"Choice" Doesn't Always Mean What You Think it Means

Every time conservatives have cited “choice” as an advantage to a policy, it has not been anything but a word choice to soften the blow of policy that will be disadvantageous for the majority of stakeholders.

For example, the Trump administration cited “choice” as reason for taking healthcare away from millions of impoverished Americans, saying that they now have the ability to “choose” their own health providers, “choosing” to to ignore the fact that these people have no actual “choice” in the matter at all.

Before them, the Liberal Party of Australia (which is actually conservative), along with the National Broadband Network Company, had a touch choice to make. They forced the entire country to switch from a universal, national fiber broadband network, to one that relies on copper connections from the 1980s. The rub is that users were given a “choice” to pay upwards of $20,000 to be upgraded to a fiber connection. They called this upgrade the ‘technology choice’ program. Interesting. Don’t have a spare 20K lying around? Well then it’s an obvious choice in favor of a slow and unreliable internet connection.

“Choice” isn’t a factor here. No-one “chooses” the worse option. The only factor is whether you can afford the good alternative. No-one is “choosing” to have a shit internet connection if they can help it and no-one is “choosing” to go without healthcare if they can help it.

It’s just a PR tactic that conservatives use when they really mean “poor people will not have access to this thing and that’s okay”. It’s also unfortunately something that people always fall for.