Free Markets, Free People

The death of “common sense” and the age of dependance

If ever there was an apt description of our general problem in this country, Dr. Milton Wolf nails it in the first paragraph of his discussion of the building disaster we call ObamaCare.

The fatal conceits of Obamacare are the absurd notions that the government can spend your money more wisely than you can and that bureaucrats are more capable than you are to make your own most intimate, personal decisions. The antithesis of government-centered Obamacare is what I simply call “Patientcare.” Patients should be at the center of our health care universe, not President Obama and not the government.

We suffer under a landslide of the same fatal conceit applied to literally hundreds of government programs in this country.  These fatal conceits (or flawed premises if you prefer) have cost us literally trillions of dollars and much of our freedom.  Government has essentially decided that it’s priorities for your money are more important than your priorities for what you earn.  And, it had also decided that in many areas it can make better decisions for you than you can make for yourself.

But, that’s not the problem in full.  In full, the problem is exacerbated (and the notion “validated”) by the number of people who, for whatever reason, have bought into the efficacy of these conceits.  They believe the flawed premises to be true and willingly cede their money and freedom believing government does indeed spend their money more wisely and is more capable than them of making “good” decisions on their behalf.

The problem, of course, is that as long as those people who willingly enslave themselves to government exist in large enough numbers, they’ll succeed in putting the shackles on the rest of us as well.   As long as they look at the federal government as their care giver, they force that on the rest of us as well.

One of the reasons we have the debt and deficit problems we currently suffer is the left has been very successful in selling those flawed premises via emotional appeal to low information (and frankly, ignorant) voters.  They’ve avoided rational discussion with “for the children” campaigns.  They’ve often claimed “market failure” where government created problems through preverse incentives and market intrusion and then push government as the solution.

Years ago we came from a people that knew that nothing was “free”.  They knew that there really wasn’t anything called a “free lunch”, someone had to pay for it.  The knew that you were responsible for your own welfare, self-defense and freedom.  And interestingly, so did most of the politicians of the time.  Oh there were certainly those among them that believed as the left does today, but they were a distinct minority.  Their creed was considered extreme and, frankly, un-American.

Now it is they who are “main stream” and those who call for much less government intrusion in our lives who seem to be considered the extremists.  Common sense, the ability to see through the blarney and nonsense, seems to have died.  In the so-called information age, we seem to have a growth of ignorance.  Part of that I lay at the feet of another government program that has been a woeful failure – public schooling.  Common sense tells you that such an institution would be unlikely to teach anything negative about government and, in fact, might even become a bit of a propaganda arm for it.  That it might involve itself in a bit of indoctrination.  That it might fill fairly benign subjects with information preferred by government and spend less time on information that wasn’t in favor at the time or is contrary to the agenda it prefers.  But that all assumes an ability to teach the core competencies, something most of our school systems seem unable to do with any great success.  So we have the misinformed and the illiterate buying into the government’s flawed premise in droves.

Obviously a great deal of things over the years have led us to this point of dependency on government.  And we know how it ends.   It is the blue state model and the blue state model is failing all over the country and the world.

Yet was still hear it extolled by its zealots and lapped up by the ignorant who refuse to look beyond the promises.  It still amazes me that we’ve managed to get in this mess and can’t seem to find the intestinal fortitude to say “enough” and begin doing the very unpleasant task of reversing it.  But that’s the problem, isn’t it? It would be unpleasant.  And we don’t like unpleasant.  So instead, we continue to believe the fantasy.

The problem, of course, is like Toto in the Wizard of Oz, reality is going to pull back the curtain very soon and expose the fantasy for the fraud it is.  And then we’ll look back at “unpleasant” as something we wish we’d done.

By then, it will be way too late.


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35 Responses to The death of “common sense” and the age of dependance

  • If we are incapable of making good decisions for ourselves, then it means the people we’ve selected to be our representatives are a reflection of that inability.
    Therefore according to those in ‘power’, their positions are the result of people who cannot make good decisions. This instantly disqualifies them from making decisions for anyone.

    • The fact that “we” re-elected a POTUS who runs $1T deficits and can’t even create a budget (let alone a balanced one) confirms that “we” can’t make good decisions.

      That’s the worst thing about the 2012 election; not that we still have POTUS Obama, but what is says about the average American voter.

