“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom”

November 15, 2016

Still holds true after 85 years:

Adrian Rogers redistribution

Source: Someone on Twitter or Facebook, can’t recall whom.

But it’s the thought that counts.


(Video) It’s Socialism that makes people selfish, not Capitalism

July 19, 2016

Speaking for Prager University, Dennis Praeger himself:

I’ll disagree with him a bit about students staying on their parents’ insurance until 26: grad students in particular are often on perilously thin resources and many have started families by this time. There’s a natural urge for parents to help their offspring (and maybe their grandkids) out by keeping them on their health plans a while longer. However, this should be worked out by the market — between company and consumer–  and not by government mandate.

As for the rest, couldn’t agree more. As Churchill said:

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

Just look at who runs the Democratic Party today. smiley thumbs down

 


Bookshelf update – The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962-1976

May 29, 2016

Renaissance scholar astrologer

I’ve updated the “What I’m reading” widget to the right to reflect the latest item on the Public Secrets lectern, Frank Dikötter’s  “The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962-1976”.

Book Cover Dikotter Cultural Revolution

 

I’m only a few chapters into it, so far, but it seems to be another proof of something I’ve long believed: that Human history produces far more horror than any story by King or Lovecraft. The Cultural  Revolution, like so many other Leftist attempts to remake humanity –the French Revolution during “the Terror,” Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy (2), the USSR, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Cuba, North Korea– shows how dangerous it is to let one person, one group, or government in general to have too much power.

The Cultural Revolution is available in both Kindle (1) and hardcover formats.

PS: Why, yes. This is a shameless bit of shilling on my part. I like getting the occasional gift certificate that comes from people buying stuff via my link. But I still think it’s a good book.

Footnote:
(1) I’m happy to say I’ve found no typos or formatting errors, so far. These are all too common in Kindle e-books.
(2) Yes, Fascism and Nazism, two variations on statism, are products of the Left.


C.S. Lewis understood the Left very well, indeed

January 3, 2016

It’s hard to find a better description of  one of the key characteristics of the Left –from mild progressive to hard-core communist– than this:

Lewis on the Left

In other words, the Left believes it has figured out History, is certain that it flows in just one direction and where it ends, and that they themselves are the ones best able to facilitate this. Whether you want it or not.

Or, as I like to say, “God save me from those who want to save me.”

Via someone on Twitter, can’t recall who. smiley I dont know


So-Called Paycheck Fairness Was the Nuttiest Idea at the Democrats’ debate

December 20, 2015

Remember what Margaret Thatcher said; it applies to the Democrats: They would rather everyone were poorer, as long as the gap between rich and poor were narrower. We would rather *everyone* be richer, and the “gap” be damned. The difference is crucial and fundamental.

International Liberty

Normally I’m very happy to work for the Cato Institute, both because it is a principled and effective organization.

But I wondered about my career choices last night because I was stuck with the very unpleasant task of live-tweeting the Democrat presidential debate. Cleaning out septic tanks would have been a more enjoyable way to spend my time.

Of all the crazy things that were discussed (you can see my contemporaneous reactions on my Twitter feed), the Clinton-Sanders-O’Malley support for so-called Paycheck Fairness legislation would be at the top of my list.

Yes, I was irked by the myopic fixation on income inequality, the support for class-warfare taxation, and the reflexive advocacy for more government spending, but messing around with the price system – because of an assertion that women are paid 77 cents for every $1 received by men – is an entirely different level…

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(Video) Is Capitalism moral?

September 14, 2015

The short answer is “yes, far more so than any other system.” Via Prager University, Walter Williams of George Mason University explains why:

You’d think this would be obvious, but too many people fall for the siren’s song of “economic justice,” or whatever the leftist claptrap of the week is.


(Video) Nazism and Communism, brothers on the Left

June 7, 2015

One of the great intellectual errors I’ve had to clear myself of in recent years was the belief that Nazism and Communism, Fascism and Bolshevism, were opposites. I’d been taught that the former was the extreme Right, while the latter was the extreme Left.

