Free Markets, Free People

The Professorial among us – why are they lefties?

I’ve been chuckling my way through this article as it reminds me of a certain denizen of the comment section here.  It’s just too freakin’ funny (and accurate) not to share:

Many academics not only envy people with money, but also those who enjoy political authority. Professors are more confident than most that they have the truth and are convinced that, if given the opportunity, they would rule with intelligence, justice, and compassion. The trouble is that few Americans, at least since the time of Andrew Jackson, will vote for intellectuals. (The widespread assumption that Presidents who have Ivy League degrees are intellectuals is highly debatable. The Left declared consistently that George W. Bush, who had diplomas from Yale and Harvard, was mentally challenged. Barak Obama, who was not really a professor, has sealed his academic records.) How many professors run City Hall anywhere? How many would like to? How many humanities and social science professors are consulted when great civic issues are discussed and decided? Who would even invite them to join the Elks?

Instead of steering the machinery of local, state, and national politics, academics are relegated to writing angry articles in journals and websites read by the already converted and pouring their well-considered opinions into the ears of young people who are mostly eager to get drunk, listen to rap, watch ESPN, and find a suitable, or at least willing, bed partner for the night.

On the Left and Right money means power, and we “pointy heads” and “eggheads” are on the outside looking in. One thinks of Arthur Schlesinger Jr swooning over the Kennedys for the rest of his life because they gave him a title and a silent seat in some White House deliberations. Those making as much money as, say, an experienced furnace repairman account for little in this world, despite the PhD. How many academics even sit on the governing board that sets policies for their campus? It is all most humiliating. (To see how intelligently and objectively academics use the authority they have, examine the political correctness the suffocates the employment practices and intellectual lives of almost all American campuses. Aberlour’s Fifth Law: “Political correctness is totalitarianism with a diploma.”)

Even more:

One way to compensate for this bleak and futureless existence is to become involved in left-wing causes. They give us a sense of identity in a world seemingly owned and operated by Rotarians. And they provide us with hope. In big government we trust, for with the election of sufficiently enlightened officials, we might gain full medical coverage, employment for our children, and good pensions. These same leftist leaders might redistribute income “fairly,” by taking wealth from the “greedy” and giving it to those of us who want more of everything. A “just” world might be created in which sociologists, political scientists, botanists, and romance language professors would achieve the greatness that should be theirs. It’s all a matter of educating the public. And hurling anathemas at people of position and affluence we deeply envy.

Bingo.  Those that can, do.  And those that can’t … seek tenure.

[HT: Maggies Farm]

~McQ

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83 Responses to The Professorial among us – why are they lefties?

  • {chuckle} Your jealousy is so transparent. You obviously envy the intelligence, style, wit, culture, and persuasive ability of people like me. You’re just unable to admit it. You’re probably even jealous of my looks, because they allow me to have the most handsome, chic avatar picture ever seen around here.

    See, I know all that because you insult me all the time. That proves that you secretly envy me and I’m right. I decree it. Why else would you insult someone as smart, tolerant, good-looking, and capable as me?

    But you dense righties just go on with your fantasies if you need to. Meanwhile, we wise leftists are taking over healthcare and energy to add to our complete dominance of education and entertainment. It’s all for your own good, of course, though you poor, thick righties are just unable to see it. Especially you grunt engineer types whose lot in life is to keep the plumbing working while we intellectuals make the big decisions.

    I mean, really, here we have some people who don’t even have humanities degrees thinking they can match wits on foreign policy with someone holding advanced degrees and with a book on foreign policy under his belt. And don’t you dare start up about the book being from a vanity press that suckers social science academics. That’s not true and you know it; they didn’t have to sucker me, I was eager to write that book. Of course, only a handful of people are able to appreciate its genius, so it only sold a few dozen copies. But that’s a testament to my deep powers of analysis. Yep, that’s what I do – analysis, analysis, analysis. Not opinion. Nope. Analysis.

    And I’m just as eager to put a whole lot more analysis into the one I’m working on now. After I’ve completed my research into you primitive aborigines on the right with your bizarre tea party rituals, and your fascination with Sarah Palin’s full lips and ample bosom. You whackos are so far out there! You’re just like ANSWER on the left. Well, you are! In some ways, you’re worse. You’re so extreme you actually think government ought to get smaller! How bizarre!

    I’m having a wonderful time observing you and drawing nuanced, intelligent conclusions for my book. I’m thinking of using the title “Primitive Tribes: An Analysis of Extremist Dense Righties.” Do you like it?

    Yes, I’m just here for research. Not to feed my own ego and prevent the helpless feeling of knowing that I’m completely ineffective and insulated from reality on a cow college campus. So stop saying that.

    So you guys go on thinking that you’ve gotten the better of me. I know your fragile egos require you to think that. And I completely understand, and I’m so big-hearted and tolerant that I will dismiss it with a wave of my hand and keep coming here to dispense wisdom to you.

    And you can keep on insulting me. I’m rubber and you’re glue, so what you say bounces off me and sticks on you. I decree it. LOL.

    • “{chuckle} Your jealousy is so transparent. You obviously envy the intelligence, style, wit, culture, and persuasive ability of people like me. You’re just unable to admit it.”

      That reminds me of the time Scott accused me of being jealous of Bill Clinton.

      • Aren’t you?  Come on, I mean, who isn’t!  Scott certainly is – Bill married Hillary! My GAWD how could it get any better than that?!!!!!!

  • The funny part is that this was truer 20 years ago than today.  Over the past 20 years those professors went from having lousy salaries with job security to having solid salaries and job security.   They may find they aren’t nearly as ‘smart’ as they think they are when their left leaning causes start taking their ‘new’ found wealth (and job security).

  • res ipsa loquitur

  • Damn Scott really pisses you guys off, he even gets his own dedicated parodist puppy ;-)

    • You just hate it that Scerb is such an effective parody of the left, don’t you?

      Yeah, Erb pisses us off, for a simple reason. Stupidity pisses us off.

      If you think the parody thing is so cool, I bet you could get your own. Just start posting more stupidity. It also helps to be totally unaware when someone has shredded your argument. You’re not too bad at that, but Erb is a world-class champion, so you’ve got a way to go.

      • Yeah, Erb pisses us off, for a simple reason. Stupidity pisses us off.

        Not stupidity per se, but POMPOUS stupidity. That and a perspective on the world that parallels a junior high school student.

    • He’s entertaining in the same fashion I’m sure many a medieval European village found their idiot to be entertaining.  Almost quaint, a necessary part of society as it were.  In a movie script, I’m fairly sure he’s the academic who gets eaten by the ‘interesting’ monsters about 10 minutes after they’ve been introduced into the plot.  On occasion , to annoy, sometimes this character survives so the audience can be pleased with his ultimate demise at a later crucial juncture in the story line…usually after he’s spent nearly his entire screen time telling the good guys they’re bad, and wrong about the monster(s).

