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Author Topic:   How Does Republican Platform Help Middle Class?
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 278 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


(4)
Message 376 of 440 (612921)
04-20-2011 3:37 AM
Reply to: Message 364 by marc9000
04-19-2011 8:46 PM


The General Welfare Clause
Rather than try to argue with Hamiltion, it makes much more sense to take note of what prominent founders actually had to say on the subject.

Today’s Democrat party obviously takes them in a literal and unlimited sense. “Intent of the framers” doesn’t concern today’s Democrat party, and the historically illiterate people who vote for them.

Hamilton was a prominent Founder.

It seems that once more you are in need of a history lesson. I shall address it to the forum in general, because experience teaches me that there is little hope that you will profit by it.

Article One Section Eight

For those unfamiliar with the question, let's start by looking at Article One Section Eight of the Constitution.

In the preamble, it says:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

The part in bold is known as the "general welfare clause".

The article then lists various specific things that Congress should do with the powers granted in the preamble, beginning with:

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

... and continuing in this vein. You can read the whole thing here.

These specific and listed functions of government are called the "enumerated powers".

Madisonians and Hamiltonians

There are, or were, two views as to what all this actually means.

The Madisonians (as represented by James Madison) held that Congress had only those powers which were enumerated. The preamble (they said) merely served to explain the purpose for which those powers were granted.

One point should be made clear. The Madisonians did not necessarily think that the enumerated powers listed all the things that a government should do, but that they listed all the things that it could do. That is, some of them thought that the government should have wider powers, but they thought that it would take a constitutional amendment to grant those powers. For example, Madison himself was in favor of a national university; he just thought that it would require a constitutional amendment to establish one.

We cannot, therefore, say with any confidence that Madison and the Madisonians would have been against such useful institutions as (for example) the EPA in themselves, as being an unwarranted extension of governmental power; only that they'd have thought that such agencies would need to be established, if at all, by a constitutional amendment.

By contrast, the Hamiltonians (as represented by Alexander Hamilton) maintained that the preamble granted Congress "plenary", "indefinite" and "comprehensive" powers to act for the general welfare and common defense, and that it could therefore do so in ways that were not enumerated.

Here's how Hamilton himself explained it. The italics are his, not mine.

The National Legislature has express authority "To lay and Collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the Common defence and general welfare" with no other qualifications than that "all duties, imposts and excises, shall be uniform throughout the United states, that no capitation or other direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to numbers ascertained by a census or enumeration taken on the principles prescribed in the Constitution, and that "no tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state." These three qualifications excepted, the power to raise money is plenary, and indefinite; and the objects to which it may be appropriated are no less comprehensive, than the payment of the public debts and the providing for the common defence and "general Welfare." The terms "general Welfare" were doubtless intended to signify more than was expressed or imported in those which Preceded; otherwise numerous exigencies incident to the affairs of a Nation would have been left without a provision. The phrase is as comprehensive as any that could have been used; because it was not fit that the constitutional authority of the Union, to appropriate its revenues shou'd have been restricted within narrower limits than the "General Welfare" and because this necessarily embraces a vast variety of particulars, which are susceptible neither of specification nor of definition.

It is therefore of necessity left to the discretion of the National Legislature, to pronounce, upon the objects, which concern the general Welfare, and for which under that description, an appropriation of money is requisite and proper. [...] The only qualification of the generallity of the Phrase in question, which seems to be admissible, is this--That the object to which an appropriation of money is to be made be General and not local; its operation extending in fact, or by possibility, throughout the Union, and not being confined to a particular spot.

It is interesting to note that both Madison and Hamilton were involved in drafting the Constitution, and both future Hamiltonians and future Madisonians voted to adopt the Constitution --- apparently with no common understanding of what it meant. One might even speculate that the language was deliberately ambiguous, so as to achieve a superficial and temporary consensus.

The Verdict of History

In this case it is therefore particularly useless to enquire as to the intentions of the Founders and Framers, because they did not in fact possess a common intent. We must turn instead to the verdict of history and of the courts.

So let's look at what actually happened. The Madisonian interpretation was a dead letter from the word "go". The first palpable breach of Madisonian principles was in 1791, when the 1st Congress voted in favor of Hamilton's proposal for the First Bank of the United States, over the protests of Madison, who complained that it was not within the enumerated powers of Congress. Nor was it. The verdict of Congress and ultimately of history was that this didn't matter a damn and that Hamilton's interpretation of the General Welfare Clause should stand.

