Friday, January 18, 2013

Getting bogged down in semantics


Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey, who has been an outspoken critic of ObamaCare, found himself in the news again this week for an updated critique of the Affordable Care Act:

(previous posts regarding Mackey and his completely principled opposition to ObamaCare can be found here)

The CEO of Whole Foods compared President Obama's health care law to "fascism" in a radio interview on Wednesday, a turnabout from earlier comments in which he compared the signature reforms to socialism.

"Technically speaking, it's more like fascism," John Mackey told NPR's Morning Edition. "Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn't own the means of production, but they do control it — and that's what's happening with our health care programs and these reforms."

The Wall Street Journal in 2009 ran a piece by Mr. Mackey that was critical of Mr. Obama's law, which passed in March 2010 and is marching toward full implementation in the coming years. The article led with a quote from Margaret Thatcher, who said, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

Mr. Mackey is probably correct in this nuanced shift in terminology for what we know of Obamacare, currently, however: Socialism, Fascism... how do we really know what it is if no one, not the health insurance industry lobbyists that wrote it, not the members of Congress who did not read it yet voted on it and not even the President who also did not read it but signed it into law can tell you what this monstrosity is going to look like, say, 5 to 10 years from now?

It's almost as if those two terms have been drummed into irrelevance over the years due to misuse and overuse.

The good news, however, for champions of the President's healthcare law is that come 5 or 10 years down the line, we're predicting a renewed debate of these two terms with their respective corresponding surge in relevancy.



K T Cat said...

I love the fact that he used the proper term, fascism.

Shane Atwell said...

We know its fascism and not socialism because most of it is regulation and "private" individuals and companies: doctors, consumers, insurance companies, hospitals, etc. Only a handful are officially government owned. But they're all now unofficially government owned and it doesn't make much difference. Fascism and socialism are after all just two variants of hard left ideologies.

K T Cat said...

OK, so to take issue with the original purpose of the post, let me say this: it's not semantics.

Fascism has a bad reputation because it's bad. It represents turning your nation into a prison camp. I would argue that the Democratic Party has become fascistic and only good can come from identifying it as such.