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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Wednesday, August 29. 2007
Is there anything in life that can or cannot be improved by government intrusion or take-over? Are those the key questions which are answered differently by Conservatives vs. Leftist/Statists, depending on how highly they value autonomy, enterprise, and individual freedom and the hefty burdens that go with it?
I have often asked here what argument you can make for socialized medicine that you could not make for socialized food, or car insurance, or gas, or "legal care." I am pleased that Luskin sees it the same way. It reassures me that I am possibly not crazy.
Posted by The Barrister in Our Essays, Politics at 09:34 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
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As a totally non accretied , non-spokesman for this site I'd like to welcome the new leftest contingent that showed up yesterday. Apparently the word "Perv" hit a nerve ( is that wat it hits when you do the things you do in Perville?)..Anyway welcome.
The discussion was lively, the logical and philosophical outcome never in doubt which made for great fun ..it was actually like hitting one of those dime store cheap blow up punching clowns.
Please stay around and offer more for grist for the intellectual mill, well just stay around and do your best, Intellectual may be pushing it. But I'll leave the "pushing it" aspect to you good folks who have read the Barney Frank Does DC Bathhouses" best seller,cellar,,no seller.
They might stick around, as long as we are cheerful, pleasant and polite. I enjoy having lively debate around The Farm.
Barrister's opening question is the crux of the entire debate regarding socialism vs. laissez faire society.
The explanation is to be found in a single word: monopoly. Monopoly is so constituted that it paralyzes all that it touches. Socialism is monopoly.
Freedom may be considered from the point of view of persons and in relation to material things—ratione personae et ratione materiae, as the legal scholars say; for to abolish competition is no less a violation of freedom than to abolish competition among men.
The intellectuals’ mantra runs something like this: In theory socialism is the morally superior social system despite its dismal record of failure in the real world. Capitalism, by contrast, is a morally bankrupt system despite the extraordinary prosperity it has created. In other words, capitalism at best, can only be defended on pragmatic grounds. We tolerate it because it works. Because it works
Despite the intellectuals’ psychotic hatred of capitalism, it is the only moral and just social system.
Capitalism is the only moral system because it requires human beings to deal with one another as traders--that is, as free moral agents trading and selling goods and services on the basis of mutual consent.
Capitalism is the only just system because the sole criterion that determines the value of thing exchanged is the free, voluntary, universal judgement of the consumer. Coercion and fraud are anathema to the free-market system. Socialism is coercion and fraud.
I could continue on but will be parsimonious in presentation lest my socialists friends infarct on too much exposure to the truth all at one time.
Habu & the collective wisdom of giants.
Agree with Habu on monopoly. Also agree that socialism is not the answer. The only thing socialized medicine is better at than our system is low end preventive maintenance (that is valuable, but not enough). A nanny state does a better job of making sure that poor children are healthy, that the frail elderly, the unemployed, and chronically ill get a safety net. I think it a scandal that our rich society so fails its disabled and vulnerable. But the nanny state is far worse for the able bodied worker, for the discriminating medical consumer or for those needing expensive high-tech medicine, which the nanny state rations.
Meanwhile, tangentially related, a link to a truly sobering site for y'all. Won't insult your intelligence by commenting on it, but check it out:
The following stats are from a February 2007 article in Commentary on the U.S. health care system: "On average,
a family that loses its coverage will become insured again in about five months, and only one sixth of the uninsured lack coverage for two years or more. In addition, about a fifth of the uninsured are not American citizens, and therefore could not readily benefit from most proposed reforms. Roughly a third of the uninsured are eligible for public-assistance programs (especially Medicaid) but have not signed up, while another fifth (many of them young adults, under thirty-five) earn more than $50,000 a year but choose not to buy coverage."
Thus, the bottom line is the famous "uninsured" are actually closer to 4 million people rather than 46 million. The remaining uninsured remain so by choice. Why, then, is it necessary for taxpayers to send additional money to the USG to pay for those who will not spend their own money to provide themselves with health care? The problem, however, is that polls show that 90 of the U.S. public believes the uninsured are a critical national health problem. To square the circle it is necessary for the free market supporters to demonstrate to the public that government cannot provide the most cost effective solution.
The "price" of medical care, both insurance and the medical services themselves, are artificially inflated because the current system, based on third party payers and government mandated "one size fits all" insurance coverages, is not allowed to respond to actual supply and demand. In spite of the many roadblocks the U.S. health care system finds ways to respond to needs of those with low incomes, e.g. the free or reduced price supply of drugs by pharmaceutical companies. The free market, if allowed to function, would find efficient, private methods for dealing with the "'scandal' that our rich society so fails its disabled and vulnerable [citizens]."
Also, how does government deal better with "low end preventive medicine?" I guess by making people eat healthier diets, limit drug and alcohol consumption, engage in less violent behavior, only perform "protected" sex, attend appropriately to symptoms in the home, reduce waiting time for general intern services, etc. Sorry, don't see the advantage of big government there.
The answer is: "We have NEVER allowed our people to die from lack of Medical Care. " NEVER.
Rufus, you are right. Whereas relatives of mine were allowed to die for lack of proper medical care in the nanny state they had settled in. The only reason I didn't raise holy hell was that I (GASP) agreed with the nanny state in question's triage. It would be considered political suicide in this country where the elderly VOTE, to say it, but if you have to ration health care (as they did) the young deserve first priority. Over your three score years and ten, and the high tech health care goodies should go to little kids and young parents in the work force who are supporting everybody else in the society.
By those standards, by the way, I would not be eligible for much as my kids are about to launch, and I have already had my chance at fun and excitement in life. This is a point of some debate with Yank husband, tho, who disagrees when I exclaim "The last piece of chicken is to be divided amongst the KIDS. You are over 50, no point in depriving the kids for an old man. They are still growing. You don't need it."
And boqueronman, I agree that was a really good article. One has to separate out the different groups of uninsured. Not all are genuinely needy.
I had typed up a tiresomely long rant in response, then realized it was too personal (my extended family's experiences under both systems) and decided to spare you. As they say in Monty Python "And there was much rejoicing!"
Suffice it to say that my work and family experiences make me extremely protective of vulnerable kids being raised by awful parents (worked with abused kids for years), of the chronically mentally ill, and of the frail elderly who are too proud to ask for help. I have zero sympathy for the plight of the young, able-bodied, mentally "normal" uninsured. Let them eat cake!