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View Diary: If Ayn Needed Medicare, How Can We Do Without? (55 comments)

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  •  Yeah (8+ / 0-)

    I thought about that predictable libertarian objection.  I think my answer would be several things:

    1) Is it really plausible that Rand's SS and Medicare taxes amounted to enough so that she would have been confortable paying for cancer treatments on her own?  How much money are we really talking about here?  If she was worth $500,000 in 1974, maybe she might have been worth $600,000 without those taxes?  That doesn't put her into some kind of new wealth class where suddenly medical bills become a trivial expense.

    2) In a society where there's no SS and Medicare, how many fewer books would she have sold, because people need to save every penny they earn to build retirement nest eggs, and have to spend extra caring for elderly impoverished parents?  

    3) Even if we argue that a no-SS/Medicare society would have allowed Ayn Rand personally enough wealth to avoid needing Medicare, are libertarians/objectivists really arguing everyone who "works hard" in such a society will end up so comfortably wealthy that medical bills are affordable?  Rand would already have had to be in the top 5% of retirees by wealth.  What good is a society where only 1 in 20 people can afford medical care once retired?

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