Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Democratic Socialist: Classical Liberalism and Fascism

Source: Democratic Socialist-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

According to Wikipedia: "Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I before it spread to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism and anarchism, fascism is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum."

To put it simply Fascists believe that their beliefs and values are so superior to anyone else's, that people who disagree with them, their beliefs and values are not worthy of being considered and perhaps those people don't have a right to even exist. Fascists believe that any opposition to what they believe should not be allowed to exist. Generally one of the first things that authoritarians do when they come to power in a country is attempt to completely shut down the political opposition and put them in prison, if not just murder the opposition. And then they shut down any private media organizations that disagree with their regime and report negative information about the authoritarian regime. Noticed, I haven't labeled Fascists as right-wing or left-wing.

The only governing philosophy that fascism is about is complete destruction of any possible opposition to what the party in power believes in. And for Fascists who aren't in power but would like to come to power, they believe opposition movements to what they believe in and advocate, don't have the same rights to exists, speak, and believe, that they do.

Communism is a governing philosophy.

Democratic socialism/social democracy, is a governing philosophy.

Libertarianism is a governing philosophy.

Religious theocracy or religious nationalism, whether its Christian or Muslim, are governing philosophies.

And then go to the Center-Left with progressivism which is a governing philosophy.

Liberalism is a governing philosophy.

Conservatism/conservative-libertarianism, is a governing philosophy.

But Fascists, similar to Nationalists who are also Fascists, are on both the Far-Left and Far-Right, both in North America and Europe.

Communists who are on the Far-Left, don't believe political opposition to what they believe and advocate, have a right to even exist let alone speak out. Right-wing Nationalists who are cultural Marxists and Christian-Nationalists on the Far-Right and ethno-Nationalists like the KKK and Neo-Nazis, on the extreme Far-Right, believe that opposition to what they believe don't have a right to even exist, let alone speak out.

Now liberalism according to Wikipedia:

"Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality.  Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programs such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality and international cooperation.

Liberalism first became a distinct political movement during the Age of Enlightenment, when it became popular among philosophers and economists in the Western world. Liberalism rejected the prevailing social and political norms of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy and the divine right of kings. The 17th-century philosopher John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition. Locke argued that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property, while adding that governments must not violate these rights based on the social contract. Liberals opposed traditional conservatism and sought to replace absolutism in government with representative democracy and the rule of law."

In other words Liberals believe in individual rights, as well as liberty and equality. Some of those individual rights are obviously Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion, as well as Freedom of Assembly. Property rights and the Right to Privacy. Communists and even Democratic Socialists, tend to oppose most if not all of these liberal values which are reasons why they're not Liberals, but Communists and Socialists. Communists don't believe in democracy because they see it as a  threat to their regime and absolute power over society, even to serve the people. Democratic Socialists believe in democracy and even in the right for non-Socialists and even right-wingers to exist. But promote the human welfare and total economic equality, over property rights and individual freedom, both economic as well as personal freedom.

This is an important debate and discussion and debate especially in a time like now and in a country like America where political literacy (for lack of a better term) meaning knowledge of different political philosophies, are so low. Where people get labeled as Liberals by the media and by themselves even though they don't believe in Freedom of Speech, at least for people who disagree with them., don't believe in property rights, and in many cases don't even believe in personal freedom. And yet they get labeled as Liberals even though consistently promote illiberal values over liberal values and have illiberal tendencies instead of liberal tendencies.
Democratic Socialist: Classical Liberalism and Fascism

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Rubin Report: David Rubin Interviewing Laura Kipnis- Feminism Has Been Hijacked by Melodrama

Source: The Rubin Report-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

At risk of sounding flip here (which I risk almost all the time) I don't consider myself a Feminist, because I'm a man. I don't believe you have to be a Feminist to believe that men and women should be treated equally under law and in the private sector and not be punished or rewarded simply because of their gender. I don't believe you have to be a Feminist to believe in equal rights or equal opportunity. Being a Liberal or just a good intelligent person, is all you have to be to believe in equal opportunity. I'm a Liberal, I believe in liberty and equal rights for all. Men and women, of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. So feminism and equal opportunity to me, aren't controversial, but commonsense.

