Greens Oppose “Insurance Industry Life Support” Bill

GPUS Release:

WASHINGTON, DC — In the wake of a US House vote passing a Democratic health care bill (HR 3962), Green Party leaders and health care activists are calling for a defeat of the bill, calling it little more than a program to subsidize the insurance industry.

Greens are urging supporters of real universal health care to intensify efforts to win Capitol Hill support for Single-Payer/Medicare For All national health care.

“Democrats from President Obama on down know that Single-Payer is the best solution. They’ve said so. But instead of eliminating the waste and inefficiency of for-profit health insurance, the Democrats’ ‘insurance industry life-support’ plan would increase insurance company profits by forcing every American to purchase their inferior products. Many Democrats who previously supported Single-Payer have turned their backs, abandoning real universal health care out of loyalty to the President and their party,” said Midge Potts, Missouri Green candidate for the US Senate (MySpace.com/Midge_Potts_US_Senate).

The Green Party supports Single-Payer, which would guarantee quality health care for every American, allow patients to choose their health care providers, cut paperwork for physicians and hospitals, and reduce health care costs by a third by eliminating the for-profit insurance industry ‘middle man’ (http://www.gp.org/campaigns/health/single-payer). Greens advocate a Single-Payer system run by a not-for-profit trust of health care providers, health care advocates, and taxpayers, rather than by the federal government. The Democratic bill accomplishes none of these goals.

“Democrats want phony health care reform, Republicans want zero reform. Greens seek real reform by making health care a right instead of a privilege, just as we’ve made Social Security, education, and the protections we enjoy from fire and police departments a right for everyone,” added Ms. Potts, one of nine peaceful protesters arrested on November 5 at the Capitol Hill office of Sen. Joseph Lieberman until the senator agreed to stop taking campaign contributions from the insurance industry (video clip: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=59896394&blogId=517420995).

Greens strongly criticized congressional Democrats like Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who withdrew his Single-Payer bill last week to support HR 3962. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had promised a vote after August on Single-Payer legislation, which sponsors of the latter have decided to withdraw.

When Rep. Pelosi, after vocal protests from Single-Payer supporters (including a sit-in at her Capitol Hill office) finally agreed to the vote but allowed only 20 minutes for debate, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) issued a public statement opposing the vote on the grounds that Single-Payer had not received an adequate hearing.

“Reps. Conyers and Kucinich argued that a quick vote and perfunctory defeat of Single-Payer would damage hopes for Single-Payer (http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/11/06-8). Tabling this vote made passage of the Democratic House bill possible, with yea votes from those who previously favored Single-Payer — making progressive Democrats as responsible as Blue Dogs and Republicans for killing real health care reform. The point of a vote on Single-Payer, regardless of its chances of passage right now, was to focus attention on Single-Payer and build momentum and public support,” said Holly Hart, secretary of the Green Party of the United States.

Like Midge Potts, several Green Party candidates and activists have participated in protests and civil disobedience to draw attention to the demand for Single-Payer. Howie Hawkins, who placed second on November 3 in Syracuse, New York city council race, was arrested on November 4 in downtown Syracuse during a non-violent demonstration outside the office of National Government Services, a Medicare claims processing operation owned by Wellpoint Inc., a major health insurer (video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PH76jQKzaA).

Mobilization for Health Care For All (http://mobilizeforhealthcare.org), which is organizing the protests, was founded by Kevin Zeese, Maryland Green candidate for the US Senate in 2006.

“No heath care reform bill should be enacted that doesn’t allow individual states to enact Single-Payer,” added Matt Reichel, Green candidate for Congress in Illinois’s 5th District (http://www.mattreichel.us), referring to the Kucinich amendment. “Rep. Pelosi stripped the provision for state-based Single-Payer from the House bill and Democrats weakened the public option to satisfy the insurance lobby. These betrayals justify a ‘voters revolt’ against Democrats in 2010, if they offer a health care bill that wastes taxpayers’ money and favors the insurance industry over Americans who need medical care.” (Article by Mr. Reichel on health care reform: http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/11/shut-down-this-murderous-racket-change-we-need-and-crave/)

The Green Party listed reasons to reject the Senate version of HR 3962:

• The ‘public option’ in the bill would enroll only 2% of the population by 2019. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the public option “would cost more than private plans” since it would enroll primarily the poorest and sickest members of society. Insurance companies will probably end up administering the public option plan. (Single-Payer ends the provision of health coverage by insurance companies, which raise health costs by nearly a third to cover overhead, administrative costs, CEO salaries, and profits for shareholders.)

“Democrats and their allies like Health Care for America NOW (HCAN) are trying to pull the wool over our eyes, pretending that this is a fight for a robust public option and universal health care. Democrats killed the public option a month ago in everything but name. They turned the public option into fig leaf for the corporate option their plan embraces. The real winners will be the insurance companies, since the Democrats are using the insurance mandate to gift-wrap 50 million new customers for them,” said Mr. Hawkins.

• Access to health insurance will still primarily be tied to employment. An employee who loses his or her job will still lose coverage. Employers, not employees, will choose their workers’ insurance company and their health care provider. (Single-Payer relieves businesses of the burden of providing health insurance benefits and allows Americans to choose their physician or hospital.)

• The House bill further increases health care spending. The US already spends nearly double ($7,200 per capita) what other industrial countries spend for their citizens. To reduce the increase in costs to the federal government, the Democrats’ plan would push more and more of the financial burden for health care onto state governments and consumers, while reducing subsidies to consumers. (Past studies by the GAO and CBO confirm that Single-Payer would save hundreds of billions of dollars annually in total health care spending.)

• The House bill denies health care for all immigrants, a restriction that would ultimately cost the US more in money and lives, since denial of treatment to anyone encourages the spread of disease among everyone, regardless of health coverage. (Single-Payer’s financial savings would fully offset the cost of health care for immigrants and improve the quality of health care for all.)

• Tens of millions of Americans will either not be required to purchase insurance or will choose to pay a penalty rather than do so. Those who buy subsidized plans, mostly the working poor, will find that many services are not covered and that they will lack the funds to pay the deductibles and co-pays needed for medical treatment, since the plans are designed to only cover 70% of costs. (Single-Payer will offer comprehensive health care for everyone.)

• Even though most Americans who presently lack health insurance are the working poor (75%) and those working for small employers, small employers are exempted from the requirement to provide health insurance. (Single-Payer covers everyone regardless of employment, ability to pay, age, or prior medical condition.)

