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Unanimity Without Conformity


Among his many sound arguments in favor of free enterprise and free choice over government centralization of economic activity, Milton Friedman often made the point that competitive capitalism facilitates “unanimity without conformity,” that is, it provides powerful incentives for the market to cater to the heterogeneous preferences of consumers, while government by its very nature must impose one size fits all. Witness now the bitter confrontations in the streets, literally, over health-care “reform” (socialism), as reported today by the Wall Street Journal. As any government program must take from some in order to deliver to others, government by its very nature is a powerful force for social conflict. That this is one of the many large adverse effects of the Obama/Left drive for a federal takeover of the health-insurance market seems not to have been noticed by the usual suspects in the mainstream media. And anyone who believes that such social conflict will diminish once a bill is passed and implemented is dreaming. As seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries are coming to recognize: Such are the fruits of government compassion.

Benjamin Zycher is a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.


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