Thanks to Right Wing corporate media we hear it all the time.
Democrats want Death panels and a Death tax. Obama is a Marxist, Muslim racist with a deep seated hatred for white people. Obama’s socialism is destroying America. Obama doesn’t like America. Liberals don’t have family values and they hate personal responsibility. Taxes “punish” the rich, and are “oppressive tyranny”. Obama is another Stalin. Obama is another Hitler. Liberals blame America first. We want our country back! If ballots don’t work, bullets will.
Man, I’m getting more than a little frightened, not to mention quite angry. Hurry! Somebody DO something to save us from this great evil!
All right, let me catch my breath and settle down here.
This is all about fear, you know.
Fear is the most primal emotion. It can alert us to danger and save us from harm, or it can disable us from within. It can cause us to react with violence towards a perceived threat. Sometimes the threat may not even be real, or so minor that fear triggers a destructive over-reaction. We’ve learned there’s no reasoning with it. We’ve seen fear of the hooded prowler used as a tool to manipulate people into spending their money on products like burglar alarms or private security services.
We’ve also learned fear can be nurtured by powerful entities that gain more power through inciting fearfulness in people. Uncertainty, confusion, anger, and ignorance feed fear. Frightened people ask fewer questions and obey authority more quickly. Fear of terrorism and anger at Arabs and Islam for 9-11 are how Right Wing Authoritarians Bush and Cheney led us to war based on their lies. Fear, along with anger and resentment, is an important tool for Right Wing Authoritarian leaders to influence people.
Fear of death and eternal punishment may well be the primary reason Right Wing Authoritarians embrace religion. Perhaps that may be their only foundation for morality and disincentive for violence against fellow humans. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work out. Crusades, Inquisitions, Jihad, witch burnings, and maybe the invasion of Iraq seem to happen despite, or perhaps due to religious beliefs of authoritarians. Personally, I still think simple greed and lust for power have more to do with these events.
Anyway, it’s time to bravely face the gaping jaws of fear that are devouring America. It’s time we understood knowledge, information, education, tolerance compassion, experience, and openness go far to mitigate fear. It’s time for rational examination and an open honest study of what fear is and how it works on some people more than others.
For a start, could it be conservatives are more prone to the effects of fear? Last month there was an interesting study mentioned in The Telegraph (UK). It seems conservatives' brains have larger amygdalas, centers of primitive emotions, than are found in the brains of liberals. Check out the article, “Political views 'hard-wired' into your brain”.
Hey, I didn’t invent this science, I’m just reporting it.
For my short take on Authoritarians, see my post from May 2008.
For further reading on Right-Wing Authoritarian (RWA) personalities I recommend John Dean’s book “Conservatives Without Conscience”. His book draws from the work of Robert Altemeyer.
Professor Bob Altemeyer of the University of Manitoba has generously made his book available for free online at The Authoritarians.
For all you anti-science conservatives who may be outraged at such a notion as a “conservative brain”, take comfort. There could also be a “liberal gene”.
For more on Right Wing resentment, see Mobilization Of Resentments from December 2009.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
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I was on a coservative blog the other day and spoke of the democratic party as the party of fear. They made no attempt to back it up, of course.
Another excellent, thought-provoking post, Dave. Bravo.
"For a start, could it be conservatives are more prone to the effects of fear?"
I see fear as more of a tool conservative opinion makers, strategists and pols use than an emotion they harbor.
IMO, the great motivator among most conservatives is resentment. Most of what Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, Bachmann and the rest do most of the time is punch the resentment buttons of typically (but not always) uninformed and ill informed people.
Along with resentment buttons, they're masters at punching the closely related suspicion buttons.
Ronald Reagan spouted complete, made-up nonsense about a welfare queen going to collect her big, fat welfare check in her big, fat Cadillac, and a nation chock-full of suspicious, resentful people was primed and ready to believe his every word. It played on powerful racial prejudice/suspicions/resentments: "they're always looking for something for nothing;" "they're lazy;" "they breed like flies, you know, especially since they get more welfare for having more kids;" "you'll see some guy with a gold necklace and a Cadillac, but his kids don't have shoes" etc. And with that, resentful people responding, "I work for a living; why should I pay for people who don't?"
Years after reporters went looking for Reagan's welfare queen and came back saying they couldn't find her, there were still people all over the country who believed Reagan's lie and insisted it was true. The truth didn't have suspicion, prejudice and resentment going for it, so the lie won out.
If you look at the signs and listen to the shouts of tea partyers, at their rallies, the common thread was anger and resentment.
Conservatives certainly do exploit fear whenever they can. The Willie Horton ad is a classic example. I just think the main thing they do is exploit suspicions and resentment.
Oh yes, according to the Right, the Democratic Party is the Party of Fear, the Party of Hate, and the Party of Fascism.
Well, either that or the Party of Projection is wrong.
Thank you. Yes, the Right Wing lies and liars always get more uncritical press than the liberal truth. Just imagine if Bernie Sanders got half the air time as the Twittering Twit of the Tundra.
I added a link to my post, "Mobilization of Resentments". It's an essential phrase in understanding the strategy of the Right.
The very word "conservative" is one I would rather not use. Its meaning has been corrupted, as has the word "liberal", in American politics. And we know the propagandists of the Right are the masters of semantic manipulation.
I often say the rural old fashioned Amish farmers are the real conservatives. In that sense, Cheney, Limbaugh, et al. are not even close to conservative. They are actually the political radical Right. They do not resist change, but rather impose it, usually by way of corporate friendly, police state enabling legislation and militarism.
In fact, our Democratic Party is the status quo embracing, corporate friendly, moderate Right, conservative party.
I am quite conservative myself when it comes to each of the freedoms in the Bill of Rights, which are often undermined by the radical Right.
I'm afraid what we often are stuck with in American politics is a Hobson's choice between the moderate and radical right. Unfortunately neither does a particularly good job of conserving our rights, liberties and middle class.
Thanks for stopping by.
You are right. The left doesn't engage in fear, does it?
-We have to outlaw the internal combustion engine or the ice caps will continue to melt and drown the polar bears and then us.
