Ideas, Law, Religion, Politics and Choice

atlascott's picture
Submitted by atlascott on Mon, 2010-02-01 18:30

Passion and emotions just cloud the issues. My position is that holding emotions in check is essential, ESPECIALLY when discussing contentious issues that can get very emotional. Getting worked up and yelling destroys any chance at progress in an exchange.

The cornerstone of ideas is not consensus or compromise with what a large group (or any group) thinks. It is logic and reason, applying our human thinking faculties to a problem and coming up with a solution. Perceiving reality and a problem as it really is, and then bringing to bear your knowledge, and experience to craft the best solution you can. Where group dynamics come in is: if you have a group following this basic approach, then more minds = more experience = more problem solving capacity. Let's not forget that what a group thinks is not automatically right as against the individual. Otherwise, we would still believe that the world was flat, and Jonas Salk would have been laughed at - or burned at the stake - rather than being allowed to develop his vaccine against polio.

America was the most successful country because it laid a LEGAL groundwork which allowed people of different creeds, moralities, and religions to co-exist and live equally in the eyes of the law (the ideal, not always realized) -- with the basic LEGAL framework of: believe what you will, but do not steal from, defraud, or harm your neighbors. In the history of mankind, having a legal framework for this was and is positively revolutionary. Whatever agreement that is consensual between adults with capacity, you are free to make, unless it creates a giant group problem. Perfect? Never was. Best in the history of mankind? Without a doubt.

Now, our political choice is between a party trending heavily towards a thoroughly historically discredited political/economic system (Socialism), and blinding, crushing corruption. No choice at all.

There needs to be a fundamental political shift towards individual rights, civil rights, and individual freedom. The size and expense and power of all government must be reduced to its bare Constitutional mandate. The salary of all politicians and expense accounts in every position should be halved, immediately. Term limits should be imposed. This will reduce the tax burden and expense, will stop us from entanglement in unnecessary foreign wars. Politics will have to be more transparent. That's mandatory. Right now, we have Congress hammering our a Health Care Reform bill that tops 2000 pages, which all of our Representatives admit to having NOT READ. Our politicians, other than rare bright spots like Ron Paul, vote on party lines, with little or no understanding of what they are doing. I suspect that it will be akin to the recent Stimulus bill: harsh opposition, until enough bribes are included to get it passed.

The problem, of course, is that you and I are paying for the bribes in bills which we cannot even begin to guess whether will solve or address our problems. The purpose of a Bill becomes tertiary to the political capital to be gained by getting "their" bill passed (1), and the financial gain to be had from the pork (2).

Why are Property Taxes going up, and sales taxes going up in Cook County,Illinois in the middle of a recession, when incomes and property values are going DOWN?

Should we talk a bit about the deficit? I will not, because if you know about it, I do not need to, and if you do not, chances are that I would put you to sleep.

No one ever intended this. It is a terrible way to run a country. Crooked, costly, and inefficient. Our politicians are all either ineffectual or crooked. A politician embodying either does not merit a vote.

Morality either comes from religious edict or from principles. If the former, then you really have no say whatsoever - you either follow the rules as interpreted by your priest, or you behave immorally. As for the latter, what your code of morality is depends on what you believe the basis of morality is - what is its purpose?

If the answer is "service to others" then you come out with some different answers than if your answer is "living a happy and productive life while helping others, as I can, to do the same for themselves." I guess it is not difficult to figure out that my sense of morality comes from the latter, and the latter. But this is a choice each of us gets to make on our own.


atlascott's picture

It isn't just Medicare bureaucracy transforming patient-doctor-insurer dynamics.

It is also stuff that you have already identified: like free market, over state lines competition and allowing people who, for example, bank at the same bank, from forming a group insurance plan.

In short, it is the expansion of government coupled with business getting into bed with government and passing even worse legislation, that has caused the problem with health care.

We are absolutely of one mind here.

I have a life-long friend who hates Tea-Partiers and buys all the anti- Tea-party rhetoric. (Red neck racists, half-retarded, ignorant, uneducated).

He buys the Health Care Reform proposed. I asked him why he thought the Act would address any of the problems, because of what we are calling "3"?

