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Driving Through History on Independence Day

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I'm on the last leg of a three-week trip through the northeast which has included visits to the birthplace of America (Williamsburg, VA), the birthplace of liberty (Boston, MA), the birthplace of the constitution (Philadelphia, PA), and the place where liberty and the constitution and the nation as we know it are dying a slow and tortured death (Washingotn, DC). We've just been in Maine where aberrant Democrats in the state government are massively cutting taxes to stimulate their economy, and are spending the night of the Fourth of July in Lexington where the first shots of the revolution were fired. There are tea parties and protests scheduled all around us, but they seem futile against the entropic force of the tide of history.

Although our primary purpose has been vacationing and visiting colleges with my teenage daughter, we've walked in the footsteps of history the whole way, in the classrooms where Jefferson studied and on a campus common where Franklin used to take a daily walk, through mountains where Ethan Allen stalked the redcoats and beside a canal whose route was planned by George Washington. On the Fourth there may not be parades or fireworks because the unusually wet weather and reduced city budgets have taken a harsh toll on the festivities. And it may be that people aren't really in a mood to celebrate in a country where the very idea of independence has become devalued. As our legislators consider massive tax expansions and cradle-to-grave state mandated health care, it's easy to believe that the people who inhabit this land today are not even the descendants of the heroes who fought and died for liberty and to remain independent.

The pilgrims, the pioneers, and the minutemen who created this nation prized independence, responsibility, and self-determination above everything else. They didn't want a far off church or government or its minions to tell them what to do or how to live or provide them with services they never asked for. They didn't even want their neighbors to be too close and thought government was best when it was small and far away. They moved west generation by generation to stay out of the close reach of government. They thought this was an important enough issue to risk their lives, uproot their families, and ultimately go to war over.

Today too many Americans have forgotten the value of independence and rush to suck at the teat of the mother state, with no guilt or shame about plundering their hard-working neighbors to make sure they get their unearned share of the pie. We've become a nation of spoiled children infantilized by the state and given no more liberty than an illusion needed to keep us docile. They send their children to be educated by the state so that they can serve the state and when they grow they send them to war at the command of the state. Groupthink and conformity have replaced reason and individuality and the idea of independence is alien to the fear-driven slave mentality which grips the land.

Even the act of driving these historic routes leaves me somewhat embittered, because for most of our journey we've had the pleasure and sad irony of driving in what may be one of the last great American cars, the 2009 Dodge Charger. The Charger embodies everything that made American cars great. It's big, it's powerful, it's comfortable, solid, and reliable. It actually gets pretty good gas mileage, but the luxury and sports car power which it represents are inherently incompatible with a future of spit and cardboard Obamamobiles.

The freedom which a powerful American car represents to go anywhere and do it in comfort and at ridiculous speeds is inherently incompatible with the new mindset of the nation. An elegant and powerful car like the Charger sets people free and it's a threat to the new vision of America. We can kiss our Chargers and Mustangs and SUVs goodbye and give up their freedom for a bus schedule and a sweat-stained plastic bench. The final irony is that we have to pin our automotive hopes on Fiat. In politics the Italians have recently begun to develop a bizarre independent streak despite being the low man on the EU totem pole, and that contrariness may carry over to business and manufacturing. As a former Fiat owner (twice) I have my doubts, but the Alfa Romeo Milano remains the closest thing to an American car built on the continent. Slim hope against the growing wave of conformity.

As we near Boston and the sun comes out for a bit after three weeks of unseasonal rain, and the summer temperature ventures towards the 70s (global warming my ass), the question which sticks with me is whether today's Americans understand what they are have given up or will even miss the independence this day commemorates and which our nation was founded on. This Charger is the last gasp of that spirit, slapped down by what P. J. O'Rourke calls the "fun-killers" who hate what they can't control and have been working in the schools and courthouses to make independence and achievement and individuality dirty words and forbidden concepts. Maybe we should just give up Independence Day. There's nothing to celebrate when we've come to hold the values on which this nation was founded in so little regard. If you have given up the independence which once defined America, are you even entitled to celebrate Independence Day?

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Interesting read, Dave. I though you might enjoy looking again at Dependence Day in Jerusalem, an article that expresses thoughts similar to yours here.

  • Lumpy

    Ooh grumpy.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Had a headful?

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Dave, Dave, Dave. First of all if you’re in Lexington at this very moment, you are within 8 miles of my home. I travel up and down the road which served as the route of Paul Revere’s famous ride almost every day of the week. I walk through a Revolutionary War cemetery to get to my office. So, I understand the sentiment from which you are coming.

    You say: There’s nothing to celebrate when we’ve come to hold the values on which this nation was founded in so little regard.

    You’re absolutely right. I happened yesterday to talk to two sterwardesses who were in town. One of them asked me about the cemetery. I explained the historic significance of the area and even showed them they were dining on the same road of Paul Revere’s ride. Do you know that NEITHER one of them even knew who Paul Revere was? I had to explain.

    One of the ladies was born and bred in Charleston, South Carolina while the other Philadelphia. Imagine, both women were educated in historic cities which hold a major significance in our history. Yet neither knew Paul Revere.

    If you have given up the independence which once defined America, are you even entitled to celebrate Independence Day?

    Dave, if I recall, your kids have the precious gift of home schooling. It’s not that our citizenry has given up on independence, it’s that they’ve never been taught the sacrifices and meaning of the American experiment. Sure, it’s glossed over in schools, but to what extent? Two bright young women who travel the skies of this nation every day didn’t even know Paul Revere. So, how can they know and appreciate Independence Day?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Dave, Dave, Dave. First of all if you’re in Lexington at this very moment, you are within 8 miles of my home.

    Damn, had I known I’d have invited you out for a drink, but it’s too late now as we have to be up at 6am. I’ll think good thoughts in your direction.

