Friday, September 16, 2011

Krugman and the New Moralizing

Paul Krugman loves to take on what he calls the "moralizing" crowd, at least when it comes to making economic policy choices. If someone objects to the Federal Reserve System inflating money so that it devalues the holdings of individuals -- a confiscation of their wealth -- then that person is engaging in what Krugman calls "moralizing," and that is bad.

However, when it comes to the Welfare State, Krugman suddenly turns into Jeremiah, excoriating the Israelites for not worshiping the God of Collectivism. In his column today, he repeats the leftist canard that in a free society, one is "free to die." (The other leftist slogan is that in a free society, one is "free to starve," which is why I guess people in North Korea are going hungry.)

I did not watch the Tea Party debate the other night and am not interested in pulling up the recordings, given I just am tuned out to hearing politicians yapping. However, there was a situation in which someone asked Ron Paul a hypothetical question about a 30-year-old man who had not purchased medical insurance, Krugman writes (always trying to put Paul in the worst possible light because, after all, Ron Paul cannot possibly be as decent a human being as is Paul Krugman):
Mr. Paul replied, “That’s what freedom is all about — taking your own risks.” Mr. Blitzer pressed him again, asking whether “society should just let him die.”

And the crowd erupted with cheers and shouts of “Yeah!”

The incident highlighted something that I don’t think most political commentators have fully absorbed: at this point, American politics is fundamentally about different moral visions.

Now, there are two things you should know about the Blitzer-Paul exchange. The first is that after the crowd weighed in, Mr. Paul basically tried to evade the question, asserting that warm-hearted doctors and charitable individuals would always make sure that people received the care they needed — or at least they would if they hadn’t been corrupted by the welfare state. Sorry, but that’s a fantasy. People who can’t afford essential medical care often fail to get it, and always have — and sometimes they die as a result.
Indeed, people can die from a lack of treatment, but, as Krugman notes in this interview, if who is to die is decided by government agents wearing white coats and repeating the mantra of "lower costs, lower costs," then we should "let them die." Furthermore, the notion that many people in the medical professions are motivated ONLY by money is a huge lie.

My grandfather, Dr. William Chisholm, served as a medical missionary in Korea before World War II, and he treated many, many people who never paid him a cent. Today, my cousin, David Morton, who is Dr. Chisholm's grandson, works in the hinterlands of Malawi treating patients who cannot pay him. (According to Krugman, those men are just fantasies. No doubt, they must have evil intentions, since they were and are motivated by their Christianity, and we already know what Krugman thinks of Christians.)

Furthermore, we have many doctors all over the world, not just in the USA, who will treat patients who do not compensate them. Yes, because medical care is scarce, ultimately someone needs to pay something, and often others are willing to pay, or some doctors at least are willing to essentially charge themselves in certain situations. Furthermore, Ron Paul is a doctor and is much closer to the medical scene than Krugman, yet here is Krugman lecturing the man about medical care and essentially calling him a liar. Yes, that is what Krugman is doing.

According to Krugman, ONLY the Welfare State can ensure the moral outcomes; anything else is immoral, and those who object to any aspect of the Welfare State are immoral monsters who just want to see others suffer and starve. Am I exaggerating? Read the column and you will see what I mean.

As for morality, Krugman says that it is a good thing for governments to destroy the assets of individuals through inflation (and to oppose such a thing, according to Krugman, is immoral, as those who oppose it do so only because they selfishly want other people to be out of work and to suffer), but when a man who has been a doctor speaks of compassion within his profession, well that man is an immoral liar.

So, I guess in Wonderland, people in a free society are "free to die," and in Wonderland, Krugman is free to lie.

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wish Ron had pointed out that prior to the welfare state and medicare, major medical polices were available for just a few dollars a month. A cost pretty much anyone can afford.

If we got rid of all that nonsense, there is no reason for anyone to be uninsured unless they choose to be and that is an individual decision and we should respect that.

Anonymous said...

Great post, William.

I always like to point out that it wasn't libertarians who gave us all the interventions that have made medical care expensive; who thus made people dependent on the government; and who then spent the government into bankruptcy so the dependent masses would be "thrown out into the street."

The justification for all these interventions is that somebody, somewhere, won't get the same care as somebody else who has more money. Liberals have trouble with reality, of which scarcity is and probably always will be a part. A federal bureaucracy doesn't make scarcity go away. Rather, it exacerbates the problem of scarcity by allocating resources inefficiently.

Mike Cheel said...

My opinion is that the biggest barrier for people to get low cost or free health care is the fear of lawsuits and government driving up costs via regulation and policy.

It is funny (and sad) how people somehow think that the government is a compassionate organization.

Bob Roddis said...

As Prof. Anderson points out, we're dealing with "progressives" here.

http://lewrockwell.com/anderson/anderson323.html

Lord Keynes said...

And what ethical theory, pray, do you adhere to?

It is priceless to be lectured on moral hypocrisy by natural rights libertarians.

When your natural rights theory that ALL violations of private property rights are unjustifiable and immoral leads logically to the conclusion that the destruction of the earth and humanity by an asteroid is preferable to coercive government taxation and spending programs to prevent such a catastrophe, you have no business lecturing people on morality:

http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com/2011/09/note-on-libertarian-asteroid-dilemma.html

Or, if by some miracle, you are a libertarian who subscribes to some form of utilitarianism/consequentialism (as Mises, in one of his moments of intelligence, did), then you should know perfectly well that consequentialist moral arguments easily justify taxation, universal health care and many other interventions:

"There is, however, no such thing as natural law and a perennial standard of what is just and what is unjust. Nature is alien to the idea of right and wrong. “Thou shalt not kill” is certainly not part of natural law. “Thou shalt not kill” is certainly not part of natural law. ....
The notion of right and wrong is a human device, a utilitarian precept designed to make social cooperation under the division of labor possible. All moral rules and human laws are means for the realization of definite ends. There is no method available for the appreciation of their goodness or badness other than to scrutinize their usefulness for the attainment of the ends chosen and aimed at
(L. Mises, 1998 [1949]. Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 716).

“Economics neither approves nor disapproves of government measures restricting production and output. It merely considers it its duty to clarify the consequences of such measures. The choice of policies to be adopted devolves upon the people. But in choosing they must not disregard the teachings of economics if they want to attain the ends sought. There are certainly cases in which people may consider definite restrictive measures as justified. Regulations concerning fire prevention are restrictive and raise the cost of production. But the curtailment of total output they bring about is the price to be paid for avoidance of greater disaster. The decision about each restrictive measure is to be made on the ground of a meticulous weighing of the costs to be incurred and the prize to be obtained. [i.e., utilitarian judgements can be made] No reasonable man could possibly question this rule”

L. Mises, 1998 [1949]. Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, p. 741.

Funny how Mises says "no reasonable man could possibly question this rule". Have a think about it before you get on your high horse.

Anonymous said...

