Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

To solve our problems, we need the freedom — to plan, to create, to market and profit. We need the freedom to use the capital we gain by solving problems — whether the capital comes in the form of money, knowledge, or reputation — to solve other problems.

That’s as true in medical industry as in any other productive endeavor. But medical freedom is shrinking thanks to taxes and regulations imposed by Obamacare and numerous previous interventions.

Consider the many life-saving gadgets and drugs that we now take for granted. Medical doctor Paul Hsieh observes that creating these does not happen automatically. Even slightly higher taxes or tighter regulations “can mean the difference between a product coming to market— or being abandoned as not worth the effort.” We know how existing devices save lives. What we don’t know is what lives will by lost for lack of inventions that never maker it to market but, in a freer political environment, would have. It is the difference between what Bastiat called “That Which Is Seen, and That Which Is Not Seen.”

How can we ensure the largest possible field for the invention and propagation of life-saving technology, like genetically cased medicine or 3D-printed body parts? For starters, get rid of new taxes on medical devices and eliminate FDA regulations. Chuck the whole apparatus of Obamacare. Then enact ever-more fundamental market reforms until patients, doctors, drug and device companies use their judgment completely unimpeded.

The debate about freedom in medicine shouldn’t be just about whether you will be allowed (!) to “keep your doctor.”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. James says:

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams

    Like a child who abused the freedom with which his parents trusted him, Mr. Jacob, you’ve been grounded.

    You argue well for freedom, pointing out many opportunities for benefit both to the individual and the society. But you don’t want freedom in order to do good. You advocate freedom to engage in sodomy, fake marriage, drug intoxication, etc.

    Like a child’s, your arguments for suspending your punishment are transparent.

    The tragedy is that all those who would use freedom for good, and all those who would benefit from that good, suffer along with you the consequences of your irresponsibility.

  2. Drik says:

    The cause of liberty is in conflict with the political classes’ desire to continue their own jobs and to continue to amass personal power. Either they will succeed or liberty will. And liberty looks like it will continue to lose ground as it has for the past 100 years.

  3. Edward Agazarm says:

    Drik is right.

    I’d be shocked out of skin if the freedom cure happens … in my lifetime.

  4. JFB says:

    James – your logic and premise are faulty. Liberty and freedom must allow the ability to make mistakes, and even do evil.
    A free society must allow those aberrations or resign itself to be an absolute tyranny. The correct public policy it to never shield the disastrous effects from the perpetrator of the wrong. Natural law and human nature, if they are allowed to work their course in a free society will discourage the activities which you detest.
    In a free society you could use drugs, the difference being that you could never expect, much leass demand, that anyone, including the public, bail you out of the consequence of that or any self-destructive activity.
    The Creator you seem to revere gave man free will for there is no moral or spiritual gain at “doing good” at the point of a gun, nor can your duty to be charitable be satisfied by paying your taxes.
    Left alone good does prevail, because the results of evil are, eventually, self-elimination.
    Your arguments are elitist. You cannot legislate morality and attempting to do so is invariably counterproductive.
    If you follow the causation path you will come the conclusion there would never have been “found” a right to an abortion in US jurisprudence had not Texas passed a law making it illegal, giving rise to Roe v Wade. That is but one example.
    Please think your position through. You will find that freedom and liberty are the right answer, otherwise God would not have granted them to mankind!

  5. Drik says:

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams

    Because a moral AND religious people will, in general, moderate and coach their own behavior because they have at least some semblence of respect for an eventual devine retribution for unethical or criminal behavior. Neither will they long tolerate someone that does not operate under the same modality, let alone vote for them twice.

    An immoral, irreligious person is unencumbered by any fear of any retribution and is unlimited in the amount of evil that they might do to others in the end of benefitting themselves.

  6. James says:


    Your argument sounds very convincing – at least as long as the aberrations are sodomy, fake marriage, drug intoxication, and the like. Address it instead to such deviancies as murder, theft, rape, or suicide (which you must do, since it applies equally) and the flaws begin to become apparent.

    You’re absolutely correct in saying that “the results of evil are, eventually, self-elimination.” This is true beyond the mere individual. (This was Adams’ point.) And it is what Mr. Jacob complains about as he witnesses the consequences of the evil he advocates.

    This is the foolishness of libertarianism. For the libertarian is ignorant (or in denial) of two things:

    1. Liberty is the freedom to do what is right without coercion.

    2. He who will not rule himself will be ruled by another.

  7. James says:


    Allow me to address another of your points: The Creator who gave us free will also gave us laws. And while we are free to choose to obey or disobey, we are not free to choose the consequences because these are written even in the Natural Law.