Feminism is not controversial, but what's called radical feminism or what I prefer to call feminine supremacy, this idea that women are simply better than men and therefor women shouldn't be treated worst or equal than men, but better than men and if you don't believe in this you're a women-hating Fascist, this philosophy on the Far-Left in America is obviously very controversial. This idea that men, (well, straight men) are over masculine animals simply looking to conquer women. And that masculinity in itself is a bad thing (unless you're a man-hating dyke Lesbian, or just a Lesbian)  and the reason for all the problems in America and in the world, are because of men and especially Caucasian men especially in America.

So-called radical feminists or what I call feminine supremacists, hate everything that is masculine. They see straight men and straight activities like football, (just to use as an example) as promoting violence in America especially against women. What feminine supremacists don't seem to understand (and this is just one example) is that maybe 1/2 American football fans are women. You watch an NFL or college football game on TV or go to one and just about every other fan there and some games are women. So I guess a lot of women in America and probably most of them believe in feminism, (not including Ann Coulter) again that men and women should be treated equally, but most American women missed the last train on feminine supremacy and don't view men and masculinity in general, as some dangerous narcotic that must be wiped out in order to save society.

I know this is a Hollywood movie and everything, but if you are familiar with the 1970 social satire comedy Myra Breckinridge, Raquel Welch plays Myra a former queen Gay man who becomes a woman and not just a women, but what would be called today a radical feminist or what I call a feminine supremacist that saw her job as eliminating everything that is straight and masculine about men. Other than maybe the physical romantic relationships between straight men and women. Myra Breckinridge bombed as badly as a heavy metal concert in Harlem, or a country music festival in Compton, (not that it was a bad movie) but that movie perhaps has served for the 3-5 feminist supremacists who saw the movie as an inspiration for their feminist-supremacist movement in America.

Laura Kinpis described her politics as back in the day at least as a Marxist-Feminist. Well, that makes sense if you look at what's called radical feminism and what I call feminine-supremacy today. You're either totally in agreement with them, or you're part of the enemy and deserved to be destroyed. And have someone on Twitter who stalks you and has a nasty reply to everything that you tweet. Maybe if someone of these female-supremacists got a job and went to work, they would have less time for Twitter and our unemployment rate would go down even further.

Apparently Laura Kinpis has moderated from Marxist to just being a mainstream Socialist-Feminist, who believes in equality and complete redistribution, but not supremacy. Which goes to show you that there's hope for all radicals in America. If they just cut back on their caffeine intake, try to find hobbies outside of social media and looking at every radical article that is published and do this old fashion thing of thinking for yourself and looking at the world for how it really is and what people really believe. Instead of what the latest hot political celebrity is telling them as some type of God and viewing every word that person says as the golden truth who can never be wrong about anything.
The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing Laura Kipnis- Feminism Has Been Hijacked by Melodrama

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The New York Times: Opinion- Michelle Goldberg: The Worst Time For The Left To Give Up On Free Speech

Source: The New York Times-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

If today's campus radicals who seem to have more faith and support for Communists like Che Guevara and other Communists from the past, don't believe in the liberal value of free speech, maybe they should support free speech for this reason. If right-wingers from everyone from Conservative-Libertarians from CATO Institute and the American Enterprise Institute on the Center-Right, to right-wing Nationalists who support Donald Trump, to Ann Coulter and Neo-Nazis on the Far-Right, can be shut down simply because they're right-wing radicals who offend young people and minorities, then the Far-Left will be next when the Right has the power to shut people up simply because they disagree with people who disagree with them and see them as Un-American.

What ANTIFA and other Far-Left radicals Socialists and even Communists, don't seem to understand is that political correctness is about as illiberal a movement that we have in America and it goes both ways. Political correctness is not simply designed for protecting minorities from having to hear anything negative about them. Its designed to protect anyone who believes they've been offended and has enough political support to start a movement or be part of a broader movement. From young Americans who feel they need to protect minorities from right-wingers. To Christian-Nationalists who believe they need to use political correctness and censor certain forms of entertainment and speech that they believe goes against their Christian values.