  • The manifold scandals that are PigAford and its inbred Hispanic and Indian cousins are much in the news just now.
    When you put immense power and vast treasure in the hands of Collectivist thugs, you can count on there being outlawry on a grand scale.
    ObamaCare will be ANOTHER means of huge graft.

  • It is like the claim that the 2008 financial crisis resulted from a lack of federal oversight. The left attacks the “capitalist greed”, without considering that the federal oversight would be provided by individuals who are also greedy, but who have little interest in the success of the banks.

  • But what does one do when the other side plug their ears and explain to the best of their ability, “lalalalalala…”?  So many on the other side are fact-averse, and seem allergic to reasonable discussion.  We’ve all had conversations where, when presented readily verifiable information on topics such as global warming climate change, the second amendment, Affordable Care Act and others, there’s a lot of stammering, their volume increases, then out comes “Oh, where’d you hear that – Rush Limbaugh?”
    Even when taken by the hand and shown the sources, the dogmatic believer slogs on.  (Had a family member refer to the IRS as a right wing website when referred there to illustrate that indeed, she was a one percenter.)
    Fact-proof they are…

  • Putting an RFID chip into my body in the name of healthcare is against my human rights.  Obama is a dangerous NWO agent.

  • Reality:  In most of the industrialized world health care costs much less than in the US, but quality is as good and in many cases better.  Moreover, US government spending on health care is about the same per capita as spending in states like Germany.  Private health care spending is negligible in most other states.   So the US has an extremely inefficient system by comparison to almost all others in the industrialized world.  It’s costly, moderate in quality, and we’re the only country to have medical expense bankruptcies (and that’s more than half the bankruptcies!)   So in comparison to every other health care system, our pre-Obama care system was a mess.  We have the worst health care system in the advanced industrialized world in terms of cost and benefit.  The problem is primarily insurance companies – do like Germany did (a conservative plan) and create incentives for insurance companies, but make them non-profit.  Control costs.   But no, despite evidence that free markets without solid regulation are disasters, some people ride that ideological train and refuse to look at real data, data comparing health care systems across the industrialized world.

    • The government can’t provide quality, cost-effective healthcare.    What people seldom mention when they talk about Obamacare equivalents in other countries is that in those countries, the people have the Obamacare-equivalent PLUS a health insurance plan that they pay for themselves.  My friend’s German mother was quite satisfied with the Obamacare=equivalent program BECAUSE SHE COULD ALWAYS RELY ON HER OWN INSURANCE to pay for what the state-sponsored program did not cover.  The same is true in Japan  == except there, they often have 1-3 additional insurance plans to cover what the Obamacare-equivalent program.  I think the same is true in England but do not know for sure  — but I do get tired of reading Guardian articles where the doctors are just letting elderly patients die by not feeding them or providing basic treatment to them.   Canadians must rely totally on their Obamacare equivalent  — guess that is why my dental technician’s Canadian mother came down to America when she was told that she had breast cancer but it would be 6 months or longer before she could see a specialist plus whatever extra time she would have to wait to get an actual treatment.  The Democrats are ruining the world’s best healthcare system with Obamacare.

      • Your kind observations have been made to one of the people Mongrel mentioned.  He majored in “lalalalalalalalalala”, in fact, he teaches it now.

        • He gets bored.  He comes here and posts a comment filled with a string of long-refuted arguments, long-debunked claims, and then sits back and chuckles that he gets a response.
          He’s got a screw loose.

    • totally wrong, the European health care systems are not all better in quality to the USA. only a few are. Britain’s system absolutely sucks.
      Secondly even if the governments of other nations ran a good socialized system what in the American governments history would tell you that we are capable of running an efficient, honest, and quality system?  Medicare? The Dept of State? The dept of Agriculture? The DMV?
      You are, as always, a fool who clings to blind ideology.

      • I’m pragmatic – I don’t think ideologically.  Ideological thinking is for people who don’t have the capacity to think for themselves.  Ideologies are simplified theories of reality that always fail to take into account the complexities of the modern world.  Whether followers of Marx or Ayn Rand, ideological thinkers are lazy thinkers.  Pragmatically I look at data, and see that the US spends massively more for a system that is not especially high quality.  I agree that the British model is weak (which is why I don’t like single payer models).  In looking at the US, I think a Swiss model, which is also costly vis-a-vis the rest of Europe (but much cheaper than ours) might be the best fit to our culture.  But right now both pre- and post-Obama care our system is inferior.  Obama care does some good things that should decrease medical bankruptcies and limit the power of insurance companies, but I still think we should do like Germany and take the profit motive out of health insurance.  Free market extremism has been just as falsified as central planning communism.  Reality is complex.

