One thing I found it amazing is how average americans detest and even are terrified by the word socialism. Sometimes I heard people will say chineses are “communists” and “socialists”. It is interesting that America is actually a much more socialistic country than China. It is true that the chinese government is dictatorship. But it is nothing but socialist at all. For those who explores the modern China a little bit will realize that it has long embraced capitalism completely. And it is even more so than America. But I am not writing about China here. I just want to express more awe about the common fear of socialism here.
It seems to me that a wide public will accuse the government as socialists or even communists whenever it tries to provide some “freebies” to the public. Many feel that those receive it don’t deserve them. They also feel that these freebies encourages lazy people to become free loaders and do nothing. Therefore, health care is bad. Food stamp is bad.
Interestingly, we already have lots of free stuffs around in this country. Parks have free water, and almost all restrooms provide free toilet paper. Why should we provide free water in a park? Now, those lazy people can drink water even for doing nothing. And they don’t need to wipe their asses with their hands! I would vote to remove every piece of toiler paper in the public restroom. We can’t tolerate free loaders hurting this country!
The truth is, does it matter? Why providing free stuff will always hurt economy? If one is talking about the federal debt is big and the government is too large, I agree with the argument that we should try to minimize government expense to further increasing the debt. But many do not really oppose “freebies” based on this government debt argument. As mentioned above, some are just afraid that freebies will encourage lazy people to become even lazier and don’t want to work at all.
I guess my view is a bit eccentric. But I think not just we should provide free health care. I think the government should also provide free housing, free public transportation, maybe even free meals as much as it can afford it. (Maybe if it can’t provide free meals everyday, how about offer free meals every other days?) Many probably will say that this will destroy the restaurant businesses. But it will not. Even public transportation is conveniently accessible in many Asian cities. Many people still prefer to drive both out of vanity and convenience. The same is true for free food. If government decides to provide free meals every day for a limited time and locations, many may find it inconvenient or may find the government food tasteless and so will go to restaurants anyway. And as it was estimated that the cost of obesity is 190 Billions, if the government insists on healthy (free low-fat and no sugar) food, changing diet habits of majority and in turn reducing the rate of obesity will pay for a big truck on the food bill already. Similarly, even if the government cannot offer completely free public transportation, incentivizing it alone can change driving habits of many and in turn can save drastic amount of gas. Of course, forcing people to use public transportation will make people walk more and become healthier also.
As for free housing, how about just building some public housing and offer to anyone homeless? There are lands everywhere in this country. There is no reason why we have to leave someone homeless. Of course, we don’t need to build anything fancy. It can be some simple condos easy to maintain. Anyone in need can stay inside. Again, someone may argue that this will affect the housing market. But the fact is. It won’t. Because those who can afford to buy a house won’t want to stay with hobos as neighbors. And maybe those who can’t really afford a home shouldn’t waste money on one to begin with. Do we really need 100% home ownership? I guess many will say no after 2008.
In any case, I think very very few are really born evil. Most criminals are out of desperation. If we don’t let anyone in this country behind, there will be much little need of prisons and cops. The latter again will pay for some of the cost of all these freebies.