The U.S. Congress both the House and Senate, operate on precedent. When the majority party in one chamber or the other tries to put in new rules to benefit them and weaken the minority party, those same tactics end up being used against them when the other party comes back into power. We saw this in the Senate in 2013 when Senate Democrats tried to eliminate filibusters that Senate Republicans were using against Obama Administration appointments. So Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats, ended filibusters on executive appointments except for Supreme Court nominees. And now that Republicans are back in power there are now no filibusters for Supreme Court appointments because Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans have eliminated them. American politics outside of Congress works the same way.

Speech that I may approve and like, might be speech that offends  someone else. That person might believe speech that I believe is offensive. If I try to shut them up, they'll counter that and try to shut me up. If I'm successful in shutting them up simply because I disagree with what they have to say, they might not be able to shut me up immediately, but someone else will be later on and then be able to point back and say I used censorship against someone else. We all know what everyone else believes or at least has said thanks to the internet and social media. The only way a vast diverse liberal democracy (and not communist state) like America can survive is to allow everyone especially since we have a First Amendment and constitutional right to free speech, to have their say and let them speak and believe as they choose. Short of inciting violence and falsely accusing people. Otherwise we'll always be fighting each other and eventually break up.

To paraphrase President Andrew Shepard from The American President. (played by Michael Douglas) America is hard, you really have to want it to be part of if. To live in a society where you can express yourself as you feel, but to know that someone else and others will do the exactly the same thing and even believe in and say things that you hate. But to know for America to work you'll fight for and believe in your free speech rights and speech and speakers that you love and cherish, as much as for speech and speakers that you might quite frankly hate.

And then when everyone has their say we all have our free speech rights to not only express what we believe and how we feel, but speak about how we feel about what others have said and make the case for why they're wrong. But not to shut them up simply because we disagree with them and even find them hateful. Liberal democracy and free speech, are for everyone. Not just the people that we approve of and agree with.
Source: Pen America Free Speech vs. Safe Space

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

TruthDig: Robert Scheer Interviewing Norman Lear- Bleeding Heart Conservative

Source: TruthDig-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

As as Liberal myself I hate the term bleeding heart liberal, because someone who cares about others and people who are suffering regardless of their politics could be labeled bleeding hearts. Now, these different political factions will have their own ideas and approaches in how to help people who are suffering. But to care about the suffering of others all you have to be is a caring person.

But thats not my only problem with the term bleeding heart liberal. Because then there also the stereotypes that come with that term. Liberals all the time even though I believe that is finally starting to change with Socialists in America like the Bernie Sanders democratic socialist movement and the ANTIFA more communist or anarchist socialist movement on the radical Far-Left and not just Far-Left, but Liberals in the past at least have been labeled as soft, to put it lightly.

 I would add the term pussies, because so-called Liberals seem to believe that criminals shouldn't be put in prison, even if they're violent. As non-aggressive pacifists that even if the country was under attacked we shouldn't fight back and instead extend out hands to the people who are trying to literally destroy us.

Imagine if Dennis Kucinich was President of the United States during the Cold War and Russia literally attacked us and bombed Florida or some other big place in America. President Kucinich, "if we just talk to Moscow, maybe they won't bomb all of Florida and we'll only lose Miami. If we fight back, maybe they won't bomb Georgia as well."

There's nothing liberal or bleeding heart about pacifism about when your country is under attack and you choose not to defend yourself. No political label goes with that amount of irresponsibility and softness. Even Socialists have defended themselves and fought for their countries. And just like you don't have to be a Conservative or someone further to the Right to believe in self-defense and patriotism, you don't have to be a Liberal or someone further left to care about the suffering of others.

I guess this article is supposed to have something to do with the great Norman Lear. Perhaps the title of the piece has something to do with that suggesting that he's a bleeding heart Conservative. Norman Lear describes his politics as conservative because he believes in conserving the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution.  Which is what true Conservative is and actually believes. Not someone who believes in sending law enforcement agents to break into private homes to break up extra marital or homosexual affairs affairs, because the so-called Conservative believes that adultery and homosexuality, are not only immoral, but should be illegal.

