(From June 16, 2011 Blog post, with addendum)
In her column this week, Get Rid of Government — But First Make Me President!, Ann Coulter is certainly far more critical of Ron Paul than she has been before, such as last year during the CPAC event in which she said she agreed with Ron Paul on everything except foreign policy. Miss Coulter especially bashes Dr. Paul this week for his views on separating marriage and State, and his views on Social Security.
On marriage, Miss Coulter responds to Dr. Paul’s statement that one should not have to get a license by the State to be married. Coulter asks,
If state governments stop officially registering marriages, then who gets to adopt? How are child support and child custody issues determined if the government doesn’t recognize marriage? How about a private company’s health care plans — whom will those cover? Who has legal authority to issue “do not resuscitate” orders to doctors?…
Who inherits in the absence of a will? Who is entitled to a person’s Social Security and Medicare benefits? How do you know if you’re divorced and able to remarry?…
Miss Coulter seems to think that government officials should decide on who gets to adopt children and who decides on child custody disagreements, and that is why we must “register” our private marriages and marital contracts with the government.
This is the socialists’ argument, the one in favor of the bureaucratization of everyday life, and that insists that the people are owned by the State and therefore must “register” with the State for its high-and-mighty permission so that we may arrange our private contracts and relationships according to the State’s approval in order to live our private lives in “pursuit of happiness.” Socialists like Coulter seem to be terrified of the idea of private contracts and private third-party arbitrators to settle disputes.
Here in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, there is a history of state social workers’ gross incompetence when it comes to overseeing child adoption and foster care. And corruption. (See here, here, here, and here, for examples of the State’s adoption/foster care racket.) Do we really want social workers, agents of the State, to decide on who gets to adopt what children, or who gets to be foster parents? When it comes to who has the allegiance of agents of the State, there is no stronger loyalty than to the State itself, and its pathological hunger for control over the people, especially the children. It’s just like in the government-run schools, only worse.
But the problem with this socialist, knee-jerk reliance on the State that Miss Coulter seems to advocate, is that, when you give some compulsory State monopoly, in this case the state government (such as that of Massachusetts, People’s Republic), the power of ultimate decision-making, its decisions will inherently be bad decisions, and self-serving decisions as well. I wouldn’t trust State-employed social workers with any kids. It is these State social workers, at least here in the People’s Republic, who are best known for repeatedly placing children into abusive families, in which several children have been murdered, in the past ten years anyway, and the abusive families tend to be hetero-sexual couples. (Miss Coulter seems to be worried about gay-married couples adopting children.)
But there would be much less of a need to worry about who gets to adopt or foster-care children when we have a market-based system in place. Private firms that specialized in adoption and foster-care would run on a competitive basis, and based on word-of-mouth, proven competence and so on. Those who believe that the State has moral authority to approve or disapprove of these situations, believe that the State owns the people, pure and simple.
Children would benefit from the absence of compulsory State monopoly, in which, case after case after case, agents of the State are never accountable and in which incompetence and corruption are rewarded, as is the case in any endeavor controlled and managed by the State. In a market-based system, private case workers would actually work under scrutiny of the rule of law, and in which the bad case workers will be weeded out by the free marketplace. (I know, I know, it is a little hard for people so indoctrinated to trust the State’s control over everything to hear “marketplace” combined with “child adoption.” Should we really trust free people to be responsible?)
But if you look at the history of the State’s involvement in these personal family matters, the judgment of the State-employed social workers should never be trusted, because they are… State-employed. Remember, as the old saying goes, “Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, administrate. Those who can’t administrate, become State-employed social workers.”
As far as marriage per se, it is a private relationship, a private contract, and none of anyone else’s business, and certainly none of the State’s business. I have addressed that here. Each individual has a right to marry. Yes, it is a right, and it doesn’t matter what the genders are of those involved. Miss Coulter seems to believe that the individual is owned by the State, hence her view that one must “register” with the State and get the State’s permission to marry. However, if you agree with Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence, you would agree that the individual owns one’s own life, and has a right to do with one’s own life whatever one wants, as long as one is peaceful, including establishing voluntary contracts with others, in business or pleasure.
Now, as far as Miss Coulter’s bashing of Dr. Paul’s positions on Social Security, well, I’m afraid she’s right on this one. Miss Coulter notes,
So Rep. Paul is a swashbuckling individualist when it comes to civilization’s most crucial building block for raising children, but willing to be a run-of-the-mill government statist when it comes to the Ponzi-scheme entitlements bankrupting the country.
Unfortunately, in these areas of socialism, Social Security and Medicare, Dr. Paul sounds too much like a principle-compromising, just-want-to-get-elected politician, and not like the morally and economically consistent, principled statesman I wish he would be. Oh, well.
But Dr. Paul at least says people ought to have a right to opt out of the Social Security system. I can’t remember whether or not he believes that Social Security should be completely abolished. I think he has said it should be abolished or reduced gradually, so as to protect those who are dependent on it. However, when you recognize that something is immoral — and coercing and compelling all Americans to participate in a State-run retirement and medical scheme, and seize their income to fund it, truly is an immoral scheme if there ever was one — you must get rid of it forthwith. In this instance, to reduce whatever pain or anguish that could cause people, you would have to also eliminate the immoral seizure of private earnings, the income tax. That would free up families to be able to pay for the care of their elderly family members. That’s the way it was before FDR came in and exploited Americans’ post-crash, Great Depression vulnerability, that FDR did to serve his lust for power.
Murray Rothbard addressed why you need to de-socialize quickly and not gradually.
Conservative socialists, such as Ann Coulter, who love the State and believe that the State owns the individual, are right there with the Left.
But I don’t know if Dr. Paul can really convince the country of how inherently destructive of liberty, prosperity and security the State really is. Regardless of the abuse, the incompetence, and the rarely-punished crimes of State agents, the battered citizenry continues to maintain their self-destructive blind faith in the State.
Addendum (From June 17, 2011 post):
Here, I have referred to Ann Coulter’s “socialist love for the State.” How could Ann Coulter, supposedly a “conservative,” be a “socialist”? How is Miss Coulter’s support for government control and authority over private marriages and marital contracts a “socialist” point of view?
Socialism can generally be defined as public or collective ownership of the means of production. One of the most important means of production is the people. “The people” consists of individuals. Socialism, therefore, is public, community, or collective ownership of the individual. It cancels out the idea of individual rights as referred to in the Declaration of Independence, that we have certain inalienable (inherent in all human beings) rights, among them the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If the individual’s life is owned by the collective, then obviously he does not have the right to own his own life, and does not have the right to control (be responsible for) his own life, and does not have the right to be free from the aggression of others.
In mob-rule democracy/socialism, the public, the community, the collective has the power to impose its will on the individual, via its agent, the State, and its hired guns, the police/military. Either the individual has a right to do with one’s own life, labor, earnings, wealth, property and contracts, whatever one wants, as long as one is peaceful and doesn’t intrude onto someone else’s person or property, including establishing voluntary contracts with others, or one does not have that right.
And it is an “either-or” situation, no grey areas here. You either have a right to your life and liberty, or you do not. In Ann Coulter’s socialist paradise of collective/State ownership of the individual, you give the community, the collective, the public, the majority the power to order an individual, “You may not establish a voluntary marital contract with others of your choosing.”
In a world of freedom, however, in which the individual’s right of self-ownership is not violated, the individual’s right to marry whomever one wants is not violated. It is none of Ann Coulter’s business whom her neighbor marries, unless she wants to be referred to as a meddlesome busybody socialist.