Edge of Chaos is a political podcast starring Joe Ryan and Neurotoxin. Its aim is to have a free-flowing discussion of news and current events that also examines the empirical outcomes of public policy, avoiding biases based on ideology and policy intentions. Listener discretion is both advised and encouraged.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Obamacare Is Dragging Progressivism Into the Grave; And I Unequivocally Rejoice In This

Thinking back to Joe's post in response to mine yesterday on our FB feed, the reason rubbing Obamacare's failure in the face of Progressives feels so great suddenly dawned on me.

As I'm sure Joe would agree, the single-payer system he and many Progressives espouse is not a Keynesian proposal at all. It's truly socialist - in that the government completely takes over funding and running the insurance industry. I stress it would NOT socialize all of health care, just insurance. Some - though not all - Western European democracies operate their insurance industries in this fashion. At least theoretically, such a system can remain civilly libertarian if regulations on the definition of medicine and its practice are minimal and a wide choice of providers competes for the tax-funded business of consumers. I stress that in my view, the success of such a system in the US at the Federal level is nothing more than a rosy fantasy. For one the US is about 5x the size of the largest countries where this works and infinitely more diverse - very important factors for success that Progressives gloss over in their one-size-fits-all giddiness. More importantly though, I've met very few Progressives that understand how authoritarian and restrictive the regulations on medicine are in the US. I unapologetically remind them NOT ONE of the public option or single payer proposals from 2009 that they continue to drool over suggested rolling back those regulations. Progressives may rant and rave about corporatism, but their coveted 'for-the-people' politicians were going to fork over billions in tax dollars to the corporate cartel that has a regulated monopoly on health care in the US and sets outrageous prices, and most of them are too batshit stupid to even recognize this. This is why I'm thankful the public option/single payer proposal died although in THEORY it is far better than the ACA - because in practice, Progressive stupidity was going to make us all slaves of corporatism as usual.

Alas, we got yet another Keynesian clusterfuck that tries to level a playing field unbalanced by corporatist regulation through subsidies and consumer regulation. Tantrum all you want, but Keynesian economics is pure psychosis and nothing based on it has succeeded, EVER. It's proponents rely on selective evidence that fails to account for where the costs went to claim successes, and dismiss failures as the fault of politicians like Nixon and Reagan for treating them in unintended ways. Refusing to account for these realities of politics and economics to defend policy is downright irresponsible denial of reality, and Obamacare is falling apart because its costs are being felt right here and right now and denial is NOT working no matter how hard Obama contorts. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I PREDICTED WOULD HAPPEN - and I say welcome to Keynesianism in its full ugliness.

Unfortunately for Progressives, maybe 10% of Americans understand the Keyensian vs socialist distinction. The popular revolt that's pressuring Democrat politicians to side with Republicans against Obama blames government intervention as a whole and hails the free market as the solution; and Progressives are crazy if they think libertarians are going to defend socialism from this blunt anti-government rage. The free market has been marginalized for decades BY Progressives as equivalent to corporatism and blamed for everything as a result, so now we will unapologetically fan these flames in hopes all government intervention proposals end up in the same sloppy grave. We're not letting this crisis go to waste out of mercy, seeing as we're using the exact same strategy we've been sidelined with for decades - we just happen to be a LOT better at it. My prediction now is that at the end of this re-alignment, Progressivism and socialism will be reduced to widely ignored 3rd parties with no place at the table of mainstream politics, and that's EXACTLY what they deserve.


1 comment:

  1. To add to my thoughts earlier: I would have been in support of not only a Socialist-style takeover of health insurance in this country, and believe it WOULD work, but I would have also required things like cost controls, a tax on some of the obscene prices jacked up by resellers of customized medical devices (one of the only things Republicans agreed to strip from PPACA) and a dissolution of the cartel known as the AMA as we know it. The fact that they, an unelected body accountable to no one, can determine the raw number of new doctors we produce year-to-year in this country is ludicrous and it underpins every single problem we have when trying to address the spiraling COST of healthcare in the US today. Artificial shortages geared toward awarding a select elite a disproportionate share of finite resources, I believe, are a thing both Tea Partiers like you and folks like me can oppose equally. Let THAT burn along with PPACA.