The teen recording artist is a genuinely talented young man, and he strikes me as a decent guy.
But after Rolling Stone magazine’s new interview with the international pop music star was released last week, I was struck with the reality that many of Justin Bieber’s comments about economic matters were not that different from many of the comments we’ve heard from Washington over the past couple of years. And while inane chatter is par for the course with kids, it shouldn’t be tolerated from elected leaders.
Let me explain.
It’s not that I’m looking to rock stars, least of all sixteen-year-old rock stars, to enlighten me about anything. It just happens that Justin Bieber permeates nearly every aspect of the social environment at my son’s junior high school –kids either “love” or “hate” Bieber music, and for better or worse his moppy hairstyle is commonplace with my son and his friends these days – so when he makes the headlines I generally read them. And that’s how I happened to stumble past Rollingstone.com, to read the exclusive Justin Bieber interview.
When asked for his opinion about abortion, Bieber noted that “it’s like killing a baby” (Planned Parenthood, did you hear that?). And whether he was asked about it or not (it’s not clear from the Rolling Stone text), he also managed to get in some comments about the American quest for “free” government-run healthcare. That’s when things got real interesting with Canadian Justin Bieber.
"You guys are evil," Bieber joked to the American magazine writers, "Canada's the best country in the world….We go to the doctor and we don't need to worry about paying him, but here (in the United States), your whole life, you're broke because of medical bills.” He continued, “My bodyguard's baby was premature, and now he has to pay for it. In Canada, if your baby's premature, he stays in the hospital as long as he needs to, and then you go home."
What a wonderful little fantasy, wouldn’t you say? America is so “evil” that when one goes to “see the Doctor,” one has to fuss with something so trivial as “paying him.” How terrible it is that a highly trained professional like a Medical Doctor must be compensated for his or her work.
Yet how beautiful it is that in Canada, “the Doctor” just provides services, the patient just receives those services – as much as he or she needs – and the Doctor apparently doesn’t need to be paid. Or at least the patient doesn’t have to worry about it, right? Isn’t that the way it goes in Canada? Somehow, because of the magic of government, Doctors and nurses and everyone “at the hospital” in Canada just simply perform their jobs, patients just simply “get” what they need, and everybody’s happy. And Canadians don’t have to face that devastating threat of long-term medical bills.
I expect such childlike silliness from, well, children. But far too many elected “leaders” in Washington have been emulating this kind of fantasy-based thinking for far too long – and if our nation is to survive, they need to be un-elected altogether.
Recall that in May of 2010, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi noted that the Obamacare legislation would enable “artists” to simply quit their day-jobs, and not worry about providing for themselves. "We see this as an entrepreneurial bill,” Pelosi noted at the time, “a bill that says to someone, 'if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.'"
No need to think about who pays the Doctor, for Ms. Pelosi. Just focus on your “passion” and “aspirations,” and thanks in no small part to her, you will simply “have” healthcare. Sounds like Bieber’s Canada.
And then there is our President. Ardent supporters will point out that Barack Obama “invested” over four years of his life “selling” nationalized healthcare, and it’s foolish to compare a few sentences on the subject uttered by Justin Bieber to the President’s remarks. This is a fair point.
Yet the President’s assertions about “healthcare reform” were based on the assumption that a government system would produce a higher quality healthcare, and a greater quantity of that healthcare, for less money. That was economic fantasy, right from the start.
The President also claimed that his reform would “bend the healthcare cost curve down” – yet since becoming the law of the land, healthcare costs have been rising dramatically. And he claimed that without Obamacare, “the government will go bankrupt” (we’ve got Obamacare, and we’re still headed towards insolvency).
Justin Bieber should check-in with his accountant – or at least his mom – and learn how much of his earnings got confiscated by the Canadian government last year, and then consider how much “free healthcare” he purchased for other people. And us “evil” Americans need to grow up, as well, and choose more wisely in the 2012 election.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.