This is wrong. Both are creations of the Left, ideologies that place the State above the individual and loath free-market capitalism. Jonah Goldberg does a wonderful job explaining that in his Liberal Fascism. But, if you haven’t time to read that (1), this video from Conservative MEP Dan Hannan gives a good quick summary of why, for all their differences, at their core Nazism and Communism were very much alike.

Footnote:
(1) Do yourself a favor and make the time. This book is worth it.


Bookshelf update: Anne Applebaum’s “Gulag”

January 22, 2015

Renaissance scholar astrologer

I’ve updated the “What I’m reading” widget to the right to reflect the latest item on the Public Secrets lectern, Anne Applebaum’s “Gulag: A History.”

 

book cover applebaum gulag

I’ve only just started it, so I can’t comment on my impressions of the writing or the quality of the Kindle formatting, but the topic is compelling: a complete history of the Soviet prison camp and slave labor system from its foundation under Lenin to its final dissolution in the 1980s. Like reading a book on the Holocaust, I suspect this is the kind of history that will have me hating humanity by its end. Gulag is available in both Kindle and softcover formats.

PS: Why, yes. This is a shameless bit of shilling on my part. I like getting the occasional gift certificate that comes from people buying stuff via my link. Wouldn’t you?


Sunday Book Review: “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century”

January 11, 2015

book cover kengor dupes

Dupes is good book on an important, under-covered aspect of our political history: the relationship over the last nearly 100 years between liberals and progressives, on the one hand, and the communists (big “C” and small “c”) who used them to advance their goals. The book is meticulously footnoted and historian Paul Kengor is scrupulously fair to his subjects, often at pains to point out that the targets of the communists’ most vicious attacks were not conservatives and Republicans, but anti-communist liberals, such as Harry Truman and Woodrow Wilson.

On the subject of dupes, Kengor writes:

This is a book about dupes, about those Americans who have unwittingly aided some of the worst opponents of the United States. Misled about the true aims of foreign adversaries, many Americans (and other Westerners) have allowed themselves to be manipulated to serve opponents’ interests.

He rightly notes that for the duped, the main enemy was always to the Right, not the communists who were committing atrocities year after year, to which these dupes were blind, sometimes willfully so. Among the revelations (or perhaps just “arguments settled”) in the book are Senator Ted Kennedy’s clandestine offer to cooperate with the USSR against President Reagan and the truth that most of the famous “Hollywood Ten” really were members of the Communist Party, or at least highly sympathetic toward Stalin.

The book brings the topic of “dupery” into the modern era by connecting the generations of communists and socialists from the 1920s through the 60s radicals (especially the SDS and Weatherman) to those same radicals’ connections to President Obama in his Chicago days. It closes with an intriguing look at whether Humphrey Bogart, who violently denounced the communists when he discovered he had been duped over the Hollywood Ten, was himself a member of the Party or at least very sympathetic toward it at a low point in his life in 1934. Again, Kengor is very judicious in his analysis of the available evidence.

If I have one criticism, it’s that the book seems more a history of the communists and socialists, than of the dupes they played for sometimes-willing suckers. Still, Dupes fills a gap in our country’s recent history and is well-worth reading. The book is available in Kindle and hardcover formats. As for the Kindle edition, I’m happy to say I encountered no typos or formatting problems, which are all too common in e-books. Kengor’s writing style flows easily, sometimes conversational, but is never unprofessional.

Recommended.

RELATED: I earlier reviewed Paul Kengor’s “The Communist,” his biography of Frank Marshall Davis, President Obama’s Stalinist mentor during his Hawaiian boyhood.


