Trading Freedom for Security


“He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.” – attributed to Ben Franklin

This is the quintessential answer to supporters of Obamacare.


  1. ken on June 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I believe the actual quote (from Poor Richard’s Almanac) was:

    “Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.”

    However, you quote is no answer at all. Doesn’t address any real issues with the ACA. So far, everyone I’ve seen who has complained about the health care act has a) not much correct information about health care in the US, and b) their own health care coverage already. And they have all exhibited the attitude: “I’ve got mine, screw everybody else”.

    • Byron on July 2, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      Actually, there are several similar quotes that are attributed to Franklin; in doing a little research, that’s what I found, at least. I do think it applies, though, as those who continue to support this ruling are opting for the “security” of Obamacare, and have, as you seemed earlier to agree, are willing to allow to Congress the prerogative to tax for possibly anything and everything that it deems to be “for the public good”. Money entails economic freedom, and the greater the government’s ability to take it, the less free we are.

      To your second point, I’d say you’ve found a person here in a different category than the ones you mention. I both am very, very unhappy with my current healthcare, and very, very unhappy with Obamacare. But for my frustration with the puny plan I have, I would rather not trade freedom for something more comfortable.

  2. Mark Merritt on July 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    I have at least two friends who don’t have health care who are against this, and my circle of friends is not large at this point in my life. Also, a lot of good family doctors are going to quit their practice because of this. I know this because my wife has been in health care for almost thirty years and talks to a variety of physicians. This is a nightmare for many of them. But of course I don’t expect you to take my word for it, especially seeing that you’ve already assigned a selfish “screw you” motive to anyone who sees things differently than yourself. 😉

  3. Blake on July 2, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I like it but I’m having trouble filling in one side of this equation. I see the security (or at least the sense of security) which this bill buys but the majority long ago bartered away whatever liberty one had in the healthcare-system.

    Or put another way: I don’t consider it particularly liberating to pay insurance premiums throughout one’s healthy life only to be dropped when some sort of serious diagnosis is made. That strikes me as a rip-off. Here I am thinking my healthcare decisions are operating under the auspices of a one-on-one agreement with a corporate person for our mutual benefit but all I’m doing is paying a fee for a false sense of security while the corporate person is throwing me under the bus for a superseding consideration: the corporations’ implied obligation to third party investors.

    When health insurance companies place corporate profit ahead of service to their clients than the system has devolved into nothing short of hucksterism. If the whole system has become a rip-off than what are we to do to bring it in balance?

    Look, I’m not a fan of Obamacare (as I read it it looks more like corporate welfare & an easily corrupted vehicle for crony-capitalism than a solution) but our system was crying out in need of reform.

    When the institution which arose to protect our security from the profit-motive at the patient/doctor level is overcome by the same profit-motive at the corporate level what are we to do but to insert regulations which are governed by politics rather than profits? It’s either that or organize the patients in opposition to the insurance companies & demand greater responsibility. So much easier to just place responsibility in government as representatives of the people. Not that I’m a fan. I just don’t see the upcoming regime as any more illiberal than the system it’s replacing.

  4. ken on July 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    To Mark:

    Who are these dr.s that are “going to quit their practice because of this.”? And did they tell you why they are going to do it? And what are they planning on doing instead, go work in Canada perhaps?

    And are your uninsured friends willing to post on here about why they don’t like the bill?

  5. ken on July 3, 2012 at 8:07 am

    If you can’t see past a “conservative good, liberal bad” mentality then there is no point in trying to have a discussion with you.

    The issues surrounding healthcare are significant and complex. Far to complex for your pithy little quote to encapsulate.

    And you have a healthcare plan, I’m talking about all the people who don’t have any healthcare at all (and would probably be quite happy to get whatever plan you have).

    • Byron on July 4, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      Ken, anybody who would be “happy” with the plan I have would be, in my judgment, crazy. I seriously doubt it. Yes, the issues surrounding health care are complex; I can’t disagree with that. But I do think that sometimes complex things can be summed up fairly easily, and I do think that Obamacare restricts freedom for everyone, even for those whose temporal situation may be helped–which in some respects, it’s possible MINE might be, I don’t know. Anyway, I think we’ve probably run our course on this one.