Imagine if Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore ever becomes President of the United States and his able to get appoint and get confirm 3-4 Christian-Conservatives who are actually Christian-Theocrats, to the U.S. Supreme Court , then maybe adultery and homosexuality would get outlawed in America. If they were somehow able to get those laws passed out of Congress regardless if with party or party's are in control of the House and Senate.

But someone who is so fundamentalist with their religious beliefs to the point that they believe should be appointed Minister of the United States and be able legally punish people who disagree with them and have different moral values, is not a Conservative, but a theocrat which is different. Norman Lear's conservative politics represents conservatism, pure and simple. Roy Moore's politics represents Christian-Theocracy, which is very different, because Moore's politics aren't about the U.S. Constitution, but a very strict fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.

Norman Lear's writing and producing of comedy in America, is so cutting edge and his belief in the First Amendment is so fundamentalist (not that there's anything wrong with that) that I don't believe he could be writing and producing comedy today. Because people in and outside of Hollywood are so dominated by political correctness that if Lear created a modern Archie Bunker (perhaps played by Donald Trump) maybe Jon Voight, or Phil Robertson (from Duck Dynasty) you would see the Political Correctness Police and Army, marching the streets complaining about how bigoted the new Archie Bunker, All in The Family, and even Norman Lear is. Of course they would be wrong, but these protests and boycotts would have a big enough affect to keep that type of First Amendment comedy and programming from making it on the air or into the theaters.
Source: The Young Turks Norman Lear: On NFL Protests & Donald Trump's America

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sam Harris: Waking Up With Sam Harris- Mark Lilla: What Happened To Leftism

Source: Sam Harris-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

It sort of pains me to say this (ha, ha) but this is an area where I agree with right-wing talk show host and writer Dennis Prager. He separates liberalism with what he calls leftism. Leftism to him is this fringe left-wing political movement in America that sees as its role to defend the under dog generally and almost always racial and sometimes ethnic minorities who are also of Caucasian background. Jews, Latinos, and other ethnic groups that have a history of being discriminated against in America. As well as religious minorities like Jews again, Catholics of all sorts of ethnic and racial backgrounds and Muslims who are of different ethnic and racial backgrounds today and aren't just Arab, but from other Middle Eastern backgrounds as well.

What Dennis Prager would call a Leftist and supporter of leftism, is someone who sees their job as to defend anyone who would be an underdog and someone who faces discrimination from the majority European Protestant majority in America. Especially English-Protestants in America. Back in the 1930s and 1940s, Progressives were the people defending Jews from ethnic genocide in Europe and took America to war in Europe to fight Nazi Germany and try to save European-Jews from the Nazis. The 1950s and 1960s, Progressives and Democratic Socialists in America, people like Dr. Martin Luther King, were campaigning and organizing for civil rights to protect African-Americans from racial discrimination. Which is what became the civil rights movement. From the 1970s and on Progressives and Democratic Socialists, have fought for equal protection for gays.

What we're seeing today is not much of a progressive movement on the left, certainly Far-Left. What we see now are Far-Leftists who in many cases aren't just illiberal, but also regressive. People who not only believe that underdogs (meaning minorities) deserve special protection in society, but have some special right to not be criticized and have to hear anything that is critical and negative about them. Even if the criticism and negativity is accurate about them. For example saying that Muslims believes women are inferior to men and that there are Muslim nations in the Middle East and other places where women are inferior under law to men, that pointing these facts out in public is somehow racist and bigoted towards Muslims.

Ben Affleck who is the perfect example of why entertainers shouldn't automatically be considered a credible source when it comes politics and current affairs. Said that criticizing Muslims is racist. Well, Ben gets a couple things wrong there. The obvious one being that Muslim is not a race, but people who follow Islam. The second problem that Ben has is that simply critiquing Islam is not bigoted. Especially if your critique is accurate.

