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  • Tipping Point: How Many People Were Forced to Vote Democrat?

    Posted by Shannon Love on November 7th, 2012 (All posts by )

    There’s an old joke in finance that says, “If you owe the bank a $1000 and can’t it back, you have a problem. If you owe the bank a $100 million dollars and can’t pay it back, the bank has a problem.”

    There is have a corollary in politics: If get 5% of your annual income from government benefits  every year and you don’t like something the politicians do, the politicians have a problem. If you get 50% of you income from benefits and you don’t like something the politicians do otherwise, you have a problem.

    Government cannot give without taking. Each time the government gives a benefit to one person, it must have taken the resources to do so from someone else. People who are taken from constantly push back on the political process. If you get a benefit, you have to keep voting for the party or block that keeps that benefit’s policies in law, otherwise, the benefit will go away.

    At first, the politicians are solicitous because while the benefit is nice to have, you don’t need it all that badly. You sum up all pluses and negatives of all the other policies of  the politician and if your sum doesn’t come up positive, you shrug, vote for the other guy, and wave goodbye  to the benefit.

    Gradually, over time the benefits add up. Free education for the kids, a government job, a union job at far over market wage, the promise of social security, free-health care etc. At some ill defined point, you suddenly realize that so much of your functional income, perhaps  most of it, depends on government benefits. If you lose those benefits, you could lose everything.

    Now when you sum up all the pluses and negatives of the other policies of the politicians and the sum doesn’t come up negative…. you vote for him anyway. You no longer have any say. Instead of politicians groveling for your support, you grovel for theirs. Even if no explicit deal is ever mentioned or even thought of, you know that you have to make sure the benefit givers win no matter how they might disgust you otherwise. Now, they can do whatever else they wish and you can’t tell them to stop.

    20 years ago while I was watching a news program ( I watched TV news back then) on the ’92 election. The reporter was interviewing an elderly women. She was strongly Catholic and strongly pro-life and her conscious told her not to vote Democrat…. but she was so worried about losing her Social Security that she was going to do so anyway. She broke down in tears upon saying so.

    That was one of the moments that drove me away from the Left. I was all pro-choice back then but I respected her beliefs and I couldn’t help thinking,”Why did she have to choose?” Why couldn’t she have her retirement income and her conscience?

    The old woman had passed the tipping point. She was so dependent (she thought) on the Democrats to provide her basic life sustaining income, that she could no longer vote her conscience.

    The Left gives people benefits for the same reason fishermen give worms to fishes. Each dollar or dollar of benefit you take, sets the hook just a little bit deeper. At some tipping point, you dance on the end of their line.

    In 2008, at the peak of the worst economic crisis in 80 years, the Democrats burned 9 months shoving through a socialized medicine hijack of the health care system that the majority of Americans didn’t want and if they did, did not think it that high a priority at that moment of crisis.

    The Democrats burned all that time because it gives them literal life and death control over most Americans. We used to think that Social Security fear mongering were bad but that was just old people afraid. Now it will be all but the most wealthy. While the nation suffered the after affects of the Democrats real estate bubble, the Democrats set the hook.

    It seems insane that people will happily forge their own chains and lift the enslavers up as saviors but history shows this many times. It is arguably the dominant pattern of human societies.  Certainly when you talk to someone from California or even Detroit, they seem to have no awareness of how they’ve put that which strangles them upon there own necks. That it comes slowly in drips and drabs accumulating like stalagmites over many, many years, helps disguise it.

    The Democrats have been enslaving us all by inches for most of the 20th century having and I think we have probably long passt the tipping point where so many people have to obey the Democrats or starve.

    What will happen when the Democrats run out of everyone else’s money won’t be pretty. Detroit will seem like a best case scenario.

     

    31 Responses to “Tipping Point: How Many People Were Forced to Vote Democrat?”

    1. Tom Says:

      It’s not the “Left”, who are not on the ballots.
      It’s the Democrats, the Democratic Party, with a (D) after their name.

      They are tempting us all with OPM — Other People’s Money.

      But calling them irrelevant names, like Left, doesn’t really help. It’s the Democrats who take freedom away, first by giving “free benefits”, then by making somebody pay for it.

      The failure to successfully get more voucher programs for better education means the children are already mostly indoctrinated.

      It’s too bad. Really, really too bad.

      (It’s too bad about “public choice” theory, too — which is more properly called “gov’t choice”. Just like they’re gov’t schools. Teaching subjects how to obey and suck up to gov’t rules.)