"The crowd erupted in cheers" ???

There was 2 or 3 people who yelled out...

Stop beating your war drum because you are scared that Ron Paul is right.

tarran said...

Holy false dichotomy, Lord Keynes! The only choice is extinction or having the government do something about asteroids?

If an astronomer identifies an asteroid is likely to collide with the Earth, no voluntary society could be formed to deal with the issue?

I thought that whole Society = State meme died when Mussolini's corpse was hung from a lamp-post. Guess I was wrong.

You might want to consider the notion that people struggling to put food on the table or to purchase medical services or to save for retirement in an inflationary environment have more pressing concerns than asteroid defense, and that's the reason you have to point guns at them to get them to pony up the money.

And, you might want to reconsider the wisdom of accusing people who eschew violence in achieving their aims of being unethical. It makes you look like an utter prat.

Sean O'Donnell said...

I would like William Anderson to counter the Hayek and Mises claims.

Anonymous said...

@Lord Keynes

"There is no method available for the appreciation of their goodness or badness other than to scrutinize their usefulness for the attainment of the ends chosen and aimed at."

Yes, and we have scrutinized the usefulness of Keynesian and socialistic policies and found them wanting, to say the least.

Your policies are not just unethical -- they are a disaster in utilitarian terms. What is ethical is what works. "The ends justify the means" was the mantra of the communists, whose promised utopia failed to emerge even after they had killed and impoverished millions of people to bring it about.

You socialists gave us big government, got people used to it and dependent on it, and then kept on spending so it wouldn't be there when they needed it. All quite predictable to the libertarians, who said as much would happen.

Just because you say "universal health care," doesn't make it universal or healthy or caring. At best, you can create the short-lived illusion of a panacea in the same way that an individual can live high on the hog if he quits working and maxes out his credit cards. But it doesn't work in the long run -- not that Keynes cared about the long run. We are all dead, and such.

Your whole ideology is based on the illusion of government as a something-for-nothing machine, as Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy. But government cannot undo scarcity, cannot create wealth by printing more money.

jason h said...

Many individuals within society certainly may feel a moral obligation to keep the risk-taking young man alive.

Should a family in California pay to keep a man in Texas alive who chose not to wear a bike helmet?

According to Krugman, Society is simultaneously too stupid and heartless to take care of ourselves, but smart and compassionate enough to vote for Democrats to take care of everyone cradle to grave.

How many non-profit charity hospitals have been run out of business or taken over by a state-run monstrosity.

The perfect health insurance plan for this healthy young man would be a basic catastrophic coverage- i.e. he pays for everything out of pocket except for "sudden need of intensive care".

It would cost about as much as car insurance - oh darn...that's right, thanks to the gov't this type of insurance is illegal and unavailable.

DesertBunny said...

Lawd,Massa Keynes,

you sho is on yo high hoss, boss man. Us black folks was property at one time, ya see, and old massas back then, why they meticulously weighed the costs to be incurred and the prize to be obtained,
us niggas being the moral equivalent of a bale of cotton to them.

Now that we free or suppose to be, anyway, we don't cotton to be treated like niggas. My life don't belong to you, brother, it don't belong to the president, it don't belong to the congress, it don't belong to the people. It belong to me. And if you want some of it, if the president does or the congress does or the people do, why then they gotta ask me nicely, not threaten me. That's the way free people treat each other.

Think about that as you climb down from your high horse.

Anonymous said...

anyone upset about poor (or irresponsible, in Blitzer's example) people not getting free medical care, go right ahead and get a medical degree and treat all your patients for free.

William L. Anderson said...

The Law of Scarcity governs medical care, whether we like it or not. Many on the Left have sold government care as an abolition of scarcity, which clearly cannot be the case.

Thus, we get the second scenario, the one that Krugman has been praising: Government medical care accompanied by the "compassionate" "death panels," which "cut costs." In other words, we still are talking about the Law of Scarcity, but now we distribute medical care politically.

What LK has done is to quite Mises on utilitarianism, and then to claim that since Mises wrote those words, that is what I believe, too. Of course, I can play that game, too. I can quote Bill Clinton on the Waco Massacre, and then say that since LK has not denounced what Clinton and company did and said afterward, then he must be in 100 percent support of shooting, gassing, and immolating little children.

Sorry, I don't play those games. LK will have to play by himself.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Krugman rejects the existence of warm-hearted doctors and charitable individuals, and instead advocates a system that depends on warm-hearted bureaucrats and warm-hearted, cartelized insurance companies in order to deliver medical services. Which would you bet on?

jason h said...

@the Armageddon/Deep Impact Fans
Let’s take a non-diverse planet with only two tribes of people – The Bruce Willis and the Elijah Wood.
Say a self-taught astronomer using his home-made telescope in his own backyard discovered said asteroid (read: completely privately funded, no state education or equipment)
Now Bruce unanimously decides to fly into space to destroy the asteroid.
Elijah unanimously decides to dig into the earth and stockpile enough resources for the entire tribe.
Bruce realizes they don’t have enough resources to complete the job.
Under the utilitarian ‘right to the resources of others to save the species’, Bruce invades Elijah, and takes resources by force.
Bruce fails to destroy asteroid. All perish.

Rad said...

@LK

This is ridiculous. So a giant asteroid threatens all life on our planet and that then somehow warrants "coercive government taxation and spending programs" AND universal health care? Proving too much are we?

AP Lerner said...

"when it comes to the Welfare State, Krugman suddenly turns into Jeremiah, excoriating the Israelites for not worshiping the God of Collectivism"

Where did he say this? Care to provide a link or some sort of proof.

"he repeats the leftist canard that in a free society, one is "free to die." (The other leftist slogan is that in a free society, one is "free to starve," which is why I guess people in North Korea are going hungry.)"

If the left is the root of all evil, then why do teach at a public university in the most left leaning state in the union?

"I just am tuned out to hearing politicians yapping."

So again, you yap about what you know nothing about? Thoughtful.

"the notion that many people in the medical professions are motivated ONLY by money is a huge lie."

This is probably correct, but of course you provide zero proof. Should we just take your word on everything, or are you just that lazy?

What is true is the health insurance industry is motivated by one thing, and that's money. Here's a source to support my comment. Took me 3 seconds to post. Give it a try sometime.

http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Spin-Insurance-Corporate-Deceiving/dp/1608192814/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296246153&sr=8-1

"Wonderland, Krugman is free to lie"

As are you.

Lord Keynes said...

"What LK has done is to quite Mises on utilitarianism, and then to claim that since Mises wrote those words, that is what I believe, too... etc"

This is laughable.
I have done no such thing.
In fact, in that comment above, my actual assumption is that you are a natural rights supporter.

I have challenged you more than once here to tell us what ethical theory you actually subcribe to.

You have failed to do so. Why?

jason h said...

Where did he say this? Care to provide a link or some sort of proof.