-The GOP wants to get rid of Social Security so all of you old folks will have to eat dog food as you won't be able to afford anything else.
-The GOP wants to abolish Medicare (never mind that the Democrats just cut a huge amount of funding from it in order to fund Obamacare.)
-The GOP only care about the rich so you will have to grab on to all you can get for yourselves.
-The right's hate speech is causing people to kill us liberals. (Never mind the fact that there is not sufficient evidence to support the latest killing, including that of a Republican judge and a little girl. Maybe they weren’t really GOP constituents in the crazed killer’s mind.)
blah blah blah....
Anderson, my mother-in-law used to work for the state of California processing unemployment claims. I realize this isn't quite the same as "welfare" but the stories of people gaming the system that she saw were unfortunately not that uncommon.
Further, my wife several years before I knew her was working two minimum wage jobs and had a old crappy car. She was barely making ends meet. Our oldest daughter was an infant and became sick. My future wife went to health services and asked for the money just for medicine for our daughter. They said that they couldn’t help her unless she sold her car and quit her two crappy jobs. They then could provide her full welfare benefits, including medicine for our daughter. What the hell is wrong with a system like that, Anderson, when they provide disincentives for people to try and be self sufficient?
I haven't clicked on the link yet, but I remember an article from 2 or 3 years ago about the conservative "personality." It was psychological, not based on physiology. The two main character traits I remember from the article are:
They're squeamish. And that's why they're anti-gay. It has nothing to do with the Bible. It's based solely on "Eww, two guys doing what??? Eww, gross!"
And they're extremely anal. Everything has to be neat, orderly; all ducks must be in a row. When this is carried, one can become so obsessed with the balance sheet (or some other abstract concept) that all humanity is lost. "Let's see, save $10 million by eliminating the safety net for the riffraff? Done!"
Or they can look at a global map and think "We need regime change in these countries; they're too different from us."
Harper, I would bet the article was "researched" by a liberal political science school. I am sure their assertions were backed up with unassailable data though.
I'd be curious to read this article, if you can find the link, sir.
Research shows that conservative brains are different.
Right-wingers had a more pronounced amygdala – a primitive part of the brain associated with emotion – while those from the opposite end of the spectrum had thicker anterior cingulates. The research was carried out by Geraint Rees, director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, who admitted he was "very surprised" by the results.
This is the part of the brain that makes decisions based on fear, lust, hunger, etc...
T. Paine asks, "They said that they couldn’t help her unless she sold her car and quit her two crappy jobs. They then could provide her full welfare benefits, including medicine for our daughter. What the hell is wrong with a system like that, Anderson, when they provide disincentives for people to try and be self sufficient?"
It's the system that Ronald Reagan built.
You said, "-The GOP wants to get rid of Social Security so all of you old folks will have to eat dog food as you won't be able to afford anything else.
-The GOP wants to abolish Medicare (never mind that the Democrats just cut a huge amount of funding from it in order to fund Obamacare.)"
Why do you think these things are true?
No, the worry is that these services will get privatized so the bankers can skim 40%, and the public will get screwed, while costs go up.
Sure, some politicians are using fear mongering. That's their job. Fear monger, rally the base, collect bribes, enjoy lap dances.
From my perspective, Republicans and Democrats are exactly the same. Both are wallowing in poo, flinging poo, and calling the other stinky.
Both understand that it's best to let your own house go to crap, while you devote all your time and energy to screeching that your neighbor's house isn't in order.
T. Paine said..., "Harper, I would bet the article was "researched" by a liberal political science school. I am sure their assertions were backed up with unassailable data though."
Most all of those ivory tower academics are liberals. It's normally not conservatives dedicating their lives to science. Too many of the modern scientific principles are at odds with modern creationist theories.
Last summer I asked a Tea-Bagger(he claims he's not with either party, but all his political e-mails are Far-Right fringe and Anti-Obama racist ones) why would someone living in a small town in the middle of nowhere be afraid of a terrorist attack?? He said, "Well, if they attacked 20 small towns at the same time, that would terrorise people." The only group I could see doing that is some Tea-Bagger militia group. Al Queda or a similar group would not expend that much effort for so little gain. No bang for the buck, so to speak!!
What we need is a study to find out why those that operate on fear, resentment and suspicion refuse to even consider the facts when they are presented to them. You can give them irrefutable facts and they just come back with their talking points. It's like they sit there going "Na na na na, I can't hear you. I can't hear you."
Our Democratic Party probably comes across as way right of center conservative in the rest of the world. Goldwater wouldn't recognize the conservative movement these days with the Neo-Cons and Paleo-Cons running it.
There is no movement on the Fairness doctrine. It didn’t come up when dems had the House. It is a non-issue.
Your view of Net Neutrality needs refreshing. See: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-net-neutrality.htm
You are doing just what you accused me of. Al Gore made James Jay Lee want to kill people. First of all, this guy was another desperate sick person. Second, his own words show that his confused state is not exactly liberalism, now is it?
Immigration: Programs must be developed to find solutions to stopping ALL immigration pollution and the anchor baby filth that follows that. Find solutions to stopping it....Also, war must be halted. Not because it's morally wrong, but because of the catastrophic environmental damage modern weapons cause to other creatures. Also, keep out the fraudulent peace movements. They are liars and fakes and had no real intention of ending the wars.
Your designation of the Unabomber as a Marxist is just as flimsy. His own words from his manifesto:
20. Notice the masochistic tendency of leftist tactics. Leftists protest by lying down in front of vehicles, they intentionally provoke police or racists to abuse them, etc. These tactics may often be effective, but many leftists use them not as a means to an end but because they prefer masochistic tactics. Self-hatred is a leftist trait.
