Gun toting health enforcers

Nov 5, 2013

Burlington, Vermont

When we left Baltimore on Friday, the Dow was still going up. Gold was still going down.

The Fed was still saying it would begin tapering off soon...or maybe not.

The economy was still recovering...or maybe it wasn't.

And the Red Sox were still favored to win the World Series.

We woke up Sunday morning in New York and a copy of the New York Times at our door. What caught our eye in the paper was the sad saga of Obamacare.

Obamacare seems to set off emotional outbursts. Conservatives are agin' it. Liberals are for it. And NYT, journal of record for the liberal intelligentsia, is so livid at Republicans and conservatives for opposing it, the Old Grey Lady can't think straight.

On Saturday night, we had a conversation with a Yankees fan:

"What's the matter with Republicans, anyway," she asked, as if we might have an insight. "They look like idiots...trying to shut down the whole government over Obamacare. The health care system in this country is terrible. At least, Obama is trying to come up with a better system."

"I don't know what's wrong with Republicans, in general," we replied. "But they're not necessarily wrong to oppose Obamacare. And shutting down the government is not necessarily a bad thing..."

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We began to explain our why...but it was hopeless. Our interlocutor was convinced that the public's health could be improved by earnest politicians and policymakers...and that anyone who tried to stop them was just a moss-backed troublemaker.

The Times' editorial on Sunday took the same position. Yes, some private companies were forced to cancel their insurance programs, the paper admitted. But, the voluntary arrangements made between buyers of insurance and sellers of it were of little interest to the NYT. Instead, the insurance policies, now prohibited by Obamacare, were 'not worth keeping,' according to the paper.

How did it know?

"Some had deductibles as high as $10,000," it said.

What's wrong with a high deductible? It is just the plan most people should have, in our opinion. Because it protects against health calamities, but leaves most of the purchasing power (and decision making) in your own hands. It also discourages you from going to the doctor too often or taking too many drugs. Health care is like everything else. A little of it is probably a good thing. A lot of it is disastrous. Expensive...and sometimes deadly.

Then, the NYT goes on to tell us that old people will come out ahead under Obamacare, but that health insurance " premiums will likely go up for younger, healthier patients." Right. Rip off young people!

But who cares what we think? Not the NYT or the Obama administration! They know best, about what kind of health care we need and everything else. And since they have the NSA, the FBI, the IRS, the CIA, the SEC, the TSA...and the whole planoply of gun-toting enforcers behind them...what THEY want is what WE get.

But can you really improve people's health by bullying them around?

Funny how one thought leads to another, whether you want it to or not.

We have been wondering about the use of force and violence in the modern world. Does it pay, we ask? Even when it is used to 'fight terrorism,' the answer is: maybe not.

As we all know, it is such a threat to western civilization and our way of life that we're willing to spend at least a trillion dollars a year (all in...including the Pentagon budget) to protect ourselves.

We send out unmanned aircraft to kill people we've never met or even heard of. And we give the spooks at NSA and elsewhere billions of dollars (they won't tell us how much) and let them hire thousands of employees (they won't tell us how many) and let them do pretty much whatever they damn well please (they won't tell us what).

But guess what. It doesn't work. Why not?

Stay tuned...

Bill Bonner is the President & Founder of Agora Inc, an international publisher of financial and special interest books and newsletters.

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