    I travel up and down the road which served as the route of Paul Revere’s famous ride almost every day of the week. I walk through a Revolutionary War cemetery to get to my office. So, I understand the sentiment from which you are coming.

    I’ve actually been working on an article about Paul Revere — historical and artistic rather than political.

    You say: There’s nothing to celebrate when we’ve come to hold the values on which this nation was founded in so little regard.

    You’re absolutely right. I happened yesterday to talk to two sterwardesses who were in town. One of them asked me about the cemetery. I explained the historic significance of the area and even showed them they were dining on the same road of Paul Revere’s ride. Do you know that NEITHER one of them even knew who Paul Revere was? I had to explain.

    Scary. I guess that in that job they only have high school educations, but even so they ought to have at least heard of Paul Revere. Too much to expect them to have memorized Longfellow in elementary school like some of us, but the name ought to at least ring a bell.

    One of the ladies was born and bred in Charleston, South Carolina while the other Philadelphia. Imagine, both women were educated in historic cities which hold a major significance in our history. Yet neither knew Paul Revere.

    I wonder if they’d have been better informed about the histories of their home towns. I hope so.

    Dave, if I recall, your kids have the precious gift of home schooling.

    Small private schools which the economy is making increasingly difficult for us to afford.

    It’s not that our citizenry has given up on independence, it’s that they’ve never been taught the sacrifices and meaning of the American experiment. Sure, it’s glossed over in schools, but to what extent? Two bright young women who travel the skies of this nation every day didn’t even know Paul Revere. So, how can they know and appreciate Independence Day?

    So you suggest that it’s involuntary. Then we’ve failed as a society and we’re teaching the wrong things in school. More sports, more shop classes, more civics and even more home economics might be the answer. But I know that there are also older people who should know better — and yes I blame many of the boomers — who are giving in and accepting a soft subservience to government because self-reliance and responsibility are too daunting.

    We’re soft and increasingly worthless as a people.

    Dave

  • Deano

    Well, have a happy Fourth Dave (and family)!

    I recently drove through that region, enroute to North Carolina and it drove me crazy having to slide past all the major sites for the Revolutionary and Civil Wars….

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    So you suggest that it’s involuntary. Then we’ve failed as a society and we’re teaching the wrong things in school.

    Actually we have failed in education. Civics and accountability are subjects and policies that should be “religiously” taught from kindergarten. We do our young no favors when it comes to the education system today. If the public system can’t do it, then we’ve got to find a way to make the private education system work and be accessible to any child who needs it.

    More sports, more shop classes, more civics and even more home economics might be the answer.

    Well, when I was a kid we had gym EVERY DAY. That’s something that should be taught from kindergarten as well. Children need to be taught about their bodies, the engines within and what they can do to stay healthy. And, I am in FULL support of schools getting into weight control programs involving parents as well. A new health policy MUST include preventitive education and maintenance from day one of schooling.

    But I know that there are also older people who should know better — and yes I blame many of the boomers — who are giving in and accepting a soft subservience to government because self-reliance and responsibility are too daunting.

    Well said and I have no reply.

    Have a safe trip, Dave!

  • Arch Conservative

    First of all Dave. Pennsylvania and Virginia aren’t part of the northeast.

    They’re more mid-atlantic.

    It’s truly a shame that you had to spend the 4th in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts where they hate like no other with a firey passion the things that actually made this country great.

    My wife and I were going to attend a Tea Party in Boston but decided instead to spend the day in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

    When you live in NH visiting MA is sort of like going to the proctologist. It’s pretty unpleasant but generally necessary to do every so often.

    Silas bemoans the two ladies from Charleston not knowing who Paul revere was but I’d venture to say most Massholes don’t know who Stonewall Jackson or William Tecumseh Sherman are. And being from Texas I’d bet even ever fewer Massholes would have your understanding of who General Santa Anna was Dave.

    What is most ironic is that those who once called Massachusetts home, John Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock have more in common with modern day Texans than modern day Massholes.

    Cape Cod is overcrowded and overrated while the Seacoast of Maine is much more beautiful Dave. If you want to enjoy your visit to New England I’d suggest spending as much time in Maine as possibel and as little time in MA as possible. While Maine is a liberal state also they’re not as arrogant and in your face as the Massholes.

    In any event I hope your enjoy your little junta through our corner of the world.

  • http://tolstoyscat.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Clav,

    Definition clean up needed in the who was Paul Revere aisle.

    ————-
    —P.S. all you Paul Revere fans do realize that it was because Longfellow wanted a hero for a poem that we remember Paul Revere’s name. So, why weren’t the other two fellows that road with him important? What were their names again?

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    William Dawes and Samuel Prescott were the other two riders. Indeed, Longfellow made Revere a “personality” along with the famous Paul Revere Bowl which is still reproduced today.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    As I look toward my North I pondered why it is that such a plume of cold, frigid, heartless air was streaming into Massachusetts by way of the WHite Mountains. And, I look above, voila, the cold air is actually Arcon.

    It’s truly a shame that you had to spend the 4th in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts where they hate like no other with a firey passion the things that actually made this country great.

    Not entirely true. And, if you were to give credit where it is due, Arch, you would realize that were it not for this little patch of Massachusetts in which I reside, there may not have been a successful American Revolution.

    My wife and I were going to attend a Tea Party in Boston but decided instead to spend the day in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

    FOX News regrets your lack of participation in the Tea Party. Hope you’re spending a lot of money on locally produced merchandise up there in the White Mountains.

    When you live in NH visiting MA is sort of like going to the proctologist. It’s pretty unpleasant but generally necessary to do every so often.

    Unless, of course, you’re into that sort of thing. And from what I hear Conservative hero Larry Craig takes delight in visiting his.