    • You’re just sad you don’t merit your own.
      Typical lefty: always envious.

  • R. W. Grant in his book The Incredible Bread Machine coined the term radical pique to explain why intellectuals disdain free markets.
    “They have (or think they have) all the answers to the problems of poverty, the environment, the economy, etc. — but the market place does not pay attention to what they are saying!”
    In other words, their dollars have no more impact in the free market than the dollars of Joe the Plumber or any other member of the Great Unwashed.

  • In the academic world I’m probably right of center, and find political activism distasteful.  I quite my job in DC working as a Senate aide because I hated the power games they play in Washington — by both parties.   But unlike the radical academics, my interest is in teaching — in getting students to question the conventional wisdom, learn to question their own biases (always consider different perspectives and don’t treat political discussion or philosophical debates like holy wars — all of us might be wrong), and be willing to disagree with authority — their parents, pastors or professors.   I think the political-minded academics are less likely to be at teaching universities, and more into the ivory tower world.    Those “working class academics” who teach more, have less time to publish, and lack the salary and perks of big research schools or high reputation privates tend to have a more pragmatic and less ideological world view.  (And it never ceases to amaze me how many of you ignore what I write in order to have a caricatured view of what I believe — that is what I really try to teach students not to do, do not refuse to listen to someone just because of what they believe.   Then politics becomes ideological jihad, and truth becomes irrelevant).

    • I would applaud your attitude if I were certain that it was true. However, much you insist that you are not a doctrinaire left winger, you always seem to some up with the left wing shibboleth du jour.  When you say that you get your students to question things, does this also apply to those students who grew up thinking that the Democratic party, Unions, and cool Hollywood celebrities are right, and evil right wingers are wrong?
       
      Do you really?  I wonder.  For my own part, I started out like that, I was a fairly progressive person in college, but then I learned reality. I would love to go back to the days when politics were not some ideological jihad as you describe,  But the reality is that the progressives, with their Saul Alinsky tactics are guilty of creating this war, and I will not cede the battlefield to them.

      • I was a College Republican, and was at the 1980 GOP Convention in Detroit that nominated Ronald Reagan.  I worked for a Republican Senator in the early-mid Eighties.  I vote Republican sometimes — including in my state’s Senate races.    And I do try to get all sides to question their positions.   Sometimes I will “argue” with a student — one very conservative student wrote an academic journal where she took very far right stances.  I responded with my argument — and her grade was 98 because she was thoughtful and willing to take a stand and explain it rationally.   I may disagree, but just as I know she might be wrong, I know I might be wrong.
        I don’t know Saul Alinsky except by references in this blog to him.   The views that got most people mad at me here were my anti-war/anti-militarism views from earlier in the Iraq war.  But my views on that are very similar to many libertarians.   I do not believe that the free market can do magic — I prefer the market, but recognize its limits (I’m currently reading “The End of Wall Street” by Roger Lowenstein, I strongly recommend it).   In fact, I think the economic meltdown showed that the de-regulation free market faith of the last 30 years went too far.   But I tell you, I’ve seen in Russia and East Germany what too much government control can do to a people — and even here it creates a level of dependency that is spiritually/psychologically damaging.
        My views on social welfare issues are not that different than conservatives in Europe — in Germany I’d probably vote CDU or even FDP, and not Social Democratic (though I did like Schroeder, but he was enemies with the left of his own party).   What would be good would be to debate issues based on reason and not labeling, name calling, or demonization.  I had to agree when Jon Stewart told off Fox News for complaining about ‘broad stereotypes’ of the “tea parties,” after he showed a montage of broad stereotypes of “liberals” made on Fox.  Your claim about ‘progressives’ is too broad as well.   There are thoughtful, honest, intelligent people on the left and right who might be able to find compromises and learn from each other if they were willing.   And the reason I read and post here is because it presents a different perspective, and I need to hear it and take it into account to challenge my own beliefs.   To get that, it’s worth suffering a few insults.   And yes, I can both take it and give it.  I try not to say anything at all insulting if I’m not insulted (and I think mine are more subtle than the labeling some do on me).

        • Nothing in this comment is relevant. So what if you don’t kick puppies or verbally abuse undergrads? Or you were a gopher for a Republican? Your comments are still some combination du jour of trite, wrong, and just plain silly, and your left-leaning tendencies are legendary. That’s why people here insult you, and listing your saintly characteristics doesn’t change that any of that.

          Even if those saintly characteristics are genuine, for which we only have your assertion. Since you’ve been caught lying here many times (most recently when you claimed you were going to stop reading this blog), I certainly don’t regard your assertions as to your own saintliness as particularly reliable.

          I think the article McQ cited really stung, so you had to come out in full-force denial mode on this thread. Well, it should have stung. We all recognize you in the article’s descriptions, even if you desperately want to believe otherwise.

          • I am not claiming to be saintly, but you cannot point to any lie I’ve made.  When I said I was going to stop reading the blog, I intended to do so — and did so for a long time.  It was not a lie; rather, later I changed my mind.   The article actually not only did not sting, but I find it rather accurate.  My complaint about academia is  that it tends towards ivory-towerism — I’ve noted that in my own blog (intellectuals and ideology and revolt of the elites).   Your disagreement with me is based on fantasy — what you imagine me to be — not on anything real.

          • It was not a lie; rather, later I changed my mind.

            Yes, he probably typed this with a straight face.

          • “…you cannot point to any lie I’ve made.”

            Sure we can. Others have done a great job of that in other comments, so no need to beat that dead horse.

            Of course, we realize that your post-modern addled brain doesn’t recognize lies the way we do. That’s your problem, not ours.

            As to us having a fantasy of what you think, a couple notes.

            First, we’re seen your crap for years. I’m pretty sure we didn’t fantasize all the lefty crap you’ve spouted, since it still exists on the web servers.

            Second, when you claimed you were going to stop coming here, just about everyone here laughed in your face and said you would not be able to stay away. Well, we were right. Which shows our understanding of the workings of your mind is better than your own, at least in some respects.

            I know you absolutely hate that and refuse to face the possibility that you are that shallow and predictable. But you are. We’ve proven it. You may think you have all those deep thoughts and careful consideration and all that, but in this case WE PROVED THAT WAS ABSOLUTE BS.

            I’ve said it before – you’re living proof of the research that showed that incompetent people can’t spot their own incompetence. You’ve failed at everything you’ve tried except spouting enough BS to get degrees in rigor-less humanities and secure a low-paid pointless teaching job. The people around here are mostly smarter and a lot more accomplished than you, but you still feel you have the right to lecture down to them. So they make fun of your idiocy, incompetence, ineptitude, and dishonesty. You richly, richly deserve it for being such an insufferable ass.

