The Left’s Refusal to Evolve on Race

isWhenever you hear a liberal politician talk about race these days, it’s a pretty safe bet that they’re not doing so in the context of issues like unemployment, inner-city violence, education, and the make-up of the American family – you know, discussions that could actually benefit minority communities. No, they’re typically just accusing Republicans and conservatives of being racists -either directly or indirectly.

The frequency of these charges usually picks up around election time, as we’ve seen lately from the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Eric Holder, Charlie Rangel, and Steve Israel.

The “evidence” put forth by these lefties to substantiate their claims often goes back to how fiercely opposed conservatives are to President Obama and his policies. They only oppose him because he’s black, is the message they pride themselves in spreading across the national airwaves.

The charge would be amusing if it wasn’t so painfully irresponsible and incredibly divisive. Plus, for it to be true, it would require conservatives not to be conservative.

What do I mean by that?

While there are certainly different forms of conservatism in this country, the fundamentals that virtually all conservatives passionately share are those of small government, free market capitalism, and individual responsibility. They are the basis for the Tea Party and the basis for the conservative movement as a whole.

It seems to me that if conservatives can overlook a $17.5 trillion national debt, government-mandated healthcare, job-killing over-regulation, insolvent entitlement programs, a culture of dependency, the lowest labor force participation rate since the 1970′s, and the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression, and instead derive resentment from our president’s skin color, that would be truly astounding.

The charge, of course, is absolutely ludicrous.

George Will recently defined the issue well when he said, “Liberalism has a kind of Tourette’s Syndrome these days. It’s just constantly saying the word racism and racist.” He went on to explain that using the charge of racism as a political tactic was a form of “intellectual poverty” because liberalism hasn’t had a new idea since the 1960’s, other than Obamacare which the country doesn’t like.

While the outspokenness of racial provocateurs is indeed largely tied to politics, I do think that a lot of these people actually believe what they’re saying. I think that despite a glaring lack of evidence, they view conservative opposition to the Obama administration as being motivated in large part by race. It’s not a mindset exclusive to the elites, either. I see the same sentiment expressed from time to time even by my liberal friends who I consider to be good people.

The question has to be asked: Why is it so easy for liberals to believe in this nonsense? How can they look at people who are every bit as affectionate toward (and protective of) notable black conservatives like Condoleeza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Dr. Ben Carson, Allen West, Tim Scott, Herman Cain, and Mia Love, as liberals are of President Obama, and so easily categorize them as racists?

I believe the answer is that many liberals just haven’t evolved on race the way the rest of the country has. Their inclination is to perpetually view race relations through the lens of the 1960′s (the era that George Will believes their last fresh ideas came from), and not the 21st century.

As someone young enough to have grown up after the civil rights movement, the racial slandering really is an astonishing thing to witness. In school, as I sat among kids of different ethnic backgrounds, I was taught for long hours about this country’s dark racial past, and educated on the many terrible things we did as a society. As future generations are supposed to, I learned from those lessons, and never spent a lot of time thinking about what made people of color different than me.

It wasn’t until decades later that I was introduced to the racial stereotypes and racist dog whistles of the 1960′s, when the American Left began incessantly trumpeting them through the ears of anyone who would listen. The modern-day liberal movement’s desperation to open up old scars by continually dredging up our country’s reprehensible racial history, and finding ways to apply it to modern day motivations, is nothing short of perverse. You can’t even get these people to acknowledge the significance of the country electing its first black president anymore.

Now, my contention is not (and never has been) that racism no longer exists in America. Of course it does. It’s a sad statement on the maturity-level of our culture that I even need to clarify something so obvious, but that’s the country we live in today. Everyone’s looking to mutilate people’s words into an argument they’re not even making.

Yes, racism is real. What’s unreal is how determined many on the left are to keep it from dying the natural death that it had been for decades, up until we got our nation’s first black president. This is one of those things that puts liberals squarely at odds with the rest of the country.

