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In a Nutshell

 

George Will defined ideologies the other day on Stephen Colbert's show:

Conservatives tend to favor freedom and are willing to accept inequalities of outcome from a free market.

Liberals tend to favor equality of outcome and are willing to sacrifice and circumscribe freedom in order to get it.

Yep. That's the most cogent, well-considered definition I think I've ever heard. I even think that liberals would agree with that conservative's summation.

I think I'll buy his new book.

 


by Brett Rogers, 6/7/2008 8:22:55 AM
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Comments

I read his editorials at the post often. Here is just another example of great minds thinking alike.

 

 

Posted by Annette (dmartinigirl.blogspot.com), 6/7/2008 11:44:29 AM


I love George Will's commentary. He is a thoughtful writer and as a huge baseball fan you've got to like him. However, I think we spend way too much time in our society affixing labels to people. I know I am neither a conservative nor a liberal, or perhaps I am both a conservative AND a liberal. I know many of my friends are in similar circumstances and do not fit in clearly defined ideologies. The truth is we need to move forward as Americans rather than continually label each other. It serves no purpose and only divides us.

Rush

 

 

Posted by Rush Nigut (www.rushonbusiness.com), 6/7/2008 3:45:47 PM


Okay, then ditch the label.

Some Americans tend to favor freedom and are willing to accept inequalities of outcome from a free market.

Some Americans tend to favor equality of outcome and are willing to sacrifice and circumscribe freedom in order to get it.

Is there another unconsidered option?

Which do you think is the better approach for the preservation of our children and our nation?

 

 

Posted by Brett Rogers (http://www.beatcanvas.com), 6/7/2008 3:55:57 PM


I favor equality of outcome and I'm not willing to sacrifice anything to get it. What does that make me? A perfectionist, maybe. Or a dreamer. :-) Apparently, I am both a conservative and a liberal in Mr. Will's world ---but Mr. Will's definitions do seem pretty extremist.

Sheesh. Things have been awfully polarizing around here lately. What's up with that?

 

 

Posted by Bella, 6/8/2008 5:00:10 PM


I thought that was an excellent definition of the differences between liberals and conservatives. I don't see it as polarizing, just a fair assessment of the differences between the groups.

Hi Bella, question for you. How do you get equality of outcome without being willing to sacrifice? Do you believe other's should sacrifice? If a cardiologist makes as much as a janitor, what is the incentive for the cardiologist to practice medicine? If you re-distribute corporate profits to reduce prices, what is the incentive for a company to be in business?

I view equality of outcome as the dumbing down of America. If we get to that point, the country is finished.

 

 

Posted by Pale Rider, 6/8/2008 10:17:19 PM


Of course you found it a good definition. You are PR and it is George Will. :-) Anyway, you're defining 'outcome' as 'income'. My version of equality in outcome is equality in health coverage, in legal representation, in rights.

As for not being willing to sacrifice anything, it was hyperbole. Lighten up, Francis.

Sorry, it's a little OT--This isn't the first post around here I've found polarizing. There just seems to be a lot of moralizing going on lately. If I believe in universal healthcare, it apparently can be implied that I don't love my children. I guess that's the ones that survive until childhood. Mostly we liberals eat our babies and have tails. Personally, I'm growing my hair long to hide the horns.

 

 

Posted by Bella, 6/8/2008 11:16:09 PM


I don't believe that PR is defining "outcome" as "income." Not everyone will live the same quality of life. But if a person wants a higher quality of life, it does take sacrifice - and it should be the sacrifice of that person to achieve what they dream of, not the coerced sacrifice of others. In this case, it's my kids - that unrepresented class of citizen without a vote - who will be paying for your imagined utopia, Bella. It would be a utopia for those today, who won't have to pay into it to enjoy it, and a huge monkey on the back of those in the future. Math will tell you that.

If you can prove that my math is incorrect, I'll write a post apologizing for my error. In the meantime, I'll fight heartily for their future and remind you, Rush, and others that equalized outcome relies on their future income to make it so. If I'm right about that, does that matter to you?

