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Trump Will Win Reelection with This One Neat Trick
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Joe Biden is wildly out of step with the Democrat electorate in his obstinate opposition to Medicare for All:

Some 71% of insurance industry presidential election donations in the 2020 election cycle have gone to Democrats, while just 29% have gone to the GOP. That 71% comes to a little over $6 million in extremely cheap protection money to ensure the party putatively pushing for single payer perpetually frustrates its voters by failing to effectively do so.

Donald Trump has made hay about how Democrats want to extend eligibility for the program they (allegedly) plan on putting in place to non-citizens, but he hasn’t launched much of a full frontal attack on the idea of Medicare for All more generally. If the campaign wants effective outreach to non-whites, this is the way to get it:

Trump claimed Bernie Sanders’ plan would hurt existing Medicare users. Hardly convincing, but not hard to pivot away from. Stick exclusively to criticizing how opening it up to the entire world will put Americans last.

Contrast it to a bold Trumpian initiative called Medicare for All Americans. Biden, who has pledged to veto Medicare for All if it comes across his desk, will find himself hopelessly outflanked with nowhere to go.

CCES variables used: RACE(1-5,8), CC18_327a, pid3(1-3)

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology • Tags: Election 2020, Health care, Polling 
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  1. Is the possibility real that Trump could be “Patton-ed”, “Martin Luther-ed”, “Navalny-ed” et al. ? Since gossiping busily about the elections is such a big thing here at unz.com, since talking has it´s own agency, could my suggestion even upper the chances, and when would be the most appropriate moment? Would be a great leading article, as to comments expected.

  2. Michael S says:

    Yeah, because Republicans always win elections by breaking left, just like they win by wooing minorities. Proven formula!

    And the polls saying Trump will lose are totally accurate and definitely not rigged in a lame attempt to legitimize mass election fraud. Truly, socialist medicine is the only way he can win! It’s definitely not a trap that technocrats and bottom-feeders would like him to fall for in order to make the vanishing middle class pay for America’s rampant obesity and tranny surgery, no sir. The slim majority of white voters that poll in favor of Obamacare 2.0 must all be his base.

    • Agree: Zimriel, Mark G.
    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
  3. anon[232] • Disclaimer says:

    “Medicare for All” — is it possible to bankrupt a program that actually is already bankrupt?

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  4. So this is where we are. Both parties competing to see who can promise the biggest unaffordable boondoggles to a dependent, entitled population. I’m having a hard time giving a shit what happens to the people who vote for this.

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @indocon
  5. PhilK says:

    I’d say The Winning Move for Trump would be an Executive Order to take marijuana off the list of Schedule 1 narcotics.

    I’ve been reading stuff by Dems urging Sleepy Joe to do this, and damn, I’d hate to see him beat Trump to the punch.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  6. Still won’t work. Orange Man Bad, remember?

    What you are proposing will just piss off even more people who voted for him the first time. Trump’s problem as president has always been his lack of follow-through on what he convinced everybody he stood for. Whatever that was. I forgot.

    His failure to deliver could just be because presidents of the US have been reduced to figureheads and can’t really do much,

    Or it could be because he delegates to mid-wit Israeli Jared Kushner and dumb-as-a-brick Ivanka,

    Or it could be because he is the same con-man self-promoter he always was,

    Or it could be because nearly the entire state apparatus is arrayed against him,

    Or it could be because nearly the entire media is against him and he gets his information by watching TV,

    And so on…

    It doesn’t really matter, but some or all of those things will ensure that Kamala Harris will have his job soon.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  7. indocon says:
    @Michael S

    When Republicans have pushed left on healthcare like in 2004 with prescription drug benefit, they won.

  8. Scores of countries in the early 21 Century offer their citizens some level of universal health coverage, even ones we wouldn’t consider particularly wealthy or developed. Despite all the propaganda about the horrors of socialism in North Korea, for example, South Korea offers its citizens universal health care, and it seems to deliver the care competently.

    Hans Rosling in his book Factfulness points out that the United States has the sickest population compared to similar high-income countries, while Cuba has the healthiest population compared to similar middle-income countries. We really should stop gloating about America’s superior competency and try to learn from other nations which have come up with rational and effective ways of providing health care that we can apply here.

    • Agree: Nodwink, dfordoom
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @Justvisiting
  9. Twinkie says:
    @advancedatheist

    Despite all the propaganda about the horrors of socialism in North Korea, for example, South Korea offers its citizens universal health care, and it seems to deliver the care competently.

    What does South Korea‘s health care system quality have anything to do with North Korea‘s weird dynastic socialism?

    We really should stop gloating about America’s superior competency and try to learn from other nations

    While I agree that our healthcare system needs to improve in many ways (though the main problem isn’t so much healthcare as the health insurance system), you should note a couple things on this subject. Let’s start with the obvious:

    South Korea has the second lowest obesity rate in the industrialized world after Japan. And its population has one of the highest average IQs in the world. So you have a population there that is highly intelligent, extremely law-abiding and conscientious (doesn’t abuse the system), and very healthy, to boot. Of course their “universal healthcare” is going to be very inexpensive.

    That is not the population we have in the U.S. It’s not just that ordinary Americans are extremely obese and have poor dietary and exercise habits. We also have the HIGHEST percentage of black population in the industrialized world, a group that is the most obese, the least healthy, the poorest, and the least conscientious among the major racial groups. We also have the highest fraction of illegal alien population among highly developed countries, a group of people who, as a whole, abuse and overrun the emergency medical system in the U.S. (by law, people who show up at ERs have to be treated, regardless of the ability to pay). On top of all that, ours is absolutely the most litigious society in the world, which adds hundreds of billions of dollars in costs (in defensive medicine) to the medical system each year.

    Despite all this parasitical deadweights that drag down the entire system, our medical care system is absolutely THE BEST in the world – the U.S. provides the highest survival rates in most types of cancer, bar none:

    Note the right-most chart. South Korea’s healthcare system is excellent at primary care for its very healthy citizens at very low costs, but it is not all that great at saving people in emergent situations.

  10. nebulafox says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It’s all of the above. Trump’s a incompetent, lazy, nepotistic former reality TV star whose sheer narcissism is noticeable even on Beltway standards: his sole virtue is that he doesn’t encourage mass destruction of livelihoods, unlike his enemies. But he’s also dealt with levels of intransigence, defamation and obstruction from everything “mainstream” scarcely seen in American history, and whatever his faults, he doesn’t view John Q. Citizen with utter contempt, unlike the petty totalitarians that President Harris is sure to empower.

    The two are not mutually incompatible.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @JackOH
    , @usNthem
  11. nebulafox says:
    @Michael S

    Trump did win partly by basically blowing off most of GOP orthodoxy in 2016. Note that this includes rejecting endless stupid wars.

    Look, the GOP hardly needs to tack left *everywhere*. There are a lot of new gun owners as a result of the riots. If the details of Biden’s gun plan were more widely known and propagated 24/7 beyond “they’ll take away your guns” general platitudes, you’ll have fresh legions of Trump voters. And for Chrissakes, the rioters are *freaks*. If you can’t get ordinary citizens to repulse from images of them harassing people, then you aren’t cut out for politics. But in the context of Great Depression unemployment levels, the GOP has got to shut the ***k up about the free market and openly take the side of ordinary Americans against their enemies. That includes their economic enemies as much as the rioters and their media/political apologists. All Trump’s concessions to the establishment GOP have gotten him are impeachment inquiries and obstruction. Screw them, a Democratic Senate does not change all that much for him.