Most of the country wants to move on. They want the racial wounds to heal. They want to stop identifying people by their race. They want to stop talking about racism, as actor Morgan Freeman profoundly suggested they should as the best way to defeat racism, back in 2009.

It’s not conservatives that are preventing this from happening. They aren’t the ones continually playing the race card. They aren’t the ones routinely engaging in identity politics. They aren’t the ones preaching ethnic victimization. Rarely do you ever even hear conservatives tossing out charges of racism. From a Dead Sleep by John A. Daly

There’s a reason for that. To a typical conservative-minded person like myself, calling someone a racist is still a pretty big deal.  Despite the best efforts of the left, the charge hasn’t quite yet been reduced to that of impulsive name-calling that doesn’t warrant proof or some coherent rationale. It still means something to people like me and I believe to most Americans. And really, it absolutely should mean something in an evolved society.

Those on the left who continue to wield race as a weapon against their opponents, regardless if they suspect it’s real or not, are fighting against that evolution tooth and nail. The victims of that battle aren’t conservatives, but society as a whole.

Whether or not some people can bring themselves to admit it, the 1960′s are over. It’s time to move on.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration, and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. His first novel, entitled "From a Dead Sleep", is now on sale! He lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
Author website: http://www.johndalybooks.com/
  • Sister

    Let us join in a firm decision to make it a nat’l law there be no racism charges ever. Let this be a standard for Americans and may we role model an intolerance for such petty and destructive energy. Can a man choose his color at birth? Blue eyes vs brown or green? Curly hair or bonde maybe black hair? God gave each of us the breath of life….the bible says to love others as yourself….and America needs to turn from our individual sins and pick up the cross and thank God for each other and this fine land we call home. Amen. God made everything beautiful as Genesis frankly states. Let us live in truth. He promises to “heal their land” if they turn from sin. Can you imagine no further threat on the ozone? Each of us waking up to find a fruit tree in your own yard? Free? It is possible if we follow Jesus. He taught us to love one another as He loves us. Pretty sweet!!! Try a little neighborly love without the strings attached, a little extra care for each other and a whole lotta love. Jesus gives us peace that passes all understanding. Go to church. Place an offering in the collection for God. He has given us sooooooo much. Dig inside yourself and mature a little and try Jesus. I will bet you will be blessed and not stressed. Thanks for believing with me. America the beautiful. It was not any of us to accomplish this…..but Him. Amen.

  • George Will.i.am

    Racist is when blacks are arrested 3 times as often as whites for drug offenses and comprise 50% more of the prison population in spite of comparable rates of drug use.
    http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/related_material/8%20Fellner_FINAL.pdf
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p12ac.pdf

    Racist is Paul Ryan citing Charles Murray whose “scholarship” is dedicated to the proposition that blacks are genetically inferior to whites to justify his proposed welfare reform legislation.

    Racist is castigating the media and the “civil rights industry” for their racism in not equating the racial components of the Chris Lane and Trayvon Martin killings. Overlooking the obvious difference that the perptrators in the Chris Lane case were immediately arrested and charged with murder where the Trayvon Martin case the perpetrator walked free and would have remained free had the liberal media not drawn attention to it.

    Racist is reducing the black community to a single entity defined by a stereotype and assigning to President Obama the title of Soul Brother # 1 responsible for them to shape up. That it is incumbent upon blacks to prove to whites that they are harmless. And until they all do shape up, any one of them may arouse suspicion and fear, the implication being that under “stand your ground” principles fear justifies homicide.
    http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/if-president-obama-had-a-son-he-might-look-like/

    Racist is singing an aria in praise of Heritage Foundation “scholarship” reducing Latin Americans to a single entity posessing inferior intelligence to other ethnic groups.
    http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/the-crucifixion-of-jason-richwine/

    Racist is the belief that the white majority / power structure is a God Given Right.

    Right wingers racist? 90% of blacks voted against the right wing in the 2012 election. They are the racists. And there is a remedy for that – voter suppression. If they won’t vote for you they won’t vote at all.