76 million baby boomers and universal health care will kill their future. My little protest about that here on my web site is polarizing? That's the least I can do. Maybe I should do more...

 

 

Posted by Brett Rogers (http://www.beatcanvas.com), 6/9/2008 12:14:01 AM


It's not the opinion I find polarizing, Brett. Hell, I don't even disagree with you. I said 'if I believe in universal healthcare' meaning to speak for those who do. I believe in healthcare reform for sure, but I don't yet believe that socialized medicine is the way to go. What I find polarizing is the method of expression...implying that anybody who doesn't agree with this opinion doesn't love their children is beyond outrageous.

And George Will has no business saying what anybody but himself is or is not willing to sacrifice or circumscribe.

Again, my own sacrifice comment was hyperbole. Jeez. Of course we all have to sacrifice things, and of course everyone will have a different quality of life. I work in human services for a non-profit. I'd think you would realize that I know how to sacrifice for my ideals, and what I have to sacrifice to maintain my own quality of life. But if Joe Homeless and Donald Trump both walk into an ER, they both deserve the same quality of care. If they both get arrested, they deserve the same level of defense. Those things are what I thought of upon reading Mr. Will's comments. I didn't read it in the economic sense. That's not utopian. It's human rights. I believe the second thing may even be constitutional.

My taxes pay for other people's kids to go to public schools. What's really tragic is that they also have to pay for a lot of uninsured kids medical bills. Any kind of reform is going to cost money, hopefully we can come up with something that costs in the short term rather than the long and we'll protect children from that debt, but frankly, they're already going to be paying for a war and the state of the planet. We can't protect them from everything.

 

 

Posted by Anonymous, 6/9/2008 10:26:09 AM


I absolutely agree in equal treatment and human rights. Couldn't agree more. You know that. The best thing about our work in Iraq, in fact, is that it is one of largest humanitarian efforts in modern times. Viva human rights and down with totalitarian states!

I don't believe in forcing equal outcomes, which was George's point. And I thnk you know that too.

Taking your example, if Joe and Donald walk into the ER, and they both require $50,000 of medical treatment, Joe obviously can't afford it, and Donald can. It is irresponsible for the government - or anyone else - to force the hospital, a private business, to absorb the cost. Joe Homeless, for all the sympathy due him, is an adult, and adults aren't in the same class as children. Paying taxes for children to attend school isn't equivalent to Joe's circumstance.

Personally, I support government-sponsored healthcare for kids. For adults? No way. The body breaks down too much as we age and those costs are the responsibility of us adults for ourselves, not the responsibility of younger income-producing generations to shoulder as expensive treatment options extend life expectancy to new limits.

You said, "Hopefully we can come up with something that costs in the short term rather than the long and we'll protect children from that debt." That'd be swell, but wishful thinking hasn't worked for Social Security or Medicaid. The fact of the math can't be erased. At some point, realism intervenes.

So while it may be striking that I unapologetically say parents are cruel and don't love their kids if they support these massive entitlements, it doesn't erase the fact that it will harm their kids and my kids. That may not bother them, but it sure bothers me. So I'll speak up... because if I can, I can protect them from a growing government and greedy citizens eager for their future earnings.

 

 

Posted by Brett Rogers (http://www.beatcanvas.com), 6/9/2008 10:59:13 AM


So while it may be striking that I unapologetically say parents are cruel and don't love their kids if they support these massive entitlements

I'm sorry, but it's not striking, it's jerky. And moralizing and assuming you know the motives of other people. And it dilutes your real message. I have no issue with people saying, "you are wrong because of this:" and presenting logical reasons--in this case the math. What I take issue with is the condescending moralizing.

I don't believe in forcing equal outcomes, which was George's point. And I thnk you know that too.

I don't know that at all. In fact, I think his point was to try to classify people with general statements. I don't believe in doing that. It's too easy.

Joe Homeless, for all the sympathy due him, is an adult, and adults aren't in the same class as children. Paying taxes for children to attend school isn't equivalent to Joe's circumstance.