    If you want to attack the insurers, that’s a great way of illustrating how we’ve basically got socialism for government connected companies. If you want to go after the Democratic refusal to tax overseas, doubly fine. If you want to point out that Jeff Bezos probably likes these riots because they destroy small retail competition and is forcing you to pay more in taxes because he won’t give his employees a living wage to avoid food stamps, now that’s what I call political nut-cutting. Whatever. Just don’t trot out the old arguments that we just NEED more tax cuts for the Job Creators, or that the answer to America’s health care woes does not somehow lie with the health insurance industry rather than with Obamacare itself (the ACA actually was quite a boon to insurers, but that does not mean people want their Health Care Taken Away). They have not been welcome for quite some time, and they won’t be this year of all years.

    I’m not sure this will do any good: no matter how badly the rioters behave, Trump is taking the fall for COVID. But this has been the best strategy all along.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  12. JackOH says:

    Trump in a nail-biter–power of incumbency/inertia, weakness of the opposing major-party candidate. (I’ll stick with voting Libertarian.)

    One major factor in bringing decision-making about American health care to a head will be the collapse of unsupportably generous health care benefits for retirees in America’s declining legacy cities and declining legacy corporations. Another factor of unknown importance is likely to be how the current COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the mistrust many Americans have for America’s health care leadership, both politicians and medical people.

  13. Trump might win the election, but he won’t keep the White House.

    Still, if you are going off a cliff, why not punch the accelerator and enjoy the ride.

  14. @Twinkie

    Excellent comment!

    It is always refreshing to see someone make perfect sense while arguing a point that one has been thinking one’s self. Your description and proof by numbers shows that the US has an excellent medical system that even manages to overcome the unfortunate, human deadweight and the parasitical insurance and financial groups that suck at its teat.

    There are other examples like this of how Americans somehow manage to still come out on top in spite of all the drags and costs. Without those things holding us back, we would be even richer and better off than we are now. Few people anywhere seem to realize this. Many here and abroad are happy to ignore this and pile on the criticism, as if they would do any better under the same circumstances.

    The challenge for us is not to change or fix our medical system at all, but to deal with the costs of those who really do not deserve all the free care they are receiving, and all those who contribute nothing but suck on the system. BTW, this includes the now alarming trend toward increased affirmative action plus admissions of second and third world peoples into our until-now excellent cadre of medical professionals. The trend is very dangerous.

    Thank you for presenting your argument. It is exactly what I have been thinking.

    • Thanks: Twinkie
  15. @nebulafox

    The two are not mutually incompatible.

    Agree.

  16. iffen says:
    @Twinkie

    Despite all this parasitical deadweights

    You truly can’t help yourself, can you?

  17. A123 says:

    Trump is already a lock to win in his current trajectory.

    Winners do Not Need Tricks to Win

    Biden’s numbers are bad and will be driven lower by the debates. Remember, media polls intentionally oversample from DNC aligned groups.
    ____

    There is difference between:

    — Having a preferred position on an issue
    — Willingness to change one’s vote due to that position

    How many single issue swing voters are there that could be captured by such a trick?
    ____

    Another key factor to consider is perception of a massive position change close to Election Day. If Trump went into full “pander” mode at this late date :

    — Globalist DNC voters would be fed a story about Trump’s weakness by the media, strengthening their resolve.
    — Populist GOP voters would see the surrender for capitulation, leading them to jump ship.

    Absent a crisis level driver, positions on all issues are effectively locked at this point.

    PEACE 😇

    • Agree: Travis
  18. JackOH says:
    @nebulafox

    My longtime Democrat county voted Trump. The #1 publicly stated reason was the decline of jobs, and the unwillingness or inability of unions and Democrats to do anything about it. The #2 reason, not stated, was the Democrats had indeed become a “coalition of the fringes”, ideologues unfriendly to White men and impotent on bread and butter issues.

    I’ll guess a third reason, which may speak to your point. I’m thinking a lot of folks are just plain tired of hearing the “rationalist/proceduralist/legalistic” language our leaders use to tell people: “You’re going to get fucked!” Trump’s wild rhetoric appears to them a big middle finger directed at the varied species of condescending and power-drunk bureaucrats, academics, policy-makers, journalists, politicians, and what-not that have plagued them. They believe his heart’s in the right place even when he acts a little crazy.

  19. usNthem says:
    @nebulafox

    I don’t think lazy is a good adjective here unless you’re referring to his constantly threatening to take this or that action & not following through. Otherwise, for a man his age, physically he’s indefatigable – ten times the energy of gibbering Joe. And he’s holding his rallies all over the country again despite the covtard hysteria and the shrieking masker media.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  20. nebulafox says:
    @Twinkie

    Damn straight. Nothing more need be looked at than COVID’s effect to show what mass obesity does. I do not come from a biological background, but I suspect there would still be a death toll, but nothing on this level if immune systems were not compromised on this scale.

    Thanks for posting that comment. You sparked some new thoughts.

    • Thanks: Twinkie
  21. That’s nice but how does that help him avoid being removed from office?

    There is no limit to the amount of fraud they can do and they will know exactly the target they need to hit.

    So it doesn’t matter how many votes Trump gets.

    Solutions have to account for real power.

    Dems are stating clearly what they plan to do

    1. Wait and see how many votes Trump gets on election night

    2. Manufacture enough mail-in ballots to win

    3. Frame all objections as “Trump is trying to steal the election and refusing to leave”. Racial angle of course as the ballots will be from majority black districts.

    4. Hard ban on anyone discussing the election fraud on the internet. They may find it easier to just dox everyone – say what you want free speech is not free from consequences. Which will have same effect with easier implementation.

    5. Color revolution playbook. Riots escalating to direct attacks on Trump family personal locations as well as any supporters they can identify. Traitors on the inside neuter any response. Ivanka held hostage until Trump agrees to tell his supporters to “stop the violence” (even though they are the victims) and acknowledge the Provisional Government.

    • Replies: @A123
  22. anon[148] • Disclaimer says:

    By the way, the Woke and other leftards have declared an intent to besiege the White House starting on Thursday, 17 September. This is probably going to be modeled after Occupy Wall Street, which will in turn provide all sorts of useful-idiot cover to Antifa thugs like the ones seen in Portland, Kenosha, etc.

    Here’s the Canadian website which is already in gaslighting mode: “Antifa? Us? Why, what do you mean?”

    https://www.adbusters.org/

    Just one image floating around.

  23. unit472 says:

    Medicare is a major issue for the elderly a cohort I have reluctantly joined. Its not a panacea either. I pay $226 per month for Medicare supplementary insurance plus a similar deduction from my Social Security check. $400 per month out of pocket is not ‘free universal healthcare’. I paid less when I was on an employer provided policy.

    The younger you are the less health insurance is an ‘issue’ and with the median age in America around 38 I don’t think it is decisive.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  24. Actually the true genius move for Trump would be to announce he’s defunding the state of Israel. He wouldn’t do it (I don’t think) but if he did you’d see millions of new voters flood into his camp. Both from the left and right.

  25. A123 says:
    @Not my economy

    That’s nice but how does that help him avoid being removed from office?

    There is no limit to the amount of fraud they can do and they will know exactly the target they need to hit.

    Easy.

    -1- Launch a lawsuit for Reason #1 preventing Electors from being chosen.

