Monday, August 02, 2010

Sticker time!

Today is Election Day in southwest Missouri. It will be remembered for all time as the tea-partiest election in a tea party time (I hope).

To wit:

1) Proposition C. The main referendum, popularly known as "Prop C" in a nod to both street cred and fruit punch, Prop C declares that Missouri will not prosecute anyone for violating the federal health insurance mandate. Which sounds great, except the whole point of the mandate is to enroll everyone so that costs fall due to the increased risk pool (and help will be available for the poorest among us). It would supposedly drive costs lower to the everyday taxpayer than our overpriced charity system now. And the doomsayers who think of this mandate as socialism redux should know that it's actually a boon for private insurance companies, who will receive plenty of new, healthy customers. It's not great, but it's a start toward the public option and/or socialized medicine of which the mandate is a pale shadow of compromise.

Also, Prop C is useless because state law cannot supersede federal law. Even its proponents know this, and consider it a symbolic statement against big gubmint. Because nothing calls for reduced government spending like the expensive lawsuit the federal government will file against Missouri if this thing is passed. So, really, there's no reason for anyone of any political persuasion to vote for this. 

Still, there have been a lot of patriotic appeals over Prop C. Would you believe the word "freedom" pops up a lot? I can't wrap my mind around the idea that lacking health coverage is some kind of God-given freedom. Taking away all of the greedy (and any other) ulterior motives for this stance, there's only one genuine argument to be made for this: that people shouldn't be forced to buy something they don't want. OK. But there's one problem with that: when those people get sick and need care, the rest of us have to pay for it regardless. Which is a large-scale example of exactly the kind of thing they claim to be against. It's the same principle behind seat belts — you might think they restrict freedom, but they also restrict your freedom to be thrown out of a car and become a part of someone's now-recurring nightmare. Which is definitely a time when you'll wish you weren't free from health care.

2) It's a Republican primary in the age of tea. There is actually a commercial that ends with the candidate saying, "I not only approve this message, I approve of you being a patriot." The spot itself doesn't list any real campaign platform, other than that the troops are good guys. It reminds me, as politics so often does, of an old MAD magazine article: "You might be a wrestling fan if you chant, 'U-S-A! U-S-A!' in a match between a guy from Texas and a guy from Michigan!"

I've opined for years how ridiculous many Republican campaign ads are, with hilariously unsubtle appeals to the flag and family values, and how the word "conservative" is any combination of boasted and scrolling across the screen in 54-point font. But what really strikes me, even after all these years, is how conservatives have hijacked every American word there is. I used to find this amusing in the early Bush era — but in the age of Glenn Beck, it takes on a sinister new bent. These people seem absolutely convinced that their opponents are (or can be painted as) anti-American saboteurs, and that they're the only choice if you love your country. Think about that when you're pondering who should be your county's recorder of deeds.

U-S-A! U-S-A!!

3) Speaking of loving America and upholding the Constitution... All but one of the seven GOP candidates for the U.S. House seat in the 7th District support repeal of the 17th Amendment, which gave the people the right to vote for their senators. Seriously.

4) Career politicians baaaaad! The opposite extreme? Goooooood.

5) Very few Democrats are up for a primary vote today. That's either a sign of party unity or party apathy. Not sure which. Nevertheless, there are plenty of decent, well-intentioned people running on both sides who are worthy of consideration. They tend to buy fewer ads.

Let's have a super Tuesday, Missouri.


Robert Taylor said...

I'm going to try and address some of things you brought up in this post, and we'll see where we can get through discussion:

"State law cannot supersede federal law"
Yes it can. The states have the right of nullification because they created the federal government, not the other way around. (See U.S. Constitution)

"...the idea that lacking health coverage is some kind of God-given freedom" Ok you bring up a good subject. Where do our freedoms come from?
As far as I can see there are only two options: Either freedom comes from the government or it comes from (God if you're religious) the fact that you own your body.

The latter is much more compelling because it can be argued both secularly (like me, because I'm atheist) or religiously (like the founding fathers). The creators of the Constitution also explicitly stated that freedom was an inherent right, and not one granted by the government (See again U.S. Constitution)

Now once we can establish where freedom comes from (to which I await your response) we next have to define freedom: from what I can gather from your non-sequitor argument, you believe freedom involves entitlements. And since it also seems that you believe freedom is granted by the government, you are now stuck in a contradiction:

The government posits that freedom is inherent and involves negation of coercion: negative liberty. You state it provides positive liberty.

