Rep. Dan Crenshaw gives a better speech in Spanish than most Congresscritters give in English
A “Shoprite” store in Philadelphia is closing due to Philadelphia’s pop tax.
Or so says the owners – someone with years of experience in the field, for what that’s worth:
Store owner Jeff Brown says this location has lost approximately 25 percent of its business over the last two years because of the tax on soda and sweetened drinks.
The city, not to be “Mansplained”…er, “Bossplained?” “Enterepreneursplained?” Anyway, not to be taken to task by a mere prole, the city responded:
The mayor’s office responded with a lengthy statement pushing back against Brown.
“It is no surprise that Mr. Brown has decided to scapegoat the Philadelphia Beverage Tax, but neither he nor the beverage industry have yet to present any evidence that the tax has had any impact on sales. Here’s evidence to the contrary: an ongoing study by three of the most reputable academic institutions in the nation (Harvard University, Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania) finds the beverage tax has not affected overall store sales, contrary to other public claims by this supermarket chain.”
Brown says the 111 employees will be transferred to his 12 other supermarkets.
Anyone but me suspect hat Mr. Brown’s going to get an audit letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue sometime soon here?
Up next: a Harvard Study on how taxes have nothing to do with “Food Deserts”, no way, no how.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
The New Hotness wants higher income tax rates. The Left says it’s sensible and there’s historical precedent.
The trouble with historical precedent is picking the right precedent. College students who drink until they vomit could point to Rome, the pinnacle of civilization at the time, where vomitoria were provided in public entertainment venues. So that makes it alright? No.
Similarly, picking a time when America was the world economic superpower and capital investment had nowhere else to go, doesn’t mean that high earners today would find their wages captured by higher tax rates. Rich people are rich, they’re not stupid. They can move to low-tax venues. They can shelter their incomes. They can lobby for loopholes that only they can afford.
The only way to ensure that everybody pays their “fair share” is to fully embrace Communism: from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. But getting ordinary people into that mental state will require a period of socialization, during which the recalcitrant, deplorable, bitter clingers are identified and sent for re-education in the far North, or sent to farm the land by hand, or buried in mass graves. And who will decide who lives and who dies?
But the fact that it used to be the status quo back when the US was the world’s only functional economy (with ample tax shelters provided for the fabulously wealthy, like Ocasio Cortez’s benefactors) makes it “moderate”, to Big Left.
Remember the old joke about the New York Times? “Tsunami wipes out Manhattan. Women and Minorities Hardest Hit?”
The Arby’s that’s been cranking out the rubbery beef, the crunchy chicken and the gloriously addictive potato cakes (that I can’t touch anymore) in downtown Minneapolis for a solid quarter century picked up and vanished like a carnival tent a few weeks ago. It was the last nationwide fast-food restaurant in downtown. All the rest – McDonald’s, BK, Wendy’s, Taco Bell – have long disappeared. There are a few Subways, at least one Jimmy Johns,
The reasons are between the lines – rising rents and, ahem, rising labor costs (Minneapolis has high mandatory minimum wages and compulsory sick time for part-time workers). They also blame the tsunami of food trucks that line the streets downtown from March through October.
But Minneapolis has become a place where it’s easy to get lunch for $9-15, but very, very hard to find anything below $7. Arby’s was one of the last of them.
And so it seems that after years of trying to stigmatize and economically hobble Big Fast Food, they’ve gotten their wish…
…but, naturally, the usual suspects are the ones taking it on the chin:
Remaining food options are generally more expensive, pricing out low-wage workers and the homeless, who often gravitate toward city centers. Arby’s was one of the last places in downtown Minneapolis with a sandwich and fries for $5.
“I wondered why they closed, because they were so economical,” Marva Overton, a downtown worker, said as she bought a sandwich last week at Twin City Bites next to the former Arby’s. “It was so cheap to eat there and that was helpful to a lot of people.”