    -2- Then, if defeated start a new lawsuits for reasons #2, #3 #4, #5…. #999….

    -3- Time expires with no legally valid selection from the Electoral College.

    -4- Trump wins in the House.
    ______

    The public resistance problem is actually much worse if Biden steals the election.

    — “Blue” cities must import massive amounts of “Red” food every day. How will “Blue” cities impose rationing when the food does not show up?
    — What will Northern “Blue” cities do when there is no fuel for power plants and the snow comes down?

    Rail transport is quite vulnerable to mass domestic disruption. There are easy things that can be done to cause alerts. These things usually only take 30 seconds to fix, but how long does it take to find the location and a crew to arrive.

    Trying to federalize the response could easily fail. The people interfering with train operations are likely to be part of the National Guard call-up.

    PEACE 😇

  26. @anon

    Yep. Why bother worrying about bankruptcy? The reckoning is coming. Bring it sooner.

  27. @Twinkie

    Years ago, in comparing the US and Canadian healthcare systems, a writer made the point that Canada had built a system that was female, and te US, male. By that he meant that the Canadian healthcare system emphasized supporting long term interventions, with low drugs costs, support for primary care, etc. the US, by contrast, was very male oriented, in the sense of building well for heroic interventions. The USA is still one of the best places to have a heart attack because of the emergency, heroic interventions our system puts in place.

    Following up with heart attack victims, counseling, getting them to start exercising: that’s something a “female” system does better.

    Your charts about cancer (heroic) versus diabesity (chronic, long term) make this point as well.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  28. @TomSchmidt

    I am unconvinced that the obesity differences result from a “female” style of healthcare. The Canadian population is simply fundamentally different from the US population, as Twinkie described.

    Counseling actually has a very poor record for changing habitual and addictive behaviors (which describes overeating). It’s effectively a placebo as about as many people, as a percentage, overcome addiction on their own with no counseling or support groups as do with AA or other counseling.

    You don’t hear that statistic trumpeted because the sorts of people who keep those statistics are people whose paychecks depend on the social work and counseling industries continuing to thrive.

    Also, it is interesting to note that obesity was far lower in the US in the past, when our healthcare system was even more “male” than it is now.

    • Agree: Twinkie
    • Replies: @iffen
    , @TomSchmidt
  29. @unit472

    $400 a month is cheap for a program as universally accepted as Medicare. Where can I sign up for that?

    Subsidize the indigent elderly, and offer people the right to buy in (but once they buy in, they cannot leave, maybe). Medicare has a LOT lower admin costs than most health insurance plans. It beats the crazy quilt of professional/managerial class grifting we have at the moment.

    Ultimately, all these large systems are going to collapse as the black hole opened by the lockdowns sucks all nearby economic activity over the event horizon. Then we return to cash only medicine, and dying without massive uneconomic interventions.

    • Replies: @unit472
  30. Yahya K. says:
    @iffen

    You truly can’t help yourself, can you?

    Not everyone is a born egalitarian.

    • Replies: @iffen
  31. @advancedatheist

    “Competent” health care.

    The word of the day is “queue”.

    That is why Canadians flood US border state hospitals–they just get tired of waiting….

  32. iffen says:
    @Cloudbuster

    It’s effectively a placebo as about as many people, as a percentage, overcome addiction on their own with no counseling or support groups as do with AA or other counseling.

    You don’t hear that statistic trumpeted because the sorts of people who keep those statistics are people whose paychecks depend on the social work and counseling industries continuing to thrive.

    The same description applies to prison rehabilitation programs.

  33. iffen says:
    @Yahya K.

    Not everyone is a born egalitarian.

    You actually don’t have to be. You can figure out something is wrong with calling your fellow citizens parasites by other routes: rational thought, common decency, or Christian ethics to name just three other ways. (Probably by Talha’s brand of Islam as well.)

    • Agree: Yahya K.
    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
    , @nebulafox
  34. Trumpy, during the Republican Party presidential primary for the 2016 presidential election, was blasting the Republican Party politician whore goons such as Kasich on sick care issues and the like and then Trumpy got in the White House and went weak and soft and limp like a Chinese noodle and Trumpy was all talk and no action and impotent bluster and now Trump wants to flood the USA with mass legal immigration “in the largest numbers ever” and Trump refuses to deport the upwards of 30 million illegal alien invaders in the USA.

    We’ll always have the possibility of Trumpy when the reality of Trump has been one damn disappointment after another. SAD!

    Tweets from 2015:

  35. @Cloudbuster

    My point was different: the US healthcare system does a great job of heroic interventions. The Canadian dedicates more resources to chronic, ongoing care than the USA does. The article that this insight was based upon was years ago. But I went looking for some research articles.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12087012/

    Canada does a better job of care for the chronic condition:
    “Canadians were somewhat younger (25 vs. 27 years of age, P = 0.002), less likely to be college educated (62 vs. 71%, P = 0.002), more likely to receive care through a family doctor (41 vs. 28%, P = 0.001), and had a higher frequency of out-patient visits (4 vs. 3 per year, P = 0.004). ”

    The results, however:

    Despite these differences in health care delivery, the mean HbA(1c) at baseline was identical in the two countries (8.9 vs. 9.0, P = 0.40). Adjustment for demographic, lifestyle, and clinical predictors of HbA(1c) yielded similar findings (9.0 vs. 9.2, P = 0.15). Equal percentages of American and Canadian patients who were screened ultimately entered the trial (21 vs. 19%, P = 0.20), and those randomized to conventional care achieved similar mean HbA(1c) levels (9.1 vs. 9.2, P = 0.50).

    Conclusions: Differences in care delivery patterns do not yield large differences in glycemic control for patients with type 1 diabetes who were recruited in the U.S. and Canada for a large randomized trial.

    Still, the additional time Caring for and seeing patients FEELS better. Maybe for some conditions it does work better.

    • Thanks: Cloudbuster
  36. Yahya K. says:

    If you want an effective and affordable healthcare system, the best route is to emulate Singapore’s healthcare system, not a German or British style Medicare-For-All.

    In terms of outcomes per dollar spent, Singapore is head and shoulders above the rest of the developed world. That’s probably due to some non-system factors, like better diets and lifestyle choices, or certain genetic advantages. But their healthcare system is pretty well-designed and delivers good outcomes at lower costs than all other systems.

    https://images.theconversation.com/files/57980/original/5dkxpp6g-1409626588.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=754&fit=clip

    Given that Singapore is a small city-state, not all of the elements of their system are transferable to a big country like the US. But you can still pick-and-choose what works.

    [MORE]

    Some features of the Singapore healthcare system:

    1) MediSave & MediSheild Life – this is mandatory for all citizens. Every adult has to put in ~8-10.5% of their wages (depending on their age) into a MediSave mandatory account. They can then use these savings to either purchase healthcare services out-of-pocket, or purchase a pre-approved insurance plan, usually with high deductibles and co-pays. This instills a sense of responsibility into consumers, who pay more attention to the price of what they buy, instead of the usual complacency when relying on insurance companies to pay for everything.

    2) Tiered Care – There are five tiers of care in a hospital: A, B1, B2+, B2 and C. “A” gets you a private room, your own bathroom, air-conditioning and your choice of doctor. “C” gets you an open ward with seven or eight other patients, a shared bathroom and whatever doctor is assigned to you. But choosing “A” means you pay for it all, whereas choosing “C” means the government pays up to 80 percent of the costs.