What I'm talking about here is the so-called social justice warrior movement, which is really the political correctness movement on the Far-Left. People who believe that minorities have a special right not to be criticized. Unless those minorities are right-wingers then right-wing minorities like Professor Walter Williams who is African-American and a Libertarian, someone like that can be criticized by the Far-Left in America according to the Far-Left. Because someone like Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell, are considered sellouts and Uncle Toms and not considered what militants on the Far-Left and Far-Leftists in the African-American community, they would say that Williams and Sowell aren't black enough and are what they would called whiteys with black skin.

Dennis Prager separates Liberals, which is what I am and proud to be, with Leftists or what I would call Far-Leftists. People who are Socialists and in some cases who are mainstream Democratic Socialists who want to maintain private enterprise in America, but combine it with social democracy. But who are still small d democrats. The Bernie Sanders movement in America.

The Bernie Sanders movement in America are still Far-Left when it comes to their economic and political views in America, but who look mainstream compared with the fringe socialist political correctness Far-Left in America who have Communists and Anarchists in their movement. Who see it as their job to tear down the American system and American form of government. Who have violent tendencies and believe the Far-Right and other right-wingers don't have a right to even exist, let alone speak in America. That free speech in America only protects the Far-Left.

Dennis Prager separates Liberals from what he calls Leftists and what I call Far-Leftists. I only say that again to make this point. I separate Far-Leftists with Liberals and Progressives. Progressives are the people I mentioned in the first two paragraphs the people who fought to save the European-Jews from the German Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s. Who fought for civil rights laws in the 1950s and 1960s to protect African-Americans, as well as other racial and ethnic minorities, as well as women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds from discrimination under law and in the private sector. Who fought for the creation of the American safety net for people who truly need it which is what gave us the New Deal in the 1930s and the Great Society in the 1960s.

Progressives are people who believe in progress and using government to build a better society where everyone can succeed. Using government from  revenue that was created from a large private sector to build a better society for everyone. When I think of Progressives I think of people like Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Robert Kennedy, people of that ideological background.

Not people who believe that the America is the real and only evil empire in the world. That law enforcement is authoritarian and bigoted. That capitalism is racist and individualism is selfish. Progressives aren't anti-military, or anti-law enforcement, or anti-capitalist, or anti-individaulust, or even anti-establishment. They're true American Patriots who believe in American values and who love America, but like true American Patriots, but who believe America can always be better.

What we see now from the New-Left that was originally created in the 1960s and has always been around since because of fringe leftists from the Baby Boom Generation, as well as their children and grandchildren, are people who are just illiberal (which is the opposite of liberal) but people who are regressive. Which is sort of the opposite of progressive. They're regressive and even fascist because they are people who believe that people who don't think like them and look at the same world as they do, don't have a right to speak and even exist. They'll even use violence to accomplish their political goals.

What has happened to leftism as Dennis Prager and I would call it, is that the Far-Left has almost completely separated from the Center-Left, which is what we're seeing in the Democratic Party. Before the Center-Left and Far-Left could work together accomplish similar goals. Now they see each other as opponents. And true Liberals and Progressives, should separate from Socialists and especially Communists, because the Far-left is illiberal and regressive and don't represents our values.
Sam Harris: Waking Up With Sam Harris- Mark Lilla: What Happened To Leftism?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

TIME Magazine: Julia Zorthian- How To Recover From Failure

Source: TIME Magazine- 
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review Plus

I’m not a doctor and don’t pretend be one, but from what I know about the medical profession (which might only be enough to fill one paragraph) is that good doctors at least don’t try to fix the problems without first performing a diagnosis. They actually take the time to see what is the medical problem with the patient before they try to fix the problem. People get wrong prescriptions because their doctors given them the wrong diagnosis and recommend a prescription that might fix another problem, but not the problem that this patient is facing. People get even sicker or see their physical conditions worsen simply because their original problem wasn’t diagnosed properly and therefor not effectively treated.

