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Healthcare and the vicious cycle of government intervention

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I traveled overseas for a couple weeks this summer for an international conference. While there, I met people from the UK, India, Germany, Poland, China, and even Brazil. One of the topics that came up during the week was healthcare. When I mentioned that I was opposed to government run healthcare, I received an immediate response, particularly from the UK gentleman. His point was: Everyone should have healthcare. My point was: Things always run better without the government involved.

We went back and forth for a bit, but eventually we found some middle ground when I asked… “When you take your car in to get the oil changed, why don’t you run it through your insurance first?”

If car insurance were run like health insurance, every time we went to get our tires rotated or our brake pads replaced, we would send the bill through insurance. Luckily, car insurance (and home insurance) is designed to be, well… insurance. In other words, we have it primarily for major mishaps we can’t easily pay out of pocket. If we asked for money from our car insurance every time we went in to the shop, our insurance rates would climb. How could they not? No one works for free, and that includes insurance companies who need to make a profit to stay in business. Yes, liberals, they earn a profit – But everyone works for profit. That paycheck you receive on Fridays… That’s a profit.

Yes, healthcare is a very personal topic, because people’s lives are directly affected by it. How then, can I so easily say that it is better without the government involved? Because of these two statutes: Milton Friedman’s Four Ways to Spend Money, and the Law of Unintended Consequences.

I. Milton Friedman once described the four ways a person can spend money:

  1. “You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, then you really watch what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money.
  2. You can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost.
  3. I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch!
  4. I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get.”

Government is always in this fourth category. It spends someone else’s money on someone else. This is exactly why government will always remain inefficient, with a poor return on investment.

II. The law of unintended consequences states that actions of people always have effects that are unanticipated. This is especially evident with government intervention, where millions of lives are impacted by the actions of a few elected officials. Unfortunately, this tends to be a vicious cycle that governments are in the business of perpetuating. It generally goes like this:

  1. Government finds a problem which they seek to fix
  2. Government passes a law which proposes to fix the problem
  3. Another problem arises from the solution
  4. Government seeks to fix the new problem

Then round and round we go. In healthcare, it’s developed like this:

Problem Government Solution Unintended Consequence
Some people can’t afford healthcare Medicaid started by Johnson administration Medicaid payments to doctors are low
Doctors (who need to make a profit to live) refuse Medicaid
Doctors refuse Medicaid Government mandates hospitals take Medicaid Healthcare costs increase due to low Medicaid payments to doctors
Insurance costs increase to cover higher healthcare costs. Some people can’t afford health insurance
People can’t afford health insurance Obamacare mandates businesses provide insurance or pay fines Businesses can’t afford to pay for everyone’s insurance. Businesses cut benefits or jobs
Some people can’t afford healthcare
Some people can’t afford healthcare

h/t Andrew Wilkow

Notice that the last problem is just the original problem coming back round again! So why exactly are we looking to the government to solve this? The truth is, these things never get solved by the government. Sooner or later, the free market provides a solution, because the best ideas usually come from those of us who reside within these fields in our daily lives – not some bureaucrat who reads about it from afar.

Now if we could just come up with a free market solution to keep the government in check… Like, something that tells them what they can’t do… And put it in writing… And display it for all to see… Yeah. Wouldn’t that be great?

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Democrats

Kyrsten Sinema’s socialist thoughts now exemplify over half of Arizona

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Kyrsten Sinema's socialist thoughts now exemplify over half of Arizona

Arizona can no longer be considered a red state. As the Senate election vote counts finish up, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema appears poised to win. It isn’t that a Democrat won that makes me move Arizona from red to purple. It’s that a socialist in moderate clothing was able to pull the wool over the eyes of Arizona voters so easily.

Just an hour of research is enough to break through the Arizona mainstream media’s false narrative that Sinema is a moderate. She is anti-capitalism, in favor of open borders, and had the lowest Liberty Score of anyone in the House representing Arizona.

Then, there’s this:

“A huge dollar bill is the most accurate way to teach children the real motto of the United States: In the Almighty Dollar We Trust… Until the average American realizes that capitalism damages her livelihood while augmenting the livelihoods of the wealthy, the Almighty Dollar will continue to rule. It certainly is not ruling in our favor.”

Arizona chose poorly.

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Guns and Crime

Trust in Chicago area police was already low. Then they killed Jemel Roberson.

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Trust in Chicago area police was already low Then they killed Jemel Roberson

An armed security guard prevented anyone from getting killed when gunmen returned to his bar after getting thrown out. He subdued them without using deadly force and was restraining one of the alleged assailants when police arrived. That’s when a resolved situation turned ugly.

A Midlothian police officer shot and killed Jemel Roberson, 26, while responding to a shooting inside Manny’s Blue Room Bar in Robbins, Illinois, about 4 a.m. Sunday. Roberson was pronounced dead at the scene.

This appears to be a case of a truly decent person doing his job and losing his life as a result.

Security guard killed by police in Robbins bar wanted to be a cop, friends say

https://wgntv.com/2018/11/12/officer-responds-to-gunfire-fatally-shoots-security-guard-at-robbins-bar/Friends said Roberson was an upstanding guy who had plans to become a police officer. He was also a musician, playing keyboard and drums at several Chicago-area churches.

“Every artist he’s ever played for, every musician he’s ever sat beside, we’re all just broken because we have no answers,” the Rev. Patricia Hill from Purposed Church said. “He was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life.”

“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,” the Rev. LeAundre Hill said.

My Take

Chicago area residents have had many reasons to not trust the men and women charged with keeping them safe. Controversial police-involved shootings, rising crime rates, and tone deaf leadership in city, county, and state governments have been pushing people in the area to give up on law enforcement.

This will make matters much worse.

The optics on this couldn’t get much uglier, especially if the unnamed police officer who shot Roberson turns out to be Caucasian. Roberson, an African-American, was able to detain four assailants without anyone getting fatally wounded. The fact that he was then fatally shot by police adds a new dimension to the rift between police and the people.

In most incidents where police are believed to have used deadly force unnecessarily, it’s a matter of them shooting an alleged criminal when other means of subduing them could have been used. Such is the case with Jason Van Dyke who fatally shot Laquan McDonald. Nobody argued that McDonald wasn’t dangerous. He was high on PCP, had a knife, and was walking in the middle of the street despite police warnings for him to drop the weapon and get on the ground.

Roberson’s situation is the opposite. He was doing his duty as a security guard and very likely saved lives in the process. His death is almost certainly going to start another round of racial tensions and anti-police protests that could cause tremendous turmoil throughout the Chicagoland area.

There is usual gray area in police shootings, but this seems pretty black and white to me. Jemel Roberson acted heroically. Instead of a happy ending for the day and a bright future in law enforcement ahead, he’s gone.

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Entertainment and Sports

Stan Lee’s 10 greatest comics

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Stan Lees 10 greatest comics

Stan Lee has died. While modern audiences probably know much more about the Marvel movies and televisions shows that dominate our viewing pleasures, it was his genius in creating so many beloved comic book characters decades ago that fuels Hollywood today.

Looper put out a video with his greatest comics. These subjective lists are usually fodder for debate, but I was so pleasantly surprised by their choices I decided to post it here. It may be the first time I agree with nearly everything in a video top 10 list. Fitting that it surrounds an icon like Lee.

From his quirky cameos in every Marvel movie to his down-to-earth perspectives present in every interview, there’s plenty to love about Stan Lee. But it was his comic book creations that have made a permanent mark on American culture.

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