    Stupidity is your assertion that since right wingers consider Obama the worst president ever and responsible for everything wrong with this country, as such they could not possibly be racist.

    Of course you don’t have the guts to respond to this so just delete it and go back to your regularly scheduled Fascist Fantasyland programming.

  • Concernedmimi

    You are spot on, John. Just when the lefties run out of the usual tricks, they always reach down in the bottom of the sack and pull out the race card. And, right now, they are running on empty!!

  • Darren Perkins

    The left operates on emotion rather than critical thinking. What is more emotional than racial injustice? They can’t afford to let logic get in the way of subjugating minorities.

  • cmacrider

    John: This posting shows you are on your game. As a non-American who viewed America in the sixties from a University campus, it is indisputably obvious that on the race issue America has evolved to a kinder more inclusive position. I think Americans forget that this evolution in attitudes towards race was not one imposed on America by the international community. It was an evolution taken on by Americans themselves because progressing towards a more just society is part of the American way.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Thank you. Yes, America decided long ago that racism was wrong. Those true racists among us have already been shamed and marginalized into dark corners, and have very little influence left on society.

      Those, like legal eagle, who are motivated by white guilt instead of racial justice are still trying to clear their guilty consciences from whatever racial thoughts used to (or possibly still do) run through their minds.

      It’s time for such people to move on past white guilt, and start living MLK’s dream of a colorblind society.

      • legal eagle

        If Daly ever got his butt out of the white bread middle American world he lives in he wouldn’t be as ignorant as he appears to be….
        Take a walk around the streets of New York, Chicago or L.A. and see what real America is about not the fairy tales Republicans are selling to the white audience..

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          “Real” America is New York, Chicago, and L.A? lol. Spoken like a true left-wing caricature.

          First of all, I’ve been to all three. Secondly, if you would have bothered to spend more than ten seconds glancing over my column (I realize that you don’t like to read the things you comment on), you would have seen that the problems that plague inner-cities are the ones I wish liberals WOULD talk about and address instead of impulsively playing the race card against those who DO want to have that conversation.

          You’ve got to stop living in the 60′s, legal. It’s embarrassing. Move on from your white, guilt-ridden paralysis. If you want to talk about race, try doing so for once in the context of 2014. It will be far more productive. Presuming that everyone who disagrees with our president is a racist is the mark of a self-loathing fool.

        • Ryan Nichols

          Ok so he walks the streets of new York. . What will he witness? Whites lynching blacks? Blacks being refused service? Blacks being called racial slurs? No?

          So what he’ll see is what? Poor black neighborhoods? Drugs ruining lives? And then how can you connect this to the right? And disconnect it from the left? Why do people like yourself put your own party to task over this crap? The left doesn’t help the poor black families. . No the left only takes advantage of them. Misleads them. Uses them.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Well said, Ryan. The three cities he listed are hardly the results of Republican governance. That fact seems to be completely lost on him. My guess is that legal’s response will be that you’re a racist.

          • legal eagle

            You don’t have a clue about what racism looks like in 2014…..You’re living in a fantasy world…

          • Ryan Nichols

            I know Obama recently did encounter a extremely racist person. . Al Sharpton

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            True. And let’s not forget all of Joe Biden’s racially-insensitive soundbites that I have yet to hear a tea-partier parallel.

          • Jeff Webb

            >>You don’t have a clue about what racism looks like in 2014.<<

            Since you routinely make false accusations of bigotry against people here, while being a bigot yourself, you're in no position to decide who has a clue.

          • legal eagle

            Just because you have been brought up and still live in the middle of White bread middle America doesn’t mean you have any knowledge or experience living in the real world….

          • Jeff Webb

            And if you’re liberal and claim to identify & empathize with the downtrodden, it’s an absolute certainty you don’t.

          • legal eagle

            Go back and clean up some cow chips on the farm…..

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Legal, If he wanted to clean up chow chips, he would have just deleted your posts.

          • Jeff Webb

            Debating rule for liberals: when you have no argument, try childish insults instead.

