Today, as I enjoyed my morning shower, I thought to myself, "I wonder how much this shower is going to cost me."

I did so, because I'm in a new house, in the mountains, where my water provider is considered a "small provider" and can charge jacked up rates by the public utilities commission to stay viable, and where I have to use propane to heat my water, and the propane company's rates are exorbitant.

As a result, the more times I shower, the higher my water and propane bill will be. It's my responsibility to stay clean, and it's my responsibility to ensure that I dedicate a portion of my paycheck to ensuring I can afford as much water and heat as it takes to stay clean.

That's how utilities (and, in fact, almost everything) in America works: the more of something you use, the more you'll pay for it. We are a usage-based nation, which is practical and makes sense. People who use very little pay very little. People who use a lot pay a lot more.

Today in America, there's a growing debate over whether a person's healthcare should be their personal responsibility, or if it should be a birthright of American citizenship. In our history, it's been a responsibility. Now a growing number of people believe otherwise, for varying reasons, but mostly because they don't feel lower incomed people should be required to be responsible for their own lives.

If the government socializes medicine, what comes next? Surely electricity is something every American needs, right? I can't even imagine living without it. But if healthcare should be run and meted out by the government, shouldn't electricity too?

And water. Water is a vital component to life itself. Everyone in America accepts the basic fact that we each have to pay for the amount of water we use. But shouldn't the ability to drink, and to clean, and to keep our lawns alive be a fundamental right of all Americans? Shouldn't the government take over all the water utilities?

When does it end? Government-supplying of automobiles, internet service, cell phones, satellite tv, tivo?

At what point, once we start declaring everything a person has to be responsible for a basic service that the government must provide, do we stop?

The power to choose is the ultimate freedom. Once the government takes total responsibility for our well-being... then aren't we just serfs again? Won't we have given away everything that was ever truly important, in the name of comfort, in the guise of safety?