Of course, Krugman doesn't explicitly say,

"when it comes to the Welfare State, Krugman suddenly turns into Jeremiah, excoriating the Israelites for not worshiping the God of Collectivism"

It's called hyperbole.

Just giving a little back to Krugman. Read enough of him and you find Krugman writes with an arrogant and sarcastic tone. Often using hyperbole.

Lord Keynes said...

"tarran said...
Holy false dichotomy, Lord Keynes! The only choice is extinction or having the government do something about asteroids?


False. There is no "false dichotomy", only a logically consistent and possible hypothetical scenario for naturla rights theorists to deal with.

Now it might well be that the resources would be made availble by voluntary contributions. Or it might not. These are 2 possibilities.

This particular hypothetical situation assumes that the necessary resources have NOT been provided voluntarily.

The consistent natural rights theorist would still argue that any such govenrment coercion to save the earth would be immoral. Period.

Derek F. said...

How did Krugman ever win the a Nobel Prize?

One of the major reasons healthcare is so expensive is government involvment (medicare, medicaid, mandates, inability of the resident of one state to purchase cheaper insurance from another, etc). If you removed government from the healthcare equation and allowed it to truly be a "free market," you'd see costs drop dramatically thereby making for affordable healthcare, including insurance, for the masses.

As far as the "poor" goes we must take into consideration the relative meaning of poor. "Poor" in a third world country is much different than "poor" in the US. For example, 80% of "poor" US households have air conditioning, 92% of "poor" US households have a microwave, 60% of "poor" US households have cable or satellite TV, more than 50% of "poor" US households have a video game system, and the list goes on. How many third world "poor" households have these things? The answer is zero.

If we allow healthcare to be offered within a truly free market system, costs would decrease to affordable levels. And if the "poor" cancelled the cable / satellite subscription, cancelled the cell phone service, and did not purchase video game systems for their kids and the games you play on them, I'm sure they'd be able to afford healthcare too.

It's not rocket science folks. It's plain 'ol common sense, which Krugman apparently has very little of.

tarran said...

Mister Keynes, you make a ridiculous argument because of its lack of realism: there are more options than {do nothing, the state must save us}. There are people who are concerned about asteroid strikes. There are people who are worried about other things than asteroid strikes. People will move from one camp to the other based on their personal circumstances and knowledge. Once asteroid strikes become a high priority, people will contribute to mitigating the risk. This will occur if the perception of risk rises (say, due to an astronomer finding a dangerous asteroid) or if more urgent needs (shelter, food, beer, medicine, sex, retirement, more beer etc) are satisfied.

Should a supernova occur within a few tens of light-years of the sun, everyone on the surface of the Earth would die. Should we sink all the production of humanity into designing some heavily shielded lair into which a viable population of humans permanently reside? Is the refusal of statists to carry out such a programme an ethically monstrous lapse as they would allow all humanity to be wiped out rather than to see arts funding for middle-school education cut?

Pete said...

LK:

When your natural rights theory that ALL violations of private property rights are unjustifiable and immoral leads logically to the conclusion that the destruction of the earth and humanity by an asteroid is preferable to coercive government taxation and spending programs to prevent such a catastrophe, you have no business lecturing people on morality

But you require the individual freedom to act on your "preference" that others be taxed of their wealth so that the outcome can be consistent with your individual preference.

When you say that libertarians "prefer" something that you don't prefer, and that your preference should overrule their preference, all you're doing is proving them right that individual preference should be the determining factor. You are in fact calling for your own individual preference be the determining factor in what happens to you.

tarran said...

One other note:

Let's say aliens from Omicron Persei 8 arrive on the Earth demanding that they be provided with 8 million human children for them to consume alive, what would be more ethically monstrous, Mr Keynes?

Taking your daughter by the hand and turning her over to be devoured? Or picking up a rifle in doomed resistance like the Poles in the Warsaw Ghetto?

Lord Keynes said...

"you make a ridiculous argument because of its lack of realism:"

It is not "unrealistic" at all.

"Once asteroid strikes become a high priority, people will contribute to mitigating the risk."

LOL... They already are a high priority. The private sector hasn't even organised detection systems on their own. For that it has taken government:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2002/apr/18/spaceexploration.highereducation

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/4760402/Britain-leads-defence-against-asteroid-impact.html

Lord Keynes said...

"Should a supernova occur within a few tens of light-years of the sun, everyone on the surface of the Earth would die."

No, they won't. We would require a massive mobilisation of resourecs on the scale of WWII to build some kind of shielding in space to protect the planet.

Brian Drake said...

@Lord Keynes

"The consistent natural rights theorist would still argue that any such govenrment coercion to save the earth would be immoral. Period."

Yes. And?...

"the destruction of the earth and humanity by an asteroid is preferable to coercive government taxation..."

That's not what a "natural rights" libertarian qua libertarian would conclude. They would conclude that coercive government taxation is wrong. Whether committing wrong to save the entire human race (to play your nonsense game which assumes government is the only institution capable of stopping an asteroid - an assumption that is laughable beyond compare) is preferable to being moral is a value judgment and value is subjective.

Ethical theories don't have to bend to justify EVERYTHING you do. Sometimes you decide you'd rather one thing over being moral. It's rather revealing there is a compulsion to develop a "moral" system that basically makes everything justified as long as you can dream up "good enough" (again, subjective) ends to justify your means.

If you steal from people, and imprison or kill them if they resist, that's wrong. It is still theft/murder even if you use that money to save everyone's life. After the fact, we may forgive you because of that (assuming you actually saved our lives). But you still stole and killed and that forgiveness is ours to grant or deny.

And if/when the asteroid misses the Earth because the calculations of the monopoly funded scientist were off (or partly in metric/partly in imperial units..cuz that's obviously a fantasy that would never happen), and it's clear that no one was in danger from the asteroid after all, you'll have a tougher time receiving that clemency for all the theft and murder you perpetrated for our own "good".

But that risk shouldn't dissuade you. Where's the strength of your conviction?

Lord Keynes said...

Let's say aliens from Omicron Persei 8 arrive on the Earth demanding ... etc

Under consequentialist ethics, of course resistance would be justified. Especially if you had a real change of winning.

However, if these imaginary aliens were so powerful that they overwhelmed the planet, completely occupied it, crushed all resistance, then their horrible demand wouldn't be a matter of some "voluntary" decision arrived at by an ethical theory, it would compelled, done by vicious overwhelming force. So all the ethical argument is irrelevant.

Lord Keynes said...

"Whether committing wrong to save the entire human race (to play your nonsense game which assumes government is the only institution capable of stopping an asteroid - an assumption that is laughable beyond compare) is preferable to being moral is a value judgment and value is subjective."

False. That would be an ethical judgement, pure and simple. Under natural rights theory, ethical propositions have objective truth, not subjective truth.

You fail even basic philosophy of ethics.

tarran said...

