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Gingrich is right

by Greg Krehbiel on 22 February 2012

From the debate tonight.

When you have government as the central provider of services, you inevitably move toward tyranny.

It was wrong with education. It’s wrong with health care.

You can’t have government paying for something without the government eventually controlling it.

-- 2012-02-22  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 10

  1. RootCzar
    23 February 2012 @ 11:09 am

    Oy …

    “Tyranny?” Really? Ugh … That’s the kind of incendiary language that tends to be unfounded and wreckless, a dangerous dog whistle. A sort of people hear words like that, and direct a tremendous amount of hatred towards us left-leaning folk – i personally have been on the receiving end of its manifestations. In the days following my placement of a MoveOn sticker on my car (‘endless war’), some whacko took a hunting knife to the back of my car, shredding my spare tire and the cover, glass and bumper. I also due to my perceived associations with Obama, have been approached and physically theatened, in a very serious and dangerous way. Two words fell out in the process that I clearly recall … One was a word I don’t use, nor even render – I’ll call it ‘the N word.’ The other, was ‘Commie.’ [there were lots of other colorful words surrounding those two as well]


    1. arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.
    2. the government or rule of a tyrant or absolute ruler.
    3. a state ruled by a tyrant or absolute ruler.
    4. oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler.
    5. undue severity or harshness.

    Check out this list of dangerous proto-tyrannies!

    Norway* – Single Payer since 1912
    New Zealand – Two Tier since 1938
    Japan – Single Payer since 1938
    Germany* – Insurance Mandate since 1941
    Belgium – Insurance Mandate since 1945
    United Kingdom* – Single Payer since 1948
    Sweden* – Single Payer since 1955
    Canada* – Single Payer since 1966
    Netherlands* – Two Tier since 1966
    Austria* – Insurance Mandate since 1967
    United Arab Emirates – Single Payer since 1971
    Finland* – Single Payer since 1972
    Slovenia – Single Payer since 1972
    Denmark* – Two Tier since 1973
    Luxembourg* – Insurance Mandate since 1973
    France* – Two Tier since 1974
    Australia* – Two Tier since 1975
    Ireland – Two Tier since 1977
    Italy – Single Payer since 1978
    Portugal – Single Payer since 1979
    Greece- Insurance Mandate since 1983
    Spain – Single Payer since 1986
    South Korea – Insurance Mandate since 1988
    Iceland – Single Payer since 1990
    Singapore* – Two Tier since 1993
    Switzerland* – Insurance Mandate since 1994
    Israel – Two Tier since 1995

    * = S&P AAA rated countries

    Was Gingrich REALLY right? Or maybe … was that a little bit of dog whistling?

    I’d submit that perhaps, it was the latter. I understand that to some degree, because we’re in an election cycle. But again, words like ‘Tyranny’ well-up in people … and you can get some rather atrocious results sometimes, sometimes good examples and be found, in Arizona.

  2. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    23 February 2012 @ 11:52 am

    His statement is that you “move toward tyranny,” not that if you adopt single-payer health care coverage you will suddenly become a tyranny.

    So perhaps the way to evaluate it is to see if some civil libertarian group has measured whether the countries that have adopted a government single-payer system have less freedom.

  3. Ken Crawford
    23 February 2012 @ 12:41 pm

    Exactly Greg, and of those countries listed, I can specifically remember at least one article about some form of medical tyranny by the government for the following:

    New Zealand
    United Kingdom (multiple)
    Canada (multiple)
    Neatherlands (multiple)

    That I can remember an article about fully one third of them, seems to suggest that Gingrich was right.

  4. RootCzar
    23 February 2012 @ 12:54 pm

    @Greg – well, I’m glad to hear that. Some of the countries in my list, have had systems in place for quite a long time, and I’d submit that the citizenry still don’t consider themselves subjects in a tyranny. I’d welcome any study like the one you suggest.

    @Ken – I don’t quite understand your reference … ‘medical tyranny?’ What exactly do you mean? Are there instances akin to the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments or something? Eugenics? We’ve got a questionable history ourselves, without a socialized medical system to blame for it. Interesting … If you happen to have anything to refer me to the article, I’d appreciate it.

  5. pentamom pentamom
    23 February 2012 @ 1:56 pm

    “Eugenics? We’ve got a questionable history ourselves, without a socialized medical system to blame for it. ”

    No one said bad things can’t happen apart from tyranny. But when the government does bad things to people (a la Tuskegee, which was indeed tyranny, but is the point that more of it isn’t worse?) that is tyranny, rather than something else bad.

  6. smitemouth
    23 February 2012 @ 2:57 pm

    Not to change the subject…but I can’t resist…

    Can’t believe the conservative media isn’t bringing up how unpatriotic Ron Paul is for not wearing an American flag lapel pin. The three chicken hawks had one, why not Paul? He must be a Muslim. Shouldn’t Fox News, Rush, and Hannity be questioning Paul’s patriotism because he isn’t wearing the flag lapel pin? Why wasn’t Sarah Palin on Fox News after the debate making snide comments about Paul not having a lapel pin?

    Also, I can’t be sure any of them are Christians because I didn’t see any of them wearing crosses. And, I’m not so sure Santorum and Gingrich are really Catholics because they didn’t have the ashes on their forehead at the debate like that priest on Fox News.

    And, if you really want to talk about tyranny, Chris Christie wants to take away Warren Buffett’s first amendment right to free speech because he says Buffett should just shut up.

  7. smitemouth
    23 February 2012 @ 4:46 pm

    And, humorously by Bill Maher: “Today, a barium enema paid for by Medicare. Tomorrow, Poland.”

  8. kdeb
    23 February 2012 @ 5:06 pm

    @SM, i don’t get it… =]

    Is medicare going to pay for Poland, or is Poland going to pay for the barium enema?

  9. smitemouth
    23 February 2012 @ 6:09 pm

    Paul is sure a refreshing change over Pawlenty. Remember that limp noodle? I’m sure your memories have faded. He would make all these bombastic comments, but then be a wuss when asked about them in the presence of the other candidate. When Paul was asked why he called Santorum a “fake”, Paul said “it’s because he’s a fake.”

  10. DSM
    24 February 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    @RootCzar: tyranny is often in the eye of the beholder. I’m a Canadian, and although I can spend thousands of dollars on a life-size model of Elvis made out of straws, I can’t spend 75$ for certain medical services Americans would take for granted, because, well, we’re not allowed to. Doctors who would otherwise be happy to provide services to me can’t at the risk of “oppressive or unjustly severe government” action. The lines between what’s allowed and what’s not seem pretty arbitrary.

    Incidentally, I’ve noticed that you really like the phrase “dog whistle”, and seem to use it whenever someone characterizes things in a way you don’t agree with, even if that way is actually accurate (witness your misunderstanding of how birth control pills work, for example). Is this a deliberate attempt to write other views out of the discourse in Alinksyite fashion by suggesting that “X” is really a stand-in for an entire nexus of ideas, or simply a tic?

    As a rhetorical move I suppose it could be useful in some contexts, but I don’t know how useful it will prove around here. The people who are inclined to agree with you don’t need to hear it, and those who aren’t won’t be persuaded. For example, I don’t know what vandalism of your car or something or other in Arizona has to do with how long my father has to go between specialist visits, or how I should feel about my government’s preventing me from doing much about that, but you seem to think how I feel about the one should affect how I feel about the other.