    Silas bemoans the two ladies from Charleston not knowing who Paul revere was but I’d venture to say most Massholes don’t know who Stonewall Jackson or William Tecumseh Sherman are. And being from Texas I’d bet even ever fewer Massholes would have your understanding of who General Santa Anna was Dave.

    So witty. One of the ladies was not from Charleston, but that’s what happens when one reads and comprehends only what one wants to read and glosses over the rest. And, as a direct descendant of one of the soldiers who fought in the Battle of Antietham, I have a little knowledge about Civil War military.

    Piss and moan about “Massholes” all you want Arch. Just be man enough to admit that Massachusetts played a critical role in achieving that which you seem to celebrate. Ah, but in my experience “man enough” and “Far Right” are unable to coexist in the same universe.

  • Arch Conservative

    “Piss and moan about “Massholes” all you want Arch. Just be man enough to admit that Massachusetts played a critical role in achieving that which you seem to celebrate.”

    What does that even mean?

    I was pissing and moaning about what MA has devolved into not trying to claim that it didn’t play a role in the founding of this nation. Like I said Silas the people who inhabited MA back then would have a lot more in common today with Dave Nalle or your average Texan than you, Noam Chomsky, Ted Kennedy or your average Masshole.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)
  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    To insert some sanity, it’s hardly just about Massachusetts. It may be farther gone than some states, but I certainly see the same symptoms all around the country. The seduction of the nanny state is strong among people who have never learned to stand on their own two feet.

    Dave

  • Bliffle

    Surprising that you would only heap contumely on the citizens of the USA, when it has been the (largely unregulated) corporations that are the biggest thieves of the public treasury when they feast at the Federal Teat. The “Nanny State” is nowhere more in evidence than in the uncritical government support of Big And Powerful Corporations, some of which are not even US corporations.

    Over the past 50 years it is corporations that have oppressed people more than the flaccid attempts of any government administration, even that of Nixon and Bush, which one would have hoped to lead the charge in providing independence for their Subjects.

    Bottom line: this article (and your chorus of neo-republicans) is nothing more than an attempt to make US citizens feel guilty for the crimes of their oppressors.

    Of course, american citizens are ignorant, the better to form them into the standard interchangeable parts required by the drunken and voracious Corporations (with the connivance of the totally privatized US congress, Supreme Court, and the presidency: all bought and paid for).

  • Clavos

    bliffle must have been fired (unjustly in his mind, to be sure) by a large corporation or two.

    If he talked like that around the workplace, it’s no wonder — the wonder is that his bosses merely fired him.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Utter bullshit, Bliffle. Corporations aren’t some sort of magical Voldemort-like entities lording it over all of us for nefarious purposes. Corporations are PEOPLE, just like the rest of us — hell, their stockholders include the majority of us.

    Corporations do what benefits their stockholders and their bottom line. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    The failing is in government in not acting to regulate corporations responsibly as a matter of policy and as the agent of the people and in further compounding that failure by responding to the results of their irresponsibility by putting further burdens on the people.

    But as in any representative government, the buck doesn’t stop with the president or some faceless bureaucrat, the buck stops with the people. We are ultimately responsible for putting a failed government in power and for both their inability to regulate responsibly and their greed and mendacity after the fact. You can’t just duck out of it by blaming the big, bad corporations. That’s just another way of avoiding responsibility.

    Dave

  • http://www.marksaleski.com MarkSaleski

    Utter bullshit, Bliffle….

    yes dave, you’re the expert.

    i see we’ve moved from the whine course onto the cheese.

    no thanks, i’ll pass.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s good your voice still carries. I’ve just about given up with some folk.

  • http://tolstoyscat.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Corporations do what benefits their stockholders and their bottom line. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Nothing at all if you happen to be insane.

  • Bliffle

    Dave claims:

    Corporations aren’t some sort of magical Voldemort-like entities lording it over all of us for nefarious purposes. Corporations are PEOPLE, just like the rest of us — hell, their stockholders include the majority of us.

    A pretty picture of the Corporation as a sort of benevolent democracy, but false. Maybe 50 years ago some corps fit this description. But in the last 30 years this picture has changed radically, as eager and ambitious people have found that it’s a lot easier (and takes much less time) to take over and loot an existing company than to build a successful company from scratch.

    By making *money* (under constant self-justifying propaganda from corporations headed by such self-satisfied oafs) the only measure of success, we have enabled and justified all manner of depredations. Especially after the Corp has been freed of responsibility for such as causing peoples deaths and expropriating their property, and bribing public officials.

    The agendas are set by the top officer corps, and the shareholder meetings administered by a PR agency. Shareholders have become sheep, fit only to be shorn. Just like voters.

    Corporations do what benefits their stockholders and their bottom line.

    Nonsense. Modern corps are managed to enrich their top officers. GM went broke because for the last 20 years or more they’ve been run that way, liquidating assets to buck up dividends not justified by their profits and shrinking market share. That guaranteed the stock price held long enough for execs to complete their vesting periods and liquidate.

    The failing is in government in not acting to regulate corporations responsibly as a matter of policy and as the agent of the people and in further compounding that failure by responding to the results of their irresponsibility by putting further burdens on the people.

    And legislators have done that under the constant bribery of big corps (masquerading as ‘campaign contributions) as a quid pro quo. Both for expanding the unprecedented privileges of corps and for continuously shifting tax burden from corps to salaried individuals.

    But as in any representative government, the buck doesn’t stop with the president or some faceless bureaucrat, the buck stops with the people. We are ultimately responsible for putting a failed government in power and for both their inability to regulate responsibly and their greed and mendacity after the fact. You can’t just duck out of it by blaming the big, bad corporations. That’s just another way of avoiding responsibility.

