Natalia Castro
Guest Columnist
The difference between the United States and every other country is that in other countries the government provides people with opportunities, here we choose our opportunities.
The logical flaw of the left is the attempt to provide individuals choice by transferring those choices to the government. The key to individual liberty is that choices remain with the people, government should only act to ensure the people can still make their own choices — by leaving people alone.
The left wants to take this away from every aspect of our society.
Government control in sectors such as health care and education destroy the fabric of choice our institutions rely on.
Obamacare did everything Obama promised it wouldn’t. It forced people to switch insurance. It forced people to pay more. It forced people to change doctors. When government got involved, choice got removed.
The American Council on Science and Health attacked the Affordable Care Act in Feb. 2017 for strangling doctors who are simply attempting to practice medicine, writing that, “With continued loss of autonomy to practice medicine, mounting data entry and endless regulations, do you even need to ask ‘why?’ by the droves more physicians are retiring earlier, desiring to or shifting careers? They went to medical school to be doctors and the ability to be an actual doctor is evaporating.”
The group continued to explain that continuity in care is a major driver for adequate care; when patients are unable to work consistently with the same doctors and same insurance, the quality of care significantly decreases.
Similarly, in education, when the federal government becomes involved in drawing districts, changing curriculum, and even funding programs, choices are limited.
For this exact reason the Home School Legal Defense Association rejected federal funding this year was because of the strings attached to government assistance. As Republicans in the House pushed for federal vouchers to promote homeschooling, the Association responded with a press release noting that, “There is no question that many millions of children are stuck in public schools that fail to meet their needs, and school choice would be an incredible benefit to them. But homeschooling families know that government dollars will eventually result in government regulation. Even though the vouchers created by H.R. 610 would be voluntary, we believe that this would be a slippery slope toward more federal involvement and control in homeschooling.”
As school choice becomes a priority for Republicans, removing government intervention on all fronts is crucial to any plan’s success. School choice relies on empowering parents, students, and teachers to make decisions regarding their child’s education, not transferring that authority to a government program.
As government attempts to subsidize higher education the same problem arises.
Higher education subsidies such as Pell Grants and federal loans targeted at students have driven up the cost of education. A Federal Reserve Bank of New York report from Feb. 2017 shows that education subsidies raise the price of tuition about 60 cents on the dollar.
Government assistance has made college education so universal it has adopted the perception that without a college degree, being a successful adult is simply impossible. By providing blanket aid to students, the government has diluted the worth of a college degree while simultaneously making it more expensive. Providing students with only two choices: attend college and acquire a mountain of debt or do not attend college and have a significantly more difficult time getting a job.
Even in the social sphere, the left represents the hypocrisy of removing choice in an attempt to somehow reinstate it from the top down.
During the recent celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, the left decided to start a movement entitled “A Day Without a Woman” encouraging women to refuse to attend work in resistance to women’s treatment in the “formal labor market” and encourage government to better recognize women’s issues.
However, Future Female Leaders, a conservative women’s organization, responded to the event with clear questions, “What about the single mom… working two jobs who can’t afford to take the day off, and is struggling to find child care? What about the elderly woman who needed to discuss her financials, but her banker was out of the office? What about the injured young woman who needed a splint, but the doctor was out of the office? How were any of those women empowered? How did any of those women benefit from a ‘day without women’?”
If women want choice and opportunity, they should not take it from other women in the process through these victimizing strikes. In order to receive more government influence into their jobs and lifestyles, these women threatened each other’s jobs and lifestyles, as well as the children they should be inspiring.
As school districts closed around the country due to a lack of teachers, those women weren’t giving the opportunity to learn about their choices to young female and male students across the country, and they were stripping them of their ability to be educated and grow as a result.
This is the inherent flaw in the left’s strategy. Choice comes from individual action, it does not come from the government and work its way down. It comes from individuals willing to protect it. Individuals willing to fight to pursue their own choices and decisions, not request to receive them from the government. Government does not open to door to opportunity, personal knowledge, growth, and understanding lead to opportunity.
The U.S. government does not guarantee happiness, no government can; but it defends our individual right to pursue happiness. When we have control over our own choices, it fuels our liberty. Government must respect this fundamental pillar of Americanism if the innovation and passion that founded this nation is ever going to live on.
Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.