        • I’m pragmatic – I don’t think ideologically.

          BWAAA-hahahahaha…!!!  You don’t “think” at all.

          Free market extremism has been just as falsified as central planning communism.  Reality is complex.

          And you, of all the people here, are the least acquainted with “reality”.
          We have not had anything approaching a “free market” in general health care for decades.  Where we have models APPROACHING market economics (c.f., veterinary care, eye care, and plastic surgery) the results are just as you would expect…sort of “magical”.
          But you LOVES you some central planning fascist economics, and that old totalitarian urge, dunya?  But I’m not worried.  It can’t last.  Math is hard

        • Pragmatically I look at data

          This fails when you don’t grasp the meaning of the data, and its limitations.

        • I’m pragmatic – I don’t think ideologically.

          Translation: I’m rubber, you’re glue….

          Ideological thinking is for people who don’t have the capacity to think for themselves.

          And, once again, you indict organized thinking, paradoxically by asserting it is not thinking.
          When you make a statement which toes the party line, you came to that conclusion independently and your concordance with your party is just a coincidence.
          When others make statements based upon individual thought, you immediately find a convenient “ideology” into which to consign them and thus dismiss them.
          You can never just discuss ideas without all the transparent, prissy attempts to convince others that you are something you are not and that they are categorically wrong because of your sweeping generalizations.

          • Or, more simply “lalalalalalalalala, you guys are doody heads!”

          • He’s like a manager who never hires women, but insists he’s not biased or sexist. It’s totally a coincidence that the manager can’t find any qualified women.

            Sure, Professor Polywobble is a pragmatic moderate, and it’s just complete coincidence than any position of substance that he takes is in favor of leftist big government. He’s not ideological – he just can’t find any limited government positions he agrees with.

            Oh, and to answer your comment above, there’s a name for that tendency to post just to get other people riled up. It’s called trolling. He gets psychological satisfaction out of irritating other people (he calls it “having fun”), which I consider sick behavior.

            Unlike garden variety trolls, though, he’s convinced that he’s not trolling – others just don’t take his supposed brilliance seriously. That is, he’s so dense he can’t even see the meaning of his own behavior. 

          • Neutron star dense.

          • Sure, Professor Polywobble is a pragmatic moderate, and it’s just complete coincidence than any position of substance that he takes is in favor of leftist big government. He’s not ideological – he just can’t find any limited government positions he agrees with.

            He has, on many occasions, declared that he is for small, decentralized government, to deny that he is a big government Democrat.  He’ll mention the Republicans in Maine for which he has voted.  Those Republicans are quite liberal and, for all we know, he lied about voting for them.  And yet, when there is an election, a pending bill, a controversial news story, or a politically charged higher court case, he is always opposed to small, decentralized government positions and candidates.
            I’m glad you remembered his admissions that he is a troll.  When people take issues seriously–issues in which lives, individual rights, major financial shifts, and the like are at stake–he mocks them for being “too serious”.  He definitely has some sort of psychological issues, a personality problem.  I doubt he’ll recognize it, due to his narcissism, which is a separate matter.

    • …refuse to look at real data, data comparing health care systems across the industrialized world.

      Which, IF you knew your ass from a cypress stump, you’d know was BOGUS as hell…not real data, at all…!!!
      But that is WAY beyond the level of “science” at Moosesqueeze U, innit…???

    • The actual reality is that the US has higher quality then anyplace else. I’m not convinced that we are much more expensive if you properly analyze the full cost.

      We are too expensive, but that’s due to government, not free markets.

      • Go ask for lab work.  They will quote you the MediCare price, which is determined by bureaucrats in DC, arbitrarily, without market signals, corrections, i.e., in defiance of reality.  Tell them you have no insurance.  They’ll dig out a dusty old notebook, thumb through it, and tell you the real price, which is considerably cheaper.
        When Uncle Sucker guarantees they will pay a set price, why lower the price to compete?  Medicare wipes out competition.
        So much for the charge that data shows that unregulated markets are a complete failure.  There is no such thing and hasn’t been, for decades, back when, good golly, the cost of doctor visits, hospital stays, medicine, etc. was not “out of control”.