You entire post is a reductio ad absurdum.

Michael said...

"Yes it can. The states have the right of nullification because they created the federal government, not the other way around."

How'd that argument work in Arizona last week? Ian's right: the states do not have the right to usurp or to supersede federal law. See, e.g., Article I, Section 10 and the second clause of Article VI of the Constitution. Although now repealed, the third clause of Article IV, Section 2, stating that no state could make a law granting freedom to runaway slaves from states where slavery was legal, also seems to me to be indicative of the idea that the Framers clearly intended federal law to trump state law.

Your "argument" about the origin of freedom is a complete non sequitur and is furthermore irrelevant to Ian's point. In a society of free persons, if you are free to behave in such a way that will necessarily impose a burden on me, I must be equally free to refuse to shoulder that burden. Since I am not, however, the principle of fairness suggests that I should be able, through the mechanism of the law, to restrain your freedom where it has the tendency to impinge upon my own. Your right to take a swing ends where my body starts. Your right to behave like an idiot ends where it hits my wallet.

Ian McGibboney said...

In the words of a local attorney who posted on a Prop C message board:

"Proposition C, Missouri Health Care Freedom Act, (July 14-27, 2010), 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.'

The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, or what some call Obamacare, falls under the Interstate Commerce Act which is sanctioned by the Constitution. The Interstate Commerce Act has been upheld by the US Supreme Court on many occasions since its passage in 1887.

So in effect, the US Constitution says the federal government has been delegated this power by an act of Congress, and therefore not a power of the states or respectively, to the people.

In other words, the vote on Proposition C does not mean anything and should have never been on the ballot in the first place as we are voting on an un-constitutional act by a state. A state does not have the power to 'nullify' an act of the federal government."

Health care reform is not an entitlement because it would be something everyone pays into, in an effort to prevent more drastic costs shouldered by taxpayers. In other words, it's something we can't afford not to do.

Prop C is an expensive temper tantrum that defies federal authority, arguments against government spending and excessive lawsuits and strict constructionalism of the Constitution. That's why I said no one of any particular ideology has any grounds to support this.

Tom Alday said...

The Interstate Commerce Act regulates public transpo utilities such as railroads, planes and buses you fucking ninny. The Commerce Clause (Section 1, Article 8) of the Constitution is probably the lame talking point you liberals always try to invoke when it comes to justifying Obamacare, it states "Congress can regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states.". Please tell me how that has a damn thing to do with health care.

Also, please tell me how you think it's right that the federal government can force people to buy a product under penalty of law. Please tell me where it says in the Constitution that's OK.

Ian McGibboney said...

I see, Tom. The Constitution is now a liberal talking point. That explains a lot of GOP policies these days.

I'd say that the Interstate Commerce Act also involves interstate commerce. I could be wrong about that - maybe it's a Clear Skies Initiative type of name game - but I'll still take the word of an attorney over someone who can't make a point without calling me a "fucking ninny."

Tom Alday said...

No, your internet lawyer is a fucking moron, and so are you for listening to him. The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 has absolutely zero to do with anything related to health care, neither do either of it's revisions in 1978 and 1983. It's a freight regulation bill, now unless Democrats have classified health care as freight it makes no sense to use it as justification for Obamacare.

Now the Commerce Clause of the Constitution is the clause libs like to use to justify Obamacare even though it makes no mention of Health care either. It's probably the talking point he was fumbling for.

Maybe you should do this thing called "research" before quoting anonymous "lawyers" on the internet.

No wonder you're only entrusted to write 3 paragraph stories about biking trails. Can't fuck that up with your horrible work ethic!

I may throw out mean words and act so uncouth but at least I know what the fuck I'm talking about before spouting off. Try it sometime.

Ian McGibboney said...

Well, he's not anonymous. I know his name. I chose not to use it here because silly me thought the facts would speak for themselves. If the interpretation is wrong, then cite the Act and explain how he's wrong.

And when you're done with that, Tom, go ahead and explain why Prop C has merit. Tell me why a state statute can override a federal law. And once you're finished with that, offer up a solution to the health care crisis. Because your concern over the Interstate Commerce Act is clearly motivated by a need to set the record straight and not at all just the latest excuse for you to spew pointless, childish venom.