• The AMA endorsed the Democratic bill, but only 17% of physicians (out of 800,000 in the US) are AMA members. 59% of physicians and a majority of the public support Single-Payer/Medicare For All. (Sources: http://www.pnhp.org/news/2008/march/most_doctors_support.php / http://www.healthcare-now.org/another-poll-shows-majority-support-for-single-payer / http://www.wpasinglepayer.org/PollResults.html)

“The destructive role of insurance companies is the biggest problem with the American health care system,” said Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. “It’s why we spend so much money and yet suffer a health care delivery system consistently ranked the worst among industrial countries, even though we have some of the best doctors, nurses, hospitals, and medical technology. We can save hundreds of billions of dollars annually by eliminating private for-profit insurance and using these funds to give every American access to quality health care. Instead, Democrats are offering a bill that would tighten the stranglehold of the insurance companies. This is not the change Americans were promised last November.”

Hat tip to Ron Hardy at Green Party Watch.

42 thoughts on “Greens Oppose “Insurance Industry Life Support” Bill

  1. Dave Schwab Post author

    Last week, House Democrats killed two provisions that could have given us the best health care in the world: single-payer. But we’ve still got a chance in the U.S. Senate.

    Tell your senators to support single-payer health care by co-sponsoring S. 703, the American Health Security Act:

    http://bit.ly/truereformnow

  2. Anonymousey

    You sure Howie wrote that? Howie does write good prose, but even in his own campaign, sometimes has others do press releases.

    I would peg this one (and most from gp.org) from Mark Dunlea.

    (Whose wife now works for the Obama administration.)

  3. Mik Robertson

    It is true the house bill only makes the current system worse by having government mandate participation in it.

    It is not the insurance companies themselves that are the problem, it is the system created by the government that allows insurance companies to run the show that is the problem.

    Taking the insurance companies down and replacing them with the government is not an improvement to the system. There will be no cost savings and the choices of individuals will only become more limited.

    What we need are real reforms that will allow individuals to run the show; to make their own choices and determine what is suitable for themselves. To have a government safety net to cover those who make bad choices would be fine. That is the reform we need, but it is not the reform anyone is proposing.

  4. tiradefaction

    Well, insurance companies in their present state really are the problem with healthcare delivery in the states. I’m not so sure the “government” created the situation, as much the insurance companies have co opted the situation.

    A single payer health insurance plan, even if done in a two tier system like Australia has, would be a great way for the individual to run their own healthcare, and can be decentralized down to a state level (like Canada has), and/or a county level (like Sweden has)

  5. Michael Cavlan

    Anonymousey

    Do tell us more. Interesting facts you bring to the table. Quick, send the Committee To End Free Speech. Oh wait, never mind.

    Since the GP have proven themselves to be not serious in building an actual, serious alternative to the pro-war, corporate corrupted two party system, others are starting afresh and building from the ground up.

    The lessons of the past 10 years have been noted and will be remembered.

    With nary a twinkle in sight..

    //:-D>———

    I do agree with the sentiment though. In fact John Murphy did a spectacular article on how Joe Liebermann may do what the “progressive” Democrats did not have the courage or integrity to do.

    Kill this healthcare bill. With the Kucinich amendment stripped out, it is worse than no bill.

  6. Steven R Linnabary

    From the outside looking in….

    This is NOT a well written NEWS release, but rather a well written OPINION piece.

    My eyes glazed over before I got to the third paragraph…

    It was almost as if Wayne Allyn Root had written it!

    A good news release will capture the attention of a reporter. It will be short enough to lead him or her to seek additional comments from the person that wrote it.

    As it is, it MIGHT be reprinted in a local chapter newsletter.

    PEACE

  7. Aroundtheblockafewtimes

    The health care “reform” legislation is neither constitutional nor just. You and I are free to donate substantial sums of money to cover medical services for indigent and poor folks. We are not free to put guns at the heads of others and force them to follow our moral dictates. Will the GP support a “conscientious objector” amendment to any legislation that may pass?

  8. tiradefaction

    The “gun to my head” hyperbole isn’t even grounded in reality. Show me one person who’s been actually killed for not paying their taxes, and I’ll consider it more than just ridiculous hyperbole.

    If you don’t want to pay taxes, what are you doing living here? Why bask in the benefit of general taxation in the form of public firefighters, public law enforcement, public roads, etc., and etc.

    Somalia is a place without taxes, can always consider a move there…

  9. Aroundtheblockafewtimes

    So sorry. I see: “The ends justify the means.” And “America, Love It or Leave It.” Just last night I heard about a guy who is spending 27 months in jail for non-payment of taxes. You bet your ass he wouldn’t be there if there was no armed Federal agent at his door. Fricking fascists!

  10. tiradefaction

    It’s not “ends justify the means”, or “love it or leave it”, it’s a case of “you don’t want to pay your dues to society, quit benefiting from people who do.” Don’t want to pay taxes? Fine, QUIT using public roads, don’t call the cops, and don’t call the fire department if your house catches on fire. And I asked you to show me someone who’s actually been killed for not paying their taxes, not sent to jail. Are all law enforcement to you “fascists”?

  11. Mik Robertson

    Where I live, the fire company is staffed by volunteers and funded by voluntary contributions. If I don’t want to pay for the roads, I can choose to use transportation that does not use liquid fuels.

    As long as I’m still allowed, I can provide for my own self-defense, but I don’t find any need to lock my car or my house, even when I am away for days at a time. Why should I be forced to buy health insurance or pay for the health care of others? There are alternatives.

    The fact is the government has created the current system. It is government regulation that determines what can be used as medicine and how it can be used. It is government licensing that determines who can practice medicine and provide care.

    It is government that determined employers could provide health insurance without it being subject to income tax. This makes it so people need to work for someone else or be at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing insurance.

    Insurance companies are also complicit through their lobbying and undue influence on government policy. Having a government run program will in no way address the influence of insurance industry influence on the legislative process, as we have seen develop before our very eyes on this issue.

    The health care of veterans in the US is a completely government run system. It is worse than Medicare and worse than the private insurance system. Why on earth would we want expand that system to cover everyone?

