A Fidget Spinner Without a Plan

If you are a parent you certainly know what a fidget spinner is. They are everywhere. A year ago no one had even heard of them. Yet, walk into any gas station and you’ll find them displayed right out in front. What happened? People started buying and companies started supplying without any guidance or plan. Money was to be made! This is the beauty of the free market. It perceives what people want and then others move in to supply that demand.

So why, in any problem related to the public good, do politicians and the media clamor for “a plan?”  Why do they go endlessly in search of a plan that will fix infrastructure, public education, healthcare or whatever needs correction? Why does there always have to be a plan? Why don’t we deal with issues the same way the market dealt with fidget spinners?

Healthcare has been contentious for years. Admittedly, a certain segment of the population was uninsured or un-insurable (albeit it a small one proportionally speaking ). So, the politicians decided to come out with a plan to fix it. The Affordable Care Act (so misnamed!!!…also dubbed “Obamacare”) was forced upon us all so that every person in the U.S. could get insurance. So how come even with a law and a plan, there are still millions without insurance?

One of the key parts of the Obamacare plan was to insure people who had pre-existing conditions. Previously, one of the biggest criticisms about insurance is that if you had cancer no insurance company would cover you. The often unpalatable reality is that this is exactly how insurance works. Insurance is defined as “A practice or arrangement by which a company or government agency provides a guarantee of compensation for specified loss, damage, illness, or death in return for payment of a premium.” If you already have the loss (i.e. cancer) it is not an insurable item. This is no different than someone getting into a car accident then attempting to buy auto collision insurance after the fact then demanding damages and/or loss payment from the insurer!

The sales pitch was that with the Obamacare plan, even those with a pre-existing conditions would be covered. However, this is not insurance. Its a subsidy. Someone else must provide the funds to pay for a subsidy which is, essentially, a give-away. Those burdened with that obligation, it turns out, are people who get sick the least and have the least amount of money…the young.

(Lest anyone think I am hard-hearted, such an approach can include provisions for that relatively small number of persons truly destitute or who have pre-existing conditions.  Its simply a scare tactic and red herring to say that if you are opposed to government run healthcare you want to see the poor, sick and elderly die. In fact, if you’re opposed to greedy, lying politicians making personal life decisions for you and others, you’re probably more rational, informed and compassionate than not).

The young, to whom I refer,  are finally beginning to understand their economic predicament as it relates to Obamacare. The  have begun to revolt. Yet, last week,  Congress n its infinite wisdom, refused to repeal Obamacare. Naturally, Obama along with many other Democrats, was elated. Most of the media critiques went like this: “The Republicans hate Obamacare but they have no plan of their own.”

The success of Obamacare rests on the young but they don’t like paying for things they don’t use. Look at the cable business which relies on bundled services. Cable subscriptions are in serious decline because the younger generation hates paying for one hundred channels when they only watch six. They don’t understand why they are paying to watch M.T.V and the History Channel, for example, when they only watch H.B.O. They get it. They only wanto pay for things they use. Well,  Obamacare, like cable TV,  is premised on the notion of bundled services. If they are already unwilling to pay $30.00 a month for HGTV, what makes the proponents of Obamacare think they will pay for healthcare services for people they do not know and services from which they receive no benefit?

The members of the mainstream media are also big proponents of getting the government involved to fix the issue and selling the plan to the public.

Sixty Minutes entire show format revolves around investigating  problems that society can’t solve and then asking why nothing has been done to fix them.  John Stossel, the libertarian pundit on Fox started off as a Left-leaning journalist reporting on the evils of big business just as Sixty Minutes still does. He would do reports on how these entities had failed the public at large and needed to be reined in. Plans and government regulations needed to be expanded to fix whatever the issue was. But as time went on, Stossel realized that he was the one causing the most damage. He came to the conclusion that over time free markets correct and provide the needed product or service at the best price. No amount of reporting he did ever solved the problem.

Perhaps the real fault in government plans is that those elected to Congress who devise them have rarely ever run a business or successfully worked in the private sector. They are novices, at best, and ill-equipped to deal with the realities and practicalities of what it takes to supply goods and services.  The premise that government needs to supply “plans” to fix the problem is a false premise that always results in loss of individual rights and freedoms.

In the real world, individuals faced with a problem in their lives needing a solution tends to figure it out for themselves. No group meetings, no theory, no pilfering of someone else’s financial resources to solve their problem.

Markets aren’t perfect. But history verifies that nothing distributes scarce resources more fairly and efficiently than free markets. We already have government run healthcare at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospitals and it has failed miserably. Let’s put patients in tandem with their treating physicians in control of healthcare and let freedom work.

 

Steve

sleeclark@gmail.com

 

Is There Such As Thing As Universal Law?

