Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Very Special Comment

I don't normally pull comments out of Megan McArdle's posts but I think talent should be recognized and promoted. Mr. Brandon Berg has some things to say about organ sales. Take it away, Berg:
Why shouldn't wealth be a factor? I'm getting pretty tired of leftists who, having failed to win public support for radical wealth redistribution, are now trying to render the entire concept of wealth meaningless through an endless list of things they think rich people shouldn't be able to buy. By and large, rich people* are rich because they've contributed a lot more to society than they've taken back. If they want to call in those favors in the form of kidneys to save or dramatically improve the quality of their lives, more power to them.

"Call in favors in the form of kidneys."

I still can't believe it.

"Call in favors in the form of kidneys."

These people think they deserve to be taken seriously, that they are capable of making decisions for other people despite their complete and utter lack of moral compass and humanity. And yet they see fellow human beings as something to be consumed by the elite, since the rich are worth more than the poor anyway.

But wait, there's more.
Insurance would cover the donor fee, so anyone with insurance could afford a kidney transplant. Yeah, some people don't have insurance, but they're not getting kidney transplants anyway because they can't afford the procedure, either.

That's a nice bit of wishful thinking. "In my world, insurance companies, who are eager to pay six figures an organ for very sick people's health care, will pay for the organ sale." What about the poor, since organ sales are ostensibly for their benefit? Well, they are shit out of luck. In Berg's "classical liberal" scenario the poor can sell their organs but they can't buy any if they get sick themselves. Not that he cares.

Berg has a brilliant blogging career ahead of him. If he doesn't have a wingnut sponsor already he should definitely shoot an email to all the major astroturf foundations offering his services. It's a philosophical crime to offer all this insight for free when he could be paid to advocate the harvesting of organs for the elite's benefit.


clever pseudonym said...

Actually, "by and large," most rich people are born into rich families. Their wealth is accidental and lucky, not earned. And they whole idea that they contribute more is stupid - they do so because they have greedily taken far, far more than they will ever need.

What a stunningly stupid comment.

Susan of Texas said...

I suspect every word he says is demonstrably wrong.

clever pseudonym said...

Completely. His remark ignores the fact that the entire idea of self-made wealth is historically pretty new. It was only a few hundred years ago that people were born into "stations" from which they never rose due to both financial and social constraints. That attitude still lingers in Europe and is alive and well in other places. Hasn't he ever seen anyone sniff down their nose at "new money"? Even if it was only in the movies?

Kathy said...

The real flaw in the argument is the contention that Rich people have "earned" their wealth, and have given "a lot" to Society.

It is usually the exact opposite: They, sometimes legally, often not, grab the wealth from those who actually create it, pay minimal taxes while using as much if not more of taxpayer funded public services.

What utterly contemptible, and stupid, people they are. Imagine the conversation these two would have over lunch with Jonah Goldberg

zeppo said...

"By and large, rich people* are rich because they've contributed a lot more to society than they've taken back."

By and large, I think I may puke.

Substance McGravitas said...

I'm sure that everyone at Enron was into the whole "societal contribution" aspect of wealth, in which you make everything better for everyone around you.

Anonymous said...

Um. The "radical wealth redistribution" thing has already happened. Republicans did it when they gave all those lovely tax cuts to those least in need of them.

Grace Nearing said...

It was only a few hundred years ago that people were born into "stations" from which they never rose due to both financial and social constraints.

Clever Pseudonym: Until the development of antibiotics, sewer systems, and reliable water treatment systems, disease was the great leveler. King and peasant were equally susceptible to all sorts of nasty things. Typhoid and the plague were definitely equal opportunity organisms.

The spectacular advancement of modern medicine -- with its organ transplants, chemotherapies, etc -- has pretty much eliminated the great leveler. In the US, the lack of universal healthcare exposes the existence of "treatment castes."

I think Americans understand and accept that we're not all going to live in mansions and own private jets, but the fact that some of us will just have to shut up and die of a treatable condition makes us less than peasants.