So, Mr Keynes, you would doom all of humanity to extinction rather than part with a fraction of the children - a fraction that is so small the dip in human population would be unnoticeable?

You, sir, are an ethical monster. Welcome to the club, comrade! ;)

Lord Keynes said...

"So, Mr Keynes, you would doom all of humanity to extinction.. etc

That wasn't even the stated alternative in your original exmaple. You should have been more specific.

If in fact people were happy to die fighting rather see that horrible demand come to pass, it doesn't make you a "ethical monster". You would be a heroic but in your OWN words "doomed resistance".

And you ignore my additional statemnt: if you had a chance of winning, any such extinction wouldn't even happen if victory was won.

And note the comparison with saving the planet from an asteroid: the majority of people would very probably be happy to give up some part of their consumption of resources required by national and international government mobilisation to save the planet knowing this will save and them and their families.

tarran said...

LOL... They already are a high priority. The private sector hasn't even organised detection systems on their own. For that it has taken government:

I guess you are laughing because you missed my point so thoroughly you must have thought I was making a joke.

It's not a high priority to someone trying to figure out how they ae going to pay the rent. To them the 100% certainty of rain falling in the next two weeks is a bigger threat than the 10^-n threat of an asteroid impact in the next 30 years.

It's not a high priority to someone who hasn't the finances to support them in old age.

Nor to the person struggling to put food on the table.

You assume that something that is important to you is important universally, but it is not - as revealed by what people who are not you are investing their energies into.

Once those needs are satisfied, or if the risk grows because of new information, then you can talk about it being a high priority.

BTW, I laughed at your response to my supernova question for two reasons:
1) You completely ducked the question as to whether the failure to prepare for a supernova was an indication of failure for statists.

2) Your proposed solution is no solution at all: the deadly radiation arrives at the speed of light. There is no warning of impending disaster. By the time your super manhattan project is running, it's too late. Moreover, one can't preposition the shield unless you completely englobe the Earth in several meters of lead.

Lord Keynes said...

And your charge has yet another consequence: were all those people in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising "ethical monsters" for resisting Nazi monsters who were taking them and their families away to be killed?

(By referring to "Poles", you have also confused the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 with the totally different Polish Warsaw Uprising from August 1944 to October 1944, by the way).

Anonymous said...

The question asked to Ron Paul was a big setup.

First, it's curious that Blitzer used an example of a man in his 30s only to produce the case of one of Paul's past associates who died supposedly without insurance (the fact that he accumulated 400k of medical debt shows he was given a great deal of medical care, so it follows that his "lack of insurance" did not necessarily lead to his death). He was in his 30s.

Second, the website that sprang up a day before the debate was http://lethimdie.com/. Strange that. Coincidence? I think not.

Third, a the website http://lethimdie.com/ is owned by a man named Matt Ortega. Here is his bio from his own website (emphasis mine):

Born in Oakland, raised in Hayward and Danville, he earned a B.A. in Political Science, with a minor in History, at the University of Arizona.
Upon graduation in 2006, Matt worked as a field coordinator for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund's independent-expenditure campaign against seven-term Congressman Richard Pombo (R-Tracy, Calif.).
In 2007, Matt served as an online organizer with a statewide, California healthcare coalition. He joined the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C. for the 2008 presidential campaign cycle that year.
Since his departure from the DNC in 2009, Matt worked at the State Department as a web developer and served as New Media Director for a clean energy coalition.
Currently, he is a new media consultant with New Partners, and writes independently about the 2012 Republican presidential candidates.
http://www.mattortega.com/about/


One of the clients of Matt Ortega is Protect Your Care http://www.protectyourcare.org/.

It seems to me that this shill somehow got Wolf Blitzer to ask this particular question in order to pull this whole publicity stunt. It's marketing firm theater. Way to shill CNN!

Lord Keynes said...

"Your proposed solution is no solution at all: the deadly radiation arrives at the speed of light. "

LOL... way to fail science 101.

If any star goes supernova within the danger-zone region of 30 light years, there would AMPLE time to do something about it.

It takes 30 YEARS for electromagnetic radiation travelling at the speed of light to reach the earth. Longer for high energy particle radiation (with mass) to arrive.

Lord Keynes said...

"It's not a high priority to someone trying to figure out how they ae going to pay the rent. etc etc

You'd have to ask to be sure. Even if I were, as you say, worrying about the rent, I would still be worried about the possibility, however unlikely, that I an dmy family might be killed in global catastrophe, especially now we have the resources, science and technology to do something about it.

Furthermor, it should be a high priority to policy-makers and scientists whose business it is think about these things. Your objections are feeble.

tarran said...

And note the comparison with saving the planet from an asteroid: the majority of people would very probably be happy to give up some part of their consumption of resources required by national and international government mobilisation to save the planet knowing this will save and them and their families

This is too funny! The only way your argument makes sense is if they'll happily donate their wealth/production to the state, but they will refuse to donate to a private actor putting together a response!

Moreover, your argument that people choosing to die rather than handing over perhaps on child from each town on earth to some hypothetical space aliens are behaving ethically unlike people who choose not to use violence to amass the resources needed to save the lives of all humanity is pretty unhinged.

You are holding some contradictory positions. To be consistent, you either have to condemn the people who choose to fight and doom humanity to extinction, or you must witdraw your assertion that people who limit themselves to peacefully acquired resources in accomplishing their goals are ethical monsters.

So which is it Mr Keynes?

wobbles said...

Actually LK is partially correct. Natural rights theory makes a distinction between what is ethical and what is moral, one being a set of rules which must apply to all equally, the other being a personal set of beliefs.

According to natural rights theory, no one is under the obligation to help a man dying on the street as they walk by, even if saving his life only requires lifting a finger. It says as long as you did not aggress against that person, you are within your rights to withhold assistance.

However, all compassionate good-natured people would help that person, as it is in fact the right thing to do. We would also look in disgust at the person who did not help, and spit at his feet for being a terrible human being. But he is not a criminal.

Lord Keynes said...

"To be consistent, you either have to condemn the people who choose to fight and doom humanity to extinction, or you must witdraw your assertion that people who limit themselves to peacefully acquired resources in accomplishing their goals are ethical monsters."

There is no "inconsistency".

And I did not claim they were "ethical monsters" at all. That is your desparate straw man. I said:

"When your natural rights theory that ALL violations of private property rights are unjustifiable and immoral leads logically to the conclusion that the destruction of the earth and humanity by an asteroid is preferable to coercive government taxation and spending programs to prevent such a catastrophe, you have no business lecturing people on morality"

In other words, I find any ethical theory that places absolute private property rights above the end of allowing humanity to continue survival to be wanting. As I say on my blog:

"The extinction of the human species in scenarios where government intervention would be required to save it follows logically from natural rights ethical precepts. That is a very high price to pay for a theory which also lacks any credible justification."

Bharat Chandrasekhar said...