It is true that the first time the Hamiltonian interpretation was challenged (and upheld) in court was during FDR's New Deal, but this is not because up to that point the government had behaved in a scrupulously Madisonian manner. On the contrary, it had behaved with a full and free Hamiltonian laxity. By the time the issue got to court, Hamiltonianism was a fait accompli and Madisonianism a dead letter.

The Zombie Walks

Now let's bring this up to the present day. Modern conservatives, appalled by the prospect of "Obamacare", have attempted to revive the corpse of the Madisonian doctrine and have sent it to blunder in a zombie-like fashion through the passages of public discourse.

It is worth noting that these same conservatives only a few years ago when Republicans were in power did not (for example) demand the abolition of the Air Force on the grounds that only an Army and a Navy were enumerated. Nor did they then cavil at Republican innovations which were not enumerated. "No Child Left Behind"? Not enumerated, but no problem. "Faith-Based Initiatives"? Not enumerated, but still a splendidly conservative scheme. Where were our brave defenders of the Constitution then?

It is droll that marc should complain about the supposed "historical illiteracy" of the left when conservatives have apparently forgotten, not merely the words of Hamilton and the acts of the 1st Congress, but the views which they themselves held (at least tacitly) not four years ago.

And indeed, for the most part, they still do hold those views. Our gallant band of faux-neo-Madisonians are still not calling for the abolition of the Air Force. It seems that in their eyes the only things that are unconstitutional for want of being enumerated are the things that they dislike. "Obamacare" must perish for want of enumeration, thus spake James Madison --- but if Obama wants to keep the equally unenumerated Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, then here's a health to Hamilton, long may he prosper!

The only reason that I don't condemn this as the most bare-faced hypocrisy is that I think that most of them are too stupid to fully apprehend the ludicrous and untenable nature of the position they've adopted.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 377 of 440 (612933)
04-20-2011 10:18 AM
Reply to: Message 366 by marc9000
04-19-2011 8:53 PM


Thanks. But fresh? Fresh for what, EvC forums, or the scientific community?

Fresh for here, at EvC.

My style of conservatism/tradition isn’t all that fresh in many places, it’s pretty common.

Sure. One thing about "conservatism/tradition", though, is that its bound to lose eventually. Things inevitably change.

I see the far left as being reckless with it, and the opposition on the far right as simply slowing them down and keeping it in check. I think that can be a good thing.

I suspect that the scientific community is largely in favor of government health care. Much more so than the general population. Why? – because it gets them closer to be able to play god.

Whatever.

I don’t think it’s important for anyone (who's not somehow involved in political party operations) to identify with a political party, as if that party dictates how they think.

Well, they are what this thread's about...

I've noticed that there is somewhat of a dichotomy in the population, where individuals do tend to think like one of the sides, and not so much like its been dictated to them how they think, but that they do think differently. I wonder is there's something with the whole urban/rural thing.

My opinions are based on what I know about U.S. and world history, how it shows past human reaction to certain situations. I look at U.S. foundings, quotes of its founders like Madison, and see how they square with the realities of current events, and history. Madison wasn’t necessarily a Republican, but of course he was nothing like today’s Democrats.

My problem with that approach is that there's a lot here today that they couldn't possibly have imagined. Not that that makes them worthless, or anything, but they are certainly not all encompasing.

I don’t know, so far admin has let us play all we want in this thread [furiously knocking on wood] - I hope it stays that way.

All we have to do is keep addressing the topic.

So how do you think the Republicans are helping the middle class?

From your posts is seems that you think they help by easing the burden of paying for social programs. Too, maybe keeping the federal government out of our lives?

So what else? Anything about fiscal policy or foreign affairs or anything?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 366 by marc9000, posted 04-19-2011 8:53 PM marc9000 has replied

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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 29 days)
Posts: 3193
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 378 of 440 (612934)
04-20-2011 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 365 by Theodoric
04-19-2011 8:51 PM


Re: Minnesota Care
The budget cuts are also affecting a lot of the programs at the JobCenter. The Dislocated Workers program is one such program. It helps the unemployed get schooling. I went in and the guy told me not to even bother enrolling because, due to the budget cuts, they would have to start cutting people on the already year long waiting list.