I recommend the Sicilian olives ($2.50 for a one-pound tub) at Sorrento Cucina.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Think about the increasing number of young Americans demanding socialism, even as the horrific collapse of Venezuela is in the news. Why do they want that to happen here?
It occurs to me that “hot” is a word which has no meaning to a child, until the child touches something hot. Until then, it’s just noise. What if “socialism” is the same? What if the only way to appreciate “capitalism” is to live under “socialism” for a while? Maybe, instead of class credit for protest marches, schools should require students to spend a month living in a place where the water isn’t safe to drink, the electricity isn’t reliable, there is no free wi-fi, food stores are empty, gasoline is only sold in back alleys, medical care is cash only and no antibiotics remain. A place where the police are not your friend, government officials demand bribes and the press reports what they’re told to report.
Would students learn a new appreciation of America? Or would they wave aside their experience saying: “But we’ll do it RIGHT this time.”
On the one hand, it’d lead to some of the “haves” among the students bleating “Yeah, but this isn’t socialism done right. “
On the other? It’d put some meat behind Churchill’s dictum “a man who’s not a liberal a 20 has no heart, and a man who isn’t a conservative at 40 has no brain”.
And maybe acclerate the timetable among those that can be saved.
Kevin Williamson on – ahem – “Why Alexandria Ocasio Cortez drives Republicans Crazy”, and I’m gonna stop right there.
She doesn’t “drive anyone crazy”. She’s a walking, talking testimony to the media’s left-wing bias; Ocasio Cortez actually is as vapid and ignorant as the media would have had you believe Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann were, and much more extreme.
Ocasio-Cortez, seen from that point of view, presents Republicans with a lot of things they despise — her far-left politics — wrapped up in a package that they very much want but cannot have. She’s everything they want and everything they hate at the same time: Odi et amo, RNC chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel might well say.
About those politics: Ocasio-Cortez describes herself as a socialist, a declaration mitigated somewhat by the fact that she doesn’t seem to know what the word “socialist” means. She is a reflexive practitioner of identity politics, immediately suggesting that any criticism of her is racist or sexist or both. And she is an unapologetic authoritarian, threatening to abuse congressional subpoena powers to retaliate against Donald Trump Jr. for posting something mean about her on Twitter. An avowedly socialist practitioner of identity politics and social-media bully: that, and not her views on marginal tax rates, is what gets up Republicans’ noses. Bernie Sanders calls himself a socialist, too, but he’s a grumpy old Muppet from Vermont — a useful cat’s paw to maul Mrs. Clinton, but otherwise old news.
But Williamson notes there’s danger in making her too much the figurehead of Big Left’s “Resistance from Above”:
As a purely tactical matter, Republicans would probably be better off keeping Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer as their leading partisan archnemesis, inasmuch as neither of those candidates can deride the GOP as the party of rich old white folks without inspiring at least a little bit of a giggle.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may personify much of what Republicans despise about the distinctively millennial brand of censorious progressivism that currently dominates the Democratic Party, but, if they were smarter, they’d be grateful for that: If this callow dilettante is the best the other side has to offer, then maybe the Republicans — no strangers to callow dilettantism — still have a chance after all.
She – and her elder sister in entitled identitymongering, Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren – are in that sense gifts to conservatism. Is the GOP – conservatism’s current vessel – smart enough to know what to do with them?
Writer Tim Willard with a brilliant Twitter thread on why he hates communism so completely.
It starts here – but I urge you to read the whole thing:
I get asked why I loathe Communism so fervently. It’s damn near a religion with me.
How about a little background. I’m from the wrong side of the tracks. My siblings would have stolen railroad tracks and sold them for scrap. When we left the farm, we went to the trailer park.
— Tim Willard (@TWillardAuthor) December 16, 2018
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
I get it now. I understand. It’s hard to change a lifetime of thinking one way, the wrong way, but I get it now.
I hope my children do worse than I. I hope their prospects are dimmer, their fortunes poorer, their deaths early.