Tom Alday said...

Maybe if you actually knew what the fuck you were talking about I wouldn't need to spew "pointless, childish venom". Nice job of trying to turn your obvious cluelessness around and make it about me though, bravo.

As for the Interstate Commerce Act and your idiot friend's interpretation of it, wait...what does he interpret? He throws it out as justification, says the SCOTUS upheld it, even though I can't find record of it ever being challenged and then spouts off typical liberal talking points. The Interstate Commerce Act is a freight regulation bill, I don't know how much more it can NOT be about health care than that.

Your idiot lawyer friend OBVIOUSLY meant to cite the Commerce Clause, as that is the typical justification used by you idiot liberals (see here: Ergo he's an idiot, and you're an idiot for blindly quoting him when he doesn't know what he's talking about and is merely misquoting liberal talking points he read somewhere.

As for Prop C, I don't know anything about it. So unlike you, I won't form an opinion of it without some research.

Ian McGibboney said...

OK, so you're going to do all this research on why this lawyer's argument is wrong because he may or may not have cited the wrong source among two similar acts. That's got merit, but it's ultimately splitting hairs.

But then you won't take a stance on a much simpler issue, Prop C, the one I'm talking about in the first place, because you claim you don't know enough about it, or answer any of my relevant questions.

It's almost as if you're more interested in proving someone wrong than actually making a point of your own.

Tom Alday said...

They aren't similar acts, they aren't even close. Tell your lawyer friend to brush up and use the correct talking points next time he's arguing LAW! on the interweb.

Prop C: This prop is fine and from what I see looks like it would hold up in court. States invalid and/or ignore Fed law all the time, California has stricter emission laws than required by the Fed and states can have a higher minimum wage than required by Fed law.

You lose again.

Ian McGibboney said...

Tom, even if he got the names wrong, does the Commerce Act make his observation correct? If it does, all your braying is hoopla about nothing. If you are, in fact, correct, then what does it prove? That we can't have health care reform in this country? Help me out here: the lawyer and I clearly can't stand up to your titanic intellect.

Your perspective on Prop C is interesting, because even many of its proponents don't think it'll hold up in court. And that's true for the same reason that states can't pass laws allowing slavery or the governor to declare war: because a state cannot override a federal mandate. And if they have, where are your examples?

Tom Alday said...

I just gave you 2 examples, California's emission standards are higher than required by Fed law, and many states have minimum wages above the federal level. Both of those are examples of state law superseding fed law.

What's with you being against Prop C anyway, I thought you libs were all for not giving more money to those evil insurance companies? I guess your desire to bilk people out of their money and into the pockets of thief's like Charles Rangel supersedes that, eh?

Ian McGibboney said...

Those examples don't prove your point at all. Of course states can EXCEED federal requirements! If Prop C set up a single-payer system in Missouri that more than satisfied the federal mandate, there would be no problem.

The problem is that Prop C deliberately defies the federal mandate. And that won't fly any more than if Michigan passed a referendum declaring that its cars will be built to pre-1972 pollution standards.

As for health care reform, you already know I advocate for single-payer. What we have now is a political compromise, but it is better than the status quo. It's also better than what the GOP wants, which is nothing.

Tom Alday said...

Requiring stricter emissions is superseding Fed law.

Having a higher minimum wage is superseding Fed law.

Superseding - to cause to be set aside

Prop C supersedes Fed law requiring fines for not buying insurance from a business (which, btw, is unconstitutional, but whatevs) by setting aside that fine.

Unless the Obama admin wants to admit the "fine" is actually a tax (oh please do this!) then Prop C would likely hold up in court based on precedent.

"but it is better than the status quo."

So...instead of people being able to buy insurance from a company you libs were demogauging just a year ago, they now HAVE to buy insurance from them or face stiff fines/taxes.

This is "better"? I'd hate to see the "best" in your mind.

Ian McGibboney said...

Tom, when you exceed federal standards, you are by definition meeting them. Prop C does nothing to exceed the federal insurance mandate. All it dies is say, "Hey, we refuse to cooperate with health care reform."