No answer. "We have to do SOMETHING."

And this from a fairly bright guy.

We are in the shitter, but how to get these people to understand that the symptom is a screwed up heathcare system, but the PROBLEM is more fundamental, and can be fixed, if we choose to fix it?

That's exactly right--

Frediano's picture

Right. It's easier to be a slimy fuck in a 2000-page bill filled with nonsense and political pork than it would be if bills were, say, 3 pages long.

Which in reality, is what 'Group 3' -- the uncontroversial ideas that both the Dems and Repubs can easily agree on, would be. Few and far between. And, they should be ala carted, exactly for the reason you identify. It's exactly the horsetrading that leads to such crappy Frankenstien bills.

In a free nation, 'sweeping' reform should be difficult, near impossible, and rare. Why 'reform' away from freedom? That may be "Progressive', but it for sure isn't progress.

Most of what is wrong with healthcare these days is precisely caused by past 'sweeping reform', like MEDICARE, which injected the nonsense of massive third-party payer into the system, and swept private insurance along with it. Prior to the 60s and MEDICARE, the model was that the insured dealt with their insureres directly, on a reimbursement model. Doctor -> bill patient/insured -> reimbursed from insurer. No 'ring a round the rosy.' When health care providers needed to provide a back office capable of doing third party payer to the government programs, then the private insurance market got swept along, creating the current insanity in the marketplace: Patient A get service from B, B bills insurer C, C recovers costs from group of patients A possibly not even original Patient A... totally broken marketplace with no value-for-value look your trading partner in the eye drag on commerce, out of all control.

Would never have happened without government meddling in the health care marketplace. (MEDICARE could still have been MEDICARE -- Hayek's safety net -- and not injected third party payer into the system. It could have been a gov't welfare reimbursement model, and private insurance could have remained a reimbursement model, and the entire marketplace would havebenefited from the remaining market discipline, the traditional 'drag' on commerce called 'commerce.' Third party billing may be 'convenient', but it is precisely the missing drag on commerce that provides control in the marketplace. Our 'convenience' of going into a marketplace with a dinged/displaced value-for-value transaction is one of the factors that created the current mess in the healthcare marketplace. With the discipline of that marketplace restored

Ditto the right of self-employed/small businesses to freely form associations for the purpose of negotiating group rates for its members. In the 80s, when I first went into business, that was perfectly legal in our free nation. It became illegal only via federal meddling-- some special interest went to DC and got the state to aim its guns at formerly free people, for no discernable legitimate reason, making it illegal to do what formerly free people freely did.

Ditto the ability of insurance companies to offer their products across state lines. Constructivist state meddling in the marketplace.



atlascott's picture

Assuming good faith on the part of the persons with whom you are discussing these things, there is a better means of persuasion than NOT discussing the actual ideas in favor of profanity and name-calling.

If there is no good faith, by all means, be passionate.

"...these tyrannical fuckers who are quietly suggesting that half of anyone's life is up for grabs by the tribe, playing out of their aparatchik 101 Saul Alinsky playbooks. It's time to start calling commies "commies" again, not endlessly give them Mulligans on all the misery."

I'm with you -- let fly.

"The only ideas that _should_ pass are those that are undeniably in Group 3]."

I disagree, because the only ideas they agree upon are one which keep them in office, personally enrich or empower them, and are political pork. With rare exception (Ron Paul, "Dr. No"). You'll get nothing done at all that way.

"We're talking about getting rid of legislation, not adding new legislation. "

Right. It's easier to be a slimy fuck in a 2000-page bill filled with nonsense and political pork than it would be if bills were, say, 3 pages long.

OK. But...

Frediano's picture

...when it is claimed that your right to your own life is merely a polite difference of political opinion, subject to a quiet public debate, and why don't we quietly negotiate a compromise where I and my mob only eat half of you, then quietly agreeing to debate such a topic might not be in your best interests. It might be -long- past the time to punt on polite and quiet with any of these tyrannical fuckers who are quietly suggesting that half of anyone's life is up for grabs by the tribe, playing out of their aparatchik 101 Saul Alinsky playbooks. It's time to start calling commies "commies" again, not endlessly give them Mulligans on all the misery.

