They just don’t get it.

Yesterday I had a conversation with a fairly hardcore liberal friend of mine about Obamacare. While he really danced around the issue, he eventually admitted that it has now become obvious that the Obamacare role out has been a complete disaster. Even two weeks after the roll out, propagandists remain unable to register. Oh, I am sure the left is blaming this debacle on the IT people and evil rethuglican super-secret hackers like my buddy implied, but after an incredible $630 million price tag, the website can’t handle even a miniscule volume of users, and the software simply doesn’t work in any way or form. Too many systems had to be pulled together to give the government watchers the ability to collect all our data in one place, better to go after us when they decide we have outlived our usefulness to the regime, and this endeavor was doomed from the start. Heck, despite the qualifiers, even Ezra Klein, a rabid lib that he is, can’t do anything but admit Obamacare is a miserable failure. There is no way to dress and put make up this pig to make it look good, because it is just a disaster. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, because it will remain that way. We are dealing with government here.

Anyway, back to the conversation I was having with my progressive friend. An article carried by USA Today about hospitals cutting staff, left most leftists, including the friend I was talking to, absolutely flabbergasted. After all, Obamacare was adding some 30 million new people to the ranks of those able to use healthcare, so how could it be that hospitals were cutting staff when the leftists could clearly see a need for more staff. It just didn’t compute for my progressive friend. Of course, it was blatantly obvious to me why they were cutting staff despite the supposed increases: this shit was going to bankrupt them. My doctor, citing his experience with other government programs and the absolutely horrifying pain it was to deal with the bureaucracy and the bureaucrats with delusions of grandeur that run them, had all but told me he would have to do the same. His choices were to drop government programs completely, cut his staff drastically, or simply sell his business and go do something else. And that was over 2 years ago, at the time that this idiotic Obamacare bill was being discussed. Hospitals, which were even more top heavy than my doctor’s business, would be faced with the same issue, only on steroids.

My progressive buddy could not get it. How could more people be entering the system and yet, service providers cutting personnel? The two didn’t mesh. So I pointed out that no business, and practically every hospital is a business, even the ones run by the VA, which have the advantage that they are businesses that can suck at the government’s teat, could survive for long if they were forced to operate at a loss. And have no doubt that Obamacare was going to force that on them. He still was not getting it. So I used the dirtiest word you could tell a progressive – profit – to illustrate the problem. After he spent a good 2 minutes spitting on the floor and prostrating himself while giving me a look like I had made some unseemly comment about his dead grandmother’s corpse being used ins some obscene sexual act, he basically told me that nobody doing healthcare work should be making any profits whatsoever. Profits are evil, don’t you know?

Well, I then pointed out that government should just mandate hospital workers work for a lot less money, or better yet, for free, so healthcare costs could be held down. His head almost exploded. See his wife is a nurse. I had a good laugh at him and pointed out that he couldn’t have it both ways. Then I felt bad because he almost had an aneurism dealing with that conundrum. In the end his solution was that there just “HAD” to be a way for people working in the medical industry to get paid for their efforts, education costs and time commitment, and their labor, and for healthcare costs to be kept low, but he couldn’t tell me how to do so.

He was expecting Obamacare to magically take care of that problem. After all, Obamacare was all about stopping evil private korporashuns from making profits off of other people’s plight while saving the downtrodden and neglected. That got me laughing again. I could tell I had burst his bubble and the peek at the real world I forced him to take would keep him from sleeping that night, but frankly, I didn’t care. People that refuse to deal with how the real world works and think unicorn farts and wishes can change that reality, need to feel the pain. He expressed a wish for things to work out well. I told him to shit in one hand and wish for things to work out well in the other, and see which one would fill up first.

I think he got the message. Now he is worried about his wife’s job and his free healthcare fantasies. And he desperately is looking for someone to blame. I told him Boosh was always the progressive standby, and it would be par for the course. He didn’t want to admit he wished he could blame Boosh somehow. Though titties.

Comments are closed.

  1. ilovecress

    Wow Alex, you completely owned this guy in the argument! Well done! Have you got any more stories of your conversations with stereotypical liberals?

    Hot! Thumb up 7

  2. AlexInCT *

    Wow Alex, you completely owned this guy in the argument! Well done! Have you got any more stories of your conversations with stereotypical liberals?

    There are, unfortunately, not many other than your stereo typical liberals in my state ilovecress, and it depresses me. To be fair to this guy though, he isn’t your stereo typical because he doesn’t believe in the teaching so the church of AGW anymore, although he still wants some other means of wealth redistribution to take its place.

    BTW, since you aren’t a stereo typical liberal, would this conundrunm have surprised you? Would you have a real world solution to this problem? I would like to discuss that. I know what I would do to fix healthcare, but no liberal would go for it because it completely emasculates government and government’s role in healthcare, and this has never been about anything other than government taking over healthcare in this country.

    I can certainly see why he’s your buddy.

    Well, he isn’t a total douchebag like some people are, so that makes him fun to be with most of the time. As long as you avoid politics he, and I admit even his wife, are very bright and actually fun people. If I decided that the only people I could be friends with where the ones that shared my political views, I would end up very lonely here in “The People’s Republic of Connecticut”. Then again, I tend to like my solitude more than your average person, so there is that benefit…

    Thumb up 7

  3. Seattle Outcast

    If this had been a company rolling out a signature piece of software this horribly buggy, there are a whole lot of people getting fired, starting most of top management.

    Sorry, but not even the bad versions of Windows were this much of a debacle – at they they actually ran a computer.

