Yet another weird SF fan


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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Friday, October 05, 2012

Time Tyranny

The healthcare travesty passed a few years ago has a little-known malfeature:

The Independent Payment Advisory Board perfectly illustrates liberalism’s itch to remove choices from individuals, and from their elected representatives, and to repose the power to choose in supposed experts liberated from democratic accountability. Beginning in 2014, IPAB would consist of 15 unelected technocrats whose recommendations for reducing Medicare costs must be enacted by Congress by Aug. 15 of each year. If Congress does not enact them, or other measures achieving the same level of cost containment, IPAB’s proposals automatically are transformed from recommendations into law. Without being approved by Congress. Without being signed by the president.

………

By Obamacare’s terms, Congress can repeal IPAB only during a seven-month window in 2017, and then only by three-fifths majorities in both chambers. After that, the law precludes Congress from ever altering IPAB proposals.

This is a clear instance of Americans of the year 2009 attempting to establish a tyranny over future generations, even if those future generations know more than we do and decide that the law was stupid.

I'm once again reminded that The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis (earlier discussed here) was not a straw-man argument:

Each generation exercises power over its successors: and each, in so far as it modifies the environment bequeathed to it and rebels against tradition, resists and limits the power of its predecessors. … And if, as is almost certain, the age which had thus attained maximum power over posterity were also the age most emancipated from tradition, it would be engaged in reducing the power of its predecessors almost as drastically as that of its successors.
………
The real picture is that of one dominant age—let us suppose the hundredth century A.D.—which resists all previous ages most successfully and dominates all subsequent ages most irresistibly, and thus is the real master of the human species.
Along similar lines, see Robin Hanson's discussion of “time genocide” (although “time tyranny” seems more accurate).

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