Here's why the mandate is necessary in its current form: because the more people you have insured, the less everyone pays and the bigger the risk pool the insurance companies have to draw from. You need healthy people to pay for the sick. Without a mandate, healthy people just wouldn't pay, but would expect treatment when they get sick. And you'd have what you have now, a bloated, broken system that costs us all more anyway.

And I'm not saying I love the mandate. I don't. But it's necessary for this compromise to work. And might I add, this compromise is a direct result of opposition to a public option, which would cost even less. But of course, that was demonized as being socialist, so we could never have a rational, adult debate about it.

And speaking of rational, adult debate, what are you and your ilk going to do about health care? I mean, besides draft illegal/pointless ordinances, spout vague platitudes about the free market and decry Obama's plan.

There's more to solving our problems than this pissing match.

Tom Alday said...

"You need healthy people to pay for the sick."

Why can't the sick pay for the sick? So basically the healthy have to not only pay for themselves, and their children, they also have to pay for these sick people and, I assume, their children. So they pay more money while the sick pay nothing. Wow. I thought you libs were all about fairness, where is the fairness in that? It's like a ponzi where everyone gets fucked.

Also, if you make health care a right that can't be denied then aren't you in fact making slaves of doctors and other providers by forcing them to provide services under penalty of law? How is that Constitutional...or does that somehow fall under some freight lines law from 1887 too?

As for what me and "my ilk" are going to do, well once we drain the swamp of Obama and his cronies we'll be slaying this beast before it grows into this:

Ian McGibboney said...

1) The healthy paying for the sick is the entire point of having insurance. I've been paying car insurance for more than 11 years now and have never reaped a dime for it. But it's not that I've received nothing — I know that if I have an accident, I won't lose everything. Also, it's my money that helps secure those who have had accidents.

You need healthy people in an insurance pool because the more low-risk people you have, the easier it is to pay the costs of the high-risk. I think you know this, Tom, but are still trying to frame it in a welfare-ish context.

And no, you're not making slaves of doctors. It's already illegal to refuse anyone emergency care, and even if it wasn't, that's just inhumane. The problem now is, ER care is expensive because the people who go there tend to have the most serious problems because they wait, and are less likely as a whole to afford it. That cost gets passed on to us. You seem to think that cost doesn't exist now, but will later.

That's as stupid an assumption that some complicated flowchart is going to sway me toward the completely uncomplicated private, on-your-own non-bureaucracy that is corporate health care.

Tom Alday said...

Go into a private practice and demand physicians care without cash or insurance and see how quick they throw you out. They don't have to do shit for you. What you want to do is make people like PCP's slaves that have no rights to refuse service. You are forcing them to provide their services whether they want to or not under penalty of law, that's pretty much slavery. Also the mandate is so unconstitutional it's sickening that it passed, what section of the Constitution grants Congress the ability to force the citizenry to buy services from certain vendors or face stiff penalties and jail time? None, because that's outside of the scope of Congress' intended role. I look forward to watching the soon-to-be-elected Republican majority dismantle everything Obama and his cronies have worked so hard for.

Oh by the way, Prop C looks to be passing with about 75% of the people agreeing with it. Once again you're on the wrong side of history.

Ian McGibboney said...

I may be on the wrong side of history, but I'm on the right side of the law.

You talk about a Republican revival, Tom, but that isn't going to happen for many years nationally. One Republican primary in GOP Land and one unconstitutional provision are not the stuff of Obama backlash. And loud noise and divisive candidates aren't going to match up come crunch time. But believe in it if it makes you feel better. I guess that's what you consider health care.

Tom Alday said...

I know you're ignorant of polls and everything, but even Dem pollsters like Charlie Cook are saying Dems are toast this November. Things like this utter ASSWHOPPING with Prop C is just a bellwether, it's going to be a glorious holiday season.

It was a fun 4 years, filled with a plummeting unemployment rate and a bottomed out economy, but it's time for the big boys to fix your fuckups once again.

Ian McGibboney said...

Just like John Zogby predicted a landslide for John Kerry in 2004, huh? Polls mean dick.

Also, this isn't about which side wins and/or swings the biggest organ. And don't even pretend that this economy started on Obama's watch. I wouldn't even stay it started with the man-child before him, though he is largely responsible for the troubles you pin on Obama. Shocking.

Robert Taylor said...

You really didn't address my points Ian.