    Thumb up 4

  4. AlexInCT *

    If this had been a company rolling out a signature piece of software this horribly buggy, there are a whole lot of people getting fired, starting most of top management.

    That is, if they weren’t too big too fail and got a government handout or buy-out to keep them in business. Most, if not all companies unconnected to a sugar daddy, would not survive something this idiotic.

    Thumb up 4

  5. Seattle Outcast

    As I was driving to the dentist I started to think about what it would take if I was to suddenly find myself very wealthy and wanting to start up a hospital:

    A building – about 40,000 square feet should do to start, not including a parking garage
    A few hundred networked computers, dozens of printers and scanners
    An IT department
    Administrative staff, an accounting dept, and a procurement dept
    A pharmacy, with staff, and since you’ll be handling pain killers – a safe, and put up with audits and the attending laws & paperwork
    Custodial staff, and the equipment to take care of biohazard spills and disposal
    Laundry
    Kitchen & cafeteria
    Imaging equipment and specialist staff to run it, as well as the people needed to run nuclear medical equipment
    Beds & bedding, chairs, wheelchairs
    Surgical equipment ranging from scalpels to autoclaves to respirators to suture
    Surgeons, nurses, doctors, med techs
    Security

    And that’s just what I can think of without really trying – I’m sure I missed a bunch of stuff. And this is supposed to be “free” or, at least “cheap” for some reason. And that hasn’t even touched upon things like hard to find specialists like neurosurgeons….

    Thumb up 1

  6. Seattle Outcast

    I need an annex for the diagnostic lab, all the techs, a morgue, and office space. And now I need storage for all the reagents, a chemical locker, refridgeration, and more audits.

    Thumb up 0

  7. Poosh

    Actually the government could, once it creates a government monopoly of healthcare … borrow more money and plunge your country into an abyss of debt that no one will ever crawl out of.

    But hey, their pay is “stimulus” and you’d removed the profit motive….

    *cough cough NHS* *cough*

    Thumb up 2

  8. CM

    “To be fair to this guy though, he isn’t your stereo typical because he doesn’t believe in the teaching so the church of AGW anymore,”

    I bet that was you, with all your science, right?

    Thumb up 1

  9. Mook

    Wow Alex, you completely owned this guy in the argument! Well done! Have you got any more stories of your conversations with stereotypical liberals?

    Just curious lovecress, are there ANY liberals, “stereotypical” or otherwise, who have any coherent explanation as to why the rollout of Obama, a 100% liberal creation, has been such a complete and utter clusterfck?… who woulda thunk it?

    But they meant well, right?

    Thumb up 3

  10. Hal_10000

    You can see now why the Democrats were so opposed to a one-year delay in Obamacare. Can you imagine this clusterfuck happening right before next year’s election? I expected some problems but the sheer scale of the disaster has been absolutely shocking. And it’s not like this is the first time, or the second or the twelfth time Sebelius has screwed the pooch.

    McArdle had a great column the other day dismissing the notion that Obamacare is a disaster because of Republicans. They didn’t even start to set this up until two years ago. That’s two years to set up a national portal for tens of millions of people. Ridiculous.

    Thumb up 2

  11. ilovecress

    I try not to get into this, because I think the midsets are completely different, but as you called me out by name it’s only polite to reply. Here’s the thing – I have been brought up with the idea that healthcare is something that just is. No I don’t think its free. I realise that we pay for it, but my mindset is that easy access to healthcare is part of the social contract that gives people the freedom to take calculated risks and to ensure that hard work will get you success, and the impact of bad luck and circumstance is minimised.

    When I was in my 20’s I was able to make some decisions that really paid off long term – because of the safety net that the NHS provided. My sister was really ill as a kid, and as a family that wasn’t very well off, we didn’t have to make those choices, and that episode in our lives didn’t affect the long term prosperity of the family. And when the family became better off, then it was ‘paid forward’, and so on. This is all possible because the UK society works that way, and I’ve bought into that social contract becuase I beleive that it works out better not just for everyone, but for me specifically. (I’m guessing Poosh would disagree with me on this though).

    So while I don’t think that the NHS is a shining example of an organisation that works without a hitch, and like everyone else i grumble(d) at tax time – my mindset is that it’s a little pain for huge gain. So we’re never going to agree on this, because the mindsets we start from are so different. Its like taking a Hindu to a steak house

    So to Obamacare – here’s the big dirty secret – de-coupling healthcare from employers and insurers is going to suck in the short term. Yes, it’s reliant on the young funding the old. Yes, it’s going to mean that medical providers need to drastically readjust their business models. And, yes, Government and ‘technology project’ aren’t two things I’d associate with ‘deliver a quality solution’. So yes, Alex, the conundrum wouldn’t have suprised me. I’d guess that Insurance companies are making ‘efficiencies’ too.

    As for why the websites are bad – some of you oftwrae engineers might agree that it’s because the sponsors are politicians rather than programme managers. The success slider on Oct 1 was set to maximum, meaning the quality slider was somewhere around ‘who gives a shit’.

    And of course they didn’t want to launch this before an election! Aside from the clusterfuck that is the launch, insurance isn’t a product anyone values until they claim. No one gives a shit about the NHS until they need it. It’s like celebrating the extended warranty.

    But the point of view that I (and I think a lot of liberals) are coming from is that while this might suck balls for a bit, the current (previous) system sucked bigger balls. Life decisions driven by insurance questions, and everyone else picking up the tab for the uninsured being massively expensive. Ironically, the provisions in Obamacare that were put in there to make it more palatable I think will actually increase the pain in the short term.