          • legal eagle

            I grew up on the streets of New York…..I’ve provided legal services to the poor…and , unlike you, my selfishness has not overwhelmed my sense of empathy…

          • Ryan Nichols

            But yet you are self righteous. And are quite fond of making assumptions. As a clone of the left you believe there’s one side for the poor and minorities and ones not. This is where you’re extremely closed minded. Both sides wish to make the lives of all Americans better. But only one side chooses to use ugly deceitful rhetoric to try and marginalize. By making baseless claims and labels to change the tone of the debate from finding common ground for comprises, too there’s no debate of any merit at all. Just misinformation.

          • legal eagle

            Where do you live?

          • Ryan Nichols

            Atlanta

          • legal eagle

            If you grew up in the South perhaps your perception of race is different than someone like myself who grew up in New York City….Perceptions and backgrounds are, in my experience, often the reason for political and social differences….One of the reasons I post on here is to get different views from different parts of the country…..Thanks

          • Ryan Nichols

            I think it’s good people like yourself who don’t necessarily agree with much of the opinion represented here contribute. It’s usually never thought provoking to preach to the choir.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>One of the reasons I post on here is to get different views from different parts of the country…..Thanks

            Oh, If only that were true. As a moderator on this website, I see a neat, LONG list of your posts on this website each and every day.

            We both know that you’re not even the slightest bit receptive to alternative viewpoints. You presume racist motivations in each and every person who expresses even the slightest criticism of President Obama. You purposely misrepresent people’s arguments because you can’t effectively counter their actual arguments. You routinely make baseless, derogatory assumptions about people you know nothing about, simply because they don’t subscribe to the DNC talking points you copy and paste into your comments, while pretending to be an independent thinker.

            It’s the reason why I push back hard against you, and sometimes even lower myself down to your level. I’m trying to show you exactly what you do to others. Unfortunately, you aren’t picking up on it.

        • Ryan Nichols

          I wish when someone makes a statement like take a walk through New York and see real America. That they would be extremely accurate and to the point. Say exactly what you feel is racism and exactly why you feel it’s a Republican problem and how exactly they are at fault or responsible. And how exactly the left is better.

          I’m not talking about rhetoric. Of course we all know the left uses race to marginalize, but how are they helping? After all, we’re all supposed to be equal. Our government is supposed to be color blind in their legislation. They’re supposed to represent all of us. Do you think our government should pass legislation to only help one race? Do you think that’s fair to everyone?

          • legal eagle

            Government is there to help those who need help. Government is there to solve problems not to be “fair”. Helping those who need help does not take away from you.
            It’s called allocation of resources….The less people we have living in poverty or living on poverty wages, the better and more productive our society is…Everyone is not in the same ditch, so everyone does not need the same help getting out …
            Happy Easter..

          • Ryan Nichols

            Government isn’t there to help one group. It’s there to uphold the constitution. And to protect all of our rights. And it’s job is to be absolutely fair and impartial.

          • Ryan Nichols

            And again you’re being very vague. And according to this administration, they are looking to take away from the fortunate. I should say take more away. And not only from the fortune, but even those who are living on a budget.

            Everyone, especially the republicans are for allocating resources to help those in need. Every administration, especially this one waste billions of dollars. While they claim they are looking out for the poor.

            Look at the unemployment extention. Republicans say they will pass it if there is money allocated to pay for it. And legislation added to promote job growth. This administration wants to put it on our children’s credit card from the bank of China.

          • legal eagle

            “Every administration, especially this one waste billions of dollars.”
            How does this administration waste more than previous administrations? Is this a fact or an opinion? If it’s a “fact” where did you find the info?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>How does this administration waste more than previous administrations?

            By spending more than previous administrations with the result being the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression:
            http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2012/06/01/president-obama-has-outspent-last-five-presidents

          • Ryan Nichols

            How much did they spend on building a website? That has to be some sort of record. .

          • Ryan Nichols

            Look at the debt. More debt has accumulated under Obama than any previous president.