"Health care reform is not an entitlement because it would be something everyone pays into, in an effort to prevent more drastic costs shouldered by taxpayers. In other words, it's something we can't afford not to do."

I'm even not going to address the syntax, please prove how we can afford to do it.

Ian McGibboney said...

Robert, I addressed the relevant point, and my syntax is fine.

Freedom from health care is a quirky definition of freedom. I'll bet the millions of uninsured in the United States aren't that way out of some Randian notion of independence, but because they can't afford it or private companies don't see them as an acceptable risk. These people cannot be denied emergency care, and they can't always get preventive care, they cost more and put nothing into the system. Who pays? We pay.

Tell me how the hell that's "freedom" for anybody involved. In practical terms, not in pretentious philosophical jargon.

Tom Alday said...

"And don't even pretend that this economy started on Obama's watch. I wouldn't even stay it started with the man-child before him, though he is largely responsible for the troubles you pin on Obama. Shocking."

Well, all I know is that before Democrats took over in 2007 the economy was humming along just fine. Under their careful watch unemployment has DOUBLED and every other market has bottomed out.

Before Dem majority = GOOD ECONOMY

After Dem majority = FUCKING THUNDERDOME

I'm no economic sage but I think I found the root of the problem..

Hey speaking of "freedom" how is forcing people to spend their money on a service they may not even want NOT an infringement on personal freedom? Explain without using touchy feely imagery about "what's right" and tell me how where the Constitution gives Congress the authority to take away a fundamental right.

Ian McGibboney said...

OK, Tom, I'm sorry, but what you just said about the economy is stupid even for you. Do you really believe that bullshit? I don't even know where to begin, so I won't.

You and Robert talk about freedom. Which is fascinating, because the health care mandate compels everyone to contribute toward their health care. It's intended to bring down the taxpayer burden we all share for those who get health care and can't afford it. And in the process, bring the cost of risk down for everyone.

How about this for freedom? I'm tired of people saying they don't need health insurance in some philosophical vacuum, yet will be the first to hit me with their health care costs when something happens to them. And it will happen, because it can happen to anyone. It's not an option to just never get sick or hurt. It's also not an option to just let people suffer or die. Where's my freedom as a taxpayer not to support this anti-health care arrogance?

Until we're willing to entertain a public option or single-payer, we'll have to do it this way. You guys should love it, considering how much private business it will spark.

Tom Alday said... don't have an answer?

What other fundamental rights are you willing to let the government take away to advance your agenda?

Ian McGibboney said...

Until you can explain to me how not having health care and being allowed to dump costs on everyone else is some kind of freedom, ball's in your court.

Tom Alday said...

Freedom of choice, you know, that right you liberals like to invoke when explaining your support for killing children.

I, and you, and everyone else, has a right to spend their money HOWEVER THEY WISH, that is a basic, fundamental right of all Americans. Democrats coming in and saying "No no, you MUST spend your money on THIS whether you want to or not" is taking away that choice. It's stripping people of the freedom to spend their money as they wish.

This is such a basic tenet of American society that it boggles my mind you can't wrap your head around it. It's not ambiguous or nuanced in any way. I have a right to spend my money, or not, how ever I want. Nothing in the Constitution gives Congress the authority to infringe on that right, nothing.

Robert Taylor said...

Ian, you're either avoiding every point I bring up, or continuing on with your argument using "facts" of which you don't know anything about.

Here's your OPINION in a nutshell:

Having everyone in the country be healthy is a good thing.

Here's LOGICAL ARGUMENT for that position:

We should bring down the cost of health care to make everyone healthy and that solution should be through coercion

Now, why did I frame your opinion first? Because your argument for a solution does not LOGICALLY FOLLOW. You clearly have no understanding of Economics. You don't understand WHY health care is so expensive, and you don't seem to care.

The reason you are interested in politics, is to simply push your agenda onto other people, regardless of the outcome. I happen to agree with your values on this subject, but simply agreeing morally DOES NOT PROVE a solution.

Ian McGibboney said...

Both of you guys are such rugged individualists. And so much smarter than me, too! Why, shucks, I thought that living in a society meant that you had obligations to that society. But I forgot that you guys live off the grid, except for the Internet, public roads, health codes, safety standards and, in Tom's case at least, working for a government-subsidized university. And I forgot that you guys are exempt from covering medical bills for the uninsured. I'm sure you guys refused to be "coerced" into paying for any of that.