    In case a low-income person doesn’t have enough money in their MediSave accounts to pay their bills, there is a safety net program called Medifund. Only citizens are eligible; it covers only the lowest class of wards; and it’s available only after people have depleted their Medisave account and Medishield Life coverage. The amount of help someone could get from Medifund depends on a patient’s and family’s income, condition, expenses and social circumstances. Decisions are made at a very local level.

    3) Regulation & Controls – Initially, Singapore let hospitals compete freely, believing that the free market would bring down costs. But when hospitals competed, they did so by buying new technology, offering expensive services, paying more for doctors, decreasing services to lower-class wards, and focusing more on A-class wards.

    So the MOH established the following regulations regulations :
    a) Services control – MOH has guidelines on the proportion of each type of ward hospitals had to provide services with.
    b) Technology control – required approval to buy new or expensive technology.
    c) Drug price control – use bulk purchasing when buying drugs from pharmaceutical companies.

    4) Price & Outcome Transparency – The Ministry of Health stokes competition by publishing hospital bills for common illnesses on its website. This allows the patient and third party payers to shop for the best price, putting downward pressure on prices.

    • Replies: @Yahya K.
    , @anon
    , @Cloudbuster
  37. Obamacare steals money from Medicare in order to give luxury healthcare to foreigners and illegal alien invaders and refugees and asylum seekers and green card holders and visa interlopers and other outsiders who have swum or flopped or crawled or flown across the borders of the USA.

    I wrote this in 2013:

    U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s Obamacare scheme is immoral and irresponsible. Shaheen is currently conspiring with Pres. Obama to steal Medicare funds.

    Thomas B. Edsall, writing at the NY Times, brilliantly and succinctly distills the chatter about Obamacare down to its political essence. Edsall writes, “Over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the Affordable Care Act cuts $455 billion from the Medicare budget in order to help pay for Obamacare.”

    Let me put it into peppery populist translation : Shaheen and Obama will violently grab Medicare from your grandmother so they can funnel it to Iraqi refugee terrorists.

    ABC News is reporting that the FBI is now conducting operations targeting the Shaheen-led flooding of the U.S. with unvetted potential-terrorist refugees.

    Jeanne Shaheen, along with the treasonous Sen. John Mccain, has been pushing hard to allow hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees to flood into the U.S. Two of Shaheen’s Iraqi refugees were found to be AL QAEDA operatives who killed U.S. troops in Iraq. Why has Shaheen not been removed from office for treasonous misconduct?

    The refugee Boston bombing was bad enough. Shaheen now has introduced a national security threat which brings not just two murderous islamic terrorists, but a whole network of Iraqi refugee Islamic killers.

    Shaheen has brought a hundred thousand Iraqi refugees into the U.S. Shaheen wants to flood New Hampshire with tens of thousands of Iraqi refugee potential terrorists. Shaheen is immoral, irresponsible, and treasonous.

    https://patch.com/new-hampshire/concord-nh/shaheens-obamacare-swindlesteal-from-medicare

    Tweets from 2014:

    • Replies: @indocon
    , @indocon
  38. @Twinkie

    First, those charts are 13 years old.
    Second, in respect of cancer, in particular, what are the survival rates based on? Does it include people who have been diagnosed, but unable to afford surgery and or treatment?
    Third, universal is not necessarily a single payer system. Universal only means people have some level of coverage, which is not necessarily government.
    Fourth, you ignore the fact that the US spends almost twice as much on health care spending as many other countries, and often with poorer outcomes.
    https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/jan/us-health-care-global-perspective-2019

    The problem with all of the “charts” and “briefings” is that none of the single payer/universal systems are the same. Sometimes geography plays a role in costs. The coverage varies greatly from place to place. Some plans have home care coverage, some not. Some cover dental, some not. For that matter, even the US system has many variables. There are several hospitals, particularly for children, that are charities, and provide care at no cost. How do they compare to the for profit sector in the US?
    Britain has a parallel private system. How does it compare in cost and outcomes with the government funded model?

    What is relevant, is that Lee Iacocca, 35 years ago, said the US auto industry was becoming noncompetitive because all of its competitors had some sort of universal system, all of which were significantly less expensive than the US private insurance costs. At the time, Japan and Germany had average industrial wages very similar to the US. The response of the corporate sector was to offshore more jobs through free trade agreements.
    There is no panacea, there are problems with all systems.

  39. Florida senior citizens do not want Trump to flood the USA with nation-killing mass legal immigration “in the largest numbers ever” and Florida senior citizens want Trump to protect Social Security and Medicare and Florida senior citizens know that the rancid Republican Party wants to kill Social Security and Medicare.

  40. Talha says:

    Trump Will Win Reelection with This One Neat Trick

    Indeed.

    Works well.

    Peace.

  41. Yahya K. says:
    @Yahya K.

    I’ll add:

    Singapore Costs and Outcomes:

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  42. Pericles says:
    @Michael S

    Anyone remember when Trump gave GOPe the chance to repeal Obamacare and make something better, like they had promised? John McCain, that maverick, torpedoed it. The end. Lol.

  43. Pericles says:
    @PhilK

    Will the new voters find their way to the voting stations though?

    Let us now take a moment of silence to remember what’s an Aleppo.

  44. @iffen

    So, you’re really just tone policing. Is there anywhere we can go that is safe from the tone police?

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  45. @Yahya K.

    “Outcomes” and the measurement thereof seems like a bit of a weasel word. The devil is in the definitions.

  46. anon[182] • Disclaimer says:
    @Yahya K.

    Given that Singapore is a small city-state, not all of the elements of their system are transferable to a big country like the US. But you can still pick-and-choose what works.

    If I can pick and choose the population, as Singapore does, then any number of health care systems will work. The US does not have that luxury.

  47. unit472 says:
    @TomSchmidt

    Depends on your circumstances. When you retire your income is typically lower so $400 per month out of pocket can make a huge difference. Many retirees have no Medicare supplementary insurance and even with it you can still get major medical bills.

    An anecdote from late last year. I had a stent put in a coronary artery in September of 2019. I thought my Medicare and supplementary insurance covered it. In December I got a bill from the hospital for $68,000. To pay it I had to withdraw some money from an annuity account I had. Found out I only owed just under $1000 but it was too late. Withdrawing that money from my annuity account was INCOME so I had to pay $4050 in additional income tax in 2020 because I could not return it to my retirement account in 2019!

    The medical and insurance industry is a fine tuned machine designed to asset strip retirees.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  48. indocon says:
    @Cloudbuster

    Train already left the station of fiscal prudence long time back pal, go all the way back to Reagan years when tax cuts and higher budget deficits started, now we are in trench warfare getting our asses kicked, we have to look for every possible strategy to survive this war.

    BTW, W won in 2004 in no small part because of the prescription drug benefit he introduced.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  49. indocon says:
    @Charles Pewitt

    All the shellacking Democrats took in 2010 was for this one reason you highlighted – Obamacare took money from Medicare which primarily serves order white population and gave it to Medicaid which primarily serves younger than white population. If Democrats had borrowed a page from the future and simply underwritten Obamacare with debt, I bet their losses in 2010 would have been a fraction of what they eventually took.

  50. indocon says:
    @Charles Pewitt

    BTW, Jeaane Shaheen is back running in 2020, her Republican opponent is half ass credible, I bet he has not run an ad slamming her for taking money from over white people and giving it to Young non-whites. Just imagine if one day Republicans grow enough balls to say that.

