An excellent article. Obama and progressives have no idea what they are talking about when they bemoan income inequality.
This one deserves a read.
Progressives regularly pepper their columns about Obamacare with the assertion that in the current system, you lose your policy as soon as the insurer finds a chronic disease. That has always been slander. As Charen puts it:
The Dunham tale was meant to personify the hundreds of thousands – or millions – of Americans who were “dumped” by insurance companies when they became sick. This is an invented tale, and might have been rebutted by the insurance industry if they hadn’t gotten into bed with Obama in 2010 in return for millions of coerced new customers. As the Washington Free Beacon reported, academic studies have estimated that policies were dropped in only four-tenths of one percent of cases in the individual market.
In a 2010 radio address, Obama said one carrier was “systematically dropping the coverage of women diagnosed with breast cancer.” The CEO of WellPoint, which had reason to believe the president was referring to her company, responded that they had provided coverage in the previous year to 200,000 breast cancer patients and had canceled just four policies for fraud or misrepresentation.
Even now, the left still peddles this tale as if it is common, perhaps even legal.
And the lying is not something progressives are ashamed about when called on it. Charen:
It’s a form of “lying for justice.” If your goals are noble enough, truth is an acceptable casualty.
Obama’s propensity to lie is finally widely acknowledged, but it hasn’t gone far enough. It isn’t just that the pledge about keeping your plan was a noble lie – the whole law is based upon lies.
I would go further – the whole progressive philosophy is based upon lies.
This is an excellent article exposing the motivations and failures of grand philanthropy.
Many government programs suffer from exactly this same problem, with one big exception: it is not the philanthropist’s money and resources that are being spent well or not. Just because a government official legislates or administers a program that is intended to remedy a social ill doesn’t mean that official isn’t self-serving. In many cases, civil service is simply a path that allows people to garner more respect and satisfaction more than the private-sector path of producing goods and services that people value. When you can use government to force a whole society of people to change behavior or funnel resources in the direction you want, you find that you can have a greater impact than actually creating value yourself. That is true no matter if you are building highways or ameliorating poverty.
Lovely. This article is just lovely. I’d thought about sprinkling some of its highlights in this post, but then you may not read the article in whole. And you have to. You really have to.
It’s a shame that the main point made in this article needs to be articulated at all. Yet so many (the majority of?) people don’t get it.
I remember way back in the late 1990s I saw John McCain on TV saying something to the effect of, “I don’t think we should discriminate for any reason at all.” Right then and there I decided John McCain was a freaking idiot.
In this article, I agree with 90% of it, but in the end he punts:
Perhaps it doesn’t make sense to look at the issue through the discrimination lens, though. The idea behind the law may simply be that, because women did not choose to be women, they shouldn’t have to pay extra for it – even if it costs more. These rules could be designed to rectify a cosmic injustice, using insurance premiums as the leveling force, rather than to stamp out unjust behavior on the part of insurance companies themselves.
What? But men pay more for food (if only because their larger bodies burn more calories on average). And men pay more in taxes (look it up). If we are to start equalizing “cosmic injustice", then let’s do so, not just stop at health care. That would be unfair.
Like this nugget:
But the 800 number was more than bad form. It was bad substance. Turns out you can give all the information you want to the person at the other end of the line — or to your friendly community “navigator” — but that person must enter your data into the very same nonfunctioning Web site.
Sounds like Obama promoting make-work. Oh, wait. He probably doesn’t know that.
Last Wednesday, he simply denied reality and said he really hasn’t changed his message from when he promised in June 2009: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan. Period.”
Instead of simply admitting he was wrong, he went Clintonian, explaining that the pledge only applied to certain specified plans — which he now says he meant all along. Alas, this is one case of death by punctuation. “Period” means without caveats, modifications, loopholes or escape hatches.
That’s right. PERIOD. Live by stupid mind-numbing clichés, die by them.
Who will tell Obama that lies so transparent render rhetoric not just useless but ridiculous?
In all honesty, hopefully no one. Maybe then we can get back to honest, limited government.
I thought this article nailed a big problem with education these days: rote memorization is missing.
Good article by Rich Lowry.
A couple of good bites here:
It’s a little late to get or expect any Republican buy-in, though. That would have required serious compromise back in 2009, when Democrats, at the high tide of their power in the Obama era, saw no reason to make any. They ignored the polls, they ignored Scott Brown’s shocking win in Massachusetts, and they ignored normal parliamentary practices to pass the single most partisan piece of major social legislation in a century.
