Emails: Debating Limited versus No Government

Limited Gov Guy: I was arguing with [my girlfriend] last night about the Affordable Care Act and how it is not the government’s place to take care of sick people. I argued instead that the government is mainly there, to plagiarize Milton Friedman’s words, for the role of enforcing contracts between individuals and punishing individuals who violate others’ rights.

If you accept that (I know you might not), then consider this:
In the following scenarios, a citizen’s right to life is threatened by three different assailants.
– If an individual were to assault someone on the street for no reason, I would want the government to imprison that individual.
– If a wild animal were to attack someone unprovoked, I would want the government to contain or destroy that animal.
– If a bacteria infects someone and starts to kill them, then why should not the government take actions against that bacteria to protect the citizen’s right to life?
That’s what [my girlfriend] said to me, and I had no response.
I know it’s wrong, but I don’t know why.
Thoughts?

Free Association Man: If an individual were to assault….. but this doesn’t mean the gov can force you to enter into a contract with a body guard.

If a wild animal were to attack… but this doesn’t mean the gov can force you to enter into a contract with an animal trainer.

If a bacteria infects… but this doesn’t mean the gov can force you into a contract with a health insurance company….

BTW: We have the CDC, NIH, and the FDA already charged with viral and bacterial defenses for the population.

The pain for the ACA is all back-loaded to 2017. Mr. Obama says the ACA is “working” because more people have health insurance. But that’s because the gov is subsidizing enrollments. This is why a SCOTUS decision against subsidies would have killed the ACA. The subsidies expire, penalties begin, and all the new taxes (not fees…thank-you Chief Justice Roberts), start Jan 1 2017.

Example: The tuition at my school is 10K. Now lets mandate that every kid on the Cape has to enroll in my school. Lets further mandate that my school has to cover all sorts of new services (health clinics, free breakfast, psych counseling…) But not-to-worry.. the tuition is subsidized so that 10K tuition will only cost you 2K and you get all these great new services. What do you know?? Enrollment is booming at my school! What will the tuition bill be in 2017 when the subsidies expire? Parents are going to be wishing for the good-old-days when they weren’t mandated to enroll and the tuition was only 10K. This is why most analyst say that the ACA is not sustainable after the subsidies expire. (google: ACA-subsidies-expiration). Johnathan Gruber – the main architect of the ACA – said that the ACA is not sustainable and called the American people “stupid” for not seeing this (http://dailycaller.com/2014/12/30/obama-adviser-jonathan-gruber-in-2009-obamacare-will-not-be-affordable/).  And where will Mr. Obama be in 2017? Playing golf.