Giving someone an aspirin to deal with a broken ankle might give the patient short-term pain relief, but still leaving the ankle broken and perhaps it even gets worst because the patient believes their ankle is recovering. That would be an example of an extreme misdiagnosis. Maybe the doctor was drunk when they looked at the patent’s ankle, or perhaps examined the head by accident, before recommending aspirin for the pain. But hopefully you get the idea.

Another way to look at failures and weaknesses lets say is from the perspective of an addict. Lets use alcoholic as an example. I’m not an alcoholic either, but from what I’ve read and even seem to some extent that the only way an alcoholic can recover is first acknowledging that they have a problem that they’re indeed an alcoholic. They drink too much alcohol, get drunk too much and perhaps to the point that being drunk is a normal condition for them. Which I guess would be an extreme form of alcoholism. So my only point here is to before you try to fix a problem or personal problems that you might have, you first have to diagnose the problem and know what the problem is. Once you’ve accomplished step a, you can work to addressing the problem with a recovery plan.

Right-wing author and radio talk show host Eric Metaxas who I agree with as often as Los Angeles sees snow in August, but who was on BookTV on C-SPAN in I believe September (some of us actually have hobbies outside of realty TV and social media and like to use our brains) made a good point about mistakes and even screw ups. And he essentially said that we’re all screw ups. Thats not the question or the issue. The question and issue is what do we do about them.

Do we ignore them and not learn from history and keep repeating the same mistakes and seeing our problems get worst? “Those who don’t learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.” Or do we acknowledge them, take them in and even absorb them and memorize that feeling to the point that it feels so bad not that we don’t want to be consumed by it and let our failures run our lives, but that we know the feeling of failure so well that we don’t want to feel like that again. Not about being pessimist or overly optimistic, but being in touched with reality so we know exactly what’s going on so we know what to do about it.

John F. Kennedy is  a political hero of mine, but one of the biggest reasons why is that he always challenged Americans to think and try to improve and move forward. Challenge the status quo not necessarily because the status quo was bad itself, but that we wanted us to be as good as we possibly can be. Which is one of my broad points here is that we all make mistakes and maybe Eric Metaxas isn’t completely right here and that we’re not all screw ups. I mean, if we were we would be nation of very stupid weak people who can’t seem to get anything right.

But Metaxas is right about at least one thing that we all screw up. And then the question becomes what was the mistake exactly and then figuring out what can be done about it. Unless you killed someone, including yourself and you’re not permanently paralyzed or are hurt so badly that you’ve been given a death sentence and will die in the short-term, whatever mistake you made there is a recovery plan to fix it. Or at least learn from it and do better in the future.

I’ll just leave you with this. For almost every problem short of killing someone and permanently paralyzing yourself, there’s a solution to that problem. It then becomes once you acknowledge that you have a problem and know what the problem is. For every mistake there’s a correction. Including horrible mistakes like running your business into the ground and going bankrupt, or making horrible investments that also lead to high debt and perhaps bankruptcy.

The alcoholism example is perfect here. Once you realize you are indeed an alcoholic and have a real problem there, you then can get treatment for it and recover. People have screwed up so badly in one profession that they can’t find any more work in that profession, but recover from that and prosper working in a different field. Take former White House Counsel John Dean who was part of President Nixon’s Watergate coverup who is now a successful author and columnist. A very successful writer now even though he was disbarred as a lawyer.

Step a, is acknowledging that you have a problem.

Step b, is knowing exactly what your problem is.

Step c, is putting together a recovery plan to fix the problem.

Step d, learning from your mistakes not to get overwhelmed by them, but so you know what went wrong and not to repeat the same mistakes. And then improving yourself so you do better in the future. Not about making mistakes in life. Of course we all do and perhaps have all made a lot of mistakes. The question is what do we do about them. Do we learn from them so we can do better in the future. Or ignore them and continue to repeat our negative history.
TIME Magazine: This Is The Best Way To Recover From Failure

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

CEPR: Opinion- Dean Baker: Can We Pay For Single Payer?

