism, can alter the results.

Second, the editorial assumes that the curve applies to static and not dynamic social conditions. That is, circumstances never change. But we have moved a long way from the cave man. We eat better, live longer. Civilized society need no longer accept that some must live in uncivilized conditions. 

Third, as to Obamacare, and contrary to the editorial, universal health insurance comfortably fits into Hayek’s economic theory. The reason and approval for it are expressed in his seminal work, “Road to Serfdom” at page 148:

“Whereas in the case of sickness and accident neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the effort to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance — where, in short, we deal in genuine insurable risk — the CASE FOR THE STATE’S HELP IN ORGANIZING A COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM OF SOCIAL INSURANCES IS VERY STRONG” (Emphasis added.) Thus, your opposition to Obamacare does not stem from libertarian economic theory but pure political demagoguery.

To adopt the “Bell Curve” as our social/economic guide for rejecting concepts of equality demonstrates a total misunderstanding of the principles upon which this country was founded: “We hold these truth to be self evident that all men are created equal … ”

No state shall deny the “equal protection of the law”; and “four score and seven years ago … our forefathers were … dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Those great words were written and spoken to be read and heard by the many and also for those few who rejected freedom for all, liberty for all and equality for all. Those few instead sought and now seek freedom and liberty for themselves. And some of those few escape the teachings of our forefathers by dwelling in the confines of  “Bell Curves” where darkness reins and clappers deafen the voices of those who seek  “a more perfect union.”

Paul A Rosen
Longboat Key


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