Economics Guy: In all those cases I want to be my own first line of defense.  If an attacker or an animal survives my defense (which can include nearby citizens), then the government (or a private entity that provides a similar service) can take appropriate action.
If I decide that I need help with an illness, I have the option to contract for that help with whomever I think can help me.  In my lifetime this is how it was.  You got sick, if you needed to see a doctor you paid him.  You only paid for what you needed.  Medical care was less costly before the government got involved.  (Everything was.  More on that to follow.)
It might seem like a good idea to have government agencies trying to identify and contain disease in general, and maybe it is.  The problem is that nobody ever asks “What will this cost?”  The other problem is that every government program expands and becomes a horribly inefficient bureaucracy.  The cost thing might sound callous, but it is an unfortunate reality.  Products and services are not free.  Somebody must produce products and services and that somebody wants something in return.
Economics 101:
Wealth is created, it is not distributed from some pre-existing stash.
Wealth is the availability of a standard of living higher than naked, alone and afraid, struggling to survive 24/7.
You want to eat?  Go find some berries, pick them, chew them and digest them.  You just produced one meal.
You want to get out of the rain?  Find a cave and defend it against the bear that comes looking for a den and a non-berry meal.  You just produced shelter.
You want a companion?  You have to offer her a better deal than the one she has.  Better companionship or more food or more comfortable shelter.
You see where this is going.  People enter into agreements to produce for each other.  The standard of living increases.  Infrastructure gets created.  It is all supported entirely by people who produce more than they consume.
Fast forward to 1776.  The colonists decide they are not happy with the British government.  They decide to create their own.  There are big government guys and small government guys.  We end up with a republic with a constitution that limits the federal government to very specific roles.  The government needs some amount of revenue.  It comes from taxes.  Taxes are the taking of some of the produce of the producers.  Almost everybody is on board with some amount of government and therefore taxes.  Government produced a producer-friendly environment the cost of which is taxes.
But the government starts to grow.  There are government people who keep thinking of new things the government can do.  It can do them because it can take from the current producers and borrow against what it will take from future producers.  Few in government ever ask if the government should do these things.  It is easy to spend other peoples money.  Some people like some of the things government does, other people like other things the government does, almost nobody likes all the things government does.  If you are a net producer you pay for it anyway.
How can we tell if we are producers?  Don’t government employees produce something?  Often government employees produce things.  Teachers teach, firefighters fight fires, researchers conduct research etc.  The litmus test is this:  Would a free market pay them to do what they do and how much?  Some people have always been willing to trade what they produce for what a teacher produces, or what a blacksmith produces or what a composer produces.  Can an artist produce enough art in a free market to live comfortably?  Good for him!  The list is endless.
But who will trade their produce for an IRS audit or for the NSA to spy on them?  Or for a bureaucrat to give some of their produce to a non-producer who could produce?
Today’s government is so bloated with bureaucracy that most of what producers produce goes to supporting the non-producing bureaucrats.  It is not that they don’t do what they are hired to do, it is that they shouldn’t have been hired to do it in the first place.  To make matters worse much of what bureaucrats do, make it harder for producers to produce.
Economics 102:
Economics is the study of incentives.
Costs rise or fall to match the supply with the demand.
When something costs less the market wants more of it.  When something costs more the market wants less of it.
Cost in this case is not just part of your produce.  It can be your freedom or your state of well being or pretty much anything you care about.
If you attend an event with an open bar you might drink more because you don’t have to trade your produce for it, your host has decided to trade his produce for your drink.  Or you might drink less because you don’t want to take advantage of your host.  In this case your cost is the idea that you are taking advantage of your host and that is a higher cost to you than your produce.
Our government routinely hides the true cost of things from us.  Piles and piles of red tape and taxes drive costs up while subsidies, tax breaks and special treatment drive costs down, sometimes on the same product.
Insurance was invented as a way to share economic risk.  A group of people who all face a more or less similar level of economic risk agree to create a pool of money to be paid out to those members who have an actual loss.  This works if the level of risk is relatively low over the life of the agreement.  Homeowners insurance is a good example.  You can’t afford to lose your $250K house and neither can most people so you all pay $500 a year to the insurance company who provides (produces) the organization to collect the pool and investigate and pay claims.  They probably get about 8% of the pool each year for this service, and everybody is happy.  It works because everybody faces about the same risk which is low, the incentives to try and cheat are small and the pool can pay the actual costs with enough left over for the insurance company to get its cut.
Health insurance is different.  Risk is affected by your lifestyle, your age and your genes.  Young, clean-living, hardy specimens don’t want to share the risk with broken-down old drug addicts.  Paying an insurance company $54 so they will pay for your $50 doctor visit doesn’t make a lot of sense.  A 60 year old man paying an insurance company for pre-natal care makes no sense at all.
Government medical care makes medical care look free or low cost.  When things cost less, people want more.  When demand goes up, actual costs (which are hidden from the consumer) go up.  This is why I said earlier that everything costs more when the government gets involved.  They can re-distribute the costs but they can’t make them go away.
The lowest possible costs and the most efficient solutions occur in a well informed, truly free market.  A true free market has never existed in America, but we were a lot closer in the past.
Obamacare (and every other government program) will benefit some people at the expense of many others.  This is socialism.  There is a limit to how much socialism we can afford.  There is no limit to how much wealth we can create.  Poor people in America today live better than kings and queens of yesterday.
Freedom creates wealth.  Socialism destroys wealth.
The bottom line: There are few if any things the government does that can’t be done better at lower cost by the free market.  (The real free market, not the government manipulated “free” market.)

Scary Anarchist:Allow me to pontificate.

1. I’d much rather mitigate risk from criminals, animals, nature by voluntarily entering into contracts with privatized for profit agencies than to be forced into conditions imposed by government.

2. “Where do you find these angels to run government.” Milton Friedman.


Limited Gov Guy:These are all excellent points, but I think I should have specified.

I am attempting to figure things out theoretically, in a vacuum of sorts, where the only considerations are individual freedoms versus collective security.
Many of your arguments are based on the impracticality and budgetary butchery of government work. I agree with all of these ideas, and perhaps they are your sole reasons for opposing the ACA.
But imagine a world in which the government could provide such services (police, corrections facilities, healthcare — all to protect the citizen’s right to life) just as efficiently as the private sector.
In this scenario, with numbers aside and the only factors being individual freedoms versus collective security, where do you draw the line?
I would be willing to pay taxes for the government to protect the public from criminals and wild animals, but not for them to protect us from disease.
The more I think about it, the more inconsistent it seems. Why do I pick and choose?
It seems the only reasonable progression is that government provides ALL services or NONE of them…

Economics Guy: Correct!  But does everybody need or want all the same services?  The only way government can provide anything at all is to first take it from somebody else.  If everybody wanted the exact same thing from government, and if government were efficient and had no agenda of its own, then it may indeed be the best way to provide those things.

But none of those things are true.

