By Tom Quiner
What an interesting question! It depends on the context, doesn’t it? It depends on the principle involved.
I pose the question in light of the great exchange in the video above between the late, great Nobel laureate economist, Milton Friedman, and a college student who is allegedly Michael Moore. (I don’t know if it is really Mr. Moore, nor does it matter for purposes of this discussion.)
You can’t help but appreciate the way Mr. Friedman engages the young man and forces him to think, to wrestle with a principle.
The young man has a problem with Ford Motor Company’s decision to not put a $13 part on the Pinto back in the 1960’s knowing full well that two-hundred deaths could occur as a result of their economic decision. His chagrin seems reasonable, don’t you think?
Mr. Friedman’s response is that “no one can accept the principal that an infinite value can be put on an individual life.” This, too, seems reasonable.
The young man disagrees, but then offers that he is a supporter of abortion rights. He explicitly states that he does not believe that human life is sacred, that principles have to be balanced.
This young man very much articulates the triumphant philosophy of the Democratic Party today. Human life is not sacred if it is in the womb. It can be discarded, and even more, someone else should have to pay for it. However, their philosophy categorically rejects Mr. Friedman’s central principle: “Individuals should be free to decide how much they’re willing to pay to reduce the chance of their death.”
The recent healthcare debate touched on this principle. Democrats reject Friedman’s timeless arguments. Instead, they passed legislation which reduces the consumers freedom to choose, and in fact, goes either further by requiring someone else to pay.
Are we free to choose? Yes, if it involves aborting your baby. No, if you would prefer not to purchase health insurance.