Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Thursday, March 29, 2012

5 Reasons Why Sally Kohn is a Retard

5 Reasons Why Sally Kohn is a Retard
©2012 Ross Williams

...and I do not use that word lightly. The other alternatives are, to my way of thinking, less complementary. It would suggest that her glaring incorrectness in a recent article she wrote entitled “5 Reasons ObamaCare is Already Good for You” was done deliberately out of a partisan hatchetry upon our Constitution ... which some people, including me, take great offense at. If she were retarded rather than seeking the end of our constitutional liberties I could understand it, and so I will operate on the assumption that she is irretrievably retarded as opposed to a totalitarian apologist.

The first of her retarded declarations is that millions of Americans have already benefited by being given medical services for free instead of having to pay deductibles or co-pays to acquire. Included in these figures are insured Americans who – by getting “free” coverage of certain specific services – requires that everyone else in that insurance plan pay for it. Also included are seniors who have had a number of their drugs added to the “free” list ... which requires that we mortgage off another California township to China in order to pay for it.

She also lauds the fact that 2.5 million young adults to the age of 26 can stay on their parent’s health plans, and of which almost none have done so. And finally she cites the 4 million small businesses who can take a tax break for providing health insurance to its employees ... of which only a quarter million have done so.

Unmentioned in the last item is that 250,000 out of 4 million is just over 6%, which is frighteningly similar to the share of small businesses which provide health insurance to its employees. The rest do not; they cannot afford to do so and the presence of a pennies-on-the-dollar tax break does not do enough for the bottom line to make it a practical business decision.

Retard reason #1: Business is in the business of making money; it does not have the luxury that a government has to mortgage off a portion of its sovereignty each time it wants to buy votes. A basic need for non-ideological mathematics exists, and it’s clear Sally doesn’t possess the skill. “Free” doesn’t exist; someone pays for it, and it is mandatory to understand who it is that’s paying for the “free”. In some cases it’s the other customers of a health insurance plan, in others it’s taxpayers or, frighteningly, foreign governments who will one day come to collect.

Her second retarded declaration is that the law won’t fully take effect until 2014. And this is important because ... the history of government programs costing more than anticipated is going to be outlawed before then? I don’t know. She claims the “attacks” made on Obamacare are “based largely on hypothetical future predictions”. Yet she can’t name one significant governmental intrusion into social policy-making legislation that has not exceeded its original estimated costs by at least an order of magnitude while at the same time failing to accomplish its stated goals ... which thereupon requires extra tinkering legislation to accomplish and which costs disproportionately more.

Her second Obamacare benefit is built upon her complete evacuation from reality; she is denying the Law of the Receding Margin. A given level of social effort [paid for by a given amount of money] can accomplish a certain percentage of a defined “social good”. This assumes that the “social good” is a REAL social good and not simply an ideological vote-catcher, and that the effort is competent, and finally that the money is wisely spent in acquiring the effort. In government programs, none of those can be assumed; indeed all are highly suspect.

Among the realities of human nature that ideologues consistently refuse to acknowledge is that a more or less large percentage of people are going to quibble about anything simply because they choose to; they are going to avoid doing what they’re told, simply because they don’ wanna; they are, in short, going to escape the government program. What percentage will do this? It depends on what government program it is and how imperiously it’s being administered. But it always happens.

The government then discovers, lo and behold, some people are not benefiting from the social program meant to help them, and the government has to pass more laws at greater cost to deal with smaller and smaller fractions of the population who keep escaping enforcement of the prior legislation. This is a Parkinsonian reality: the government ends up spending more money chasing down the 20%, 25%, 30% than they did to address the 70-80% in the first place. Medicare is doing this, Medicaid is doing this, public education is doing this, immigration policy is doing this, ... you can’t name one thing the government does for us, even those things the government is allowed and required to do, that doesn’t operate by the Law of the Receding Margin.