You see, I once believed that by staying in school to get an education, working hard in my job, spending frugally and investing wisely, that I was making a better life for myself and my family. But now that I’m woke, I see that I never earned anything, I didn’t build my career, it was all handed to me because my parents weren’t divorced and my Mother read to me.
I have White Privilege.
Oh, sure, I saw the brown, black, red and yellow kids outside the razor wire, watching us White kids go to the school where they were denied admittance. I saw them sitting against the wall of the supermarket, their bellies distended, flies buzzing around their heads, because they life in a food desert. I thought that was the natural and inevitable consequence of their parents’ cultural choices. I thought White culture was better at protecting women and children while building and conserving wealth.
But I understand things now and I’m not going to let my children make the same mistakes that I made. I’m pulling them out of STEM school and getting them hooked on drugs to ensure they never go back. I’m squandering my savings on a tricked-out Yukon with 20-inch Spreewells. I’m quitting my job and committing a few felonies, to ensure I can’t get another. When my kids’ lives are as bad as the kids in the lowest strata of society, then things will be fair.
I know they’ll thank me someday.
The likes of Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and most of the MInnesota DFL genuflect toward the Europeans for their economic advice.
Inconvenient fact: all of Europe’s economies would fit tidily within the bottom third of US states:
Most European countries (including Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium) if they joined the US, would rank among the poorest one-third of US states on a per-capita GDP basis, and the UK, France, Japan and New Zealand would all rank among America’s very poorest states, below No. 47 West Virginia, and not too far above No. 50 Mississippi. Countries like Italy, S. Korea, Spain, Portugal and Greece would each rank below Mississippi as the poorest states in the country.
Maybe they all need to go to war with us again.
Poke a needle in a Minnesota liberal, and they’ll likely bleed some combination of Danish and Swedish “social democracy”.
At Reason, Johan Norberg points out that they – and most Americans, really – could learn a lot from the Swedes. Just not much of it goes along with the left’s dogma:
Norberg’s grand tour of his homeland reveals a country steeped in classical liberalism. Americans may be surprised to learn that Sweden’s experiment with socialism was a relatively brief flirtation, lasting about 20 years and ending in disillusionment and reform.
Sweden began rolling back government in the early 1990s, recapturing the entrepreneurial spirit that made it a wealthy country to begin with. High taxation and a generous array of government benefits are still around. But now it’s also a nation of school vouchers, free trade, open immigration, light business regulation, and no minimum wage laws.
Podcast? Why sure, you can listen to the whole thing:
A few years ago, when the city of Minneapolis jumped on the “raise the minimum wage to $15 and mandatory benefits“ bandwagon, the owners of popular downtown eatery “Hell’s Kitchen” led the way in virtue-signaling how very OK they were with it.
And they stuck to their guns (their owners would not be OK with me using that phrase, but it’s still a free country) as a wave of other restaurants shut down around the metro, many of them explicitly citing the City mandated bludgeoning of their bottom line. No, seriously – one of them, “Ward 6“ in Saint Paul – pops up in the story, although the article never really connects the dots.
The star Tribune assures us that the owners saw they had a problem – they don’t specify which problem, although they hinted at it in a few places – but, for the moment, the bleeding is stanched.
Incredibly, the article points out in almost as many words that the owners of the restaurant almost geometrically match the stereotype every conservative has of restaurantears who virtue signal their approval of laws that, historically, shred through restaurant jobs like wood chippers through particleboard end tables: they spent years really not paying much attention to their financials, floating on a wave of profits from a thriving business and a good location (and, let’s be honest, really good food – I haven’t been there in years, but I did love it) until almost literally waking up one morning and realizing they were in serious trouble.
And you have to go about 2/3 of the way down the article to get to this bit here:
“The restaurant’s staff of 180 was trimmed to 160, chiefly through attrition and by adjusting start times to better match the flow of customers, producing a wage savings of $170,000. “
I am sure that most of the cuts were “through attrition” – not only does the restaurant industry have famously high turnover, but so does any business when the owners start frantically slashing expenses – but let’s break the story’s numbers down: that’s $170,000 in wages – the equivalent of 11 part time, 20 hours a week jobs at the new city of Minneapolis $15 an hour minimum wage – that don’t exist anymore.
So underneath all of the restaurant management‘s and started being as happy talk, what’s happening is…
…Exactly what conservatives, business people and anyone who passed economics 101 and said would happen: the Minneapolis city council’s wage and benefit laws are not just killing businesses, they’re killing jobs.
Of course, the virtue signaling Minneapolis city counselors and the bureaucrats who work for them don’t work in restaurants (or any private sector or entrepreneurial business, for that matter); Minneapolis’s restaurant industry has been one of the service industry’s “it“ sectors for decades, now, so I suspect they figure they’ll always be another.
By the way – I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that Hell’s Kitchen’s current owners furtively start looking for a buyer in the near future, that the expenses continue getting slashed, the Yelp reviews start spiraling, and the place quietly closes within five years. And if that happens – heaven forfend – the last thing the city, the Star Tribune or the restaurant’s compliant DFL management will do is blame the city’s policies for it.
I hope not – I genuinely like eating there, although I actually can’t eat there anymore – but I wouldn’t bet against me on it, either.
Conservatives make major strides in…
Sweden’s elections on Sunday carry the same lesson we should have already learned with Brexit and Donald Trump’s 2016 victory: Those whom political elites view as “deplorables” are going to have their say. The question now is whether elites will continue to ignore them and the lessons they bring.
Once a poster child for political consensus, Sweden is now deeply polarized. Parties on the traditional right and those on the traditional left wound up in a photo finish, each with about 41 percent of the vote. The remaining 18 percent of the vote was captured by Sweden Democrats (SD), a once obscure populist party with some roots in 1980s neofascism.It has since largely cleaned up its act and seen its support skyrocket as other parties have ignored its key issues of immigration and crime. The SD claims it now practices a “zero-tolerance” policy against members who make openly racist or anti-Semitic statements.
Sweden’s had a couple shots of Real World in recent years; conservative inroads should be expected.
But the “elites” never really do expect it.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
I propose a new Berg’s Law.
“Socialists are frustrated people who believe that after the revolution, their worth will finally be recognized and they’ll triumphantly assume command, they won’t be purged with the rest of the kulaks, saboteurs and wreckers. About this, they are uniformly mistaken.”
Joe: Your proposal has been submitted to the Berg’s Law peer-review committee.
It has serious potentijal.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
St. Paul and Minneapolis are considering raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. There are no studies on the effect of a $15 per hour minimum wage because it’s never been that high. The studies of effects of prior minimum wage increases go both ways, depending on who you believe. What to do?
This is where it helps to be conservative, because we have principles to guide our actions, not just feelings. One principle is: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Another is: “Don’t tear down a fence until you know why it was built.” The core thought underlying these principles is to make changes cautiously, only when you’re certain they won’t cause more harm than good. Since the evidence is equivocal, adherence to conservative principles would dictate that we not raise the minimum wage to $15.
But Democrats are not conservatives so they have no such principles to restrain them. They’re going to raise it because it will please the mob and that’s the most important thing to them. So if you’re going to raise it despite the evidence, why stop at $15? Why not raise it to $100 per hour and we’ll all be rich? Pikers.
Power is the principle.
I’ve been pondering how to address this for a while – what it’s liek to be an actual conservative in the Trump era.
John Hawkins takes a run at it with the five werdest things about being a conservative Trump non-fan.
Here’s one that some of my liberal friends have a hard time wrapping their brains around:
I can understand Democrats writing off a conservative like me because even if Alex Jones is duking it out with Todd Akin one day, I still won’t vote for whoever the latest socialist is that they run. That being said, there are roughly 8 million Americans who voted for Obama AND Trump and the general attitude Democrats have toward them seems to be, “Rot in Hell with your orange god.” No political party can appeal to everyone, but it’s so strange to see a political party that treats millions of voters they are going to want support from in the next election like pariahs simply because they voted for the other side. This would be like an NBA team saying, “If you didn’t show up to support us at yesterday’s game, then we better never see you again! Oh, and if we catch you wearing our merch, we will MURDER YOU.”
It’s part and parcel of the Democrats becoming an extremist cult.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
They pay burger flippers nearly $12 per hour now. The workers went union for a fair wage.
Bad news, people. The fair wage for someone whose only marketable skill is flipping burgers is $10. They were overpaying to keep the union out. Now they’ll agree to raise wages but that will force layoffs to balance the budget.
There will be one guy working for $100 an hour but the rest of you will be replaced by a burger-flipping machine. I predict bankruptcy in three years.
The story is from Portland – which seems to believe, these days, that if you vote for something hard enough, you’re enttitled to it.
Silicon Valley has turned in to a de facto surveillance state, and is using its power to try to quash Conservative thought on the Internet.
The “#meToo” movement has harnessed the power of the Progressive Herd to co-opt what started as a good message (don’t abuse women!) into a policy bludgeon and a wedge used to shame, bully and censor dissent.
Conservative speech is actively squelched on campus, in many corporations, and in many community groups .
Big Left is relentlessly pimping a bunch of kids who, a month ago, were eating Tide Pods on Youtube, as the great unheard voices of wisdom on gun policy they clearly don’t understand in any way.
And the DC Establishment – Republican and Democrat both – have basically turned into the same, free-spending, debt-blind creature.
Sorry, libs; the “resistance” in this country is entirely on the right.
Six years ago, Venezuela banned private firearms ownership, via a piece of legislation that had to have sent a tingle down Linda Slocum, Erin Maye Quade, Jamie Becker-Finn and Dave Pinto’s spines. It was done to consolidate and reinforce the control of a government that, one might suspect in concept had to have sent a tingle down Linda Slocum, Erin Maye Quade, Jamie Becker-Finn and Dave Pinto’s spines.
Of course, we know the results; socialism degenerated “unexpectedly” into thugocracy (which, being “haves” in a socialist society, wouldn’t not send a tingle down Linda Slocum, Erin Maye Quade, Jamie Becker-Finn and Dave Pinto’s spines, necessarily – socialism is a wonderful thing for the kommissars).
And here we are today.
The left would like you to consider them separate events.
They are not.
To take the focus off of Maine.
SCENE: Mitch BERG steps out onto his porch to bring in his mail – and is startled to see Avery LIBRELLE looking over the envelopes.
BERG: Um, Avery? What the…
LIBRELLE: Merg! Venezuela is raising its minimum wage! If they can do it, why can’t we?
BERG: The “increase” is meaningless. Just like the ones in the US.
LIBRELLE: They benefit those who need it most! The poorest and most vulnerable!
BERG: Let me ask you this, Avery. Let’s say that I give you coupons, in payment for waving a sign around at a rally. Those coupons can be used for one thing – to get mint tea at Whole Foods.
LIBRELLE: Mmm. . Whole Foods.
BERG: Right. Now, I give you two coupons. One for every four hours of sign waving.
BERG: But Alida Messinger gives you four coupons. That’s a coupon every two hours.
LIBRELLE: I’ll work for Alida.
BERG: Right. But Whole Foods only has one bag of mint tea left in the store. At all. How many coupons is it going to cost?
LIBRELLE: I don’t get it.
BERG: You have coupons good for tea. But there is no tea. So all your coupons are are pieces of paper given to you in exchange for a day of waving signs.
LIBRELLE: The correct answer, then, is that my labor – sign-waving – is of intrinsic value, and should be rewarded with tea.
BERG: Not to Whole Foods, it’s not. The coupons are just pieces of paper exchangaed for slices of time you spent, er, working. The sign didn’t get waved twice as much, or twice as hard, or… (looks at LIBRELLE) twice as effectively. You just got more slips of paper. But the tea is all gone.