Lord Keynes, that is the definition of a false dichotomy. You are only offering two choices in a made-up situation in which the answer must and can only be one or the other. You state this is not a false dichotomy by defining it with your own definition, which unfortunately is still a false dichotomy.

Mike Cheel said...

I would like to point out this article:

https://www.technologyreview.com/business/38482/?p1=BI

"The clinic, built by a startup called Healthpoint Services, is one of a network of eight "e-health points" that the for-profit company has built in India as part of a growing effort by entrepreneurs to capitalize on the rapid expansion of cellular and broadband access in the poorest parts of the world."

Refute that...

Brian Drake said...

@Lord Keynes

"That would be an ethical judgement, pure and simple. Under natural rights theory, ethical propositions have objective truth, not subjective truth. "

The question on whether something is right or wrong is an objective ethical question. The question on whether you value being right (morally good) more than something else is a subjective value question.

Example: Stealing is wrong. Some people subjectively prefer the value of obtaining the possessions of others over the value of being moral. We call those people thieves. Their subjective preference does not negate the objective definition of moral wrong. Just as the accountant who cooks the books does not change the rules of arithmetic.

Berlin Brown said...

I think we should start identifying what health care is and is not. What health care insurance is and is not.

These are services and sometimes products.

An individual is free to purchase these services or not. Just the other day, I had the choice of getting extra services at my dental cleaning. In the case of mostly non life threatening services, a medical professional will ask you? Do you want the extra white cleaning? Do you want the regular? Do you want your cavity filled? Do you want a crown?

It is about choice and cost savings for the consumer.

Couldn't you make the same argument for regular health care services? Do you want the generic drug? or the designer drug? Do you want the experimental surgery?

There is health care at the end of life versus health care when you are younger.

All of this has to be considered when we talk about health care. If we look at it as a service and don't have government involved, then we are better off.

Paul Krugman wants government involved because he only sees health care as a life or death issue, when it really isn't. He believes that the tens of million in poverty will die if they don't get health insurance.

Some may. But let's get real about the ones that are truly in danger.

Sam said...

So if humans were endangering their own existence by their own action and the only way to prevent extinction was to enslave all humans, LK would choice enslavement. Nice. Does this also apply to the individual?

tarran said...

If any star goes supernova within the danger-zone region of 30 light years, there would AMPLE time to do something about it.

ROFL. Mr Keynes, you might want to bone up on Einstein's theory of Special Relativity. There is no 30 years' warning.

The gamma ray front is the warning. And it's all over in a day or so.

And your charge has yet another consequence: were all those people in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising "ethical monsters" for resisting Nazi monsters who were taking them and their families away to be killed?

I don't think they were. If anyone is asserting that they were it is you! After all they were resisting the state. To me they are heroes.

Lord Keynes said...

"The gamma ray front is the warning. And it's all over in a day or so."

Gamma rays are electro-magnetic radiation. They travel at the speed of light.

Special Relativity doesn't change the speed at which electro-magnetic radiation stating today 20 light years away travels through space. It will take 20 years for it to reach us.

You have no idea what you're talking about.

Lord Keynes said...

"So if humans were endangering their own existence by their own action and the only way to prevent extinction was to enslave all humans,"

That is logically incoherent.

If humans were endangering their own existence by their own action (e.g., killing each other), then all consequentialism would give you is a justification for some state control over that behaviour to prevent it, nothing else. There would be NO justification for slavery.

That is a bizarre non sequitur.

Sam said...

Speed of light. By the time the light to see the supernova is here the gamma radiation would also be here.

freddy said...

Thank you, Sam. One wonders what harmless physical phenomenon generated by a supernova can outrun light to the extent that it would both allow us to detect the radiation coming at us and give us time to respond before the traveling-at-the-speed-of-light deadly stuff got here.

jason h said...

Special Relativity doesn't change the speed at which electro-magnetic radiation stating today 20 light years away travels through space. It will take 20 years for it to reach us.

True, of course. But that includes the visible light that we see. Meaning when we see the Super Nova on earth it actually happened 20 years ago.

Type I Super Nova's last a few minutes to a few days.
Type II Super Nova's may last several months.

The only way we get a 20 year head start is if the star gives off some indication 20 years prior to it going Super Nova.

So Super Nova = FLASH! Death!
Take cover under your desk kids.

Sam said...

Some catastrophic AGW folks think the only way to stay clear of the tipping point of CO2 concentration is to force humans into isolated agrarian communities. To me, and many other people, this would be slavery.

Anonymous said...

Lord Keynes is never wrong. He is infallible. He must be one of the elites that currently runs the world (i.e., Al Gore). I will gladly give you all the fruits of my labor and liberty. I must not question you.

Lord Keynes said...

"The only way we get a 20 year head start is if the star gives off some indication 20 years prior to it going Super Nova."

There's alreay a very short term early warning in the form of neutrino emissions. This is well known.

But obviously the solution for prediction and early warning years before would require much more powerful technology to detect what goes on inside stars, more empircal study of life cycles of stars etc.

Richard said...

@Lord Keynes... The issue is not whether humanity should come together to attempt to stop an asteroid from destroying the earth. The issue is whether the federal govt is the best entity to manage the effort.

In what way would their ability to tax us result in salvation from such a threat? What would prevent them from spending those taxes on a shelter for themselves, while leaving us to our fates? How would giving them that ability prevent them from squandering those resources on foolish things before we learn of the approaching destruction?

Where do you find support for your faith in govt to succeed at such things?

Anonymous said...

Krugman's column strongly implies that Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare "aren't very expensive."

He's such a genius, why read anyone else?

Anonymous said...

Are we really in an inflationary period compared to 2000-2008? Data says no: http://www.fintrend.com/inflation/inflation_rate/CurrentInflation.asp

William L. Anderson said...

Let's see. Gasoline prices are way up, as are the prices of most commodities. We are paying substantially more for food.

But, I am supposed to believe that I have seen only tiny increases in my cost of living. I don't think so.

langa said...

The logical conclusion implied by Blitzer's question is that people should not be held responsible for the consequences that result from making poor choices. If this conclusion is accepted, the only possible outcomes would be that either: a) people would have no incentive to make wise choices, or more likely, b) people would no longer be allowed to make their own choices to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Lord Keynes offers us his asteroid as the reductio ad absurdum of natural rights. At the point where it is known by everyone with certainty that catastrophe impends unless action is taken, the rush to contribute would be overwhelming, as everyone has the obvious mortal stake.

In the real world, of course, forecasts of unprecedented events are uncertain. Evidence does not convince everyone, or at least not initially or all at once, if ever. Those of us not steeped in the field hear competing experts. Some are convinced with absolute certainty. Others are skeptical. Some are perhaps even influenced by political considerations and the sources of their funding.

I hope his Lordship might advise us: when do we start the Manhattan-like government project he would envision? Are we there yet with asteroids? Global warming? Do we need global government to impose a planetary tax?