    2. morgan Says:

      Wags often call the Republican party the stupid party. Given their recent choices for presidential elections–Bush I, Bob Dole, Bush II, McCain and now Romney–I might agree. However, I think the Democratic party can be called the tyranny party as their programs ensnare more and more citizens into the often draconian rules and regulations.

    3. David Foster Says:

      Yet many of the people who are Obama’s strongest supporters are economically far beyond the level at which they need to worry about “Free education for the kids, a government job, or a union job at far over market wage,” not to mention social security, etc. I’m talking about the trial lawyer who makes several million dollars a year, the software-company executive, the publisher of a financial magazine or website, etc etc. There are more than a few Obama supporters in these categories. In some cases (like the first example) there is an obvious direct financial motivation to support the Democratic view of the role of government; in the other categories, I think the reasons are more psychological.

      Also, we in the blogosphere often tend to forget, I think, the degree to which millions of people (especially people over 50) are completely dependent on the dinosaur media for their news and information. And among younger people, the influence of popular-culture media is overwhelming; a lot more recent college graduates are probably watching Bill Maher and similar creatures than are watching even the network news.

    4. Bill Brandt Says:

      Like Michael Kennedy l said last night – I was expecting a landslide – not on scale of 1980 but a landslide nevertheless.

      Has this country reached a tipping point where those who produce have to support those who don’t?

      Then this morning I am thinking of Justice Robert’s decision to allow ObamaCare.

    5. VSSC Says:

      The American people voted their perceived interests, which is apparently not risking the check. You don’t rock a boat that’s manifestly sinking, albeit slowly but not so slowly now that it’s imperceptable.

      They voted to safeguard the checks, for survival now is more important that delaying gratification for thriving later.

    6. John Says:

      Well put Shannon, and David you make a good point.

      My personal model of the thing probably originally derived from Orwell, but I see it in the light of an analogy.

      There are wild animals who wish to remain more or less wild. (me)

      There are wild animals who wish to become domesticated — they want shelter, food, security, etc. provided — but will pay a price.
      These folks are the ones Shannon talks about who can’t afford to risk state displeasure.

      The left/democrats see themselves as benign farmers, which is why Mr. Foster sees wealthy democrats, they aren’t applying for the role of chicken or sheep, they’re applying for the role of farmer.

      Republicans and most of the right have a slightly different model I think of as a game preserve. The animals are a little freer, but the safaris come through, and the candidates etc. don’t see themselves as animals, not even as lions or wolves, but rather as big game hunters, or at best “preserve resource managers” and make no mistake, they’re managing the herds for big trophies.

      On the whole I hold my nose and vote for the resource manager types as much as I can, but I see that as hardly an ideal situation. I’d rather see something along the lines of “nature preserve” with roaming patrols of lions and wolves picking off poachers.

      The analogy begins to stretch, and I do think farming and hunting are excellent pursuits in which I engage, I just have no interest in having the roles reversed… then again, if I had to choose, I think I’d rather be hunted than farmed… a prize bull or ram might have a different opinion.

    7. Joe Citizen Says:

      “Has this country reached a tipping point where those who produce have to support those who don’t? ”

      Huh????
      Every human society since the beginning of time has had people who were more productive and people who are less so. And people who are unproductive. And yes, the most productive end up being net donators to everyone else, after having been net takers as they grew up, and before becoming net takers once again when they become old or infirm. Human beings are social animals and have been so, in one form or another, since long before we even became human. Sociality is an adaptation in most all mammalian species.

    8. Joe Citizen Says:

      “Like Michael Kennedy l said last night – I was expecting a landslide..”

      How on earth could y’all have predicted that? Will this experience turn you away from making judgements that not only ignore, but actually aggressively repudiate evidence from the real world?

    9. Percy Dovetonsils Says:

      “… in the other categories, I think the reasons are more psychological.”

      Don’t forget class issues – to be a Republican in upscale white urban areas is about as gauche a faux pas as one can commit…

      In this distressing time, once again I find that The Simpsons illuminates the way. When Lisa urged Homer to support Springfield’s striking teachers, Homer responsed:

      “Lisa, if you don’t like your job, you don’t strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way!”

      So look for a lot of productive Americans, rather than embrace their role as wet nurses to a Euroschlerotic welfare state, to just start half-assing it.

      (I, for one, am planning to use my whole ass.)