    But the end goal is a place where your personal freedom to succeed isn’t influenced by whether or not an anvil falls on your foot, and where the cost of healthcare is more in line with the rest of the world. But I get it that you guys don’t see your own freedom that way – and that’s cool.

    Thumb up 4

  12. CM

    Yep that’s pretty much how I see healthcare too (I’m referring to ilovecress’s post in case it’s not obvious), but I’m also aware of and acknowldge that some define ‘freedom’ quite differently.

    Thumb up 0

  13. Hal_10000

    Cress, almost every Brit I talk to (and I work with a heap of them) is positive on the NHS. They acknowledge the problems but talk about the security, sense of nationhood, etc. My dad, a physician, has a different opinion in that NHS physicians cross him more as employees than doctors and is appalled by the way they practice medicine and keep costs down.

    However, even if an NHS-style system were desirable — and I don’t think it is — I doubt it would work here, either politically or practically. I think we are most likely headed toward something like France or Australia (consumers pay and are reimbursed by public and private insurance), which are still less than ideal.

    There was a great piece on Twitter the other night about how people get used to a system with all its flaws without knowing there’s a better way. It expresses a lot of how I feel about healthcare :

    http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rpilve

    Thumb up 3

  14. Kimpost

    If you eventually end up with something similar to what France has, then you’ll be well served. It usually ranks right at the top. I’ve also grown up in a society where healthcare is regarded as an inalienable right. It’s like free speech to swedes.

    Thumb up 0

  15. Hal_10000

    I don’t want a system like France, which would be expensive and difficult for this country. I find it preferable to single payer or socialized medicine in the same way I find being bitten by a shark preferable to being swallowed whole. :)

    Thumb up 1

  16. Poosh

    “Cress, almost every Brit I talk to (and I work with a heap of them) is positive on the NHS. ”

    That’s because they are ignorant and have religious attachments to the NHS. They have no idea at all of the massive, impossible burden it has created, or that so many of our economic woes are the fault of the existence of the NHS.

    UK society accepts it mostly because of greed, and why wouldn’t they? For most they really *are* getting free healthcare, or healthcare at little immediate cost. But the truth remains that many of our hospitals are terrible (and many are just as good as the best in the US, it’s a postcode lottery) and the entire foundation of the NHS is built on a lie, we simply cannot afford it which is why countries like France laugh at our sad pride of the NHS (the French get superior healthcare, which is a more mixed form of healthcare which works better).

    No social contract exists in the UK and it disgusts me how easily people just think it’s a real “thing” – it’s a religious concept and people should be more honest.

    The American healthcare system is pretty awful as well but that is not the fault of free-market capitalism which doesn’t exist – and there IS a safety net in America for the poor and old.

    That being said, my own political philosophy, does accept the existence of universal healthcare paid for via violence (tax) IF it works. The NHS doesn’t, it’s a dream that is failing before our eyes. I do think we cannot be free if we are not healthy and that this is the same as “we cannot be free if we are invaded” – so I believe it is the government’s job to ensure we are healthy – but this only means the government ensures the BEST access to healthcare: the NHS is a failure, and is a very cynical creation, and should be discarded. As should the current pre-Obama American healthcare system which may well be the best in the world but is still an abomination (and is such because of government involvement and the non-existence of a free market in healthcare).

    EVEN if the NHS actually provided amazing healthcare, which it doesn’t and will never, it still would be a failure because of the sheer cost, debt it creates and the consequences of that debt, and the sad fact that so many people are standing on the shoulders of a giants (the wealthy).

    And then there is the moral problem which is very difficult. Was it fair that my life was saved because violence was used against other men to take their property? < This is a very difficult moral problem to reconcile and I still have not.

    Thumb up 4

  17. Poosh

    “I’ve also grown up in a society where healthcare is regarded as an inalienable right. It’s like free speech to swedes.”

    That is an unfortunate mentality to have as it is entirely irrational, if it is held in that manner. Free Speech is something that can only be taken away from me if other men choose to take it away from me, and use force to do so: otherwise it is my natural state to engage in such speech. The government/state, in fact, is the only thing that can consistently take away such a state that is so natural to one.

    Healthcare requires action in order to grant me something unnatural to me (it is unnatural to be healthy all the time and requires human exertion to undo). It is dangerous for a entire people to be so irrational as to not be able to distinguish the differences between such things.

    Thumb up 3

  18. Mook

    I’ve also grown up in a society where healthcare is regarded as an inalienable right.

    Although I agree with lovecress that there’s little chance one side will persuade the other, I’ll just point out that if you believe healthcare is a “right” then access to food would certainly be an even higher priority more urgent “right” since no one can survive long without food. So should government takeover grocery stores and farms to guarantee that right? If not, why not?

    I’m not trying to be snarky, but just wanted to point out a fallacy in declaring something to be a right in order to justify forcing others to pay for a product or service. Btw, did Dutchess Kate have her child with NHS care?

    Contrary to popular belief, Obamacare will not provide universal health coverage although it would, in theory, cover more people. The CBO estimates that something like 30 million will not be covered. And as we can already see, costs are skyrocketing (Obama and Democrats promised/lied that each family would save $2,500 yr. in health insurance costs) and implementation has serious flaws beyond minor “glitches”. Govt., unlike private industry, has no incentive to do a good job or perform a useful or efficient implementation. In fact, govt. will point to these disastrous problems as justification for demanding even more $$$ to be thrown at it. Obama and Democrats knowingly lied about the actual costs of implementation of Obamacare.