The fact is, we are "coerced" into paying for lots of things that we may or may not want. You think I want to pay for two useless wars? There are plenty of outrageous things for which our tax dollars go, none of which I ever hear any of you complain about in the name of government restraint. Things that cost far more money, cause a much bigger lingering threat and, at best, provide little to no payoff/return in the end. But health care? Social spending? Education? Anything that might help an impoverished person? No, THAT'S where you fucking draw the line.

I'll never understand the right's constant anger over tiny percentages of the budget devoted to things like public assistance, but ignore the billions upon billions that the military just leaches. I guess I understand it politically, but not economically.

And that's why I don't buy either of you guys' arguments. They're selective and deeply flawed. Also, incredibly selfish and hypocritical.

Again, what are YOUR solutions? All I'm getting from you guys is that people are just SOL if they can't afford care. Am I right? If not, what would YOU do?

Tom Alday said...

You fail to understand the difference between taxes, which the Constitution authorizes the government to collect, and arbitrarily forcing someone to buy something against their will under penalty of fines and/or jail, which it doesn't.

If the government came to you and said "You MUST spend some of your money, outside of regular taxes we already collect, and pay for this war or street or public utility or we're going to fine you and throw you in jail" then you would have a point, but the government hasn't done that. Those wars and streets and public utilities are paid for by your taxes, which are perfectly legal and in line with the powers afforded Congress by the Founders.

Forcing someone to pay some private company for goods and services under penalty of law is WAAAAAYYYYY outside the bounds of Congress' authority. You can keep coming up with incorrect analogies all day long but you'lll never be able to dispute that cold, hard fact.

Have you ever taken a Civics course in your life?

What other rights are you hoping the government can strip us of to advance your agenda.

Robert Taylor said...

On the contrary Ian, IT'S YOU who has little regard for the society you pay regards to only by lip service.

By not understanding the problem, you contribute to it. Don't pair me up with Tom. I am against government spending no matter what area it involves.

Coercion, by definition involves the threat of violence. There is no such thing as voluntary taxation. If paying something were voluntary, it would simply be called PAYING FOR SOMETHING.

Understanding what taxation is, is very pertinent. Now what are it's effects on economy?

Well let's examine this through something like NYC taxis(because I live here). It costs half a million dollars to buy a medallion to drive a taxi. Do you think that encourages people to enter the taxi business, or disincentives them? Do you think that promotes competition?

What does competition do aside from making things more efficient? It lowers prices. In other words, who does arbitrary government regulation help? It helps big business and screws poor people. Who does capitalism and competition help? It helps poor people first. Why? Because they can now afford things previously limited to the rich.

By understanding methodological individualism, you can see how it promotes the good of society. If you don't understand Economics, you can't see the larger effects of the actions you promote. YOUR MEANS are counterproductive to YOUR ENDS.

Robert Taylor said...

So the solution? Allow the free market and competition to do what it does best.

That doesn't sound like action to you? That doesn't fit into your urge to have people give their property to others arbitrarily?

Just because you're not comfortable with the proper means for the solution, is not an argument to support a system that results in NET LOSS for everyone. That is, unless you have anterior motives.

Ian McGibboney said...

You know, Tom, the notion of forcing people to patronize private corporations would be a moot point if we actually had real reform, i.e., public option or single-payer. But you guys weren't satisfied with that either. And I still don't see what WOULD satisfy you.

Robert, your business analogies don't hold up because health care is not really a marketplace decision. No one chooses to be sick and no one chooses to foot the bill for the uninsured. At the same time, people will not be refused expensive ER care. The free market is not only not going to end its crisis, but arguably abetted it in the first place. We have an inefficient, costly, profit-based system that keeps many many people one illness away from bankruptcy. That's the reality. And your simplistic, government-is-all-bad philosophy won't even begin to address the problem. And you seem fine with that. But I'm not, and most Americans aren't either.

It astounds me that you guys really think this is a political agenda thing for me. Like I want to win. No. I have health insurance. I've also not had it, and I want others not to be down and out over a solvable problem.

By the way, it's "ulterior," not "anterior."

Robert Taylor said...

Health care is not part of the marketplace?

Do people choose to be hungry?

Or is food not part of the marketplace either?