    10. David Foster Says:

      JoeC…takers vs producers…”Every human society since the beginning of time has had people who were more productive and people who are less so. And people who are unproductive. And yes, the most productive end up being net donators to everyone else, after having been net takers as they grew up, and before becoming net takers once again when they become old or infirm.”

      That’s not what we’re talking about when we refer to makers vs takers, at least not what *I’m* talking about. The nonproductive that are of most concern to me are the class-action lawyers who file meritless cases and walk off with millions of dollars, while the purported “victims” get a 50 cent coupon or something…the un-needed university and K-12 administrators who have proliferated like a malignant fungus…bureaucrats who are more interested in job security and an easy life than in doing something productive…and many others of the same ilk. There are many others, much lower on the income scale, who *could* have been productive and in many cases would have *liked* to be productive, who have been prevented from being so by economy-crippling policies or steered away from being so by bad incentives.

      Coal miners, today, are productive. Tomorrow? They may be forced into the position of being takers, even though they would almost all like to be makers. Their children? Given an extended war on fossil fuels, many of them are likely to grow up in an environment which encourages them to be only takers.

    11. fiona Says:

      Define “forced”. Walking neighborhoods for various R candidates, I found an awful lot of terrified people whose only support is the federal government. Families and neighborhoods have failed them, the culture is creating more of them every minute, children are worth $ until they are 17 and can be pushed out to receive their own support from the feds. It is not surprising that they feel entitled to force others to maintain them and their desire for an increasing life style. What options are offered to them? They live on the edge of disaster, some can’t admit how close.

      How can we ever have a republic when voting becomes existential from both sides? The most divisive president ever only clarifies the situation. What can I tell my children? Make sure no one ever knows how you vote?

    12. Shannon Love Says:

      Joe Citizen,

      Every human society since the beginning of time has had people who were more productive and people who are less so. And people who are unproductive. And yes, the most productive end up being net donators to everyone else, after having been net takers as they grew up, and before becoming net takers once again when they become old or infirm

      I must agree with you here. Redistribution in one form or the other is a basic component of all human societies going back hunter-gathers. It’s necessary because some days your the windshield and some days you’re the bug. Some days your successful in the hunt but other days you are not.

      As I’ve argued before, the sharing of meat in in the 99% of our species lifespan that we spend as hunter-gathers induced the genetic basis of all our political behaviors. Without sharing, humans would be a species like Tigers or other non-social predators.

      But the modern welfare state isn’t about sharing and redistributionism. That is just the cover story. Leftist use our hardwired impulses to share and car against us. Tricking us into thinking that the welfare state is just a scaled up version of individual charity.

      Socialism isn’t about redistributionism, its about dominating and controlling people. Every program the Democrats put forth is carefully constructed to foster dependency on the Democrats and to remove the ability to choose from the nominal beneficiaries. Democrats wage bloody war against any form of redistributionism that doesn’t make them the ones to make the decisions. E.g. voucher systems that transfer wealth from the productive to the less-productive but leave the decision of on how to allocate the redistributed resources directly in the hands less-productive beneficiaries.

      The Democrats won’t help you unless doing so lets them control you. If a choice between helping you and loosing control over you, they will let you suffer and die rather than loosen their grip. . If the Democrats really cared, they would be open to admitting that sometimes their ideas don’t work. They would start programs and then stop them when things got worse or otherwise didn’t turn out as predicted. But they don’t, they cling onto their control like grim death blaming everyone else for disrupting there always flawless plans. That’s how you get things like “the projects” or Detroit and the rest of the rustbelt occur and persist. Entire communities degrade and collapse but the Democrats won’t ever voluntarily loosen their grip.

      They would rather reign in hell than be just ordinary in heaven.

    13. Shannon Love Says:

      Fiona,

      Define “forced.”

      Pretty much as you noted. People are lured into dependency until they reach a tipping point past which they are so dependent on the Democrats that they believe they are at serious risk of loosing everything unless the Democrats win. The breaking up of families or preventing them from forming is a key element of encouraging dependency. So is convincing them that their neighbors are out to get them and can’t be trusted and destroying all non-government based organization that individuals have no one to rely on but the government.

      How can we ever have a republic when voting becomes existential from both sides?

      We can’t. When elections decide whether you will eat or not, you won’t be able to loose. We are evolving in that direction.

    14. zenpundit Says:

      I disagree.

      Obama won because Romney and the GOP – and mostly the GOP with it’s tolerance of crazies – drove millions of Hispanic and female voters who previously voted for George W. Bush and John McCain into the Democratic column this year.