"What can be asserted without proof, can be dismissed without proof."-Hitch.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 3738 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 379 of 440 (612941)
04-20-2011 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 376 by Dr Adequate
04-20-2011 3:37 AM


Re: The General Welfare Clause
Great thanks to you, Dr A. I knew that I was negligent in just mentioning Hamilton without making it clear that I was explicitly refering to the Madison/Hamilton debate over enumerated powers (which started in The Federalist Papers, I believe, before the Constitution was even drafted.) I assumed that anyone so obsessed with the "foundings" - whoever or whatever they are - would certainly understand the reference and would also have to know that, as you point out, the Madisonians lost this debate. Ha ha, right. Anyway, you have now done so more far elequently and in greater depth than I could have done. I, and the rest of the forum, thank you.

Edited by ZenMonkey, : No reason given.

Edited by ZenMonkey, : Grammar. And clarity.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 3738 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 380 of 440 (612949)
04-20-2011 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 378 by hooah212002
04-20-2011 10:50 AM


Re: Minnesota Care
hooah212002 writes:

The budget cuts are also affecting a lot of the programs at the JobCenter. The Dislocated Workers program is one such program. It helps the unemployed get schooling. I went in and the guy told me not to even bother enrolling because, due to the budget cuts, they would have to start cutting people on the already year long waiting list.

Somehow it never gets pointed out that every time you cut sometihng in a state or federal budget, what that generally means is that, either directly or indirectly, someone is losing a job, and it's sure not Donald Trump. How this is supposed to help the middle class, I'm not quite sure.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
 Message 378 by hooah212002, posted 04-20-2011 10:50 AM hooah212002 has replied

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marc9000
Member
Posts: 1279
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 381 of 440 (612986)
04-20-2011 8:06 PM
Reply to: Message 374 by Jon
04-19-2011 11:12 PM


Re: I'll Call your Bluff... and Raze your Argument
Sorry, but keeping the air clean is part of providing for the general welfare. If you wanna crank around some old tin can that spews poison out into the atmosphere, then the government has every Constitutional right to make sure that the poison your tin can spews is within some and such limit so as to ensure reasonable air quality.

“Some and such”? If Republicans are helping prevent the EPA/Democrats from labeling much of the middle classes transportation “tin cans” and prohibiting them from using them, then we have an example of Republicans doing something for the middle class!

So, do you really want 'perfect or nothing'?

You’re the one demanding perfection from free markets, not me. I only want the best that free markets can provide.

If Suzy starts selling tastier lemonade for half the cost of Johnny's lemonade, Johnny gets his goons and they go smash up Suzy's stand.

NOOOOO!! Suzy has the Verizon phone, Johnny doesn’t have a chance!!

Besides, if your industries are so damn good to the environment, then the EPA regulations shouldn't matter: those industries should already be following those regulations if not much stricter ones. But they don't. Why do you suppose that is?

Because the EPA sets them higher than what is reasonable, to justify its own existence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 374 by Jon, posted 04-19-2011 11:12 PM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
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marc9000
Member
Posts: 1279
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 382 of 440 (612987)
04-20-2011 8:09 PM
Reply to: Message 375 by Dr Adequate
04-19-2011 11:53 PM


You seem to have a broader interpretation of freedom, which encompasses the freedom to poison people so long as you're making a profit from it. Perhaps you could find some quotation from the Founding Fathers to that effect; or perhaps not.

“The freedom to poison people” – the founders entrusted future generations to know that everything has costs, that issues like this are seldom black and white. Air can’t be divided into two catagories, “clean” and “dirty”. There are variable amounts of impurities in air, varying amounts of which can be removed at varying costs. Science is becoming capable of detecting ever more minute traces of impurities with ever more insignificant consequences. The EPA shouldn’t have the freedom to declare any air they want as dirty, just so they can level fines and make a profit from it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 375 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-19-2011 11:53 PM Dr Adequate has replied

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marc9000
Member
Posts: 1279
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 383 of 440 (612989)
04-20-2011 8:25 PM
Reply to: Message 377 by New Cat's Eye
04-20-2011 10:18 AM


Sure. One thing about "conservatism/tradition", though, is that its bound to lose eventually. Things inevitably change.

True. And so many people who want to change things for the better end up changing them for the worse, and find out too late that they can’t change them back. Ever seen this little paragraph? It's attributable to one Alexander Fraser Tylter (from hundreds of years ago) though that's debatable. What's not debatable is the thought that it can inspire.

quote:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over lousy fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to Complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.