            What about that $400,000 camel statue? What about that airforce one photo op? What about the millions spent on commercials to sell Obamacare? We are giving the Ukraine a billion dollars. I bet that billion could do a lot for the poor here at home.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>Government is there to help those who need help.

            Thanks for giving him the specifics he asked you for. lol. Typical.

            >>Government is there to solve problems not to be “fair”.

            ??? Uh, legal… President Obama, the man you have pledged unwavering, unconditional allegiance to, has promoted and defended his entire presidency with relentless “fairness” rhetoric that you’re now saying isn’t even what government is supposed to be concerned with? This is quite remarkable. This is the first departure I’ve ever seen between you and President Obama. Did you suddenly become a racist over the Easter holiday?

            >>The less people we have living in poverty or living on poverty wages, the better and more productive our society is…

            I agree. Another departure from the Obama administration’s policies! We’re witnessing something remarkable here, folks!

            >>Everyone is not in the same ditch, so everyone does not need the same help getting out …

            How very Paul Ryan of you! Wow.

  • Kathie Ampela

    Thus a wise prince will think of ways to keep his citizens of every sort and under every circumstance dependent on the state and on him; and then they will always be trustworthy – Niccolo Machiavelli

    • sjangers

      That damned Machiavelli should have written something called “The People”.

  • sjangers

    Of course the reason the Left fails to evolve on the issue of race is woven throughout your column, John. They gain political advantage when they accuse their opponents of racism. They flog the charge and millions unthinkingly follow after them, assuming they’re playing an important part in the fight against evil. It’s not reasonable to expect Democrats to stop crying “racism” until the majority in the country stands up and makes it clear to them that there’s nothing to be gained from making the charge, and that there’s actually much to be lost. The country must first evolve further on race before the Left can hope to evolve.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      I agree that a lot of it is purely political, but I also believe that there are many true believers among them. I agree that the public has the power to shame liberals into stopping it.

      • sjangers

        I think the true believers tend to be weak-minded sorts who will stop believing almost as soon as their politically-motivated brethren stop spewing the cant. But I could be wrong. It isn’t like this would be the first time.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          I think both types are plentiful in the liberal base.

    • legal eagle

      More race baiting by Mr. Daly….and it appears you agree with his theory…. Discussions about race and civil rights are forbidden in the narrow world of Republican thinking which is why there have only been a few minorities elected as Republicans in Congress….Come to think of it there is only one Jewish Republican member of Congress, no Asians and few women….

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        The best thing about writing columns about the left’s obsession with race and their shameless use of racial slander, is when legal eagle comes in afterwards to prove my point precisely.

        Thanks as usual for the assist, Your stunning lack of self-awareness is always amusing.

      • sjangers

        Discussions about race and civil rights certainly aren’t forbidden in Republican circles, Eagle. But when those discussions start from an inaccurate assumption that most Republicans and Republican policies are racist, then Republicans do tend to be less receptive.

        As I remarked to you in a recent post, I think issues of race and racial equality have progressed enough in this country that it may not make sense any longer for government to be our principal tool for improving relations between races and ethic groups. It seems to me that government involvement is often more destructive than constructive at times, and the sorts of dogmatic attacks from elected officials that John discusses in his column are good examples of the damage that can be done when we leave these matters in the hands of government. Except in those cases where there is real harm being done, and the cause and effect is clear, we really would benefit from removing the anger from the dialogue. That probably won’t be possible as long as that anger is a useful tool for some politicians.

        I think the lower incidence of members of minority groups being elected to high public office as Republicans is probably tied to the fact that the majority in those groups, and certainly the most vocal, tend to identify with the Democratic Party. It’s hard for Republicans to elect blacks, Asians, women and members of other groups when the majority of them align with the other party. And that leads to a chicken-and-egg question: Do members of those groups align Democrat because Republicans don’t treat them fairly, or do they align with the Democrats because Democrats treat them more than fairly? You and I may not agree on the answer to that question, but there is a long history of Democrats wooing special interest groups in the same not-entirely-scrupulous way in which Democrats accuse Republicans of pandering to moneyed interests.