Retard reason #2: Only a true retard would spend any amount of time trying to deny the reality of reality. How long have we been chasing after Universal Literacy? Are we there yet? No, and why not? Because some people refuse to play along and you can’t change that. You also can’t fix it with more money, but that’s what idiot ideologues always, always, always try to do. Pay attention.

The third in her litany of retardedness is to blame it all on Republicans: it was originally a Republican idea. As a libertarian, I am nearly unique in having the ability to say “so what?” without it becoming a partisan issue.

Here’s the deal, retard: both Republicans and Democrats are usually perfectly happy expanding the scope of the government they are in charge of – and for virtually identical reasons, as well. Republicans came up with an idea to expand the power of government into areas they don’t have authority??? Color me shocked!! That is, in fact, the inherent fallacy of both mainstream political parties, and to stand outside them both and watch them bickering for the same things is hilarious.

The only remarkable difference lies in the circumstances of the government accomplishing the power-grab. A currently-prominent Republican, as a state governor, advised a state-version Obamacare be implemented in his state – and it was. Whether that violates the limitations of power contained in the state constitution is left to the people in that state to wrestle with. The criticism that Republicans “didn’t have a plan” – besides being false – is based on some Republicans declaring that it was not appropriate to implement at the federal level. It isn’t reasonably debatable to argue that the US Constitution permits Congress to do the same thing at the national level.

...which is why unreasonable arguments are being made to claim it does.

All such arguments that Congress has the authority to create an Obamacare monstrosity are built upon the notion that the US Constitution allows Congress to do what it wants, when it wants, because it wants. And that is not what the Constitution itself says it allows, nor does anything in the historical record leading up to the writing of the Constitution. The specific argument they are using – interstate commerce regulation – is not only farcical, but stupendously so: insurance is not, by definition, a commodity allowed to be sold across state lines; it is not INTERstate commerce – it is INTRAstate commerce. Their argument that insurance is INTERstate commerce rests on insurance being sold in fifty INTRAstates.

The final facile denunciation Insipid Sally makes here is to trivialize the position of a specific think-tanker into: “I was for it when it was a Republican idea and am against it now that Democrats embrace it.” Nice try, Sal, but your retardation is showing. It’s fine for states to do – if it is allowed by their constitutions; it is NOT permissible for the feds to do, because it violates the US Constitution.

Retard reason #3: The only rational argument to be made is that it will not work at either the state level or the federal level. It will not work because it relies on a complete reversal of reality in order to function. No one has ever been able to legislate reality away. Whose stupid idea it was originally is thoroughly irrelevant.

The fourth of her five retarditudes is quite possibly the most vacuous – and that’s saying something! It goes along the lines of: Sure, Obamacare costs a lot, but it’s going to be the first social policy law that comes in under budget – pinky-swear; besides, for the government to not spend a trillion dollars on Obamacare will cost the government almost a quarter trillion dollars.

Yes: to not spend $1T will cost $210B.

Seriously? That’s the argument?

How do I get a job on the receiving end of something like that, where I get paid whether I do it or not?

Retard reason #4: This shouldn’t need to be said ... which means, for retards like Sally, it’s mandatory: learn math.

And we’re into the home stretch now: her fifth and final brain damage is “Something needed to be done with healthcare”. And what do you know!! She’s right!! But the “anything is better than nothing” argument leading us to Obamacare has given us No Child Left Behind, HIPPA [the mid-90s law that was supposed to end Pre-Existing Conditions for good, yet didn’t], Sarbanes-Oxley, Frank-Dodd, and the Great Society. Not to mention a half million other ham-fistings of our nation’s privates.

I can excuse a retard not knowing how insurance works, for a retard is, y’know, retarded. For anyone else, it’s either an admission that they exist in a world they refuse to pay attention to, or it’s an admission to being a socialist totalitarian demanding that everyone else support him. The two basic realities about insurance:

1] Insurance covers what it covers because state insurance regulators have required it to.

2] The quickest way to turn a $30 oil change into a $150 expense is to require auto insurance to cover oil changes.