I wonder which of those stages majority of posters in this thread thinks the U.S. is in right now? “From apathy to dependency” would probably be my choice.

I see the far left as being reckless with it, and the opposition on the far right as simply slowing them down and keeping it in check. I think that can be a good thing.

I would agree, except I'm afraid the time is gone when they're able to keep it in check well enough.

I've noticed that there is somewhat of a dichotomy in the population, where individuals do tend to think like one of the sides, and not so much like its been dictated to them how they think, but that they do think differently. I wonder is there's something with the whole urban/rural thing.

I don’t think it’s urban/rural, the political mix between those two is far too evenly split/unpredictable. I think it’s more religious/non religious. I’ve seen a few genuinely conservative atheists, and liberal Christians. But they’re both clearly the exception rather than the rule. The clear major split in U.S. politics is between traditional Judeo-Christian values vs evolution/atheism. Wouldn't that explain the heavy Democrat leaning we're seeing at this scientific forum?

marc9000 writes:

My opinions are based on what I know about U.S. and world history, how it shows past human reaction to certain situations. I look at U.S. foundings, quotes of its founders like Madison, and see how they square with the realities of current events, and history. Madison wasn’t necessarily a Republican, but of course he was nothing like today’s Democrats.

My problem with that approach is that there's a lot here today that they couldn't possibly have imagined. Not that that makes them worthless, or anything, but they are certainly not all encompasing.

The U.S. Constitution is very brief, and very basic. I’ve never seen anyone make a convincing case that a government has to be more involved in individual’s lives just because they have more technology and modern conveniences.

marc9000 writes:

I don’t know, so far admin has let us play all we want in this thread [furiously knocking on wood] - I hope it stays that way.

All we have to do is keep addressing the topic.

Keep addressing? A narrow focus on health care has only been marginally on topic. But parents rights in raising children that was discussed a good bit back in pages 15, 16, several others, had nothing at all to do with it. I’ve been wondering if the coffee house is exempted from on-topic rules. But I don’t really care. (and now I may be in trouble)

So how do you think the Republicans are helping the middle class?

From your posts is seems that you think they help by easing the burden of paying for social programs. Too, maybe keeping the federal government out of our lives?

So what else? Anything about fiscal policy or foreign affairs or anything?

It’s nice that there have been no more terrorist attacks on anywhere near the scale of 9/11/01, and I think Republican policies on foreign affairs has had a lot more to do with that than Democrat ones, but I can’t enthusiastically come up with anything else right now - the “middle class being helped” just isn’t something that’s a big focus of my type of worldview. I like to think of a middle class being able to live their lives without “help”. 60 years ago, a Democrat said “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. I don’t think there are many Democrat voters alive today who have given that profound statement much thought.


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marc9000
Member
Posts: 1279
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 384 of 440 (612990)
04-20-2011 8:31 PM
Reply to: Message 379 by ZenMonkey
04-20-2011 12:15 PM


Re: The General Welfare Clause
Great thanks to you, Dr A. I knew that I was negligent in just mentioning Hamilton without making it clear that I was explicitly refering to the Madison/Hamilton debate over enumerated powers (which started in The Federalist Papers, I believe, before the Constitution was even drafted.) I assumed that anyone so obsessed with the "foundings" - whoever or whatever they are - would certainly understand the reference and would also have to know that, as you point out, the Madisonians lost this debate. Ha ha, right. Anyway, you have now done so more far elequently and in greater depth than I could have done. I, and the rest of the forum, thank you.

Dr A is a European, it’s not surprising that Democrats sometimes need Europeans to help them make U.S. foundings compatible with today’s Democrat policies. Didn’t Jon really do it more simply for you, with far fewer words?

Jon writes:

Fuck the founders; they don't matter. Fuck them; they're dead.

Dr Adequate made no objection, do you suppose he agrees with that?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 379 by ZenMonkey, posted 04-20-2011 12:15 PM ZenMonkey has replied

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 278 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 385 of 440 (612991)
04-20-2011 8:39 PM
Reply to: Message 382 by marc9000
04-20-2011 8:09 PM


“The freedom to poison people” – the founders entrusted future generations to know that everything has costs ...

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't see where the Founders said that I should be the judge of how much arsenic in your soup is too much. They did not merely entrust me to know that too much arsenic would cost you your health and your life and leave it up to me to decide whether that was a price I was willing to pay.

issues like this are seldom black and white ...