21. Leftists may claim that their activism is motivated by compassion or by moral principles, and moral principle does play a role for the leftist of the oversocialized type. But compassion and moral principle cannot be the main motives for leftist activism. Hostility is too prominent a component of leftist behavior; so is the drive for power. Moreover, much leftist behavior is not rationally calculated to be of benefit to the people whom the leftists claim to be trying to help. For example, if one believes that affirmative action is good for black people, does it make sense to demand affirmative action in hostile or dogmatic terms? Obviously it would be more productive to take a diplomatic and conciliatory approach that would make at least verbal and symbolic concessions to white people who think that affirmative action discriminates against them. But leftist activists do not take such an approach because it would not satisfy their emotional needs. Helping black people is not their real goal. Instead, race problems serve as an excuse for them to express their own hostility and frustrated need for power. In doing so they actually harm black people, because the activists' hostile attitude toward the white majority tends to intensify race hatred.
22. If our society had no social problems at all, the leftists would have to invent problems in order to provide themselves with an excuse for making a fuss.
23. We emphasize that the foregoing does not pretend to be an accurate description of everyone who might be considered a leftist. It is only a rough indication of a general tendency of leftism.
I see you believe renowned climate scientists Beck and Limbaugh over the significantly larger majority of the hoax-pushing “debunked” climate scientists. No wonder the vast majority of scientists are not Republicans. They are such idiots.
Why is it that liberals want to help the poor with other peoples' money and far less often wish to help these folks through their own efforts or charitable contributions?
The stat of 90% of black voters being democratic has no bearing on the rioters. You have no way of knowing what the rioters’ political thoughts were, if any. I doubt they were readers of the news. I doubt any of them voted at all. Back in the 60’s white racists did their best to keep blacks from voting. Sort of like now, but worse. But you are quick to judge according to your bias. They were black so they must have all been liberals. Come on.
Liberals think part of governments’ job is to promote the general welfare. It’s in the Constitution. Charity does not cover all the poor’s needs. If it did, then there would be no need for govt. programs.
So you say “federal government over-reach” has caused the economic problems, and off-shoring jobs, and decline of the middle class? Sorry. It is lack of oversight and regulation and corporate written trade agreements that have done the damage. This is the result of corporatocracy replacing democracy. Big Money has been dictating the destructive policies of our govt. Remember all Republicans and most Dems are there by the “free speech” cash bribery of Big Money. Our government disproportionately represents the top 2% economic elite. That’s just how it works.
Why don’t you tell those stupid Europeans to privatize health care? I’m sure they’re sick of a system where nobody dies from lack of access and nobody goes bankrupt by healthcare costs. Tell them it’s far better that billions of healthcare dollars go into CEO’s pockets instead of health care services. I’m sure they would riot in the streets and demand a corporate takeover of their healthcare if they only knew what you know.
You really do indicate a reverence of wealth and the wealthy. You are in lock-step total agreement with the agenda of the economic elite. Their interests are not the interests of the majority.
You keep throwing false crap against the wall in hopes that some of it sticks. It is in the interests of my old-fashioned traditional values of freedom, truth, and justice, plus love for humanity, that I set you straight.
I'm going to do a post on the Right's aversion to science, and the fact that few scientists are Republicans.
We have no liberal party, only two corporatist parties of the right and radical righ.
We know all too well that fear, anger, and resentment cannot be reasoned with.
Dave, I doubt T. Paine is going to actually pay attention to your words.
He'll probably argue back that the Unabomber hated leftists and liberals and embraced the right wing philosophy, because he was a self hating leftist liberal.
As the article I referenced points out, conservatives think with their emotional hind brain. They are first concerned with their feelings and what their feelings tell them, and that drives their determination of what they decide the facts are.
That's why they are so easily motivated by fear. The hind brain erases reason, when it senses danger.
Very true - the right rules by fear. George Orwell had it all figured out in 1984. Unfortunately I think the right wing in this country used his book as a "how to" book.
Maybe he can't digest my words and ideas because they are not part of the Right Wing Diet. It's like telling a kid he can't live off kool-ade. It tastes so good it CAN'T be bad for you.
Yes, "1984" has been their operating manual for government, right down to permanent war, (On terror, or whoever they say threatens us.) dumbing down of language with "Newspeak", (Death tax, death panels etc.) and the Limbaugh/FOX(R) delivery of the "two minute hate". (Obama is a Marxist racist who hates white people and wants to destroy America). Only it goes on for hours.
They are neo-fascist Orwellians on the brink of taking over of our government and media.
A video worth watching.
Thanks for the link to the video. Russell Means is a true American hero to me.
My Grandmother was forced to go to a government boarding school for Indians.
Means has a great point that we have no culture in the US, as a society. I would say we have a consumer culture of course, groomed ever so thoroughly by our corporate masters. We have a culture of violence, also groomed by corporate media, drug war, legal system and our politicians. But we have no culture that nurtures individual and community growth or the social bonds between us.
We are a sick society and we reap the consequences.
TP: It was an article at Yahoo.com; not exactly the "liberal media."
The URL doesn't lead to the exact same article. Instead it shows a list of links on the same subject.
Feast your eyes :)
The article listed at the top, "Conservatives are more easily disgusted," is similar to the article I was talking about.
I am growing weary of my Sisyphean task here on this particular debate.
Anyway, I will address the more ridiculous comments here nonetheless.
First, I am curious, Weasel, how you think that the "system that Reagan built" would provide disincentives to providing for one's self?
I would submit to you that it is LBJ's failed war on poverty that we have spent untold billions of dollars on and have not created a dent in improving the situation at all that is ultimately at fault.
Indeed, in most aspects, things have gotten worse. Through our liberal "good intentions" we have simply relegated millions of Americans to a permanent dependent underclass. Reagan hardly championed, let alone created such a monstrosity, sir.
Next, Weasel and Dubya, I am laughing uproariously at your premise that most scientists are liberal.
As an engineer, I can tell you in my classes that most folks I matriculated with were conservative in nature. If you look at most of the hard sciences, I am sure you will find that most of the students and teachers thereof are far more conservative than liberal typically.
I would think this is largely because linear thinking, causality and effects, and logic must be employed in the hard sciences. On the other hand, in the liberal arts or "softer" sciences a more abstract ability of thinking is required. One uses more emotion and imagination rather than logic.
It is for this very reason that the next silly statement is also inaccurate. It is absolutely the leftist that runs on emotion over logic. Dubya, look at your emotional filled diatribes ("rants", I believe you call them) as well as the invective in the comments in response. They are very much steeped in a reactive emotional response, my friend.
