The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, July 17, 2017


As Democrat politicians crow about the GOP failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, they offer big intrusive government (B.I.G.) solutions for the problem. Since the Democrat's effort to insert government into healthcare has resulted in higher prices, higher deductibles and (with the exception of the "free" coverage provided to newly qualified Medicaid recipients) poorer coverage and options, the Democrats double down. What we need, they argue, is "universal health care." After all, B.I.G. did such a great job with Obamacare, it would definitely, positively, irrefutably do an even greater job with universal coverage.

But there's an even bigger issue here. It seems, as the years pass, that the Democrats are now wedded to the notion that B.I.G. is the solution to every problem, every inequity, and every need. In a way, it's a genius political strategy—give as much "free" stuff to as many people as you can, raise taxes (mostly on those who don't get the free stuff) to pay for the free stuff, disregard the deleterious economic effects (and anyway, as people struggle, it provides an opening for even more "free stuff" from B.I.G.), and finally, scream bloody murder when anyone suggests that maybe some of that free stuff is unnecessary and should be discontinued or paired back. The Dem strategy works—in the short term.

As an example, consider the Obamacare and its repeal efforts. Andrew Clark comments:
There's a common political maxim that, once passed, an entitlement can never be repealed because the resistance of those dependent on it would be too deep. Republicans' ObamaCare repeal effort is challenging this unwritten rule head-on. As they should - conservatives' timeless goals of reforming the welfare state to promote work, reigning in the budget, and limiting government, will require it.

So far, it's proving very difficult.

Left-wing activists, echoed by sympathizers in the media, are pulling out all the stops, operating a scare machine fueled by reports of people dying, of Medicaid being destroyed, of people having their insurance taken away, and anything else that makes the repeal effort sound akin to the apocalypse.

Never mind that many of these hyperbolic claims are exaggerations, downright lies, or mischaracterizations.

Also, never mind that Democrats were the ones who single-handedly foisted the unpopular ObamaCare mess on the United States in the first place, creating unstable markets with few (if any) affordable products and abusing Medicaid, which was designed as a safety net for the truly poor and disabled, by turning it into a cost-inflating vehicle for permanent universal coverage.
Obamacare is simply the latest example of a B.I.G entitlement that costs much more than promised, works more poorly than expected, and has had more negative effects on small businesses and the economy than envisioned.

In the longer term, even the most loyal Democrat should (but doesn't) recognize that as the number of entitlements grows and their costs increase, you eventually run out of other people's money. Illinois, CT, Puerto Rico and other blue states are approaching that point. But none of that matters—free stuff generated by bigger and bigger government trumps all.

A commenter ("Norbert G. Buttguster, Jr") at The Belmont Club addresses the economy, government, and their interaction this way:
Here is the analogy: Consider an island economy of fishers, farmers, artisans. One person works for the king: in the morning this worker goes to work, digs a hole, breaks for lunch, fills the hole back in that afternoon, picks up his paycheck from the King and spends it for fish, food, and shoes. The fishers, farmers, artisans, note the easy life style of the King's employee and petition the king to employ them similarly. Pretty soon the last of the fishers, farmers and artisans quits what they were doing and goes to work digging holes for King. Everybody is rich, has a good pay check, but, because no one is producing anything, they all starve to death ...
Well, at least "income inequality" would be eliminated and a "living wage" would be had by all. Too bad everyone ends up starving in the process.