They insisted on this particular law, at this particular time. They own it. They own every canceled policy, every rate increase, every unintended consequence and every unpopular intended consequence. It is theirs, lock, stock and two smoking barrels.
I totally agree with this article, and believe this point is very under-appreciated.
Sowell summarizes with the following:
Our schools and colleges are turning out people who cannot feel fulfilled unless they are telling other people what to do. The price of their self-indulgence is the sacrifice of our freedom.
College graduates these days obsess over “making a difference” and are encouraged to do so by educators and even their parents. Faced with this, they are not happy with plying their best skill or trade, creating some valuable product, and then funneling some of their productivity into a charity or spending their time off helping someone in need. That is too small fry. Instead, they want to use the state to force other people’s behavior. In this way, they can impact (or even “save") thousands of lives. The costs are absorbed by those lives, but the benefits can then be culled by (and credited to) the government legislator or bureaucrat busybody who forced it. The costs may (I would say, almost always do) outweight the benefits. But hey, that busybody is making a difference.
An excellent summary of the problems in post-secondary education in America: the over-emphasis on cultural bullying rather than teaching; the importance of signaling; the ivory tower smugness and irrelevance.
I especially liked this one-liner:
For all their brochures and seminars lauding inclusivity, then, the core principle of the most selective colleges and universities is exclusivity.
The cure is simple: Stop subsidizing university educations. Most of the problems in higher education would melt away if there wasn’t government funding. It’s not just the money, but the old-fashioned structure too: four year degrees, accredited institutions, etc. Money via Pell Grants and Stafford Loans are (at least ostensibly) conditional on this old structure. So they perpetuate it.
A great article in the WSJ today by Randy Barnett.
The reason is simple. Unlike a parliamentary system in which governments are formed by coalitions of large and small parties, our electoral system is a first-past-the-post, winner-take-all one in which a winning presidential candidate just needs to get more than 50% of the vote. This means each contending “major” party is itself a coalition that needs to assemble enough diverse voting groups within it to get to 51%. Hence the need to appeal to the so-called moderates and independents rather than the more “extreme” elements within.
To the extent that a third party is successful, it will drain votes from the coalition party to which it is closest and help elect the coalition party that is further removed from its interests. The Libertarian Party’s effort will, if effective, attract more libertarian voters away from the candidate who is marginally less hostile to liberty, and help hand the election to the candidate who is more hostile to liberty.
I agree with this wholeheartedly. In a two-party system, we form coalitions before the election, not after. Third parties are just votes of non-participation.
So who should libertarians vote for?
Libertarians need to adjust their tactics to the current context. This year, their highest priority should be saving the country from fiscal ruin, arresting and reversing the enormous growth in federal power—beginning with repealing ObamaCare—and pursuing a judiciary who will actually enforce the Constitution. Which party is most likely to do these things in 2013?
The Republican Party. I sympathize with those who vote Libertarian, as they are like-minded, probably more so than the average Republican. But they are just asking for socialism, from which our country will find no return.
One of the best analyses of the reasons for Obama’s first debate meltdown.
This final paragraph is stellar:
Obama had seen that his friends would protect him, and so he believed he could mail it in Wednesday, but this was the venue that could not be spun. No filter. No edits. No choosing what to put in or leave out. No shaping of the story. Just the story itself, rolled out in real time, sans narration, before 70 million American voters, undoing six years of hype and hysterics. It revealed one small, not all that keen academic, having been inflated by the narrators beyond all recognition, dissolving before everyone’s eyes.
More good dismal stuff from Mark Steyn.
Particularly liked this paragraph:
This election represents the last exit ramp before the death spiral. (Yes, yes, I know: too long for a campaign button.) Obama has spent the past four years making things worse. More debt, more dependency, more delusion. For Act Two, he’s now touting the auto bailout as a model for … everything! “I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry.” In the past three years, he has “created” 2.6 million new jobs – a number that does not even keep up with the number of (legal) immigrants who arrive each month. Obama does not “create” jobs, he creates disabled people: In the same period as 2.6 million Americans signed on with new employers, 3.1 million signed on at the Social Security Disability Office. Obama is the first president in history to create more disabled people than workers. He is the biggest creator of disabled people on the planet. He has disabled more people than the Japanese tsunami. More Americans have been disabled by Obama than have been given cancer by Mitt Romney. “Ask yourself, ‘Are you more disabled now than you were four years ago?’ Obama 2012.” Followed by the wheelchair logo with the Obama “O” where the wheel should be. In the Democrats’ Dependistan, the wheelchair ramp is downhill all the way.
Why does a president get credit for private sector job creation? And why doesn’t he get blame for public sector dependency enrollment?
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