Economy Set to Suffer Same Fate as 1980's Crack Dealers

Friday, 27 Dec 2013 06:38 AM

By Michael Carr

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Presidents have the power to correct the mistakes of an unfair system. When a justice system, for example, imposes harsh sentences on anyone involved in any way with a certain activity, some will face excessive punishment.

To alleviate the impact of that mistake, President Obama recently pardoned eight convicted drug dealers who were paying too much for their crime relative to what others paid.

Harsh sentences were a response to horror stories in the media about how crack was destroying inner cities. Rather than deliberating thoughtfully, Congress rushed to action and adopted a one-size-fits-all approach. Decades later, small steps toward fairness are being taken.

Washington never seems to learn. Obamacare is a hurried and uniform approach to a problem that affected relatively few Americans. The answer, just as it was with crack cocaine laws, is to impose harsh requirements on anyone involved in any way with a certain activity. Since every American is involved with healthcare, no one can escape the requirements.

One-size-fits-all solutions create winners and losers. A small percentage of people use crack and the number of losers under crack laws is relatively small. When a one-size-fits-all solution is imposed on the activities of more than 300 million people, the number of losers will be relatively large. Obamacare was designed to be unfair to some and beneficial to a few.

When Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., explained we needed to pass the law to see what was in it, no one understood how many Americans would be treated like crack dealers and forced to pay a large price for participating in the system.

Economically, the price will be imposed on consumers who now lose some freedom to allocate discretionary income. A recession is likely, almost unavoidable, and the pardon process is slow. By the time a president undoes the injustice of Obamacare, the nation's economic growth will be permanently harmed.

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