    With private insurance, most people and companies have choices. If an insurance company fails to pay reasonable claims, word gets out and people and companies don’t renew their policies with that company. The market inflicts serious financial pain on those companies who don’t pay reasonable insurance payouts. With govt running things, there is no such incentive. That fact needs to be more widely acknowledged. It’s why the govt. loses more $$ in Medicare fraud each year then the combined profits of the 10 largest health insurance companies. They have no incentive to cut fraud because it’s easier not to “rock the boat”.

    Obamacare was designed to eliminate private healthcare by forcing burdensome costly mandates on private health insurance plans. For example, a family with husband and wife in their 50’s and 60’s are forced to pay for a private plan which includes maternity coverage even though they don’t need it. Choice for low cost catastrophic-only plans goes away. Once costs spiral out of control due these types of mandates and government interference and corruption, more and more people will be forced onto the govt. run programs. As designed. Obamacare was never about healthcare. It was always about control. Politicians with political motivations spending other people’s money know better than we do.. because they care

    Thumb up 8

  19. Poosh

    Mook technically the incentive of government to get things done is democratic incentive, i.e the people will vote out those who don’t get things done right.

    Don’t overestimate the liberals’s belief that he is a perfect specimen over those who are not like him; and, that if only *he*, and those who think like him, was/were in government, everything would be brilliant.

    Of course this never happens because man is man.

    Thumb up 1

  20. CM

    I certainly don’t consider having a system which provides access to affordable healthcare to be a ‘right’. I just think it’s a good idea.

    Thumb up 0

  21. AlexInCT *

    I try not to get into this, because I think the midsets are completely different, but as you called me out by name it’s only polite to reply.

    I would not have asked unless I actually had an interest in you answering this dude. And thank you for taking the time to do it. Once I have read your post a couple of times I will come back and discuss it more. Please do not confuse the fact that I actually would like a solution to the existing healthcare dilemma just because I since I abhor government takeover of healthcare solution that always seems where the left wants to go to.

    I have said so a thousand times. We don’t have healthcare insurance: we have a healthcare prepay system, and a dysfunctional one at best. I agree we should have health insurance. I even believe said insurance should be run by the government. But said insurance should be insurance. A plan that kicks in to protect people from catastrophic costs that would bankrupt them otherwise, or deals with super expensive lifetime conditions. People should be left to their own devices to get any other type of coverage they feel they need. I guarantee you prices will plummet when that happens, making the cost of healthcare far more affordable for all, and everyone would be protected by the real insurance plan. Of course since it isn’t free shit, I expect there will be a whole group of people that don’t like this plan a bit.

    If you eventually end up with something similar to what France has, then you’ll be well served.

    After that summer where the Frogs let some 15K older people die of heat exhaustion and didn’t bat an eye about the whole thing, I think that ending up with what France has, while acceptable to progressives, is a real fucking ugly deal for me personally, Kimpost. I have never been impressed with the French system. While it isn’t as bad as the NHS, it is still shit compared to what I have now, both in terms of the services I get and the cost to get them.

    And no, I do not feel it is my obligation to pay for other people’s medical necessities – basic healthcare is a commodity like food, water, air, and cable TV – unless we are talking about that catastrophic coverage plan I mentioned in my section above responding to ilovecress.

    Thumb up 4

  22. AlexInCT *

    Mook technically the incentive of government to get things done is democratic incentive, i.e the people will vote out those who don’t get things done right.

    When you have created a monopoly poosh, and government controlled healthcare is the worst kind of monopoly I can imagine considering the power it gives unaccountable bureaucrats with delusions of grandeur and some of the most petty and vindictive personalities you could run across, there is no incentive, democratic or otherwise, because the system is just too big to fail. None of our government controlled social systems, all of which are dysfunctional and cannot be fixed properly even while on the verge of insolvency or collapse as the SS system shows, has ever been rolled back or fixed. If anything, they have become worse drains on the productive and a means to enslave the slugs, the lazy, and the ones hit by misfortune.

    The only incentive I see, and we have that in the current system, is that if my provider sucks, I can switch to another. When government controls it all, this is not going to be an option. Oh sure, they could create the illusion of choice, but when they all take their marching orders from the government, they will not have any fear of losing customers, since the game is already rigged. I do not want a system where I have no redress, especially when I foresee a lot of dire problems and needless pain. I have already had the horrifying experience of dealing with other government monopolies, and while I may joke about it, I think it is the equivalent of being prison raped in level of disgusting, off-putting, and inconvenience, said joking is too close to the truth for comfort.

    If someone asked you to eat a bullet you would obviously object unless you were not of sane mind. Government controlled healthcare falls in that category of insane to me. It is a system guaranteed to fail you when you need it most.

    Thumb up 5

  23. AlexInCT *

    Obamacare was designed to eliminate private healthcare by forcing burdensome costly mandates on private health insurance plans.

    ^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^

    And don’t you forget that. That’s why I don’t want it fixed: I want it dead. You can’t fix this shit. Its like pretending we can talk sensibly with people that want to exterminate their neighbors (you know what i am talking about right?): you are wasting your time. What? You are going to get them to be humane about their plans to exterminate their neighbors? You are going to get Obamacare to just break the existing system and bring it to its knees just a little?

    This is war. This law certianly was written to sink the left’s enemy’s battleship.