  51. dfordoom says: • Website
    @nebulafox

    But in the context of Great Depression unemployment levels, the GOP has got to shut the ***k up about the free market and openly take the side of ordinary Americans against their enemies. That includes their economic enemies as much as the rioters and their media/political apologists.

    You really think there’s the slightest chance the GOP will take the side of ordinary Americans? As far as they’re concerned the sufferings of ordinary people are a feature, not a bug.

    • Agree: JackOH, iffen
    • Replies: @nebulafox
  52. nebulafox says:
    @dfordoom

    Of course not. This is Internet commenting, i.e, intellectual masterbation. Do not spoil the fantasy. 😉

  53. SFG says:
    @Michael S

    The country’s economically left, socially right. Problem is you can’t get both of those in one party, because the donors say so.

    If Trump decided to give everyone Medicare he’d do a lot better. Look at the way Bernie Sanders got all those people clapping when he went on Fox.

  54. nebulafox says:
    @iffen

    When you live in Muslim countries, or at least the more developed ones, you quickly realize two things:

    1) The majority of Muslims are just normal people living normal lives who are concerned with normal things: they are as likely to care about Vienna 1683 as an American from the South is to care about Gettysburg. Aliens from beyond the deep, they are not. But being normal people, they also hold all the fragilities and hypocrisies and complexes of normal people.

    2) Islam is not Christianity: the more appropriate analogy, IMO, is a watered down popular version of orthodox Judaism. Islam has rules on what you can eat, what you can do for fun, when you must pray, giving charity and looking after the community, how you clean yourself after sex. Most Muslims still take these things somewhat seriously, even if they are imperfect in some areas, and most Muslims have views on certain matters (Jews, atheism, homosexuals, feminism) that would deeply shock the Western liberals who fetishize them.

    I suspect that 1980s America could have accomodated Talha’s brand of Islam just fine, presuming the immigrant numbers are modest and the background is well educated. 2020s America… not seeing it, and while geographic realities keep this in check, America’s elites seem to think European style immigration policies are worth imitating.

    I suspect younger Muslims in the US are either going to go down the secularized route or go more conservative a la Europe. Former looks more likely since America’s assimilative pull is strong, among other factors, including geographic dispersion and affluence. But unfortunately, that assimilative pull is pulling toward… SJWism. This is not just Muslims: SJW Asian (or hell, white) kids my age are ironically betraying their degree of Americanization. They are parroting the zeitgeist of Official America 2020.

  55. nebulafox says:
    @usNthem

    The only explanation for why Trump has decided 9 times out of 10 to go against basic political self interest is following the path of least resistance and doing what the people around him suggest. This is not even about American interests anymore: just basic political calculation.

    If Trump had gone full renegade in 2017, he would be a shoo in for reelection, given how much the Democrats are in hock to woke capital. We can debate the economic wisdom of that, but surely the political calculus is brutal and apparent.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @usNthem
  56. Why does Trump have to win with “one neat trick”…… It is sufficiently insane to think that he would need “one trick” to win this election, because there must be a million insane things that the left, democratic party has done by now, that would qualify him to win the election!! Just “ONE TRICK”? PLEASE. IN WHAT UNIVERSE??

  57. Twinkie says:
    @Cloudbuster

    Iffen doesn’t pass up an opportunity to malign me and paint me with a moralizing straw man ever since I critiqued him over his past race war obsession and classy phrases such as “yellow pussy.”

    Anyone who’s read what I’ve written on Unz knows that, unlike many commenters, I don’t hate blacks and Jews and want what’s best for all of us Americans, those two groups included. I’ve written this numerous times. That doesn’t mean these groups are above criticism – indeed there is much to criticize about these groups. If a group of people engages in parasitic behaviors – be they blacks or ambulance chasers – I will criticize them with a clear conscience. That includes “Asians,” putatively my ethno-racial group.

    The fact of the matter is that in this country, unlike say in South Korea or Singapore, there are very clear takers (aka abusers) and givers (those who fund) in the healthcare system.

    • Replies: @iffen
  58. A123 says:
    @nebulafox

    If Trump had gone full renegade in 2017, he would be a shoo in for reelection,

    If Trump had gone full renegade the Senate would have Impeached, removed, and barred him from running again.

    If he some how survived that, imagine how little impact Trump would have with zero Cabinet and zero Judicial confirmations.

    Trump is President. Not Emperor or King. As long as the Constitution stands, he is doing what he can working within it.
    _____

    If the DNC attempts a failed coup in November and the Constitution is terminated in a wash of blood…. Then you have your chance for Rex U.S. Imperator Triumphius I to stride across the land casting down his foes.

    Before you rush to embrace this…. Think ahead…. Who would fill the shoes to become Rex U.S. Imperator Triumphius II? Donald J. Trump is very healthy, but not young. Should Bannon inherit the crown too early, who would be Regeant? Reagent Kushner perhaps?

    There is a reason why very few countries are still monarchies.

    PEACE 😇

  59. dvorak says:
    @Michael S

    Yeah, because Republicans always win elections by breaking left, just like they win by wooing minorities. Proven formula!

    Trump broke far to HRC’s left on trade and defense policy while breaking far right on immigration. It won him the Rust Belt and the election. (The Sailer strategy as popularized by Ann Coulter).

    Just because the NYT has completely flipped the ‘left’ positions on trade and warfare in the wake of Trumpism, doesn’t mean you have to fall for that media trick. Or are you too simpleminded to notice that the traditional ‘left’ positions on trade and defense are now called ‘far right’?

  60. dvorak says:

    a bold Trumpian initiative called Medicare for All Americans

    Nicely coined.

  61. @unit472

    I’ve been looking at Medicare pricing. For my wife, we currently pay less for medical insurance than the Medicare part B premium, let alone Part D. Also, Medicare premiums for B and D scale with income, so they’ll charge her more if she did retire and go on Medicare. They want their money. I had a momentary panic as I thought that, if you start with a higher Medicare payment that you will pay more for the rest of the time on Medicare. Apparently not; once your AGI drops below 87K they drop the Medicare premiums to the lowest level.

    But it isn’t free, and that’s a bit of a shock to people who don’t pay attention to this stuff.

    Sorry to hear your tale on medical charges. The asset stripping nature of medicine is just another benefit of paying for the world’s defense, and its patented medicines. I will have to see what the drug costs are; I suspect we will skip Part D in favor of just buying “life-saving” medicines in Canada, where you can buy them at a pharmacy without a prescription if necessary to preserve life. Some medications are literally 1/10th the US cost.

    That is assuming COVID ever ends. Currently, the border is closed.

    • Replies: @Soviet of Washington
  62. usNthem says:
    @nebulafox

    Well, it’s a sad testamentary to where we are in this day and age. As flawed as he is, I just can’t see voting any way else.

  63. @indocon

    If you win by adopting the opponent’s platform, what, exactly, have you won?

    • Replies: @indocon
  64. @TomSchmidt

    For ‘married, filing jointly couples’, MAGI is $170K.

  65. iffen says:
    @Twinkie

    I’ve never written the words “yellow pussy” in my entire life until now. The term was “tight little pussy” not that you are interested in accuracy. You malign yourself with words like parasite; you don’t need my help. And I pass up plenty of opportunities, I just hit the most egregious ones. Your idiotic accusation of white supremacy was what originally piqued me and triggered all sorts of stupid comments directed at you. I am over that now.

