What a great day! It is amazing to look back and remember the thirty year or so stretch when East and West Germany were so separated. It is a stark testimony to the failure of twentieth century communism in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
The basic principles I take from this failed experiment are two-fold: 1) competition is key to human thriving and excellence and 2) the goal of making everything free is a phantom one. What you do with these two principles of course will have to face the complexities of reality. For example, it does not translate into unbridled capitalism, which arguably has its own set of failures, not least the economic crisis of these last year or the social plight of countless little people during the Industrial Revolution. Adam Smith meant for capitalism to empower the little person, not to create a new economic aristocracy.
We need objectivity seeking geniuses with strong human values to translate these principles into political reality. By "strong human values" I mean individuals who do not dismiss those who, when left to their own devices, will fail (everyone from the mentally challenged to some people who live near me). They are part of the social contract. By "objectivity seeking" I mean non-partisans, which would not include those economists for whom unbridled capitalism has become a religion to itself.
So I am not competent to judge whether the current "public option" under discussion is sound or not. I do suspect America should have one to cover everyone--as long as it does not sabotage true competition in the mainstream marketplace, and I realize that is a big "if" in the current discussion. And I am not opposed to, for lack of a better term, "welfare," as long as its primary goal is the empowerment or, frankly, placement of those who for whatever reason lack the ability or impetus to support themselves. Where to start on that one, I don't know.
I saw a well intentioned Christian video recently about how great it would be if everything were free. I don't even know if that principle will apply in the kingdom of God! For whatever reason, the vast majority of human beings do not seem to do anything noteworthy by their own impetus. Work and competition are who we are. It is hard to imagine anyone from eastern Europe or the former Soviet Union producing a video like that.
Communism simply does not work given human nature--at least most of our human natures.