[My town] provides water and sewer service, collects the trash, has a school system, plows the roads, collects leaves in the fall, has curbside recycling, maintains parks and athletic fields and some other stuff.  Hopedale residents pay for this in the form of property taxes, which are high.  If you have a small lot, lots of kids, plenty of money and aren’t very handy then this is a good deal.  If you have a big lot that would support a septic system and a well, don’t generate a lot of trash, have no kids, don’t use the park and dump your leaves in the corner of your own property then you are getting screwed.  Your only option is to move.  If you stay in [my town] you are paying for stuff you don’t need or want.
On the federal level it is even worse, there are zillions of government programs that almost nobody would voluntarily support, and the option to move is more or less unrealistic.  So I come down on the side of very limited / no government.  This will preserve my freedom and a market WILL develop to serve people who want a higher level of service.

Joe Jarvis: I agree, it is much easier to consistently argue from the no government perspective. Then, it is a simple matter of not being robbed (in the form of taxes). Healthcare would be wrong, not necessarily because of what was provided, but because it was done by force. This is akin to how charity is no longer charity when you steal someone else’s money to donate.

Now our idea of limited government would be protection from foreign invaders essentially, and protection from being victimized by fellow citizens. In that sense the argument would be, if the USA is going to declare 3 million square miles “theirs,” then at least they have the responsibility to repel hordes and make sure they foster a safe environment within. But even this stands on shaky ground, because A) how do you pay for it without theft which is wrong, and B) how is it legitimate to claim land people already own, live on, work etc.?

If the answer to A is competing government agencies which you can defund by patronizing another one, that would seem to no longer fall under the definition of government; it would be more like a business. Yet that is exactly what would deliver the best results, as every other sector of the free market.

The competing agencies could team up in the event of a larger outside threat. Think of if every state’s police and national guard were privatized, had to find investors to buy back their equipment, and rebate the money to the taxpayers. Then they could start their own agencies, and the ones who provide a good enough service in the free market would still exist. The Colorado State Police, from what I hear, would do quite fine as a private company, due to the high quality service they provide to the public. People would still voluntarily pay for their policing activities, be it business owners, individuals, or road owners, because there is value in the product.
But I guess I am getting a bit off topic.

Scary Anarchist:Here’s a good barometer if you choose to put all other aspects aside.

Is it voluntary?

If taxes were voluntary would anybody pay them? If social security were voluntary only those who wanted it could CHOOSE to partake and pay into the system. What’s wrong with that? If police “protection” were optional, could I opt out of the system and provide my own protection? In fact isn’t this what we call privatization? Much of what we are subject to by govt. is deemed a “collective right” thus justifying it as a NON-voluntary system. If the system were option many who make their living off of thieving and controlling you and I would be out of a job. But what is a collective but a collection of individuals. I am an individual not a collective, who has different dreams, fears, hopes, wants, needs, then the next. The litmus test of all political theory for the libertarian minded is the championing of voluntary transactions and maximum individual liberty while upholding the non-aggression principal (NAP). Case and point: isn’t it good if we’re all forced to get immunization to keep deadly disease at bay (which beckons the question how are they going to force this)? This may be true but I would say NEGATIVE. Cannot subject individual liberty to this supposed “need” of the collective. If it’s truly a good idea than the market will uphold it. What is “the market” you say…. much to learn you have young Padoine!


Limited Gov Guy: I’m beginning to think that government should exert no control outside of a few necessary evils:
1) The Feds should defend our borders from other nations, and have almost no influence on American citizens themselves. This would require a federal tax, unfortunately. However, in order to preserve the freedoms inside our borders, I think I could bear a defense tax.
2) The States/counties/towns should deal with violations of rights among their residents. If one violates another’s rights to life or property (which I think are the two basic rights from which all others stem), then the government has a court system and a police force to deal with him. I also think that, at this lower level, government could own land for the sole purpose of selling it to any citizen who wanted it.
3) All else would be left to the free market.
I can’t say I completely buy into the anarchist mindset, even though I really enjoyed the ideas in Joey’s Anarchy in New England.
1) I’m not sure the private arbitration agencies could be trusted to agree upon verdicts impartially. I understand the idea that business ethics reviews would destroy such agencies if they made unjust rulings, but they might not all adhere to the same standards. What if there was a Muslim-run arbitration agency ruled that a thief ought to be beheaded?
2) And lastly, I think the lower-level government would have to own land and sell it to citizens. Otherwise, there would be no legitimacy to land ownership. Anybody could claim as much as they wanted, as long as they had more guns than the next guy.
Could the free market take care of such things?

Joe Jarvis: Yes, I believe the free market would take care of these things better than the government can. Competition and the profit motive are what will allow for this, while monopolies, including one on defense and conflict resolution, means no alternatives.