    Thumb up 2

  24. CM

    “The only incentive I see, and we have that in the current system, is that if my provider sucks, I can switch to another. When government controls it all, this is not going to be an option. Oh sure, they could create the illusion of choice…”

    This comment reminds me of living in the UK where I very much felt there was an ‘illusion of choice’ when it came to some essential services that were run by private industry. E.g. telecommunications. There are so many customers in London I got the distinct impression that the companies don’t have to put any effort into retaining customers because there were always dissatisfied customers arriving from other companies. They might lose a few thousand today, but tomorrow they’ll pick up a few thousand (dissatisfied from elsewhere). There seems to be no incentive for any of them to lift their game. Why would they? Usually they have more customers than they seem to be able to handle (why spend 1p more than you can get away with?)/ Once they’ve got you (and that’s where they seem to spend ALL their money – making it look attractive) they essentially ignore you. After you change a couple of times you realise how the system ‘works’ and don’t bother changing again – there is no point.
    Back here in NZ there are way fewer customers, so companies seem to put more effort into retaining them, because they might not get replacement customers. I’m speaking generally, but there is a distinctive and noticeable difference.

    Thumb up 0

  25. CM

    “And don’t you forget that. That’s why I don’t want it fixed: I want it dead. You can’t fix this shit. Its like pretending we can talk sensibly with people that want to exterminate their neighbors (you know what i am talking about right?): you are wasting your time. What? You are going to get them to be humane about their plans to exterminate their neighbors? You are going to get Obamacare to just break the existing system and bring it to its knees just a little?

    This is war. This law certianly was written to sink the left’s enemy’s battleship.”

    The comparison with Iran is interesting. The right likes to say you can’t and shouldn’t try to negotiate with Iran because they’re extremists and terrorists, so it’s pointless. And at the same time there is a block on the right now holding the world economy hostage simply because they don’t like a piece of legislation (a) that was passed, (b) that was a signature piece put forward by a President who was then re-elected, and (c) which was determined to be Constitutional by the Supreme Court.
    Who is the ‘Iran’ here? Who is taking the ‘all or nothing’ approach?

    Thumb up 0

  26. Hal_10000

    After that summer where the Frogs let some 15K older people die of heat exhaustion and didn’t bat an eye about the whole thing,

    That had less to do with the healthcare system and more to do with the lack of air conditioning. Similar heat waves heat the US all the time but we don’t have floods of people at our hospitals because we stay indoors and keep cool.

    Poosh, read the twitlonger link I had above. I think you’ll like it.

    Thumb up 0

  27. Poosh

    Preaching to the converted AlexInCT, I was just being fair to the “other side”, but proper liberals basically think that all the problems of the state, as you recorded, will just go away once *they* are in power and always in power. That’s basically how they think because they don’t account for human nature and think humans are easily transformed into becoming “progressive” .. and they think they’re gods basically.

    The French system I just read is broke btw so lol. But the dead old people had literally nothing to do with their healthcare – if anything the GOVERNMENT should have intervened with health-warnings. Look at how we in the UK, and the US, and others deal with old people – pretty grim, very expensive care (despite there being a free market). It’s a mess.

    Will do Hal.

    Thumb up 2

  28. ilovecress

    Mook – to answer your question, we have to be careful about the way we’re expressing things – firstly I don’t think healthcare is a right. I don’t believe I have a ‘right’ to healthcare. I just believe that society works better when everyone has it. Like roads – I haven’t got a ‘right’ to roads, but I much prefer living in a country that has them. But that’s a collective outlook, not an individualist one – so I get why we differ on that.

    The other thing to clarify is that healthcare isn’t the offer – it’s access to healthcare. So I’m not claiming that I think society works better if the Government makes everyone healthy. I’m saying society works better if the Government gives everyone access to healthcare. Because the goal isn’t to make sure that everyone is healthy, it’s to minimise the impact of health impacts on prosperity. And yes, that’s going to take some wealth re-distribution.

    (And actually, don’t you guys already have that with ER admissions – isn’t the issue just that it’s a really expensive way to do it?)

    So it’s not necessarily about flowers and rainbows, and moral imperatives. It’s about the next Steve Jobs being born into a poor neighbourhood and not getting to go to college because his job at McDonalds pays for his diabetes medication. The whole of society misses out on that. The less people trapped in poverty, the better for society. (key word there is trapped, not poverty)

    And in terms of your question about Duchess Kate – she has the ‘basic’ care available to her just like any tramp on the street. However, it was her choice to use her private money (let’s call it that for sake of argument) to pay for superior care.

    Thumb up 0

  29. Kimpost

    Regarding “rights”. We kind of do provide food and housing too, even if those particular safety nets are far from perfect. Our local governments are required by federal law to offer all residents food, housing and money (in fact this even includes foreigners, but don’t tell anyone). As might be expected, mentally ill and drug addicts usually are the ones slipping through the gaps.

    The benefits come with all kinds of restraints, meaning that you need to do shit for it. I.e. be sober, show up for work training and rehab and god knows what, but the benefits are there and society is required by law to provide. In theory regardless of what people do, which of course doesn’t add up to the demands outlined… ah well. We see this every winter when occasional homeless people freeze to death. It always prompts an investigation. “Why was this man homeless? What did you do wrong? Do better!”

    So political philosophy aside, positive or negative rights have in some regards become semantics in our society.

    But then again, I think that goes for you Americans too. In practice you have generational welfare recipients, perhaps even more so than we. So, perhaps it’s a matter of degree more than principle?

    On healthcare you should do what’s best for you. I personally think that you’ll eventually end up with some kind of universal healthcare. Including even the 30 million Mook pointed out. Perhaps you’ll scrap Obamacare in its entirety, and replace it with something else, or perhaps you’ll patch it up like you have with past versions of medicare, who knows? I do think that IF some of you conservatives/libertarians agree that it will happen, then you’d be well advised to start moving. If it’s just “no no no”, you might just end up with a Democratic solution.

