Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Mentality not Based in Reality

"It's just going to be like Christmas," said DeCarlo Flythe, who lost health coverage for his family when he was laid off almost three years ago. "It's going to be great. You know, no worries (about) the bills. We are going to go ahead and pay our co-pay and be alright."

Flythe, a diabetic, said he checked into buying a policy for his family, but he couldn't afford it. He recently landed another job, but the new benefits haven't kicked in yet.

Flythe was among the patients Monday at the Walltown Clinic, a joint program of Duke University and Lincoln Community Health Center that serves the low-income neighborhoods near Duke's campus. The clinic serves 3,000 to 4,000 patients a year – 80 percent don't have health insurance – and charges co-pays based on what patients can afford.

"People will come in and say, 'I suddenly don't have a job. I've lost my insurance. Can you help me?'" said Kaity Granda, a physician's assistant at the clinic.

Norman Rucker said he hasn't had health insurance in almost 10 years because his employers haven't offered it.

"I'm not a person who gets sick a lot, so I didn't think I'd need any medicine," said Rucker, who racked up about $100,000 in hospital bills over that period by going to the emergency room whenever he needed care. "I'm trying to pay them off. Collection agencies call me all the time." ~WRAL.com Link here.

My Perspective:

So if he doesn't have to worry about his bills, why can't I stop caring about mine? This seems to be an inequality of non-responsibility. Shouldn't we all have an equal right to be equally irresponsible without being unfairly penalized by the consequences just because of our class: economic or social, or any other trait. If anything, this mentality rewards those who are a drain on the system while hurting those who prop the system up by their own hard work and personal sacrifices.

As sad as it is for people like Flythe, It is neither moral nor practical for his personal debts, decisions, and unfortunate circumstances to be paid by someone else who is of no fault. I'm sorry, but he was laid off 3 years ago and couldn't find a job? I can get a job at McDonald's and get benefits almost immediately. An acquaintance of mine just started working full time in a kitchen wash room to support himself and he gets medical coverage for as little as $18 a month.

Of course, not everyone can find these jobs, but have they really looked? Have they made the hard choices such as moving to a new area or city where the economy is flourishing. Or have they even spent their "time off" doing anything productive? That time could have been used to learn new skills and become more marketable, but instead many use those extended times of unemployment as a paid vacation, and paid by who? You.

This story puts the lie to all the stories that we have heard over the last year and a half. There are free clinics everywhere where people who don't have insurance can get the care they need to survive. However, it is up to them to provide for themselves if they want more. We are all in the same position, we all must obey the law of Nature: which is the laws of human nature, economics, physics, biology, etc. -- or better yet: Reality.

As much as we would like to legislate a utopia, it is not possible to accomplish that which violates these laws. A piece of paper with words on it, however noble they may be, can not stand up to nor overpower the laws that govern the universe.

"Norman Rucker said he hasn't had health insurance in almost 10 years because his employers haven't offered it. "I'm not a person who gets sick a lot, so I didn't think I'd need any medicine," said Rucker, who racked up about $100,000 in hospital bills over that period by going to the emergency room whenever he needed care. "I'm trying to pay them off. Collection agencies call me all the time."

So just because someone didn't extend it to him on a silver platter, Rucker "couldn't" get care. He could have changed jobs, picked up personal insurance, or moved to another state that was more friendly to his situation (after all that is what the states are for, options, opportunity, and competition).

Rucker made a simple value judgement, the implications of which are severe and far reaching. Not only did Rucker value the status quo of every other part of his life above the cost of improving the status of his healthcare, He thought he didn't need insurance because he rarely got sick. In the second case he may have made a good judgement because he may not have wanted or needed the "state dictated minimum coverage," but he clearly misjudged the importance of his health in relation to the importance of all his other desires. If Rucker would have either paid for a catastrophic plan, or budgeted his money to provide for those times when he would get sick or injured--because we all do, and it is fool hardy to believe otherwise--he would most likely not be in this position. Also, I find it hard to believe that this man rarely got sick, yet ended up with a $100,000 bill. If that is true, then he was simply foolish in the method he chose to solve his problem. It would be akin to a person using single dollars as toilet paper instead of using much less of that same money to buy a product that did the job better and for a more reasonable cost. In any case, his original problem of relying on employer based coverage was a problem caused by the state, but I cover that issue elsewhere: Insurance: Hedging yourself; The Fallacy of the Single Payer System.

