Subsidiarity and the Social Doctrine

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money [to spend]." Margaret Thatcher

“Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.” G. K. Chesterton

Subsidiarity in the Gospels

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Interesting Solidarity to Subsidiarity viewpoint!

This is why the whole Catholic Social Teaching needs to be taught and implemented. Most anything when only narrowly focused and singularly implemented distorts and fails to attain the originally intended purpose.

"Subsidiarity found its first articulation in Catholic social teaching. Basically it’s the investment of authority at the lowest level of an institutional hierarchy possible, essentially relegating centralized authority to a secondary or subsidiary role. In other words, the group closest to whatever task or problem should tackle that problem first, and only when they’re not able to should a higher authority step in. In social terms, this might break down something like this: first, individuals are responsible for their own social welfare, then families, then communities, then local governments, then state governments, and finally the federal government.

In many ways, subsidiarity flies in the face of the more universalist notion of solidarity. Subsidiarity requires that small groups and individuals tackle problems, while solidarity demands that we all band together. "

"The nature of health insurance is one of cost-sharing. Lots of healthy people buy into a larger cost-pool in an act of voluntary, if unintentional, solidarity. Insurers, at least in theory, compete against one another for customers, the competition leading to a decentralized system of coverage and care." Any insurance for that matter is one of cost-sharing or risk-sharing!

"The American health care system, however, has instead erected a status quo which relies entirely on employment for health coverage. Coupled with a ban on interstate sale of insurance, this has led to much smaller cost-sharing pools and very little actual competition, with one insurer often dominating entire cities or regions. The sale of insurance is bound to each individual state and fifty different sets of rules and regulations govern insurance sales across the country. Consumers of health care are almost always bound to their employer’s choice for health coverage – and worse, should they lose their job, find themselves suddenly without any insurance at all. Essentially, the American system has eschewed both solidarity and subsidiarity, in favor of an ad hoc system found nowhere else in the industrialized world. In the end, this has led to skyrocketing costs.

Beyond cost-control, solidarity is the driving force behind health care reform. The argument that no modern, industrialized nation should be without universal coverage is compelling. But other Western nations have found ways to take this principle of solidarity, and achieve it through far more decentralized means than Canadian-style single payer, or the expensive socialized medicine of the UK. The Dutch have achieved universal coverage entirely through fierce competition between private insurers, and the Germans use a system of exchanges that allow German workers to move from job to job without losing insurance. The Swiss, who have made an art of subsidiarity, have achieved universal coverage through competing non-profit insurance plans." In fact it can be said that government is a form of insurance. U.S. Constitution Article 1; section 8: The main purpose of the federal government is to regulate commerce among the states and the self-defense of the republic. In this way the Federal Government is an "insurance policy" for the fair play of state economics, foreign invasion and interference.

"In the health care debate, competition and subsidiarity are the best tools to create quality, affordable health care for the most people, and with the right implementation they can be used to achieve universal coverage. In this way subsidiarity, rather than a competing value, becomes a complimentary one, and we find our solidarity through competition and individual choice. Universal coverage can be achieved from the bottom up rather than from the top down. And with this bottom up implementation develops and protects human dignity and the common good completing the Catholic Social Doctrine teachings.

What could be more American than that?" Or more Catholic!

Highlighted blue text are blogger's comments.

The League of Ordinary Gentlemen

Founding Father Quote:
"SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others."

Common Sense, Thomas Paine

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