Today's ZGBlog continues and concludes the subject begun last week: the long list of Victims of Government. We saw there how it hurts taxpayers, blacks, children, prisoners and pensioners. Now in addition, here are some more of its victims.
The sick have been swindled for more than a century past, by government laws that compel them, firstly, to consult only those physicians on a list approved, ultimately, by government. Starting in the late 1800s on the pretext of putting "quacks" out of business, that profession became subject to licensure, so creating a cartel. As above like monopolies, cartels never give a good deal; competition is artificially limited. Prices rise; the sick pay far more for their cure than a market price.
Then a gradually increasing forest of laws have prohibited new drugs until exhaustively tested by its agents, so raising their prices and killing those patients waiting for them to become prescribable. This has done the pharmaceutical firms no harm but has forced most of us to buy insurance or do without; currently the intent seems to be to make even insurance mandatory. No wonder Americans pay more for health care than anyone else on Earth. That's not to say the treatment isn't good when delivered; I've had a uniformly favorable experience of physicians and hospitals and perhaps you have too. The problem rather is that it comes at far too high a price. Free Health Care has more.
Business owners suffer too under government, especially those with small and medium firms; the very large ones don't do so badly. If they are "too big to fail" they can be bailed out by taxpayers, courtesy of their government cage-wielding pals; in return they donate generously to re-election funds. This is the "cronyism" or the "state capitalism" against which Leftists wax eloquent; it's just plain Fascism. It's especially ominous in the weapons business, euphemized as "defense" and in the data collection business; Facebook and Google "spy" on us so as to help advertisers target offers tightly, but are induced (by offers difficult to refuse) to help government also; and thereby enlarge the Surveillance State. Orwell would be horrified.
But below that threshold, government is a menace to business in every trade. The forest of regulations applies to all, but proportionally is a much bigger burden, the smaller the firm. So do large companies use government to hobble smaller rivals. They are forced to collect taxes (from workers) without compensation, to take race and gender into account when hiring, and to provide employee benefits regardless of their own wishes - and of those employed. They must obey countless rules regarding each product, producing and even labeling it just as Nanny demands. All this is a useless distraction; it takes management time which would be far better spent in finding new ways to increase sales or cut costs, so serving customers better.
Civilians in war are injured or killed by governments pursuing their primary function: using violence against rivals. Currently the euphemism is "collateral damage". The numbers seem very hard to obtain accurately, but even one is too many; those who live by the sword (members of the military of any country, whether they volunteered or just failed to refuse the draft) knowingly embark on a kill-or-be-killed endeavor; folks back home just want to get on with life. Governments prevent that.
Such death numbers as one can see are: Iraq, 150,000 to over 1 million; Afghanistan, 31,000 to 360,000; Vietnam, 587,000; Korea, 2.7 million; WW2 44 million; WW1 6.6 million. Those are just the major wars in the last century, which admittedly hit noncombatants more than previous wars because bombs got bigger - but they didn't get bigger by accident. Over three quarters of the civilian deaths in these six wars happened in WW2, which government junkies call the "Good War."
Americans have not suffered in this way - yet - except for the 3,000 victims of 9/11. But the strident imperialism of US government foreign policy since 1900 has been building up a massive weight of resentment from all corners of the world. Eventually, that resentment will get lethal. Unless peace is first convincingly declared by an evaporation of government.
[That paragraph is dedicated to Justin Raimondo, a tireless advocate for peace, but who may soon succumb to cancer.]
Migrants and travelers are harassed by government, especially the US one.
The freedom to go anywhere is properly limited only by the ownership status of the property; anyone is free to work wilderness land so as to make it his own, then to trade it as he sees fit and to exclude anyone he does not wish to visit. So private property (there is no other kind!) is off-limits to the migrant without the owner's permission; but since owners of roads in the coming zero government society will be in the business of making money when people use their roads, that permission will be granted readily for a fee. Accordingly, the traveler will be free to go anywhere. He will use his existing money to buy or rent accomodation and food etc, or he will offer his services so as to make new money. The only constraint will therefore be that nobody will owe him a free lunch.
Today's constraints, in contrast, are legion. Most obviously, at entry points to every "nation" the respective government demands to see paperwork to prove an entitlement to enter - just as if that government owned the land in question. They do not! Land ownership is obtained only by mixing labor with the soil, and no government ever did more than write an edict.
For the last century and a quarter, some US residents have falsely perceived immigrants as a threat to their wellbeing (actually any worker necessarily delivers more than he is paid!) and government has responded by raising all manner of barriers to newcomers. Visitors, too, have to obtain special visas to tour the US; and even US citizens are subject, ten million times a year, to government searches on re-entry - which aren't even legal! - stealing about an hour each time.
Travel even within the US is ever more fully surveilled by government. Traffic cameras record where you drive. GPS devices in the car, now optional, may soon be mandated so that you can never hide. ID is required not just on planes but even on many buses. Travel freedom lies in tatters.
So are those nine VOGs all? Are there no other victims of government? - not at all, no way. These two ZGBlogs have barely given an overview of the extent of the evil. For how the detail works, see Proudhon's devastating indictment. This is a deeply malfeasant entity, that has hobbled humanity for ten thousand years, and its demise is very long overdue. The means are at hand. The rest, dear Reader, is up to you.