Saturday, October 03, 2009

Left-liberals are pure evil

From World Net Daily:

Garrison Keillor, the "Lake Wobegon" author and National Public Radio icon, is offering a solution to a couple of the nation's problems with one swoop: Give members of the GOP "aspirin and hand sanitizer" but if they have more complicated health issues, let them die.

The comments come virtually at the same time voices are being raised in Washington over an assertion by U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., that Republicans' health care plan for the sick is to "die quickly."

"The Republican plan," the Democrat said on the House floor, "Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly."

In his Chicago Tribune column, Keillor wrote, "One starts to wonder if the country wouldn't be better off without them and if Republicans should be cut out of the health-care system entirely and simply provided with aspirin and hand sanitizer."

He continued, "Thirty-two percent of the population identifies with the GOP, and if we cut off health care to them, we could probably pay off the deficit in short order."

In a column that ragged about crosswords, writing in whole paragraphs, a "tug-of-war between two trees," cultural wars, the U.S. Supreme Court and other subjects, he said, "Conservatives and liberals can agree on the basics – that the nation wallows in debt, that it is shortsighted of the states to cut back on the most essential work of government
which is the education of the young, and that somehow we have got to become a more productive nation and less consumptive."

But he said "ruffles and flourishes" of Washington are seeming more irrelevant than ever.

Then he blasted the Republican Party as excusing "itself from meaningful debate."

Specifical, he cites Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who he alleges "no longer finds it important to make sense" as well as Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who "attacks the president for giving a speech telling schoolchildren to work hard in school and get good grades."

Keillor, 67, who just weeks ago suffered a stroke and was hospitalized for treatment, then suggests the U.S. would be better off by just allowing Republicans to die without treatment.

The natural impulse is not to comment on something like this. It is like trying to explain to the guy in the tinfoil hat that the evil alien overlord Zorgon isn't really targeting him with a mind control ray from his invisible mothership orbiting high above the equator.

One, you'll never convince him because he's a loon. If he could be persuaded by reason then he wouldn't be a loon and you wouldn't have to try to talk him out of wearing the tinfoil hat in the first place.

And two, while arguing with a loon may not make you look like a loon it is all too likely to make you look silly for wasting your time.

However in this case since Keillor and Grayson are such high-profile loons and since their psychotic rants reflect the "thinking" of a substantial portion of their political party (as Mark Steyn points out the Republican party has its lunatic fringe but the Democrat party has a lunatic mainstream) I'll address a couple of the issues raised here.

First I'll point out that the principal reason that Keillor was able to make such a spectacular recovery from his recent stroke was the very expensive research which has gone into helping stroke victims, who are often elderly, recover from the damage done to their brains.

This reflects the American free market health care system's commitment to providing the best health care possible rather than the best care possible within budgetary constraints.

This commitment to healing injury curing disease and providing an ever higher quality of life to senior citizens is simply not possible under any system of socialized health care. Without profits to fund research and development what little R&D that occurs is government funded which means that the sought after outcomes (whatever anyone says to the contrary) will be political rather than scientific.

Remember a few years ago when Phillips first began marketing plasma TV's? They had this commercial where some geeky looking teenagers carried a plasma up to their apartment and sat on the couch watching Flipper.

At the time that TV cost more than $20,000.00. I just bought a Samsung 46" LED TV which weighs less, generates far less heat, uses far less power, will last far longer and produces a vastly superior picture for less than a tenth of what those first Phillips plasmas cost.

This is what happens to the prices of goods and services in a free market economy - they become much better and cost much less as time goes by. That this process is not happening to health care costs faster in the United States is due to the distortions in the market caused by government bureaucrats and unscrupulous trial lawyers (like celebrity baby-daddy John Edwards). Remove the dead hand of government and the greedy hand of the tort bar and the health care market in the US would normalize and we would see more rapid advances in technology and reductions in price.

Another thing about the remarks of both Keillor and Grayson is what a mind-numbingly obvious case of transference they represent.

The fact is that under any system of socialized medicine rationing MUST occur. Since a government takeover of the industry destroys profits any incentive for private research and development is removed. All R&D is funded and controlled by the government and serves political rather than scientific ends (think of the billions that governments have spent paying scientists to lie and support global warming hysteria). This has the effect of freezing both the price and quality of medical services at the current level.

But it cannot stay at the current level. Since government is now saddled with the responsibility to provide medical care to a population which is both growing and aging and since the door has been closed on innovation and advancement as a means of bringing down costs the only other option is rationing. This is what every nation with government provided health care does and there is absolutely no reason to believe that the United States will be the sole exception to that rule.

Since the vast majority of health care spending is on the sick rationing must involve denying sick people care. Again, it cannot be otherwise. Since healthy people need little more than an annual checkup and occasional vaccinations trimming health care costs MUST involve denying care to the sick.

The decision about who to treat and who to leave sick, in pain or dying will have to be made by someone and since government will be in charge of the health care system the choices will be political. Even if it will not start out that way it will end that way. It cannot be otherwise since the people will demand that their elected representatives address their real and perceived needs and politicians need votes to win elections they will divide the finite health care pie based upon interest group politics rather than genuine public health priorities.

For an example of how this works consider that far more people die of heart disease than HIV yet HIV research receives more government funding than research into heart disease. Also the number of men who die of prostate cancer is greater than the number of women who die of breast cancer but more money is spent on breast cancer research than prostate cancer.

These irrational choices on health care spending are based upon political considerations. What if this kind of misappropriation of resources were to be made across the entire spectrum of health care rather than in only a handful of cases? Would that lead to better or worse health care for the general population?

We can see that in an environment of government control of health care the decisions of who receives treatment and who does not, and that will often mean who lives and who dies, will be made on the basis of identity group politics but will that be the only criteria for who gets treatment?

Yes - if you take into account the fact that the government itself will be a self-interested party in the process. What I mean is that the government will have a large stake in seeing that those who have the most potential to pay the most taxes in the future receive priority in how health care resources are distributed. A 20-year-old man who is going to college to become an engineer will be worth more to the state than a 20-year-old man who is going to tech school to become an electrician and either of them will be worth far more than a 75-year-old man who is drawing Social Security and a military pension.

In fact it will be very much worth the government's time to help the old man check out early because he will never again represent a revenue stream into the public treasury but will for the rest of his life be a drain on the public fisc.

The bureaucrats who are tasked with making these decisions will not be called a "death panel" - governments are never that honest and straightforward - but that is exactly what they will be.

Republican want to leave health care in the hands of the free market which will ensure the best care for the most people and a continuing upward spiral of medical knowledge which will lead to an ever longer life span with ever improving quality of life for all.

Democrats, on the other hand, wish to freeze medial knowledge at its current level and send the quality of treatment into a slow decline. They wish to create the circumstances where the decision of who will receive medical treatment until they are well and who will receive a morphine drip until they stop breathing rests in the hands of government functionaries who will base their choice on a cold-blooded calculation of a human being's future monetary value to the state.

And yet it is the conservative Republican who is supposed to be the greedy unfeeling bastard and the liberal Democrat who is compassionate and selfless?

I don't think so.