  66. @iffen

    If you think America doesn’t have disproportionately large numbers of parasites, then you’re an idiot.

    • Replies: @iffen
  67. @indocon

    The libertarian whining was inevitable in this particular comm box.

  68. iffen says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Perhaps, but there are worse things than being an idiot.

    As a frame of mind or political viewpoint, thinking of many of your fellow citizens as parasites is corrosive. It is not a way forward, except into a dark alley that has a dead end.

  69. @iffen

    I think it’s more corrosive to be completely unable to deal with objective facts.

    So, yes, you are worse than an idiot. Much worse, actually.

    If we actually recognized that some people live as parasites, we’d be more able to help them mend their ways and become better people.

    Jesus Christ tells his followers to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves; they are to love the sinner by correcting him and working to destroy sin. You, however, are far less wise than a jackass, let alone a serpent. One of the reasons Christ’s followers often fail to be wise is because people like you want society to delude itself and pretend that there are no bad people to be corrected.

    • Replies: @iffen
  70. iffen says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    I am quite certain that I have a better handle on “objective facts” than anything you and some other commenters here can manage. You and some others also can’t seem to grasp the idea that espousing corrosive, dead end political ideas and ideology, which you claim spring from your “objective facts,” is extremely detrimental to the body politic.

  71. @Yahya K.

    What works for a small, selective city state doesn’t work for a huge country with a large underclass of low IQ people with poor impulse control.

    • Replies: @Yahya K.
  72. indocon says:
    @Cloudbuster

    So you think social security cuts + marginal tax cuts is a winning idea these days? What exactly is your plan for health care?

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  73. @iffen

    This is very simple: either you admit that America has a very large share of people who live as parasites, in the literal and objective meaning of that word, or you are an idiot.

    The third way, of course, is to be a sophist, which is what you’ve attempted so far.

    (Let me remind you, since you’re apparently an arrogant person, that my country’s movie-making class has even lionized one group of parasites – the gangsters – with a veritable host of popular movies, from Goodfellas to the Godfather, with a few homages even to Old West parasites like Butch and Sundance.)

    I don’t want to hear any of your insufferable crap about tone. Either you admit reality or you’re an idiot. To dissemble on the question, and give a bunch of empty-headed nonsense about tone, is the mark of a sophist.

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @AaronB
    , @Twinkie
  74. Yahya K. says:
    @Cloudbuster

    What works for a small, selective city state doesn’t work for a huge country

    That’s why I said “pick and choose what works”.

    with a large underclass of low IQ people with poor impulse control.

    Here is an example of something that might work for a “country with a large underclass of low IQ people with poor impulse control.”:

    I mentioned above the MediSave mandatory savings account. If you have an improvident underclass who otherwise couldn’t save $10 if their life depended on it, might it help to force them to put away 10% of their wages for their healthcare?

    See. That way you all wouldn’t have to call them parasites anymore.

    • Agree: iffen
    • Replies: @anon
    , @Cloudbuster
  75. @indocon

    Something that doesn’t swallow the entire federal budget to provide, maybe?

    * End most government-provided and subsidized insurance except for the very indigent and those unable to obtain private insurance. I’m open to some sort of safety net for the very poor and those rejected by private insurance (pre-existing conditions). This includes ending Medicare, as the elderly are the wealthiest segment of the population. Applicants should be able to provide documentation of rejection by private plans and/or inability to pay.

    * End unfunded mandates for unpaid hospital emergency room treatment — this has caused the closure of many hospitals that serve poor or remote communities because it is financially unsustainable and causes increased costs for those who can pay (which, ironically, means fewer *can* pay).

    * Decouple health insurance from employment. Insurance should not be a benefit provided by employers. Changing jobs should have any relationship with what health insurance people choose.

    * Encourage plans that offer just catastrophic coverage, thus treating insurance as actual insurance, not a health club membership. (Current ACA policies do just the opposite)

    * End restrictions on re-importation of prescription medicines.

    • Agree: Twinkie
    • Thanks: Mark G.
    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
    , @indocon
  76. AaronB says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    I just finished reading David Graeber’s Bullshit Jobs.

    Around 60% of the economy is what you would call parasitism, and it is concentrated mostly in the middle classes and upper classes. Lower class work benefits society generally. The cases he analyzes are eye opening, and frankly, amazed me. I found it interesting that most corporate lawyers he interviewed and the majority of IT workers thought they had bullshit jobs that contributed nothing useful.

    He also discusses the debilitating psychological and spiritual effects of doing a bullshit job – of knowing one contributes nothing. Widespread depression, anxiety, exhaustion, and illness.

    Apparently, the Automation Revolution that people feared in the 30s of last last century has actually come to pass. We are living through it. We actually have mass unemployment. The workweek can be reduced to about 10 hours without loss of productivity.

    But instead of people being allowed to do what they want, we invented bullshit jobs for them. There are several reasons for this. The ruling classes are afraid that the masses will get up to no good if they have a lot of free time. The 60s scared them. And our culture has a belief that working hard at something you dislike builds character and dignity, so we invent jobs for them even if there is nothing to do.

    Finally, powerful rich men feel important if they are surrounded by a large retinue, like in medieval times, so many jobs are actually being a medieval retainer (Dean, Vice Dean, Assistant Dean, etc).

    In an agricultural or hunting-gathering society, every one needed to pull their weight, and one could meaningfully speak of parasites who ate but did not work. Although these societies typically worked far less hours than ours.

    In the modern world, the invention of machines has made the term parasite lose its meaning. Machines have made it possible to provide every single person in the entire world with a comfortable middle class existence, while anyone who wishes to become wealthy has the opportunity to work more and do so.

    But the current system breeds resentment and hatred towards two types of people. People who do little or no work, because they do not buy into the belief that hard work at something you dislike is necessary for the dignity of man (even if said work contributes nothing to society or is actually harmful). The feeling here is that life is not supposed to be happy, and anyone who is happy is and not primarily engaged in doing things he dislikes is a bad person who is unworthy of our sympathy. This comes from Northern Europe and Protestantism, but has gradually spread across the world.

    And secondly, people who do actually useful work – like teachers, garbage collectors, cleaners, nurses – are resented because they have the satisfaction of knowing they are doing useful work. There is the feeling that if you actually get to not do a bullshit job – if you actually derive satisfaction from your job because you are making a genuine contribution to society – you should not expect to be paid a middle class salary as well.

    Attitudes have not yet caught up with the modern situation. We still resent anyone who doesn’t work hard at something they dislike, even when this contributes nothing or is even harmful, even though machines have completely changed the situation.

  77. anon[382] • Disclaimer says:
    @Yahya K.

    If you have an improvident underclass who otherwise couldn’t save $10 if their life depended on it, might it help to force them to put away 10% of their wages for their healthcare?

    That would be racist. Seriously, I have heard libtards proclaim that HSA’a are racist because mumble mumble reasons. Besides, the US banks are full of money, just tax the rich!

    By the way, “The banks are full of money” is something Hubert Humphrey supposedly said back in 1968, 52 years ago more or less.

    The blank slate has writing on it, and in the US there’s a big pile of cultural baggage around some people and (((some people))) encourage that.

  78. @Yahya K.

    I don’t have any particular objection to that, depending on the details, of course.

    I didn’t give your post a good enough read in general. There are some good, sensible suggestions there. Sorry for shooting from the hip.