    Laws don’t negate free will. Does our law against murder prevent murder? Does it force anyone to do good at the point of a gun?

    It’s obvious, then, that laws prohibiting evil are not designed to coerce good, neither in an individual nor in a society. It is only in the proper use of liberty in individuals and society that good is done and evil avoided, and good applauded and evil condemned. And it is only in such a society that evils can even be considered aberrances and deviancies.

    By contrast, when evils are tolerated, approved, encouraged, and applauded, liberty has been perverted into license. It is no longer an avenue by which men can do good without coercion at the point of a gun. Free will is no longer serving its purpose.

    This is the story every thinking parent knows, as he raises his child to become mature and responsible, testing the child with increased freedom, giving him opportunities to practice wielding that freedom properly.

    Is it a coincidence that libertarianism seems to have its greatest appeal to the childish among us? And even to the childishness in each of us?

  8. JFB says:

    James – libertarianism, or its predecessor classical liberalism, is not without societal rules, and sanctions for their violation.
    Those philosophies do not allow actions which will directly harm the person or rights of another, they will simply not criminalize acts which do not reach that far, and which they cannot ever really control with external force.
    This is not to mean “bad” behaviors are encouraged, indeed it is known and understood they will be discouraged by their natural consequences.
    They also recognize that such attempted prohibitions, legislating morality, does not work and, in fact, will almost always result in a result opposite of their original, good but sophomoric, motivation.
    Violation of the gifted Ten Commandments, or any Natural Law moral principal, is prohibited by libertarian/classical liberal rules as their violations has a direct detrimental effect on the life, liberty and property of others. Under those philosophies society is expected, and empowered, to sanction violations of them. Libertarianism/classical liberalism is NOT libertine or lawless.
    Your arguments are among those used by elitists who do not wish all to be governed by the simple and immutable rules and laws imposed by the Creator/Natural Law, but rather some foolish, elitist and normally self-serving permutations which strip from most of mankind freedom for the promise of safety or security (never delivered), always for their own good.
    You are correct
    Libertarianism/classicial liberalism is attractive to the childish, who are naturally attracted to good and reason. However it is championed by those who have learned to control and be responsible for themselves, and have been further blessed with the faith the Creator gifted that capability to all.

  9. JFB says:

    James –
    Lastly, I will point out that the USA present policy is changing the subject of the 1st Commandment to the Government/Society, violating the 7th by redistribution and inter-generational thefts, basing its politics on a direct violation of the 10th while the population and new jurisprudence ignores the 6th.
    There is little wonder we are in a decline which, if not reversed, will destroy this great experiment which rose to its zenith for that short time during which the individual had more control than the government.
    As I see little to cause hope in either of the two major parties I therefore presently promote a principled libertarian/classical liberal prescription.
    I believe on a reading of “The Law” by Bastiat (Google it, it is short)and a bit of reflection you might reconsider joining me.

  10. James says:


    I believe you’ve put your finger on the deficiency to be found in “honest” libertarianism – by which I mean the position held by yourself (if I’ve read your character correctly) and others who wish to use free will and liberty, not to do evil unharrassed, but to do good uncoerced.

    That deficiency is myopia – failure to acknowledge harm caused by evil acts if that harm is not immediate and/or direct, and refusal to justify prohibition on that basis.

    You demand, in other words, the same grounds for a prohibition that a civil court demands for a verdict in favor of the plaintiff – “show the harm” – yet will not permit evidence be introduced which shows harm inflicted indirectly. When adultery, for instance, infests our society with untold harm, will you advocate we turn against it? Or will you argue that marital infidelity causes no “direct detrimental effect on the life, liberty and property of others”?

    I believe we would agree on one fundamental point: The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God will bring the consequences that are due. This was my point at the beginning, that our Constitution is incapable of governing an immoral people. There is no method but tyranny to govern him who will not govern himself. There is no way to deal with a murderer but by force.

    And while you might be content with allowing the individual here and there to “learn from his mistakes”, you might not be willing to risk standing next to him when the consequences come.

    Unfortunately, you might not get that choice. You might be the object of the custody battle when your parents divorce. Your wife might get the AIDS-infected blood transfusion that slipped through the screening. Your child might die in the wreck that also kills the crack-head.

    And what about your country? When God’s “auto-correcting” Natural Law catches up with America, what will you say then? Will you shrug and say, “Well, at least we know better now!”?

    I’ve read Mr. Jacob’s column for several years. And what disappoints me most is that he either cannot see or will not acknowledge that the consequences he rails against are the result of policies he advocates! I hope for better things from him.