1) Currently Muslim run Governments dictate that thieves be beheaded (or witches, or woman drivers). An arbitration agency however would be competing with other ones. If I was a thief, and have representation, then it is likely that a Muslim agency would adjust their sentences to themselves avoid action against them. However if an entire region (customers) agreed thieves should be beheaded, the punishment would persist.
But the profit motive and competition means a draconian agency would have to justify their existence to customers, versus forcing customers to fund their “service” (the government). The fact is our current system is not impartial, and states/ towns do not have the same standards. An ounce of weed has landed people with life sentences in some states, while in MA it is a $100 fine. Any agency that tried to jail a man for life for possession of a plant would be opening a can of worms that would threaten their profits, and open up competition for rival, less crazy agencies.
And everyone would save money because a crime would require a victim. Currently the government steals our money, and labels things crimes, even if there is no victim. We are forced to pay to lock up non-violent drug offenders. But without government monopolizing security, consumers would balance service with cost. The best service (as decided by the consumers, who in a truly free market would also necessarily be producers) for the lowest cost would win out. War has high costs, and so does dishing out draconian sentences that people (your customers, or customers of rival agencies) will protest.
Is it possible for injustices to happen? Of course. But based on what we know about market forces, we have to assume the injustices would be fewer, farther between, and more easily righted outside of monopoly control.
And finally, we cannot take the best example of government, and act like all governments will be that way. Cliche, but look what Stalin, Hitler, and Mao’s governments did. Absolutely no private agency could afford to do that, get nearly as far, or survive the public backlash.
2) Land ownership is indeed important, and I think the structure would be slightly different without government, but no less just. First off, there is no private ownership of land currently. We rent it from local governments; the rent is called Property Tax. If you don’t pay your rent (property tax), they will eventually confiscate the land from you. The Feds can also confiscate your land according to the Constitution, and give you what they decide is the market price. How absurd: the market price is whatever I want to sell the land for. If I don’t want to sell, the price might go through the roof. If you want occupied/ owned land, pay for it what the owner asks, or move on.
So that is the price we pay for allowing government to control land ownership. Currently, the guys with the most guns indeed claim the most land. America claims 3 million square miles officially, and another 54 million square miles unofficially. I think I will trust the market to ensure that at least more than a few hundred governments own all the land on Earth.
It is not legitimate to claim land you do not use. I cannot say for sure how this would go down, as it would be different in different regions, however the consumers would still decide on what constitutes land ownership, just as they would dictate the laws through patronizing a security company that shares their values. This would give us true votes (with dollars) on what laws exist, as opposed to mob rule law as it currently stands.
If I owned a security company, I would agree to protect land that people use and/or improve. If you have a house, and a fence around your property that no neighbors dispute, then it is easy: register with your security company the land you want them to protect. If anyone else claims it, they will legitimize the fact that it is yours. Same if you build a factory: it does not magically belong to the workers. Absentee land ownership would be legitimate as long as his capital paid for the improvements on the land.
Does a random tree in the forest belong to you? No. But when you cut down the tree, mill the wood, and make a bar out of the tree, the bar belongs to you. Even if you cut down the tree and split it into logs, they belong to you. The berries on the bush belong to you once you pick them. And an unoccupied piece of land belongs to you if you add value by manipulating the natural resources.
Something not legitimate would be claiming Isolation Mountain as your own. No security company would agree to protect that land as yours, because it would threaten their public perception, and profits. In fact multiple New England agencies might even get together, and decide on large swaths of land they will never register to a single owner (in order to avoid later conflict, and thus save money). You could still go out and build a hut in the forest, grow a garden and in my opinion that would make the land your own.
Land ownership, in that sense, predates humans. Wolves understand the invading party to be in the wrong, and that invasion will most likely lead to mutual destruction, with a slightly higher possibility of the owner coming out on top, due to incentives to protect ones own property. It is possible, though less probable, the invading wolves win the land. But as I’ve already noted, the American wolf pack has already stolen your land. So it is a matter of collective ownership of all 3 million square miles (if you agree not to threaten the alfa male, you might be allowed to live on THEIR land for a relatively low cost, with some benefits, including other wolf packs not invading your land, but with the very distinct possibility of your own wolf pack cannibalizing you).
But you couldn’t simply claim an area you do not use as your own because: A) it would require the personel to protect it, in which case, you are adding value in a sense (providing jobs, and therefore using/ occupying the land). or B) if there are already people on the land, this is aggression on their property which the owner’s security should protect, and if you impose your will or take a tax from the people within the land your claim, you have just created a government.
The subject of land ownership really requires a book, but perhaps I will try to tackle it in a post. One thing I am sure of however, is that the free market will make for better rules of private ownership of land than the current monopoly provides.

Obamacare Created a Police Force Directly Under Presidential Control

bearcatOne section of Obamacare you may not have heard of, creates another national police force, with officers appointed directly by the President. Section 5210 of H.R. 3590 (“Obamacare” or the Affordable Care Act) established yet another national police force, this time supposedly in case of a health emergency. While the “Commissioned Corps” for healthcare emergencies already existed, it was amended in the AFA to remove a cap on the number of individuals in the Corps, as well as include police personal instead of just doctors, nurses, etc. Another problem is the altered requirement for hiring, which allow the President to handpick anyone he wants to be in the Ready Reserve Corps. The following can be found in the text of the final bill.