      Obama won because the GOP did not offer the middle-class anything at all as a reason to cast a ballot and thought they did not need to do so – Obama’s failures would allow the party to ride into power completely free to curry favor with their own crony capitalists.

      Obama eked out 49%.

    15. Bill Brandt Says:

      I heard an interesting statistic on Bill Bennett’s show driving to work this morning – that of the attitudes towards capitalism and socialism, there is a huge generation gap between those older (40+) and younger.

      Among the younger over half think socialism is OK. (Let’s forget for the moment the histories of countries fully enmeshed with it)

      And from that attitude, blame the schools – both public and universities.

    16. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “Obama won because the GOP did not offer the middle-class anything at all as a reason to cast a ballot and thought they did not need to do so ”

      I disagree and believe that it is even worse than that. The “middle class” is increasingly made up of people who do not understand economics, or energy policy, or the concept of defense. I keep thinking of 1936 France. I read “The Collapse of the Third Republic” some years ago. Even though Shirer was a lefty, he understood more about societies and economics than the Democrats do today. A large share of today’s middle class is made up of government employees (teachers) and service workers who have no idea of what business does. They collect a paycheck. That’s it.

    17. Jonathan Says:

      The central problem is the educational system.

    18. Bill Brandt Says:

      Jonathan – a great post by Jake Novak over on Robert Avrech’s Seraphic Secret (www.seraphicpress.com)

      “You were very right to start your post today with an anecdote about education. Because that is truly the reason why Obama won. The country is economically illiterate. First, in the obvious- “I don’t know what a stock or a bond is” way, but more seriously it’s illiterate in that most Americans don’t have a sense of the economic morality that is the American ideal. These idiots who vote just for abortion and gay rights have no understanding that there is no freedom without economic freedom. And why SHOULD they know? Do we teach in public schools that the founding fathers were first and foremost small businessmen striving for economic freedom from not just taxes but all govt. intrusion? NO! We surely don’t teach economic ideals in yeshivas as I can tell you first hand. This is the essence of the “demographic change” in America. It is NOT about racial change, but intellectual change. Americans today at every economic level are the sum total of 40+ years of bad education for the poor and socialist-infested education for everyone else.

      I keep telling some of my old teachers who DO get it that this has to be just as high a priority as Israel advocacy. Economic freedom is the most obvious outgrowth of b’chira chofsheet. Sink or swim baby on your own merits! As you may know, I have become obsessed with the Cain and Abel story the last few years and how much it has to teach us about economic morality. Cain’s murder of his brother is an economic crime, period. And his actions made him the first socialist. He kills to kill the idea of meritocracy and risk-reward. And then when he is caught, the first thing he does after denying it is DEMAND that G-d still protect him! Socialist to the core… and it’s proof that socialism and communism are not some new idea created by Marx or Engel or Lenin. The inclination to not work hard and still get some bare minimums provided for you from a govt-like entity is a natural human instinct that successful civilizations must suppress and failed societies always embrace in one form or the other.

      Teaching people about the essence of economic morality and the American ideal of meritocracy was a passion of mine on the Varney show and will become the focus of our show when I take over Kudlow next week. My earlier email this morning about all the people who voted to raise taxes on themselves was important: these people need to be deprogrammed from all their “education” from lower school all the way through the Ivy covered walls of college.

      I have no illusions: the inclination to go socialist is almost unstoppable no matter how much it fails. Notice the only civilizations to get away from socialism have to totally crash and burn first. Israel may be an exception, but it never went 100% socialist and it has not completely escaped it yet either, (though it is getting there).”

    19. Jonathan Says:

      I would add that it is strongly in the interest of Americans at all income and class levels that we avoid foreign-policy disasters, and by foreign policy disaster I don’t mean intervention in Iraq, I mean the projection of weakness and the appeasement of adversaries for our leaders’ short-term political gain. Obama’s Benghazi disaster, his appeasement of the Iranian mullahs, the Muslim Brotherhood and Taliban and Putin, his abandonment of Israel and of the UK and our Eastern European allies: these actions are eventually going to get thousands of people killed, perhaps tens or hundreds of thousands. Are Americans and American interests more or less likely to be attacked in today’s world as compared to five or ten years ago? These are certainly middle class (or “middle class”) concerns, despite what ignorant people and those who want the votes of ignorant people say.

    20. zenpundit Says:

      Hi Michael,

      The Collapse of the Third Republic is a great book, agreed. However the reasons for the deep political polarization in France then are very different from today in the US.