  • Pottsgrove parent: French teacher can’t speak French

    LOWER POTTSGROVE — The Pennsylvania Department of Education has rejected a complaint filed against district administrators by the parent of a Pottsgrove High School student who argued the district has been negligent in ensuring that the school’s French teacher knows the language well enough to teach it.
    In the complaint and in conversations with a reporter, Tony DiPaolo said he had tried for five months to work with the district’s administrators to resolve the issue, particularly when the teacher in question went on leave and the opportunity to find a native language speaker presented itself, but he met resistance and bureaucracy every step of the way.
    In the end, “I had no choice,” he said. “This not only affects my son, but all the other students who think they are being taught proper French.”

    … and sometimes it becomes just absurd

  • Like it or not we are headed over the cliff and the only differences elections are going to make is how fast we get there and who’s in charge when we go.  I say let’s just get it over with so we can unload all those who can’t survive without their Uncle Sugar hand out.

  • If you want to frame the argument, don’t start with “the government can spend your money”.  Because the brain washing is in and only rich people have money and it means we can just get them to pay for everything.  Any mention of money or taxes and its sounds like you’re protecting the rich.  Argument lost.
    Frame the argument that the government wants to control the fruits of your toil or similar.  That puts all men on the same plane.  Why work my ass off for the government to decide what to do with my efforts.  When you say it to people that have been partial indoctrinated like most anyone under 40 these days, it has a completely different ring.

  • Cafe Hayek comes to essentially the same conclusion.

    If Ivy-league professors of economics spent their seminars outlining ways that God could improve earthly economic reality – if these scholars devoted the bulk of their efforts to conveying to the Almighty their detailed analyses of how divine intervention would be a great blessing should the Almighty hear and grant their prayers – no one would take these professors seriously.  They would be rightly ridiculed for practicing a secular voodoo that everyone with a scientific turn of mind would immediately dismiss as (at best) worthless nonsense.
    But let the assumption be made (as, alas, it is made – in fact if not explicitly or consciously) that the modern democratic state and its ‘leaders’ have Risen above the fallen-angel realities that curse the rest of us mortals, and, voila!, advice given by scholars to holders of state power becomes Scientific advice given to secular saviors – to creatures who are either god-like or who are at least fundamentally better, wiser, nobler than the mortals who need intervention from on high to make them holier.  This advice is widely regarded as worthy of respect, even reverence.
    Yet the Obama administration loads up another doozy.

    Foxx believes rail transit “drives economic development,” says George Washington University Professor Christopher Leinberger approvingly. “The goal of any transportation system, especially rail transit, is not to move people,” Leinberger argues. “The goal is economic development at the stations.”
    Yes, the goal of transportation is not to move people.  whiskey tango foxtrot

    • Sort of the broken window fallacy, but with toy trains…and other peoples’ money.
      Gawd, protect us from “smart people”…

  • The problem, of course, is like Toto in the Wizard of Oz, reality is going to pull back the curtain very soon and expose the fantasy for the fraud it is.  And then we’ll look back at “unpleasant” as something we wish we’d done.
    >>>> You think we’re a divided nation now, wait until this happens. It’s gonna get ugly.

    And the lies just keepa piling up…
    When will we reach critical mass…???  Or does that require critical thinking?

  • In the old system, the insurance companies were placed at the center of the medical care system.  We got the type of system we have now because conservatives refused to help change it (as defines conservatism: maintenance of the status quo).   And now they can continue bitch about it for the next 40 years (like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Poverty Programs), instead of offering some intelligent solutions to the problems inherent to ObamaCare.

    • Factually untrue.  OR “a lie”.
      Several, in fact.
      In the “old system”…prior to mammoth market distortions from BIG GOVERNMENT…people paid their doctor directly.
      Even WITH health insurance, 80% of people reported being happy with their insurance, as one would expect from a market-player.
      Many of us never had health insurance, by our choice, and we simply paid our way.  A novel concept in a world of responsible people, which we know leaves you gob-smacked.  We EVEN helped other people pay their way via charitable giving.
      There is only ONE “intelligent solution” to ObamaCare.  Repeal it.

    • Funny, I rarely offer intelligent solutions to people doing things I’m staunchly against.