        I do know that when members of minority groups are elected as Republicans they often receive a very chilly reception from their peers and from Democrats in general. I don’t know why that’s so. If Democrats really care about blacks, Asians, women, Jews, Hispanics and other minority groups, you’d think they would be thrilled to see them breaking down the glass ceiling and starting to flood the ranks of the Republicans. That leads to a suspicion that Democrats really don’t care than much about members of minority groups unless they’re in a position to use those people. I know that’s probably not a worth thought but, given the evidence, it’s hard to look at it any other way.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          The problem, of course, is that the left has zero interest in a mature, honest discussion about race. That’s how I began my column, which we all know legal spent no longer than 10 seconds skimming. lol.

          • cmacrider

            John: legal doesn’t have time to read your articles and lacks the intellectual acumen to digest them.. He is simply too busy in traffic court entering guilty pleas.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            He doesn’t read any of the things he replies to this website. That habit has embarrassed him countless times.

        • legal eagle

          The lack of minorities, Jews and Asians in the Republican party is because the Republican party doesn’t appeal to these groups….It’s called outreach….

          • sjangers

            It seems to me that one man’s outreach is another man’s pandering. The Republican Party offers a message of equality and opportunity to all Americans. That sounds pretty appealing to me.

          • legal eagle

            Political messaging is the same as advertising slogans….The difference in the parties is in policy priorities not slogans…As an example, Republicans are against Obamacare…what is their healthcare policy?

          • sjangers

            The message may be advertising. But if you look at what Republicans try to do, it’s consistent with their message. Most coherent Republican policy can be directly tied to stated intent. You may not believe that their policy will have the effect they anticipate, but there aren’t many outright lies in the Republican political message.

            Republicans don’t have a coherent health care policy. If a Republican became President tomorrow, and Republicans picked up a dozen seats in the Senate and twenty-five in the House, I doubt you could get sufficient agreement to pass significant legislation, even if you also threw in a handful of outright political bribes.

            The problem for Republicans is a lack of internal agreement on the best way to deal with health care issues and the further lack of any clear way to meet public expectations with a policy that’s likely to be successful; much as Democrats are presently discovering to their chagrin. So unless Republicans are ever in a position where they entirely own the government, I doubt you’ll see them come forward with a coherent policy. It’s a bit cowardly, but I’m not sure that there are better solutions.

            The idea I floated in correspondence with you a few weeks ago about providing everyone vouchers for health care (as well as food, housing, education) to be used on the open market probably still smacks too much of socialism to receive even cursory consideration from Republicans. So we’ll continue to muddle forward.

          • legal eagle

            A voucher system will not work without price controls in insurance companies…This is the Republican idea on Medicare but the problem is that people may be priced out of the market.
            Muddling forward is usually a better idea than being bogged down in the mud…I have plenty of experience doing both…..LOL

          • sjangers

            We may need to see government do something about controlling health care prices, although artificial price controls may not be necessary. There are a number of things that could help contain health care prices that don’t require imposition of limits on pricing. If some of the indirect costs of medical care can be limited, and insurance companies will continue to have incentives to sell their services, then I don’t see any reason that anyone need to be priced out of the health insurance market- although some policies will necessarily be less comprehensive than others.

          • legal eagle

            “There are a number of things that could help contain health care prices that don’t require imposition of limits on pricing.”
            Under the Ryan budget, a 75 year old male with a heart condition will get a voucher and with this voucher will try to find coverage? Where would he find it and at what cost?

          • sjangers

            I didn’t advocate a Ryan budget. I am suggesting that a voucher system may best meet the requirements of what people want in the most efficient way to satisfy those general- but not all specific- desires.

            We may decide under a voucher system that we want older people to have greater spending capacity to meet their health care needs. We may also determine that we don’t have the resources to do that, in which case older people with existing health problems will have a harder time finding comprehensive coverage. Perhaps we’ll settle on a government-run health insurance for those whose circumstances don’t readily conform to the marketplace. I think we can anticipate that there would be some sort of risk sharing in the market, as in our current system, so that only the highest risk individuals would have difficulty being served by private insurance.

