New Names for National Health Care

People are clamoring for health care reform. Max Baucus, D-Montana, wrote in the Wall Street Journal, We Cannot Delay Health-Care Reform.

Here are some alternative names for what liberals call universal access.

Stand-in-Line Health-Care

Freeloader Health-Care

Rationed Health-Care

Because some people are “un-insured” and they are “free-riders” shifting their costs onto insured people, liberals call for national health care. That would be the greatest cost-shift of all. (Liberals pretend to dislike subsidies in this case, but they favor subsidies in many other areas of the economy. They are not philosophically consistent.)

Lacking the price mechanism as a way to allocate health care, national health care would introduce lines and rationing, limits on what will be provided, where and when and by whom and for whom. If price is not allowed to work, lines will do the job. It’s like the system for rationing use of a popular river, like the Smith River in Montana. Since price is not allowed to fluctuate to regulate the demand, a lottery grants permits. Line up. Take a number.

Imagine that price was not allowed to work in a food supermarket. Everyone paid $400 per month to have claim on the supermarket. Everyone could show up anytime and take whatever they wanted. Imagine that. That is what a state-run health care system is like. Someone has to make the decisions about who gets what. The government’s bureaucrats will do it, not consumers and freely contracting doctors, insurance companies and customers.

A useful quote is: “You think health care is expensive now? Wait until it’s free!”

Taxes or Donations

Our nephew’s high school track team sent out a fund raising request. He lives in a Minnesota town. We live in Montana.

He’s a good kid and we believe in supporting youth development programs. There could be more private funding. I sent the following letter accompanying the donation.

Dear Alex:

We’re glad you are involved in sports as a means to increase in character and stature. ( Though ths is a school athletic program, it harmonizes with the goals of the Boy Scouts of America.We like the themes of the Scout Oath: Physically Strong, Mentally Awake and Morally Straight.)

We are happy to support your efforts. We would be able to contribute more to youth athletics if the government didn’t take so much in taxes.

Best wishes,

Uncle Tom and Aunt Melani

April 22, 2009

Schools Have ADHD

Schools cannot sit still in their chairs. They lose their focus. They are easily distracted. They are hyper and suffer from ADD and ADHD.

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a book review of the book Rapt by Winifred Gallagher. It begins:

“With so many things now demanding our attention- emails, Web sites, Blackberry alerts, incoming text messages, Twitter tweets, Facebook updates, blogs, stock updates, and old-fashioned meetings and phone calls- many of us… What was I saying?”

We live in a state of inattention.  The book recommends “choosing activities “that push you so close to the edge of your competence that they demand your absolute focus.”

How could this help schools?

 

Dayton High School

Dayton High School

 

I meet with young persons helping them learn reading and math facts.  I am designed and taught an after-school science and recreation program. I teach  classes on entrepreneurship. I am a product of public education grades 1-16. Our kids went to private, public and home schools. I observe a lack of focus.

School time is too segmented. 50 minute class periods. Travel to sporting events, release time for this and that. Assemblies, fire drills. Education is an inch deep and a mile wide. How can one hope to bear down on a subject?

Administrators have to style their schools in this manner. They are yanked around by their uppers. Schools do not serve parents. They serve the National Education Association teacher’s union, the state Office of Pubic Instruction, the Montana High School Athletic Association, the legislature, the federal Department of Education, the legislature, everyone but the parents. I reviewed a proposal about “access to education” at this website. It promoted suing state legislatures for under-funding. The word parent did not appear in nine pages.

Schools are myopic, dyslexic, dis-functional, schizophrenic and hyper-active because of the myriad demands made on them by every party except the consumer of their services, the parents.

Kids will do poorly until they are expected to work diligently on a subject for longer than 15 minutes. Save our kids! Let the schools focus, spend blocks of un-interrupted time. Right now they run, run, run from one thing to another. Schools are ADHD. Free them from their masters.

Tax Evidence from New York

Do high taxes discourage work and investment? New York has high taxes and they are getting higher. Over the past decade “1.97 million people have left the state for greener pastures,” and since last August, New York City has lost more than 75,000 jobs. People will leave. People do leave. They will escape high taxes.