If Joe is mentally ill, which a lot of homeless people are, he is in the same class as children in my mind. Even if he's not, in my opinion, he still deserves equal care. One of the things that makes me the proudest of this country is the fact that people come together to help those less fortunate. It makes me sad that some people see that as an infringement on their freedom.

You said, "Hopefully we can come up with something that costs in the short term rather than the long and we'll protect children from that debt." That'd be swell, but wishful thinking hasn't worked for Social Security or Medicaid.

Yes, I did say that. I think if the country re-prioritized it's spending, that solution could exist.

 

 

Posted by Anonymous, 6/9/2008 12:22:19 PM


http://www.pnhp.org/news/2004/january/national_health_insu.php

I don't expect this to change anybody's mind. Mine's not entirely made up, and the one's already here are already pretty set. But it's an interesting perspective, and a *gasp* different one.

 

 

Posted by Bella, 6/9/2008 12:34:55 PM


Bella, I realize that you'd like to trust the government. I don't. So when Medicare / Medicaid is insolvent after years of government management, and when Social Security is not something you or I will ever see after years of government management, and when the estimated costs of the recently-passed Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Plan was increased, and then increased, and then increased again...

The MMA was signed by President George W. Bush on December 8, 2003, after passing in Congress by a close margin.

One month later, the ten-year cost estimate was boosted to $534 billion, up more than $100 billion over the figure presented by the Bush administration during Congressional debate. The inaccurate figure helped secure support from fiscally conservative Republicans who had promised to vote against the bill if it cost more than $400 billion. It was reported that an administration official, Thomas A. Scully, had concealed the higher estimate and threatened to fire Medicare Chief Actuary Richard Foster if he revealed it. By early 2005, the White House Budget had increased the 10-year estimate to $1.2 trillion.

So you'll have to pardon me for being skeptical about anybody's hopeful estimates.

Remember: craziness = doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. The government never manages any entitlement to less expense than what we find that the private sector can do.

In my opinion, Wal-Mart, a private market entity, has produced the best solution for those needing prescriptions with its $4 prescription program that covers over 300 drugs. The private sector solution will always trump the government solution.

 

 

Posted by Brett Rogers (http://www.beatcanvas.com), 6/9/2008 1:28:50 PM


LMAO! Whatever. I'm done. Have a good week.

 

 

Posted by Bella, 6/9/2008 1:44:54 PM


For the first person who emails me and requests it, I'll send them this book on solving the health care crisis. It's my treat to you. From the customer reviewers:

If you only read one chapter, read chapter 5. In it they outline a plan for the government to pay for health insurance for everyone who doesn't already have government sponsored insurance with a tax credit. This isn't the typical "let's spend more of the taxpayers money because it's free." They want to pay for it by discontinuing the tax givebacks which in 2008 are estimated to be $260 billion.
Bingo.

 

 

Posted by Brett Rogers (http://www.beatcanvas.com), 6/9/2008 1:57:11 PM


Wow quite a bit of conversation on this. I like the dialog and the different perspectives.

I'm with you Brett, I don't trust government to do handle this efficiently. Frankly it scares the hell out of me as entitlement programs tend to grow considerably from the original purpose. Saddling myself, my children, and generations to come with this type of massive debt isn't something I'd vote for.

With that said I am in favor of health coverage for everyone, not just children. I know there are adults and seniors who have problems, maybe health or mental that prohibit them from having coverage on their own. I just want government kept out of the management of it, possibly limiting the role to funding (preferably with some kind of tax break/incentive).

We need a fresh new look at medicare/medicaid, social security, this new prescription drug benefit, and healthcare. Continuing to just expand poorly managed programs from the past will only compound the problem.

 

 

Posted by Pale Rider, 6/9/2008 2:47:54 PM


Great debate. I wonder, what is the definition of the same level of care? Is it the care The Donald can afford or is the care the homeless man can afford? Perhaps somewhere in between? Most plans I have seen, while trying to define this "in between" area - restrict it to that definition - meaning if The Donald can afford more, he is prohibited from seeking it/ paying for it. Every decision has consequences. Can we truly get to a consequnceless society? It seems we are trying to get there.

 

 

Posted by Rich, 6/10/2008 11:19:21 PM



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