  12. tiradefaction

    >Where I live, the fire company is staffed by volunteers and funded by voluntary contributions.As long as I’m still allowed, I can provide for my own self-defense, but I don’t find any need to lock my car or my house, even when I am away for days at a time.It is government licensing that determines who can practice medicine and provide care. Insurance companies are also complicit through their lobbying and undue influence on government policy.Having a government run program will in no way address the influence of insurance industry influence on the legislative process, as we have seen develop before our very eyes on this issue.The health care of veterans in the US is a completely government run system. It is worse than Medicare and worse than the private insurance system. Why on earth would we want expand that system to cover everyone?<

    Actually, the VA doesn’t cover anyone, that’s the crux of the problem. The VA holds prioritized care, and many veterans simply don’t get the full amount of care the VA can and should offer all veterans. That’s why we get 2,266 dead veterans a year that are otherwise preventable. Read the link that Dave gave, it’s rather illuminating.

  13. tiradefaction

    Strange, my comment above was malformed…so I’ll post it again, corrected.

    “Where I live, the fire company is staffed by volunteers and funded by voluntary contributions.”

    Really? No municipal or otherwise county taxes go towards this fire department? You must live in a really small town then.

    “If I don’t want to pay for the roads, I can choose to use transportation that does not use liquid fuels. ”

    Don’t then, quit using paid for by taxed public roads please.

    “As long as I’m still allowed, I can provide for my own self-defense, but I don’t find any need to lock my car or my house, even when I am away for days at a time.”

    Then don’t call the cops if your self defense becomes inadequate.

    “Why should I be forced to buy health insurance or pay for the health care of others?”

    Why should I die because some greedy CEO keep more of his extravagant wealth?

    “It is government licensing that determines who can practice medicine and provide care. ”

    Uh dude…if we have no regulatory boards on who can practice medicine, we’d go back to the 1800s with charlatans selling shit like “nerve tonics”, and other such ridiculous things. If we have no regulatory boards, I COULD be a doctor then, without ANY medical training.

    “Insurance companies are also complicit through their lobbying and undue influence on government policy. ”

    Well at least you admit this.

    “Having a government run program will in no way address the influence of insurance industry influence on the legislative process, as we have seen develop before our very eyes on this issue.”

    Obama’s plan sure doesn’t, you’re right about this. Obama’s plan is a private insuranced run system, and that’s not what we need. We need to break up the insurance companies, and make them into smaller entities, and have a single payer medicare for all style system, to even further reduce the power of the private insurance companies. That way, they’ll have less ground to dilute the legislative process, and ultimately our democracy.

    “The health care of veterans in the US is a completely government run system. It is worse than Medicare and worse than the private insurance system. Why on earth would we want expand that system to cover everyone?”

    Actually, the VA doesn’t cover anyone, that’s the crux of the problem. The VA holds prioritized care, and many veterans simply don’t get the full amount of care the VA can and should offer all veterans. That’s why we get 2,266 dead veterans a year that are otherwise preventable. Read the link that Dave gave, it’s rather illuminating.

  14. Aroundtheblockafewtimes

    I’m sorry, tiradefaction, I lost my temper. You and LEOs may or may not be fascists. Maybe you are just confused, as are many of my colleagues who see the wrong in the provisions of the Patriot Act and many Bush/Cheney measures, but support similarly coercive measures that happen to advance whatever philosophical and moral views they profess.

    I am happy to pay taxes or user fees for those services which benefit me. I have no desire to cause you to live your life for me, but I also don’t want to live mine for you. While I may have views, like Mr. Robertson above, about the best way to pay for police, fire, roads, airports, etc., if I use these services as currently provided for, then I am happy to pay for my use of them.

    It strikes me that the 65,000,000 of us who did not vote for Sen. McCain could easily throw $25 each into the pot every year to provide $36,000
    for health care for those alleged 40,000 who die from lack of health care. In fact, I’ll throw in $50, because I’m sure not all the 65 million will “walk the walk.” The last time I looked, my state tax return had about ten different causes one could contribute extra taxes for – save the beaver, wind energy, and the like. Maybe each state should just add a voluntary surcharge line of, say, 5% to take care of something really important like death from lack of healthcare.

    Compulsion is not compassion. Charity is not coercion. “Because God says so.” is the hallmark of a theocracy, not a republican secular democracy.

  15. Mik Robertson

    @15 “Don’t then, quit using paid for by taxed public roads please.”

    “Then don’t call the cops if your self defense becomes inadequate. ”

    Why is the answer here not to force everyone to pay for roads or police service but the answer to health care is to force everyone to pay for it? Isn’t the whole point of this “single payer” system so some people can get health care without having to pay for it?

    @15 “Uh dude…if we have no regulatory boards on who can practice medicine, we’d go back to the 1800s with charlatans selling shit like “nerve tonics”, and other such ridiculous things. If we have no regulatory boards, I COULD be a doctor then, without ANY medical training.”

    Not necessarily. The failure of government in the 1800’s was in not securing the rights of the individual in favor of allowing economic activity. It is fraud to claim something that is not true, and it is a fair role for government to police fraud, not to unnecessarily regulate. You could claim to be a doctor, but if it is not true you would be subject to prosecution. Like I said, there are alternatives to creating new regulatory roles and programs for government that promote free choice and free markets.

    @17 “Sorry, correction “The VA doesn’t cover every veteran, that’s the crux of the problem”*”

    If the government cannot cover those with whom it has promised care as part of the contract for their service, how likely is it government can fulfill that promise to all in society?

  16. tiradefaction

    “Why is the answer here not to force everyone to pay for roads or police service but the answer to health care is to force everyone to pay for it? Isn’t the whole point of this “single payer” system so some people can get health care without having to pay for it?”

    Obviously, the term “single payer” flies over your head. It doesn’t mean no one pays for it, it means it has a singular payer source, generally through citizens via taxation. Instead of individually paying to corrupt insurance CEOs,. we all pay individually into a collective risk pool.

    “You could claim to be a doctor, but if it is not true you would be subject to prosecution.”

    Yeah, because the medical licensing is strictly monitored and regulated…with no regulation, I could be selling my piss as a new “home remedy” as a doctor with a Ph.D. I printed online.

    “If the government cannot cover those with whom it has promised care as part of the contract for their service, how likely is it government can fulfill that promise to all in society?”

    It doesn’t promise to cover everyone, it promises to cover select cases within the veteran community. That is the problem at hand, that it doesn’t cover all veterans, that’s why they’re dying. But no, the people can’t just expect their government to keep their promises, they ALWAYS and vigilantly have to keep their government at task to keep those promises. It’s basic civic life.

