Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cal: Stop, You're Both Right!

Bruce, you returned from your Northwest fishing trip too soon. You have stolen my thunder in responding to my honorable cousin Fred. I would not accuse Fred of assuming conservatives are of one mind. I, for one, find "corporate welfare to be repugnant. I also hold the abuses of corporations to be unethical. But most of the abuses are taken legally. At least in the technical sense. Corporate lawyers lay waiting in the shadows of the complexities and obtrusiveness of the language of regulations that are built-in by lawyers (members of congress). Lobbyists and the marriage of convenience between congress and corporations is a cancer that the people must demand be ended.

Now as to redistribution of wealth, "spreading the wealth around"* see below as the President put it, the example of risk insurance is misapplied. Purchasing risk insurance is a business contract the value of which is that the premium is shared, not the benefit. It is the high number of premium payers compared to the actuarial risk that makes it beneficial for the buyer and the seller. Both buyer and seller hope the fire never happens. But it will happen somewhere. Kind of like Health insurance.

Re-distribution, in this argument, is the mandatory taking from one person and giving it to another. This is not a popular idea. But if we can separate the rich from the not so rich, then the not so rich might not mind taking from the rich. This is what is proposed to pay for health care. *"To each according to his needs from each according to his ability". This is one of those notions that seems to have a smiley face pasted to it. The only one smiling is Karl Marx.

Death panels? Lord, why did Sarah Palin ever use this term? It is incendiary and inaccurate. But Bruce is correct about the potential intervention of bean counters between patients and care givers. It may not be operative in good times, but what happens in bad times when revenues are down or availability of care is limited. The models cited by some of the President's advisors that weigh the value of human lives as a function of their age are a recycling of the civil defense models regarding who should survive a nuclear war. It's good to be between 10 and 45 years old. Everyone else just sucks resources. I'm not saying this will be done, but it could be done.

Now, after all, it sounds as if we have settled upon some common ground. As Fred has said the time has come for us pool our ideas. We are not any of us rubes or shills. Let's exert our will on our incompetent and corrupt leadership and demand improve on the situation that we have.

It just so happens that a venue to do just this is available to us all on 9/12 Tea Parties. Everyone, regardless of political or philosophical belief, should attend. This is a ready-made opportunity to be heard, covered by all networks and newspapers, and to leave our message right on the front porch of congress. There are many sources for Tea Party information but one you can visit is There are links to other organizations, plus a list of all locations. It's a starting point.


You guys are too fast. This reminds me of the old "Certs" add. "Stop, you're both right! It's a candy mint and a breath mint." (Way too much tv as a kid.) Fred is right. We don't want folks with buboes hanging around our doors. Bruce is right. We are responsible for ourselves. But we intervene to prevent industry from dumping chemicals into our rivers. It could also make sense to prevent the health care system from doing the moral equivalent with uninsured patients. I think the operative phrase is "Common Sense".

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