        • “and I think mine are more subtle”

          LOL.
          Thanks yet again.
          Self delusion, thy name is Erb.
          I picture that bull trying to tiptoe through the china shop.
           

    • Just because you don’t wear a Che t-shirt and have a Free Mumia signature, Scott, doesn’t make you any less Left.

      You’re a worm in the woodwork: Always trying to normalize the advance of the socialist machine; always anti-American. One of your tactics is to be superficial when “pressed,” and you’re a natural at it.

    • So, you don’t even have to “publish or perish” as a working class academic. Sweet. One less pressure, eh?
      OK, that was a bit harsh…

      • What was harsh?   There is less pressure, but I see an advantage in that.  Right now I’m working on a huge project involving media, blogs, and political coverage.   That isn’t where my research specialty was (it was on German economic and foreign policy).   If I were at a publish or perish place, I’d be focused on that and trying to churn out articles.   Here I can try to develop my own theory, take my time on an approach, learn new subfields, and who knows — maybe I’ll come up with something ground breaking.   But if not, that’s fine — the focus is on teaching first.

    • In the academic world I’m probably right of center, and find political activism distasteful. Stop laughing! It’s true! And don’t you dare bring up that seminar I did with Cindy Sheehan!

      Yes, in the same sense that Arizona isn’t really in the West because it’s East of California, I’m not really on the left. I’m a pragmatic moderate who just happens to believe in post-modernism, pacifism, large government control of just about everything you can name, European style post-modern politics, and that markets don’t adjust themselves. That doesn’t make me a leftist. Stop laughing! It’s simply post-modern holy writ. I get to define words to mean what I want or need them to mean, as I’ve explained to you dense righties before. And I have defined “pragmatic moderate” to fit my own philosophy. Who are you to question that? You don’t have godlike powers of post-modern political science, like me. {chuckle} {eyes rolling}

      I quite my job in DC working as a Senate aide because I hated the power games they play in Washington — by both parties. And it had absolutely nothing to do with me being a hapless milquetoaste gopher who was persecuted even by people who agreed with me politically. It certainly had nothing to do with the fact that I have no perceptible skills. I am a great writer, as I prove here constantly, and as my book that’s not from a vanity press also proves, even though it didn’t sell much. But that was because another one of my skills, which is deep analysis. Analysis, analysis, analysis, that’s what I can do, so my book was too deep for most people. And it’s not either true that the people in Washington either laughed or looked at me with wide eyes every time I opened my mouth and told them my analysis. It’s not!

      But unlike the radical academics, my interest is in teaching — in getting students to question the conventional wisdom. Yes, that conventional wisdom is the very stuff you guys are soaked in, and that I try to get my students to question and hopefully jettison. You know, all that claptrap about “honor” and “duty” and “individual responsibility” and the rest. I help them see that they are all victims just like the rest of us, and need to join forces with other victims to change the world in a pragmatic, moderate way by sitting down and talking with the other side. And always, always only being satisified to give the other side only token concessions, if that.

      They have to learn to question their own biases. I always consider different perspectives and don’t treat political discussion or philosophical debates like holy wars — all of us might be wrong. Stop laughing! Of course, I’m not the one who is wrong, since I have godlike powers of political science, and have proven over a course of decades how my velvety analysis is always correct, but I pretend that I might be to suck student into exposing their right wing bias to promote an open and honest discussion. Plus, I am a master of phrases such as “I suspect” and “Don’t be surprised if” and those allow me to assert a whole bunch of seemingly contradictory things and then focus in on the ones that came out closest to reality. Besides, the things I say are not contradictory. Post-modern holy writ says that leftists cannot be contradictory, by definition.

      I want them to be willing to disagree with authority — their parents, pastors or professors. Especially their parents if they are right-wing, and of course those economics professors that have the gall to actually teach them that markets might work and adjust themselves. Of course, we’ve just about flushed out all of those fanatics. You have to watch out for those economics guys, or they become a group of sterile, inbred, Nazi-like righties.

      Yes, I want students to look at all sides. That’s what I like about being an academic. And in the end after I’ve made them question everything, after they’ve looked at all sides, they look around themselves and realize that the campus faculty is 95% on the left, and that helps them to see how good and true post-modern leftism really is. And don’t start up with how academia is so far left that it’s impossible for us to help students see all sides! We’re not. We’re just not. I decree it.

      I think the political-minded academics are less likely to be at teaching universities, and more into the ivory tower world. Those “working class academics” who teach more, have less time to publish, and lack the salary and perks of big research schools or high reputation privates tend to have a more pragmatic and less ideological world view. Yes, we working class academics are able to understand you thick righties much better because we are constantly indoctrinating teaching your children, and some like me are able to come here and dialog with you, and help you to see the error of your ways. That’s why I come here of course. And it’s certainly not because my low salary and lack of perks and isolation in a cow college teaching university makes me question my own self worth so I therefore seek out adults to lecture down to in order to supplement the children that I lecture down to every day. It’s not! Stop saying that! And stop laughing! You sound like a sitcom soundtrack!

      (And it never ceases to amaze me how many of you ignore what I write in order to have a caricatured view of what I believe — that is what I really try to teach students not to do. Stop laughing, I said! And don’t start up with how often you guys throw my own words back in my face! That’s not the same thing, because you’re making fun of me! You shouldn’t do that! You should not refuse to listen to someone just because of what they believe! No matter how many times they repeat it, you owe them the courtesy of responding to them politely and at length so you and they can go back and forth a million times without anyone ever being convinced! You owe me that! Otherwise your politics is just ideological jihad, and truth becomes irrelevant. I decree it).

      • how many of you ignore what I write

        Just try to leave a dissenting view on Erb’s blog and watch how quickly it gets deleted. What a joke he is.

        • Sure, just try to leave a dissenting view.   As long as it’s not anonymous and full of insults or personal attacks, it’ll stay.   There have only been a few comments I’ve ever deleted, and I think all but one was from an anonymous poster just hurling s**t.

          • He decrees it! I guess we’ll have to take the liar’s word for it.

          • ” As long as it’s not anonymous and full of insults or personal attacks, it’ll stay.”

            Now that is a downright lie. I refer you to Nov. 19 of last year. (Or maybe the year before,; time tends to accelerate as you age). I believe Shark and myself commented at its blog , which comments vanished within 24 hours. There were also related comments here.

    • You are assuming that because we didn’t change our beliefs that we did not listen to you.   That may work with young college students who still believe that the lecturn is the source of all knowledge but for those of us who have been around the block a few times, we have little reason to change our beliefs based simply on words when our experiences has taught us complete  a contradiction from what you say.

      Perhaps it is you who do not listen, or better yet refuse to put yourself in a place where you can hear.

