I saw the below on Facebook, and thought it deserved a response.
I was not yet angry, so I rattled off the following response to my Facebook feed:
What the guy who wrote this tweet fails to understand is that it is not the intent of a policy that matters, but the effect.
Yes – progressives have been trying to fix these things for generations, but when we look at the track record their policy prescriptions present, what do we see?
Where is homelessness the biggest problem? California. Where is income inequality the highest? California. Where is poverty the worst? California.
All of the things progressives are trying to solve are the worst in those places where progressives have been doing the most to try and address them. That is not an accident.
Wanting something solved is not the same as solving something. At some point some progressives are going to have to wake up and realize that their policies do not work.
Note to progressives: You can make things worse with the best of intentions, but you are still responsible for the harm you cause.
There is another relevant quote, by Frederic Bestait:
Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which is springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to it’s being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on.. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
Skylar Johnson, is running for the United States Senate, out of New York, and he wants us to know that he wants children to be able to attend school, and he wants parents to be able to send their children somewhere other than school when pandemics arise (which is the opposite of quarantining – but we’ll ignore that for now…). Skylar Johnson wants people to be able to have medical care, and wants Americans to have lots of time off work. Skylar Johnson wants Americans to have housing.
I guess this Skylar Johnson character must be a nice guy.
We all want America’s children to be the best educated in the world, and we all want parents to have options should a school close for a few days. We all want the best medical care in the world, and we all want people to have access to that medial care when they need it. We all want those who work to have vacation time and sick leave. We all want quality housing at affordable pricing. Skylar Johnson does not want anything the rest of us do not want.
The question is not that of whether or not to have those things. The question is how best to provide those things – and the simple fact that Skylar Johnson, and his fellow progressives, spit out moral platitudes as if they are the only ones who care, shows me that they have no idea what they are talking about.
What happens to single-payor and/or socialized medical care systems, when pandemics hit? Such systems control the cost of medical care by suppressing the supply, using government triage systems to decide who to treat.
I would like to ask Skylar Johnson a question… Which system is better equipped to handle a pandemic – one that is capacity constrained even during the good times, or one that has excess capacity built into it?
Some of my followers might remember that I had a bit of a heart scare a couple of years ago, ended up in the emergency room. It turned out to be vertigo, caused by a combination of a cold I’d had a week or two earlier, and ridiculously high blood pressure knocking the inner-ear off. I found out from that trip that our local emergency room has no waiting area. Everyone is seen immediately as they arrive.
Note that I did not say there was no wait. Not waiting did not surprise me. I was showing symptoms of a heart attack, and would have been triaged for immediate care, even had others been waiting.
What surprised me was that the emergency room did not even have a place designated as a waiting room. And that is not uncommon in American hospitals. Even where waiting rooms exist, wait times are short, or non-existent.
Italy’s medical care system is on the verge of collapse. Italy is considering letting at-risk patients die, so that they can focus on saving healthier patients.
Can you imagine an American hospital deciding not to treat those who need help the most – letting some people die because the system simply cannot handle the pandemic?
That could actually happen here, but it would take a whole lot more to cause it here than in Italy, France, England, Canada, or any other nation with a single-payer/socialized medical care system.
And yet progressives have the audacity to pretend that their proposals would have us better prepared for a pandemic…
Progressive ideas cause collapse. Everything they touch, they break.
Getting back to the twitter feed I started this with – Skyler Johnson asks, “Schools are closing? Where do I send my children?” That’s actually a very fitting question, as many American schools are nothing more than babysitting facilities. Twenty percent of American adults are functionally illiterate, and while some American schools are still doing well, when you look across the board, we’re no better at educating children than are some third-world countries.
The reduction in the quality of the American education system has corresponded perfectly with the rise of national control over that education. Back before Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education, we had the finest schools in the world, but the more we have removed local control, the worse our system of education gets.
And let me point out the stupidity Skylar Johnson displays when, after schools are closed to avoid concentrating large numbers of children together, he suggests that parents should be given an alternate place to concentrate those same children. THAT part of his tweet might fly for a snow day – but not for a pandemic!
Progressivism has destroyed the American educational system, and while Skylar Johnson looks to be too young to personally bear blame, I’m sure as hell not going to advise anyone to support his senate run. The policies Skylar Johnson supports are the reason 20% of American adults can’t read a bus sign.
If we made the European nations progressives want to emulate, states, they would be among the poorest states in the country.
Let’s look at just how poor…
Germany is the richest country in Europe, with an average household income of $45,802. North Dakota has an average household income of $72,719. The difference in household incomes between people in North Dakota and the people in Germany is greater than the average household income of people in Greece, and it’s pretty close to the household income in Spain.
The average household income in the United States is almost $9,000 more than the average income in Europe’s richest nation. People in the United Kingdom are more poor, on average, than are people in Arkansas. Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece are all poorer than Mississippi – the poorest state in the United States.
Skylar Johnson might point out that New York is our fifth richest state, and that California is our 10th, but he would be ignoring the fact that back when these states still elected Republican governors, they were ranked 1 and 2.
Progressivism does not work.