It has generally been my observation that the left is more in tune with their feelings as such accordingly.
They feel sorry for the poor, so their emotions tell them they must provide for them with others' money. Never mind the sad outcome. It is their intentions to do good, based on emotion that counts.
If only we could talk with Ahmadinejad, bin Laden, Kim Jong Il without preconditions and let them know that we want to be their friends and are sorry for creating an empire (or whatever other silly notion liberals use with which to flagellate themselves as the reason why our enemies hate us.) It is policy based on feeling and emotion.
A lack of understanding of facts and logic and an utter failing to understand the Middle Eastern mindset and its respect only for strength are the keynote of much in liberal foreign policy.
The feelings of "if only we cut all of our defense spending" then the world would see that we meant them no harm, is totally outside any realm of logic and yet it is a very common sentiment among the left.
Logic (and conservative policy) would dictate that very few nations would ever consider attacking a nation of far greater strength that is willing to protect its citizens.
Does the bully on the playground typically go attack the biggest and strongest kid, or is he going to look for the kid that is weaker, possibly withdrawn and lacking in strength and confidence for which to bully?
Back to the scientists and logic...
You all think that because a bunch of agenda driven scientists believe in global warming that it must be true. Never mind the fact that many of the premises they originally built their hypothesis on are inaccurate. Never mind that by their own leaked documentation from such esteemed research facilities as East Anglia have stated in these "scientists" emails that they have cherry-picked only supporting data and falsified other data to support their theories.
Never mind that fact that there are thousands of brilliant scientists that dispute their claims, not that the left wants this known. As Al Gore said, the debate on this is over. Except, it really isn't.
Funny how Piers Corbyn, a renowned astrophysicist and global warming denouncer, has poked myriads of gaping holes into the theory of anthropogenic global warming.
Again, this proves that the left is bound to emotion rather than actually going where the science leads them.
Some lefty "scientists" have even admitted in inopportune moments of candor that this is about politics and social engineering and not about true global warming.
Next, Dubya, it is sadly amusing that you claim that it is a LACK of oversight and regulation that causes many companies to offshore jobs. Indeed it is EXACTLY MUCH unnecessary oversight and excessive and burdensome regulation, as well as high taxation, that are some of the major factors why companies ship our jobs out of country.
Regulations always cost money to insure compliance with by businesses. Some regulation is necessary and indeed critical, but certainly not to the level where the costs of compliance make it cheaper to move our jobs to a comparatively unregulated nation such as India.
Lastly, as I have argued before, if European and Canadian health care is so great, why do the wealthy and powerful come to the United States for their health care, including a Canadian Premier from New Foundland?
Dubya, your statement that nobody dies from a lack of access to care is ludicrous. The waiting lists for major and often life-saving surgeries in those countries are typically so long that untold numbers more people die there than what would happen in the States.
An example that even astounded lib Rosie O'Donnell:
Yeah, this is the health care dream that you all want for the United States. No thanks!
Dubya, Blogger seems to have misplaced my former comment and posted the latter, sir.
So many false assertions with so little substantiation leave me indifferent to responding.
You obviously didn't care to look at poverty rates before and after LBJ's program. Whatever Rush says is all you need, apparently.
I'll address some or your ill-informed bias in a coming post, but for now I'll respond to the Rosie clip. This was elective surgery! Sheesh. Look what else the Canadian woman said, "...Living in Canada with universal health care, which is wonderful."
Sure, "we" have the best health care money can buy. But just who are "we"? Not me and not you, and not most of us.
In Canada nobody dies due to lack of money or access. Nobody goes bankrupt. These are the points you must ignore at all times. Why do you insist on a system where the unemployed get minimal or no health care? Where is your compassion? If Medicare is good for the elderly, why wouldn't it be good for everyone? I'm pretty disgusted with Right Wing hysteria about "socialist" health care, and their silence on the Patriot Act's totalitarian assault on our Bill of Rights.
Tell me again how health care is the greater threat to our freedom.
I'm happy to be enlightened now that there are no “agenda driven scientists” working for Exxon-Mobile. Nosireee. Only those who warn of climate change are "agenda driven". The deniers are all so corporate-bottom-line pure.
You bias against science is ideologically pure as well. We'll take a closer look soon.
T. Paine, my only experience is in the soft sciences like physics, molecular biology, chemistry and the like. And the scientist I've known doing research in those fields, didn't give a crap about politics. They were too busy thinking about their work.
Now corporate scientists that I have known, all supported whatever agenda got them paid. It was their job to get done, what the corporation needed doing. Again, they weren't political, just pragmatic.
You make a good point about how nothing has changed since LBJ's time. Since that time Republicans have clearly been as useless as teats on a boar hog. Through Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Bush, They have been completely helpless to overturn the policies of the political God Lyndon Byrd Johnson. The Republicans haven't been able to set policy or pass legislation. they've been lazy, good for nothing. Beneath contempt.
Right? That is your argument right? That the Republican administrations were incapable of doing anything at all? Couldn't vote, lift a pen, give a speech? LBJ's legacy was just too powerful.
I wonder if you think they were so worthless turds, why do you support their lazy butts?
Thank god the left doesn't use fear to influence people. Oh wait:
-Global warming/climate change
-Sugary soft drinks
-The ozone hole
-The Religious Right
Thanks for your comment. True enough, liberals also bring up frightening topics. Looking at your list I notice it is largely reality based. Now if someone could just point me to the nearest Death Panel...
Still, those are softballs compared to pre-election Cheney saying,"If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again -- that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."
See? That's scary. It's a good thing Bush and Cheney had such a perfect record keeping us safe from terrorists, otherwise that kind of comment could have been seen as fearmongering.
Reality based? We truly live in different worlds:
-Global warming/climate change (As if the climate hasn't always been changing)
-Trans fats (Oh my god, we're all fat. As if we need the government to fix it for us)
-Salt (It will kill you; we better regulate it for you)
-Sugary soft drinks (Oh my god, we're all fat... you get the idea)
-Heterosexual AIDS (Um, not a crisis. Nothing to see here)
-Global freezing (So which is it, warming or freezing?)