      • I do listen and try to engage constructively.    That appears to threaten people, who lash out with defensive insults.

        • “I do listen and try to engage constructively.    That appears to threaten people, who lash out with defensive insults.”

          Where you then respond by threatening people with defensive insults.  You are a POS liar and have been exposed as such time and again in this venue.  Accept it or crawl back under the rock you came from.

          • Threatening people?   Huh?  You’re not making any sense SShiell.  You’re making accusations you cannot support.    Perhaps you should settle down, put emotion aside, and actually communicate about substance rather than launch impotent attacks.

        • “who lash out with defensive insults.”

          Da*n!
          And all this time I thought my insults were OFFensive. They were certainly meant to be. Guess I will have to try harder.

    • “in getting students to question the conventional wisdom,….and be willing to disagree with authority”

      Now there’s a struggle- getting adolescents to disagree with authority. 

      “Those “working class academics” who teach more, have less time to publish, and lack the salary and perks of big research schools or high reputation privates tend to have a more pragmatic and less ideological world view”

      LOL
      Thanks again for the great start to my day. I’ll have to share this with my brother-in-law, who teaches at a real teaching university(one with a graduate school and everything) rather than the jumped up  community college that had to settle for you because all the real academisc got jobs at the good schools.

      “And it never ceases to amaze me how many of you ignore what I write in order to have a caricatured view of what I believe ”

      And it never ceases to amaze me how bullet proof your ego is. Most of us have read what you write, which is how we formed our opinion of you. Just as you  do. How do those keen analytical skills of yours think we have arrived at what you call our ‘caricatured view’ of you? Coin flip?

      Again, thanks for the laugh.
      As if you were a ‘working class academic’ by choice.

      • How do those keen analytical skills of yours think we have arrived at what you call our ‘caricatured view’ of you? Coin flip?

        Ok, that’s the line of the month for me.

      • Timactual, the secret I learned long ago is that internet insults are meaningless, never to take them  seriously, and in fact to recognize that the way I get treated here is about the highest compliment someone who doesn’t share the general perspective of commentators her get treated.  I mean, some guy even writes long posts satirizing me!   Do you guys realize that these sorts of things stroke egos?   I know you are either reacting to a stereotyped image, or simply trying to insult because you (and others) are annoyed.  No ‘bullet proof ego’ (though I’d say a healthy one), I just can’t take insults like these seriously.

        • Oh, dear, the howdy doody mask is back.

        • ” I just can’t take insults like these seriously”

          For someone who doesn’t take them seriously you certainly spend a lot of time  talking about them. Then again, we don’t take you seriously but spend a fair amount of time talking about you.
           On the other hand,(three hands?), us homeowners spend a lot of time talking about pests; moles, lawn moths, slugs, etc. I am sure you,too, have a place in the great scheme of things.

    • In the academic world I’m probably right of center

      The scary thing is that this might actually be true.

  • “And it never ceases to amaze me how many of you ignore what I write… do not refuse to listen to someone just because of what they believe.”

     
    The FACTS (as I see them, of course) are:
    Professor Erb’s comments here are anything but ignored.
    2.   Professor Erb is “listened to” here, but not like we would like to be.
     
    Professor Erb, too many of your comments are pure Liberal Narrative repetitions that beg to be ignored by intelligent persons.  For example:  If someone wrote that the Earth is flat, you would not expect anyone to spend the time needed to respond to that claim directly, citing scientific data to disprove it.  A direct step to:  “Your are a nut!” is a perfectly acceptable response to that claim for most people.  In the same way, when you present LN tenets…
    As for “listened to”, you obviously don’t mean “read”, because you know that is not true.  Many of the responses to your comments not only quote you, but respond in detail to specific statements you have made.  The other meaning of “listened to” implies the respectful consideration of one’s views which is given to someone who, by being proven wise and correct in the past, is entitled to such a hearing.  Nuff sed.
     

    “…truth becomes irrelevant.”

     
    Anyone who reads “QandO” and in any way indicates that truth is not relevant here is clearly speaking from an ideological bias.  Agree with the opinions or don’t, the surest way to martial all commenters here instantly is to claim that a fact that has been claimed in a post here is not the truth (ahem, now follow this part VERY. carefully) FOLLOWED BY A CITATION ON THE POINT.  You need to have one of your undergrads instruct you how to Google facts and how to get the resulting citation incorporated into your comment.  If you follow that procedure, I am certain that you will find your comments will be given the respect and consideration that you desire.

    • As usual, you accuse me of following some “narrative,” but you don’t back up your statement by referring to anything I’ve written or responding to an argument.  You are not dealing with reality, you are simply lost in your narrative.

      • A few highlights –
         Erb claimed to have read the WHO data and that it stated the US health care system was behind other industrialized nations. In reality, the report showed that the US provides the highest quality of care in the world, and the best distribution of care to low-income patients in the industrial world.

         Erb several times referenced Germany as a model for health care, and has stated that saving  lives was a goal . If the quality of health care in the US fell to Germany’s standards, over 140,000 additional Americans would die every year from cancer alone.
         Erb claimed markets are not self correcting in that they cannot recover from a recession. Later, when commenters questioned the administration’s claims of recovery because reports showed that unemployment still hadn’t dropped, Erb stated that jobs always lagged and this was part of a  “normal course of a recession “. Guess what, the existence of a normal cycle (despite the fact that governments response is different each time) is exactly what people mean by self-correction.
         Erb has claims to believe in  reason. Yet when the assumptions that his arguments were based on were shown to be false in each of these cases, he still argued for the same conclusion.

        • Bless you, Ted. You’re still checking Erb’s ersatz claims and facts.

          “Lies are inexhaustible,” says the new generation KGB operator in a certain novel.

          I should go fetch my old compilation of Scott’s “definitions of socialism” just to demonstrate that you are participating in a long tradition.

          • Except, of course, if you follow the links he does nothing of the sort.  It’s a case of either ineternet lying (post links and people assume there is something there to back it up) or extreme carelessnes.
            As far as socialism goes, if you ever took a class on political theory you’d see there are many competing ideas of socialism ranging from anti-statist socialism (Roberto M. Unger and the post-Marxists) to orthodox bureaucratic statism.  You seem to think that acknowledging this reality is somehow nefarious.    The thing is, Obama does not fit in any definition of socialism — his is a brand of new liberalism, in the spirit of John S. Mill — trying to create equal opportunity to advance the individual liberties of all.    Mill and others took Britain out of it’s libertarian era, with child labor and horrid sweatshops (worse than those today in the third world) and created what we now recognize as a humane industrialized market economy.

          • “Lies are inexhaustible” -   Heh, and we’re arguing with a medium for the Soviet Ghost.

          • Obama is clearly a movement socialist, Scott. Everything he says and everything he’s been involved with can tell you that. Movement socialists advance the socialist agenda where they can, and he’s ready to do exactly that and has just done that with health care, and against the wishes of the majority of Americans.