The New York Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver is imposing a two percentage point “millionaire tax on New Yorkers who earn more than $200,000 per year. (Wait! That’s not a million! Small semantic objection.)

My wife asked last night, “So liberals like tax increases?”

I replied, “Yes. Those and increasingly strict regulations are how they propose to repair all things, do all things, to enact their program of utopia, or as they would call it, a “live-able society”.  They must control everything in order to reach their aims. How else can they save us all from our stupidity? Liberals desire “savior” status. (Read Thomas Sowell’s The Vision of the Anointed for a full appreciation of this.)”

Obama and Montana’s Governor, Brian Schweitzer, have a similar agenda. They are after tax cheats. Schweitzer hired 100 new full-time tax prosecutors. Obama’s speeches include the same promise. Liberals want to give the public the impression that tax cheats are everywhere. Liberals hallow taxes. They sully the reputation of earners.

Quotes above are from the Wall Street Journal, April 11-12, 2009.

Communalists: Tax Rates Do Not Affect Behavior

My friend approves high income taxes. The other day he flatly asserted that the 91% tax rate on high income-earners during the period 1951-1963 did not retard economic growth.

He says we need 91% again. He says a top marginal tax rate of 91% would not discourage earning or investment.

My jaw dropped. I cried out, “You don’t think it would affect behavior?”

He said, “No.”

“What if it were 95% or 98%?”

He said, “It wouldn’t discourage high earners.”

My jaw became unhinged.

“Taxes are not thieving,” he said.

I asked, “At what rate are taxes usurious?”

He did not answer.

My friend is being fed by recent news reports of anti-capitalists urging that AIG executives be taxes at 90% and by extreme blogs such as Truth and Politics, which provided the historical tax rates referenced in the first link above. The AIG executives vociferously objected. A high tax rate certainly affected their behavior.

My term for capitalism’s detractors like my friend is Communalists. Some call them Liberals but they prefer the moniker Progressives. They think Communalists conjures up images of “community”. I prefer something that shows the centrally-dictated nature of their enterprise, something whose roots bears family relationship to “committee” ,”commune” and “communism”.

Communalists like my friend imagine that “the rich” are unfeeling super-consumers, Gatsby zillionaires. They can’t imagine that “the rich” are sometimes temporarily enjoying a few good years and that “the rich” may be the family down the street that owns a small business and drives older cars.

Communalists imagine that if government took 90-98% of rich people’s profit, that government could offer unlimited health care and education and end homelessness. The truth is that the tax revenue would not make a dent in those needs. They would be as a grain in a bushel basket.

Communalists imagine that hard-working high earners would continue working their 70 hour weeks and risking their life savings to buy machines and inventory and to train their workers in spite of confiscatory tax rates. Communalists are wrong.

Most people would not struggle to attain higher degrees, such as my friend holds, at great cost, if there was not some potential for higher earnings. People would not mortgage their house to start a software company, would not work 70 hour weeks if 91 cents of every dollar earned between hour 40 and hour 70 were plundered by the communalist’s agents in the government.

Everyday observations confirm my position. (These elude my friend.) The man who bought my business would not have had he been faced with a 91% tax rate. He would not have been able to amass any money to buy it in the first place if he had been forced to pay high taxes in the years preceding my sale to him. My friend’s belief contradicts economic literature by the ton. He is doing “The Ostrich”, the dance of the Communalists.

For some people, it’s been all downhill since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Union. The days of glory were those under Stalin, Fidel, Kim of Korea and Mao. They want to put us all “on the reservation”. Their way to do that is to penalize risk-taking, effort and study through high tax rates. They say “Bring back the 91% tax rate.”

This is an astonishing view into the abscesses of the liberal mind.

The Government is Hiring

Where the jobs are.

Looking for Work

Looking for Work

Jobless rate hits 8.5%

5.1 million jobs lost this recession.

663,000 jobs lost in March.

97,000 jobs added in government since February 2008.

“Obama’s Domestic Agenda Gains Clarity”

That is the headline of a Peggy Noonan article in the WSJ, April 4-5, 2009

Here are two quotes from it.