As for throw-innocent-children-in-the-volano-to-save-humanity scenarios, I forego advice from his Lordship. I say we fight.

Matthew Swaringen said...

Richard, I think you raise a good point. LK is basically assuming that we all believe that government and confiscation of wealth is the best way to accomplish the goal of diverting the asteroid and that we are so tied to our view of ethics that we ignore the obvious efficiency government has for averting disaster.

But this is not true. The reason that we believe in natural rights is not just because we think they are right logically, but because we do not believe "real life events" contradict them.

On the contrary, we believe these principles will lead us to find solutions that are better in addition to not requiring the use of force against people.

I just want to know who these angels are that LK thinks will run the world and stave off the asteroid while confiscating exactly the right resources from the right people. Where is this proof that government has done a great job managing technological development?

Government might divert resources into detection of some possible threat sooner than the market process would, but it's not as though we've had anything close to a free market to see what people would do voluntarily without coercion. There is no parallel universe to peer into.

LK, I think you would probably say we have too much faith in the market and voluntary action, but I think you have far too much faith in government, and a belief that we secretly agree with you while not caring just so we can get rich.

Anonymous said...

Up here in Canuck, we have socialized medicine. Here is my experience-
http://tony477.tumblr.com/

tarran said...

Oh yes, the << three hours' warning will be plenty of time to do a Manhattan Project.

Mr Keynes perhaps you should avoid the pitfall your namesake repeatedly fell into and not comment on things you are poorly educated on.

At the risk of sounding like Wanda berating Otto about philosophy, Jews living in Warsaw are Poles, neutrinos don't travel faster than the speed of light and a choice of death or state action is a false dichotomy.

Your problem is that you are trying to gin up moral outrage against individualist anarchism for not guaranteeing that it can deal with every crisis, despite the fact it is trivial to show that your system suffers from the same 'flaw'. You've compounded your error by desperately denying that those 'flaws' exist - to the point you are arguing a position that violates the laws of physics. Furthermore, you've been a dick about it - case in point mocking me for failing 'Science 101' while arguing for faster-than-light transmission of a supernova event.

A friendly bit of advice, it's better to gracefully concede a point when one makes an error than to double down and go full retard. Once you go full retard, people remember for a very long time.

mcfrandy said...

One thing nobody here has pointed out is that healthcare is intrinsically expensive because, about ninety years ago, the government granted cartelization powers and licensing requirements to private organizations to monopolize most kinds of healthcare. The American Medical Association, the American Dental Association, etc. put out of business generations of men and women who'd been successfully practicing healthcare, usually learning through apprenticeships.

The result is a class of healthcare monopolists, usually from affluent families which can support their children through expensive government-accredited training and licensing, virtually guaranteeing upper-middle class incomes. Even though many of these people have no serious interest in healthcare: They just know being a doctor or a dentist in a cartelized profession provides a good living.

The result: expensive, indifferent healthcare, very difficult for most people to afford much of. Get government out of healthcare and reintroduce the marketplace.

tarran said...

Beyond cartelization that limits supply, the outlawing of Lodge practice has made medical care expensive since consumers aren't allowed to collectively bargain for medical treatment.

Throw in government subsidies that drive the market clearing price upwards by shifting the demand curve up the P axis, and you have a perfect storm.

I disagree that the medical profession is dominated by a dynastic group that is indifferent to providing proper care. Talk to doctors, particularly young ones, and you will find people dedicated to doing a good job. Indifferent people find residency and medical school too painful to stick through them.

American Patriot said...

what i find amazing is that all progressives are alike - like robots. They make absolutely no sense. They are void of even the faintest trace of logic. I have a couple friends like that and I have given up arguing with them because my dog makes more sense than they do.

Anonymous said...

@tarran, bravo! for the following:

"Your problem is that you are trying to gin up moral outrage against individualist anarchism for not guaranteeing that it can deal with every crisis, despite the fact it is trivial to show that your system suffers from the same 'flaw'. You've compounded your error by desperately denying that those 'flaws' exist - to the point you are arguing a position that violates the laws of physics. Furthermore, you've been a dick about it - case in point mocking me for failing 'Science 101' while arguing for faster-than-light transmission of a supernova event."

LK as much as admitted his error by conceding we would have to wait for technological advances that would allow us to detect events that happened at least a few years prior to the arrival of the light and gamma ray evidence, which of course is physically impossible, as far as we know. No matter, the government should be tasked with solving the unsolvable, nothing else would be morally or ethically right. This is logic on the same level as the uncertainty principle which was invented by so-called progressives to justify their attacks on free market capitalism and true, objective science. They are not just anti-freedom, they're anti-progress as wee.

Bastiat's Ghost said...

As Bastiat eloquently stated, there is "That Which is Seen" and "That Which is Not Seen".

The fundamental deception played on the willing rubes is that government can grant services without a cost. For the few that understand the costs involved, another deception is used: "only the rich have to pay".

Ultimately, humanity will have to evolve beyond its desires for wishful thinking before these deceptions will cease to function. It is thus likely that in the near future the United States of America will be dissolved out of failure to pay its debt obligations - either by direct default or the utter destruction of the US dollar.

Anonymous said...

I believe that as this campaign continues, the Marxists, collectivists, socialists and progressive Liberals will lay down their positions in a way to bring them 360 degrees nose to nose with their own hypocrisy.

I cannot believe this. Here we are looking at mostly intelligent people who read the NYT, arguing firstly about a debate dialogue which was incredibly SPUN to the Left by Krugman. That part i understand.. the agenda is to slime Ron Paul. Typical crap.

Here's the part which creates a gaping opportunity to put the Libs back in the cage. Did you read ONE comment with the word ABORTION in it? No, you didn't. I skimmed for 20 minutes, didn't see it.

These emotionally underdeveloped yet over-educated idiots do not see that they are basically shooting themselves in the ass. I am ready to laugh my ass off right now.

These hundreds of compassionate souls who are jumping on the "smother Ron Paul" goosepile with their comments have in fact aborted their abortion argument with this argument on health insurance. I think this article and the accompanying comments need to be used in Ron Paul's campaign in a most aggressive manner to put an end to their adolescent and myopic paradigm concerning the most heinous, cold, clinical, selfish and disgusting practice in medicine today. Forget religion for now, these people going on about Mr. Heartless Ron Paul are the people who will be seen rioting and harassing over the right to kill a baby because it's unwanted or inconvenient.

This CRAZY display of Collectivist insanity by very intelligent people is a platinum opportunity to bury their argument with their own words. Liberals I believe are in fact underdeveloped emotionally, hence the need for government parenting. Unfortunately, millions of precious babies die for reasons which are often narcissistic and supremely selfish. If focus is placed on this major liberal faux paus by Krugman and his Useful Idiots, it could effectively place American liberals on the edge of failure, as abortion is core to their mantra. These maniacs belong in the old USSR..maybe Putin would like them, but he's actually paying couples to have babies now...

