Medicare for all.
Healthcare insurance is a "patch" on capitalism. It's there to fix a gaping hole in capitalism: nobody in a capitalist society can afford healthcare without insurance. Nobody. Capitalism may deliver the most, the best, the cheapest, the greatest variety of widgets. But it doesn't provide affordable healthcare to anyone, even the rich, without the patch.
It is monumentally stupid to let capitalists operate the patch on capitalism. Letting capitalists run healthcare insurance is like letting foxes run the henhouse.
There should be no such thing as "for profit" healthcare insurance companies: because there should be no profit in denying people needed healthcare; because healthcare is fundamentally unlike widgets.
Bumper sticker version: Medicare for all. Problem solved.
Letter From a Chicago School Kindergarten Teacher
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jones,
This letter is to report to you on an incident that occured in class involving your son, Max.
Today another student, Tommy, came to school hungry, with no snack. When snack time came Tommy cried, and said something about his father losing his job in the recession.
Max offered to share his snack with Tommy.
I'm sure you are as shocked as I was. It was a blatant case of "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need" type thinking. And that's Socialism, or worse, and cannot be tolerated. Needless to say, I put a stop to it immediately. Why it didn't occur to Max to get some labor out of Tommy, or at least a promise to repay, I just don't know.
I wish I could say that was the end of it.
But then Max started crying, too. Not only that, he suggested that every child in the class give Tommy something. He said that even the littlest bit from everyone would be enough to help Tommy right now, and that any one of them might not have a snack on some other day. That maybe some had more than they were going to eat, and that it wasn't fair that they all had snacks and Tommy didn't.
I can only imagine how disturbed you must be to learn that Max was advocating taxation and redistribution of wealth. And not one word about the virtues of competition or the invisible hand of the market.
I had to make him stand in the corner. For the rest of the day. With no snack. And to promise to try and be a more rationally self-interested economic actor in the future. Hopefully this sort of behavior will not occur again.
Herbert Steadfast, MBA
Ayn Rand Elementary School
Churches are socialist.
Churches collect money from the whole congregation, and give to the needy.
Hate socialism? Hate your church.
The Trickle Up Theory
After more than thirty years under the boot of the Trickle Down Theory it's high time for America to embrace the Trickle Up Theory.
Here's how it works:
*We raise the minimum wage significantly.
*People earning minimum wage are so poor, they can't save it. So they spend it.
*That spending causes business earnings to rise.
*Thus, the rich profit, too!
Labels: class warfare, minimum wage, trickle down theory, trickle up theory
I have a kid. We watch Colbert together. Sometimes she turns to me and asks, "Is that true?"
Yesterday it was because Jeremy Scahill told us that Obama orders drone strikes that kill lots and lots of innocent people, including women and children.
"Yes, it's true."
What a horrible thing to have to say.
I voted for Obama. Twice. Would we have been better off with McCain or Romney? Probably they would have been worse.
Still, it's an outrage. I can make a list of his outrages-- lots of people have: drones; indefinite detention without charges or trial; the assassination of American citizens without charges or trial; the grand bargain to weaken Social Security and Medicare; NAFTA-- he said he'd renegotiate it, but instead he's making more (secret) trade deals to benefit the rich; Guantanamo is still open; the persecution of Assange and Snowden; FISA; retroactive immunity from prosecution for the telecoms; unconstitutional snooping on journalists and the rest of us; fracking; the Keystone XL Pipeline; and on and on and on.
"It's only compared to Republicans that he isn't a monster."
Tax the rich, and feed the poor.
If it's too easy to get by (minimum wage, unions, social security, unemployment insurance) working people won't work hard enough. We can't coddle them or they'll be de-incentivized.
If it's too hard to get richer (taxes, regulation), rich people won't work hard enough. We must
coddle them or they'll be de-incentivized.
And of course it's all nonsense, the opposite of true. Whatever floor you give the poor, most are going to try to achieve more and get ahead because that's what most people want to do.
And the rich don't stop being greedy when we tax them more. In fact they work harder because they still want to be richer than they already are, and richer than everyone else.
Problem solved: tax the rich, and feed the poor.
More: If it's too easy to get rich fleecing large populations with shared monopolies (banks, oil companies, insurance companies, etc.), the rich won't want to do anything else.
Science vs. Religion
Science is a way to organize your thinking/believing. A very powerful way. It is attractive to a lot of smart people in great part because they like stuff to make sense, not on the authority of a preacher or an old book, but on logical grounds.
Religions are also ways to organize your thinking/believing.
To some who are scientifically oriented, science and religion are exclusive of each other: Everything can be explained scientifically, given time, and religion represents an outmoded, illogical, repressive method of organizing your thinking/believing.
And that's kind of compelling.
But not everything can be explained scientifically. (Why is there something instead of nothing? Where's the disproveable hypothesis that'll settle that issue?)
More importantly, for many the thought that there is no long run justice (heaven and hell, karma, whatever) is very much an unthinkable one. I for one absolutely refuse to accept that idea. Not out of fear, but out of repugnance.
Finally, as an organizing principle science doesn't tell us why we should help a little old lady cross the street. Religion does. Sure, an atheist would help a little old lady cross the street, but coming up with a "scientific" reason for it would require a whole heap of unscientific crap like utilitarianism or facile evo-psych dressed up as science.
Both ways of organizing your thinking/believing have their merits. Ultimately science should stay out of the god question, sticking to observable, measurable phenomena. And religion should stay out of the evolution question, sticking to the unknowable and matters of virtue.