Saturday, November 03, 2012

Courting BradK Part 2

BradK, you made a few points that pique my interest. They are:

What I'm typically talking about is the social safety nets. Generally speaking, the liberal position is more favorable to setting up those nets to catch as many people as possible when they need it. I would challenge them that their policies don't provide a way out of them very clearly.


I generally favor policies that give a crap about people and have a slight bleeding heart about it. I draw the line however at policies that invite or create dependency.

I would posit that the vast majority of people in this country would agree with your basic point on the need for safety nets coupled with the dangers of dependency. I certainly do.

On a personal note, as a young adult I was very intent on making a career out of helping people who needed help the most. I earned a MSW (Masters, Social Work) with the idea of working with young people who have had a rough start in life. And for a few years I worked with kids with behavioral or emotional problems. It was assumed by one and all that I was a terrific guy for pursuing this career. I mention this because, while my political philosophy gradually changed, my interest in social problems has not. Yet it was no longer assumed that me heart was in the right place. Liberals hold a huge advantage in assumed motives. I blame articulate liberals and inarticulate conservatives for the current perceptions about the motives of liberals and conservatives.

My point is to challenge the assumption by many that the left are primarily the folks who care about the less fortunate. Certainly many do as do many on the right. And there are bad guys on both sides as well. The left is far better at the PR contest.

Of course at the end of the day, the question of who cares the most is less important than who delivers. We have all heard the phrase that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Good intentions are a good starting point but is not the end all be all as some seem to assume. What matters is results.

On that score I have come to believe that the lefts preferred approach - government interventions -  should be measured for effectiveness. Government schools are a disaster or at least a major disappointment. The war on poverty failed. Welfare marginalized black men. Social Security has been a success but is unsustainable in its current form. Obamacare is a disaster in the making.

It is true that the liberals "don't provide a way out" very easily as you state. Of course, there are huge incentives in place to ensure this remains the case. Dependents become a reliable voting bloc for liberals. Why should liberals foster self reliance, other than it being the right thing to do? They would be creating conservatives and undermining their own power. Real solutions would create real problems for the left. 

My own conclusions that I have come to over the years, in no particular order: The left has done a masterful job of convincing society that their motives are pure and that conservatives are heartless, or greedy, homophobic, Islamphobic, sexist etc.... and that conservatives are far less skilled at advancing their philosophy, in part because they are largely shut out of institutions that promulgate political points of view such as the education system, media, Hollywood and so on. Liberal "solutions" often sound good at first but often fail spectacularly while the opposite is sometimes true of conservative notions. Example, tax breaks often result in revenue increases for government. Government solutions tend to create winners and losers and pit them against one another. The competitive nature of private markets would be more effective in differentiating freeloaders from people truly in need. Generally speaking, the left does not seem to care as much as they claim. If they did, they would embrace school choice. Many inner city black people, but not near enough, are figuring this out. Conservatives are far from perfect, Republicans even less so, but by no means do I conclude that liberals care more, and even less do I think their methods are effective in helping the less fortunate, by and large. 

And to all who made it this far, I apologize for the length of this post.


BradK said...

"The competitive nature of private markets would be more effective in differentiating freeloaders from people truly in need."


Is there research or case studies showing this in action? I'm partially asking because I'm a little too busy to look into it myself, and partially because you stated it, therefore I assume you have an idea where you can derive that conclusion from.


Downtown Brown said...

The most improtant thing we can do for Brad and his young family and for the rest of America is put a business person in charge of our country. If businesses see a friendly leader they will be inclined to invest and expand n America. this brings jobs, and less dependency. Stopping ObamaCare before it morphs into a Govt. HealthCare is also extremely important to the businesses and investors in our country..and thus effects the job and overall recovery we need to get back to a balanced budget and start chipping away at the debt we are leaving to Brad's kid to pay for.

I have a hard time understnding why anyone can look at the Presidential race and decide on Birth control pills or "Don't ask don't tell" as a reason to continue spending 6 Trillion dollars more per year than what you are collecting.

To quote James Carville it's the economy stupid... we can deal with those other things later. Gay Marriage is already spreading across America state by state. The Govt. shouldn't be buying BC pills or abortions for's simply NOT a Federal responsibility.

Romney/ Ryan are offering big bold plans to SAVE Medicare and Social Security.. (The Dems will fight them to the death I suspect..but offer ZERO solutions of their own). I hope that helps Brad. I'm with Denis I want to help people who are needy and underprivileged...Big Govt. isn't the answer. Govt out of the way is the answer...on both economic AND social issues.

Denis Navratil said...

BradK, I don't know of any studies that prove my point, though they are probably out there. At this point for me, it is something I believe based on an objective look at incentives. I would reconsider if given convincing info to the contrary.

Consider the following anecdote. Within the last several years, I have been notified several times that someone has been trying to use my credit info. The fraud was detected somehow and stopped. The private sector has incentives to stop fraud and abuse. The same would be true of charities with a mission to serve the needy. People would get pretty cranky if their donations were used to enrich the wealthy or provide cosmetic surgery while real illnesses go untreated. Whether a business or a private charity, the incentives are aligned properly to address the needs. This doesn't mean that fraud and abuse can't occur.

Contrast this with government service providers. There are incentive to keep as many people on the dole as possible so as to ensure a committed voting bloc. This does not mean that there aren't good people doing good work. It is just that their are systematic incentives to look the other way at times. Besides, they are spending other people's money.

So really my belief stems from the different incentives inherent in the different approaches.

Sean Cranley said...

Oh for crying out loud, where to begin?