            And, Scott, don’t ever presume to lecture me about political theory. I’ve forgotten more about it than you will ever know. You are incompetent in your own field and that’s been demonstrated time and time again. Blabbering on and on and throwing around reading assignments and “if you took a course…” is not competence. You’ve long remained a perpetual sophomore, and that doesn’t seem as though it is ever going to change. That’s just a fact, apparent to anyone paying attention.

        • Ted, most of your links were to other comments.   The link you claim shows Germany’s system would hurt the US was about the UK — the UK system is totally different than Germany’s.  Either you purposefully inserted a false link, assuming no one would click it, which is dishonest, or else you were extremely careless.  Anyway, that weakens your credibility immensely.
          The WHO data does show the US behind most others when you take all factors into account.   The evidence is clear on that, your assertion is unsubstantiated (and given your error on Germany, not credible).
          Of course markets don’t always self-correct, the Great Depression proves that.   That’s why you stimulate the economy (even Republicans have done that), and then the economy improves with jobs lagging last.   The idea that markets are perfect and almost magic has been totally refuted by the current crisis, which was caused primarily by market deregulation and Greenspan’s naive faith that markets know best (again, I recommend “The End of Wall Street” by Roger Lowenstein.  Markets are good — we should use them as much has possible.  But those who think markets are perfect on their own and government regulation is always bad hold a totally ridiculous position.
          Your last paragraph is just non-sense.

          • “Ted, most of your links were to other comments.”

            And your recent links, when you post them, are to your own blog – i.e. your own comments.  Try again, Erb.

          • “back up your statement by referring to anything I’ve written” -Remember that? You asked for links to comments and got them. Try reading them

            The link about the British system has a chart that shows results for all of Europe, including Germany. It’s about middle of the road for both men and women, hovering about 50% survival, while the US is at the top. And those numbers include the millions of uninsured. Either you neglected to look at the chart, or you are practicing your typical act of projection where you accuse others of the wrongdoing you are committing yourself.

            The WHO data shows that we are ahead of all countries for quality of care, and actually getting that care to poor people. The other factors are not related to the actual health outcomes. For the most part they are based on the false assumption that insurance equates to care, and the belief that the amount paid for a service should be proportional to one’s income.

            The Great Depression was lengthened by FDR’s policies. You yourself said that recessions have a ‘natural cycle’. There have been many recessions since the US gained its’ independence, and many different approaches to stimulating the economy and sometimes no attempt at all, or nothing that came into effect before the recession ended. If government interference was the key factor to recovering from a recession, each fundamentally different approach would have its own cycle. But they don’t.

            Nice straw man argument against the idea that markets are perfect. The idea of markets being perfect is irrelevant because I never brought it up.  

            Your last comment is proof of my last paragraph.

          • Oops, dropped the link for FDR and the Great depression.

          • “Ted, most of your links were to other comments.”

            Since your comments were a subject of his comment, that would seem to be appropriate.

            “Either you purposefully inserted a false link, assuming no one would click it, which is dishonest, or else you were extremely careless”

            Speaking of extremely careless,
            Look at the chart.

            “(and given your error on Germany, not credible).”

            LOL.
            Kind of speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

            “Of course markets don’t always self-correct, the Great Depression proves that.”

            Right. Pure market forces there, no outside influences at all. 

            With keen reading and analysis skills like this I guess we can see why Erb wound up as a ‘working academic’ rather than at one of those research or big name private schools.

    • “Professor Erb’s comments here are anything but ignored.”

      True. That would be like ignoring Ott Scerb, and nobody ignores a good source of amusement.

  • I did not have an opportunity to read  “Ott Scerb” comment that preceded mine.  If I had, I would not have tried to follow it, that’s for sure.  It was incredibly good and I howled.  Yet, it contains some good advice for Professor Erb.  I nominate it for a “Libby” (or whatever the award for exceptional writing here is called).

  • The trouble is that few Americans, at least since the time of Andrew Jackson, will vote for intellectuals.

    Or really listen to them, for that matter.  Historically, Americans have been a very practical people.  In From the Earth to the Moon, Verne says of Americans:

    The Yankees, the first mechanicians in the world, are engineers– just as the Italians are musicians and the Germans metaphysicians– by right of birth.

    Our non-military heroes have thus been inventors and businessmen: people who have DONE things.  Americans traditonally respect education, but as a means to an end.  The educated man is seen to have something of a head start: knowledge to help him do things that the uneducated man must get through experience.

    Has this changed?  I think that it has: witness the swooning over Obama’s (alleged) intellect and academic achievements.  Much of the reason, naturally, is political propaganda borne of the need to give people some reason to vote for a man with nothing in his resume beyond an ability to read from a teleprompter.  The rest, however is that so many Americans have been to college and learned respect for their professors* that they didn’t learn for more self-made (often blue collar) men.

    —-

    (*) I do not scoff very much at professors, though I have known my share of PhD’s who’s good opinion of themselves was countered by a lack of the good sense to get in out of the rain.  The success of our country in such fields as spaceflight, computer science, pharmaceuticals, medicine, chemistry, and a host of other fields has it foundation in the classroom.

  • Grocky, you have proven nothing, you’re just calling names — it’s playground tactics.   You post a lot of words venting, but you can’t back it up.   And internet name calling is meaningless.   You did make one point — awhile back I said I’d stop posting here.  For a long time I did, but then I came back.   So yes, I changed my mind on that.  But other than that, your main point seems to be that since I’m not a right winger you can hurl all the usual insults against “liberals” that you see in the media.   I don’t take that seriously.

    • I always know when I’ve gotten your goat. You start up with the “playground insults” line. You can’t answer anything I say, so you have to retreat to something to keep up your self-image, I suppose.

      Oh, and you didn’t stay away for a long time. You only managed a few weeks before the gnawing pains forced you to come back and start talking down to us again.

      It had nothing to with changing your mind. As we all said from the beginning, it’s a compulsion for you to come here. You justify it with your prattle about “researching” us like we were some kind of primitive tribe that’s oh-so-difficult for enlightened souls like to understand. But that’s just your internal rationalization. You come here because you can’t stay away. It gives you satisfaction you apparently can’t get anywhere else because other sites on the right would ban your stupidity in a heartbeat.

      • Grocky, you’re over-sensitive.   Lighten up and try not to take me or yourself so seriously.   You wear your emotions on your sleeve.

        • I don’t see any oversensitivy there, Scott. Just a standard response like those you’ve been getting since I’ve watched your. For fifteen years.

          One thing that’s not always as apparent about you, Scott, because of your chatty cathy side, is your shallow affect. That “nothing there” quality, when it combines with the chatty cathy element, presents as a really troubling variety of narcissism. Call it a narcissistic compulsion to be the big nothing on the block.