-The ozone hole (Yeah, that fixed itself)
-Acid rain (Acid what? Gone.)
-Guns (It's not the people, it's the guns)
-Haliburton (Gotta admit, this one's true. Haliburton = Satan (whatever))
-The Religious Right (Oh no, they believe in a myth! Wait, how does that affect me again?)
TP: Have you looked at any of those articles yet, about conservatives being squeamish and anal retentive :)
Anyway, back to the previous discussion (from several recent comments) about which side goes by linear thought and which side is driven by feelings and emotions:
As far as the economic arguments are concerned (i.e. whether there should or should not be a safety net, regulation of business), I'd say both sides are operating on left-brain thought processes.
I can't speak for any other liberals, but my reason for wanting a safety net is based on logic. I'm not without compassion or "feeling," but the reason I want a safety net and for businesses to be regulated is: this works better for everybody. Like the saying goes, "when everybody wins, we all win" (or something like that).
When millions of Americans are unemployed, underemployed, homeless, sick without access to health care -- the entire country gets pulled down. I would guess the reason most other industrialized countries are more "socialistic" than we are is because of pragmatic reasons; not because they're all touchy-feely and blubbery about the less fortunate. It's simply more intelligent and more logical to have a government/society that works. And having a huge portion of the population being poor/homeless/ill/unemployed does NOT work.
I can think of three companies that are (or were) famous for paying high wages, generous benefits and treating their employees like real people: Nordstrum, Costco and Delta Airlines. From everything I've heard, the employees of those 3 companies (2, now that Delta is no more) work hard and treat their customers very well, BECAUSE they themselves are treated well and paid well.
I would guess the CEOs of those companies are smart business-people who've figured out that the best way to run a business is to treat your employees like people, and consequently your employees will do the best job they can.
Wow. I guess there's nothing I can say. You obviously possess, at minimum, an advanced degree in science from Glenn Beck University.
It must be nice to live in your world. Salt, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, acid rain, climate, guns, and KBR electrocutions of military personnel by shoddy wiring have no effect on human health or the environment.
Thanks for the reassurance.
Dubya, such is not the case with just ELECTIVE surgery, and you know it! Look at the Rosie video again at about 23 seconds into it and see the bar graph from the Canadian Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.
It says that the waiting list for a cardiac bypass is over 2 MONTHS! It would be done the same or next day here for someone in need.
Look at the waiting time for a CT scan there... 73 days! I have to wait for however long it takes to clear illegal immigrants from the ER waiting room in line ahead of me for this potentially life-saving scan.
Same thing for an MRI. 126 days wait in Canada. I can go to the ER and get one today or make an appointment for tomorrow.
Yeah, I'd say a lot of people die due to lack of QUICK access in Canada.
Next, Medicare is NOT good for the elderly. It is going broke, and at a rapid rate with the retiring Baby Boomers and the Democrats raiding more of its funding. The fact that Democrats are further telling doctors and hospitals that they can only charge "X" for Medicare patients, even if "X" doesn't cover their costs will only ensure that even less doctors and hospitals will be able to provide care for Medicare patients. That will make access for such patients even worse. Yeah, that is a great idea to put everyone on such a system, sir.
As for your gripes about the Patriot Act, as mentioned before I largely agree with you on this issue.
Weasel writes, "my only experience is in the soft sciences like physics, molecular biology, chemistry and the like. And the scientist I've known doing research in those fields, didn't give a crap about politics. They were too busy thinking about their work.
Now corporate scientists that I have known, all supported whatever agenda got them paid. It was their job to get done, what the corporation needed doing. Again, they weren't political, just pragmatic."
To those statement's I would largely agree with you, sir. Those of my colleagues in a past life were typically, as you say, not very political, but they definitely leaned to the right when such topics would be breached.
As to your condescension towards death panels, Dubya, all I have to say is that when resources for health care are rationed, as they necessarily will be by the law put in place now, those deemed less important or too costly to provide care for will be the ones that face "end of life counseling" first.
You may change the term “death panel” to a more marketable euphemism, but it amounts to the same results. And end of life counseling is back by Democratic demand:
As for government regulation, please don't mischaracterize me as being for capitalistic anarchy. I realize and want anti-monopoly laws as well as worker safety and basic environmental regulations enacted and enforced. These are necessary and important. What we don't need is extraneous laws and regulations passed that don't ensure safety and health of workers or provide for fair trade.
Lastly, Mr. Harper, I would humbly submit to you that all of those other socialistic countries, as you say, by most comparisons not only do not have as high of a standard of living as the United States per capita, but they also don't have the productivity or the GDP per capita that we do.
Unlike the poor in many nations, our "poor" tend to suffer from obesity rather than malnutrition. Our poor typically have a car, shelter, food, a TV, and air conditioning.
I agree with you that we need a security net for people but not a security hammock.
I further agree with you regarding the wisdom in a company treating its employees well since this will create a good return on investment, let alone being the moral thing to do.
Companies that abuse their employees will typically also abuse their customers and in the long run they won't realize maximum profit or won't even be in business.
Heathen Republican, thanks for taking over the frontal assault for me for a bit! ;) Good points made! You can tell you have found a chink in their armor when they get nasty with you or just ignore your point altogether. :)
I still remember watching and listening to one of Bush's speeches when he said that Saddam Hussein had 20 nuclear tipped ballistic missiles, capable of striking the heart of every major US City.
That comment got scrubbed and even Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity said the next day, that he went a little too far. I'm not sure why they didn't run with that story.
The Heathen Republican said... said, "Reality based? We truly live in different worlds:
-Global warming/climate change (As if the climate hasn't always been changing)"
Change is always good. We should constantly change things, with no concern for the consequences.
"-Trans fats (Oh my god, we're all fat. As if we need the government to fix it for us)"
The government subsidizes the trans fat industry to make sure you get unhealthy quantities. That way you get sick and need to spend money on medical care.
"-Salt (It will kill you; we better regulate it for you)"
Show me the regulations please. And boy aren't doctors stupid. you should avoid those liberals at all costs. Never go to t doctor. They'll just try to tell you how to live your life.