Although unfortunate, Rucker's situation could have been foreseen, but he made his decisions and now must live by them. This may seem a harsh reality, and that is exactly what it is. I have no problem with private individuals helping him out, and they should--and history has proven that they will without the safety net of government discouraging private charity. but to have me by threat of force from the government pay for his mistakes and poor value judgments is not the remedy, it only masks the symptoms of the disease. The symptoms being the unfortunate circumstances he is experiencing right now. If we [government] can quell his discomfort of the symptoms by getting the collective to pay his price, then he is only being delivered to his own sickness, and in doing so, is spreading it further. This is the ultimate end of statism and the errant belief that men can become gods in which they attempt to manipulate the laws of the universe for their own liking and personal gain. It is a fantasy and it is being perpetuated by those whom we have put our trust in to lead us. How dare they! Yet, if we are aware of this and do nothing then I think it more appropriate to say: How dare us.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

When Reality Doesn't Matter...

MADDOW: Should we not expect the public option anytime soon?

BROWN: No. Just—Rachel, you know history. I‘ve seen your show enough to know that you understand sort of how progressive—the progressive movements worked. When we passed, what, Social Security was passed in the ‘30s. It wasn‘t all that great at the time. When Medicare was passed, it was good, but not great.

… That‘s what happens here. This—you can bet that a lot of us are going to introduce a public option bill.

As soon the president signs this, we‘ll start working towards it. It may take a year. It may take five years. There are a lot of things we‘re going to do to continue to improve this system. We obviously don‘t give up on it. We don‘t get everything we want. But we work—we look how this bill works, we look how this new law works, and we continue to try to improve it.

My Perspective:

I love how liberals are so ready to champion a cause simply because it creates a "better world"--even if it only does so in their minds. Rachel Maddow has such an arrogance of character that she can't even see the evidence directly in front of her. Sen. Brown not only admits that a public option is in the future (which I'm sure Ms. Maddow was thrilled to hear), but he also gives two prime reasons why he and others should not be voting on any "progressive" healthcare bill.

"Social Security was passed in the ‘30s. It wasn‘t all that great at the time." How is this supposed to encourage Americans. Sure, in the 30's Americans were given a gift from the Federal government. With the creation of Social Security some Americans were granted government aid, but as time passed, and government required more power and money to fund itself, Social Security turned into a government backed retirement plan. Where in the Constitution is the government authorized to guarantee anyone's retirement, let alone finance it with other people's money?

Social Security's progressive journey is an argument against this healthcare bill, not for it. Just look at the end of Brown's statement..."It wasn't all that great at the time." Hell, I don't know if Brown has noticed, but Social Security ain't all that great now either. Not only is it a mandatory program that taxes you over 15%, in addition to your income and other taxes, but it has been run into the ground. If the same scheme as Social Security was perpetrated by a private company, they would be sued out of existence (oh wait...Bernie Madoff anyone?)

Only in the mind of a progressive, where the idea of a perfect world trumps the realities of the one we live in, could this "case in point" be used in a positive manner. Most people look at Social Security and ask, "so we want government to be in charge of our healthcare too?" Yet Sen. Brown and Ms. Maddow think that all the progressive Social Security promises make the program great--even if the promises can't be kept. This is a mentality that relies on dreams, happy thoughts, and is unable or unwilling to look at the facts. A world with no death or poverty would be nice, but it is not a reality, and you can tax the wealthy 1000% but it won't change the reality. It won't fix the problem. It will only be an added burden on those trying everyday to make life better for their fellow man.

Also, I have a problem with the progressive promises of Social Security even being viewed as "great," for they are antithetical to the ideas that founded this country. Maddow and Brown think that Social Security is fundamentally a good idea, where as I, and other freedom loving individuals, find Social Security to be fundamentally and morally flawed. Any "right" that the government grants you, which imposes on another's rights, is not a right, but a selfish want. If healthcare is so important to everyone, then why do they spend their money on clothes, entertainment, or cigarettes instead? The fundamental question being asked here should not be, "doesn't everyone deserve healthcare," but instead "shouldn't something as important as healthcare (apparently it is important, since they want to spend over $1 Trillion on "fixing" the "problem") be worth your hard work, and wise discretion?"

"...Medicare was passed, it was good, but not great." So is medicare great yet? I thought it was going broke, just like all those other government programs and services...To even use medicare and Social Security as evidence to support the Progressive Healthcare bill makes me wonder about Brown's, and Maddow's intellectual abilities. There is no way one can look at those two programs and think anything other than..."well they had good intentions, but boy did they mess that up." (and that's giving them the benefit of the doubt that they were working out of good intentions).

Just looking at these two examples, how could anyone want more of the same? These two programs alone are making America go broke; not the government--because they can always tax us more--but the country. We can't afford to pay off all of the unfunded liabilities now--these are the promises that the government made of which they had no right, legal or otherwise, to make. So how can we be expected to pay off those debts while adding this new, insanely expensive, healthcare bill? all while our economy is in shambles, and it will remain that way until we get leaders who embrace free markets and limited government again. We don't need more government to fix this healthcare problem, because the problem is the government.