          Come on, tell me that at least one student, over the years, has come at you and tried to throw you out a window, after you tried to nothing him too far.

    • Wow.   As constant as the stars in their courses.  You’re like the Andromeda strain, nothing fazes you.  Do stay, you serve to remind what we’re up against in government and progressive social engineering.

    • “So yes, I changed my mind on that”

      Twice, at least.
      I guess politics is indeed your metier.

  • When I lived in New Hampshire they were trying to build a nuclear power plant at Seabrook. I remember watching a network news broadcast (back when they were the only source) where an anti-nuclear protester was speaking at a hearing. With tears of frustration literally running down his face he told the panel (and the rest of the sane world)”You’re not listening!”.  
    I believe it is called ‘invincible ignorance’ , but I think it is more a form of mental illness. Or, more generously, the  “Nananananana  I’m not listening!” approach to debate; Erb’s equivalent of ‘Come, let us reason together’.
    In any case, Erb is another example.

  • It occurs to me that there is a piece of the puzzle missing here.  An important piece.
    Political Narratives 101.
    You see, from the time adolescence begins we are all trying to put together all the pieces we learn about to get an overall view of what life is about – a “narrative” if you will, that allows everything to make sense.  Ah, the security and comfort of the feeling that finally we have it together;  we understand it.    I know this is a simplistic description of the process, but isn’t it true?
    Some time ago, people who desire political power (I am not saying for good or evil purposes) observed that when enough voters believed a given narrative the party that best supported that narrative was easily elected.  Trying to get on board narratives that formed naturally from time to time was problematical.  So, they hired some intellectuals and founded a think tank and set them the goal of writing a “narrative” about government and politics that they could  own and that would help them accomplish their ends.  It had to be simple and one that would make voter’s dreams come true.
    After many years, the intellectuals reported that government was too complex and that no  simple narrative could be written if one were limited by the truth.  If everything that was known to be true about government was woven into the narrative, you ended up with the same hard to understand mess that we all knew about and call our system of government;  and there was no political advantage to be gained from that kind of narrative.
    The founders of the think tanks then said:  “We know narratives work;  we have seen them win elections.  Most of these winning narratives turned out to be not true, so why is that a problem?”
    “Well, sure, replied the intellectuals, “we can produce and maintain a perfect narrative that is easy to understand, explains how government can provide everything we need  and everyone can remember, with a little training.  One thing;  the only way it will work for you is if you can get your party leaders to agree to support it without question.  That means never admitting that any part of it is not true or even that there is a question about it.  Anyone claiming that the narrative is incorrect in any way or that it will not produce the utopia it claims if it is implemented must be condemned in the harshest terms and treated as a pariah.  It is like the emperor’s clothes.  Only the best and brightest could see them.  Likewise, anyone finding fault with your narrative must be characterized as too stupid, venal, whatever, to understand it.
    Making it work is a little tricky.  You must never admit that it even exists.  Instead say that, yes, there are certain universal principles that all good people believe in, but they are not even written down.  Various dogmas from the narrative may be written down and cited from time to time as needed, but no one who is part of the party must ever attempt to write down the entire narrative.  That would acknowledge that it exists and that would limit its effectiveness. Never attempt to defend the narrative.  Simply cite appropriate members of your party who suppose the particular tenet under attack and ask:  “Are these people wrong?”
    Yes, people who are not indoctrinated in the narrative will scoff, laugh, snort and proceed to point out what in your narrative is false and why it will never work.  Experience shows that, because their motives in attacking the narrative are obvious, most people can be induced to ignore them or write them off as not credible – as long as your leaders remain solid.  The people whose votes you seek will be captivated by the promises of the narrative and will amaze you at their ability to believe in it and support it with their votes in the face of just about anything contrary that may happen or be said by your opposition.  After all, your opposition is stuck with the truth. That is hard to understand, complicated and unpleasant.  The key is to remain solid in your support of the narrative without resorting to actual questioning and discussion of it.
    One more thing.  Your cadre of leaders in supporting this narrative must be credible to the general public.  You can stand a few idiots, but you must maintain a base of supporters in, say, academia or the media.  If you can cut a deal with teachers’ unions and get them into indoctrinating people with your narrative, in two generations it will withstand the strongest attacks.  If anything that has been taught gets to be too embarrassing, simply change the narrative!  Once the change becomes clear to your supporters, it will be supported as if the inconsistent predecessor policy had never existed.
    People will never be that stupid?  Obviously, you have never studied human nature.  Many won’t, but enough will that you can maintain power through the largest errors you may make in governing.  Many of your supporters will come to recognize the fallacies in the narrative.  They will continue to support it and you so long as you demonstrate that it is the means for you to gain political power.  Eventually, their own success will depend on yours.
    Oh, and once you are rolling, you don’t even have to implement the narrative.  So long as you are “trying”.  Any failure to actually follow the narrative in your actual policies can be hung on your opposition.
    Want to see a microcosm of this “narrative” process?  Vice President Al Gore saw how the LN worked.  He wanted to make a geat deal of money.  He looked around and discovered Global Warming.  The rest is history.

    • Given all the disagreements between intellectuals, within political parties, and all the diverse views, the fantasy that there is a single narrative is silly.   However, there are alternate narratives on all side of the political spectrum.  My goal is to help people see through the stories and think critically — self-critically as well as other-critically.   Most people grab on to whatever facts or interpretations fit what they already believe or want to believe.   That’s why people didn’t see the dangers of deregulation of the financial sector (they wanted to believe the market could do it right), or the problems in Iraq and Kosovo.    The main beliefs seem consistent in both parties.

  • I disagree completely with your interpretation of the WHO data, and don’t even see how you twist it to read it that way.   I’ve never heard anyone try to twist it that way, are you cherry picking a couple measures or what?  I don’t see how you justify your claim, Ted.   By most aggregate measures, we do not fare well.  I’ve never seen anything that puts us overall anywhere near the top.  I’ve read the argument before that says FDR lengthened the Great Depression.  Like any alternate history scenario, it rests on uncertain assumptions.   Most think FDR did not do enough to stimulate the economy.  The British did very little, and they didn’t bounce out.   So you can believe whatever alternate history theory that fits your ideology, but I’m not convinced.

    • If you haven’t seen anything that puts us near the top, then either you still have not even looked at the WHO data, or you didn’t bother finding out what the chart headings mean.  Once again, here is the explanation of the report from the WHO. It breaks down into four main categories, only one of which deals directly with health care, responsiveness. None of the other categories in the report deal with the care an individual recieves. The United states ranks  1st in level of responsiveness and 3rd in distribution, behind only  the UAE (30th in level) and Bulgaria (160th). No twisting, it’s in the chart. 

