Continuum in a healthy society

by Jack Hickey

As a Research Scientist, I learned the value of a continuum. One of my 28 patents, a 50,000 degree Kelvin Blackbody Radiation Source, produced a continuous source of radiation from deep UV to infrared. It is useful in spectroscopy. Sunlight provides a healthy continuum of light which enhances our view of Nature's wonders.

As a macroeconomics student at Foothill College in 1973, I wrote an "A" paper postulating the ideal "Gini curve" as one in which the steps up the economic ladder were continuous, with each step providing a motivating level of challenge and reward. I injected my pro-life bias to suggest that each child born would impart an upward thrust to that curve. The line, "Every time I hear a newborn baby cry..." in Frankie Lane's rendition of "I believe" is burned in my memory.

My ideal curve was named “JoLene” in honor of my wife, a natural motivator!

In a free society, the primary responsibility for providing food, clothing and shelter to individuals and families is theirs alone. True charity must be voluntary. Government programs, which function as tax-funded charity, frustrate the formation of a natural continuum. Below is a speech I delivered by to the Republican Convention in Monterey, CA January 30, 1982.

"The so-called safety-net functions more like an endless umbilical cord, strangling individual initiative as it meanders about. Traditional values such as family, charity and the work ethic have been suppressed by the cradle-to-grave cult. The internal strength of this country is at an ebb."

Government as the problem

The role which government has played in the formation of society seems to disturb the natural order of things. Problems in housing, employment, education and healthcare, in my opinion, are worsened by government. Social legislation creating a welfare system and other charitable entitlements hinder formation of a natural continuum.

Housing

Housing comes in many shapes, sizes, and construction materials. See: http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/houses.htm and http://www.housesofthefuture.com.au/hof_houses01.html.

A healthy continuum of housing requires limited government intervention. Building permits, ostensibly a service provided by government, inhibit the evolution of a housing continuum. And, they presage a liability on county taxpayers as guarantors. Eminent domain and other "takings" such as rent control and ex-post-facto land use restrictions distort the natural continuum. When government decrees that a minimum dwelling, occupied by a student seeking a PhD, is "unfit for human habitation" a piece of the continuum is destroyed. I personally witnessed this in San Mateo County.

Employment

Employers, who create jobs, should determine conditions of employment such as hours, wages, etc. Those who choose to accept employment do so voluntarily. This would provide a continuum of employment opportunities. Government mandates for minimum wage, healthcare, restriction on hours, etc. all interfere with a natural continuum.

Education

A continuum of educational opportunities begins with a natural education in a home environment. Home tutoring and neighborhood learning environments would provide the added benefit of reduced traffic and a greater utilization of private homes. Private schools (whether for profit or not), academies, etc. are all part of an education continuum. Government schools, sometimes referred to as "public schools" should be schools of last resort. Choice an essential element in the natural evolution of an education continuum, is absent in the government schooling system, where “compulsory attendance laws” prevail.

Healthcare

Healthcare begins at home. Grandma's remedies, soup from a neighbor, practical advice from a local practitioner "Take two aspirins and call me in the morning" a healthy lifestyle, etc. are all part of the healthcare solutions continuum. Governments role in dealing with practitioners should focus on fraud. Mandating state licenses unnecessarily narrows the continuum. Credentials, obtained from reliable sources, should suffice to allow malpractice insurers to issue coverage. Indeed, perhaps these insurers could establish the credentialing criteria. And, those who seek care from “credentialed” practitioners would pay a premium for such choice.

Universal healthcare is socialized medicine with a facelift. It doesn’t work!

A continuum unshackled from social tinkerers would lead to a healthier society.