Over at the Washington Post Ezra Klein has written We Ration. We Ration. We Ration. We Ration. Apparently Klein believes that if he repeats the words enough times everyone from coast to coast will stand up as one, slap their newly collectivist foreheads and say, "holy pork and beans Batman, WE ration!"
Nice try, but no. It is beginning to grow tedious explaining to the Klein's of the world that we get it, but I'll give it one more try. Absolutely everything is rationed in some sense according to income. Mr. Klein would argue that it is "unfair" and "immoral" that one citizen should receive better health care than another simply because they have the higher income. Mr. Klein would further argue that it is incumbent upon government to fix the inequity even if the cure results in some, nay many, citizens are left with an inferior level of health care than they now enjoy. Well, if we are going to be "fair" lets be fair across the board.
In 2007 the median household income was $50,233.00. Henceforth, in the interest of fairness, the government should declare that amount as the living wage for all households and barring all other factors which we all agree have no bearing on "fairness."
To be fair, education is a right and therefore, all college freshman slots should be filled by lottery. After all, every child has as much "right" to attend an Ivy League school as any other, so the only "fair" thing to do is ignore such arbitrary things as grades or hard work. In fact, society needs a certain number of brain surgeons, trash haulers, iron workers, etc., so career paths should be assigned by lottery as well.
Think of all the wonderful things we could do if, instead of rationing via income, we just act "fairly." How many Hollywood mansions could we convert in to apartments for the homeless? If we seized Jay Leno's car collection and sold it, how many Prius could we give to the poor?
Think how equitable we could be if we just substituted "fairness" for individuality. Why stop with health care? Let's take Klein's sense of fairness all the way out to its logical conclusion.