“The constitution was thus conceived as a protection of the people against all arbitrary action, on the part of the legislative as well as the other branches of government. A constitution which in such manner is to limit government must contain what in effect are substantive rules…It must lay down general principles which are to govern the acts of the appointed legislature.”
So wrote Friedrich Hayek in The Constitution of Liberty a half century ago. He went on to say that: “A group of men normally become a society not by giving themselves laws but by obeying the same rules of conduct. This means that the power of the majority is limited by those commonly held principles and that there is no legitimate power beyond them.”
It is sad that Congress celebrated the 50th anniversary of Hayek’s work by ignoring any pretense that its power is limited. It is clear the Obama administration and the Democrat majority in Congress does not feel that the temporary majority is to be bound by any general principle other than “do you have the votes.” The 2000+page health care bill goes so far beyond what this country was founded on that it is difficult to know where to begin.
The bill is meant to involve the federal government in every nook and cranny of American life. Employers are told by their government what benefits they must provide employees. If we accept the proposition that the majority may tell employers and employees what their benefit package is, then where is the limitation that restricts this to health care?
If the auto insurance companies have sufficient lobbying power, then we will be told that our benefit package must include auto insurance as well. And why not require employers to provide membership in health clubs, or country clubs? I personally would prefer season tickets to University of Michigan basketball games.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
From Big Government: