Chopra also holds court at the BBC, that tax-funded left wing state broadcasting/propaganda machine in Britain. He's often invited onto political discussion shows to give his $0.02 on issues he knows absolutely nothing about.
It's the intellectual equivalent of asking Richard Simmons for his view on geopolitics.
The BBC loves him so much, he's one of their "featured authors" on their audiobook web page:
http://www.bbcaudiobooksamerica.com/contributorinfo.cfm?ContribID=2836Comment Posted By Jason S On 1.12.2008 @ 20:57
Sorry for the multiple posts but this makes excellent reading for anyone interested in the reasons why deregulation was not responsible for the meltdown and why we have nothing which resembles a laissez-faire system:
http://georgereisman.com/blog/2008/10/myth-that-laissez-faire-is-responsible.htmlComment Posted By Jason S On 25.11.2008 @ 03:03
Given that the current financial crisis was not caused by deregulation then what exactly is your point?
It was, in fact, caused primarily by the actions of the Fed in lowering the interest rate far below its natural level by pumping lots of easy money into the banking system.Comment Posted By Jason S On 25.11.2008 @ 02:59
If this text is in italics, then it means you can just use the standard HTML "i" tags.Comment Posted By Jason S On 25.11.2008 @ 02:57
And if this is blockquoted, it means the "blockquote" tag can be used.
For some reason the comment of Hyperion which I reproduced above in my post didn't come out in italics as planned. My comments start at "Are you aware of the percentage of Americans.."Comment Posted By Jason S On 23.11.2008 @ 23:49
first: #25 how is Jason’s remark worthy of “Bingo”? how can universal health care (UHC) be free? someone must pay. one can’t propose UHC without addressing who will pay. i’m thinking “others” will pay. (that would be all of us. oh, noes!)
Are you aware of the percentage of Americans who don't pay taxes? If UHC is funded by income tax, then yes, a large number of people will receive "free health care" at the expense of those who do pay taxes.
I think we're also missing the point here. The excessive cost of health care is usually cited as justification for UHC - which acts to completely bypass THE fundamental question of "why is health care so expensive in the first place?"
In other words, wouldn't it be better to take steps to encourage the lowering of health care costs, instead of using the situation to add yet another unwelcome layer of enforced collectivization upon us?
The reason why health care costs so much in America is because there are so many mandates and regulations imposed upon the industry, it has no chance of benefiting from the same forces of free competition which have made virtually every other aspect of technology affordable and accessible to us.
Even the poorest households in the U.S. have T.V.'s, DVDs, refrigerators and microwaves. Most have a lot more. I have no doubt that this would not be the case if the market for consumer appliances had been subject to the same level of bureaucratic restrictions over the last 50 years. The truth is, we do not have freedom of choice when it comes to health care coverage. It is not a free consumer market. If it were, health care would be a lot more affordable.
There is also the issue that no matter how cheap health care is, there are still those who will choose, of their own free will, to maintain warped priorities throughout their lives - budgeting for cigarettes, booze, drugs, video games and other non-essentials without budgeting for their own health. This should be of no concern to the state or anyone else. Similarly, if someone smokes, drinks to excess or abuses drugs, they should pay higher premiums. Will such people be made to pay a higher rate of tax should UHC come into existence? I doubt it. There is nothing "fair" about socialization of any kind.
One more point - another factor in the cost of health care in the U.S. as opposed to elsewhere is the level of research and development which goes on here. Seriously - what percentage of new medical innovation do you suppose comes out of Canada, Britain or France as opposed to the U.S.? I'll give you a clue - it's very very small.Comment Posted By Jason S On 23.11.2008 @ 23:48
The view of McAdder above represent the irrational, disingenuous and thoughtless mindset that we need to start fighting with everything we've got.
He claims that the country is "in ruins." This is the kind of shrill, melodramatic emotionalism which is poisoning popular opinion. We are not "in ruins," we are suffering some problems with our economy which are largely the fault of liberal politics, not conservatism. That is not to say that Bush is an authentic conservatism, because he's not. In fact conservatives who are prepared to defend the free market without hypocrisy are few and far between these days, since most seem to support a degree of statism incompatible with true conservatism. But let's not beat around the bush here - our economic woes are not and have never been caused by "unfettered capitalism," they have been in every case, from the crash of '29 to the present slump, been caused by government intervention in the economy. The popular slack-jawed liberal claim that "conservatism tanked the economy" is false and must be countered at every available opportunity.
We also need to stop cutting the crap and defend the Iraq War. We were absolutely right to impose regime change and to eliminate Saddam Hussein. Liberals think they can rewrite history, ignore the behavior of Saddam and act like he wasn't a threat - even after going on record saying that he was a grave threat who needed to go, for a decade before the war. They only began to oppose the idea of regime change after it became politically beneficial for them to do so. The conduct of the Democrats throughout this war has been nothing short of disgraceful and we need to start calling it by its true name - treason. For all that the left likes to throw around the slogan "Bush lied," it is actually they who lied and they've done it consistently over the last five years. It's time to set the record straight.
Not only that, it was recently pointed out that more Iraqis died under Clinton as a result of sanctions than died under Bush. Half a million Iraqi kids died and Madeline Albright said it was "worth it." Worth it for what exactly? Nothing changed. Saddam was still a threat. At least Bush installed democracy in two Middle Eastern countries. What did Clinton do? The conduct of the Iraq war is not above criticism - but the reasons for going to war in the first place were sound and Bush will in time be seen as a far better President than Clinton. Europe can hoot and bray and whine about America's "unchecked power" but the fact remains that America has its role whether it wants it or not - and Europe will still depend heavily on the security that America gives it for years to come.
By the way McAdder - the "free" health care service in Ireland suffers from much the same problems as "free" health care everywhere else. Fundamentally, the problem is that when you have a free health care service, people abuse it. A study a few years ago in Ireland showed that recidivism within the health service was inversely proportional to the amount those patients paid into it. Those who are not so sick and could easily treat themselves nonetheless claim their "free" health care over and over again for the most trivial of ailments, to the detriment of those who are genuinely and seriously ill.
Originating from Britain, I know all about socialized medicine. NHS hospitals are dangerously underfunded. The BBC reported recently that some renal wards suffered from "3rd world conditions." People are often denied treatment by the state bean counters, or put on waiting lists that in some cases lead to treatable cancer turning to terminal cancer in the time it takes to get seen to. If you read the British press regularly you will often see stories about sick people who are denied some kind of new treatment which is only available in America (the NHS refuses to pay for it), and so in order to save their life they make public appeals for funds to fly them over the pond. I don't hear of many Americans flying to Europe for treatment.Comment Posted By Jason S On 23.11.2008 @ 03:40
There is no need at all to assume that we've lost the argument over "whether or not health care is a right." The only reason why it looks this way right now is because the question has never been expressed properly to the masses.
The correct question is not "should we have the right to free health care?" - it is "should we have the right to demand that others pay for our health care?"
The two questions amount to the same, yet it is only the second version which properly exposes the full implication of a "yes" answer.
Politics should not just be about pandering to whichever irrational, thoughtless and immoral whims happen to dominate the popular mindset at any one time - it should also be about promoting an ideology in such a way that the popular mindset changes.
Let's face it, the only reason why so many people think that free health care is a "right" is because they've been persuaded to think that. Popular opinion doesn't just come out of thin air.
It is easier to promote the ideas of socialism to the masses than it is to promote the reasons why such ideas are wrong. This is because they appeal to our shallowest emotions - emotions like "caring" and "sharing."
When it comes to promoting the idea that health care is a right to TV viewers who want quick, easy to digest soundbites, all you have to do is pull a few easy-to-reach heartstrings. But to argue the opposite, you have to start from first principles and work your way up. It's necessary to talk about the nature of rights themselves, where they come from, what they are and what they're not.
Few people have really thought about the nature of man's rights - and virtually nobody in the media is likely to discuss the subject. This is something that needs to be rectified.
Rights flow naturally from the basic metaphysics of man's existence. There is one fundamental right - the right to life - and all other rights are derived from this. The next important right is the right to property.
Rights are not something which can be "granted" by the state - everyone has them no matter who they are or where they were born. A woman in Iran has the same rights as a woman in America - the difference is that America respects and protects the rights of women more than Iran. New "rights" cannot come into existence - we have the same rights now as did cavemen.
So when someone tries to tell you that there is a "right to health care," and they aren't swayed by the question: "at whose expense?", then ask them this:
Back when we were living in caves with no doctors or hospitals or medicine, who was abrogating your "right to health care?"
It is IMPERATIVE that we never stop fighting for rational principles. This country is becoming awash in a sea of irrationalism and above all else, we have to keep the flame of reason burning. The left seems to realize that this is a war of ideas which will be won by persuasion, yet the right seems of late to think that public opinion is a beyond any sphere of influence - a complex shifting system like a climate which has to be adapted to.
It's not. It's malleable. It's not impervious to reason. We just have to start arguing consistently and effectively.Comment Posted By Jason S On 23.11.2008 @ 03:07
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