    • Thanks: Yahya K.
  79. Twinkie says:
    @iffen

    not that you are interested in accuracy… Your idiotic accusation of white supremacy

    I didn’t write that you were a white supremacist, merely that you seemed unduly concerned about a race war (and that people who go on about race wars usually want there to be one). Pot, kettle, and all that.

    triggered all sorts of stupid comments directed at you. I am over that now.

    Yes. No.

  80. Twinkie says:
    @iffen

    Bug off, Bugman.

    No dehumanizing language, iffen. Where is your tone now?

  81. Twinkie says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    To dissemble on the question, and give a bunch of empty-headed nonsense about tone, is the mark of a sophist.

    He is not a sophist (at least not a very good one). He just loses all sense where my comments are concerned ever since he went deranged on me a while back and exposed himself as a crude, intemperate person. So he never passes up an opportunity to needle me whenever he thinks he has an opportunity to portray me as less than moral.

    Note how I wrote a long, fairly detailed comment, complete with charts, and he has nothing substantive to critique, so he seizes on one word – parasitic – to paint me as a not nice person while completely ignoring everything else in the lengthy comment.

    It’s nothing but a drive-by-straw man/ad hominem.

    • Replies: @iffen
  82. @Cloudbuster

    That should be “Changing jobs shouldn’t…”

    Also, I’d add price transparency. Medical care is one of the few areas where the providers are generally unable or unwilling to tell you what their services cost, but insist you affirm your willingness to pay whatever outrageous, arbitrary figure they will later come up with.

    Places like the Oklahoma Surgery Center prove that it doesn’t have to be that way in the majority of cases. “But what if you’re laying there dying and don’t have time to discuss costs?” is a corner case that cannot be used to justify the entire system.

    • Agree: Yahya K.
  83. iffen says:
    @Twinkie

    merely that you seemed unduly concerned about a race war

    Out of 10, 315 comments can you give us 3-4 to support this? If you need some help I can find more than one where I discount the idea that there will be a race war.

    No dehumanizing language, iffen.

    That was specifically for John. It is over your head. Unlike you and John, I don’t believe that there are bugmen.

    himself as a crude, intemperate person.

    We all have our faults.

    So he never passes up an opportunity to needle me whenever he thinks he has an opportunity to portray me as less than moral.

    To repeat, for your dimwitted benefit, I pass up many opportunities.

    It’s nothing but a drive-by-straw man/ad hominem.

    No, it’s your ideas that I oppose, although as time goes by, I see that arrogance and pomposity are among your lesser faults.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
    , @Twinkie
  84. @AaronB

    The workweek can be reduced to about 10 hours without loss of productivity.

    I didn’t have a bullshit job, but the last 20 years of my career I worked from home and on weeks where I wasn’t traveling I often did put in only about 10 good solid hours of work. And I didn’t feel guilty for it — I was getting everything done that needed to be done. I was told I was “insanely productive.”

    I was annoyed at a couple points in the career where I fell under management that seemed overly interested in how I was spending my time — had to fill out timesheets and such to prove they were getting their 40+ hours out of me.

    The timesheets were complete bullshit, of course.

    One of my best bosses was early in my work-from-home career and he sort of set my expectations. To paraphrase, “Look, we expect you to travel away from your family for days or weeks at a time, sometimes on short notice and work under a lot of stress. If you’re home and there’s nothing important for you to do, your time is your own.”

    I wish more bosses were like that, but I suppose not every employee can handle it. One of my daughters is a surgical technician and when she’s not in surgery, there are some managers who are always looking for pointless busy-work for the techs to do. The idea that she might sit there and read a book or do some knitting is intolerable to them. But that’s how the job goes, especially on night shift, waiting for emergency surgeries and such.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @dfordoom
  85. JackOH says:
    @AaronB

    Well said. We have an extraordinary number of Americans who benefit from non-wage, non-salary tax preferences and direct subsidies, and by some dubious, self-regarding process of mind have talked themselves into believing those politically inspired preferences and subsidies came about by the sweat of their own brow. If we’re to talk “parasitism”, which I don’t think is too productive, maybe we talk at the same time about “host-ism”, whatever that may be.

  86. @iffen

    Both of you stop flirting and just make out.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @dfordoom
  87. @AaronB

    In the modern world, the invention of machines has made the term parasite lose its meaning. Machines have made it possible to provide every single person in the entire world with a comfortable middle class existence, while anyone who wishes to become wealthy has the opportunity to work more and do so.

    I think this overestimates the current state of machine productivity.

  88. A123 says:
    @Cloudbuster

    Both of you stop flirting and just make out.

    Now we need an [AGREE/DISAGREE/ETC] tag for “Ewwww….. ” or “Gahhhh…..”

    PEACE 😇

  89. Tucker Carlson could win as a write-in candidate:

    Populist economics.
    Non-interventionist foreign policy.
    Immigration restriction.
    Social conservatism.
    1st amendment.

    • Replies: @A123
  90. Twinkie says:
    @iffen

    No dehumanizing language, iffen.

    That was specifically for John. It is over your head. Unlike you and John, I don’t believe that there are bugmen.

    No, you are just a hypocrite.

    for your dimwitted benefit

    One of us contributed a comment here that is substantive and is a good basis for further discussion. The other generated useless noise and is angling for drama.

  91. A123 says:
    @John Gruskos

    Tucker Carlson could win as a write-in candidate:

    All write-in Tucker would achieve this election cycle is helping Biden. His core message is similar to Trump’s. The result would be certain electoral fratricide in swing states.

    If Carlson wants to be President (IMHO unlikely) then his window is 2024 as successor after Trump’s inevitable 2nd term. With 8 years of Trump appointees rehabilitating the Federal Courts, the next Populist President will have a huge structural advantage built by Trump.

    PEACE 😇

  92. Twinkie says:
    @AaronB

    And secondly, people who do actually useful work – like teachers, garbage collectors, cleaners, nurses – are resented

    I’ve never ever heard that garbage collectors, cleaners, or nurses are resented. Nurses* are probably the most beloved (by patients) of the medical staff, bar none.

    To the extent there is any kind of criticism leveled against them, it usually has to do with militant unionism (this is particularly prevalent with teachers) especially when they are public workers and enjoy an incestuous, self-dealing relationship with leftist elected officials.

    *Nurses often enjoy better benefits and working conditions – such as limited hours – than doctors (!) at many hospitals and some of the more highly trained ones (e.g. nurse anesthetists) often get paid more than primary care physicians all the while having minimal liability. Those with a doctorate in nursing also demand to be called “doctors” in a clinical setting.

    People who do little or no work, because they do not buy into the belief that hard work at something you dislike is necessary for the dignity of man

    No. There is little resentment against people who enjoy life on their own dime. The resentment is against those who do no work and live on the public largess, i.e. money taken from the productive population by force.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  93. AaronB says:
    @Twinkie

    The resentment is against those who do no work and live on the public largess, i.e. money taken from the productive population by force

    Its money taken from machines, not the productive population. That’s the major point. We’re no longer in the agricultural age. Human labor is no longer the sole source of productivity – machine labor, a million times more productive, is now the second factor.

    The enormous gains in productivity we’ve seen over the past century are the results of advances in technology – not the productive population developing superpowers. But instead of this largesse being evenly distributed, it went to the top 1% – even when these technical advances were made by floor workers themselves.

    Because of machines, every human can now live comfortably without labor. This idea that the money would be taken from productive humans is outdated.

