Canada's Utopian Myth - Why do Public Schools Praise Universal Healthcare?
Being a dual citizen, I get a lot of questions about Canadian healthcare. People in America tend to think that it is a fantastically progressive country and that the US should probably adopt something similar to the Canadian system. However, many European countries, like the UK, are seeing economic collapse due to programs that are comparable to Canadian universal healthcare.
If you think of it like Social Security, you might be able to imagine that as the population grows, the incentive to work hard drops because of free programs and more and more people begin to depend on welfare systems as fewer and fewer people are paying into them. This leads to a massive deficit and eventually, if unchecked, bankruptcy.
I love free stuff as much as the next guy, especially free markets. However, free programs, such as Canada's healthcare, tend to disrupt free markets. Nobody can compete with free. I think this idea is best explained through a real-life scenario that was brought to my attention by Magatte Wade: Tom's shoes. Tom's whole marketing scheme is that you buy a pair of shoes and then they send a pair to a kid in Africa. It seems charitable and straightforward, but in reality, it is disruptive and has put a lot of African entrepreneurs out of business. Shoemakers in Africa cannot compete with Tom's shoes coming in and handing out free shoes. It's the same concept, apply it to healthcare in Canada, or anywhere else for that matter
Socialist programs akin to Canada's healthcare system cause deficits and disrupt free markets. As if that wasn't bad enough, they also affect how efficient and effective a given system is. My uncle went blind in December of 2015. His sight was gone overnight, and no one had any clue as to what had caused his sudden loss of vision. When they took him to the hospital, med staff took two days to diagnose him with MS and accidentally gave him 10x the dose of steroids he needed. The steroids suppressed his immune system too much, and he ended up permanently blind. The hospital took an excessive amount of time to diagnose him, messed up his prescription, and, almost three years later, have still refused to take responsibility for his disability. Canadian policies make it practically impossible to sue the doctor, so my uncle will never receive any reparations.
Handouts cause laziness. Now that healthcare is government funded, doctors have very minimal incentive to do their job well. In some ways, I can't blame them. Being a Canadian doctor used to be a great job with co-pays and insurance money coming from client coverage, but now it's practically charity. These people will never pay off ten years of medical school bills, and that will leave anyone a little sour. But, when you're dealing with peoples lives, it's unethical to be so casual about your job. So we find, yet again, another problem with this seemingly utopian socialist policy.
Citizens of the U.S. don't see this though. Many leftists will take what Canada is doing at face value and say "look, the government is supporting it's citizens, as it is supposed to." They don't hear the stories about fathers and uncles who go blind because of malpractice, of girls who have to have their ankles rebroken because it took them over a week to see a specialist, or of young children who wait months to see their GP, just for their parents to receive a notice of cancelation the day before the appointment. It's heartbreaking, and it's causing an epidemic of chronically injured and ill Canadians. However, the Canadian government would receive nothing good from sharing these stories, so those outside of the country only hear what the government wants them to hear.
During my four years of high school, I was deeply disturbed by the amount of influence the left has on what is taught to children and teenagers. Most of my history textbooks made my life out to be inherently apologetic and praised the socialist systems of the past. I argued endlessly with teachers against this way of thinking in an effort to maintain my stance that a free market, the freedom of competition and the right to choose, is the best way for a society to flourish. I was sickened by the public education systems willingness to promote such a toxic and dependent government system that only ever ended in the expansion of administration. I saw it as yet another way that the school system was instructing students to hand over their independence in the name of what is "right" and "fair."
Socialism doesn't work. It never has, it never will, and it frustrates me to watch people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez preach a destructive doctrine. If America becomes more socialist, if it adopts the Canadian system, we will see the downfall of the free market. We will see laissez-faire become an idea of the past and the consent of the governed will be lost as citizens depend on the government to survive. Call me radical, but I have always seen socialism and welfare as a fast track for dependency. You want a quick route to a dystopia where we can't dissolve the government? Teach your students to support socialism. You want independent thinkers who understand that "free" isn't always sustainable? Teach your students free market ideals and a hard work ethic.