      The problem with this “government dependency” voter (i.e. stupid voter) thesis are the Nixon and Reagan landslides, when qualitatively, entitlements were more generous, if not as numerous in terms of programs, and Bush II in 2004 where except for Obamacare dependency was approximately the same. Reagan pulled in something like 35-40% of NEA members in 1984. Nixon won almost every state at the height of the political power of Great Society welfare state liberalism and in the midst of a highly unpopular war.

      Why?

      Candidates matter, so do parties. Values can be presented attractively or they can be brandished as angry tribal talismans to keep away outsiders. The GOP should be the natural home, given their family values and hard work ethic, of Hispanic and Asian-American voters, but it isn’t.

      Why not?

    21. Joe Citizen Says:

      Shannon:
      “Every program the Democrats put forth is carefully constructed to foster dependency on the Democrats and to remove the ability to choose from the nominal beneficiaries.”

      That is just nonsense. Lets take the big recent issue – Obamacare. First off, the outlines of the program were developed not by Democrats at all, but by the Heritage Foundation – a hard right group that serves as the unofficial think-tank for the national Republican party. Oh, and a state-level version was implemented by Mitt Romney.

      And to the substance of the example. There is redistribution in the sense that taxpayer money will go to help less-wealthy individuals do what — buy PRIVATE insurance from the private markets and go to their private doctors. Oh, and the government will also actually set up exchanges where consumers can make a better informed choice from all the private plans available.

      How on earth does that make anyone more dependent on government, let alone more dependent on Democrats?

      You claim that Democrats bitterly oppose ” E.g. voucher systems that transfer wealth from the productive to the less-productive but leave the decision of on how to allocate the redistributed resources directly in the hands less-productive beneficiaries.”

      But that is exactly what Obamacare does.

      Even a “single-payer” system, like Medicare, still allows consumers complete freedom to allocate the redistributed resources by choosing the doctors that they wish.

      So really, what on earth are you talking about?

      “If the Democrats really cared, they would be open to admitting that sometimes their ideas don’t work.”

      But they are. When it became apparant that the welfare system instituted in the sixties had out-lived its original value and had become a dependency trap to some extent, Democrats like Bill Clinton campaigned on “ending welfare as we know it” and proceeded to do so.

      “..they cling onto their control like grim death blaming everyone else for disrupting there always flawless plans. That’s how you get things like “the projects”

      Utter nonsense. “The projects” often come down. You also should understand why the projects were built in the first place.

      ” or Detroit and the rest of the rustbelt occur and persist.”

      If you think Detroit and the rustbelt are in their present condition because of liberal programs, there is no hope for you….

    22. Joe Citizen Says:

      “Obama’s Benghazi disaster, his appeasement of the Iranian mullahs, the Muslim Brotherhood and Taliban and Putin, his abandonment of Israel and of the UK and our Eastern European allies: these actions are eventually going to get thousands of people killed”

      Just stop already with this nonsense!

      Appeasement of mullahs???? Obama has instituted a sanction regime on Iran that has thrown the nation into economic crisis. Abandonment of Israel??? Obama has instituted the closest, and most thorough defense cooperation between our two nations in history. The muslim brotherhood??? What of it? Should we have sent our troops in to help suppress the people in Tahrir square? Worked to somehow prevent the Egyptians from holding free and fair elections???? The Taliban??? What has OBama done other than to bomb them relentlessly for four years after they were allowed to rebuild and regrow for the previous seven?

    23. Joe Citizen Says:

      Bill Brandt makes reference to:

      “the American ideal of meritocracy”

      The American ideal is democracy, not meritocracy. We reward (absurdly well) those of great merit, but we are ruled by the people, not by elites. At least that is the ideal.

    24. Shannon Love Says:

      Joe Citizen,

      Obamacare. First off, the outlines of the program were developed not by Democrats at all, but by the Heritage Foundation – a hard right group

      I think you’re hallucinating given just how much the Heritage Foundation hates Obamacare. And if you think the Heritage Foundation is “hard right” your way out on the Left.

      But suppose you are correct. So what? It still remains true that the Democrats endorsed the plan and made shifting medical decisions to Washington a key facet. Unless you transfer the both the money and the decision on how t spend it, directly to individuals, any form of socialization requires that individuals lose the ability to choose or the system will implode because of the free rider effect. Everybody, regardless of political orientation, agrees this is true.

      For the Democrats, that feature. The universal pattern of all Democratic programs is that they decide preferable at the highest levels of government and in their best case scenario, with judicial fiat. The less input you have on any decision the better from the democrats perspective.

