Activity, inactivity, tax, not a tax

June 29, 2012

One person’s sophistry is another person’s reasoning, it seems.  That, to me, is one of the lessons of yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on health care, more specifically, on the Affordable Care Act.

Not buying health insurance: can Congress regulate that?  According to enough justices, no, it is not activity within the scope of the Commerce Clause.  Can the Court review the legislation or is it a tax and must we then wait for it to be implemented before it can be reviewed judicially?  No, but it is characterizable a tax for other purposes, namely finding a basis in the Constitution for its lawful creation.

Is this why we go to law school?  To learn how to think like this?  Maybe.  But to me it speaks more to the limits of how we think generally in our culture, in black and white, in terms of X and not-X, opposites, and opposition.

There are other ways of thinking, but they are not developed through our intellects (although we do express them through our intellects and language once we have developed them elsewhere in our psyches).

One of the hazards of having done so is losing the patience or interest in communicating and working with people who haven’t; but that’s no less important a challenge to be mastered than moving beyond dualistic thinking.

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