Quite so. This, for example, is a shade of gray.

There are variable amounts of impurities in air, varying amounts of which can be removed at varying costs.

Indeed. This is why back in the real world the EPA wouldn't prosecute someone for releasing a single atom of arsenic into a river or a single molecule of smoke into the air.

EPA shouldn’t have the freedom to declare any air they want as dirty, just so they can level fines and make a profit from it.

And you will be delighted to know that this is not what they do.

Indeed, the EPA, being a government agency, is not capable of making a profit.

Now if you have a quarrel with some particular standard they've set, then feel free to write to your Congressman. For example, the current acceptable level of arsenic in your drinking water is .01 ppm. If you think that this should be higher so that someone other than you can make more money, then by all means start a campaign. You could call it Concerned Citizens for Carcinogens, or CCC for short.

But complaining about the very existence of the EPA seems fatuous; as does envying the Chinese.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 278 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 386 of 440 (612992)
04-20-2011 8:46 PM
Reply to: Message 384 by marc9000
04-20-2011 8:31 PM


Re: The General Welfare Clause
Dr A is a European, it’s not surprising that Democrats sometimes need Europeans to help them make U.S. foundings compatible with today’s Democrat policies.

Translated from Obfuscation into Reality, it's no surprise that you, being a conservative, need a European to school you in American history.

It is perfectly plain from ZenMonkey's posts that he didn't need me to explain to him the significance of his own reference to Hamilton.

It was you, marc, who seemed not to understand his point --- and, indeed, who Hamilton was.

Didn’t Jon really do it more simply for you, with far fewer words?

No.

Dr Adequate made no objection, do you suppose he agrees with that?

I do not; my admiration for the Founding Fathers stops short of necrophilia.

But in this particular case, as I have shown, there's no point in appealing to the intent of the Founders and Framers because they did not have a single collective intent.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 387 of 440 (612994)
04-20-2011 10:14 PM
Reply to: Message 381 by marc9000
04-20-2011 8:06 PM


Re: I'll Call your Bluff... and Raze your Argument
You’re the one demanding perfection from free markets, not me.

No; I'm not.

I only want the best that free markets can provide.

Precisely the problem: The best that the free markets can provide is crap compared to what is necessary, which is why no other first world nation relies on the 'free markets' to provide its citizens with life essentials.

If Republicans are helping prevent the EPA/Democrats from labeling much of the middle classes transportation “tin cans” and prohibiting them from using them, then we have an example of Republicans doing something for the middle class!

No, we have an example of Republicans doing nothing, because that's what allowing any car to spew any poison is: doing nothing.

Because the EPA sets them higher than what is reasonable, to justify its own existence.

Excellent point; I await your supporting evidence.

Jon

ABE:

You never bothered answering my question to you in Message 369. Here it is again in case you missed it:

quote:
Jon in Message 369:

Okay, let's assume that's true (it's not, by the way; Thuglicans are against welfare programs of any kind no matter what level of government they work at). Would you support a measure by the Federal government that required all states to implement a state-run health care system? For example, the Federal government could give all the states an amount of money determined to be necessary for funding such health care. The states would then have to provide health care of a minimum standard to all of their citizens using the extra money along with some state-raised money. Depending on how efficient of a system the states could implement, they would be able to keep any extra Federal money left over after providing the minimum care for all of their citizens.

Would you support a 'competitive' state-run program like this?


Edited by Jon, : clarity

Edited by Jon, : ABE


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 694 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 388 of 440 (612995)
04-20-2011 10:27 PM
Reply to: Message 363 by marc9000
04-19-2011 8:30 PM


Government bureaucracies go far beyond laws passed by congress to carry out their mission.

Well, that's simply not true. The EPA can only go as far as it is legally empowered to do so. Its capacity to levy fines and take other actions were established by Federal law.

Any new government agency in charge of health care will make many decisions about how health care is administered that have nothing to do with laws.

No, completely wrong. Whatever powers a "new government agency" might or might not have would be determined by the law passed by Congress that creates it and the executive branch that administrates it.

And I answered it EXACTLY. I said “yes”, and I explained that uninsured people do have good reason to be more careful in some instances

With all due respect Marc you didn't answer it at all; you answered a different question about uninsured people.

