Friday, August 14, 2009

Phil Orenstein Protests Obama Health Scam

Democracy Project blogger Phil Orenstein appeared on Channel 7, the New York City ABC affiliate, in an interview about the Obama health care scam. Phil is an engineer at a small manufacturing firm on Long Island. His boss founded the high tech firm and now says that the Democrats are aiming to drive jobs to China. Perhaps the boobs at ABC have never read Henry Hazlett's Economics in One Lesson. They, like the goose stepping leftists who dominate American universities, claim that you can take from those who work and give to those who do not, and those who work will, like idiots, continue to work.

It just ain't so, folks. It just ain't so.

See Phil's excellent protest against big government here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

National Health Insurance and Freedom

Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom argues that governmental control of economic resources eliminates personal freedom. In the Soviet Union, critics of the state could be deprived of work because the state controlled jobs. Friedman argues that economic freedom is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for personal freedom and civil liberties. Not all capitalist states, such as Chile and China, are liberal with respect to personal freedom, but no purely socialist state is liberal. Sweden is a good example even though it is not purely socialist. A good book on that subject is Roland Huntford's New Totalitarians, which documents a very lengthy list of ways that the socialist state in Sweden and Swedish society suppress individual liberty.

The effect of governmental power on freedom is easily seen in the expansion of government-supported universities, which exclude conservatives and libertarians from employment. One hundred percent of the institutions of higher learning in New York, public and private, are government supported, and all exclude from employment professors who disagree with state expansion. I frequently receive mail from professors and/or students that says "if you do not believe in government, then why do you work for a public university?" In other words, the state expands the scope of its power, and dissidents are to be excluded from its operations, ensuring that they are to remain unemployed. Only believers in state power are to be employed by state universities, according to this argument.That is, protest of the state's expansion is to be punished through unemployment.

Advocates of the "you work at CUNY so you should favor big government" position are in essence saying that in a purely socialist economy no disagreement with socialism will be permitted since all jobs would be controlled by the government. How can you work for the government if you disagree with government power? You will either work and survive or you will disagree with socialism. Not both.

There is much clear evidence of suppression of speech in universities, but none as clear as suggested in that argument, which has been made by readers of this blog several times. The advocates of socialism aim to silence and suppress all who disagree with them, and as the state gains power, they will economically punish anyone who disagrees, just as university professors have excluded liberals* from employment.

Now what should we fear from national health insurance? What kind of health care can dissidents in a socialized America expect when academics and officials of a socialist bureaucracy control access to health care? Will personal freedom exist? I think not. Will dissidents receive care in a socialist America? Or will they be compelled to undergo psychiatric treatment as they were in the Soviet Union?

A government-dominated health plan, national health insurance, is a threat to freedom and it should be feared. It should be feared because its advocates, the social democrats in the Democratic Party, are intolerant thugs.

*In case you're not used to this use of "liberal", the true meaning of the word liberal is "libertarian". The concept of "state activist liberalism" is an Orwellian corruption of language. Liberals believe in freedom, in liberalis, in liberalism. They do not believe in big government. That is the ideology of fascism, communism, socialism and authoritarianism and, of course, social democracy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Michael Moore's Racist Stereotyping of Barack Obama

Michael Moore posted this on his blog. Note the racist stereotyping whereby all African Americans, including the President, are basketball players.

>A Message from Michael Moore

Dear GOP:

That is so cool! I knew you guys were more than just all Lee Greenwood and Pat Boone. Let me expand on my remarks.

You see, Obama is LeBron and you are the Clippers. The Clippers know that LeBron is going to fake right and go left, but it doesn't matter — they're still the Clippers and he's LeBron and he's going to make the basket. Even if he shouted at the Clippers as he's coming down the court, "hey, I'm gonna fake right and go left when I get to the basket," they still aren't going to stop him. And you, the GOP, are not going to stop Obama...Now, what do you know about Obama's hook shot?

– Michael Moore

As I have previously blogged, the most racist element of American society today is white "progressives" who mostly live in wealthy urban enclaves; exclusive suburbs; and all-white university towns. Moore, who claims to be a working class citizen of Flynt, Michigan, actually owns an apartment on Manhattan's exclusive Upper West Side, just two blocks from Zabar's, the deli where you can buy excellent cheeses at very low prices. I suspect Moore visits them often.

Town of Olive Republican Caucus

I attended the Town of Olive Republican caucus yesterday, the purpose of which was to nominate candidates for Town office. I do not know if this is a national trend, but the meeting was very well attended. There were 70 to 100 people there compared to a usual turnout at committee meetings of ten or fewer.

The issue at hand was whether the Republicans would nominate an incumbent Democrat, Berndt Leifeld, for Town Supervisor on the Republican ticket (Leifeld already runs on the Democratic ticket). Another Democrat also sought the nomination, I suspect as a matter of opposing Leifeld. He had threatened to seek the Republican nomination also unless the nominations were limited to existing Republicans.

This is a kind of paradox. It seems to me that the interest in the Republicans was largely stimulated by a conflict among the Democrats. Someone did say that he had attended because of his concerns about the big government trend in national politics. I am not certain how far that sentiment goes and I am not certain how far the attendance simply reflected interest in the possible conflict between the two Democrats. I think many of the attendees may have been Democrats, but I'm not positive.