Source: CEPR-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

Even Progressive Economist Dean Baker is acknowledging in his column on the CEPR (Center For Economic Policy Research) blog that moving from a private health insurance market and private health insurance companies, to completely controlled Medicare For All Federal Government system, is not realistic. Senator Bernie Sanders (from the Socialist Republic of Vermont) acknowledged that when he announced his Medicare For All plan a couple weeks ago that we won't be able to move to a private health insurance, to a Federal Government dominant completely controlled by the Federal Government Medicare For All system, at least right away.

The private health insurance system is about two-trillion-dollars in an economy of about twenty-trillion-dollars. Trying to transfer about two-trillion from the private economy into the Federal Government and then having the Feds responsible for all that money to provide three-hundred and twenty-million people in a country of fifty states overnight, is not realistic. This is simply a case of Senator Sanders overselling which is common with politicians and not preparing his supporters for the possible and what is actually realistic. Which is common with Socialists and idealists.

So what could we do instead of Medicare For All and offer an alternative to complete government-control of our health insurance and leaving 320 million Americans with absolutely no choice and control over their own health insurance and perhaps even health care, as well as an alternative to the current system, as well as doing something real and constructive about reforming the current Medicare system and bring those costs down and make it more affordable for the future?

One thing I agree with Dean Baker on is the public option which I've been in favor of since the 2009-10 health care reform debate. But I would do it differently than Mr. Baker and many others. Actually, my plan is not that different from what Senator Sanders and Representative Jim McDermott Democrat from Washington State offered in Congress in 2011-12. Except that the Sanders-McDermott plan was a Medicare For All but run by the states instead of the Feds trying to run the whole program for everyone in the country.

I like both the public option approach to health care reform, as well as using a federalist approach to it. Allow the states to set up their own Medicare systems where every American citizen at least in their state would be eligible for it, but would have to pay into it just like they would pay for their private health insurance. Americans would no longer have to wait until their 65-67 years old to collect from a health insurance system that they've been paying into since they've been working and for most Americans now most of us start working in our teens. Which means we could literally be paying into a Medicare system for over fifty years before we get any benefits at all from those payroll taxes.

Making Americans eligible for Medicare from cradle to grave would mean we would no longer even need payroll taxes to fun Medicare at least down the road when the current beneficiaries who are all senior citizens have passed on. Which would end up being a huge tax cut for millions of middle class Americans especially lower middle class Americans who are paying 10% in Federal income taxes, as well as 6% in Federal payroll taxes. And they could use those savings to pay for their health insurance with Medicare being one of those options and choices for them.

A Medicare public option would go along way in reforming the Medicare system buy bringing its costs down and making it more affordable for when the Baby Boom Generation is fully retired and when my Generation X starts retiring during the next decade. Because instead of just having Medicare eligible for our oldest and weakest population which are our senior citizens, it would be eligible for our youngest and strongest populations. Minors and young adults who don't need health care or health insurance as much, but would have it there for them when they actually do need it.

You would accomplish to huge things with a Medicare public option. One, you would be reforming the Medicare system and making sure it will be available for Americans for generations to come, because we would no longer be relying on current workers to pay for the health insurance of current retirees. But you would be giving the current health insurance system much needed competition for all fifty states. Without having to expand the Federal bureaucracy or the Federal budget to pay for it and to manage it. Reforming Medicare like this would also be a big step in addressing our national debt and budget deficit, because Medicare would be on a solid financial footing and we would no longer be in a debate about how much we should cut benefits or raise taxes to fund Medicare in the future.

We don't need to raise taxes or raise eligibility to reform Medicare or to reform our private health insurance system so more Americans can get affordable quality health care. Actually, the opposites are true. We should be reducing eligibility and lowering taxes which would be a big boost to our health insurance as well as health care system. But also our economy by bringing the costs of health care down, but also eliminating the payroll tax that funds the current Medicare system. Which is a regressive tax that hits about 70-80% of our workforce hard, including low-income workers with a big tax payroll tax that comes out of their paychecks every week. Just by making Medicare eligible for everyone and allowing them to pay into the system and use it as their health insurer.
Source: Dave Strickler- Sharmini Peries 

Dave Strickler: Sharmini Peries Interviewing Dean Baker- A Public Option is The Solution To The Unaffordable Premium Jumps