SEC. 5210 ESTABLISHING A READY RESEVE CORPS

Section 203 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 204) is amended to read as follows:

SEC. 203 COMMISSIONED CORPS AND READY RESERVE CORPS

‘(a) Establishment-

‘(1) IN GENERAL- There shall be in the Service a commissioned Regular Corps and a Ready Reserve Corps for service in time of national emergency.

‘(2) REQUIREMENT- All commissioned officers shall be citizens of the United States and shall be appointed without regard to the civil-service laws and compensated without regard to the Classification Act of 1923, as amended.

Notice that officers will be appointed “without regard to the civil-service laws” (emphasis added). These are laws designed to remove politics as a consideration when hiring in the public sector. They also establish guidelines based on merit, impartial hiring criteria, and safety from arbitrary firing and unwarranted disciplinary action. Officers will also be chosen “without regard to the Classification Act of 1923” (emphasis added) which established merit pay and compensation based on performance. To be clear the bill states these laws will be disregarded when appointing this police force. So these officers will be hired based on no known criteria, without any known qualifications, can be denied for no known reason, can be fired for any reason whatsoever, paid without regard to merit, and punished or rewarded independently of performance.

The following section explains that it will be the President and the President alone that will appoint officers in the Ready Reserve Corps, while he needs Senate approval to appoint officers in the Regular Corps.

‘(3) APPOINTMENT- Commissioned officers of the Ready Reserve Corps shall be appointed by the President and commissioned officers of the Regular Corps shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

And under any medical emergency, real or manufactured, these troops will be out in full force to maintain martial law, and follow the President and Surgeon General’s orders. This special corps will be the administrative right hand of the president after their “involuntary calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises…as well as for deployment to respond to public health emergencies, both foreign and domestic; and (D) be available for service assignment in isolated, hardship, and medically underserved communities”.

I am sure I do not need to spell out the similarities between the RRC and other police forces which answered directly to Chief Executives of various countries. But I will point out that there is currently no shortage of national police to handle the types of situations which the CC and RRC are supposedly needed for. The DHS, FBI, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals, ATF, TSA, DEA, National Guard and other armed police in multiple agencies not generally thought of as police agencies, would seem to overlap enough to fill any responsibilities of the CC and RRC. The only difference is that the CC and RRC will be overseen, appointed, and controlled by the President himself, and are allowed to be hired and fired for political purposes. If the President wanted to, he could fill this force entirely with people he knows will follow his every command, and fire anyone who says they would not. If he chose to, the President could exclusively hire Democrats, or criminals, or Nazi’s, or girl scouts—the law makes it clear that no criteria are needed for hiring and firing Ready Reserve Corps officers.

So if all the other aspects of Obamacare were not enough to convince you that it is about control, and not about affordable care, perhaps the newest expansion of the police state will.

New Pro-Obamacare Argument: Good Enough for Government Work

syringeObamacare is a law that was passed by a Democratic House, Democratic Senate, and Democrat President. But that doesn’t stop Jamelle Bouie from focusing his pro-Obamacare argument on the opposition to the law. His article called, “They Just Don’t Care if Healthcare.Gov Works or Not” is a whiny argument that attempts to make the law’s implementation look good, by comparing it to how bad it was 2 months ago. After acknowledging the “massive glitches” that accompanied the rollout of Obamacare, Bouie complains that Republicans haven’t noticed how much progress has been made since then.

The administration responded to all of this criticism—and more—with a promise that Healthcare.gov would work for the majority of users by December 1st.

Obama has promised a lot of things, like that if you like your plan you can keep it, but apparently Americans should believe him, this time. And in true Democratic form, only the majority matters.

And it does. According to the administration, a five week “tech surge” has doubled the capacity of the online interface to the health care exchanges that form the core of the Affordable Care Act. As of this month, the website can handle 50,000 simultaneous users, for a total limit of 800,000 users per day. The site is functional more than ninety percent of the time, up from fifty-five percent of the time in October.

According to the administration! So that is a reliable source. Oh the administration says that the administration is doing better? Well nothing to see here. If this were a private company, they wouldn’t get a second chance, the site would have failed, investors would have fled, stocks would have tumbled, and everyone who had anything to do with this failure would have been fired. But this is the public sector, and we are captive investors who cannot flee but for renouncing our citizenship (a step more and more people are taking).

And a website that works 90% of the time is only good when you compare it to the same website that used to work 55% of the time! This is insane that people actually tout a 90% functional website as a good thing. Is that how Google, Amazon, and Twitter made it big, by working 90% of the time? We would never have heard of those if they only worked for 50,000 people at a time, 90% of the day.

Bouie continues, “the White House has achieved more than 400 of the 600 fixes”. It’s been two months since the laceration you suffered, and the hospital has placed 400 of the 600 stitches you needed. We can handle having roads closed while our incompetent government fixes them. We cannot allow the same “good enough for government work” mentality to seep into our healthcare system.