LIBRELLE: Right, but I still have three more coupons!
BERG: Which are of no value. Like the 40% “pay raise” in worthless money that the Venezuelan “poor” will get out of this “raise”.
LIBRELLE: But when they throw off the shackles of the international capistalists, they’ll all be rich!
BERG: Right. Just like you’ll have three bags of tea when the truck finally arrives at Whole Foods. Hey – why are you on my porch.
LIBRELLE: Just checking for thoughtcrime.
Big Left seems to thrive on misery. They seem to love to cling to the notion that things have never been worse, in the nation or the world (or at least they do when there’s no Democrat in the White House).
For example – ask a typical liberal, and they’ll say that “gun violence” is at an all time high. It’s not – nationwide, it’s at sixty-year lows, and even in Democrat-controlled major cities it’s lower than it was 25 years ago. And yet if you ask a “progressive” what’s going on in the world, they’ll to a person insist “violent crime is out of control”.
And that’s not the only area.
I mentioned the other day the church service I went to on Christmas Eve, featuring a homily that made it sound like the world was teetering on the the brink of collapse – notwithstanding the fact that, for most of the world, things have never been better.
Don’t get me wrong – the human condition is an ugly thing. I’m of Scandinavian descent, so optimism and pollyannaism don’t come naturally. And the arc of the universe, while long, curves inexorably toward tyranny and barbarism. It could all go south someday. And there certainly are wars going on, refugees in camps, pockets of malnutrition.
But for now, for most of the world’s people, things have never been better. As evidence, I submit this: for the first time in the history of humanity, obesity is a bigger problem than malnutrition, as reported by those noted conservative crazies in The Lancet, in this case via both CNN and an actual news organization (which notes that obesity kills three times as many people worldwide as malnutrition).
This, not fifty years after “experts” like Paul Ehrlich “proved” that mankind was headed for an unavoidable date with Malthusianism ; that poor countries in South Asian and Africa were beyond hope and would need to be “triaged”; that India was, inevitably, going to plunge to a stable population of 100 million, and Subsaharan Africa was going to mostly die off as well.
Bear in mind that throughout all of human history, mankind has always been one bad crop away from mass starvation. This is the first time in history most people on this planet can take a deep breath and think about a future that goes past the net harvest.
And this is almost entirely due to the success of the free market – even in places that have repudiated free markets!
Again – not that life is a picnic everywhere on earth. It’s not. But it’s also never been less dire and threatened.
There’s just no telling that to Big Left.
…it’s because they want you to focus on the one big “conservative” failure of state governance in recent years  – and ignore stories like North Carolina, whose economy is booming under conservative leadership and policies.
Or North Dakota, which weathered the deflation of the oil boom in style (the unemployment rate has never gotten less than a half point lower than Minnesota’s, even at the worst of the deflation).
Or Wisconsin, which after years of heckling from DFLers urging people to compare Mark Dayton’s performance with Scott Walker’s, are pretty silent these days; it took Wisconsin a few years to shake off the dross of six decades of “progressive” control of the economy, but today it’s unemployment rate is statistically identical with Minnesota’s.
Or that of solidly-red Idaho – the nation’s fastest-growing state.
Of course, percentage growth differs from numeric growth — that top title went to Texas, [Huh. Don’t that beat all? – Ed] which brought in an additional 400,000 residents between July 2016 and July 2017, bringing the Southern state’s total population to 28.3 million people.
Warning to Idahoans: screen for people fleeing California, Seattle and Denver. Even as they flee the results of progressivism, they bring the contagion. Build a wall.
As contrasted with the jewel i the “progressive” crown, Illinois, which is losing about 300 people a day.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
If the pre-ghost Ebenezer Scrooge were alive today, he’d be a Liberal. The post-ghost Scrooge would be a Conservative.