Obama, lecturing the nation this morning. "Turn off CNN" ... as he posed for the CNN cameras, talking to Senate Dems, plus whatever Arlen Specter is these days. Priceless.

Obama got away with the following slick political subterfuge.

There are three kinds of ideas on health care reform being considered:

1] Ideas that only the Democrats like, and Republicans can't agree on.
2] Ideas that only the Republicans like, and Democrats can't agree on.
3] Ideas that both Republicans and Democrats like, and can agree on.

A fourth set -- ideas that nobody on earth like -- are hopefully not being considered, but you never know in DC.

Obama got away with making the following claim: because there are Republican ideas included in Group 3], then the Republicans are being obstructionist by not also agreeing to Group 1]

What common sense, middle of the road Americans don't understand is, why not just pass Group 3? Obama is playing the horsetrading game, claiming that the appearance of Republican ideas in Group 3] should mean that they should cave on their principles and support ideas from Group 1].

He's not even talking about the lousy idea of horsetrading ideas in Group 1] for ideas in Group 2], he's talking about horsetrading ideas in Group 1] for ... ideas that are already in Group 3]. "Bipartisanship" is ... caving in to left wing nonsense.

It's a terrible idea to horsetrade ideas in group 1] for ideas in Group 2]. The only ideas that _should_ pass are those that are undeniably in Group 3].

Example: when I first went into business for myself in 1983, it was possible for me, as a self-employed person, to _freely_ go to a small business aggregator/association and buy inexpensive health insurance at group rates. That's called 'freedom.' Free association. Nobody else in the tribe's fuckin' business, an association that said, "here is a group of folks who want to buy health insurance as a group, what is your discount for selling to them as a group?" Win win. Who loses?

And then, the federal government inserted itself into the marketplace, and passed a law making that illegal to do, and the self-employed got hung out to dry, forbidden , using the tribes' guns, from even forming free associations for the purpose of obtaining group health insurance.

Why? Towards what end, other than, constructivist federal meddling in the free market? Special interests in DC sold out the self-employed, and I have yet to hear the economic theory justifying this bit of nonsense, other than the usual Democratic liberal redistributive nonsense that is forever tripping out of their clueless faces.

So, Republicans can -- and should -- agree on free market principles, by supporting the _removal_ of past federal pinhead constructivist attempts to fuck with the marketplace.

Ditto the artificial restrictions limiting health insurance to your own state. What the hell is that about? I can buy gasoline from companies that exist outside of my state. I can buy bread and milk and even certificates of certified green-ness from companies outside of my state.

Towards what end is the constructivist legislation that creates 50 local monopolies?

We're talking about getting rid of legislation, not adding new legislation. The only justification for holding these ideas up is, the Democrats want to use them as leverage to buy some of their other left wing ideas, period. They are holding agreed upon good ideas hostage to their Che Guevera utopic fantasies.

These don't have to be part of a massive OneSizeFitsAll monolithic 'health care reform bill.' Pass these things that people agree on ala carte. The only thing that is lost is the stupid horsetrading that we've all grown sick to death of. Just get it done, and stop the endless posing for the fucking camera, Obama.

Hows that for holding emotions in check? Fuck holding emotions in check. What should happen tomorrow is, several million self-employed and small business folks should just decide to take the next year off, and watch the Feb unemployment figures go up by ... tens of million. Obama wants to ride around the nation waving from the last train out of FDR station, well, we should line up along the tracks and wave back for the next year, we can all channel the Depression years.

As in, bye-bye.

It wouldn't take long to starve the snake. A few more ten millions of suddenly unemployed can watch Obama flounder and pose for a year, and then demand that he and his finally ... get the Hell out of the way.

Not every small business/self employed person could afford to take off for an entire year.

The question is, could enough afford to do that, in order to sink this ship of fools?

I think it's moot, because I think it's already happening in some fashion. Against Obama's vaporware 'jobs created OR saved' there is an equally uncalibrated 'jobs not created while waiting for Che to find clue #1."

Or, _these_ folks can fall for his latest attempt to buy them with cheap promises of free government cheese -- that they will be asked to provide.


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