Today’s Reads: Boudreaux and Harsanyi

Always good to read more from Dr. Boudreax. I first wrote about Saverin last week.

Serfdom Looms – Dr. Donald Boudreaux: I don’t think that we in America have quite yet reached serfdom, although we’re closer to that contemptible condition today than we were 10 years ago. But Casey’s and Schumer’s effort to punish Saverin for giving up his U.S. citizenship serves as an especially concrete warning that, unless we mend our ways, serfdom isn’t far off.

The abject state of medieval serfs, remember, was grounded in the belief that each serf was bound to a particular manor — that each serf was the near-slave of a particular lord — that the lord, his family and his armed henchmen enjoyed both the power and the right (by grace of God, by God!) to keep each serf in bondage (with brute force, if necessary) and to expropriate huge quantities of the fruits of serfs’ labors. No serf could lawfully choose to unbind himself. He was stuck. He was the subject, and his lord was his master.

Of course Harsanyi is 100% correct. Not wanting to have a gun to my head forcing me to pay for something I find abhorrent, is not even remotely close to telling someone else that they can not pay for it themselves. I’m not sure if those selling this straw-man story are wholly ignorant, or intentionally deceptive.

Church of the Holy Contraception – David Harsanyi: At some point, contraception was transformed from a — and I hope my Catholic friends will excuse the wording — godsend to those wanting to avoid unwanted pregnancy to a “public health” concern to a moral societal imperative that must be mandated, lest we abandon our daughters, science, decency, “choice” and freedom. Vice President Joe Biden once claimed that this debate is about “the right of women to decide for themselves, whether or not they want to use contraception” — but not, you should note, allowing women to decide what kind of health insurance they can buy.

How does coercion become “choice”? I ran across a headline on the website of the left-wing think tank ThinkProgress that illustrates the awkward logic of this assertion: “Missouri Legislature Approves Bill Allowing Employers To Deny Access To Birth Control.” What could this possibly mean? Are these dastardly priests, archbishops and nuns forming a human blockade in front of the doors of St. Louis area pharmacies, denying men and women their “right” to purchase condoms? Does one deny access by failing to supply that something to another person?

Related links:
Book Review: The Road To Serfdom by F.A. Hayek
Sometimes The Lies Are Just Too Much
Thoughts On The Contraception Dust-Up
It’s Not About Contraception, or Access