Bouie then whines a little more about how the Republicans won’t “concede any good will to the President’s health care law”. That is like complaining that Jesus wouldn’t even compliment Satan’s horns. But Bouie’s not finished yet.

The Republican complaints of two months ago were purely opportunistic. For them, it just doesn’t matter if Healthcare.gov is working, since Obamacare is destined to fail, reality be damned!

What reality is Bouie living in? Certainly not the one where millions of people have lost health insurance because of Obamacare, and millions of others are paying higher premiums. And we don’t know yet if it matters “if Healthcare.gov is working” because in addition to the 10% of time it currently does not work, and in addition to the past 2 months when it didn’t work, the administration has refused to brief congress on the security risks that they know put people’s security and personal information at risk! The website does not meet security standards, and people’s identities have already been stolen due directly to a terrible website. And Bouie wants Republicans to nod to the “progress” made, after their concerns have been ignored and marginalized by the administration time and time again?

And don’t even get me started on which party is “purely opportunistic”. Who was it that saw opportunity in the murders of children to pass gun control laws that wouldn’t help? Who played on the sympathies of the green movement to hand out taxpayer dollars to cronies who pretend to run solar companies? Was it Republicans who stoked racial tensions to win elections? But I digress.

Bouie continues on apparently arguing that a terrible law with a pretty name and a barely functioning website it better than nothing, which is what he claims Republicans have offered. He admits “at most” Republicans have offered some ““market-driven” reforms, like changes to the tax code, and allowing insurers to sell across state lines”, which are already in the ACA. Well then why screw it all up with an individual mandate? Just because there are 2 good ideas in a thousand plus page bill does not mean the whole law is good. Disney World is great, but that doesn’t make all of Florida a magical amusement park.

And just like Disney World Bouie’s article is a nice bit of fantasy, designed to allow an escape for disappointed Obama fanatics who would feign illiteracy in order to ignore the writing on the wall.

Media Bias Prevents Constructive Discussion

Although the media is supposed to report facts, they are really more interested in telling a story that fits a preconceived notion of how the world is. This means embellishing, making some stories bigger than they should be, and leaving out other stories altogether. This is how public opinion is shaped, but these days it rarely matches reality. The media makes us think that the issues are left versus right, liberal versus conservative, democrat versus republican, but really the issues come down to statism versus freedom, a nanny state versus personal responsibility, and the collective authority versus individual rights. You can tell who supports freedom over statism because the media brutalizes them; it is safer to be a statist, which includes the vast majority of Congress, on both sides of the aisle.

I know I often focus on the detrimental effects liberals have on the economy and the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution, but many Republicans deserve equal credit for stomping on the Constitution, and creating a crony capitalist economy. As one expert said, Washington DC is a trough where the corrupt go to feed. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell took $2 billion worth of pork back to Kentucky in exchange for selling out his conservative “colleagues” and abandoning the push to save millions from the detrimental effects of Obamacare. Despite being a large part of why Obamacare will not be delayed, the front page of the Senator’s website proclaims:

…For months, the American people have been learning about the impact Obamacare will have on individuals and families in the form of higher premiums, disrupted insurance, and lost jobs—more broken promises from the administration. Obamacare costs too much and it’s not working the way they promised. And when a visit to the Obamacare website makes a trip to the DMV seem pleasant, it’s time for the President to consider delaying this rushed effort.

Accurate statement, but hypocritical coming from McConnell. You see when the House Republicans “shut down the government” (AKA passed a budget that the Senate did not like) they failed to articulate why they did not fund Obamacare. Republicans wanted individuals to be treated the same as businesses, who got a year delay on the mandate to purchase insurance. Now, witnessing the failing rollout of the website, is this such an extreme position, to delay something that is not working properly? In reality it seems more extreme for the Senate to reject a budget that funded everything except Obamacare. Yet with the media’s help, it was not the Senate who took the blame for failing to pass a budget initially, it was the House Republicans who got blamed, despite passing a budget.

Paying attention to the mainstream media could make you believe there have only been positive effects from Obamacare. That is because the media only shows a few people who have been helped by the law, and ignores the millions of middle class families whose premiums will rise. The media ignores the hundreds of thousands whose coverage is being dropped, despite the lie repeated often that “if you like your plan, you can keep it”. How is Obamacare working out for all those people who got their hours cut to 29 hours per week, left with no healthcare, and no extra money to buy it? Did you hear about the nurse, mother of one with another on the way who was told she must either work more hours, or have her healthcare dropped due to Obamacare rules, and if she opts to work the same hours, will also lose paid sick time she has been accumulating for maternity leave? I bet you haven’t.