You're going to have to face a sad fact about life. We have to work together, not against each other to get things done, Ian.

People have desires. They have to achieve those desires by exchange, given their denial of omnipotence. The reason money exists is to increase the rate of exchange with a common commodity.

The issue truly is, which system gives people the ability to adequately meet those desires. You say a system void of competition. I say competition. Only one is correct.

Given that yours involves going against free will, please explain how it would be feasible. Or have you never really considered it?

Ian McGibboney said...

Robert, if people are hungry and can't afford food, there are places they can go to get it. Which I feel like you would change if you could. I fail to see how ensuring everyone has a lifeline when it comes to health care somehow violates the fabric of America. I see how it violates your self-congratulatory greed, but not the nation the rest of us live in.

Robert Taylor said...

Ian, many times I have been on the brink of writing profanities here. I refrained because I know you don't like it, and Tom has really come off as an ignorant jerk.

Please don't condescend me. I am talking about abolishing political institutions, and you say I would stop charities if I could. That's a lie.

If people want free health care in a system free of government it doesn't seem to be sequitor that they could go to Ian McGibboney. Because you would surely change that right away.

Please refrain from saying things like "fabric of America" or "greed" or "the nation the rest of us live in" because you don't speak for everyone, you can't prove a fabric, and you don't know what my desires are beyond those I explicitly tell you. Stop offending me and address the issues at point.

Tom Alday said...

"if people are hungry and can't afford food, there are places they can go to get it."

If you were in any way honest you would realize the same applies to those seeking health care. Plenty of free clinics around my area.

And Robert, fuck you. Hope that's ignorant and jerkish enough for you.

Ian McGibboney said...

Robert, you have reiterated time and again that government should be abolished, and you imply here that you are OK with charities. But how does that fit in with your previously stated belief in an anarcho-capitalist system where all wants and needs are decided by the free market? You have expressed disdain anytime I've expressed compassion in any way, so where does it fit in with you?

Tom, first off, food doesn't cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. Second, free clinics are very different than hospitals and a regimen of preventative care, the kind you and I have access to via insurance. Third, we pay for "free" clinics (as do people who visit them, depending on where you go). If we could drive costs down with a more efficient system, we could upgrade the care and make it more available.

Finally, you guys sniping at each other is funny. I mean, until today you two shared the same stupid avatar! And you both share the same penchant for condescension, name-calling, splitting hairs, moral certainty, greed, projection and hypocrisy. And we're no closer to any health care answers.

Tom Alday said...

You still haven't answered where in the Constitution Congress is given the authority to demand people buy anything from a private business against their will. You can whine all you want about how we SHOULD have a public option, but we don't. What we have is an unconstitutional mandate.

Explain to me how you think it's right and also how allowing it doesn't open a huge can of worms.

Ian McGibboney said...

The way you framed your question suggests you don't really want an answer. That said, I think it's in the preamble, "promote the general welfare," but that's just my interpretation.

It's too bad that our nation is such an entrenched corporatocracy that any attempt to give people a safety net is branded as socialism, and any compromise go through businesses and becomes a convenient time for righties to suddenly care about the Constitution.

Tom Alday said...

Oh I really do. If you're going to interpret "promote the general welfare" to mean "Have government force you to buy something against your will" then where does it stop? Hooray for slippery slopes! Maybe next they can force you to buy a gun! I mean what better way to promote your general welfare than projectile weapons in everyones hands to ensure safety?

I will give you this, at least you've moved on from using 19th century freight law to justify Obamacare, but sadly the general welfare clause isn't much better.

Ian McGibboney said...

So what do you think should be done, Tom? Most conservatives I talk to have at least some conception of an alternative. I can see where Robert's going. What about you? Anything?

Robert Taylor said...

Ian, it's pretty clear.

An anarcho-capitalist system would not inhibit private charity groups. If people like Ian McGibboney wanted to give 100% of their income to said charities, they would be welcome to. What's the problem?

Charities and free markets are compatible. Why? Because they are voluntary. They don't rely on coercion to exist. They don't inhibit competition, because they are voluntary.

Again again again. As long as you don't understand how physical miracles are accomplished, you're going to continue to simply seek political solutions for your problems. You're going to say, "Well, this guy makes a lot of money, and this person seems in need" (all arbitrary by the way) and you're going to say "give this guys money to that guy".