      Except for abortion of course, a single and glaring exception that proves the rule.

      There is redistribution in the sense that taxpayer money will go to help less-wealthy individuals do what — buy PRIVATE insurance from the private markets and go to their private doctors. Oh, and the government will also actually set up exchanges where consumers can make a better informed choice from all the private plans available.

      The point of the subsidies is to destroy employer provided insurance. Since businesses can offload insurance cost onto the government, market pressures will force them to. That is the dependency mechanism. People might start with the option of using exchanges but soon they won’t even have that. The more sinister and stealth dependency mechanism is that by using a sliding scale based on income, poor people don’t see any change in their standard of living as their income improves because they loose their subsidy in turn. It’s an old trick. Shows up in a lot of programs. Middle-class people will find themselves back in the 1970s with the multi-tiered tax brackets where if their income crosses a threshold, they lose big chunks of subsidy and actually end up with reduced income.

      How on earth does that make anyone more dependent on government, let alone more dependent on Democrats?

      (1) Because individuals won’t have any choice but to rely on government for health care. There won’t be employer health care or even private. I know this because that is the evolution that happened in both Europe and Canada. (2) It makes people dependent on the Democrats because the Democrats are the sole factor keeping the programs in place. Just look at the history of the Democrats use of “the Republicans are going to do away with Social Security and grandma is going to starve in the streets!”

      Even a “single-payer” system, like Medicare, still allows consumers complete freedom to allocate the redistributed resources by choosing the doctors that they wish.

      Okay, that’s incredibly funny. Medicare is a “single-decider” system. You obviously don’t know how Medicare works in the real world.The government provides a list of treatments and a fee schedule.

      Medicare patients have soviet bookstore freedom i.e. you can choose from a government approved list of treatments just like Soviet Citizens could “choose” from a list of books the Communist let be published. Choosing your own doctor doesn’t matter much if the government tells doctors what treatments they can offer. A raft of regulations about “best practice” mean that the only “allocation of resources” that happens with doctor’s is how they manage their paperwork. Medically, you get the same limited choice in every office.

      The factor that you still haven’t addressed is that the government will not only decide what medicines it will pay for but what medicines it will allow to exist at all. Granted, that is not part of Obamacare but it is part of the entire, the government decides and you don’t.

      But they are. When it became apparant that the welfare system instituted in the sixties had out-lived its original value and had become a dependency trap to some extent, Democrats like Bill Clinton campaigned on “ending welfare as we know it” and proceeded to do so.

      Revisionist history. Welfare reform was a Republican project Clinton just happened to be President. Republicans pushed the entire thing for 20 years while being called heartless and racist all the while. There was next to no support for welfare reform within the Democrats even though the failure of the program was not only predicted before implementation but was readily apparent by 1980. Clinton got frog marched into reforming welfare by the Republicans because enough Americans could see the truth of the failure and his attempt to socialize medicine had destroyed his popularity and he had to triangulate to the center after ’94 if he hoped to when in ’96. Look at the legislative debate record and the voting. It was all Republicans and a few moderate Democrats, most from Red states. There was no support from leftwing academics, activist, think tanks you name it that supported. If it wasn’t for the Republicans fighting hard for 20 years it would have never happened.

      Utter nonsense. “The projects” often come down.

      The projects come down because of gravity after they decay into decrepitude. Democrats don’t stop them because they see them failing to function as safe and dignified housing for the poor. Democrats wait decades as people suffer horribly until the projects have reached the point of actual physical collapse before they abandon them. At no time will they admit that the idea was fundementally flawed from the begining.

      You also should understand why the projects were built in the first place.

      I do understand. There were many reasons. E.g.the were a substitution for segregation in the North and remain so. They were payoffs for construction unions and connected developers. There’s good movie on Netflix and elsewhere called The Pruitt-Igoe Myth It’s a Leftist’s film that tries to defend housing projects but it accidentally provides a great deal of insight into the generic history of housing projects themselves if you translate a few code words like “building trades” into “construction unions.”

      However, the major goal of the projects was to brainwash poor people and alter their behavior turning them into good little citizens. They were arrogant elitist projects that treated poor people like rats in a skinner box. And democrats kept pushing them for a good 20 years after it was apparent that the idea had failed. It was physical reality that brought the projects down not moral self-discipline on the part of Democrats.