Let us look at some of the things progressivism has given us…
Medical costs started to explode right after Medicare was implemented. Medicare has been an abject failure – it is literally the reason our medical care is so damned expensive.
How about Social Security? If our seniors had invested the exact same money privately, they’d get five times the retirement pay they currently get. Thank you progressives for short-changing our seniors.
I went over the efficiency of government affordability programs in this article. Suffice it to say that everything progressives try to make more affordable becomes less so. Look at housing in California, or in Skylar Johnson’s home state of New York.
I LOVE how progressives try to take credit for the highway system. THAT was Eisenhower. Roads and sidewalks are not progressive ideas. Everyone supports roads and sidewalks.
Progressives take credit for the weekend, and while it is true that way back when, American workers worked six or seven days a week, nobody thought there was anything wrong with working six or seven days a week until the practice started to become abnormal. Progressives did not push for weekends until after the free market had already made them the norm.
How about child labor? That was solved by progressives – right? Wrong. Back when this was a poor country, parents could not afford to feed their children without sending their children to work, and so that is what parents did. As the country became more wealthy, more and more parents decided to send their children to school instead, and child labor became less and less common. Progressives did not think about banning child labor until after the free market had made the practice rare – and do you know what happened to the children whose parents still had to send them to work to feed them, after sending them to work was no longer legal? Many of them starved to death.
Imagine a progressive climbing on a bus and being driven all the way across the country. This progressive then is the first person to walk to the door of the bus. He takes his first step off the bus (the one part of the trip the bus itself did not provide), and then announces to all the other passengers, “Look what I just did! I guess you can all thank me for taking you across the country!”
Engineers build things. Doctors cure things. What do progressives do, other than walk around screaming moral platitudes and demanding changes to complicated systems they don’t understand? Improving complicated systems is hard, whereas calling out moral platitudes is easy. Is it really surprising that those who demand changes to systems they do not understand are more apt to break those systems, than to improve them? Bernie Sanders knows how to fix the US medical care system? Really?!? How many hospitals has he run?!?
We are about to watch Coronavirus do untold damage to Europe and Canada. Italy is talking about denying large numbers of people care, and we’ll see all of the other progressive medical care systems do the same. These systems will not deny care based on evil intent, but because the people who built these systems were more concerned with moral platitudes than with flesh and blood human beings.
Short of China refusing to ship us pharmaceuticals (which they are talking about doing – and crazy as it sounds, China’s story is that the US Army let Coronavirus loose as a bio weapon), we are in better shape to handle this than any other country on Earth – and we are in that shape because progressives have not yet killed our medical system.
As for China, they control more than just our pharmaceuticals. They also control our media through voluntary media censorship (our media submits to this to avoid being cutoff from the Chinese market). Everything you read or watch on TV is vetted by China. Our media is literally forwarding China’s interests over our own, and China does not care how many millions of Americans might die from Coronavirus.
Skylar Johnson may not know it, but he is parroting Chinese propaganda. China would much rather deal with Joe Bidden than with Donald Trump, and by criticizing Trump’s efforts to help slow the spread of the virus, both Skylar Johnson, and Joe Bidden, are doing China’s bidding.
Do people really hate Trump so much that they want to politicize a disease? Sadly, the answer is ‘yes,’ and we are going to get a steady diet of fear-mongering anti-Trump hatred, right up to the election.
If Joe Biden wins, he will do exactly what he did as Vice President – negotiate American policy with China, while his son sells hedge funds to the same people.
You can almost hear the conversation:
Joe Biden: “If we agree to this, you’ll control more than 90% of the pharmaceuticals Americans rely on.”
Chinese Official: “That is correct.”
Joe Biden: “Well, I’ll be a whamrolled rollick! That’s a jack-faced partmonger!”
Hunter Biden: “Would you like to buy into my hedge fund?”
Chinese Official: “I’ll put a million dollars into it.”
Joe Biden: “Hold on. We’re talking pharmaceuticals here.”
Chinese Official: “I’ll put a BILLION dollars into your hedge fund, Hunter.”
Joe Biden: “I’m glad we were able to find an agreement. Enjoy your control over our pharmaceuticals!”
Now, in fairness to Joe Biden, I have no idea whether or not Hunter Biden profited off of the policies that led to China controlling our access to pharmaceuticals, but this is the kind of conversation Hunter and Joe Biden did have with Chinese officials, and though it might not be illegal, it should be.
And we damned well do not have to elect this guy.
Ten years ago, most of our pharmaceuticals were still made in the United States. We developed those drugs and tested them ourselves. Americans paid all of the R&D costs. Who was Vice President when the factories making those drugs moved to China? Joe Biden, and now Joe Biden has the audacity to talk about how much better of a position we would be in if he were President?!?
Yesterday, Joe Biden gave a speech on Coronavirus in which he bad-mouthed the President, and tried to scare the public. What did CNN run this morning for a headline? “Biden shows Trump how it’s done.” CNN should have given Xi Jinping a by-line for that.
It is time for Uncle Joe to go, and he can take Skylar Johnson, and the other progressives with him. America is in a pandemic, and we need adults running the show. Moral platitudes are not helpful, and the people shouting them are doing more harm than the disease.