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November 21, 2007

The Future Is Now

In New Zealand anyway. A British man who moved to New Zealand has been told by officials that his wife is too fat to join him.---www.Telegraph.co.uk, 11/21/07.

Yes, you read that correctly. Mr. Richie Trezise "lost weight to gain entry to New Zealand after initially being rejected for being overweight and a potential burden on the health care system... [while] his wife... has so far been unable to overcome New Zealand's weight regulations."

Can anyone actually believe that the "burden on the health care system" criterion will be limited to aspiring immigrants? Or to New Zealand? No, my friends, with the expansion of government power comes the expansion of government control, and for health care it is inevitable that the politically unpopular will bear the brunt of rationing when demands exceed resources, as they inevitably must. The overweight. Smokers. The elderly. Those with conditions expensive and incurable. The unborn with, say, Downs syndrome.

Societies utterly humane and civilized can be driven toward perversity and worse in baby steps, and do not for a moment believe that it cannot happen here. As demands exceed resources under government health care, choices will have to be made, and there is no particular reason to believe that political processes will be constrained by a bias in favor of compassion, because more compassion for one must mean less for others. Such is the path toward which political appeals on behalf of "The Children" inexorably will lead.

Posted by Benjamin Zycher at November 21, 2007 03:20 PM

Comments

Canada and other countries place barriers to immigrants which can be lowered if the newcomer brings enough money for investment in a local business. Perhaps those countries should take a lesson from New Zealand, and risk-adjust the required investment according to weight or other health indicators. The U.S. seems to take a different approach, at least for immigrants from Mexico and points south: if we build the wall high enough (or make the desert sufficiently inhospitable), only the physically fit can enter. The next step: deporting natives who exceed weight standards.

Posted by: Joe Antos at November 26, 2007 01:09 PM

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