I'm sick and tired of people hearing of a noble pursuit and thinking that as long as it is the goal, the means don't matter. We need solutions based in reality. We need free market solutions, but free market solutions mean that people must be free for them to work. The left/progressives would rather see us living obliviously in their dream world of to-good-to-be-true promises that solve nothing--while at the same time creating new problems at every turn--than see us living in unfettered freedom because that would make the progressives, and their "solutions" obsolete. Another case of creative destruction leading to a better life for all.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Evil Corporations Require Big Government

"Market entrepreneurs like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Hill built businesses on product and price. Hill was the railroad magnate who finished his transcontinental line without a public land grant. Rockefeller took on and beat the world's dominant oil power at the time, Russia. Rockefeller innovated his way to energy primacy for the U.S.

Political entrepreneurs, by contrast, made money back then by gaming the political system. Steamship builder Robert Fulton acquired a 30-year monopoly on Hudson River steamship traffic from, no surprise, the New York legislature. Cornelius Vanderbilt, with the slogan "New Jersey must be free," broke Fulton's government-granted monopoly.

If the Obama model takes hold, we will enter the Golden Age of the Political Entrepreneur. The green jobs industry that sits at the center of the Obama master plan for the American future depends on public subsidies for wind and solar technologies plus taxes on carbon to suppress it as a competitor. Politically connected entrepreneurs will spend their energies running a mad labyrinth of bureaucracies, congressional committees and Beltway door openers. Our best market entrepreneurs, instead of exhausting themselves on their new ideas, will run to ground gaming Barack Obama's ideas.

If the goal is job growth, we need to admit one fact: Political entrepreneurs create fewer jobs than do market entrepreneurs. We need new mass markets, really big markets of the sort Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie created. Great employment markets are discoverable only by people who create opportunities or see them in the cracks of what already exists—a Federal Express or Wal-Mart. Either you believe that the philosopher kings of the Obama administration can figure out this sort of thing, or you don't. I don't." - Daniel Henninger of the WSJ

Entire Article Here

My Perspective:

What the left commonly calls big business and "Evil corporations" who seem to be able to manipulate Adam Smith's invisible hand--at your expense of course--can't exist without the authoritarian hand of government. Big government breeds bad business. Businesses operating in a truly free market are not the problem. Government, who distorts the market to obtain a desired political outcome, is.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Real Cost of Government Intervention

"One of the biggest reasons for higher medical costs is that somebody else is paying those costs, whether an insurance company or the government (see chart above). What is the politicians' answer? To have more costs paid by insurance companies and the government." ~ Thomas Sowell

Carpe Diem (entire article)

My Perspective:

This is exactly what I have said in the past, yet Dr. Sowell says it so much better, as always.

Bipartisanship...What's That?

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Republicans have left their mark on the healthcare bill and should accept that the bill will go forward.

"They've had plenty of opportunity to make their voices heard," she said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning. "
Bipartisanship is a two-way street. A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes. Republicans have left their imprint."

Read the whole article here

My Perspective:
WHAT?!? Bipartisanship can only exist if the people's representatives from both parties come together to vote for, or against something. Just because the Democrats allowed the Republicans to supposedly have some input on the bill doesn't mean that the bill is bipartisan, especially if those same Republicans vote against the bill. I would like to see how Pelosi would react if this same statement came out of a Republican's mouth.

The only true bipartisanship happening in Washington right now is the push back against the healthcare bill. Both Dems and Republicans are agreeing on saying "NO" to this bill while Pelosi and the like can't even garner enough support from their own party. The Dems had a super majority until Scott Brown was elected, and they could have pushed this through at any time regardless of Republican opposition.

Oh, and about bipartisanship being a two-way street...

Pelosi and her ilk have ignored the will of the people and are trying to force this bill through because they can't get support from either Republicans or many Democrats. That is anything but bipartisan. I love how politicians think we are stupid enough to believe this line of bull. I think they truly believe that us normal dumby dumb dumb citizens need them and their genius. They believe that we can't figure out anything without a powerful centralized government to do it for us...yeah those guys that can't run their own cafeteria (which is done by many of those dumb citizens everyday as their living); those guys who can't run the postal service without a huge deficit; those genius politicians that can't keep their monopoly on schools without keeping school choice off limits...yeah I think they can make my decisions for me better than I would have. Hell they can probably make everyone's decisions for them. I mean, they are so much smarter than us. That is why this healthcare bill isn't passing, it is because we just don't understand. I sure hope Obama will have another 7 hour healthcare summit so I can finally become a smart intellectual like him and his friends...

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