  6. ken on July 4, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    “anybody who would be “happy” with the plan I have would be, in my judgment, crazy.”

    Apparently, you’ve never met a parent with no health care and a sick child.

    “I do think that Obamacare restricts freedom for everyone,”

    What “freedom” has been restricted by the ACA?

  7. Shane Ryans on July 5, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I don’t think we should have to trade. I think with everything going on it has made Americans complacent and willing to give up their basic rights under the guise of security.

  8. Mark Merritt on July 5, 2012 at 1:31 pm


    That’s ridiculous! laughter Sorry but you’ll just have to take my word for what I’m saying or write me off as a liar, being that you disagree with me and all.


  9. Byron on July 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Ken, I posted several days ago in response, but it got lost somewhere on the internet…maybe the same place that some of your attempted posts went, I don’t know. So…

    Couple things: one, a parent with a sick child and no health care would only be “happy” with the healthcare I have if that sick child had contracted something that would land him/her in the hospital for more than a day or two. I doubt they’d even be happy with that, given the ridiculous deductible that we have. My wife and I figured it out the other day, and as unlikely as this scenario is, it would be possible for our family of four to ring up $25,000 of medical bills, as we understand our coverage, and the insurance company not pay one thin dime (I know for an absolute fact that we could ring up half that and more without a dime being paid). That’s the kind of family healthcare that anybody with a brain would like???

    In simplest terms, Ken, I argue that when money is taken from people, freedom is taken from people. If my taxes go up 1%, I have given up a little of my freedom thereby. That’s not to say, of course, that no taxes are legitimate; let’s not go there, because no one with a brain defends that thinking. If this is the largest tax increase in American history–and apparently it is, from what I understand–then that alone qualifies as a loss of freedom.

  10. ken on July 16, 2012 at 7:55 am

    “In simplest terms, Ken, I argue that when money is taken from people, freedom is taken from people. If my taxes go up 1%, I have given up a little of my freedom thereby.”

    You have a very strange definition of “freedom.” However, lets run with it. So if your taxes go up by 1%, but your overall health care costs go DOWN by more than your taxes went up, then you would have MORE “freedom”, by your definition.

    And lets exam this concept of “freedom” outside the health care debate. If the government increases the taxes on the top 1% of people by wealth in the US by say 10%, then distributes (via scholarship funds, food stamps, housing subsides or even direct cash payments) those taxes to the bottom 30% of people by wealth, then more people will have more “freedom.”

    “If this is the largest tax increase in American history–and apparently it is, from what I understand”

    And where did you get this “understanding” from? I suspect this claims is even less accurate than the “death panels” claim was.

  11. Byron on July 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Ken, I wouldn’t say that’s my “definition of freedom”; I would say that it is an example of one type of freedom, economic freedom. I’m not sure that limited point is very controversial; doesn’t it stand to reason? And yes, I would agree on a personal level that there would be truth to your illustration, though I’m not given to concerning myself with whether a given proposal “benefits” me personally, so much as whether it is consonant with the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution.

    I do see where you are coming from on the “raise taxes on the top 10%” argument, though I don’t want to raise taxes on anybody, but rather cut out some of the waste. I also am dubious about taking money from those who create jobs. I agree the whole thing is a thorny issue, though, and personally, I’d have liked to have seen the Bowles-Simpson Report been given a more serious hearing than it was. There seem to be some loopholes that ought to be closed with regard to taxation–my understanding is that this is one of the things that this report suggested.

    On the last point, I guess we’ll see in time whether that “understanding” is correct or not.

  12. ken on July 17, 2012 at 8:51 am

    What you are doing by claiming the bill is “limiting your freedom” is using hyperbole instead of reason.

    And your unsubstantiated “this is the largest tax increase in American history” is flat out propaganda.

    You don’t seem to be interested in any kind of reasoned debate on the health care issue. Rather you just want to parrot republican propaganda.

    For someone who claims he refuses to “drink the kool-aid” you certainly seem to be doing so on this issue.

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