My God, I hope you use it, or somebody uses it. This is like lying about eating the last chocolate chip cookie before looking in the mirror. Holy Shit, Batman, how stupid does stupid get?

Lord Keynes said...

"You've compounded your error by desperately denying that those 'flaws' exist - to the point you are arguing a position that violates the laws of physics. Furthermore, you've been a dick about it - case in point mocking me for failing 'Science 101' while arguing for faster-than-light transmission of a supernova event."

There is no "faster-than-light transmission" assumption - that is your laughable and foolish misinterpretation.

Neutrinos are emitted before the star collapses - that is why they arrive first. This is well known:

"Raymond Davis Jr. and Masatoshi Koshiba were jointly awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics; Davis for his pioneer work on cosmic neutrinos and Koshiba for the first real time observation of supernova neutrinos. The detection of solar neutrinos, and of neutrinos of the SN 1987A supernova in 1987 marked the beginning of neutrino astronomy."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino#Supernova_neutrinos

See here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova_Early_Warning_System

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=2zTnw4fR17YC&pg=PA49&dq=supernova+early+warning&hl=en&ei=nUJ0TqrTBqrwmAW7yaz4DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CEIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=supernova%20early%20warning&f=false

Oh, and you fail science 101 again.

Anonymous said...@September 17, 2011 12:10 AM

LK as much as admitted his error by conceding we would have to wait for technological advances that would allow us to detect events that happened at least a few years prior to the arrival of the light and gamma ray evidence, which of course is physically impossible, as far as we know.

It is not "physically impossible". It would require better technology for looking at stars, their life cycles, their internal processes, and empirical investigations of the warning signs.

Lord Keynes said...

And I note: Anderson, you have been challenged more than once to tell us what ethical theory you actually subscribe to.

You still fail to do so. Why?

Anonymous said...

Government run care is horrible. As bad as some of the quasi socialist HMO healthcare we have these days is, it is nowhere near as bad as someone who is forced to attend a VA hospital.

Or even worse, someone who is forced to pay for social security their whole lives, but then when actually becoming disabled, the government can simply declare that someone is fit for work and should not receive their own money back, yet do not have to base it on a medical decision.

I have first hand experience with this, so anyone claiming that some sort of government run healthcare system is more compassionate is completely full of it!

Anonymous said...

Krugman can't imagine that charity is adequate, because he himself wouldn't give a dime to anyone less fortunate without a gun to his head.

People like Ron and Rand Paul, the member of the Lions' club and the Shriners, and the Doctors Without Borders, routinely provide medical care to the indigent.

Anonymous said...

"lord keynes",

This is a very succinct explanation of the moral basis of liberty, presented in a form that's probably simple enough to penetrate even your tragically self-deluded psyche. Watch and learn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHg86Mys7I

Darren Wolfe said...

The discussion with my progressive friends at OpEdNews.com about "The Republican Vision of Healthcare" may be instructive.

Tucci said...

At 4:02 PM on 16 September, Berlin Brown had written:

"In the case of mostly non life threatening services, a medical professional will ask you... [which services you want] ...

"It is about choice and cost savings for the consumer."

It's also (and always) very much about perceived benefit for the levels of risk and pain and other adverse possibilities involved with the interventions being discussed.

Not all costs - by any means - are monetary.

"All of this has to be considered when we talk about health care. If we look at it as a service and don't have government involved, then we are better off.

"Paul Krugman wants government involved because he only sees health care as a life or death issue, when it really isn't. He believes that the tens of million in poverty will die if they don't get health insurance."

It's much, much more than that.

What Dr. Krugman is pushing for in his absolutely fascist fantasy is government as the only decision-maker when it comes to what health care products and services will be permitted (not just paid for out of Santa Claus' magic toybag).

Indeed, if we consider the policies of both major political factions in this country (with special emphasis on "Gardasil Rick" Perry, pushing a very recently-developed vaccine upon literally millions of schoolgirls below the legal age of consent), it goes beyond Dr. Krugman's determination to control the economic aspects of health care and into the realm of what is to be forced down the throats of Americans who are to be deprived even of the choice to refuse health care measures they consider too risky or otherwise too noxious.

This is human health care reduced to the status of veterinary medicine.

Reader, can you say "Mooo!" for Dr. Krugman?

It's all he wants from you.

tarran said...

Mr Keynes,

I see you decided to stay in full retard territory:

Here's a multiple choice test for you, who have passed 'Science 101'

The Neutrino's signaling the collapse of a star at the begining of a supernova arrive at time t. Which of the following statements are true:

a) t < 1 year before the gamma ray front

b) 1 year ≤ t < 1 day

c) 1 day ≤ t < 1 hour

d) 1 day ≤ t < 1 min

e) 1 minute ≤ t < 1 second.

This test is open book, and the answer is in one of the links you provided but evidently didn't read carefully.

For those of you curious as to why Mr Keynes is so fixated on neutrinos & supernovae, he is trying to defend the failure of the state to prepare for nearby supernovae that could annihilate life on earth as being unnecessary rather than as the result of directing limited resources towards protecting against risks selected by priority. This is important to him since he is asserting that the latter is the sign of failure of an ethical system.

His insults are, of course, a sign of the extra service he provides above and beyond his competitors. At his clinic, one does not have to choose between argument and abuse. They are combined, free of charge!

Tom Luongo said...

Good stuff all, and Brian has the crux of the matter well in hand.

I take exception to anon's statement about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, which is absolutely not a construct of the Progressive left unless vector math is as well.

Simply put what we call the 'uncertainty principle' is a problem of a multi-electron system in which the forces acting on each electron cannot be solved precisely using calculus. It's a 4 dimensional problem that reduces to:

[change in position] cross [change in momentum] /= 0, it equals -ih(bar).

If the vector cross product of something doesn't equal zero then the individual variables cannot be solved for and hence the problem of perception. If one observes the position of an electron it cannot, mathematically, know how fast it's going (momentum = velocity x mass, mass of electron = constant) and vice versa.

Now, that the Progressive Left has used this to attempt to destroy natural rights theories is a different matter. Do not conflate a political agenda with mathematics. At least there the language is clear and unambiguous. We may not like the answers it gives us but that's our problem not that of the math's.

Back to your regularly scheduled snipe fest with the publicly moronic Lord Keynes.

Ta,

Steve Perry said...

Forgive me for commenting without having read everyone else's, but it didn't look like this point was going to be made and it is, in my view, critical. Wolf Blitzer's follow up question establishes a false premise. "Society" does not act; only individuals act. If people in "Society" wish to save the man's life, they are free to use their own resources to do so. What they must not be permitted to do is to force other people to use their own resources in a way they do not choose to use them. So let's let Krugman put his money where his mouth is and pony up his own, maybe his Nobel award, to save the poor man.