    OK, Dave. When are you going to take up the cudgels against the exploitation by Frankenstein Corporations? As near as I can see, you think that some magic transforms what would be a crime for an individual into just pursuit of a charter when vested in a corporation.

    When are you going to come out swinging against the bribery of public officials?

    When are you going to come out against the domination of BoDs by CEOS?

    When are you going to start a crusade against monopoly and oligopoly power?

    Instead of that, you seem to buy the corporate line that blames weenie citizens for not adequately protecting themselves from predatory corporations, just as some blame a raped woman for her weaknesses.

  • Clavos

    Shareholders have become sheep, fit only to be shorn. Just like voters.

    Bleat, bleat, bleat.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Dave is a good writer, but this phony ‘freedom is dying’ [or ‘freedom is atrophying’] line is getting tired.

    Without, I believe, dropping the president’s name, the article is, of course, another anti-Obama propaganda piece.

    Neither the president, nor those who voted him into office, nor those of us who find him the most thoughtful, articulate, inspiring politician in decades — none of those people are intentionally devaluing ‘freedom’ or trying to undermine it.

    We all know by now that you believe the president’s reaction to the economic emergency [a reaction that began last September if not before, under his predecessor] is wrongheaded. But many of the policies you decry are designed to be temporary, emergency measures. And universal health care has been a goal of many presidents for many decades.

    Freedom from want; freedom from fear; and freedom from narrow, ideological definitions of freedom, all count for something too.

  • Arch Conservative

    How does the government enslaving us create freedom from want and freedom from fear handyguy?

  • Bliffle

    The only evident moves to enslave US citizens by the US government are those that are done on behalf of US corporations. Witness the current healthcare scheme where every citizen will be MANDATED to purchase health insurance. Thus, every American will be born indebted to corporate america, just like slaves 400 years ago were born owing the slavemasters for their room and board as infants, and even for their very birthing.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Like I said Silas the people who inhabited MA back then would have a lot more in common today with Dave Nalle or your average Texan than you, Noam Chomsky, Ted Kennedy or your average Masshole.

    Not so fast, Arch. I take GREAT exception to your portraying me as the antithesis of our forefathers at the very least! Arch, you have a conservative p.o.v. with a religious right bent to it. That, with all due respect, puts you squarely opposite of Jefferson, Madison and Franklin. While you are all gung ho about patriotism and the like, it is your sect of political operatives who have had a devastating oimpact on this country’s psyche. As I have said previously, Goldwater conservatives are not today’s version of conservative. Contempoary folks on the Far Right are a disgrace to the true conservative cause. Perhaps I may come across as inflammatory but again, the Far Right, is no less of a threat to this nation as the Taliban. Sure one side murders and maims. The other side buys their way into power and tries to impose their so-called values on the rest of us. Enough is enough. If we’re going to come together as a nation and solve our woes, the first order of business is to neutralize the far fringes of both LEft and Right. And if neutralization requires exposing dirty laundry (a/k/a Ensign, Craig, Spitzer, etc.) so be it. I’m tired of trying to debate with the narrow minded. Exposing them for their duplicitous, oppressive tactics by outing them works for me. Believe me, the LGBT community wants none of the fringes of either side. IN 12 years the Supreme Court will be tipped a little to the Left. When that occurs, LGBT rights across the board will finally come to fruition. A woman’s right to have control over her reproductive system will be strengthened and the Churches across America will have to start paying their fair share into the system. And on that day, I will sing in a robust voice, “Oh Happy Day!”

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Neither the president, nor those who voted him into office, nor those of us who find him the most thoughtful, articulate, inspiring politician in decades — none of those people are intentionally devaluing ‘freedom’ or trying to undermine it.

    That’s the whole point. It’s not an intentional devaluing of freedom, it’s a long process of neglecting freedom and not making it a priority and accepting compromises of our liberties for expediency or some perceived benefit. It’s not some sort of plot, it’s a societal failing.

    We all know by now that you believe the president’s reaction to the economic emergency [a reaction that began last September if not before, under his predecessor] is wrongheaded. But many of the policies you decry are designed to be temporary, emergency measures.

    Which would be permanent were it not for terrified recipients of the money scrambling to pay it back any way they can. Ironically for the Bliffles of the world, it is corporations suddenly behaving responsible out of desperation which may save us from the economic armageddon course Obama has charted for us.

    And universal health care has been a goal of many presidents for many decades.

    And so bad ideas are legitimized by their age? This is EXACTLY the kind of incremental erosion of liberty I’m talking about. The same bad idea gets introduced again and again by its advocates and they wear down resistence and establish a familiarity for the idea and with each new attempt to enact it into law it comes a little closer until finally something which was once seen as an abomination becomes the law of the land.

    Dave

  • Cannonshop

    Bliffle…

    ‘PATRIOT ACT.’ Suspension of Habeas Corpus, Bliffle. Holding U.S. Citizens without trial as “Suspected Terrorists” Bliffle.

    It’s just one example, there’s others- Kelo vs. New Haven is another, but there are so many more. It’s like the Health Care, Immigration, and Draft debates-you demand something, some benefit from government, and you don’t give a fig what you’re going to give up to get it, because you don’t think you’re going to give up ANYTHING to get your bennies.

    But you’re wrong, Bliffle. You’re giving up your freedom every time you say to Government “Do this thing for me.” It’s incremental, and like the frog in the pot, you don’t realize the water’s heating up until you’re already half-cooked.

    What folk on your side of the Aisle constantly fail to understand (and there’s more than few on the right, as well), is that Liberty isn’t Easy. Free Speech means that you’re going to hear things and see things you don’t like, that you WILL be offended-that’s the part of it that is ‘free’ as opposed to ‘controlled’ or dictated-you do NOT have a right NOT to be Offended in a Public forum. You do not have a right to only hear what you agree with on the public airwaves, either.