Pre-ghost Scrooge was asked to contribute to a fund for the poor, because Christmas is a time when want is keenly felt and abundance rejoices. Scrooge declines, citing the Poor Law, Workhouse and Prisons as places for the poor to find help, which he supports through his taxes. Those who are too proud to take government help should die, and thereby decrease the surplus population.
Bell ringers are not allowed outside Target, where good Liberals shop. The poor will get no help from holiday shoppers there.
Post-ghost Scrooge continued to support those same institutions but also donated to the fund for the poor and in addition, took a personal interest in Tiny Tim’s welfare, digging into his own pocket to pay for medical care.
Conservatives routinely give more to charity than Liberals.
“A Christmas Carol” is not only a heart-warming story of personal redemption, but also a piercing commentary on politics that has lost none of its relevance.
Pre-ghost Scrooge obeyed one iron-clad “progressive” tenet; he saw people, individuals, as liabilities to be supported to everyone’s detriment. Post-ghost, he saw them as the miracles a good conservative sees.
I’ll alliow it.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Which is the most efficient way to bring down prices: government dictate, or free market?
Warren Buffet seems to be saying government is a more efficient way to bring down prices, therefore America should embrace the single-payer model of health care used in Britain, Canada, Cuba, the Veteran’s Administration, etc. He is mistaken. He’s great at reading balance sheets, lousy at political economic theory.
I agree that government-run health care could theoretically control prices. They’d simply pass a law: nobody can charge more than $1.00 for any medical procedure, device or drug. There, see? Prices contained. Aspirin. Heart transplant. Everything’s a dollar. In theory.
In practice, it won’t work. People who provide medical services can’t afford to provide them at that price. Either they stop providing medical services, or they go off-book somehow. Maybe all the doctors move to Mexico where they can charge fair prices. Maybe all the medical device companies move to Poland where the government welcomes investment and doesn’t try to kill it. Capital – including human capital – is mobile.
Hillary recognized this problem when she invented Hillarycare in 1992. Her solution: draft all the doctors and treat them as members of the military. You want to practice medicine in America? Then you go where you’re told and do as you’re told. In the past, you may have been a plastic surgeon making millions in Hollywood; today, you’re a gynecologist on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation making the same pay as any other Captain in the Army. Don’t like it? Turn in your medical license. This is not an incentive for people to study 10 years to become a doctor.
It doesn’t work on the other end, either. People who desire medical services have no incentive to forego care under a single-payer system. Got a sniffle? Run to the doctor, it’s free. So the lines get longer and longer until patients die waiting for an appointment, which already has happened at the VA. Or health care committees decide which patients are deserving of medical treatment and which should be denied treatment, which already has happened in Britain. Or doctors decide which patients should be helped to die and thereby reduce caseloads, which some Dutch doctors already are doing. The rich can afford to fly to wherever the doctors are, and to pay out of pocket for medical care. The poor and middle class will be promised free medical care but won’t get it, facing endless waiting lists and rationed care.
“Single-payer” is simply another way of saying “wage-and-price controls.” They didn’t work when Diocletian tried them and never have worked since. I confidently predict they won’t work now.
They did wonders for the US economy in the seventies.
You remember what a greaet time the seventies were, rigtht?
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Some experts believe the policies that led to the 2008 real estate collapse are still in place leaving us as vulnerable to a real estate bubble as before. They are mistaken. We’re worse off than before because now we have newer and even stupider ideas to help preferred minorities qualify for home loans such as counting all incomes in the household toward the loan.
The problem was explained in 2010 by Glenn Reynolds:
“The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.”
And that’s the best-case scenario, when the government isn’t actively working to destroy middle-class values by subsidizing bad decisions and penalizing good (but politically incorrect) decisions.
The divide between the wealthy and the wretched ever widens and Liberals cannot fathom why. It’s because of Berg’s 21st Law: Liberal Policies Destroy Liberal Values.
That one’s almost beyond mere “law.