We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Thursday, March 9. 2017
Williamson claims that such plans are 19th century approaches.
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No one paid attention
We will therefore conclude with the perhaps unforeseen result, that democracy, when crowned with power, seeks rather what it considers the well-being of the community than the liberty of the individual.
--The Ethics of Democracy by F.J. Stimson. Scribner’s Magazine (1887)
This vehement indictment of bureaucracy is, by and large, an adequate although emotional description of present-day trends in American government. But it misses the point as it makes bureaucracy and the bureaucrats responsible for an evolution the causes of which must be sought for elsewhere. Bureaucracy is but a consequence and a symptom of things and changes much more deeply rooted.
The characteristic feature of present-day policies is the trend toward a substitution of government control for free enterprise. Powerful political parties and pressure groups are fervently asking for public control of all economic activities, for thorough government planning, and for the nationalization of business. They aim at full government control of education and at the socialization of the medical profession. There is no sphere of human activity that they would not be prepared to subordinate to regimentation by the authorities. In their eyes, state control is the panacea for all ills.
von Mises, Ludwig (1945). Bureaucracy
The Dictatorial, Anti-Democratic and Socialist Character of Interventionism
Many advocates of interventionism are bewildered when one tells them that in recommending interventionism they themselves are fostering anti-democratic and dictatorial tendencies and the establishment of totalitarian socialism. They protest that they are sincere believers and opposed to tyranny and socialism. What they aim at is only the improvement of the conditions of the poor. They say that they are driven by considerations of social justice, and favour a fairer distribution of income precisely because they are intent upon preserving capitalism and its political corollary or superstructure, viz., democratic government.
What these people fail to realize is that the various measures they suggest are not capable of bringing about the beneficial results aimed at. On the contrary they produce a state of affairs which from the point of view of their advocates is worse than the previous state which they were designed to alter. If the government, faced with this failure of its first intervention, is not prepared to undo its interference with the market and to return to a free economy, it must add to its first measure more and more regulations and restrictions. Proceeding step by step on this way it finally reaches a point in which all economic freedom of individuals has disappeared. Then socialism of the German pattern, the Zwangswirtschaft of the Nazis, emerges.
von Mises, Ludwig (1947). Planned Chaos
**Zwangswirtschaft (German) is an economic system entirely subject to government control. "Zwang" means compulsion, "Wirtschaft" means economy. The English language equivalent for Zwangswirtschaft is something like compulsory economy
And put no hope in the Conservatives or Republicans. The below is as true today as it was a 120 years ago:
Northern conservatism. This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. . . . Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle.
--Robert Lewis Dabney on Conservatism in 1897:
How's that low-priced food and housing and healthcare doing in Venezuela? When all are equal, and the freebies disappear the pigs will be the last to get them.
That's fantastic. History repeats and absolute history repeats absolutely.
If we want to know how it all went wrong, we shall look to the right.
I disagree. If the author had chosen Medicaid to attack and describe as a single-payer, government-controlled system he would be correct. The problem with criticizing Medicare is it is directly funded in part by those who use it. They fund it for their entire working life and then they use it after age 65. You can argue that the self funding isn't adequate and should increase. You can argue that perhaps the federal government shouldn't even be involved in this. But you cannot argue that it is a single payer system.
You are correct, GWTW. Medicare and Social Security are owned assets, which we each bought and paid for, like our private investments such as Annuities. In fact, Social Security originally worked exactly like any other Annuity: if a person died without collecting his whole guaranteed return, the balance was refunded to his estate.
SSI and Medicade (and certain other benefits such as the recent addition of prescription coverage, and Quid pro Quo treaties with foreign nations) have been dumped into the US Social Security program but have nothing to do with it.
In fact, our self-funded Social Security investments, when separated from all the excess, remain fully funded to honor the government's commitment to return our investment with a guaranteed rate of interest for those of us nearing retirement age, even without new contributions from anyone.
...you cannot argue that it is a single payer system.
And a human is a chain of DNA with toenails. A automobile is fundamentally a horseless carriage. Social Security is social security.
Do all rightists gain satisfaction reinventing things with their stupefyingly narrow definitions until they're suddenly palatable?
"Legal care" has some claim only in the context of defending oneself against criminal prosecution by the state.
it's an inartful way of referring to the 6th Amendment right to counsel.
As a Canadian, this is one area that I can give an outsiders point of view. Though I am a classic liberal and often agree with those, who read and post on Maggie's Farm, in this case, I do support a single payer system like we have in Canada with some provisions.
In the U.S. and Canada, we have determined that high school education and protection from fire and crime is provided to all citizens regardless of income. In Canada, we have added health care. The system works overall quite well despite the propaganda to the contrary. It is greatly in the red, but it is a worthwhile cost.
On the other hand, the system does not promote innovation in the health care industry. When a Canadian surgeon goes into the operating room almost certainly, he will be using tools and equipment invented and manufactured in the U.S.
The best solution is a combination of both systems. I think eventually that will be the result in both countries.