I’ve got a new article published at Campaign for Liberty:
You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go –
I owe my soul to the company store.
– “Sixteen Tons,” made popular by Tennessee Ernie Ford
Written about the infamous (though perhaps mostly mythical) truck system of the West Virginia mining industry, “Sixteen Tons” is beginning to sound eerily like American health care, thanks to the upcoming individual mandate to purchase insurance, a prominent feature of Obamacare.
The mandate is income-based, specifically defining those who can afford to buy insurance as “people for whom the minimum policy will not cost more than 8 percent of their monthly income, and who make more than the poverty line.” So how is it similar to the world of “Sixteen Tons”? Well, the basis of the truck system was payment of workers in a worthless substitute currency, coupled with compelling them to make artificially expensive purchases from the company store. On a grand scale, that looks rather like the health care racket which will implement the individual mandate in 2014: We are, in fact, required to be paid in a worthless substitute currency, and it’s not hard to make the argument that the health care industry — rife with busy lobbyists, high prices caused by years of government intervention, and support for the Obamacare legislation it undoubtedly helped craft — has become the company store.