    Liberty connected to the Economy means you have a right not only to succeed, but to fail-and to take the consequences of that failure. You do not have a “Right” to be shielded from the outcomes of bad decisions or foolish actions. “Too big to fail” is a sure sign that Government has over-stepped at the people’s costant requests, creating an incestuous and dangerous precedent and establishing a de-facto ‘immunity’ from consequences for those with the right political connections.

    Buying houses and cars and having nice things is not a “Right”, it may be an “Ideal”, but it is one that a free person must work for. Slaves are given their housing and their clothing, Slaves are rationed in what they may possess (because they don’t own anything), their master decides how much and what they can eat, what vices they may practice, what virtues they must publicly display.

    Free people take care of themselves, Slaves are Taken Care of by someone else.

    The Nanny State IS a slave Status, Bliffle.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    “First of all Dave. Pennsylvania and Virginia aren’t part of the northeast.
    They’re more mid-atlantic.”

    WRONG!

    Just about anyone from Down South (like Dave and myself) will tell you that anyplace north of the Mason-Dixon and east of the Mississippi IS the Northeast.

    IMHO, anyplace in that particular quadrant of the country isn’t just the northeast, but is actually in one of the boroughs of Greater New York City. So there!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Gee whiz, dude – do you really know so little of history? Try reading about the political climate in 1917-1918 and find out just how far awry the country can be led by ultrapatriotism…like sentencing men to a decade in jail just for saying the German people “aren’t so bad”. And this was under a Democratic president, mind you – but was it because he was holding to ‘Democratic’ principles? Hardly – ‘ultrapatriotism’ is usually found more on the Far Right, I think you’ll agree.

    But if our freedom is going away, well, last I recall you lean to libertarianism – which means that you would be FOR gay rights. When in America’s history have LGBT’s had more rights than RIGHT NOW?

    When in America’s history have minorities had more rights than RIGHT NOW?

    When in America’s history have professed racists had LESS power than RIGHT NOW?

    When in America’s history has there been MORE freedom of religion than RIGHT NOW? Mind you, I’m not referring to just what is known as mainstream ‘Christianity’, but ALL religion (or lack thereof).

    When in America’s history has there been more freedom of speech than RIGHT NOW? Don’t try to pretend that people are being persecuted for being ‘anti-Obama’ – that’s a completely false argument.

    Dave, if you really want to see where we’re lacking when it comes to freedom, try looking at our schools where evangelicals insist that creationism be taught side-by-side (or even instead of) evolution.

    In other words, Dave, your article evinces a fairly transparent mindset. You’re just mad that Obama and the liberals won for now.

    I mean, think about it – what would the Republicans have done if the governor of New York started making noises about ‘secession’? They – and you – would be howling to the rafters in outrage! But I guess since it’s a Republican governor who said it, that’s ‘patriotic’! What is more patriotic is that Obama rebuked Gov. Perry not at all, even though what Perry said as a sitting governor bordered on sedition. I guess Obama held ‘freedom of speech’ to be more important than using ‘patriotic outrage’ for political points – for he certainly could have held Perry to account for it.

    ANY truly objective view would show that overall, RIGHT NOW is the freest time in America’s history. Yes, you CAN point out this or that particular restriction on our rights, but OVERALL, the freest time in America’s history is occurring just as you’re reading this sentence.

    You just don’t want to believe it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave and/or Clavos –

    Why is it that when I try to post a link in a reply, that the reply will not be accepted? Or is it just certain links? I’ve been able to post some links, but any time I post links to either rawstory.com or amazon.com, the reply is not accepted.

    What gives?

  • Bliffle

    Dave claims:

    “…it is corporations suddenly behaving responsible out of desperation which may save us from the economic armageddon course Obama has charted for us.”

    Hahahahaha! What a joke!

    Is it only “out of desperation” that corporations would act responsibly? Why would they change? responsible to whom? The ‘shareholders’ to whom you solemnly declare that they owe their allegiance? So what will they do, betray the shareholders?

    Nonsense. they have no loyalty to either shareholders or the nation. The goals of the corps have been turned to the gleaning of riches for the CEO and his band of thieves.

    They can happily skip away from shareholders and citizens and remove themselves to foreign climes with the riches they have bled out of the USA business community and the community at large.

    They don’t give a damn for shareholders or anyone else but themselves, because they are convinced that greed is good, and therefore what they do is goodness itself.

    How fatuous one must be to believe that after exhorting corps to be so singleminded in the pursuit of wealth by any means that one would think they would come to the rescue of the nation! What fantasy! What self-delusion!

  • Bliffle

    Cannonshop says:

    “…’PATRIOT ACT.’ Suspension of Habeas Corpus, Bliffle. Holding U.S. Citizens without trial as “Suspected Terrorists” Bliffle.”

    All done by the most pro-corp administration we’ve had in decades. And where was your protest?

    “It’s just one example, there’s others- Kelo vs. New Haven is another, …”

    Done to enrich private corps.

    “…like the frog in the pot, you don’t realize the water’s heating up until you’re already half-cooked.”

    People have performed this experiment and the frog always jumps out of the pot before it gets cooked.

    Can’t you be accurate about anything?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    “It’s just one example, there’s others- Kelo vs. New Haven is another, …”

    Done to enrich private corps.

    Private real estate developers working hand in glove with democrats in local government as happens all the time here in Austin.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I don’t imagine the citizens of Britain, France or Canada consider themselves ‘enslaved’ by their universal healthcare systems, which cost far less than our deeply flawed ‘free market’ system.

