Something from last month's frenzy over Obamacare remains to be noted: not so much the tactical stuff as the ideological underpinning of the whole venture.
The federal government was going to make us all equal in health care terms, if the Democrats knew anything about it. And now, well … we'll see, because no governmental enterprise premised on the closing of economic gaps ever actually closes them.
It's just the way American politicians talk. Gaps of any kind, we hear, are wrong and unfair. That they might be a function of nature and fortune and choice never comes into the conversation.
"[T]he ways [Obamacare] attacks the inequality of the Reagan era … " says a New York Times economics writer, "will probably be around for a long time." Could be. So could "the inequality of the Reagan era" be around for a long time -- an inequality consisting in things beyond the power of any government to control.
How come Bill Gates has more money that I do? I'll tell you. It's because Bill Gates exceeds your humble scribe in various matters, including technological vision, management moxie and basic knowledge of what a computer chip does. Some luck probably figures into it as well: being in just the right place at the dawn of the cybernetic era.
It's not fair?!!! But, yes, again, it's completely fair. We two Williams were born for different ends and objectives. Difference itself, in human terms, implies inequalities of different sorts. I know (likely) more than does my brother Gates about the construction of an English sentence. Does he care? I doubt it. Why should he?
We're not all the same. "So far is it from being true that men are naturally equal," Dr. Johnson observed, "that no two people can be half an hour together, but one shall acquire an evident superiority over the other." Economic "superiority" grates the most, to judge from all the political measures levied against it. The joy of Obamacare is twofold: 1) Spreading economic bliss to more of the poor than previously at 2) the expense mainly of "the rich." You hear the same scratchy old theme: haves and have-nots, take from the former and give to the latter.