Scientific proof: Socialism makes you more likely to lie and cheat

July 21, 2014
"Liar"

“Liar”

This is amusing. Researchers from the University of Munich and ST’s beloved Duke University conducted a joint study that examined a person’s willingness to lie, if he could profit from that lie. The subjects were Berliners who were asked to play a game in which they could win a small amount of money. Each person would roll a die and record the results: higher numbers meant you won more money. This is what they found:

Honest participants would be expected to roll ones, twos and threes as often as fours, fives and sixes. But that did not happen: the sheets handed in had a suspiciously large share of high numbers, suggesting many players had cheated.

After finishing the game, the players had to fill in a form that asked their age and the part of Germany where they had lived in different decades. The authors found that, on average, those who had East German roots cheated twice as much as those who had grown up in West Germany under capitalism. They also looked at how much time people had spent in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The longer the participants had been exposed to socialism, the greater the likelihood that they would claim improbable numbers of high rolls.

The article carefully points out that this disparity might also be due to the relative poverty of the old East Germany (and the region does continue to lag the rest of the country to this day), but, come on. A Socialist society, in which the State controls the money you’re allowed to make gives you every incentive to cheat, just as the incidence of tax cheating goes up here when tax rates rise beyond a certain point. These people are doing what the system encouraged them to do.

What makes this amusing is that it’s directly contrary to the Socialist claim of being able to “perfect’ society, culminating in the USSR’s “New Man.” Instead, it’s apparently the capitalist societies, with their bourgeois notions of personal accountability, limited government, free enterprise, the Rule of Law, and property rights that produce more honest citizens.

Maybe they should survey conservatives vs. progressives, next. smiley wink

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Will Chile’s Politicians Ruin the Latin Tiger?

May 25, 2014

Sigh. The Left never learns. I wonder what “Killing the goose that laid the golden egg” is in Spanish?

International Liberty

There aren’t any nations with pure libertarian economic policy, but there are a handful of jurisdictions that deserve praise, either because they have comparatively low levels of statism or because they have made big strides in the right direction.

Hong Kong and Singapore are examples of the former, and Switzerland deserves honorable mention.

And if we look at nations that have moved in the right direction, then Chile is definitely a success story.

The free-market revolution in Chile is remarkable. If you look at the Economic Freedom of the Worldrankings, Chile was in last place in 1970 and third from the bottom in 1975. But then reforms began. It climbed to 60th place in 1980, 40th place in 1985, 28th place in 2000, and Chile now has one of the world’s freest economies, hovering around 10th place.

And the results are amazing. Now known as the Latin…

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Whether You Call it Socialism, Statism, Fascism, or Corporatism, Big Government Is Evil and Destructive

March 15, 2014

In one sense, it’s just arguing over terms, but I do think proper nomenclature is important to understanding. But Mitchell has a point that “Socialism” and “Fascism” are too emotionally charged and may instead impede understanding. “Statism” is a good, neutral noun to use in their place, though I also like Goldberg’s (from H.G. Wells) “Liberal Fascism.”

International Liberty

Regular readers may have noticed that I generally say that advocates of big government are “statists.”

I could call them “liberals,” but I don’t like that using that term since the early advocates of economic and personal liberty were “classical liberals” such as Adam Smith, John Locke, and Jean-Baptiste Say. And proponents of these ideas are still called “liberals” in Europe and Australia.

I could call them “socialists,” but I don’t think that’s technically accurate since the theory is based on government ownership of the means of production. This is why I’ve been in the strange position of defending Obama when some folks have used the S word to describe him.

I could call them “fascists,” which Thomas Sowell explains is the most accurate way of describing the modern left’s economic ideology, but that term also implies racism. But while leftists sometimes support policies that hurt minorities

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New York City Is About to Become New France

November 7, 2013

By electing de Blasio, New York City has put itself back on a path at the end of which lies the corpse of Detroit.

International Liberty

We know that countries suffer when taxes get too high, in part because investors, entrepreneurs, and other successful taxpayers escape to jurisdiction with less oppressive fiscal regimes. France is a glaring example. On steroids.

We know that states also suffer when the tax burden becomes to onerous, leading to an exodus of jobs and investment.Jerry Brown Promised LandCalifornia and Illinois are case studies of this self-destructive practice.