    And there simply aren’t enough productive jobs to go around, because of machines. That’s why there is the massive proliferation of bullshit jobs. We invent useless jobs because we think everyone needs to work. Instead, we could give everyone a decent UBI – taken from the productive labor of machines, not humans – and let people use their time as they see fit, to socialize, enjoy the outdoors, become poets, build and invent things, etc.

    And ambitious people like your self will have the opportunity to become wealthy if that’s what you want. You can work hard if you want to and amass a fortune – the sky is the limit. This isn’t a socialist scheme of equality. It’s simply that no one will have to pretend to do some bullshit job thats useless or face starvation and homelessness if they don’t out to with a sadistic boss. With their basic livelihood assured, they can contribute to society as best they know how.

    • Agree: dfordoom
  94. AaronB says:
    @Cloudbuster

    One of my best bosses was early in my work-from-home career and he sort of set my expectations. To paraphrase, “Look, we expect you to travel away from your family for days or weeks at a time, sometimes on short notice and work under a lot of stress. If you’re home and there’s nothing important for you to do, your time is your own.”

    I wish more bosses were like that, but I suppose not every employee can handle it. One of my daughters is a surgical technician and when she’s not in surgery, there are some managers who are always looking for pointless busy-work for the techs to do. The idea that she might sit there and read a book or do some knitting is intolerable to them. But that’s how the job goes, especially on night shift, waiting for emergency surgeries and such.

    Graeber talks about this a lot as one of the demoralizing aspects of having a bullshit job – the pretense and fakery and the sense that your time doesn’t belong to you even if there is nothing to do, which is a kind of slavery. (Your time now “belongs” to your boss – not that you’ve contracted to complete a productive task. This is again At human nature and felt as degrading)

    Obviously your job is not a bullshit job, as you say, but he also discusses jobs that are partly bullshit – and to the extent that you are expected to fake doing something useful, to that extent your job is a bullshit job. Or anyone.

    In my job too I work only 10 productive hours maybe, a week, but I’m on call for crises and emergencies, where in short bursts I might work really hard. But most of the time I’m doing nothing, yet I get paid. I used to feel guilty – I don’t anymore. One of my bosses is fine with this, but another boss is clearly irrritated that I’m getting paid to do nothing and tries to create make work for me, which I largely ignore as much as feasible.

    JackOh – there is a huge class of such people. But its not necessarily their fault – there just aren’t that many real jobs any more, certainly for a full 40 hours per week. But it is their fault that they reward themselves so handsomly and ate outraged when teachers or nurses unions dare to ask for a decent middle class wage.

    But we are all just stuck in outdated thinking as a society.

    • Replies: @JackOH
  95. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Cloudbuster

    One of my daughters is a surgical technician and when she’s not in surgery, there are some managers who are always looking for pointless busy-work for the techs to do. The idea that she might sit there and read a book or do some knitting is intolerable to them.

    Maybe this is yet another of the pernicious effects of Puritanism. And the Protestant Work Ethic. If your job is unpleasant, pointless and consumes as much of your life as possible then it will make you a more virtuous person. Relaxation and engaging in leisure activities is sinful. Virtue comes from misery.

    Remember if you’re doing something that you enjoy then it’s wrong! God hates fun.

    • Agree: AaronB
  96. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Cloudbuster

    Both of you stop flirting and just make out.

    It’s like one of those romantic comedies where the guy and the girl hate each other at first sight and spend the first two-thirds of the movie squabbling. Then they realise that they’re actually madly in love, they get together and live happily ever afterwards.

    • LOL: Yahya K., Cloudbuster, iffen
    • Replies: @Twinkie
  97. JackOH says:
    @AaronB

    AaronB, my feeling is that non-wage, non-salary “enrichments” of various sorts, which most of us enjoy to some extent, need to be looked at on case-by-case bases to determine whether there’s something to get exercised about.

    Here’s an example I hope is persuasive of something:

    About 1980, there was super-tax-deductibility for an “environmentally friendly” home heating product that was sold from an office in the same building as mine. A salesman explained it to me. The product was a costly, roof-installed thing. With super-tax-deductibility and the claimed savings in utility costs, the homeowner was to pay very little net out of pocket. Trouble was the product was poorly manufactured and rushed to market solely on super-tax-deductibility. The sales guys made money, the manufacturer made money, and the homeowner was out the heavily subsidized price he’d paid, plus the price of ripping out the shit product. The U. S. Treasury was out the taxes it would have otherwise collected had it not been for the super-tax-deductibility of this crap product.

    I’ll toss this question out. Who’s the greater threat to the Treasury: ghetto babes and Middle East convenience store owners working an illegal SNAP benefits redemption racket, or the “environmentally friendly” home heating guys making more serious and completely legal jingle on the taxpayers’ dime?

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  98. @JackOH

    I’ll toss this question out. Who’s the greater threat to the Treasury: ghetto babes and Middle East convenience store owners working an illegal SNAP benefits redemption racket, or the “environmentally friendly” home heating guys making more serious and completely legal jingle on the taxpayers’ dime?

    Judging by federal and state budget analyses, it really is the ghetto babies (for their part in Medicaid). Corporate welfare offends my sensibilities, too, but outside of defense and healthcare corporate welfare is a small part of the federal budget. The behemoths of the federal budget are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, followed by defense spending: undoubtedly a lot of corporate welfare graft there, but that doesn’t include the solar subsidies you mention. Why were you being euphemistic about the “home heating product?”

    • Replies: @JackOH
  99. JackOH says:
    @Cloudbuster

    Cloudbuster, the “home heating product” involved running indoor plumbing outdoors to a very flat rooftop box that was to be heated by the sun. The heated water was then supposed to be run back into the house. Don’t recall if there was an indoor radiator(s) that had to be installed, or if there was some other means by which that solar-heated water was supposed to work its magic.

    My comment was probably inadvertently tricky. SNAP fraud–illegal–by Black babes (and their babies) may amount to $200-$300 million a year if USDA stats are any guide. Tax preferences and direct subsidies–completely legal–are, of course, many times that.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  100. @JackOH

    My comment was probably inadvertently tricky. SNAP fraud–illegal–by Black babes (and their babies) may amount to $200-$300 million a year if USDA stats are any guide.

    It’s not the fraudulent part of SNAP/Medicaid/Medicare that’s the problem. It’s the bulk of the part that’s judged perfectly legitimate. I know you were speaking specifically about fraud, but I think ignoring the fact that the systems are designed for legal exploitation is disingenuous, and are a false comparison, as you’re comparing a small subset (SNAP fraud) to an, as you say, completely legal wasteful system. Both are legal, wasteful systems, and the entitlement side dwarfs the corporate tax preferences and direct subsidies.

  101. indocon says:
    @Cloudbuster

    This all sounds good as a position paper in Cato Institute, good luck getting this implemented in today’s environment.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  102. Twinkie says:
    @dfordoom

    I acknowledge that there seem to be lots of people with crushes (including man-crushes) on me on this blog. That’s okay. I’m used to it.

    • LOL: Johann Ricke
  103. @indocon

    You would be more likely to get a bill passed that declared ‘Henceforth all medical care for all necessary and desired procedures will be free to everyone without rationing, and no tax increases will be required.” That wouldn’t make it better.

  104. @AaronB

    The ruling classes are afraid that the masses will get up to no good if they have a lot of free time. The 60s scared them.

    This seems suspect given what the ruling classes have done to western economies over the last six months.

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