      If you think Detroit and the rustbelt are in their present condition because of liberal programs, there is no hope for you…

      I’m going to take that as a tacit admission you have no clue about the issue. For brevity I will simply note that people are still building factories in America, particularly car companies, they just don’t build them in the rustbelt to any significant degree. Instead they build them overwhelmingly in red states and the only difference between the two is political culture. Likewise, the rust belt states are depopulating and the people are moving to red states. Clearly, the rustbelt states have a localized political problem.

    25. Joe Citizen Says:

      “But suppose you are correct. So what? It still remains true that the Democrats endorsed the plan”

      As did Bob Dole, Newt Gingrich, and the guy I presume you just voted to be our president. Which contradicts your point about how this is some grand Democratic conspiracy to sap our precious bodily fluids, or whatever…

      “and made shifting medical decisions to Washington a key facet.”

      What medical decisions are you referring to?

      “Unless you transfer the both the money and the decision on how t spend it, directly to individuals, ”

      Why do I have to repeat this? Under Obamacare you buy PRIVATE insurance of your OWN CHOOSING. The government provides subsidies, if needed, and mandates a consumer-friendly exchange to insure that all plans are easily comparable. This gives the individual consumer greater practical choice in terms of information, and in terms of economic availability.

      “The universal pattern of all Democratic programs is that they decide preferable at the highest levels of government and in their best case scenario, with judicial fiat. The less input you have on any decision the better from the democrats perspective”

      This is just unhinged ranting. Once again, Obamacare does nothing to change the nature of the private insurance transaction, other than to make insurance more available to people who cannot afford it, and to give consumers more information so they can make more informed choices. The consumer chooses their PRIVATE insurance plan, not the government. It was passed by Congress and signed by the President – the only attempt at judicial fiat was by the Republicans who sought to overturn the bill. Consumers have MORE control over their health care now than before. Stop with the boilerplate nonsense and deal with the real world already.

      “The point of the subsidies is to destroy employer provided insurance. Since businesses can offload insurance cost onto the government, market pressures will force them to.”

      More of the same here. This is downright incoherent. Businesses have always had the ability to offload insurance costs, whenever they wanted to. Unless bound by a union contract, there is no obligation for a business to provide health care. If market pressures force them to save money by offloading health insurance, then they do it now. Obamacare changes nothing about that.

      That said, I think the employer-provided insurance tradition that we have is highly inefficient and probably should be phased out. It puts businesses at a disadvantage globally, it ties workers to companies that they might no longer wish to work for, but cannot afford to leave, and it usually limits consumer choices to those that their boss approves for them. No rational person would design such a system from scratch, but we seem stuck with it.

      “…poor people don’t see any change in their standard of living as their income improves because they loose their subsidy in turn”

      Oh, c’mon. They don’t see any change in their health care (unless they choose to pay for more) – that is the whole point. To insure that poorer people get decent, adequate health care.

      “Because individuals won’t have any choice but to rely on government for health care. There won’t be employer health care or even private. I know this because that is the evolution that happened in both Europe and Canada”

      I think you are confusing health insurance and health care. The government does not provide health care in Canada, nor in most countries in W Europe. It provides insurance that pays for basic PRIVATE health care.

      “The factor that you still haven’t addressed is that the government will not only decide what medicines it will pay for but what medicines it will allow to exist at all.”

      All insurers, government or private, need decide what they will cover or not. That the government should regulate the sale of pharmaceuticals seems a no-brainer to most people. This would be a rather separate discussion though.

      “Revisionist history. Welfare reform was a Republican project Clinton just happened to be President”

      You are the revisionist. Welfare reform was a major plank in Clinton’s campaign, and one of the reasons he was seen as one of the more conservative candidates in the Democratic field.

      A moment on Google yields this – a NYT story from September 1992, describing a new ad that Clinton put up:

      “The Clinton campaign yesterday began broadcasting its second commercial since the Republican National Convention. The campaign said it purchased $1 million of broadcast time in 10 states for the 30-second advertisement, but it refused to name the states. It said about a third of the money would be spent in the South. ON THE SCREEN Opens with these words against plain background: “The Clinton Plan. Welfare to Work.” Switches to image of Gov. Bill Clinton in a jacket and tie leaning on his office desk. As Mr. Clinton discusses welfare, the camera zooms in for a close-up, and these lines appear on the screen: “End welfare as we know it,” “Provide education, training and child care,” and “Those who are able must go to work.”"

      “However, the major goal of the projects was to brainwash poor people and alter their behavior turning them into good little citizens.”