      The other categories are not directly tied to the health system. One is Disability Adjusted Life Expectancy (DALE).  This category makes no account for death by auto accident or gun violece, and it has been discussed on this site before that accounting for those non-health system factors change the US from ranking from middle of the road (24th in this study) to 1st.
      The next category is “distribution of health”, or how the non-health care rating of DALE is spread across different groups. Any cultural differences, such as choice of foods, exercise, murder rate or drug use  that affect the DALE will affect this rating as well.
      And lastly they have ‘Fairness of financial contribution’. This is graded on the concept that what you pay for health care should be based solely on the amount of money you earn.
      All of the ‘aggregate’ measures are based on combining the actual health care (hidden in responsiveness) with the other other, non health care system ratings in various ways.

      Uncertain assumptions trump the disproven assumptions that FDR didn’t do enough. At least as far as reason is concerned.

      • Ah, I see, you are cherry picking particular points and ignoring the rest.    I don’t find that convincing at all.
        Moreover, it also isn’t an argument against health care reform.

        • You claim I ignored the other points despite the fact I explained the WHOs definition of each one. In reality, I anaylzed the other points and showed that they were not  related to health care. Eliminating falsehoods is part of the process of reason. Each of these other points has been covered in this blog before, and you had the opprtunity to refute my statements just now. Yet you have given no case for why any of these points should be included in a discussion of health care. If you can’t prove why any of these things belong in an evaluation of health care, then my point still stands. If you don’t find that convincing, then you are admitting you don’t beleive in reason.

          Moreover, the point of this thread wasn’t to argue against health care reform, but to expose your lies, both about your views on health care reform and your claim to use reason.  Part of your arguments in favor of health care reform was that the US Health Care system is lacking according to the WHO data, and the claim that poor uninsured people cannot get quality care. The data shows both those claims are false.

          Earlier you admitted that you never saw anything that puts the US at the top, yet there it is in the very study you claimed to have read. That proves my first point that you didn’t actually read the data, you never made it past the summary.

          This isn’t the first time the actual data has been pointed out to you. According to any method of reasoning, when your initial assumptions are shown to be wrong, any conclusion drawn from them becomes nothing but an unsupported guess. The point is, you have no reasoned argument for health care reform, because it was based on a false premise.

          • No, you didn’t analyze, you asserted.    And believe me, as a social scientist I’ve seen that game played all the time, people trying to twist statistics to their benefit, ignoring some, claiming others don’t count, all to try to make the stats  say what the person wants them to say.   I’m just not going to play that game, it’s meaningless.
            I also was not looking primarily at WHO data for anything.   My reasons to favor health care reform are: a) the unsustainability of the current system; b) the needless deaths caused by those not getting care; c) the high level of medical cost-induced bankruptcies — they got the care, but it also destroyed their finances; d) insurance companies using technicalties to deny coverage; e) the upcoming demographic bomb when baby boomers retire en masse; and f) the increased costs that will weaken the economy.
            There is a lot I don’t like about the bill.   I don’t think insurance companies should make profits on health insurance (they don’t in many other systems), it was too kind to big interests (which is why they got buy in from many who opposed Clinton’s effort), and in the end it’s a modest change.   But at least it’s a start — and hopefully with the GOP it will be tweaked and change to improve as we learn about the consequences, and see what it cannot solve.   Rather than take up more space, my arguments on this are continued here health and wealth.   Lastly, politically I admit I hope this administration succeeds.  The GOP made a point not to cooperate on health care reform, thinking it would be Obama’s “Waterloo.”  If Obama had not won, it would have severely damaged his Presidency.   So a flawed bill is a start to solve a real problem, and avoid having Obama’s Presidency damaged.

          • Erb statement check 1- from below  “The statements you site as being some part of your fantasy-narrative [let's substitute assertions-TP] are not rebutted by you.   Apparently you think that if you label views different than yours as a ‘narrative,’ that is enough.  That way you can have faith in your world view, and not have to do the hard work of actually making a counter-argument. ”
            You have yet to offer a counter-argument to any point I’ve made. Show how my “assertions” are false. 

            Statement check 2 – “when I do comparisons in class between health care systems (when teaching courses on European politics) I go to the World Health Organization website and look up the data.”
            couples nicely with-
            “b) the needless deaths caused by those not getting care” – The WHO data says only two countries get care to their poor better than the US, and the health care in those countries is inferior to ours.  You said you use the data – the data says you’re assumption is wrong.

          • Bonus info -

            “a) the unsustainability of the current system”  There is nothing in the reform to show that the new system would be sustainable. In fact the cost analyses have proven that it isn’t, thus the gaming of the CBO.

            “d) insurance companies using technicalities to deny coverage;” It’s been shown several times in this blog that Medicare / Medicaid and government run systems in other countries deny coverage more often than insurance companies.

            “f) the increased costs that will weaken the economy” Its also been proven that government systems cost more for the same level of coverage.

            Four of the six reasons you listed for supporting Obama’s health care reform have been previously disproven. Of the other two, one is the “high level of medical cost-induced bankruptcies” which you provided no evidence for.  What’s the definition of assertion again? Because my arguments all have references, or logic which you have been unable to point out any faults in. Your statement has neither. Even the blog post you referred to has none. Probably because in most of those cases, medical expenses aren’t the primary cause of bankruptcy. Here’s a link you can use the next time you want to mention it, though.

            Since assertions are part of a meaningless game that leaves only one of your six reasons for health care reform. What grade do you give to someone that has five wrong answers out of six, and provides zero evidence for their claims?

            Double Bonus gem for anyone else still following – in the blog post he references, Erb mentions that people that oppose ObamaCare are “people [who] cling to a myth that anyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps” 
             Apparently someone never heard of these people. You don’t even have to be born in America pull yourself up by your bootstraps

  • “…the fantasy that there is a single narrative is silly.”
     
    Here we have an example of the denial of the existence of the LN.  Because it is a “living” narrative, at any given moment, depending on current political winds, some tenets may be on the way out and some may be in the beta version, but 90% or so will be in full force and effect.  Nowadays, the administration does nothing without getting the LN spin out there first.  Notice how confused Progressives are when it is the opposition that initiates a new issue.  Until the NYT speaks, they don’t know what they think about the new issue, and the threat of excommunication keeps them silent until they know that their opinion, when expressed, keeps them safely in the herd.  It is amusing in these circumstances to see folks “mis-speak” and make decisions that turn out to be “no longer operative”.
     
    “…FDR [may have] lengthened the Great Depression.”
     
    This one takes a little thought.  Why does anyone care about FDR?  Well, the LN holds that one can elect given politicians who can make a difference (whatever difference folks most want at the time).  FDR was elected and re-elected to end the depression.  If it is true that he failed to do so or even extended it…well, who will believe that a modern day Mesiah would properly deal with the issues of the day?   It must be believed that FDR made a huge positive difference.
    Parenthetically, research into whether or not he made a difference must be discouraged and discredited.  Any results, however, that support the LN may be trumpeted at will.
     