    Perhaps we are the enslaved, by a system that is actually:

    – a network of regional insurance monopolies,

    – plus doctors who co-own MRI and CT machines and make money from their vast overuse,

    – and a spectacularly greedy drug industry that plays havoc with patent law to protect their galactic-sized profits,

    – while bribing doctors to overprescribe overpriced brand-name drugs instead of equally effective generics [or instead of no drugs at all, which might be better for many patients].

    And suggesting that the government actually wants to run car companies and banks is just rank insanity. This foolish notion is just a convenient basis for wisecracks, which have taken the place of actual policy positions on the right these days.

  • Arch Conservative

    Arch, you have a conservative p.o.v. with a religious right bent to it.

    Since when do I have a religious bent?

    If you’ve read any of my posts you’d know thats simply not true.

    “A woman’s right to have control over her reproductive system will be strengthened and the Churches across America will have to start paying their fair share into the system”

    Oh that’s right anyone who opposes abortion is a religious extremist.

    Paying their fair share……….that’s the standard euphimisim for “they have something I want and the government better take it from them and give it to me.”

    “but OVERALL, the freest time in America’s history is occurring just as you’re reading this sentence.”

    Do us a favor and lay off the bong will ya Glen….

  • Clavos

    Glenn,

    When in America’s history have LGBT’s had more rights than RIGHT NOW?

    When in America’s history have minorities had more rights than RIGHT NOW?

    When in America’s history have professed racists had LESS power than RIGHT NOW?

    When in America’s history has there been MORE freedom of religion than RIGHT NOW? Mind you, I’m not referring to just what is known as mainstream ‘Christianity’, but ALL religion (or lack thereof).

    When in America’s history has there been more freedom of speech than RIGHT NOW?

    All true, but none thanks to Obama; they were all true well before he took office.

    As you libs keep reminding us, he’s only been in office for a little more than 150 days.

  • Clavos

    Just about anyone from Down South (like Dave and myself) will tell you that anyplace north of the Mason-Dixon and east of the Mississippi IS the Northeast.

    Northerners don’t get to decide what constitutes the south, and vice versa. There is no way Virginia is part of the Northeast; ask any Virginian, they are southerners.

  • Clavos

    Why is it that when I try to post a link in a reply, that the reply will not be accepted?

  • Clavos

    Glenn, what followed my quotation of your question in #39 above was an explanantion, with examples, of what triggers the spam-killing software, which is named Akismet.

    I’ll leave the examples off, because they killed that part of my response, but the gist of it was that it probably wasn’t the links that stopped your comment, it was some other banned word (or even part odf a word) commonly used in spam messages.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    It is arguable that Northern Virginia and the rest of Virginia are two different states. Northern VA is now largely liberal Democratic, and populous enough to turn the whole state blue.

  • Clavos

    Followup to my #39:

    Most of us who live in Florida definitely do not consider ourselves part of the south, either; only the crackers do, and every year there are fewer of them. The people in the Keys don’t even consider themselves part of the US, much less of Florida or the south; they are Conchs and they live in the Conch Republic, just as the Texans consider their domain as the Republic of Texas.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    This might be Stan’s cue to plug his link to the Dominion of British West Florida again. :-)

  • Clavos

    Interestingly, Doc, that’s where most of the crackers live.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Thanks for the explanation re #39

    Also, concerning what you said, “All true, but none thanks to Obama; they were all true well before he took office. As you libs keep reminding us, he’s only been in office for a little more than 150 days.”

    Who supported these freedoms more – the conservatives or the liberals?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I R A cracker, thank you very much, and I heartily agree that Florida is not part of the South…and (though I don’t live in the South anymore) we DO wish y’all would get Florida’s college football teams the heck out of the SEC for that very reason! It sure would be nice to have a _real_ SEC without y’all stealing all our natural-born Southern talent and taking it to the Great Northern Retirement Home that has its property boundaries on the bottom side of the Georgia border!

    Man, but those grapes are awful doggone sour…!

  • Cannonshop

    #30 Glenn, they weren’t “Given” these things, they stood up and “FOUGHT” for them-in the case of minorities, they stood up and bled for the rights that they (By Law) already had- “CIVIL” rights, the rights of Citizens.

    And those struggles had their high-point both in seriousness, and legitimacy, a very, very, long time ago. Long before a boy named Barack Obama, in his pre-law classes at Harvard, considered “Community Organizing” as a possible career path, and long before the mis-used term “Social Justice” became a replacement for the political Spoils System in all but name.

    The Declaration doesn’t say anything about a right to “BE” happy-it only mentions the “Pursuit” of happiness-which pursuit is not always successful.

    Freedom is the right to fail as well as succeed-but to fail or succeed only on your OWN efforts, not with the help of everyone else. A Medieval Serf would say “At least I’m not a Slave” and still not be a free person. Making Serfdom a gradual process instead of a drastic one is no different in the final outcome, nor less insidious or invasive-it’s just less likely to generate serious opposition until long after such opposition has been rendered a moot point.

    Americans don’t go to Canada or Britain to get good health care-the Canadians and the British DO come to the U.S. to get good health care. That’s an objective measurement of results right there.

  • Bliffle

    Cannonshop makes a guess:

    “Americans don’t go to Canada or Britain to get good health care-the Canadians and the British DO come to the U.S. to get good health care. That’s an objective measurement of results right there.”

    Says who? Do you have any stats on this? Any facts other than anecdotal?

    Anyone can cite anecdotal evidence. Here’s one: my wife and I both go to France for medical care. In fact, we each have a policy that will fly us to France if we get dreadfully sick in the US.

    There. You can no longer claim that the US has the best care anywhere and that we are the envy of the world. Nobody wants our corrupt health insurance system, and many other nations have caught up with the USA in medicine and then surpassed us.

    We are being dragged down by the super expensiveness of our archaic health insurance system.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com Dave Nalle

    Bliffle, I’ve posted links to statistics on Canadians coming to the US for healthcare multiple times. Don’t think you can propagate your version of unreality around here.