    Thumb up 0

  30. AlexInCT *

    The benefits come with all kinds of restraints, meaning that you need to do shit for it. I.e. be sober, show up for work training and rehab and god knows what, but the benefits are there and society is required by law to provide

    Hey Kimpost. I am going to ask this seriously because I am really curious: how well does this work in Sweden.

    See, here in the US the abuse has become so insanely nasty that it is obvious the restraints and conditions put on the welfare system are not working. We have so many people claiming disability and collecting pay, that it is statistically impossible that there isn’t rampant cheating going on. This past weekend the EBT system (that is the electronic system that provides low income or poverty people with money to buy certain basic necessities) suffered a failure, and the stories that came out about how abused this system was just made me want to cry. When you hear how often people on public assistance use that subsidy to buy steaks, lobster, and liquor, you want to tear your hairs out. It is almost worth being poor in this country if you can get away with shit like this. Obamacare just adds another layer for those that either don’t want to work or like to abuse the system, to take advantage of those of us that pay taxes.

    BTW, my opinion is that here in the US the system is broken on purpose. The people in charge love that it is that way, because it buys them big votes. Those of us that pay for it don’t like it so much and wish it would be fixed. Yeah, I know, good luck with that. When your social safety net is rampantly abused, and that is by design, you are just fucking over the tax payers.

    Thumb up 4

  31. CM

    “Or it could be Pooshes thing about me thinking that all the problems would go away once our side is in power.”

    How easy is it to be intellectually lazy though…..obviously makes people feel better (who are you to deny them that FREE health benefit, punk?!!!)

    Thumb up 0

  32. Mook

    And in terms of your question about Duchess Kate – she has the ‘basic’ care available to her just like any tramp on the street. However, it was her choice to use her private money (let’s call it that for sake of argument) to pay for superior care.

    We have a possible point of agreement.. or not. Obamacare essentially requires “Cadillac” coverage for recipients with all the bells and whistles including mandatory maternity coverage (no matter your age), abortion coverage etc.. You seem to support that government healthcare should support a minimum level, perhaps minimal coverage with catastrophic coverage. If so, we’re not so far apart.. although even a catastrophic plan, if paid for by the govt., is still an incentive to not pay for better coverage. “Hey, I’m covered for the big stuff, why go beyond that?” It sounds like NHS is Ok for “tramps” and the like, but doesn’t go beyond the minimum. Quite different from what we have here with Obamacare.

    In general, my opinion is that unearned benefits are not charitable if they encourage and enable dependency.

    Thumb up 2

  33. Poosh

    the NHS would never, ever, give a celeb the basic NHS care that the we peasants get. It will never happen. More often than not celebs live in the more wealthy parts of the UK or London, which has many fine hospitals.

    In defense of the NHS, despite the fact that it is a ticking time bomb and all the horrible consequences that come with it, when kids are sick or you do get cancer, you aren’t subject to life destroying costs, you are given what is still better than average healthcare, kids especially < of course all these seemingly amazing aspects are temporal and will not last.

    But it is true. Breaking Bad would never happen in the UK :p

    / as a sidenote to this semi-welfare, even though you get "free-riders" such as people abusing benefits, the downside is that the moment they decide to work and gain wealth is the moment they start paying back what they gained via the benefits so it does, roughly, even out, so we are told.

    The costs of US medical care are incredibly inflated and family-destroying – and this is mostly the fault of the state and a lack of free-market. In, I think it's either Hong Kong or Sinapore, there is heavy free-market healthcare and costs are very low. The NHS in the UK, because it is NOT, so we are told, seeking profit, the costs are literally what it costs (most NHS workers are paid waaaay less than US counterparts). But the cost of borrowing and the consequences are hidden from the public because they are difficult to grasp. We're all suffering serious problems. Obamacare is making an already terrible healthcare system even worse.

    I mean the American welfare safety nets for the poor and elderly alone have f*cked your country. We're all screwed, or should I say, our children.

    Thumb up 2

  34. Kimpost

    @Alex

    I’m generally ok with the welfare state. It’s bloated of course, but perhaps not too bloated. I hate waste, but as I see it some things need to be done and I fail to see a better tool for that than some form of government. Preferably a government close to the people. Certainly doesn’t have to be federal.

    Now, Sweden is a small country and smaller countries probably have better chances of keeping waste down. Perhaps the general rule is: smaller country = less money in circulation = less corruption?

    I’m not that impressed by the morality of mankind overall, but waste certainly isn’t my biggest concern in this fucked up world. *looking at drowning refugees etc*

    Thumb up 0

  35. Iconoclast

    I can certainly see why he’s your buddy.

    Were you responding to ilovecress just now? After all, ilovecress’ post is immediately above…or was that a general response to the main post? Oh wait, that wouldn’t make sense…

    I certainly don’t consider having a system which provides access to affordable healthcare to be a ‘right’. I just think it’s a good idea.

    Are you responding to Poosh, who’s post is immediately above? Or are you responding to Kimpost, who’s post is several posts above? Or are you responding to something else entirely? I’ve just got to read these threads more carefully, it’s sooo confusing who’s responding to what…although it’s “blatantly obvious” to some people…

    I’ve also grown up in a society where healthcare is regarded as an inalienable right. It’s like free speech to swedes.

    Of course, the difference between free speech and healthcare is that the latter is provided by another person, while the former is not. A truly “inalienable right” only involves the one individual. When you start claiming that you have a “right” to someone else’s labor, you are essentially advocating tyranny/slavery. Someone has to pay for that labor, by force, even if it’s the laborer himself, which is simply slavery. If someone else is forced to pay, you have a form of tyranny.