In any case voting was closed to Democrats, that is, only Republicans voted, and it seemed to me that about 30 or 40 people voted, which is still a good turnout. Pete Freidel, currently a Town board member, won the nomination for Town Supervisor. As well, the Republicans nominated a full slate of candidates for Town Justice (I recall it was Earla van Kleeck who was nominated), as well as Cindy Johanssen for Town Clerk and the Republican Chair, Chet Scofield, for Highway Supervisor and Don van Buren was nominated as well.

Nina Postupack, the County Clerk, spoke to the meeting. She has done an excellent job at the County level and is one of the highest ranking elected Republicans in Ulster County.

American Seniors Association/American Association of Retired People

Several people have contacted me concerning the American Seniors Association. Some time ago I wrote a blog about the American Seniors Association. I had sent the ASA $50 more than two years ago. I also sent them a letter offering my services with respect to policy issues and helping with information and possibly a newsletter, to which they did not respond. As well, I have a master's degree from the College of Insurance (now known as the St. John's University School of Risk and Insurance) and was a benefits manager for 10 years. I could have helped them set up a program. But since I contacted them I heard from them only once--when they sent me a letter asking for more money.

I cannot recommend the ASA because I have not seen any evidence of good performance.

The AARP is well known as a provider of insurance services. It also takes a "progressive" position with respect to politics. My feeling is that if you're desperate for cheap insurance, they offer a good deal. Join them and try to sabotage them from within. Spend time trying to overturn their leadership.

If you don't need the insurance, I wouldn't join the AARP unless I was going to devote myself to reforming it. On the other hand, I cannot recommend the ASA.

Rationing and Health Care

Several people have posted responses to my blog on the Obama proposal for a Soviet-style health care rationing plan. As usual, the Democrats provide evidence that is comprised of assertions by Democratic Party print sources, such as the St. Petersburg Times, as "proof". In parroting the propaganda, they insult anyone who questions it. They claim that those who question it lack "intelligence"; assert that they have "gone nuts"; or say that they "lie". That is the chief line of argument that "progressives" of both parties have followed since the days of Theodore Roosevelt and the Republican Progressive movement.

The "progressives" advocate incompetence in the name of emergency. In the emergency phase they are certain of the accuracy of their own ideas, much as investors in Cisco Systems or were certain of theirs. They become frantic and insulting when anyone disagrees. They take the printed word as gospel, and claim that they are "enlightened".

Frequently, their programs pass. Sometimes, the incompetence of their ideas does not become evident for several decades. The New York City subways were "nationalized" in the 1930s but the most extreme deterioration occurred in the 1960s; Social Security was established and has functioned for seven decades; and so on. Social Security has transferred wealth from later to earlier generations. In the end, to rephrase Keynes, we are all impoverished, as 15% annual contributions have been sucked out of productive workers' paychecks to subsidize earlier generations. More often, though, their ideas flop almost immediately. OSHA, the occupational safety and health law, is an example. In the failure phase, government control has become entrenched and thousands of failed programs remain in place even though they harm the economy. In the 19th century the real wage grew two percent per year. Following nine decades of "progressive" reform, real wages have grown two percent over the last 35 years.

The argument that rationing already occurs is half true. There are degrees in most economic phenomena. Insurance companies do ration. But if I dislike the decisions of one insurance company, I can move to another. Market competition places some restrictions on insurance companies' abilities to curtail new ideas. There is considerable waste in the current system because many physicians over-treat and insurance companies aren't as good at rationing as the federal government would be. That waste would be eliminated by a national health insurance plan.

However, there is a separate market problem that "progressives" have never grasped. A centralized rationing agency would be conservative and unable to overcome the biases of the professional cadre. As a result, innovation would be much slower than in the current system and may be largely inhibited.

Although the American system is more expensive than other countries', it is also true that the majority of medical innovation occurs in the United States. Much as the socialist economy stalled economic development wherever it has been adopted, giving greater control of rationing decisions to a centralized economic agency would slow innovation world wide.

The concept of centralized health care reform is outdated. If anything, states should be in charge of reform, if reform is necessary. Moreover, the advocates of reform need to clarify how dynamic market innovation can occur under any kind of reform proposal.

So far, I have not heard any advocate of health care reform describe how innovation will occur under a centralized system. In fact, to the extent that the American economy has become regulated and centralized, innovation in the health care field has been considerably slowed. Several years ago Fortune ran an article about how university research in the cancer field has become dominated by entrenched academic interests that have inhibited innovation. The government agencies that fund research have been captured by the entrenched interests. Likewise, non-traditional cures have been illegalized.

Countries with national health insurance plans have not been innovative in the health care field. It is primarily the United States, which still has some elements of free markets, that has innovated. Moreover, the most important innovations in health care, aspirin, penicillin and the polio vaccine, were created before government intervention and regulation was escalated in the 1960s. That was also when health costs began to rise.

Thus, while Democrats can call those who question or think for themselves "stupid" or "nuts" they may step back and ask themselves how well the government programs, such as Social Security, that they have already adopted, have functioned. Given the decline in Social Security Benefits that has occurred, and that worse will follow, one would think that the Democrats might re-consider the lynch mob approach to reform that they have overseen since the 1930s. But they will not re-consider, much as a zealot will not reconsider his faith.