Twenty two suicides a day.

universal law

These are the amount of U.S. military personnel we are losing to suicide each day. “6,500 former military personnel killed themselves in 2012. More veterans succumbed to suicide than were killed in Iraq. In 2012, 177 active-duty soldiers committed suicide, conversely 176 soldiers were killed in combat. In other words, more soldiers committed suicide compared to being killed in action.”

I am a Marine who served in combat.  Naturally, I feel an affinity with my brethren. It pains me that both Republican and Democrat  politicians are quick to send our men into action but quicker to forget about them once they return.  The Veterans Administration has been a disaster for decades.  Shockingly little is done to care for returning Veterans.  When we finally forced a turn over that at the highest post in the V.A., Administrator, not a single person was fired. Nor was a single person fired following the disclosure that there existed at several VA hospitals, dual sets of treatment lists – one fraudulent – showing timely treatment at various V.A. hospitals across the country when in fact many vets had died from grossly  delayed or non-existent treatment in violation of the V.A.’s own guidelines.

There are a few organizations out there trying to ill the void left by the V.A. One of them is The Wounded Warrior Project . A few years ago, I volunteered and worked one of their charity events. The experience left me with such overwhelming sadness that I vowed to myself never to return.  Seeing those young men, many of them severely and permanently disfigured, left me with such sorrow that I knew I could not help them. The last thing they needed was my pity. The Wounded Warriors Project does great work for our Veterans; but, after talking to some of their health professionals, even they acknowledged there Is a limit to what they can do in terms of recovery and reintroduction back into a “normal life.” Some of these men have seen such horrors and suffered such tragedies that these healthcare professionals cannot fix what has been broken inside of them. My service, combined with extensive reading on the subject,  has made me well aware of the scars left by war that participants live with for the remainder of their lives.

Any sane person instinctively knows that the trauma of war mars the lives of all involved. Such an awareness is akin to a Universal Law. But I would argue there are other universal laws that exist as well. Look at nature and how the change in seasons affects the planting, availability and consuming of food. Failing to align with or violating the cycles of life can cause us real damage in ways seen and unseen.

Take something as basic as sleep. Our body naturally produces Melatonin, a hormone that  regulates the sleep and wake cycle. For about a year, I used to work the “graveyard” shift for my bank. I was exhausted that whole year! I simply couldn’t get to sleep during daytime hours. When there is natural light outside, our bodies do not produce Melatonin. Consequently, despite the fact that I was exhausted, I could not sleep during daylight hours.

So, even when consciously making a decision to sleep…we must fall into harmony with Universal Law.

Now we are living through a time when we are being told that there no absolutes. Everything is pliable and malleable. Even in the case of sexual identity, we are told no Universal truth exists. The only truism is the one we “identify with.” So, if a man thinks he is a woman and wants to identify as such, so be it. That is “his” truth.

How is it then that on matters such as war, nature, and sleep we can acknowledge and see Universal Laws in action yet in the realm of sexual identity, we can’t?

The Progressive Left argues, successfully I might add, that its really up to us how we choose to subjectively proceed when it comes to a male/female self-identification. But on a biological level, the blueprint of our identity is defined scientifically, and objectively, by our chromosomes.  Males are comprised of the XX chromosome and females of the XY chromosome. So, on a genetic level, the biology of who we are is defined and fixed in the blueprint of our design. Think of it this way. I could take a 30-year old, beaten-down Kia automobile and replace the exterior with a brand new Mercedes without doing anything to the engine.  So, while the outside might appear to be a brand new Mercedes, the “heart” of the car, the thing that keeps it alive and moving, is still a Kia. Such is the case with gender identity. You can’t change the essential and biologically composition that defines you. Well you can make medical alternations and even transition the “exterior” but the chromosomal blueprint remains what it was at creation.

The latest push to redefine our sexuality has been going on since the 1960’s when the sexual liberation movement was born. Establishing sexual identity as subjectively defined is just the latest ideation of this movement. The Left’s goal has always been about removing the constraints and morality from sex. It argues that once those restraints are removed people and society at large will benefit.  We will all be more  free of the stresses and strains that accompany sexual “repression” and dogmatic thinking. We will be happier. Unfortunately, people who have the most amount if sex, such as those in the pornography industry, are known to have higher rates of suicide and drug problems than the public at large. The numbers are so high that YouTube has a vast amount of videos by porn stars who have killed themselves either by suicide or drug overdose. Having sex with lots of people is not good for mind, body or soul. When you treat sex as a solely physical act, separated from an emotional and moral component, there are repercussions.

From sex to sexual identity the Left, now with the imprimatur of the Federal government thanks to the Obama Administration,  is trying to push the notion that these are all decisions made on an individual basis…untethered from any Universal truth.

This is the problem of the Progressive Left – it is continually trying to shape and reshape inherent, natural and Universal laws that are the foundation of a balanced and thriving ecosystem of which we humans, male and female, are an integral part.

 

Steve

sleeclark@gmail.com