    How is this any different from a slaveholder claiming he has a “Constitutional right” to own slaves? It was simply considered a matter of “proprty rights”, after all…

    Thumb up 5

  36. Kimpost

    Are we also responsible for the well being of others? If so, how? I could personally accept an anarcho capitalist utopia, but that would depend on the nature of the offered contract.

    In such a world I would like my chosen community to provide for “lazy assholes”, as well as for “good” people.

    What kind of social contract do you foresee? Should people be able to opt in and out of government programs?

    Thumb up 0

  37. Mook

    In such a world I would like my chosen community to provide for “lazy assholes”, as well as for “good” people.

    And if it’s demonstrated that “providing for” individuals encourages and enables anti-social behavior including drastic increases in the rate of murderous violence, theft, abandonment of out of wedlock children, etc., why in the world would you support those sorts of programs? It’s like you want to obligate others to pay more for shitty outcomes that are bad for society as well as bad for those being “helped”

    Thumb up 2

  38. AlexInCT *

    I’m generally ok with the welfare state. It’s bloated of course, but perhaps not too bloated. I hate waste, but as I see it some things need to be done and I fail to see a better tool for that than some form of government. Preferably a government close to the people. Certainly doesn’t have to be federal.

    Now, Sweden is a small country and smaller countries probably have better chances of keeping waste down. Perhaps the general rule is: smaller country = less money in circulation = less corruption?

    I will not argue with that at all Kimpost. I think here in the US the programs have been made a s big as possible specifically to allow the graft, abuse, and the power that comes with being the gatekeeper of such a system of rewarded spoils.

    I’m not that impressed by the morality of mankind overall, but waste certainly isn’t my biggest concern in this fucked up world. *looking at drowning refugees etc*

    I see the waste, especially in a bloated system that has become both unmanageable and unsustainable as a huge problem Kimpost. Not just because I am getting socked in the wallet to keep a broken system on life support, but because it is very clear to me that if the whole thing collapses, it will have catastrophic results that impact everybody, including those of us that do not need help from such a system. And that’s the big problem IMO. Nobody here in the US wants to deal with reality, so we will keep pretending nothing is wrong until the whole thing implodes. Then the tyrants take over because panicked people will put up with any kind of bullshit just for the illusion of security. And the part that angers me most is that this phenomenon is playing out by design. Some people here want the system overloaded and the whole thing to come crashing down, because they see an opportunity to get even more power and wealth for themselves.

    I guess I am a firm believer in teaching people to fish, so they can feed themselves, rather than being the guy handing them a fish every day so they can eat, if you will allow me the use of a parable. Basically I would prefer economic policy that would encourage people to work and create wealth, rather than policy that just moves it around from the creators to those that do nothing, with the middlemen taking a huge chunk, of course. But the opportunity for graft and to increase your power doesn’t exist in a system where you cannot pick who wins and who loses, making them dependent on you. And that is why I do not accept the concept of the modern socialist state. I find it demeaning to man and man’s dignity, because the state – read the credentialed political class and their army of bureaucrats – no longer serves man’s needs, but instead serves its own.

    Thumb up 0

  39. Hal_10000

    It’s interesting you bring up Sweden because was facing a similar welfare state debt crisis in the 90’s but veered away. They’ve gotten their spending and debt under control and have increased their economic freedom over the last decade. In a few more years, they will probably be more of a free market economy than we are (supposed lefty socialist haven Canada is already well ahead of us in economic freedom).

    Thumb up 2

  40. Kimpost

    And if it’s demonstrated that “providing for” individuals encourages and enables anti-social behavior including drastic increases in the rate of murderous violence, theft, abandonment of out of wedlock children, etc., why in the world would you support those sorts of programs? It’s like you want to obligate others to pay more for shitty outcomes that are bad for society as well as bad for those being “helped”

    I obviously don’t believe that it would, or that it needs to be. How do we justify not helping an individual because of what the help might cause the society further down the road? It’s like nog granting asylum because we think that the hellhole an actual human being is escaping might lose because of braindrain. What kind of morality is that?

    Cynical pragmatism?

    Thumb up 0

  41. Kimpost

    One of the main reasons we have managed the 07-08 crisis relatively (it’s a world crisis so we are affected) well, is because we had a major banking crisis in 92-93. It made us do all kinds of things. We scaled down many welfare programs, reformed social security, propped up our banks. And let our currency flow.

    You’re also behind Denmark in economic freedom The danes have the highest taxes in the world, which shows that taxes are important, but it’s not all about taxes.

    Thumb up 0

  42. Mook

    I obviously don’t believe that it would, or that it needs to be. How do we justify not helping an individual because of what the help might cause the society further down the road? It’s like nog granting asylum because we think that the hellhole an actual human being is escaping might lose because of braindrain. What kind of morality is that?

    Can you please restrain from making invalid strawman analogies about braindrain and deal with effects of welfare payouts? It can be statically demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt, that long term welfare payouts encourage and create all sorts anti-social behavior among the recipients. Instead of a temporary hand-up, welfare becomes a crutch and then a burden, to the recipients, as well as society who funds it. It’s not that they’re all “bad” people, it’s human nature to try and take the easiest route. Welfare provides harmful incentives including the incentive not to work and incentives for men not to marry and care for their children. It destroys self esteem because self esteem is rooted in actual accomplishment, not handouts. Welfare does far more harm that it does help because the govt. doesn’t do the necessary basic task of determining who has a true need for help vs. those who are welfare because they choose to be, not because they have to be.