So what happens to a member of congress or a politician when they do not obey the media and government “elite”? They are ostracized from their colleagues, and not invited to any of the cool DC parties. This may sound like a shallow reason for ruining America, but apparently most members of congress have a similar social attitude to that of an insecure teenage girl. Can you imagine going to work and having one of your–or multiple–colleagues literally scream in your face, as John McCain has done to Senators Lee and Cruz? God forbid you don’t follow party leadership, you will be removed from your committee assignments like John Boehner did to Justin Amash and others when they failed to support his big government agenda. And now the media backs up the “conservatives” who love the state, by focusing on the rift between the “good” big government, crony capitalist Republicans, and those “extremists” who invoke the Founding Fathers.

What can we do as individuals? Make it well known that you do not trust the mainstream media, because of their bias. Post and share good articles on facebook, because here’s a fun fact: 78% of what people see posted on facebook will be considered trustworthy, as opposed to commercials, the source of which 15% of people think is trustworthy. When people see what their friends have posted, they are more likely to read it and be exposed to that point of view, already trusting the source more than if they had seen it on TV. This shifting landscape of how news if disseminated is good news for people interested in truth, and bad news for those who once had a stranglehold on public opinion through TV and news media. If you would like a multitude of examples of biased media, check out the Media Research Center, whose mission is to expose liberal media bias, so that people do not blindly believe their fabrications.

There are about 19 Senators and at least 60 House members who are the true limited government politicians. The media, the Democrats, and establishment Republicans are all teaming up against the very people who would stop this disastrous overhaul of healthcare, who would vote against piling on more debt, and who would abide by the Constitution. They are called obstructionists and extremists, but really they are Patriots. These few that stand up against their colleagues and the media in order to fight for the individual are the last defense standing between us and an authoritarian government. It would be wise to elect more people who will listen to their constituents and the base of their support, instead of caving to corruption, the media, and the DC majority.

Obamacare Website Made by Political Donors

The Obamacare website is a failure for the same reason Solyndra was a failure: tax dollars were given to companies for the sole reason that they contributed campaign dollars to the right politicians. Energy loans were not given to Solyndra (the bankrupt solar company) because they had a good business model, or were the most likely company to create alternative energy, but because Bill Kaiser raised $500,000 for Obama’s 2008 campaign. So half a billion tax dollars were in turn thrown down the drain to reward him. The Obamacare website situation is similar according to NationalJournal.com:

A subset of 17 contractors on the list [of companies that worked on implementing the Affordable Care Act] spent $128 million on lobbying in 2011 and 2012, the foundation said, and 29 had employees or political action committees that contributed $32 million to candidates during that election cycle, including nearly $4 million to President Obama.

The way I see it, there are two types of companies (and the companies’ leaders) who contribute to politicians. One is the people who pay a small amount in campaign contributions so that their company can get a lucrative government contract or loan, like in the Obamacare website situation, or the energy loans to Solyndra. The other type is the people who pay politicians “protection money” so that their company is not unfairly disadvantaged by legislation, and so that their competitors are not unfairly given an advantage over them through legislation.

But another reason for the website failure is that the government was in charge of it. Just to clarify, this is the same government that is now in charge of your healthcare. According to the Daily Caller, testing that is normally done by private companies (with incentives to perform well), was in this case handled by the government.

According to individuals with knowledge of the development of the site, the root cause of the problems that beset the launch of the federal health care exchange is a decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to act as the central coordinator for the project — a “systems integrator.”

CMS continued to make changes to the project all the way up to a week before the site’s launch, delaying testing that normally takes four to six months to work out.

Sources said that decisions were being made so late into the process that it was impossible for the organizations to know how all of the technology that goes into the web site would work together. Doesn’t that make you feel great about the type of healthcare we can expect, run by these same people and government agencies?

Congress Forces Obamacare on USA; Congress Exempted from Obamacare

Tyranny is not just such an abundance of laws that we must go through our lives as robots to avoid prosecution. A key aspect of tyranny is the rule of law being applied unevenly. The closest thing to a caste system or class system in America is created by allowing one group to decide who laws apply to, and who is exempted from those laws. This is tyranny when congress can pass a law which applies to every American, and then exempt themselves from it. Joining congress in the top tier class are their cronies who are also given exemptions from laws applied to the rest of the USA. Some businesses must abide by a law, while others are exempt from that law. Guess which businesses will succeed, and which will fail?

I am talking about why Obamacare gives congress and the president unprecedented control over the economy. The government can exempt businesses and individuals from the requirements in the Affordable Care Act. This means that if one company donated to politicians, and another company in the same field did not, the President or Congress can exempt the company who payed to play, and force the competitor to foot the increased costs of Obamacare. Since the two companies now have different costs imposed by government, the one that donated to politicians can undercut their competitor, who must pay the additional costs of the health care law.

The rule of law is probably the single biggest reason why places become economic powerhouses. When the fruit of one’s labor is protected from plundering hordes, thieves, and government, one creates more fruit. In a system where the government can come down on your business at any given minute and ruin it with a law that does not apply to your competitors, the rule of law does not exist. If the Sheriff of Nottingham can decide which businesses to take the profits from for the King, how long until those select businesses close for good?

