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

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Middle Class

It looks as if political tone, an emphasis on a pro-business agenda, and a unrelenting focus on jobs, and an attempt, at least, to reduce taxes for all Americans have done more to improve the lot of the Middle Class, than all the words that have eminated from Washington, DC in the past decade. Robert Samuelson reports:
WASHINGTON -- The middle class is back -- or so it seems.

That's the message from the Census Bureau's latest report on "Income and Poverty in the United States." The news is mostly good. The income of the median household (the one exactly in the middle) rose to a record $59,039; the two-year increase was a strong 8.5 percent. Meanwhile, 2.5 million fewer Americans were living beneath the government's poverty line ($24,563 for a family of four). The poverty rate fell from 13.5 percent of the population in 2015 to 12.7 percent in 2016.

The Census report reinforces Gallup polls -- reported here a few weeks ago -- that Americans have re-embraced their middle-class identities. The Great Recession made people feel economically vulnerable and betrayed. Nearly half of Americans self-identified as belonging to the "working and lower classes" -- a huge shift from the nearly two-thirds that, before the recession, had classified themselves as "middle class." Now, Americans have reverted to tradition. Almost two-thirds again call themselves middle class, Gallup finds.
It is true that we are now nine years out form the great recession, and as a consequence, our capitalist, market driven economy is healing itself, despite the efforts of the past administration to reek havoc on jobs and economic growth. But tone matters, and the current administration is solidly and unashamedly pro-growth. Good on them!

As this recovery is going on, left-wing Democrats (the majority of all Dems in the Congress) are pushing for "Medicare for All," a socialized health insurance policy that will decimate good health coverage for the same middle class. Hatched by socialist Bernie Sanders, Medicare for All will singlehandedly undo the modest gains noted by Samuelson and will push this country ever closer to bankruptcy. Betsy McCaughey notes the experience of single payer medical coverage in the U.K.:
... Sanders’ bill imposes an annual hard-and-fast dollar limit on how much health care the country can consume. He makes it sound simple — Uncle Sam will negotiate lower prices with drug companies. Voilà. But driving a hard bargain with drug makers won’t make a dent in costs. Prescription drugs comprise only 10 percent of the nation’s health expenditures.

Limiting costs will mean also limiting how many mammograms, colonoscopies, hip replacements and other procedures Americans are allowed.

That’s how single-payer systems work. Britain’s National Health Service — the oldest single-payer system — is struggling to stay within its annual spending limit. Patients have to wait 18 weeks just for a referral to a specialist, and routinely wait 15 months for a cataract removal, according to a new Harvard Business Review report.

In Sanders’ scheme, regional health authorities will curb “overutilization” of care, just the way British local health authorities manage the skimping. British patients at high risk of colon cancer are waiting as long as 13 weeks for a colonoscopy. Heart patients who could benefit from angioplasty have to settle for “watchful waiting.”

This month, NHS doctors warned that “a record number of patients could lose their lives if waiting times and bed shortages remain as bad as they already are.”

At least in Britain, people are free to buy private insurance, and go outside the government system for care. That’s also true in most European and Scandinavian countries with universal coverage. But not the Sanders plan. It traps you.
If the Democrats are actually delusional and irresponsible enough to promote Sanders' plan, they will reinforce the notion that they talk plenty about the "middle class" and how much they care about them, but in reality, their only true care is to insert big intrusive government into every aspect of our lives. McCaughey continues:
The biggest losers are working people — including union workers enjoying their “Cadillac” coverage with its generous benefits. They’ll be sitting in line for care in crowded clinics next to guys on unemployment.

Progressives like Sanders used to boast they had workers’ backs. Now Sanders is bragging that his plan will free people from having to work at all. Literally, he says Medicare for All will enable people to “stay home with their children or leave jobs they don’t like knowing that they would still have health-care coverage.” So much for the dignity of work ...

People who work hard should have the freedom to spend their earnings on the best insurance for their family, if they want. Outlawing that is immoral.

The new leaders of the Democratic Party — including Sanders and Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Cory Booker (NJ) — don’t see it that way. They’re letting leftist ideology crush the priorities of everyday people.
The middle class is slowly and painfully climbing out of a hole that was created by a financial crash fostered by irresponsible politicians (including many prominent Dems), banks, and Wall Street. Let's not let Bernie and his leftist hordes push them back to the bottom with lies masked as promises.