Denis, how on earth can you apply the private market to help people who have little or no money. The business model you're talking about eludes me, can you spell it out?

Brownie, American business has an estimated $2 Trillion sitting on the sidelines not being invested and it isn't because of who is president. It's because they don't see the demand for the goods or services their investments would yield. 30 years of supplyside economics has decimated the middle class and created a few ultra rich elites who've been catered to for too long. Middle class demand is the only true job creator, Mitt romney wants to double down on those disasterous GOPolicies.

And the government is NOT buying BC pills or abortions. You need to get real info on Obamacare not GOPropaganda.

Speaking of not having an answer, you can tout Romney/Ryan's plans, which would be disasterous, all you want, but Republicans have no solution to America's health care crisis whatsoever, except Romney now wants to keep the parts Obamacare that people like. Like coverage for pre-existing conditions, children until their 27 and prohibiting insurance companies from kicking people off when they get sick. The problem is you can't keep those without the individual mandate. Which of course Romney understood when he put Obama/Romneycare into effect in Mass, where it's working.

Once again Romney has demonstrated that he will take any position that is convenient at the moment to support his only core convistion, that he should be president.

GearHead said...

We didn't have a healthcare crisis until ObamaCare was shoveled onto us. My premiums have doubled in the last couple years. Weren't we told they would go down $2500 per family? Epic Fail!

As for business, demand is down because all of our commodities have risen sky-high in the last four years. Like gasoline, food, electric rates, and taxes of course. Beyond that, business cannot project their costs because we still don't know how much ObamaCare is gonna eat us alive. Not to mention constant nanny litigation and regulatory overload. That's why there are no jobs.

While Sean can't comprehend such, because he doesn't have talking points to refute this, I'm betting Brad can easily comprehend.

Sean Cranley said...

So 50 million Americans without health insurance under the Bush Administration wasn't a healthcare crisis? 50,000,000 of our fellow citizens that if they get seriously sick or injured they and their families are up $%^&'s Creek.

The 18,000 Americans who die every year because they don't have health insurance and therefore healthcare isn't a crisis? That's practically an epidemic!

The number one cause of personal bankruptcy in America being due to medical bills isn't a crisis?

I'm sorry Gearhead, it doesn't seem like you have any idea what your talking about.

As for premiums doubling, yeah, but they haven't been doing that for two, they've been doing that for over a decade. Wake up!

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has studied RomneyBamaCare and determined that it will save money. That doesn't necessarily mean that cost won't continue to go up, especially with an aging population, but it does mean that rate of increase will slow and that saves money.

The Republicans had no solution to this crisis during the Bush years and they don't have one now. Their only solution is that Americans, LOTS of Americans can't have healthcare and that's all there is to it.

Oh well that's hidden hand of omniscient god of the free market at work, so that is as it must be. All hail the mighty Con!

GearHead said...

Everything you just said is untrue. 50 million? Actually, more like 6 mil, most of which are young healthy adults. Certainly not anything to bankrupt the country over, which is where your solution takes us.

"18,000 Americans who die every year because they don't have health insurance and therefore healthcare..." is false on its face. Not having heath insurance has nothing to do with healthcare, which anyone can receive. Just pay for it, or show up and it gets provided.

Premiums will continue to climb when the government continues to pile mandate upon mandate... like free birth control and paid-for sex changes. I'd like the freedom to shop for insurance that better suits my lifestyle, and not have to pay for all that crap. I don't have that option, either, under ObamaCare. What we need is more freedom to choose our health needs, not less freedom at higher costs.

Downtown Brown said...

Healthcare INSURANCE is not now and nor has it ever been the role of the US Govt.

Sean Cranley said...

Wrong again Gearhead the number of uninsured Americans inb 2012 is 48.6 million:

EXCERPT: And he noted that beginning in 2014 the law will reduce the ranks of the remaining 48.6 million uninsured by tens of millions more — largely by expanding Medicaid and providing federal subsidies to help more Americans buy private coverage.

EXCERPT: One spot of good news in the census data released Wednesday was on the health-care front: For the first time in three years, the share of Americans without health insurance declined, with the number of uninsured dropping by 1.3 million people from 2010 to 2011.

A major factor was an influx of newly insured young adults, many of whom benefitted from a provision in the 2010 health-care law requiring insurers to let parents keep adult children on their plans up to age 26.

And more wrongness for Gearhead with the fact that 18,000 Americans die each year due to lack of healthcare insurance the access that it provides to necessary care:

EXCERPT: More than 18,000 adults in the USA die each year because they are uninsured and can't get proper health care, researchers report in a landmark study released Tuesday.

EXCERPT: Among the study's findings is a comparison of the uninsured with the insured:

Uninsured people with colon or breast cancer face a 50% higher risk of death.
Uninsured trauma victims are less likely to be admitted to the hospital, receive the full range of needed services, and are 37% more likely to die of their injuries.
About 25% of adult diabetics without insurance for a year or more went without a checkup for two years. That boosts their risk of death, blindness and amputations resulting from poor circulation.

I know, there I go using those pesky sourced facts again. It isn't fair is it. But I just make baseless declarations of faith like you can.

Sean Cranley said...

Oh and Brownie, the insurance is still sold by private companies, not the government. the government just makes sure it a decent product, not snake oil for those of us who are not and have no desire to be experts on insurance and medical services.

BradK said...

Now for my humourous anecdote of the day:

100% of people with insurance eventually die.

comparatively, 100% of people without insurance eventually die.

Although 18,000 may have died because they didn't have insurance, statistically speaking, they were 100% likely to eventually die with insurance as well.