            My preference, however we choose to pay for it, would be to have the majority of people get their health insurance in the open market, where the inefficiency can be contained to between twenty and thirty percent of total cost of service for administration and profits. That makes more sense than having everyone served by a single-payer government insurance where inefficiency, if other government programs can offer a reasonable comparison, will run closer to fifty percent, and customer options to appeal decisions will be to a nominally-independent arm of their insurance provider, rather than to a moderately impartial government oversight body of the free market insurance system.

          • legal eagle

            There is no more “open” market in the U.S. health insurance market than there is in the oil industry….

            Do you have any data to back up your hypothesize that there is 50% “inefficiency” in programs such as Medicare?

            I’ve dealt with insurance companies for years and there is
            no such thing as a “nominally-independent arm of the insurance provider”…perhaps you can enlighten me? Have you ever resolved a dispute with an insurance carrier through a “nominally-independent arm” of the insurance company?

          • sjangers

            Which makes those markets at least slightly more open than dealing with government monopoly.

            I have no specific data on my conclusion about inefficiency in government-run human service programs, just close to twenty years of experience dealing with government human services and mental health programs. It’s all estimates based on how efficiently we were able to use state and federal money under their guidelines, as well as observing how they were utilizing their own resources, but I’m pretty confident in my assessment. If you spend any real time in those systems, and compare their intended purpose with how resources are allocated, it can be pretty discouraging. I suspect that a thorough comparison of resources utilized to primary purpose would demonstrate similar results in a government monopoly health care system, although all I have to support that conclusion is supposition based on related experience.

            I probably wasn’t clear enough on the last point. The “nominally-independent arm of the insurance provider” is a reference to a hypothetical appeal process in a government-run health care system. I was contrasting that possibility to the current system, where government oversight of existing health insurance providers allows customers to appeal company decisions to a more independent body than would be the case if they were appealing denial of service to another branch of the monopoly government health care provider.

          • legal eagle

            The only nominally independent appeal process in the insurance industry are the courts…

          • sjangers

            Appeals to insurance commissioners, commissions and legislatures all give consumers some leverage when dealing with insurers who don’t want to comply with the terms or spirit of their contracts. Courts, as you note, are another option. Those options become far less independent and responsive to consumer needs when they start protecting their own interest (i.e., they are also the health insurance or health care provider).

          • legal eagle

            The Ryan budget calls for a Medicare voucher system which may be interesting theoretically but not practical? Why would insurance companies have any incentive to control costs or premiums….

          • sjangers

            The idea is to build a competitive system. More insurance providers seeking those same premium dollars would have some incentive to control costs. This environment doesn’t presently exist in all parts of the country- although opinions differ as to whether or not government has contributed to that problem- but could become a reality. If there’s profit to be made by offering health insurance coverage, there’s every incentive for investors to become involved in the system if the current providers are reaping huge profits or are massively inefficient. The problem with a Medicare voucher system may be that government expenditures on senior health care may not be in line with the existing price structure. That needs to be addressed through increased expenditure or through government incentive to reduce costs in health care. That’s another issue, but one where there does appear to be opportunities for effective action.

          • legal eagle

            Theory is one thing, reality is another….In my experience, Medicare system works quite efficiently, both administratively and in cost controls…
            I believe the system would work for all with supplemental insurance available for those wish to pay for it….
            The current form of employer based health insurance has become obsolete due to high costs and insurance company greed.
            What you are proposing seems to be theoretical in nature. The Obamacare model was based upon the Mass. insurance model.
            You appear to subscribe to the “government is bad” ideology….Ideology is fine, practicality is better….

          • sjangers

            Medicare isn’t a broken model, although I do hear a great deal of criticism of it from consumers and health care providers. It isn’t the first place I’d look if I wanted to reform our health care system.