But I didn't ask you about uninsured people, I asked you about insured people, and whether or not, in your mind, people with insurance were generally more reckless than those who lacked it.

That's the question I want you to answer. Don't tell me about uninsured people - you've answered that other question twice, now, I don't need you to repeat it. Don't tell me about "comparable-in-every-way" people, that's not at all what I asked. Tell me about insured people and whether or not you think they're more reckless in general than those without insurance. Your answer should contain no statements about uninsured people being somehow more prudent.

In a free society, it should be up to an individual.

I didn't ask you who it should be "up to." I asked you if, generally, being insured is prudent. Is it?

It’s not prudent in every situation for every person for every type of insurance.

I never said that it was, or asked you if it was. Is there some reason you're having such extreme difficulty answering direct questions? I feel like you're here just to work some relentless-contrarian kick, not to actually discuss issues. Why are conservatives always afraid of discussion?

Not get rid of them, just un-do the problems that have crept into them over the last 50 or 60 years.

So, you believe "free markets" should get a government-run do-over? Spoken like a true renter, I guess.

That mechanism is, when no one, or not enough people, are buying the service! If few people are interested in paying to have a baboon heart transplanted into them, those in the medical community who are doing research on how to do that will have to find something else to do to make a living.

That's just plain stupid. The lesson from human history is that, far from people putting health expenditures to a rigorous cost-benefit analysis, people will spend nearly any amount of money for even the impression of medical effectiveness. The free market in medicine doesn't lower costs, it drives them up. The proof of this is that if you put a glass of plain water into the medical market, it suddenly costs hundreds of dollars and is called "homeopathy." Have you never heard the term "snake oil"? "Medicine show"? These are examples of how market logic is singularly perverted when it comes to health care. The free market drives up costs and inefficiencies. Only someone deeply ignorant of the history of medical fraud could assert the contrary. But ignorance of history seems to be your deal, around here.

To control costs in health care, you need the opposite of a free market - you need monopsony power. That's why the individual market for health care services is so expensive compared to the collective market - that's why paying out of pocket means paying up to 50% more for the same services from the same providers. When health care buyers buy collectively, through health insurers or through Medicare, costs are driven down. That's always true. The larger the monopsony, the lower the prices it can command, which is why single-payer is the best solution to controlling health care costs.

Free markets drive health care costs up, not down. That's always been true. Monopsony is what lowers health care prices, and has always done so.

Something people are willing to pay for.

People are always willing to pay any price for health care services, even ones that don't work. Homeopathy is the proof of that. Free markets, by definition, cannot lower health care prices, they can only, and have only, ever raised them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 363 by marc9000, posted 04-19-2011 8:30 PM marc9000 has taken no action

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 278 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 389 of 440 (613001)
04-21-2011 12:00 AM
Reply to: Message 381 by marc9000
04-20-2011 8:06 PM


Re: I'll Call your Bluff... and Raze your Argument
“Some and such”? If Republicans are helping prevent the EPA/Democrats from labeling much of the middle classes transportation “tin cans” and prohibiting them from using them, then we have !an example of Republicans doing something for the middle class

And if the Republicans are helping prevent the middle class from being attacked by venomous wombats, then that would also be an example of Republicans doing something for the middle class.

But I don't think you can credit Republicans for actively preventing all the imaginary things that don't happen.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 381 by marc9000, posted 04-20-2011 8:06 PM marc9000 has taken no action

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 3738 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 390 of 440 (613002)
04-21-2011 12:10 AM
Reply to: Message 384 by marc9000
04-20-2011 8:31 PM


Re: The General Welfare Clause
marc9000 writes:

Dr A is a European, it’s not surprising that Democrats sometimes need Europeans to help them make U.S. foundings compatible with today’s Democrat policies.

What does this even mean?

marc9000 writes:

Didn’t Jon really do it more simply for you, with far fewer words?

Jon writes:

Fuck the founders; they don't matter. Fuck them; they're dead.

Dr Adequate made no objection, do you suppose he agrees with that?

I can't speak for the good Dr, so I can't say what he would or wouldn't agree with. What I can say is that he knows more about the US Constitution and its history than you do. I can also point out that he has made a powerful and articulate rebuttal to your faulty "foundings" argument. Do you have anything of substance to say about that?

Edited by ZenMonkey, : No reason given.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
 Message 384 by marc9000, posted 04-20-2011 8:31 PM marc9000 has taken no action

  
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