From Bloomberg News this week: “The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent or lent or committed $12.8 trillion” in new pledges. This, they note, is almost the value of everything the United States produced last year. The price tag comes to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S.

In RealClearPolitics.com Tom Coburn wrote: “I believe President Obama has proposed the most significant shift toward collectivism and away from capitalism inthe history of our republic. I believe his budget aspires to not merely promote economic recovery but to lay the groundwork for sweeping expansion of government authority in areas like health care, energy and even daily commerce. If handled poorly, I’m concerned this budget could turn our government into the world’s largest health care provider, mortgage bank or car dealership, among other things.”

Stuart Varney, a host on the Fox Business Channel, wrote: “After 35 years in America, (he’s from Great Britain), I never thought I would see this. I still can’t quite believe we will sit by as this crisis is used to hand control of our economy over to government. But here we are, on the brink. Clearly, I have been naive.”

License to Kill

Headline: Bozeman Daily Chronicle Ap 4, 2009

“Doctors reluctant to assist in patient deaths”

doctor nurse patient

doctor nurse patient

The text read: “While a district court judge has ruled it is a right protected in the state constitution, life-ending treatment has proved elusive for many patients in Montana, advocacy groups said on Friday.” Janet Murdoch of Missoula said, “I feel as though my doctors do not feel able to respect my decision to choose aid in dying. Access to physician aid in dying would restore my hope for a peaceful, dignified death in keeping with my values and beliefs.”

But doctors do not want to kill. They have “moral qualms with assisting in suicide.” Dr. Kirk Stoner said, “Assisted suicide is really against our ethics. Our reason for being is to care for our patients.”

That’s the trouble with “positive rights.” Positive rights compel action by others. The patient, at state behest, compels the doctor. This is not liberty. Liberty is about freedom from coercion. The liberties we honor are “negative” ones, ones that protect us from incursions and forcings of others.

As soon as I read this article I knew that my predictions were being fulfilled. I predicted that, first the advocates would claim and be granted a right, then, second, they would compel others, doctors, to fulfill their wishes. I hear rumblings of legal, legislative action.  Patients are saying: “Doctors must help me. I have a right to die. They are obligated to bring to pass my wishes.”

Though people are free to end their life by jumping out of skyscrapers, they should not be able to compel any one else’s services in that decision. And no one should volunteer to “help”, either. That’s murder.

Take this thought experiment: Wal-mart offers a cheaper alternative to doctor assisted suicide. Next to the optometrist is a sucide shop. Or, sheriff’s offices could offer the service at a price much cheaper than having doctors do it. Why aren’t proponents asking for a free-market, greater access? Because they like hiding the wrong behind the revered white jacket. And in the process they conscript the doctors, against their wishes.

I predict we will see this, proposed legislation to compel doctors. They have a state granted license. Now they must do what the state has said is legal. They will then be licensed to kill.

Obama’s Part-time Job

Barack Obama writes home……………….

Dear Mother,

How are you? I am fine. I hope our little puppy is happy.

The reason I haven’t written is because of my new job. You might have heard that I have been elected President of the United States of America. It’s a big job. I command the army that repels people like Iranians who shout “Death to America!” It’s pretty serious stuff.

You always wanted me to have a part-time job. Now I have one! I bought General Motors. It’s a tough job for someone with no previous business experience. I now wish I had at least started a lemonade stand or had a mowed lawns.  I’m learning as I go. I recently fired the CEO. Then I anointed a successor. We are cutting wages for all the top employees. The employees below them can’t make more than them, so I and a few members of congress are changing the whole wage structure, including for the union employees. We are planning a new rebate program to get vehicle sales moving again. We are also in charge of engineering, planning a fleet of eco-friendly cars. It keeps us very busy.

Don’t worry. We’ll figure it all out. Advertising, athletic field sponsorships, finance, we have to do it all. You can’t trust those employees. They all act out of self-interest. We can do a better job, me, Barny, Nancy, Ted, and a few czars we hired.

Well, gotta go. I have a press conference where I will berate bank executives on camera.

Oh, by the way, I bought the world’s largest insurance company, and some of the world’s largest banks. I’m having fun running them, too. Pray for me.

Your loving son,

Barack