Insurance is, by its nature, inflationary. You are paying Person A to pay Person B on your behalf. This is Person A’s job. And Person A needs to earn a living by doing it, and so when Person A pays Person B for you, Person A is going to charge you to do it. This is one thing when you only require Person A to pay Person B when Godzilla eats your house; how often does that happen ... even in Tokyo? Person A isn’t going to charge you anywhere near what it costs to build you an inedible house because the chances that Godzilla eats it – or Mothra burns it down – is virtually nil.

It’s a completely different thing when you require Person A to pay Person B every time your toilet gets plugged up, or you need new windshield wipers, or you go to the doctor with a sore throat. That’s an awful lot of paying on your behalf he’s doing, and chances are good that if there’s quite a number of you folks hiring Person A to be your Person B Payor that he’ll need a whole fleet of Person As to keep up with the paperwork. The more common and mundane the reasons he’s paying, the more he’s going to have to charge you to do it.

In other words [and perhaps I’ve mentioned this]: insurance is inherently inflationary.

It is not possible to require health insurance to cover routine medical procedures – let alone provide them for free – and have the cost of those procedures come down over the long run.

Retards don’t understand this, which is why retards have said throughout the whole discussion about “healthcare” “reform” that the problem is insurance and the way you fix it is with more insurance. Only a retard could come up with that. It’s the classic scam argument: “we lose 10% on each sale, but make up for it in volume.” Yeah, such a deal. There’s nothing shady there at all. Who could pass it up?

Something did [and still does] need to be done about the healthcare system in this country, for insurance is indeed a huge part of the problem. The problem is that insurance has come to dominate the industry; it’s no longer for when Godzilla eats your house or Mothra torches your car. It’s now for when your toilet plugs up and you need windshield wipers – functions that insurance is not designed to effectively handle.

Retard reason #5: Sally is quite correct that the majority of Americans see this as a big problem. They see it as a big problem because it is a big problem. The inflation of medical services is artificially high due to having a virtually endless list of routine services added to health coverage over the last 40 years; it exceeds every other sector of the economy, and it has been doing this since we created Medicaid in the 60s giving away for “free” to poor people that which we didn’t even have for ourselves. We selfishly started demanding to get the same things ... also for “free” ... through the only mechanism we had available to us: our catastrophic care insurance ...the insurance that covered us when Godzilla ate our house while we were in it.

Except nothing is ever free; someone is still paying for it. The only relevant question is who. Who will pay for it is a question common to dictatorial governments, and the answer is usually whoever can be compelled to pay for it. In a free country, a country with rights belonging to the people and limitations on the government’s power to coerce those citizens, the only question is who should pay for it. The answer now becomes: whoever wishes to use it.

A free people has rights; rights are what the government has no authority to interfere with. How much of a right you get depends on how much of it you want to have. It is entirely up to the individual; the government has no duty except to get out of the way. Health care is a right. So if you want it, go out and get it. Get all you want. No one’s stopping you.

A captive people, on the other hand, has entitlements; entitlements are what the government doles out after picking a convenient pocket to pay for it. How much of the entitlement you get depends on what the government feels like giving. And to whom.

Retards believe that laws define the "what", the "who" and the "how" of these entitlements. That's the biggest proof of their retardedness. Neither Medicaid nor Medicare do what they say they do; HIPPA didn't end Pre-Existing Conditions – didn't even put a dent in it; Sarbanes-Oxley didn't fix corporate financials; Frank-Dodd actually created the housing bubble. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act hasn't slowed underage drinking and has, instead, created the largest group of pre-alcoholics since Prohibition. The Family Support Act of 1988 hasn't reduced the number of single mothers living in poverty, but it has created a quasi-criminal class out of the middle-class fathers with pickable pockets who were not the target of it.

Government remains the worst agent for social change ever created; the only tool it has is Law. Law is effective only in the punishment of crimes; in the suasion of The People it is notoriously inept.

Only retards look to the inept for salvation.


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