But it’s especially foolish for state governments to over-tax because it’s relatively easy to move from one state to another. Escaping a high-tax nation, by contrast, is a much costlier step and some governments impose quasi-totalitarian barriers to emigration.

Well, if states are foolish for imposing excessive taxation, then local governments that do the same thing are downright suicidal. It hardly requires any effort to move to another neighborhood on the other side of a city’s borders.

That’s why Detroit was doomed…

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The Obamacare chronicles: Building the moocher class, subsidy by subsidy

October 14, 2013
"Turn right for Obamacare"

“Turn right for Obamacare”

I’ve talked before about the perverse incentives built into Obamacare (Browse this category for more examples), but those have been largely about the incentives provided to businesses to cut hours and stop hiring full-time workers thanks to the onerous burdens imposed by the ACA. But now we have an example from the other end, that of the victim consumer of Obamacare.

The San Francisco Chronicle looks at the situation of people caught in a trap by Obamacare: On the one hand, the coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act, along with its ban on lifetime benefits caps, has caused a tremendous rise in insurance rates. (For example. And again.) On  the other hand, people making up to 400% of the poverty level are eligible for varying degrees of subsidies — money provided by our taxes and federal borrowing.

The problem is that some people are caught on the wrong side of the subsidy boundary: if you make 401% of the poverty level, your rates may triple, you may be forced to buy coverage you don’t need, but you also get no subsidy. Like they used to say on Starkist commercials, “Sorry, Charlie!”

But, hey, no worries! The Chron’s Kathleen Pender has the solution for you: earn less, so you can get a larger subsidy. Her main example deals with the Proctors, a San Francisco couple in their 60s who make just above the 400% mark and so do not qualify for subsidies, but are suffering huge increases in their insurance premiums. Pender covers tax and IRA strategies the couple can follow to get them under the magic boundary and greatly reduce their direct insurance costs. But the kicker comes in this line:

You can also consider reducing your 2014 income by working just a bit less.

Yes, you read that right: Obamacare makes the cost of individual policies so high that it is in the economic interests of some people to become less productive and earn less, because they need that government subsidy to survive economically — or to survive at all.

This is what economist Dan Mitchell has described as the “poverty trap.” While the quote below talks about welfare benefits and the disincentives they create to earn more and be more productive, I think it applies equally to the Obamacare subsidy question:

Most people focus on the huge burden that the food stamp program imposes on taxpayers, which surely is significant, but there is another economic cost that is equally worrisome, and it applies to all income redistribution programs. Whenever the government gives people money simply because their incomes are below a certain level, that creates a poverty trap. More specifically, because people lose benefits for earning more income, they are penalized with very onerous implicit marginal tax rates for climbing the economic ladder.

I highlighted that last sentence because it illustrates perfectly the situation faced by the Proctors and others; if you substitute “insurance premiums” for “marginal tax rates,” you’ll see what I mean. And, heck, let’s call those insurance premiums what they are: a tax. You’re required under penalty of law to pay them, even if the money goes to a company, rather than the government. For you and me, there’s no effective difference.

(And you should read and bookmark Mitchell’s post. He has another that contains a chart that graphically shows how welfare traps people in poverty.)

Pender’s article, in short, reveals the insidious heart of Obamacare: it creates incentives for people to become moochers, infantilized wards dependent on the government, rather than productive, self-reliant citizens building wealth for themselves and others.

And, in my darker moments, I suspect that’s the whole point.

PS: Before anyone goes after me for mentioning the Proctors, I’m not blaming or criticizing them. It’s the Democrats and their anti-constitutional monstrosity that put them in this bind. They’re free to act in their own best interests given the circumstances in which they find themselves, and I’ll not throw stones. It’s the people who created this mess who deserve the brickbats.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Obamacare Chronicles: If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Now pull my finger.

October 10, 2013
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

Nearly a million people in New Jersey just got a very unpleasant surprise, and I bet at least a few are saying “But… but… but, the President said!

Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans opened the mail last week to find their health insurance plan would no longer exist in 2014 because it does not cover all the essential benefits required by the Affordable Care Act.

The news surprised some who were unaware that provisions in the new law known as “Obamacare” were forcing insurance companies to scrap some plans they had previously offered.

“The Affordable Care Act is driving many changes to products and pricing,” said Thomas Vincz, a spokesman for Horizon. “Horizon BCBSNJ is actively working to help our members find new insurance plans that meet their needs and budget.”

The changes will impact more than 800,000 people in New Jersey who purchase insurance on the individual and small-employer markets, according to Ward Sanders, president of the New Jersey Association of Health Plans.

And if they’re like their fellow Americans in California or Alabama, they will also see their rates skyrocket.

Remember, the whole point is the destruction of the private insurance market, forcing people onto the exchanges in order to facilitate wealth redistribution.

via David Freddoso

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Can’t wait until we reach this stage

September 22, 2013

satire socialist economics toilet paper shortages

Statist government policies create a toilet-paper shortage, ergo the solution is… a State takeover of the toilet paper factory!

Venezuelan troops will “occupy” the factory so that “the … People’s Defense from the Economy will not allow hoarding or failures in the production and distribution of essential commodities.”

“By the “People’s Defense,” Arreaza was referring to a government agency created on September 13 by President Nicolas Maduro to “defeat the economic war that has been declared in the country,” according to a report from state-run ATV. This group is charged with looking at inefficiencies across various industries in the nation, including foods and other products, and taking action presumably in the South American nation’s best interests.

Toilet paper is very much a part of the war.”

And war is a crappy thing.

Don’t wait for us, Venezuela; we’ll catch up just as soon as the Democrats are done destroying our health care system.


Harry Reid admits: Obamacare is a stepping-stone to single-payer health care

August 11, 2013

My blog-buddy ST has a great post on the Nevada Senator’s admission of what many of us have known all along: that Obamacare is meant to pave the way for a complete nationalization of the US health care system.

From the Las Vegas Sun:

In just about seven weeks, people will be able to start buying Obamacare-approved insurance plans through the new health care exchanges.

But already, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is predicting those plans, and the whole system of distributing them, will eventually be moot.

Reid said he thinks the country has to “work our way past” insurance-based health care during a Friday night appearance on Vegas PBS’ program “Nevada Week in Review.”

“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said.

When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”

None of this is new to long-term readers of this blog (all three of you). The dominant progressive wing of the (Social) Democratic Party see this as a win-win situation: either the Affordable Care Act works well enough for people to accept it, in which case the Democrats can gradually massage it into something wholly state-run, or it will have so many problems that the public will demand it be fixed. In this event, so the theory goes, the public, being already dependent on some aspects of Obamacare, will be open to a Socialist (government-run, single payer) solution. It’s the idea of the non-reforming reform: changes supposedly meant to make things better, but are really intended to cause a crisis in the system that the Left can exploit to pursue their real goal.

And Harry Reid just admitted it.

Be sure to read the rest of ST’s post, wherein she cites several (Social) Democrats saying the same thing. Good thing they had the media on their side, hiding this from the public.

RELATED: Apologists for Obamacare prefer to ignore the horror stories coming out of Great Britain’s NHS (much admired by single-payer advocate Donald Berwick) and point instead to Canada, which has a strictly single-payer system. They might want to read this article from City Journal. Admittedly now a few years old, it describes the major problems Canada’s system faces, including rationing and a lack of innovation. Even a Canadian provincial premier sought care in the US, outside his own country’s vaunted single payer system


The #Obamacare plan in action: another major insurer pulls out of another state

July 25, 2013

This time, it’s Medical Mutual, which insures about 28,000 people in South Carolina:

The second-largest health insurance company in South Carolina is pulling out of the state at the end of the year because of the Affordable Care Act. Medical Mutual of Ohio is the parent company of the Carolina Care plan, which insures about 28,000 people in South Carolina.