    Professor Erb’s conclusions never depart from the LN in any meaningful way.  Just look at the LN statements on just this one page:
    “By most aggregate measures, we do not fare well with out current healthcare”.
    “eople didn’t see the dangers of deregulation of the financial sector (they wanted to believe the market could do it right)…”
    “…the problems in Iraq.”
    “markets don’t always self-correct…That’s why you stimulate the economy…”
    “the current crisis, which was caused primarily by market deregulation…”
    “Obama does not fit in any definition of socialism …”
    “I had to agree when Jon Stewart told off Fox News…”
    “…my interest is …in getting students to question the conventional wisdom…”

  • The statements you site as being some part of your fantasy-narrative are not rebutted by you.   Apparently you think that if you label views different than yours as a ‘narrative,’ that is enough.  That way you can have faith in your world view, and not have to do the hard work of actually making a counter-argument.  I mean, you seem to think that the problems in Iraq over the last decade were simply part of a narrative — bizarre!

  • It is said that Blaise Pascal invented differential equations because it was a useless form of mathematics. It went on to become part of the foundation of modern engineering.
    Unfortunately, modern education, once thought to be an underpinning of modern society, went on to become useless, as it was undermined by no-nothings of the “intelligentsia.”

  • No, Ted you haven’t disproven anything.    You make assertions that are either tangential or merely your opinion.   Government run programs in Europe cost less than the US system and work, so your claim it’s “proven” that government programs cost more is falsified.   You’re wrong that people get denied coverage for medically important procedures overseas — that’s assertion is ridiculous.   Finally, the new system is only a first step to finally get our system sustainable.   You can’t really defend the status quo because it’s indefensible.  You cherry pick WHO data to try to support a fringe interpretation.   You don’t care about truth, you just look for ways to defend your whim.   That is very weak thinking.

  • Erb,
    Assertion – a claim without supprt. I’ve given support for all my claims. You have not. Like your assertion that government systems overseas work. I provided references that show the US system provides better care, and that  it saves tens of thousands of lives compared to government run systems oveseas. You just continue to ignore the data.

    The statements you cite as being assertions are not rebutted by you.   Apparently you think that if you label views different than yours as ‘ridiculous,’ that is enough.  That way you can have faith in your world view, and not have to do the hard work of actually making a counter-argument.
           If all I gave were false assertions about facts, they would be easy to disprove. Just like I did with all your false assertions above. That’s what reasoning is. 

    Every argument I gave stemmed directly from one of your claims. If they are indeed tangential, then so was your original claim.

    “You’re wrong that people get denied coverage for medically important procedures overseas — that’s assertion is ridiculous.” If only there were a study tht showed which countries made actually gave quality health care to the fairest distribution of people across income and class level. Oh wait, there is! It’s the WHO study refernced above! Look under “Distribution of Responsiveness”. The WHO says we do that better than any gevernment run system you’ve ever claimed as better than the U.S. Cherry picking data is when you ignore evidence simply because it doesn’t back up your claim. It’s what you’ve done throughout this entire thread.

    Of course, you miss the point entirely. I wasn’t attempting to disprove anything. I was proving that you have lied repeatedly, and that you don’t use reason. Now, I admit I did fail to show that you lied about using reason. To prove a lie requires showing that a person not only made a false statement, but that they knew it to be false t the time. I didn’t provide any evidence that you actually knew what reason was, so that claim is unproven.  But I have given you a few of the basics  since then, and you haven’t changed your method of discussion. If you continue to provide no evidence for you assertions, and dimiss your opponent’s arguments out of hand, then the next time you claim to use reason would most certainly be a lie. In the meantime, the most accurate term for the line of argument you’ve used here is projection.

    • Ted – you are now directly in the Erb zone where denial of the obvious (to everyone else) becomes his fallback and he pretends you are foolish and unable to focus on the points he raised and (supposedly) defended. He’s just going to assert you didn’t do what everyone watched you do my friend – and that’s that. That’s why I and others have absolutely nothing to do with the man. He has no intellectual honesty whatsoever. None. However he’s allowed to continue to pull this nonsense here because he is instructive and indicative of a type that frequents the left. Call it a public service. But in reality, don’t waste your time burying someone with facts when they have no want or desire to debate (as he claims), but instead lecture (as everyone else notes).

      • Mr McQuian,
         Thanks for the advice. For the most part I’ve gotten beyond hoping that Erb will acknowledge any fact. 
         I think I’m worried that if one of his poor students comes here and Erb’s lies don’t get pointed out, they might start to trust him. That’s why in my first comment for the thread I talked about Erb instead of to him, but I did let him engage.  You’re right, I’d have been much better off it I had stopped at the first comment and waited for Erb to provide any counter evidence for his claims.

  • You say in a comment you disproved points, then here you say you’re not attempting to disprove anything.   You provide nothing but assertions.  You say your references prove things they don’t — such as that the US provides better care.    You ignore medical bankruptcies, and want to provide an idiosyncratic selective interpretation of WHO data (which ignores their overall analysis).   Look, my wife is a CPA who works in the health field and recently took an MBA course on the health care system.   I know from her just how broken the system is, and how in need of reform it is (she said the reforms recently passed aren’t perfect, but are better than nothing).  The problem is that so many people, despite the evidence from the economic collapse caused by de-regulation of the financial sector, are blinded by the myth that the “free market” is best left unregulated.  You seemed steeped in that mythological thinking, and simply look for ways to defend it.  I do not think you care about reality, only about ideology (though I doubt you realize that).    Reality is complex and does not follow simple ideological guidelines, right or left.  Once you move from simply cherry picking info to support your beliefs to practically trying to deal with the problems, we can have a constructive conversation.  At this point, you’re simply defending a bias.
    This thread is old, I doubt people are reading it, so I’ll let you have the last word.  But perhaps at some point there will be a chance for real dialogue about health care reform that recognizes the weaknesses in the US approach, and tries for pragmatic solutions, based on compromise and recognition that the market isn’t perfect, and governments can play a constructive role.

  • Well Mr real dialogue, your first response was to falsely accuse me of lying bcause you neglected to notice the huge chart in the top left  of the page.

    Point to any one comment in this thread where you provided evidence the US does not provide better care. 

    You continue to avoid all facts and make baseless assertions. For instance, I did not ignore medical bankruptcies. You ignored the fact that the vast majority of medical bankruptcies are not caused by medical bills, they are cost by income lost due to injury. That is not a fault of the health care system.

    You’re wife is a CPA, ask her what GIGO is. I showed how that applies to the WHO overall analysis and to every comment you’ve made.