Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Reality mimics parody

Andrew Koppelman

A story in today's New York Times, about a new wave of legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act, includes the following description of a remarkably principled individual:

One plaintiff in the District of Columbia case, David Klemencic, the sole owner of a carpet and flooring store in the town of Ellenboro, W.Va., was also a plaintiff in the constitutional challenge to the individual mandate. In an interview, Mr. Klemencic, who does not have any employees, said he had deep, philosophical objections to any effort by the government to require him to purchase insurance, and would refuse to accept a subsidy even if eligible. “I go to the doctor now, I go to the dentist now, I take my checkbook and I pay for it,” he said. “If I’m forced into some sort of program where it’s subsidized by the government, I won’t go see a doctor.”

About ten years ago, the satirical newspaper The Onion ran the following fictitious story:

Libertarian Reluctantly Calls Fire Department

CHEYENNE, WY—After attempting to contain a living-room blaze started by a cigarette, card-carrying Libertarian Trent Jacobs reluctantly called the Cheyenne Fire Department Monday. "Although the community would do better to rely on an efficient, free-market fire-fighting service, the fact is that expensive, unnecessary public fire departments do exist," Jacobs said. "Also, my house was burning down." Jacobs did not offer to pay firefighters for their service.
 Here, reality has outpaced fantasy.  Presumably, if Klemencic's house catches fire, he will resist any effort by the fire department to trespass on his property.

Older Posts
Newer Posts