Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On the Nature Of the Role Of Government...

...brought to you by a graphic I came across today (original author unknown, at least to me).

Now clearly, not nearly every broad-based program the federal government has gotten behind has worked out in the most efficient or effective manner. In areas as diverse as food safety, fuel economy standards, and gosh knows online poker transactions, there's an awful lot that can be improved upon.

But to those who would simply parrot the standard issue Palin/Beckisms of "the government's taking over your lives, ZOMG death panels!", I would cordially invite you to skip out on the benefits enjoyed in all other areas of your lives where the government has actually made a positive difference -- perhaps a fresh coat of lead paint in your bedroom, or just rip out the seat belts and air bags in your car and hope you don't have a highway accident (because such equipment only reached the ubiquity of becoming standard equipment thanks to government regulation).

I'm not suggesting the recently-passed health care legislation is perfect. Far from it. The failure to pass some form of drug reimportation is saddening, when Americans have to pay exponentially more for the same medicine from the same manufacturer, than Canadians do (as well as those of other countries).

However, all the fear-mongering in the world, most loudly by those who stand to financially benefit from fear (Limbaugh, Beck, et al.), only reflects how out of touch with reality a person can be. See, Limbaugh and Beck don't actually care that much about policy -- their riches come not from policy one way or the other, but solely from inciting and stoking fear and anger, because it builds ratings. And without ratings, they have no portfolio at all.


Riggstad said...

Listen Bro,

Not all who are right of center fall into the category of your so broadly implied Palin/ Beckism followers. Most of the ones out there against this reform make very logical points. Unfortunately, most (on both sides) are far too ignorant to see past the us versus them, and so go the insults.

Some of us have real concerns about how this has gone, what it actually will provide, who will pay for it, and the true reasons behind it. All valid if you would listen or read behind the talking heads appointed by Fox news and other media outlets.

The post you made is of course taken WAY out of context as all of those departments and institutes do nothing to control the entrepreneurial aspect of the industry with which they regulate.

Health Care reform will not regulate the health care field either (a few of those mentioned above already have that job). It will merely demand coverage for those who can't afford, etc. All good things, obv. My issues run a whole lot deeper than just the good things it will provide. This health reform will not be administering care. Which is good. It will mandate things at the cost of others for others. Maybe good, maybe not.

To most, this reform represents a shift in what this country came from. Whether or not that is true remains to be seen. Most couldn't even tell you what is in the bill or how it will effect the tax payer, etc.

I'm being vague because of space and time, but I'll give you credit for understanding where I am going with this.

lightning36 said...

Riggs said it much better than I ever could.

It is frustrating being right of center and being grouped in with all the far right grandstanders. I must hate myself because I have even watched some of the liberal hate mongers on television the past few nights. They are remarkably similar to their counterparts on the far right.

A great opinion piece can be found at

Mondogarage said...

John, I'll respond the way I did over on Riggs' blog...

Thanks for the thoughtful comment. For what it's worth, my post wasn't targeted towards those who actually have thoughtful disagreement and take well-reasoned issue with the legislation, and I think you understood that. And I certainly don't take the "cuts $130b from the deficit" figures for granted, as even if those numbers eventually turn out to accurate within the context of *this* bill, the federal government will find 30 ways to spend those perceived savings between now and then, anyway.

And that will be the case no matter which party is controlling the purse springs by then.

I would disagree with your statement that "most" against this bill make very logical points. At least as measured by my local paper, most of what passes as opinion writing is no more than what is spewed by Palin and Beck.

My own perspective is somewhat different, I suppose. I have quality health insurance. My wife has had it too...until she became a prime candidate for recission because a previously healthy woman suffered a catastrophic illness and racked up $1.8million in medical bills over a six month period.

Without legislation like what just passed, she could no longer change jobs, because she'd move into a new plan where her illness is now a "pre-existing condition", her current plan would drop her, etc, etc...the horror stories that are out there are very real.

And the very nature of insurance is to be a pool. You don't get to just kick a given individual out of a pool because they actually had to avail themselves of the benefits they've already paid for.

Of course, even this bill isn't perfect...far from it. But it's a far cry better than the status quo.

I think there's a lot of room for valid disagreement problem (and yes, what can allow me to slip into condescension) is with that rather sizable chunk of the populace who simply allow themselves to fall for fear-based jingoistic sloganeering. Don't kid yourself, for all the ranting against the "liberal elite", there's plenty of "conservative elite" out there, as well.

lightning36 said...

I think most reasoned people would like reform on really bad stuff like the abuse of the pre-existing conditions clauses in health care. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way for the two parties to work together for real reform that would benefit Joe Consumer.

I have no confidence in more federal involvement in this and I shudder to think about the true costs of it all.

btw -- It sounds like your wife has been doing better. Best wishes for her recovery. Just make sure that you are not running yourself into the ground, especially with work.

敬忠 said...

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