  17. Mik Robertson

    @19 “Obviously, the term “single payer” flies over your head. It doesn’t mean no one pays for it, it means it has a singular payer source, generally through citizens via taxation. Instead of individually paying to corrupt insurance CEOs,. we all pay individually into a collective risk pool.”

    Paying individually into a collective risk pool is what you do when you buy insurance, except then you can choose what is most suitable for you (or choose to not collectivize risk at all). Why are corporate insurance CEO’s inherently more corrupt than corporate government bureaucrats? If the point of single payer is not to cover those who currently do not have insurance including those unable to pay, what is the point?

    @19 “Yeah, because the medical licensing is strictly monitored and regulated…with no regulation, I could be selling my piss as a new “home remedy” as a doctor with a Ph.D. I printed online.”

    You could do that now even with licensing. You would be committing fraud just as you would be without the licensing and regulatory program, and would be subject to prosecution either way. You still have liability for your actions either way. Why have all of the extra red tape and regulation that inhibits people from accessing health care?

    @19 “But no, the people can’t just expect their government to keep their promises, they ALWAYS and vigilantly have to keep their government at task to keep those promises. It’s basic civic life.”

    So why is it better to take away people’s choices and put the government in charge of health care?

  18. tiradefaction

    “Paying individually into a collective risk pool is what you do when you buy insurance, except then you can choose what is most suitable for you (or choose to not collectivize risk at all).”

    Not really, what we currently have is paying overcharged premiums while being denied care for ridiculous pre existing conditions (which now include rape), it’s a waste of our money, and a waste of our resources to be paying these private entities for healthcare.

    “Why are corporate insurance CEO’s inherently more corrupt than corporate government bureaucrats?”

    Because they aren’t accountable to anyone at the moment, as they’re so loosely regulated. “government bureaucrats” wouldn’t control your healthcare under a single payer health insurance plan, your doctor would.

    “If the point of single payer is not to cover those who currently do not have insurance including those unable to pay, what is the point?”

    The point of single payer is to cover everyone (or at least provide a public option for any one who can’t or doesn’t want to pay for private healthcare).

    “You could do that now even with licensing. You would be committing fraud just as you would be without the licensing and regulatory program, and would be subject to prosecution either way. You still have liability for your actions either way. Why have all of the extra red tape and regulation that inhibits people from accessing health care?”

    Well, what you are describing is indeed, regulation. When the courts determine you’ve commited fraud, and prosecute thereof, that’s regulation.

    “So why is it better to take away people’s choices and put the government in charge of health care?”

    Sorry, but a single payer insurance model wouldn’t take away people’s choices, anymore than the NHS in Britain does (anyone in Britain can use private healthcare if they want and can afford it).

  19. Mik Robertson

    @22 “Not really, what we currently have is paying overcharged premiums while being denied care for ridiculous pre existing conditions (which now include rape), it’s a waste of our money, and a waste of our resources to be paying these private entities for healthcare.”

    This is brought about because of special privilege and limited choices regulated by government. It is this interference that reduces the free market to a special group of privileged providers. Further reducing the free market choices of consumers by forcing a purchase from these special providers or offering a government-run option will not solve the problem of health care access or affordability.

    It is true the insurance corporation should not be able to overcharge and limit coverage. The fact that they can is an indication the market choices to address those problems are not available.

    @22 “Because they aren’t accountable to anyone at the moment, as they’re so loosely regulated. “government bureaucrats” wouldn’t control your healthcare under a single payer health insurance plan, your doctor would.”

    This is nonsense. They aren’t accountable because they don’t have to be. They don’t have to be because they enjoy special privilege. They have no competition to worry about. The insurance industry and the health care industry are two of the most regulated sectors of the economy. If you have government bureaucrats involved it won’t be any different. Look at the NHS in the UK.

    @22 “The point of single payer is to cover everyone (or at least provide a public option for any one who can’t or doesn’t want to pay for private healthcare).”

    Why didn’t you just say this instead of insinuating I misunderstood Single Payer? Let me ask again, why did you say I shouldn’t use police services or public roads if I don’t want to pay for them but say people should get health services at the expense of others?

    @22 “Well, what you are describing is indeed, regulation. When the courts determine you’ve commited fraud, and prosecute thereof, that’s regulation.”

    It is not excessive regulation that squashes free choice for individuals, though. I never said there is no role for government to play, I just question whether government running the show will really address the problems of health care in the US.

    @22 “Sorry, but a single payer insurance model wouldn’t take away people’s choices, anymore than the NHS in Britain does (anyone in Britain can use private healthcare if they want and can afford it).”

    That is not saying much. It would certainly limit their choices much more than they would have in a truly free market. Anyone under the current system can get the same health care coverage as our federal legislators if they can afford it, too.

    If I am already paying for health care through taxes, is it more likely or less likely that I will be able to afford the health care *I* want?

  20. tiradefaction

    “This is brought about because of special privilege and limited choices regulated by government. It is this interference that reduces the free market to a special group of privileged providers. Further reducing the free market choices of consumers by forcing a purchase from these special providers or offering a government-run option will not solve the problem of health care access or affordability.”

    The free market is a religion for you, aren’t they?

    “That is not saying much. It would certainly limit their choices much more than they would have in a truly free market. Anyone under the current system can get the same health care coverage as our federal legislators if they can afford it, too.”

    Yeah….uh, if “they can afford it”. Key concept there dude…

    And the NHS provides healthcare to many who would otherwise not be able to get it in Britain.

    “Why didn’t you just say this instead of insinuating I misunderstood Single Payer? Let me ask again, why did you say I shouldn’t use police services or public roads if I don’t want to pay for them but say people should get health services at the expense of others?”

    You already are paying for others (Expensive ER treatments for people that could of had ailments treated for much cheaper earlier on, and also with private insurance, you pay for others one way or another)

    “Look at the NHS in the UK. ”

    I see it’s still the most popular institution in the United Kingdom…I wonder why…

    Don’t you remember the “We love the NHS” campaign as of late?

    “It is true the insurance corporation should not be able to overcharge and limit coverage. The fact that they can is an indication the market choices to address those problems are not available.”

    Maybe because “market” solutions haven’t worked? I really think you should put down those Ayn Rand novels, I see you’re really quite extreme in this belief in the “free market”

    “If I am already paying for health care through taxes, is it more likely or less likely that I will be able to afford the health care *I* want?”

    If you’re not satisfied with the public system, you’re free to use the private system, as you are in Britain, Australia, and countless other nations with public universal systems. Don’t whine if you can’t afford it though, as that’s why there’s a public healthcare system to begin with.