The simple answer to Blitzer's question is, "Who is this 'society'?"

Mechanized said...

It should not be forgotten where universal health-care was originally implemented. Nor should its effects in actual practice be ignored. Please allow Yuri Maltsev explain:

What Soviet Medicine Teaches Us
http://mises.org/daily/3650

mcfrandy said...

tarran wrote:

"I disagree that the medical profession is dominated by a dynastic group that is indifferent to providing proper care. Talk to doctors, particularly young ones, and you will find people dedicated to doing a good job. Indifferent people find residency and medical school too painful to stick through them."

Of course not every physician is "indifferent to providing proper care." There are even a few economics professors dedicated to teaching sound economics!

The reality is that medical training is extremely expensive in its own right and time-consuming (meaning there's great opportunity cost), which attracts those from affluent families who have a knack for school, especially science and math classes. Yes, medical school and residencies are tough, but all that means is that is a student is dedicated to undertaking what will virtually guarantee them a very comfortable living for life. It's the height of naivete to imagine most physicians undergo this out of a love for healthcare. I've encountered far too many disinterested physicians, eager to sell their souls to another government-enforced cartel, the pharmaceutical industry.

It used to be that "physicians" (a somewhat contrived term seeking to justify the government's cartelization of healthcare) had to struggle to make a living: some were very successful, many weren't. Now it's the road to riches, if only one can possibly afford the very long and painful route there.

Tucci said...

At 3:16 PM on 17 September, mcfrandy had written:

"It's the height of naivete to imagine most physicians undergo this out of a love for healthcare. I've encountered far too many disinterested physicians, eager to sell their souls to another government-enforced cartel, the pharmaceutical industry."

There have always been physicians and surgeons in the racket for what they can gouge (one way or another) out of their patients. Ask anybody who's been through a History of Medicine course.

Like one of us doctors. We get taught about quacks, cheats, charlatans, and the tendency of the medical establishment to pig-headedly deny the facts of reality, thereby killing patients in their thousands through adherence to superstitions even after the establishment of scientific method. Jeez, look at how long it's taking to get "evidence-based medicine" firmly accepted here in these United States.

Personally, I got into the sawbones trade because I realized early on it would enable me to meet perfect strangers, tell 'em to take their clothes off, and they'd do it.

And I could get paid for it.

People are hot for certainties. They want car mechanics who won't rip them off, plumbers who won't overcharge them, bureaucrats who won't ignore them to death, politicians who won't lie to them.

And they want doctors who will render them the same kind of care they'd provide members of their own families.

Guess which category of service providers tend most reliably to deliver what people want.

Warren said...

Mr. Anderson,

Why do you take Krugman's word that "the crowd erupted with cheers and shouts of “Yeah!”

You also left this question hanging: "Mr. Blitzer pressed him again, asking whether “society should just let him die.”

Mr. Paul clearly said, "No."

And the crowd did not erupt with cheers. A handful at most did and only one man shouted "Yeah".

Please see the following column which includes a short video.

RON PAUL "DEATH" MOMENT: NO "AUDIENCE" REACTION

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/post/ron-paul-death-moment-no-audience-reaction/2011/09/14/gIQAlB0bUK_blog.html

Bob Roddis said...

Since the major problems facing mankind are always war, assault, rape, murder and government terror, it is essential that a regime of private property, freedom of contract and due process of law be in place as a bright line of protection against the natural aggression tendencies of mankind. A totally nonexistent problem contrived by the “progressives” of all stripes is the allegation that such conditions of freedom suffer from a “lack of aggregate demand”. There is no logical or historical basis whatsoever from this absurd statement.

Further, Keynesian solutions of funny money dilution and government debt must obliterate notions of and the protections of private property, freedom of contract and due process of law. Under the criminal Keynesian regime, property is stolen via dilution of the money supply changing the terms of contracts without any due process of law.

Germany and Japan embarked on so-called “stimulus” programs in the 1930s which can only be operative with the destruction of private property rights. Subsequently, (SURPRISE!) both nations proceeded to engage in murder and genocide.

http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com/2011/09/fiscal-stimulus-in-germany-19331936.html

And Lord Keynes wants to know the basis of our moral vision.

Tel said...

I'm glad to see the media trying to slime Ron Paul. What this means is that they now are faced with the necessity of mentioning Ron Paul's name (and how it must hurt them to mention that name).

First they ignore you.

Well, they tried to hard to ignore him, and now we are finally at the point where they have accepted that ignoring him just won't work any more.

Then they fight you.

That's the next step, and now the step is taken, there's no way to go back to ignoring him anymore. Ron Paul is out there, in people's minds. Now people will think "Who is this guy?" and read what Ron Paul has to say. Soon they will be thinking about the issues, and after that they will be talking about the issues.

Hmmm, this inflation thing... it never really occurred to me before but I do see gas prices going up, and food prices too. What's that? The official inflation statistics don't even include food and gas prices? How can that even make sense?

All we need to really top things off is a nasty cold snap this winter, high priced heating oil and some dipstick official explaining that this is all caused by Global Warming.

Bob Roddis said...

I'm glad to see the media trying to slime Ron Paul.

What it also means is a daily demonstration that our opponents have no intelligent response to our positions and must resort to name-calling and lies by necessity.

Parmeniclitus said...

LK wrote: "They already are a high priority. The private sector hasn't even organised detection systems on their own. For that it has taken government:... "

Hmmm. I was unaware that any government allowed competition in such intricate detection systems which would indeed compromise "national security" in their being...well...intricate and sensitive enough to detect such far off extra-terrestrial entities. Aside from this, I can't imagine one single government allowing competition in building a weapon system strong enough to stave off such an asteroid since such would threaten its very existence.

So..."lol" as you like to say.

Anonymous said...

The Liberal position is ever the same:

People who work hard to produce products and services and make their living offering to trade voluntarily with others are dangerous and greedy. People who make their living running an extortion racket called taxation and a counterfeiting racket called monetary policy will save us from those greedy and dangerous producers.

That's all so obviously true, why should Liberals ever change their story?

Anonymous said...

Paul Krugman:

He's not a weatherman or a philosopher, but he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. :-)

VangelV said...

Dr Paul pointed out that before healthcare was socialized the uninsured got treatment from doctors who did not charge them, charities, and church run hospitals. He also has pointed out that catastrophic insurance was cheap. As usual, Mr. Krugman cherry picked so that he could make the point that he wanted regardless of the actual reality.

João Marcus said...

BTW, the question was not "do you want poor people to die because they can't afford health care?". It was more like "John Doe is 30, and he thinks he's healthy, so he doesn't need to spend money on health care. Then he gets sick. And then...?".
Ron Paul basically answered he made his choice, so he shouldn't demand health care, because he actively refused to pay for it! In this situation, John Doe is not a poor guy that can't afford health care, but an idiot who doesn't want to pay for it, but then, when he needs it, he demands it for free.