            Supplemental insurance would be a critical part of any free market voucher system. The United States lacks the resources to provide Cadillac care for all its citizens. We should provide basic coverage. But those who want to spend additional resources of their own on health care shouldn’t be prevented from doing so.

            Employer-based health care is failing. I think the reason for high costs are much more complex than simple insurance company greed. Any solution ought to look for ways to bring down costs of health care. Taking insurance companies out of the equation and replacing them with inefficient government institutions doesn’t appear to offer much hope for system reform. There needs to be a combination of interests working to keep costs in line: consumers, payers, care providers, and government.

            Monolithic health care systems in other countries don’t appear to be ideal models for containing costs and providing quality service, although they haven’t failed yet. The situation in Massachusetts probably hasn’t matured sufficiently for us to assess its success or failure. I hear mixed reports form my friends to the south. I know that my own state is apparently aiming toward some sort of centralization of service, but early reports suggest that may have failed before it could even start to get off the ground.

            And you’re right. I do tend to be very suspicious of turning power over to government unless it’s absolutely necessary. There are too many examples where government simply hasn’t been up to the task of managing large business models to assume that they will do better next time. In addition to practical considerations, I’m also concerned any time we invest too much power in the hands of governmental institutions. It’s far too easy for them to abuse that power. I’d rather have private enterprise trying to abuse lesser amounts of power while the government protects us from those attempted abuses.

          • legal eagle

            Medicare is government rum health insurance….It’s efficient and cost effective…
            Please why you are more concerned about government abuse than corporate abuse? I’ve never understood the reality of that argument….
            Being anti-government is not a policy , it’s an ideology…

          • sjangers

            My concern about government abuse is practical in more than one regard. First is my first-hand observation of the tendency of bureaucracies to protect themselves. Rather than default to their reason for existence, they default to making sure they preserve their existence, even when that means hiding their failures at the expense of recognizing the need to correct those failures in order to serve the public. Second is the very rational observation that consumers’ rights are better protected when government has a primary mission of ensuring that they are protected from power imbalances in the marketplace than when government is the marketplace. That’s not ideology. That’s common sense.

          • legal eagle

            With all due respect, your theoretical belief that a truly competitive health insurance industry will come into being has proven to be false in the past so why will it now suddenly come to fruition?

          • sjangers

            My understanding of the failure of a competitive health insurance market to evolve is that much of the difficulty has been with state regulation. I know that about twenty years ago in my state there was very little competition, but that was because the state sought to manage to industry by limiting consumer options. In recent years they have opened the market somewhat and consumers do have more options.

          • legal eagle

            Nonsense…you are rationalizing….If you want to blame regulation for everything then you are, again, making an ideological argument not a practical one…

          • sjangers

            I haven’t blamed regulation for everything. That’s your rationalization for dismissing my argument. What I have done is point out instances in which over-regulation has proved harmful. Reducing competition in the health insurance market, based on both my experience in my home state and claims I’ve seen made about the situation in other states, appears to be one situation in which this is a legitimate concern.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            So now it’s outreach? Up until today, you’ve been calling it racism. Suddenly realize how asinine you’ve been sounding?

  • Skip in VA

    The liberal idea is to keep their “base” fired up. Joe Biden, in a campaign speech in Danville, VA to his, mostly black, audience adamantly declared, “the Republicans want to put you all back in shackles.” What he should have said is, the Democrats want to KEEP you in shackles. You see, I believe that the Democratic Party is perpetuating the race card and, thusly, social slavery on blacks, Hispanics and any other minority in sight. This type of slavery is created by the giveaways the Dems hand out constantly. Everything from food stamps, free cell phones, subsidized housing, etc. This keeps the base voting liberal as they see that if the Republicans get in office this will all be taken away. They are, in fact, enslaved by this. In spite of all the smoke blowing by Obama and his ship of fools, blacks are no better off under this administration than before. But they just don’t see it.

  • gold7406

    When dealing from a position of weakness, you resort to the lowest denominator. The left has very few accomplishments, so by trying to slice someone else, it’s deflects their impotence. This is how they try and justify social justice.