  21. Mik Robertson

    @24 “The free market is a religion for you, aren’t they?”

    I only like it when it will better address the problems that are encountered. This is one of those cases.

    @24 “Yeah….uh, if “they can afford it”. Key concept there dude…

    And the NHS provides healthcare to many who would otherwise not be able to get it in Britain.”

    At what quality and at what cost? Who makes the decisions?

    @24 “You already are paying for others (Expensive ER treatments for people that could of had ailments treated for much cheaper earlier on, and also with private insurance, you pay for others one way or another)”

    You still didn’t answer the question. If I am already paying for others, why do I need to be forced to pay for others? With the system now I have a choice to opt out or choose another plan without also paying for one I don’t use. A government safety net for those in need is fine. That is not what this proposal is, however.

    @24 “I see it’s still the most popular institution in the United Kingdom…I wonder why…

    Don’t you remember the “We love the NHS” campaign as of late?”

    It is not so great according to many, including UK MEP Daniel Hannan. To be fair, in most cases wait times are under 18 weeks. A lot of people are directly employed by the NHS (3rd biggest employer in Britain) with many more dependent on it, so it does have a big block of support. There are efforts to take some of the control from the NHS bureaucracy and put it in the hands of individuals as well, which is the direction Mr. Hannan advised Mr. Obama to go.

    @24 “Maybe because “market” solutions haven’t worked? I really think you should put down those Ayn Rand novels, I see you’re really quite extreme in this belief in the “free market””

    I have never read any Ayn Rand, nor do I particularly care to. I think generally people can make choices for themselves better than other people can make decisions for them. In order to claim the market solutions haven’t worked, first you have to try them. There has not been a free market in health care since the 1930’s and arguably not before that.

    While people like Kenneth Arrow and Paul Krugman may not believe free market health care can work, the more successful European models include some market aspects, and will need to include more to be sustainable. There are also examples in Latin America that may be more appropriate for the US.

    @24 “If you’re not satisfied with the public system, you’re free to use the private system, as you are in Britain, Australia, and countless other nations with public universal systems. Don’t whine if you can’t afford it though, as that’s why there’s a public healthcare system to begin with.”

    Why should anyone be satisfied with a system that is inefficient, bureaucratic and we know is not sustainable? If the NHS in the UK is so good, why is it that people who can afford to buy private insurance do?

    This is especially true when there are alternatives that better address the problems of health care costs and accessibility to care. If you are concerned about the issues, at least consider the alternatives. If you are simply an advocate for a particular position, nothing I say will change your mind.

    If someone said to you that because some people cannot afford or do not have access to lunch that you cannot choose when and where you will have lunch but will have have to pay for a plan where you get spaghetti at noon in your choice of three places, would you think that was an improvement? What happens when you have to wait three hours to get your spaghetti?

  22. Natalia

    I may be jumping into this too late, but yeah… let me start by clearing up this idea that the Green Party is made up of fascists:

    ***Fascism is a political ideology that seeks to combine radical and authoritarian nationalism with a corporatist economic system.

    From the Green Party 10 Key Values:
    1.) We believe in grassroots, PARTICIPATORY democracy. That means bottom-up democratic self-governance of by and for citizens. Not top-down AUTHORITARIAN nationalism.
    2.) We oppose the centralization of power, both in government and the private sector. We are anti-corporatist, period. Our economic system is COMMUNITY based, not CORPORATE based, and we advocate a model of sustainability (Steady-State Economy/Conservation Economy) with an emphasis on social & environmental responsibility. American capitalism today is characterized by reckless profiteerism, mindless consumerism, and is in love with “tricks & traps” business schemes.

    So far, we are neither radical authoritarian nationalists, nor do we support a corporatist economic system.

    ***and which is usually considered to be on the far right of the traditional left-right political spectrum.

    We are located in the lower left quadrant of the political compass. We have been characterized many times as “the radical left”, NEVER as “the far right”.

    ***Fascists believe that nations and/or races are in perpetual conflict whereby only the strong can survive by being healthy, vital, and by asserting themselves in conflict against the weak.

    Greens are global and united under the 10 key values. Our foreign policy is not based on inciting human conflict for America’s gain (ridiculous!), we choose to focus on the human capacity for cooperation and creative-collaboration. We are for peace and disarmament, we stand for fair-trade, and for sustainable development and social and economic justice across the globe.

    ***Fascists advocate the creation of a single-party state.

    Again, we are for the decentralization of power, both public and private:

    “We believe in multi-party democracy for partisan elections as the best way to guarantee majority rule, since more people will have representation at the table where policy is enacted. We assert that introduction of a multi-party democracy is essential because The change in the structure of electoral politics will moderate the influence of extremist views and domination by the larger parties, and offer more fair representation to a greater number of citizens; and a third party can validate and raise other points of view that need to be heard. ” [Part I, Section A, #10]

    ***Fascist governments forbid and suppress openness and opposition to the government and the fascist movement.

    ***Fascism opposes class conflict, blames capitalist liberal democracies for its creation and communists for exploiting the concept.

    Hmm… “class conflict”. You know, slavery has existed for THOUSANDS of years – has capitalist liberal democracy existed for thousands of years too?

    From wikipedia: Liberal democracy (or constitutional democracy) is the dominant form of democracy in the 21st century. Capitalism dates back to the middle ages, with elements of capitalism dating back to the Roman Empire.

    The truth is that we do not believe capitalist liberal democracy is to blame for the *creation* of class conflict. What *is* to blame? Human frailty; mankind’s lower nature — there are a million different ways to describe it.

    As far as communism — again, we don’t believe communism *is to blame for* exploiting class-conflict. It certainly does – but so do .

    Greens are pro-democracy. We are COMMUNITARIAN, without being *Communist*. We are PRO-SOCIAL in our outlook (in the psychological sense that we are concerned with the wellbeing of others) without being *Socialist*

    We aren’t interested in turning political ideology into a rigid political constitution/doctrine. Green politics is not like that. Our platform is a *living document*, open to change. Political philosophy guides our decisions, but our solutions for bettering the human condition are based on *pragmatism*. (More on this in the next post where I will explain the limits of what Capitalism can do for a civil society, and why health INSURANCE, among other things, is therefore better assigned to the public sector. Greens believe in *better* government “for service”, not *bigger* government “for charity”.)