Although the 14th Amendment was aimed at state governments, it also applies, like all the other amendments, to the federal government. The Fourteenth Amendment ends by stating that the government cannot “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. Since the president and congress like to pretend the Affordable Care Act is a good thing, it seems those being exempted from the law are having their Fourteenth Amendment violated. And since everyone is scrambling to have their Fourteenth Amendment violated in regards to the protections offered by Obamacare, the true nature of the law is revealed. It was never meant to protect anyone, rather only those exempted from the law would benefit. Since the law was written as to allow unequal protection for individuals, it is unConstitutional based on the fact that it can be applied or suspended, therefore violating the 14th Amendment.

The bill is even being used in the Senate in an attempt to strong arm Senators into allowing exemptions from the law. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) was able to include a provision in Obamacare that forced Congress and their staff into the Obamacare exchanges even though he was against Obamacare, saying “The more that Congress experiences the laws it passes, the better”. But his provision was watered down, and allowed for subsidies for congress. Two other Republican Senators have now drafted a bill that would force all of congress and their staff into the exchanges without subsidies. Senate President Harry Reid (D-Nevada) then proposed that any Senator who votes for the provision removing subsidies for congress and forcing congress into the exchanges, be forced to use the exchanges subsidy free, whether or not the vote passes. Essentially he wants unequal protection of the laws for members of congress depending on how they vote in the legislature.

So this is tyranny, when a protected political class gets to decide when the rule of law is applied, and when it’s suspended. As the economy spirals the drain, we will see with our own eyes that without the rule of law, there can be no strong economy.

More Accurate Obamacare Advertisement

I came across this short comical video which pretty well sums up the attitude of our current administration in selling Obamacare. They ignore all the negatives it will create, especially for young college aged people and recent college graduates, and use the terms affordable over and over again. The video jokes that the fact that employers are cutting hours to avoid buying their employees healthcare is a good thing, since “work sucks, that’s why we at Obamacare want to trade your full time job, for a part time one!”. The short “Obamacare advertisement” also makes fun of the Obamacare mandate, which forces people to buy health insurance or be taxed or penalized–Obama had claimed many times that this would not increase middle class taxes; the mandate is just one of many tax hikes in Obamacare.

The DHS, The Patriot Act, and Your Doctor’s Office

I was asked to do some research into why doctors offices are frequently requiring a photo ID be presented before appointments. The official reason being cited seemed to revolve around preventing health insurance fraud, or identity theft to receive healthcare under another person’s name–which accounts for 1-3% of all identity theft. But once you start reading into the systems set up by the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act it becomes clear that the information taken from your ID at the doctors’ office is being entered into a database which the Department of Homeland Security has access to, for the official purpose of performing duties necessary to prevent terrorism. The American Health Information Management Association summarized the effects the Patriot Act, Homeland Security Act, and Freedom of Information Act would have on healthcare.

The Homeland Security Act provides the secretary of Homeland Security with the authority to direct and control investigations that require access to information needed to investigate and prevent terrorism.3 This authority can be interpreted to include requests for PHI of any type without the express authorization of the patient or legal guardian. It further states that PHI is protected from unauthorized disclosure and is to be handled and used only for the performance of official duties.4 Therefore, redisclosure would be restricted to those who need to know the information to perform their jobs, which is compatible with the HIPAA privacy rule.

PHI stands for Protected Health Information, which means Homeland Security can look into your health records if they are investigating a crime, or “perform[ing] their jobs”. Along with the Homeland Security Act a privacy office was implemented to address instances where DHS officials “need” to look at our health records, and deal with violations of privacy. The idea is that this office would prevent unauthorized DHS personnel from accessing unauthorized information. Some reports however suggest that the information given at the doctor’s office, including the photo ID, are stored in a searchable DHS database with little privacy protection.

The implementation of the Patriotic Act figures into these privacy concerns by “dramatically reducing restrictions pertaining to law enforcement requests to search telephone records, e-mail communication, and health records”. Under the act the Director of the FBI (or a designee) maybe request an order to receive “tangible things” which “may include PHI protected under HIPAA”. It seems that under the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights, due process would be required to search a person’s papers and information, yet the Patriot Act appears to violate those requirements. The Patriotic Act claims there are civil liabilities if information is not accessed properly. Yet language in the bill also clears the person producing the information (perhaps in your doctor’s office) of any wrongdoing, because they are complying with the Patriot Act.

So just know that when you are showing your ID at the doctor’s office, they are most likely scanning it, and storing the information in a database that can be accessed by the Department of Homeland Security. Couple this with the impending implementation of Obamacare, and we have a bureaucratic mess of police state and government healthcare. It should concern us that the government has access to this type of information about innocent individuals without having to go through the proper channels of due process, as prescribed by the Constitution.