    Thank you for the discussion, and I look forward to reading your reply if you post one. But perhaps we can’t progress further at this time, except to give the matter more thought.

  11. James says:


    I was writing my last post while you posted your latest, so let me reply briefly.

    I learned a great deal from Bastiat. But when “Loi” failed, when I looked around and saw it could not answer the situation, I was forced back to the principle which was understood at our nation’s founding:

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    If Adams is right, we have to ask the question, What form of government IS adequate to govern a people like us? (I would suggest this answer: The one we’re getting!)

    Again, thank you for the discussion.

  12. John F Brennan says:

    James, failure to reach the goal on the last try is no reason to abandon the quest.
    Moral and righteous people are created and strengthened by liberty, freedom, individual responsibility for their actions, and their results.
    Frauds and thieves are weeded out faster by the market than buy the regulator, and the regulated standard does not become the effective ceiling as well as the minimum performance level.
    No form of government is adaquate, no matter how tyrannical or totalitarian is sufficient to govern without the assent of the governed in the long run.
    Now read “The Road to Serfdom” by Hayek to understand the result of taking the collectivist path. Discover the logic that proves Hitler, Mao and Stalin were not aberrations, but functions of that societal decision and one that we must strive to avoid.
    Other resources are and where you may be able to find the roadmap to the future you are seeking.
    If you, and this country generally, believe a tyranny is required to control what our past mistakes have already created, then the statists have won, temporally..
    Do remember, the most powerful force in the world remains the human nature programmed by it’s Creator, especially when stimulated by an idea and philosophy whose time has come. We have been on the wrong path for 50, or even 100 years. A course correction will take a lessor period, but still decades, unless we determine to follow the present path to it’s inevitable castistrophic collapse.
    I would be delighted to continue our discourse and can be found at

  13. MoreFreedom says:

    Hey James, John and JFB,

    Your back and forth is a commmon argument. We all occasionally have desires to use government force to prohibit the actions of others. And I think we all can agree, that if someone physically harms someone else, their property, or their freedom, then government should hold them accountable.

    But as James points out “But you don’t want freedom in order to do good.” But what does this mean exactly?

    Certainly libertarians would agree that laws prohibiting people from harming others or their property are valid, and government may punish offenders, or better, punish them and make they pay the victim compensation (i.e., be subject to criminal and civil penalties).

    It seems to me, James would like to use government to punish those engaging in “sodomy, fake marriage, drug intoxication, etc.”. So James, how do these behaviors hurt you? I’m sure you’re offended by them, and while I don’t agree with you, I respect your freedom to have them, and won’t even argue that you shouldn’t be offended.

    These acts harm no one other than those engaging in them. And this gets to the crux of the argument.

    Libertarians believe government should be limited to only dealing with situations where one party harms another.

    James, if you don’t want liberals to enforce their virtues on you (teaching your kids that gay sex is fine, controlling what you eat, what you may say to those who act offensively, etc.) then you wouldn’t want government to prohibit actions based on people being offended.

    You see, you can’t have freedom, unless you are willing to give it to the homosexuals, drug users, prostitutes, and yes liberals. Or consider Muslim virtues of killing those who refuse to convert!

    If you want to be free of liberals telling you how to live your life, then you’re better off saying government should be prohibited enforcing “virtues.” And in the meantime, you are still free be virtuous.

    But if liberals can enforce virtue, you cannot be virtuous, according to your morality. And with freedom, you can still tell those who disgust you, how you feel about it without fear of prosecution. Of course, they are also free not to listen, as you are free to not listen to liberals.

  14. JFB says:

    MoreFreedom –
    I agree with your analysis and logic, and certainly none of us want to be censored in our personal thoughts or truly personal actions.
    It is interesting that you seek the strict adhereance to another another rule, that you should do unto others as you would have done to you.
    In summary I am a libertarian/classical liberal because it rewards the best in myself and other individuals naturally, and therefore does the same for society, which is nothing more that the sum of its individual members.

  15. Jay says:


    i got tired of reading yoru psots after the murder/suicide etc.

    Point 1–Murder has been around since CAIN & ABEL-
    some –what/ 5,000 years.

    yes, it is evil & wrong.

    I do not recall Mr. jacobs ever supporting murder.

    Point 2-suicide–Most ( western) religions forbid suicide. The Judean-Christian basis of our laws is against suicide.

    I agree with suicide and assisted suicide IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES:

    They are few and far between. (Incurable illness; severe pain that cannot be controleld; AND THE PERSON IS OF SOUND MIND.

    Most people that I have known, even those in critical condition, and near death, wanted to live.

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