    ***In the economic sphere, many fascist leaders have claimed to support a “Third Way” in economic policy, which they believed superior to both the rampant individualism of unrestrained capitalism and the severe control of state communism. This was to be achieved by establishing significant government control over business and labour (Mussolini called his nation’s system “the corporate state”).

    I’ve stated my case.

    ***No common and concise definition exists for fascism and historians and political scientists disagree on what should be in any concise definition.

    And that’s why people call us fascists – because they can.

    This term is pejorative and so ambiguous that simply sticking the word to an opponent can be enough to invalidate them and even kill the debate (leaving you the victor).

    Yet obviously there *are* specific parameters to describe what fascism *is* — and the Green Party doesn’t fall under any of them.

  23. tiradefaction

    “If I am already paying for others, why do I need to be forced to pay for others? ”

    *sigh*

    “A lot of people are directly employed by the NHS (3rd biggest employer in Britain) with many more dependent on it, so it does have a big block of support.”

    Great way to write off the massive support of the NHS as simply “they’re employed by them” Others dependent on them, oh wait, could it be people who actually get their healthcare from them? Oh gee, wonder why they’d support them lol…

    “It is not so great according to many, including UK MEP Daniel Hannan”

    Daniel Hannan is one MEP, who’s an opportunist twat, who was chastised by his own party for his statements on the NHS. That’s like me stating MEP Nick Griffin’s quotes as evidence the “white race is superior”.

    “At what quality and at what cost? Who makes the decisions?”

    Your doctors do in the NHS, and if you’re not satisfied with it, there’s always the private option.

    “If the NHS in the UK is so good, why is it that people who can afford to buy private insurance do?”

    Some do for optional things the NHS doesn’t, largely plastic surgery, which is the biggest private health industry in the UK. Also, some use it to get past the waiting lines, which for elective surgery can be a while.

    “What happens when you have to wait three hours to get your spaghetti?”

    I’d gladly wait three hours rather than waiting forever and never getting any.

    “If you are simply an advocate for a particular position, nothing I say will change your mind.”

    The same is easily said about you.

    Listen, you seem too knee deep in this Free Market dogma and because so, this discussion isn’t going to go anywhere.

    I’m just going to leave you a quote and a video, and hopefully these will sink in.

    “The markets make a good servant but a bad master, and a worse religion”~Amory Lovins

    If you dont’ want to pay taxes, let’s make a deal– you don’t pay taxes, but you don’t use anything that is paid for with taxes. You can’t buy anything that arrives on a road, you can’t go anywhere on any roads, you can’t buy gasoline, which is subsidized by the government, you absolve yourself of protection by the military, you absolve yourself of protection by the court system, the fire department, etc etc etc.
    http://current.com/items/90726751_so-you-dont-want-to-pay-taxes.htm <== watch this

  24. Natalia

    Woops – missed one :oP

    ***Fascist governments forbid and suppress openness and opposition to the government and the fascist movement.

    Again, this does not describe us. We want EVERYONE to participate in civic life, we need EVERY VOICE to be heard or it’s not a democracy. We ENCOURAGE people to contribute to their communities; to own their citizenship and not just their consumership.

    As stated before in a quote directly out of our party platform, we want people to vote their *values*, and we encourage them to create political parties around their values. Even if they are not on “our side” we need them to be on *their side* once and for all – and not on the side of these corporate-sponsored parties.

    We want to repeal the Patriot Act, we want 9-11 declassified — and these are things that MANY progressive Americans want.

  25. Mik Robertson

    @27 You seem to be stuck on the idea that only government through force can correct the problems with the current health care system in the US. You do not see that the current problems are caused by government force and undue market interference.

    All that the House bill does is make more of the current problems, and all single payer does is substitute several corporate bureaucracies for another corporate bureaucracy.

    Free markets are about people making choices for themselves. If you don’t like that why would you choose to live in the United States? Rather than make everyone wait three hours for spaghetti, wouldn’t it make more sense to get those who don’t have lunch a plate of spaghetti?

    A safety net for those who currently do not have health care is possible while correcting the problems of privilege in the current system. Are you sure we want to go down a road that other nations are moving away from or will soon be forced financially to move away from?

    You can dismiss me as someone who thinks people can make choices for themselves and sigh every time I question the need to force some to pay for the health care of others, that is your choice.

    I pointed out where there were alternatives to taxes for roads and police and you assume I am saying there is no role for government in those things. Your response was to say I should not use those services if I don’t want to pay for them. Yet for health care your response is I must pay for others. You still haven’t answered why that is.

    There are many people who have serious problems with the NHS and the system in Canada, and medicare for that matter. Any time you get a big bureaucracy you are going to have problems. Why not try to avoid those problems?

    There are things where government can play a role to address market shortcomings, provision of public goods, regulating natural monopolies, or addressing negative externalities. Providing health care does not fit those categories.

    What the government *should* be doing in regard to health care is insuring people can make the choices necessary to meet their health care needs.

  26. robert capozzi

    Natalia, that sounds “nice,” but do you want to FORCE people to participate in their communities? Those who don’t want to participate/special plead much or at all, is it just tough on them?

    It strikes me that communities should first be about peace, which cannot be forced.

  27. tiradefaction

    “A safety net for those who currently do not have health care is possible while correcting the problems of privilege in the current system. Are you sure we want to go down a road that other nations are moving away from or will soon be forced financially to move away from?”

    Well, I’ll give you kudos for supporting a safety net of some sort, but you’re wrong that the “rest of the world” is going away from their “systems”. That’s propaganda from groups that want to create false boogeymen when debates are brought forth on health reform in America.

    “Yet for health care your response is I must pay for others. You still haven’t answered why that is.”

    You don’t have to. If you don’t want to use any services, health, roads, police, firefighters, fine, but do not use them. I’d recommend Somalia, no taxation there, and it’d be easy to move there.

    “If you don’t like that why would you choose to live in the United States?”

    Because where I live, I don’t live in a “Free market society”, I pay taxes, and get services in return. I like using public roads, public education, public firefighting, food assistance, housing assistance, and etc. It’s my dues for being in a civilized society. If you don’t want to live in one, please move.

    Also, who says I’ll remain in the United States indefinitely?

    “Rather than make everyone wait three hours for spaghetti, wouldn’t it make more sense to get those who don’t have lunch a plate of spaghetti? ”

    *facepalm*

    “There are many people who have serious problems with the NHS and the system in Canada, and medicare for that matter. Any time you get a big bureaucracy you are going to have problems. Why not try to avoid those problems?”