    Dave

  • Cannonshop


    Anyone can cite anecdotal evidence. Here’s one: my wife and I both go to France for medical care. In fact, we each have a policy that will fly us to France if we get dreadfully sick in the US.

    Best of luck with that, Bliffle. Here’s hoping you never have to test that fantasy.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-Shop posted: “Americans don’t go to Canada or Britain to get good health care-the Canadians and the British DO come to the U.S. to get good health care. That’s an objective measurement of results right there.”

    Dave posted: “Bliffle, I’ve posted links to statistics on Canadians coming to the US for healthcare multiple times. Don’t think you can propagate your version of unreality around here.”

    You guys never learn, do you?

    1) Here’s the OTHER side of the story that you never hear by your right-wing pundits, the experience of Americans who DO use the Canadian health care system.

    It also states the results of a poll where Canadians were asked who was the greatest Canadian ever. It wasn’t Alexander Graham Bell or Wayne Gretzky or any of the entertainers like Shania Twain, Celine Dion, or William Shatner.

    It was Tommy Douglas.

    Who? Tommy Douglas was a Canadian politician – and the father of Canadian universal health care.

    2) As early as 2004, a THIRD of all Americans were either already buying or planning to buy prescription drugs from Canada or other countries because they are so expensive here in the U.S.

    3) CNN published a study showing that in 2010, SIX MILLION AMERICANS will travel abroad for medical care because they either can’t afford it here. That’s called ‘medical tourism’.

    Okay? Dave, C-shop, Clavos, and the other conservatives – your tired old HMO-financed Republican talking points are patently FALSE.

    False, false, FALSE. Wake up, smell the coffee, and for the sake of America for once in your lives deal with REALITY rather than fantasies of some kind of corporate-cum-Ayn Rand utopia that is wholly incompatible with human nature!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Anyone who can afford to go to France in case of a severe illness can well afford the best in healthcare that US has got to offer. If money is not a problem, neither is healthcare.

  • Bliffle

    Roger ignored Glenns examples of Americans going to Canada, and the entire phenomena of “Medical Tourism”, where someone travels to another country for medical care.

    With the savings on healthcare, the trip costs are easy to cover.

    I suppose we could lock people into the US and not allow them to go elsewhere for medical care. That would complement the idea of MANDATING everyone to pay for insurance.

    Then the slavery of American people to the private medical system would be complete.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    My two cents would be that anecdotal evidence of Canadians coming here for healthcare, and Americans going abroad for healthcare, are tangential, barely relevant to the big picture.

    As long as insurance companies have incentives to deny care rather than cover care, and as long as doctors have incentives to order unnecessary, expensive tests and treatments, we will continue to have a fucked-up system.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Roger did not ignore anything except for focusing on a rather contextless statement by Bliffle of affording trips to Paris, France for medical procedures. If Mr and Mrs Bliffle are so well off, then perhaps they shouldn’t consider going to France for any other reason than sightseeing. But if medical attention is the object and money is none, they should simply pay the right price for the best healthcare that money can buy, and they can get that in the good old USA.

    But then again, perhaps the Bliffle family is into “medical tourism.” I suppose there are worse addictions than that, so I shall abstain from any further critiquing.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Gee Whiz!

    After I blew the conservatives’ arguments against Canadian health care away with actual honest-to-goodness verifiable FACTS (something they’re not familiar with, apparently), they haven’t responded!

    Hm…wonder why?

  • Clavos

    After I blew the conservatives’ arguments against Canadian health care away…

    A legend in his own mind.

  • Baronius

    Glenn, if people don’t bother replying to your evidence, it might not be for the reason you think. As usual, when I’ve looked into evidence you’ve presented, it turns out to be the weakest of propaganda.

    First, the Huffington Post article. The author tells the story about himself and his wife going to Canada for health care, and mentions one other person who does the same. Three people. Can an article count as anecdotal evidence when it has next to no anecdotes? (It does mention a popularity contest, though, the results of which are surely sufficient grounds to overturn the American health care system.)

    Secondly, an article about cheaper drugs in Canada. No one’s denying that drugs are cheaper in Canada, Glenn. They’re cheaper for the same reason that biotech research in Canada is practically nil: the government has ruined the market.

    Third, an article from CNN that specifically and completely refutes your argument with the following sentence:

    “Some Canadians and Europeans said they chose to travel aboard, despite having national health plans, because they are tired of waiting — sometimes years — for treatment.”

  • Bliffle

    Oh wow, “some” Canadians and Europeans!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I’m trying REAL hard to find the evidence you used to refute what I posted…

    …OH! There ISN’T any!

    Now, to Baronius in the next post….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius – your turn!

    You posted: “First, the Huffington Post article. The author tells the story about himself and his wife going to Canada for health care, and mentions one other person who does the same. Three people. Can an article count as anecdotal evidence when it has next to no anecdotes?”

    I see you didn’t touch the quote about who the most popular Canadian was – the ‘father’ of their health care system….

    But here’s some myth-busting lists:

    On the Physicians for a National Health Program website is a list of 10 Republican talking-point myths debunked…and a quote I particularly like: “On one hand, our annual Canadian tax bite runs about 10% higher than our U.S. taxes did. On the other, we’re not paying out the equivalent of two new car payments every month to keep the family insured here. When you balance out the difference, we’re actually money ahead. When you factor in the greatly increased social stability that follows when everybody’s getting their necessary health care, the impact on our quality of life becomes even more signficant.”

    Here’s a story about a young Canadian who was hit by a drunk driver two years ago. She was in a coma for four days, had 13 broken bones and a brain injury.

    She’s fully recovered now, thanks to Canadian health care. But earlier this year (now that she’s living in California) when she tried to enroll with Anthem Blue Cross, they refused – because of her previous injuries.