      Seriously Shannon, why do you waste your mind and your talents with this kind of drek? Do you think anyone, other than red-meat junkies, find this kind of stuff persuasive? Or do you just see yourself as a red-meat pusher?

    26. Curtis Gale Weeks Says:

      Glad Mark is speaking out against the 47% Thesis.

      One problem with the thesis is the way it is presented. Look, even if you believe it (as quite obviously a proportion of the Right does), all you are saying to those you see in the 47% is that their needs are NOT going to be met if you have your way. You have effectively lost access to that 47% of the electorate; so you are left to eke out a win from the other 53%, some of whom actually align w/ the 47% because either a) they are profiting from the perpetual dependence of those 47%, according to your broader political thesis (political operative on the Left) or b) they have a genuine, however misguided, concern for those who they see in the 47% but who they believe are there due to no fault of their own.

      I mean, besides telling the 47% outright, upfront, bluntly, and in no uncertain terms that they will lose all their goodies if you and your faction come into power, you are also knocking out a portion of the 53% remaining. So how far do you want to reduce your potential governing majority?

      But regardless of the above, the 47% Thesis is deficient for another, more significant reason. It apparently assumes a non-systems reality; i.e., the success or failure of persons X, Y, Z or groups A, B, and C has absolutely no positive or negative effect on anyone else outside those groups. I call it the “Gated Community Syndrome.” People suffering from that syndrome generally believe that food grows in supermarkets. Obama’s “we are in this together” meme resonates for a reason (even if its application via policy can be debated.) The 47% Thesis fails to address this reality, beyond merely saying that 47% of the population benefit from the efforts & work of the 53% while those 53% suffer from the laziness of the 47%. A bit too simplistic.

    27. T.K. Tortch Says:

      “Deal with the real world”, says Joe Citizen, by which he apparently means take the ACA at its declared face value and look no further. That, at least, would account for his confidence in stating rather high-handed things like “This is just unhinged ranting.”

      It’s hard to have patience with that kind of practiced naivete – assuming it’s practiced. Joe really doesn’t get Shannon’s point that that ACA will tend to permanently establish Government as the indispensable player in everybody’s health care? Or that it may be meant to do exactly that, or heck that that’s the only real purpose of passing the thing to begin with, because the ACA’s nuts and bolts are such a shambolic contradictory wreck anybody could be excused for thinking that its real purpose was ulterior.

      Well, if it turns out to work just as Joe describes it we won’t be able to deny it – thought I’m pretty sure Joe’s capable of telling us that we shouldn’t believe our lying eyes.

      On the other hand, he says sensible things like “the employer-provided insurance tradition that we have is highly inefficient and probably should be phased out.” Which is true. But I guess that does set him up to argue, later, that the sensible way to do that is have a single-payer healthcare system. But of course!!

    28. Joe Citizen Says:

      “On the other hand, he says sensible things like “the employer-provided insurance tradition that we have is highly inefficient and probably should be phased out.” Which is true.”

      So what to do about it?

    29. T.K. Tortch Says:

      The unflinching Liberal answer will ever be “Ask the government what to do and let government make it better” and trust it’ll all work out.

      You might look into why employer-provided insurance became the status-quo; the players involved, the incentives that drove that trend.

      But at the very least what I wouldn’t do it bind everybody into an even more top-heavy over-regulated bureaucratic whale than we already have.

      That’s one of the more hilarious aspect of the ACA – the claim that it will actually [i]increase efficiency[/i]. Not that Joe’s made that claim, that I recall.

    30. Kirk Parker Says:

      So what to do about it?

      Oh dear Ghu. Since one of the biggest economic problems with employer-provided health care coverage is the disconnect between the payer and the consumer, the obvious solution is to make the payer even more distant. Duh!

    31. Jose Angel Says:

      All I have seen from Obama, other than blaming Bush and others for the state of the economy, has been throwing money and more money to the economy, driving US debt into four or five trillion. Spending creates dependency, bot a at an individual level, try giving your son an allowance of 20 dollars for a couple of weeks and he will come back to you every single week for the whole year, he will dream about it, count on it, budget on it, project his spending on, even though it was never his and he probably never earned it, because that´s not what comes to your mind when daddy gives you money, and if parents had to go to elections, your kid will certainly vote for you, as long as his allowance check keeps arriving every Sunday. Hugo Chavez in Venezuela has just won the elections again, thanks to huge government spendings that have created high levels of dependency in the population of that country.

      How many millions of americans voted Obama thanks to the trillions of US dollars Obama spent and that are now a liability for future generations of americans?

      Great post.