The company is also pulling out of Georgia and Indiana. Medical Mutual spokesman Ed Byers says, “Under new regulations, which are vast and quite complex, it is in our best interest to focus on our core market of Ohio where we are headquartered and have been doing business successfully for nearly 80 years.”

He says the 28,000 people who are members of the Carolina Care plan will be transitioned to United Healthcare, and they’ve all been notified of that.

South Carolina Insurance Director Ray Farmer says the loss of the state’s second-largest health insurer could raise rates for everyone. “If you have less competition, not only in insurance but in any marketplace, it could result in higher rates. I don’t think there’s going to be a big groundswell of other companies leaving the marketplace, though,” he says.

You know, I could have sworn someone once said something about this kind of thing. What was it, again? Oh, yeah:

Suckers.

Sure, their plans are transferred to United, but are the plans the same and, if they are, will they stay the same? And what if the policyholder simply liked dealing with Medical Mutual and doesn’t want to switch. Particularly with the elderly or those facing serious medical problems, stability is important, and this, which creates uncertainty and anxiety, doesn’t help.

Not to mention the rising premiums.

But let’s make something clear, here: this is something Obamacare proponents want. Maybe not all, but a significant portion of the beyond-liberal-left, which hates insurance companies with a passion. While many progressives, fearful of rising public anger at election time, will say Obamacare should be fixed and (maybe) even rolled back in parts, these dysfunctional results are what many more want, even though they’ll never say so outside of friendly audiences. It’s the Cloward-Piven strategy of non-reforming reforms applied to health care: Knowing that once Obamacare is established and people are receiving subsidies, it will be damned difficult to undo this monstrosity regardless of its dysfunctions, and their hope is that the people will be open to a fix in the other direction: full-blown single-payer government controlled healthcare. To quote Stanley Kurtz, who’s written the book on Obama:

[W]hen President Obama says “Go for it” to Republicans who hope to repeal his health-care-reform law, he means it. Those who already see Obama as a socialist tend to think of his insistence on backing health-care reform in the face of collapsing political support as the suicidal impulse of a true ideologue. It’s more likely that Obama has a long-term class-based realignment strategy in mind. Obama would love the Republicans to try to take away the health care he’s offered to millions of uninsured. Taking a leaf from the Cloward-Piven [socialist] handbook, Obama hopes that a Republican campaign for repeal will ignite a political movement of the poor that will energize and radicalize the Democratic Party.

And of course, that radicalized movement will push for single-payer and a total takeover of health care by the government.

Hey, if you don’t believe Kurtz and me, just ask “Red” Jan Schakowski (D-IL), who makes the ultimate goal very clear:

So, don’t be fooled; when insurance companies leave the market, it’s all part of the plan.

via Bryan Preston

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Churchill understood what Progressives want

May 13, 2013
Winston_Churchill_1941_photo_by_Yousuf_Karsh

“Wisdom”

It’s a heckuva busy day today with little time for posting, but I have to share this gem via Steven Hayward at Power Line. It’s an excerpt from a longer quote from Winston Churchill’s closing speech in the 1945 General Election, which the Conservatives sadly lost. Read these two paragraphs, and tell me if you don’t recognize the modern Democratic Party, at least by reflection:

Look how even today they hunger for controls of every kind, as if these were delectable foods instead of wartime inflictions and monstrosities. There is to be one State to which all are to be obedient in every act of their lives. The State is to be the arch-employer, the arch-planner, and arch-administrator and ruler and the arch-caucus-boss. . .

A Socialist State once thoroughly completed in all its details and its aspects—and that is what I am speaking of—could not afford to suffer opposition. . . Socialism is, in its essence, an attack not only upon British enterprise, but upon the right of the ordinary man or woman to breathe freely without having a harsh, clumsy, tyrannical hand clapped across their mouths and nostrils. . . Have we not heard Mr Herbert Morrison descant upon his plans to curtail Parliamentary procedure and pass laws simply by resolution of broad principle in the House of Commons, afterward to be left by Parliament to the executive and to the bureaucrats to elaborate and enforce by departmental regulations?

