Thursday, March 11, 2010


Megan McArdle blogged yesterday about health care cost control, which led to this hilarious comment from reader "blighter," whose postings are consistently hysterical:
I'm afraid that this post is just so much unfounded fear mongering.

Yes, this massive new boon to society will be expensive; yes it's unlikely to be paid for with draconian cuts at the expense of the elderly and other groups without a strong voice in government: this much is just tautology. And yes, this would seem to produce a 'budget crisis' -- but only if you assume that our current tight-fisted level of government expenditure must forever continue despite the enormous benefits we would reap as a country, society & world were we to more sensibly approach government spending.

And that's the true genius of this bill. It puts us on a clear path to a more sensible balance between the public & private sectors. Right now the federal government only spends about 20% of our GDP. This level of parsimony is plainly ridiculous. Just look around at all the wasteful spending the 'private' sector engages in every day and tell me we wouldn't be better off if that percentage were more in the 50 -70 % range with the similar tax rates necessary to remain fiscally responsible.

Now, this will probably strike the venal, conservative half of our citizenry as taking too much. They might argue that they couldn't afford their housing, car & other alleged 'necessities' of life if the federal government was taking that much of 'their' income. But this is, of course, precisely the point. Right now, they are selfishly taking more than they need and spending it on things (multiple cars, flat screen televisions, air-conditioning, etc.) that *nobody* needs. Having the government take the temptation to waste your money on frivolous things in some effort to 'live the good life' would be of untold benefit to the vast majority of the country.

And, naturally, many of life's necessities could be more efficiently & sustainably provided by the government with these vast new resources. No one would have to pay for basic housing or internet access or transportation or food, those things and more could be provided in an environmentally-sustainable, socially-just, equitably-distributed manner. All of life's most essential needs would be taken care of without anyone having to struggle through the marketing lies of evil companies vying to justify their unconscionable prices while giving as little as possible in return. And, of course, the 'free market' would still be there, just as (dis)functional as ever, to let people spend their remaining discretionary income (and it would be *truly* discretionary income, as everyone's vital needs would be fully met) on whatever shiny idiocies they like: music players, whiz-bang phones, flashy clothes, etc.

Now before everybody jumps all over me for being 'extremist' or 'advocating communism' please note two important things: 1) I've explicitly said that nothing will change in the free market, except that life's essentials will no longer be subject to its vile vicissitudes and 2) this bill, in and of itself, does not bring about this blessed state of affairs. It only lays the groundwork, points the ship in the proper direction, so to speak. This is just the first, necessary step to building the better world that we all know is possible once we let progressive government take a strong hand in correcting the imbalances of our lives.

That is why it is so vital that the bill pass, regardless of what it does to Democratic election prospects in the short-term. The long-term changes that this bill will sow will reap such a utopia that all will proudly acknowledge the brave leadership of our current political leaders. Their martyrdom will birth a more perfect world.

Yes we can!
This guy really needs to start his own blog.

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