Now here's the real biter Ian: Do they both come out with net gain? No. There is a net loss. This is called Ricardo's law of comparative advantage.

Dude, I know you don't care about economics. I know you don't even try to grasp these simple concepts because you feel your moral opinions hold virtue. PLEASE try and understand that most people see eye to eye with you. We love humanity. We want to see everybody succeed because we will benefit as well. YOUR MEANS ARE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO YOUR ENDS.

Ian McGibboney said...

Robert, I get what you're saying. I don't agree with it. There's a difference.

I'm not sure, though, that you get what I'm saying. You keep simplifying my arguments and seeing them through your prism. And while you accuse me of only seeing politics and not economics (untrue), you seem to see things only through an economic prism. And a utopian one at that.

I'd be interested to see how "voluntarily" all these benevolent rich people in your universe would help everyone else. It barely happens now, and that's without a complete lack of incentive to do so.

Robert Taylor said...

Ian, I have asked you repeatedly to explain to me how you reach your economic conclusions. You have not.

First off, I don't believe in utopia precisely because I understand economics.

Economics is the science of human action under the conditions of scarcity, so I don't see any other prism that could be used to explain market phenomena in the real world.

You are bringing up problems of Morality and preference. Unfortunately, science has been unable to discover a method in which to understand where preferences come from or how to shape them. All we can deal with are actions.

I am explaining to you how merely letting people decide their own actions brings spontaneous order and produces NET benefit. How do I know this? Because I understand Economics and it's parent science of Praxeology (the logic of human action).

I understand that you can disagree with my understanding of economics, however you have not attempted to explain where and what. Please, indulge me. But do it logically, not using historical or statistical datum of which cannot be used in an economic debate and you and Tom love to throw around.

venessalewis said...

And this is WHY you Republicans will NOT regain control in November. This thread, as highly entertaining as it is, is a microcosm of how your party is imploding. You cannot even agree amongst your angry selves. Your party is becoming fragmented and watered down, because of your zero-tolerance policy for anything other than your own brand of fundmentalism. Very soon you will be way too divided to have any impact, much less credibility.

Tom Alday said...

Oh that's rich, especially with Henry Waxman coming out today and spinning the coming Democrat purge as a good thing because it will get rid of those "difficult" Dems that don't fail "into line" (i.e aren't extreme liberals)

Robert Taylor said...

Venessa, I'm not a Republican. I'm not even conservative.

On the contrary, it is Ian McGibboney who is profoundly intolerant of other views that clash with his vision of absolute value.

Using his ancient traditionalist method of looking at the world, he can't fathom having a debate about the means of social organization without concepts of justice and personal value being interjected.

In this sense, he's just as dogmatic and conservative as the Republicans he detests. He views issues like a religious bigot.

Fiat justitia, pereat mundus. Let justice be done, even if it destroys the world. It's a really old saying, but he seems to love repeating it.

Ian, like all socialists, Marxians as well as non-Marxians, advocate socialism as the only system consonant with a scale of arbitrarily established absolute values. These values, they claim, are the only values that are valid for all "decent people". They are considered absolute because they are supported by the majority—and the majority is always right.

As I stated in the first comment on this post: non-sequitor. It does not follow. But that doesn't stop him.

Ian McGibboney said...

Venessa, I don't think either of these guys know what they stand for besides being violently against anything I say.

Tom is a vicious name-caller incapable of holding a civil discussion. He comments only when I write political posts, sometimes mere seconds after I finish writing, and offers little but personal attacks. He's all about stirring it up and nothing more.

Robert used to be a reasonable, cool guy, but at some point became an incredibly smug and hostile pseudo-intellectual who pushes his toxic ideology with the zeal of the converted. I've never known anyone who changed so completely in such a short time. V, you missed the days when Robert and I had many great discussions and talked about working together on projects. Now it's just nonsense about Marxism and projecting about what an overbearing jerk I am.

So yeah, even if they aren't totally possible to pigeonhole, these guy do represent today's loud, intellectually deficient right wing.

Tom Alday said...

Unable to defend his idiotic stances or explain his beliefs, Ian resorts to trolling his own comment thread.


Robert Taylor said...

Yeah actually I'm agreeing with Tom on this one. You really haven't been able to defend your own beliefs Ian. You just avoid avoid avoid the issues.