    Do please keep in mind, that Canada’s medicare system still has a really high approval rating, at 87.6E%, and the NHS has an even higher approval rating in Britain.

    Sure, there’s problems, but nothing is perfect.

    “What the government *should* be doing in regard to health care is insuring people can make the choices necessary to meet their health care needs.”

    You’re right, and the best road to go about that would be a single payer healthcare system.

  28. Steven R Linnabary

    I like using public roads, public education, public firefighting, food assistance, housing assistance, and etc. It’s my dues for being in a civilized society.

    A “civilized society” of course being one where one is forced, ultimately at gunpoint, to support whatever war or boondoggle is in vogue at the moment.

    Somehow, this doesn’t seem too “civilized” to me.

    All we’re saying is “let’s give peace a chance”.

    PEACE

  29. Mik Robertson

    @31 “Well, I’ll give you kudos for supporting a safety net of some sort, but you’re wrong that the “rest of the world” is going away from their “systems”. That’s propaganda from groups that want to create false boogeymen when debates are brought forth on health reform in America.”

    I suppose it is better to create false boogeymen than real ones. The Democratic proposal without the public option was estimated by the CBO to add one trillion dollars to the federal debt in ten years and increase coverage by a net 16 million people. Single payer would cost more. The struggles of many nations to maintain their current health systems are also very real.

    @31 “You don’t have to. If you don’t want to use any services, health, roads, police, firefighters, fine, but do not use them. I’d recommend Somalia, no taxation there, and it’d be easy to move there.”

    I’m assuming you meant if I don’t want to pay for the services, don’t use them. It is not a question of not wanting to pay, but being compelled to pay for things that are not a primary responsibility of government. I have already described how our community fire company is funded voluntarily.

    The public roadways are a commons, not rightly owned by the government, although governments often open and maintain right-of-ways. If I use a mode of transportation, like a horse, that does not depend on a smooth paved road surface or winter maintenance, why pay for those things? In most cases people wouldn’t. It so happens I do use a motorized vehicle, therefore by that choice I do pay for the road construction and maintenance, but many of my neighbors do not. Still, if I want to minimize my payment, I can limit my driving. It is my choice and I pay for my use.

    There are alternatives to removing choices from people in order to have those services available. Saying if you don’t want to pay for others to use the service you should move is not a very good justification for imposing the tax.

    @31 “Because where I live, I don’t live in a “Free market society”, I pay taxes, and get services in return. I like using public roads, public education, public firefighting, food assistance, housing assistance, and etc. It’s my dues for being in a civilized society. If you don’t want to live in one, please move.”

    You do live in a nation that was founded on the principle that governments exist to secure the rights of the individual. The United States is rather special in that regard. While I may have a right to choose my health care options, I do not have a right to make others pay for my choices.

    There is a difference between paying to secure individual rights and paying for the choices of others. A system of criminal justice serves to secure the rights of all and is different from the provision of health care goods and services.

    If you wish to pay for a particular good or service, that’s fine and is within your right to choose. If you choose a particular good or service and point to others saying they must help pay for it, that is not fine.

    You may voluntarily choose to pay for those things, and if communities want to establish programs to assist those in need, they should be able to do so. People can then make reasonable choices whether they want to live there or not. Do not ask the federal government to impose things on the nation, though. Again, saying if you don’t like it move is not a good justification.

    @31 “*facepalm*”

    I don’t know what that means in this context.

    @31 “Do please keep in mind, that Canada’s medicare system still has a really high approval rating, at 87.6E%, and the NHS has an even higher approval rating in Britain.

    Sure, there’s problems, but nothing is perfect.”

    A lot of people like the federal income tax system when they think they get free money back from it when they file. If people think they are getting something for “free” it is usually pretty popular. Expose the true cost and things can change.

    While we are having a debate on health care in the United States, why not evaluate all of the options?

    @31 “You’re right, and the best road to go about that would be a single payer healthcare system.”

    This is debatable. I think it would be a much stronger contender if it were optional and voluntarily funded, or funded in a manner that did not rely on coercing individuals, such as with levies on environmental pollution or natural resource extraction.

  30. tiradefaction

    “A “civilized society” of course being one where one is forced, ultimately at gunpoint, to support whatever war or boondoggle is in vogue at the moment.”

    Hyperbolic language. Please spare me the “I’m FORCED AT GUNPOINT” argument, as it’s not even accurate.

    “The struggles of many nations to maintain their current health systems are also very real.”

    With no struggle life wouldn’t be worth living 🙂

    “If people think they are getting something for “free” it is usually pretty popular. Expose the true cost and things can change.”

    What you’re basically saying is this. You confront my argument by claiming the healthcare systems around the world aren’t popular, then when I show that they are, you claim they only like it out of some misconception. That sir, is dirty debating, and it just shows me continuing with you won’t go anywhere.

  31. Steven R Linnabary

    Please spare me the “I’m FORCED AT GUNPOINT” argument, as it’s not even accurate.

    Huh??

    Well, if you think that a bunch big ugly guys with guns *WON’T* show up at your door if you refuse your “democratically approved” war tax, why would anybody pay for it?

    Let’s give peace a chance!

    PEACE

  32. Steven R Linnabary

    You confront my argument by claiming the healthcare systems around the world aren’t popular, then when I show that they are, you claim they only like it out of some misconception. That sir, is dirty debating, and it just shows me continuing with you won’t go anywhere.

    When I show you that taxes are collected ultimately at gunpoint, you say they are not. This shows me that no debate with you will go anywhere.

    PEACE

  33. tiradefaction

    “When I show you that taxes are collected ultimately at gunpoint, you say they are not. This shows me that no debate with you will go anywhere.

    PEACE”

    I wasn’t debating with you, so uh?

    I wouldn’t waste my time with someone who uses such blatant emotional appeals for arguments.

  34. Mik Robertson

    @34 “What you’re basically saying is this. You confront my argument by claiming the healthcare systems around the world aren’t popular, then when I show that they are, you claim they only like it out of some misconception. That sir, is dirty debating, and it just shows me continuing with you won’t go anywhere.”

    When did I ever say the health care systems of other nations were unpopular? You have said they are popular, and I gave some reasons why that may be true. It is true there are people who see serious problems in those systems and are trying to reform them.

    I confront your argument by saying it is not right to force some people to pay for the health care of others or to needlessly limit the choices of the individual.

