Harry Reid on Health Care and Slavery

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) notoriously made the following statement earlier in the week:

Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, ‘slow down, stop everything, let’s start over.’ If you think you’ve heard these same excuses before, you’re right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said ‘slow down, it’s too early, things aren’t bad enough.’

Leaving aside the ridiculous nature of Reid’s comments comparing opponents of health-care “reform” to opponents of ending slavery, let’s attempt a little deductive logic exercise to clear the matter up a bit. This will help us find a more accurate comparison between government health-care subsidies and slavery.

Deductive logic is a line of reasoning where, if the premises are true, the conclusion has to be true. It is structured something like this: 

  • Premise no. 1: All men are mortal
  • Premise no. 2: Socrates is a man
  • Conclusion: Therefore, Socrates is mortal

We can use this method to compare the relationship between government subsidization of health care and slavery in the following way:

  • Premise no. 1: Forcing one person to work for another person is slavery.
  • Premise no. 2: Taking earned money from one person and giving it to another person is forcing a person to work for another person.
  • Premise no. 3: Government subsidization of health care is taking earned money from one person and giving it to another person.
  • Conclusion no. 1: Therefore, government subsidization of health care is forcing one person to work for another person.
  • Conclusion no. 2: Therefore, government subsidization of health care is slavery.

So there may actually be a link between health-care “reform” and slavery after all. Only, it’s not the one Harry Reid suggested.

2 Responses to Harry Reid on Health Care and Slavery

  1. Joe Gehring says:

    By your line of logic, everything funded by taxes is a form of slavery. And if taxes are a form of slavery, then our country’s revolutionary war on the basis of “No taxation without representation” was a revolt against slavery. But since we chose to create our own system that involves paying taxes, then we voluntarily embraced our own slavery. But since we say America is the land of the free, then it can’t be based on slavery, because slavery is the opposite of freedom. So apparently, the entire basis of our country is a contradiction in terms, according to your logic. Unless you choose not to pay taxes, because they’re a human rights violation, in which case you are no longer allowed to use public roads, and you have to pay back the government for that education you got from a public university, since that was subsidized by my slavery. Oh, but don’t try to mail the check using the postal service.

    • Adam Fowler says:

      Correct. Substituting subsidized public education for health care in the above example would lead to the same conclusion. However, not everything funded by taxes involves money going from one individual to another. Where it does (largely due to inequities in tax rates), it is the fault of the tax system. If everyone paid equally for the services of government, this would not be as large of a problem as it currently is.

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