"-Sugary soft drinks (Oh my god, we're all fat... you get the idea)"
Once again, government subsidized. The gov wants you to drink lots of these, so you'll get sick and fat, and then need to spend your money on medical care.
"-Heterosexual AIDS (Um, not a crisis. Nothing to see here)"
Dead people don't cause problems. It's the living that are trouble makers.
"-Global freezing (So which is it, warming or freezing?)"
This is too complicated for emotional thinkers, Move along...
"-The ozone hole (Yeah, that fixed itself)"
Yes, after we quit destroying it, it disappeared. Have you ever tried digging into your thigh with a sharp knife? If you don't stop digging, it doesn't get better. When you stop, the damage stops getting worse, and it might even fix itself. Try it, but don't stop. Prove your point.
"-Acid rain (Acid what? Gone.)"
See no evil, Hear no evil.... Yeah, those liberal environmentalist clean air regulations had nothing to do with it.
"-Guns (It's not the people, it's the guns)"
Yeah, ignore the man behind the gun.
"-Haliburton (Gotta admit, this one's true. Haliburton = Satan (whatever))"
They just like money. Profits justify everything.
"-The Religious Right (Oh no, they believe in a myth! Wait, how does that affect me again?)"
Bill Clinton put them in their place in Waco.
I like the way that you argue that when you stop doing harm, sometimes things get better. That doesn't see4m to bolster your arguments that causing harm makes things get better.
T. Paine said, "It says that the waiting list for a cardiac bypass is over 2 MONTHS! It would be done the same or next day here for someone in need."
Arizona, the State leading the Tea Party Revolution, is simply canceling life saving services.
"You may change the term “death panel” to a more marketable euphemism, but it amounts to the same results. And end of life counseling is back by Democratic demand:"
Death panels cost money. Look at the organization required to decide who gets what organs for transplants (another form of a death panel). It's cheaper to just avoid offering the services altogether.
The USA is going to solve the problem of long waiting lists for expensive life saving surgeries, by simply not offering them to the public. It's the easiest way to make money on this. Mandate that people pay for health care, an only offer the cheapest services.
I really don't see what's got you so upset. Th problems you list will go away over the next ten years, regardless of which party is in power.
Right now, the Baby Boomers represent a big drain on profits. They have big investments in Wall Street, that they are going to be withdrawing from, in increasing quantities. This will damage pricing in the stock market. The government will be forced to fix it.
Getting the boomers fat and sick, then denying them health care (don't need a panel to stamp, 'DENIED'), will shorten their lives and free up profits. Profits justify everything.
Go ahead, get fat and sickly, but don't expect your insurance to pay for that cardiac bypass.
I'm curious what you Tea Party folks think you're going to be getting in the future.
Medicaid is going broke because...
1. The Gov siphons off money for other purposes. Wars, subsidies, etc...
2. We're approaching a point were the health care costs of keeping old fat people alive will exceed receipts.
This doesn't change for private insurance for these reasons.
1. The Corp siphons off money for other purposes. We call this profit.
2. We're approaching a point were the health care costs of keeping old fat people alive will exceed receipts.
Either way, when the boomers start needing medical care in greater numbers, it just won't be available, because the money going in, won't be enough to cover everyone.
What we can choose is who we give our money to, before we're left to die. At least today we can choose.
It's going to b the same situation with 401ks, IRAs etc... Not everyone can retire and start with drawing at the same time. The Tea Party understands that Pensions are unsustainable while we continue to lose jobs. That's because more money is going out than going in. The same thing will happen to 401ks, IRAs and other investment vehicles.
Argentina, has already hit the wall on this. They passed a law allowing Bank of America and Goldman Sachs to simply loot the 401ks and IRAs. That solved their problem and help keep their stock market from crashing completely. The USA will do the same thing.
And after those are gone, we might finally get rid of Social Security. It has the same problems.
Records being broken in Premium waivers?
See, the Obama Administration loves big business!
They are just like every other far right wing government. If you've got the cash, they've got an exemption for you.
T. Paine said, "To those statement's I would largely agree with you, sir. Those of my colleagues in a past life were typically, as you say, not very political, but they definitely leaned to the right when such topics would be breached."
I'm not sure if you're talking about engineers or scientists here.
Corporate Scientists are in it for the money of course. And as an engineer, I think it's safe to assume that these are the scientists you're referring to. they aren't political, but like money, so they lean to the party that lies the best about their money. As a result, they vote for the party that has been shipping their jobs to India.
I was referring mainly to scientists that are in it not for money but for science. The pure researchers. These folks are usually liberals. Granted though, since Reagan, the Republicans have been eliminating these people. There' s no profit in selling them out to India, and they don't engage in marketing or contribute to campaigns.
“Medicare is not good for the elderly.” Beyond ludicrous. Show me one non-wealthy elderly person who doesn’t want it.
Bottom line is this: Billions of dollars in CEO’s pockets means billions less for actual treatment.
Universal Medicare would be far more practical and life saving.
Your bluster about non emergency surgery and medical procedures in Canada is a deliberate deception or misdirection from the fact that such services are rendered in emergencies.
Bottom line number two. Canada has a higher life expectancy than the US. Not that it matters with anyone who prioritizes corporate profits over human healthcare.
End of life counseling was suggested by Republicans. It fits in with the Romneycare that you call Obamacare. Then when Obama agreed, it magically became a death panel. Your contempt or utter lack of concern for those suffering due to corporate denial of benefits is sad. Are you sure Jesus would side with the insurance companies over those whose treatment was cut off? Your compassion and passionate advocacy for the Mammonites is impressive on all fronts.
At least, as you claim, you don't hate the poor. Shilling for policies against their interests isn't personal. After all, business is business.
Are you going to answer all of Paine's charges / assertions or just a portion of them in the upcoming post? I realize that responding to Paine is a full time job and I now know why he chose the name "Paine," which is not for the reason one would expect.
I love this blog.
Absolutely hold insurers accountable by force of law to their agreements. If someone has paid their premium, they cannot be kicked off their plan for an illness or injury.
