The Unbiased Eye

A scientist's commentary on events and culture

Archive for June 2012

Roberts Lets Health Care Law Squeak By

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Small Favors From the Polarized Supreme Court

The good thing about being a pessimist is that on occasion, I am pleasantly surprised, and I am filled with the milk of human kindness.

And so, I was surprised that most of Obama’s health care law got through the nation’s top court, and very happy. We — or shouldn’t we give the President the credit — Obama has done all that is humanly possible in light the hundreds of millions of lobbying dollars and the successful scare tactics of the right-wing. Obama took a step toward making health care in the United States rational. In the U.S., left wing scare tactics are lame by comparison.

For those of you who have nightmares of bureaucrats, I’ll buy you lunch if you can demonstrate the superiority of the average insurance company bureaucrat over the average government bureaucrat. Both of them bring the exact same sniveling, ass-kissing, ass-covering, blame-shifting person to work every day from 9 to 5.

Hero Justice Roberts

Reading the papers for the last couple days, Justice John Roberts is our savior. Reports at the mainstream news organizations are over the moon about Roberts and how he saved the Supreme Court. From what, is not clear to me.

Now I didn’t read any of the decision on this case, and I’m not inclined toward the chicken guts variety of politics. But i did read that horrible opinion in the Citizens United case a couple years ago by Roberts, who was with his conservative pals on that one.

Citizens United, if it’s slipped your mind, allows corporations to pour unlimited amounts of secret money into political campaigns. If we wind up living in a oligarchic dictatorship run by a few hundred rich men — like ancient Rome before the emperors, and before the barbarians — this decision opened the door.

So much for the deification of Roberts.

The Court, including Robert, rejected the part of the law that would force states to fold in their medicaid programs with everyone else (glossing over some details here).

I know that many middle class people are against taking responsibility for the health and well being of those shiftless, lazy people who don’t work. Set aside the coded messages, usually dressed in even more politically correct phrases today. It’s a dangerous attitude.

There’s the moral question. What kind of society leaves the weakest people to die on the streets? I think that’s what Ron Paul recommends, and that’s what Ayn Rand wrote in her turgid books. That’s also what Dickens described in the 19th century. This shouldn’t need any discussion whatsoever. Ask me for a couple books to read about what that society was like.

There’s an overlooked practical side to all issues of the social safety net, anti-poverty efforts and those generally liberal sorts of things: They make our society and our economy stronger — no matter whether the individuals who get help ever work or not.

Money passed around in all kinds of health, education and public works projects does not disappear some rabbit hole, but it circulates in the economy directly and creates more jobs than most of the Wall Street market manipulators. People are easily confused by arithmetic and makes an unwarranted assumption that if you buy a bum on the street lunch, the five dollars you gave him is gone for ever. I got news for you. It’s not. It goes straight to the convenience store, which buys the food, requires lights, accountants, programmers, deliverymen, and on and on and on. Somewhere down the chain comes the need for whatever it is you do.

Health care has another dimension here. When people ignore real illness, they get sicker, and the problem worse. A cancer that’s easy and cheap when caught early, becomes very difficult and expensive, and the odds of success deteriorate when ignored. You may think this is someone else’s problem, but I have news for you: you pay for it in your taxes. And the less the average billionaire pay in taxes, the more you pay. But then maybe you would be capable of stepping over the bodies.

When you give a dollar to a bum, the money drops directly back into the economy. When you give a billionaire a dollar or two — as in tax breaks — it’s completely up to him what he does with it. And he’s already got more than he could possibly use in 10 lifetimes.

Yeah, maybe he will invest it in developing solar power. More likely, he will invest it in a ski lodge in the Swiss Alps, or a beach house in the Caribbean, or maybe even a BMW from Germany. Go ask him for the job he was supposed to create.

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Written by theunbiasedeye

June 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Business, Politics