    Securing the ability of individuals to make their own health care choices is a case of government securing individual rights. Coercing payment for health care services is not securing individual rights. Single payer does not have to be set up that way, if that is the direction you want to go. That is the way the current proposal for reform is set up, however.

    You have said that if I don’t want to pay for other people’s health care, I should move, which is not a good argument. Saying other countries use a certain kind of health care system does not necessarily make it the best in this situation.

    It is comparing apples to oranges to compare the legitimate functions of government to secure individual rights with the provision of health care goods or services.

  35. Natalia

    Rob says:
    ***Natalia, that sounds “nice,”***

    What do you mean by “nice”?
    Do you still think we are fascists or did I set the record straight?

    (Come on, give a girl some credit 😉 <3

    ***but do you want to FORCE people to participate in their communities?***

    No I want to INSPIRE them to participate in their communities.

    ***Those who don’t want to participate/special plead much or at all, is it just tough on them?***

    People who don’t want to participate in the marketplace don’t get a say, do they? Those who don’t want to work/produce much at all — do they get to have a house, a car, a cell phone, brand-name clothes, organic food, etc. — or is it just tough on them? (I’m just saying lol)

    As far as participatory citizenship = “special pleading” — that is your bias. Libertarians and Greens have completely different understandings of government and it’s role in a civil society.

    Green stance in a nutshell: Participatory citizenship is not special pleading. Special pleading implies that you are beginning from a place of dis-empowerment (pleading to an authoritative power for special treatment – like you are subordinate to something else [you get what I mean]).

    Our view is that citizenship is a _privilege_ awarded to everyone (for free, at birth, and regardless to inherited social status) that empowers the individual by giving them a voice/vote in decision making (governance).It is up to the individual to exercise that voice.

    So participatory citizenship is actually *Self*-Governance. It’s _of_ the people, _by_ the people, and _for_ the people. It implies that the individual is inherently free from any outside authority AND THUS responsible for themselves. If you do not step up and take accountability and responsibility for *your place* and *your role* in your community, SOMEONE ELSE WILL. No one takes power from us – we give it away. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s the patriot act, or private enterprise (like Wal-Mart) steamrolling its way into your neighborhood, because this is bigger and broader (is that a word?lol) than “Capitalism” or “Democracy”.

    This is one of those “natural laws” that our founding fathers understood: If you are not willing to stay *vigilent*, _you are making yourself vulnerable_. And it’s a choice.

    To be a participating citizen in political governance is _the defintion_ of “eternal vigilence”.

    ***It strikes me that communities should first be about peace, which cannot be forced.***

    You are right, communities should be about peace. What separates a Green from a Libertarian is very subtle: it’s our respective _definitions_ of peace, or what we believe peace *means*.

    Libertarianism stands on an axiom of non-aggression. Greens are pro-peace, and our stance is axiomatic (relating to or derived from an axiom without _being an axiom_, per se).

    Here’s the key to the Green understanding of Peace *in the context of community*: it is something that exists *between people*. So while we cannot force each other to cooperate, we nonetheless *have to* engage each other in order to achieve peace. Positive action is necessary for peace; yet non-aggression is literally *non-action*. It’s not coercive, which is good, but it’s also not asking anything of the individual (where peace *does* ask of the individual. You could say that peace is _inherently_ coercive, or coercive _by nature_.). Ultimately, this is what renders the axiom of non-aggression _powerless_ in its effort to promote peace among groups of people.

    So to Greens, “Peace” is something more akin to “Harmony” (which connotes action) than to “Non-Agression”(non-action, passivity). Using music as an example, harmony is not *silence* (non-action), it’s an active and creative process.

    I found some good quotes from Dorothy Thomas that more or less sum up “green peace”:

    “Peace has to be created, in order to be maintained. _It will never be achieved by passivity and quietism_. Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict – alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.”

    “They have not wanted peace at all; they have wanted to be spared war–as though the absence of war was the same as peace.”

    I’m waaaay behind on this thread (still writing mho on health insurance/healthcare) , but feel free to fire back on this topic (Rob or anyone) — I love a good intellectual debate! <3

  36. tiradefaction

    “When did I ever say the health care systems of other nations were unpopular? You have said they are popular, and I gave some reasons why that may be true.”

    You claimed many people have problems with their healthcare systems, then when I give overall mass support for the programs, you claim that it’s because they just “don’t understand” the situation, which is rather condescending, and frankly, disingenuous.

    There is reform happening in nations with national healthcare programs, like Ireland and Germany, but it’s not in the way you think. Ireland is moving towards a single payer system (which has broad support among the many parties there), and Germany is moving towards a singular social insurance model for healthcare, moving away from the market based bismarck model.

    Anyway, at this point I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree on this issue.

    Truce?

  37. Mik Robertson

    @40 Usually when you use quotation marks you are actually quoting something someone else said. I never said people “don’t understand” their situation. They understand very well that there is no significant out of pocket cost, and the real costs are hidden so well it is not clear that *anyone* can figure the true cost of these systems.

    It is very similar to people who like the federal income tax system when they file their taxes and get money back. When the situation turns around and people have to pay, they hate the system. Generally, of course. It is neither condescending nor disingenuous to note this phenomenon.

    People also know where their paychecks come from. It is very rare to have a large employer that does not enjoy popular support from the employees and others dependent on those employees. Workers in West Virginia love the mining companies, although there is concern about mountain top mining. That popular support does not make what the mining companies do right.

    In the end, it is true we will have to agree to disagree over approaches to health care.

    Truce.

  38. Robert Capozzi

    Natalia, I didn’t use the “fascist” label. (Technically, we are IN a fascist state, as is most of the world, but that’s a separate issue.)

    I was not making a case for passivity or quietism, but I DO defend a person’s right to engage in them. I’m FOR harmony. I’m a communitarian libertarian, not your more common atomistic libertarian.

    It seems unavoidable that the more we “democratize” the market, the more that creates disharmony. Those who have the BEST connections or the slickest rhetoric win.

    I suggest you consider whether your analogy of the marketplace and the political process are the same. It’s not the “hardest working” or even the “smartest” who win in either venue. Of course, we’d need to define what “winning” is. For a while, Madoff and Ebbers were big “winners,” and now they are in the slam. So was Rep. Jefferson and Pres. Nixon, with Nixon getting a pardon.

    Of course, in the marketplace, “winning” is even HARDER to define. I’d much prefer being happy than rich, and some of the most apparently miserable folks I’ve met are rich ones.

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