Create a high risk pool for the chronically ill to mitigate insurance costs for them. Right now many of them are uninsurable or have prohibitive costs for insurance.
Do REAL comprehensive tort reform so that doctors can still be punished for negligence and malpractice, but so that someone doesn't look to win the lottery for a minor mistake. The cost for malpractice insurance for OB/GYN's in particular is so high that these doctors are becoming more and more rare. Scarcity will increase costs for these specialties, as per simple supply and demand economics.
Obamacare, and I don't give a rats rear end if Romney's plan is an exact duplicate of it, does not work! Look at all of the issues already collapsing around Romneycare in Massachusetts as the reason why we don't want to fully enact Obamacare nationally.
Also, Medicare, in its current state, is unsustainable so it is not even an option in the long run, Dave.
We need to embrace free market policies and foster competition to lower costs for EVERYONE in America.
All Obamacare does is provide huge disincentives to doctors and hospitals by telling them what they can charge. (particularly when such mandated charges don't cover their costs).
When you create such disincentives, inevitably there will be fewer doctors entering or staying in the medical field.
The force of the Healthcare Act to mandate that everyone buys insurance makes certain that 30 million more potential patients are added to the rolls of those needing care.
When you have less doctors caring for more patients, the result will be higher costs and rationing of services. Again, this is simple supply and demand economics.
Next, I am not for the "Mammonites". I am for ensuring the most possible people, especially the poor, can afford health care. Obamacare does NOT do this.
As for Myste's question, like I told Heathen Republican, I know that my argument has won the day when I am offered no rebuttal or only platitudes and inane talking points as a response.
I do appreciate your efforts towards keeping me on my toes otherwise, Dubya. You are a good guy that tries mightily, even though it really does annoy me when you seemingly intentionally mischaracterize me as some sort of Pharisee or Mammonite, sir!
Weasel, pay attention. You said:
I like the way that you argue that when you stop doing harm, sometimes things get better. That doesn't see4m (sic) to bolster your arguments that causing harm makes things get better.
Your summary of my point is incomprehensible, so perhaps I need to spell it out for you: my point is that leftists use irrational fear to influence people. My examples were of made-up crises. The fact that you attempt to defend them speaks for itself.
I am curious what a perfect America would look like to you, Weasel? Sincerely, I wonder what the government would be like? I am curious what kind of economic system would be its basis for commerce and personal survival? I am anxious to hear what you would prefer for a social justice system?
Dubya and you, albeit perhaps to a slightly lesser extent, seem to think that I want some Orwellian fascist utopia, despite all of my comments and examples to the exact contrary.
I truly wonder how a Weasel utopia would manifest itself to America.
I don’t think you want fascism. But your political beliefs largely support a plutocracy by the economic elite. That is the path away from democracy, and to fascism.
Let me take a moment to respond to your points. First of all, neither Romneycare, nor its clone Obamacare, are the best solutions. We agree on this. The spiraling costs of healthcare needed intervention. Unfortunately corporate bought politicians are not going to solve this.
“hold insurers accountable by force of law” Yes, this is called regulation. Won’t happen, the insurance industry has more senators than any 20 states combined.
“Create a high risk pool” That’s why we have Medicare.
“Do REAL comprehensive tort reform” Been there done that. You have no idea how many medical errors are made. Corporate immunity will not make anyone safer, and they already have the best justice money can buy.
“Medicare, in its current state, is unsustainable” tax the rich as they were taxed under Reagan and it will be better.
“embrace free market policies and foster competition to lower costs for EVERYONE” “Free market” healthcare has driven costs up, not down.
“less doctors caring for more patients” defies your supply and demand law. More patients create a demand for more doctors, and more money into healthcare. Win/win.
“I am for ensuring the most possible people, especially the poor, can afford health care.” Universal healthcare is the only system that does this.
“Next, I am not for the "Mammonites".” Maybe not, but you advocate for their interests as if you were about to inherit a fortune.
“my argument has won the day when I am offered no rebuttal or only platitudes and inane talking points” Baseless assertions require little else. Arguments presented with evidence will receive consideration.
‘you seemingly intentionally mischaracterize me” I never mischaracterize you as such. I note whose interests you advocate.
I characterize you as an intelligent person with good intentions. I am grateful that we can see as much in each other. Beliefs are what separate us, my friend.
You can relax; the capitalists are no longer in crisis over healthcare reform. The “free market” lives.
As Republicans push forward on repealing health reform, planning the law’s demise, a different conversation is happening among thousands of health care investors gathered in San Francisco for this week’s J.P Morgan Health Care Conference: how to capitalize on health reform’s new business opportunities.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates 32 million Americans will gain health insurance by 2019 if the law stands. For health insurers, that represents a potential boon for both their individual market business as well as in the Medicaid market, where states regularly contract with private insurers to manage care.
“The worst is behind them,” says Ipsita Smolinski, president of Capitol Street and senior advisor to McKenna Long & Aldridge, of the outlook for health insurers. “There was so much uncertainty last year. But with the MLR and rate review regulations out, investors know they have a pretty viable future.
“There was initially a concern among investors that health reform would kill their business model. Now, that hasn’t happened.”
See? That hasn't happened, and neither have Death Panels.
T. Paine said... "I am curious what a perfect America would look like to you, Weasel? Sincerely, I wonder what the government would be like? I am curious what kind of economic system would be its basis for commerce and personal survival? I am anxious to hear what you would prefer for a social justice system?"
I would like a government that obeys the laws and uses the US Constitution as it's basis for laws.
As it is, folks like you support criminal and unconstitutional behavior committed by Republicans and the top corporations, but you're against it when Democrats do it. Likewise, Democrats support crime and anti-constitutional behavior by Democrats, but are against Republicans doing it.
Each side believe that have a right to smear their shit on the US Constitution, and the other side doesn't.
Because I take offense when both do it, I'm considered a liberal conservative Republican Democratic Right, leftist traitor.
You've made it clear that you believe that Republican party members should not honor the law or the US Constitution, but Democrats need to be held to this standard. In that respect you're exactly like the faithful Democrats, except you wear red and they wear blue.