Churchill was of course criticizing the British Labour Party, which had been founded as an explicitly Socialist, albeit non-Marxist, party, but how well this describes President Obama and the dominant left wing of the Democratic Party! The worship of the administrative state, government by regulation and “boards of experts,” the inescapable, inexorable need to control everything — that bolded portion illustrates the progressive “theory of legislation” perfectly: pass a vaguely-worded bill, and let the unelected bureaucrats fill in the details with the full force of law. I’m surprised Goldberg didn’t quote this in “Liberal Fascism.”

Be sure to read the rest. While Hayward is thinking of Obamacare and the IRS scandal, I think Churchill’s quote reflects the heart of the professional Democratic Party in general.

Back to work…

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obamacare as the gateway to state-run single-payer healthcare? Colorado is the foot in the doorway.

April 2, 2013

One of the charges made by those oppose Obamacare is that it’s really a Trojan Horse for state-run single-payer system (1); that, in fact, the annoyances and fatal flaws within the PPACA –which are legion– are a feature, not a bug. The idea being that the problems will grow so great that people will demand a solution and then, by that time, the public will be open to a full-blown single payer nationalized system, the ultimate goal of the Left. In response, Obamacare supporters call that idea nonsense and dismiss critics as paranoid “see a Socialist under every bush” types.

Oh yeah? Phase Two has already begun:

State Sen. Irene Aguilar wants Coloradans to imagine a day when 80 percent of them see their health care costs drop.

She says the wildly different health care system she envisions can make that happen – largely by eliminating much of what health insurance companies do, and by purchasing everyone’s medications in bulk.

The Denver doctor and Democrat is proposing that Colorado throw out the impending reforms know as Obamacare – which is permitted if the state comes up with a better plan. This week Aguilar introduced a resolution to ask Colorado voters to create a universal health care system for the state.

(…)

Specifically, Aguilar’s bill would ask voters to create a statewide health insurance co-op, owned by all Coloradans, which would replace health insurance companies. It would offer one wide-ranging policy for all residents. It would be funded by a tax, which would replace the insurance premiums that companies and people now pay.

Emphasis added. So, if Senator Aguilar’s measure passes, we’d have a single-payer system in one state (2). What’s the problem, that’s Coloradans’ business, right?

Yes, they’re free to sink their ship any way they’d like, just as we in California are doing. But, consider this hypothetical scenario: As the years go by and Obamacare becomes more hated as its problems multiply, there will be pressure on more and more states to invoke the same bail-out provision of the PPACA that Aguilar’s bill does and opt out of Obamacare altogether, if it’s replaced with “something better.” (3)

If enough states do this, the pressure for a national single-payer system to smooth out the differences between the states will be tremendous, almost irresistible. And the enactment of that, my friends, would mark the completion of “Phase Three” and the Left’s victory.

I’ll leave the critique of the economics of the Colorado proposal to economists, though I suspect they’ll find it’s another case of “unicorns and rainbows.” And I don’t doubt that Senator Aguilar genuinely wants to help her constituents, though her method is wrong. But, politically, this plan fits right in with the Left’s strategy to follow parallel tracks at the state and federal levels to incrementally pursue a Social Democratic agenda, the underlying spirit of which is wealth redistribution.

These efforts aren’t in conflict with each other, they’re complementary. And we have to fight them on those same levels, too.

via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt.

Footnotes:
(1) And I have no idea where anyone would get that notion from.
(2) Variations of which have been tried in Maine, Tennessee, and Massachusetts, all of which are failing. But this time we know it’ll be different, right?
(3) “Better,” in this case, would certainly be guaranteed universal coverage that goes beyond the PPACA, not a market-based system. Try to opt out of Obamacare and implement the latter, and just see how fast your state gets sued by the Obama administration.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)