    You can pretend that those welfare payments you’re so fond of don’t destroy families and communities, yet every community which has a high percentage of welfare recipients is a disaster – high crime rates, children suffering because parents are absent and high rates of substance abuse. That’s the reality of the “help” which you advocate

    Thumb up 3

  43. AlexInCT *

    Welfare provides harmful incentives including the incentive not to work and incentives for men not to marry and care for their children.

    Subsidize any behavior, and you will get more of it. Doubly so with bad behavior. People might want to pretend otherwise, but then they are outright lying because this is an inconvenient fact.

    Any kind of social system that isn’t temporary is going to end up abused, creating a dependent class, and end up causing more social ills than it helps mitigate. The fact the left and advocates of the perpetual welfare state can’t acknowledge this, or worse, try to guilt you into ignoring it by accusing you of being evil for not wanting this broken system, is why I know we can’t reach a compromise.

    The welfare system was doomed to failure the day the social stigma attached to becoming dependent on the generosity of others was supplanted with government handouts without shame. Restrict access to qualified people, and then only for a limited amount of time, break the left’s destructive monopoly that prevents people from reaping the rewards of hard work, cut the incentive for bureaucrats and career politicians to profit from misery, and bring that element of shame that no longer accompanies getting handouts back, along with a healthy dose of reality instead of the feel-good nonsense, and such a system might have a chance. What we have now, both when it comes to economic policies and to the bloated welfare state, is doomed, and has doomed the country as a whole.

    I hate to repeat the obvious, but we are running out of other people’s money.

    Thumb up 2

  44. CM

    Were you responding to ilovecress just now? After all, ilovecress’ post is immediately above…or was that a general response to the main post? Oh wait, that wouldn’t make sense…

    Except it does make sense, which is why Alex was able to respond.

    Are you responding to Poosh, who’s post is immediately above? Or are you responding to Kimpost, who’s post is several posts above? Or are you responding to something else entirely? I’ve just got to read these threads more carefully, it’s sooo confusing who’s responding to what…although it’s “blatantly obvious” to some people…

    You’re mocking yourself now? To what end?
    Every thread has comments that don’t follow quotes, from a variety of other posters. This one has a number of them (mine aside). Nobody ever really seems to have issue being able to follow the discussion (well except for Alex and apparently now you). But then perhaps the rest don’t just skip through and expect everyone else to cater to their laziness.

    Thumb up 0

  45. CM

    Dammit, I used the quote codes and they didn’t work again. No doubt it’s all just going to look like a big random mess to you now Iconoclast. You’ll have no chance of being able to figure it out. Apologies.

    Thumb up 1

  46. AlexInCT *

    Dammit, I used the quote codes and they didn’t work again

    Are you doing it like this CM:

    <blockquote>TEXT THAT GOES IN QUOTES HERE</blockquote>

    Make sure you have the right spelling, spacing/formatting, and that the terminator entry has the backslash in it (made it red). I recommend you use copy & paste if you can.

    Thumb up 0

  47. CM

    “It can be statically demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt, that long term welfare payouts encourage and create all sorts anti-social behavior among the recipients.”

    Can you please provide or link to the details of this? Even if it were able to be proven, isn’t that a specific argument about how the system deals with long term recipients?
    I think a well-managed welfare system helps considerably more people than it harms.
    Most people are in the system for the short period (apparently the vast majority of food stamp beneficiaries use the program for just 6 months), and through the rest of their lives they more than pay that assistance back in taxes. This is reality (including in my family), but it’s something we seldom hear about from the right. Sure, there is a small minority that will always take advantage of the system, but I don’t believe it’s sufficiently large enough to ruin it for everyone.

    “Welfare provides harmful incentives including the incentive not to work and incentives for men not to marry and care for their children.”

    Surely this all depends entirely on the type and level of welfare provided?

    “You can pretend that those welfare payments you’re so fond of don’t destroy families and communities, yet every community which has a high percentage of welfare recipients is a disaster – high crime rates, children suffering because parents are absent and high rates of substance abuse. That’s the reality of the “help” which you advocate”

    Are you able to demonstrate a causal link between welfare and the high crime rates?
    Grinding poverty also destroys families and communities. People are forced to stay in abusive relationships because they can’t afford to leave. These also need to be acknowledged in any objective assessment.

    Thumb up 0

  48. Iconoclast

    No doubt it’s all just going to look like a big random mess to you now Iconoclast. You’ll have no chance of being able to figure it out.

    Because I’m a moron…

    The point I was making is that no, it isn’t “blatantly obvious” that a one- or two-liner response is responding to the post immediately above it. Sometimes it is indeed responding to something else entirely, like the main post, as in the first example I quoted, which is what I assumed to be the case in the other thread. Of course, you won’t get it. It’s your way or the highway. I’m wasting my time.

    Thumb up 1

  49. CM

    Bravo. Good to see you got it.

    Except sometimes it seems to work and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t the incorrect codes don’t appear at all – it’s as if I’ve not even tried to attach them at all. But you seem to do it consistently, so I am well confused.

    Thumb up 1

  50. AlexInCT *

    Except sometimes it seems to work and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t the incorrect codes don’t appear at all – it’s as if I’ve not even tried to attach them at all. But you seem to do it consistently, so I am well confused.

    Can I recommend you just copy this section of text below to some text file on your PC, copy and paste it whenever you want to create the quote, then add your text in?

    <blockquote></blockquote>

    I suspect you might be using actual HTML ASCII codes from the website I linked (which produce text equivalents of computer keys) rather than the key strokes from your computer keyboard (which get interpreted as actual HTML functionality) to try to do this and that’s why it is not working.

    Let me know if this works.

    Thumb up 0