Media circuses like ObamaCare are presented to rally Republicans and Democrats and put Americans at odds with each other.
Notice that such legislation is always going to take effect years in the future?
They do this because they need time to quietly write new laws that eliminate the spirit of any of these big packages. Congressmen take bribes and write in exemptions for corporations with deep pockets. Small businesses can be bankrupted. by the time the big package takes effect, they've been completely rewritten.
Both Republican and Democratic Politicians understand that their constituents are stupid and gullible and will fall for these tricks every time. They are laughing all the way to the bank.
It's a scam, they pull over and over. And it works great, because the public as a group, is stupid and easily manipulated.
Dave said, "See? That hasn't happened, and neither have Death Panels."
We've had death panels for decades. Every insurance corporation has people that decide who gets treatment and who doesn't, who lives and who dies.
The Tea Party supports for profit death panels, that determine a person's worth by financial criteria. They just don't want the government involved in this industry.
Corporate death panels are the just and fair methods of the sacred "Free Market". Only a bleeding heart socialist who hates America thinks people are more important than profits.
Our government has death panels alright, only not the Twittering Twit of the Tundra's imaginary healthcare ones. Iraqis, Aghanis, and Pakistanis know all about the real death panels.
Well, human life is only worth the profits it can provide, after it's left the womb.
Most conservatives value the life of the unborn. I guess that's like an account that has yet been marked to market. Once a person is born, then they can be stamped with a price tag.
"Say you love the baby, then crucify the man." - Jim Croce
I think there is a lot of legitimate fear in this country. That fear is the result of bad economic times and losses of personal freedoms that are the direct results of rightist policies that are slowly destroying this country.
The right doesn't have to generate fear to get what it wants. It merely has to redirect it.
The left needs to acknowledge how bad things are and give voice to the legitimate frustrations and anxieties people have had ever since Reagan was in the White House.
Ding, ding, ding. We have proof that T. Paine is a troll.
"You may change the term “death panel” to a more marketable euphemism, but it amounts to the same results. And end of life counseling is back by Democratic demand:"
End of life counseling in no way represents "death panels." Letting doctors consult with patients and families on the options those patients have for care in no way represent "death panels." The ironic aspect of this particular kind of trolling is that health insurers and HMOs actually do have panels that decide regularly to deny life saving benefits to people who are in need of it.
At some point, people need to stop responding to that troll. It only feeds him and diverts attention from the postings on this blog.
I have to agree with Libhom:
"At some point, people need to stop responding to that troll. It only feeds him and diverts attention from the postings on this blog."
Let me paraphrase, to make this clear: "At some point we have to make sure that no one who does not think exactly like us ever posts on this blog. This blog is intended only for the consumption of those in absolute agreement."
Why would I visit the blog again? To hear people tell me exactly what I think? I can see no other reason.
The Free Market is but one of many Gods to which the conservatives pray. Monotheistic bastards! (No offense to conservatives intended. I suppose one God used in place of logic is just as good as another).
In case it was not clear, I use the term monotheism with utter sarcasm.
In case it was not clear, I use the term monotheism with utter sarcasm.
Unlike the fictional, manufactured fears such as "death panels", and "Obama the socialist who wants to destroy the country", very real and frighening consequences of Right Wing corporatist plutocracy are shrouding us in the darkness of war, fascism, and economic austerity for all but the elite. I'm afraid as soon as the radical Right re-take the White House, the glove will come off the iron fist.
Please feel free to skim over TP's comments. As long as his, and any other opposing opinions are civil they are welcome here. I understand the sport of reading and sparring with his views is an acquired taste. (Notice how he can't acknowledge corporate denial of coverage as a de facto death panel, but fearfully frets about the fantasy death panels.)
I have family members who share his beliefs, so I think it is a good thing to share views and attempts at respectful communication with the other side. If anything, it sharpens our focus on their beliefs and clarifies our criticisms of them.
Libhom, I will refer you to Myste's comment in my defense. Thanks for your tolerance.
Dubya, I fully acknowledge that corporate insurance also has defacto death panels by denial of services to patients.
That is why I have said that if a patient has paid his premium, then by force of law the insurance company must be made to uphold their end of the contract and pay for the patient's health care accordingly.
Further, I have explained ad nauseum how death panels (or whatever name you choose to give them) will come to be if we continue down this path.
If conservatives are unable to repeal and replace Obamacare with a law that actually addresses our health care problems, then I will someday in the not-too-distant future will have the very sad duty to say, "I told you so!"
Well, now. Good for you. So you agree with me that part, and maybe other parts as well, of the health care law. So now the problem is, who will compromise on keeping the good parts, and removing the not so good parts? Since compromise is what the Right says they refuse to do, now what? Remember when the GOP had total control of government, they cared very little about health care reform. What makes you think they care now?
What would you suggest, TP?
T. Paine said, "If conservatives are unable to repeal and replace Obamacare with a law that actually addresses our health care problems, then I will someday in the not-too-distant future will have the very sad duty to say, "I told you so!""
The country is getting strip mined for it's wealth. Both Democrats and Republicans have been selling our technology and jobs overseas for decades. Our trade deficit is $700 billion and rising. Our main exports are being reduced to raw materials.
You don't many jobs to strip mine and ship coal.
Too many Americans are going to need health care soon, and there won't be enough working people to cover them, using insurance premiums, or medicaid, or any other plan.
The Obama plan is recognition by the insurance industry (they write the plans that you say will destroy them), that they are looking at the end game for them. They are getting their money out of the USA while they can.
What they need is a government program that will pay them to move overseas where there is still an economy worth leeching off of.
The government already paid the expenses for manufacturing, chemical and technical industries to ship out and diversify to bolster the economies of other countries. The insurance industry is now looking for their big check and government sponsored exit strategy.
We're like the Third Class passengers on the Titanic, fighting among each other, while the Crew and First Class quietly take all the lifeboats.
At least we have corporate media kindly rearranging the deck chairs for us.
Dave Dubya said... "Wease,
At least we have corporate media kindly rearranging the deck chairs for us."
And the band is really rockin' too!
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