    My brother is facing the same battle. He had a serious knee injury back in ’68. He’s never been accepted for coverage since then. He’d be accepted in Canada no problem – if he were Canadian – but America’s ‘superior’ health care system leaves him (and 47 million others) out in the cold.

    Here’s another list of right-wing myths about Canadian health care readily debunked, and it has another quote I really like:

    “If a Canadian goes outside of the country to get services that are deemed medically necessary, not experimental, and are not available at home for whatever reason (e.g., shortage or absence of high tech medical equipment; a longer wait for service than is medically prudent; or lack of physician expertise), the provincial government where you live fully funds your care.”

    Baronius, their system – as with ANY human system – is not perfect. You’ll find problems there, too. But their system IS a heck of a lot BETTER, CHEAPER, and MORE EFFECTIVE than our own, as evinced by their higher life expectancy at a MUCH-reduced cost.

    What will it take for you to see that in some things (like our military), a healthy bit of national teamwork (you call it ‘socialism’) is BETTER than trusting to the ‘profit motive’ espoused by Ayn Rand? Let the ‘profit motive’ stay where it belongs – in the marketplace. Our lives and our health do NOT belong in the marketplace.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    Here’s the link I forgot to include in post #61 at “Here’s another list of right-wing myths….”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    You also posted: ”
    Secondly, an article about cheaper drugs in Canada. No one’s denying that drugs are cheaper in Canada, Glenn. They’re cheaper for the same reason that biotech research in Canada is practically nil: the government has ruined the market.”

    WOW! The Canadian government has RUINED the market! Everybody RUN! The sky is falling!

    And while we’re at it, perhaps Baronius should inform everyone on this list of 24 Canadian pharmaceutical manufacturers, hm? I see names such as Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers, Astra Zeneca…sound familiar?

    AND on Baronius’ last comment showing that SOME Canadians and Europeans go out-of-country to get their health care, perhaps he didn’t know that if a Canadian must have medical care that he can’t get in Canada, yes, he’ll probably come to America…and the Canadian government PAYS for it! This can be found in one of the links in #61.

    Furthermore, does two percent of the ENTIRE Canadian population come to America to get treatment? That would be 660,000 Canadians out of 33 million citizens, so NO, I don’t think that many Canadians come to America for health care – otherwise, we’d see thousands of Canadians lined up waiting for hospital space in all of our northern states.

    HOWEVER, in the CNN link in one of my previous posts, two percent of ALL Americans (SIX MILLION!) WILL go out-of-country to get health care they can’t get or can’t afford here.

    Baronius, you are on the wrong side of this argument. All the real evidence is against you.

  • Clavos

    Medicare (the government health insurance plan everybody wants and which is being proposed by PNHP) just informed the hospital in which my wife is a patient that her allotment of hospital days for this benefit period has run out, and she must be transferred to a nursing home, even though she was in intensive care until midnight last night.

    Fortunately, we are covered by an excellent private insurance policy which will continue to pay the hospital charges, because her physicians certify they are medically necessary, an argument that did not sway the government decision makers.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I understand. And I also understand what my brother’s gone through without any health care coverage for 41 years because no one would cover him.

    And you see, that’s the great thing about having an OPTION to have public or private health care. With the public option, my brother could finally have the health care he’s always been denied. As it stands right now, he gets none.

    AND that’s why I don’t really like using single anecdotes. Sure, they may give things a personal touch – but you can ALWAYS find anecdotes to support ANY view. In reality, depending on anecdotes takes away from the big picture wherein UHC gives better care overall and costs much less overall. That’s where we get the old saying, “can’t see the forest for the trees”. If you see a few rotten trees where you happen to be, that means nothing in the big picture.

    With the OPTION, you get the CHOICE whether to have one or the other. Freedom of choice – I thought that was what America was all about….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Clavos –

    Please accept my sincere apologies if I seemed crass and callous in my previous post – that’s a habit of mine that I need to change. I know that someday I may well face what you’re going through right now, and I hope that I can be as strong for my wife as you have been for yours.

    I do wish that your wife will recover fully, and that the two of you will have many more years of life together. Take care, friend.

  • Bliffle

    Roger failed to read Glenns reference to ‘medical tourism’, which exists because the savings in medical costs easily enable many Americans to travel to other countries for treatment.

    A friend lives in Mexico where he gets excellent care at modest cost.

    The kicker is that I’m not a sicko. I seldom get sick, and almost never require much more than over the counter drugs. But I don’t want to arrive on the hospital steps close to death and be turned away because some healthcare company bureaucrat has found some clause in the insurance policy that means they don’t cover me. I don’t want to be dumped in the local skid row in a hospital gown (as happens in LA) because that’s all the staff can think of to do.

    When I need it I want the healthcare system to solve my problem, to do the best they can, not flush me because they aren’t going to make a profit.

  • Baronius

    Glenn, you’re wrong again, or at least grossly misleading.

    1) I did mention the popularity poll in the Huffington Post article. I even made fun of it for being lousy supporting evidence.

    2) Yes, there are 24 international pharmaceutical companies with a presence in Canada, but they’re not “Canadian pharmaceutical manufacturers”. The ones you mentioned are based in Indianapolis (Lilly), NYC (Bristol-Myers), and London (Astrazeneca). Astrazeneca’s website mentions their 125 researchers in Montreal and their 2000 in Wilmington, Delaware. And Canada’s tiny pharmaceutical research is just one example of their lack of leadership in biotech.

    3) I can’t even tell what you’re saying on this one. I think you’re presuming that all Americans who leave the US for medical care go to Canada. You’re only guessing about the number of Canadians who come to the US for medical care. But whatever you’re thinking, you’re the one who cited the article as proof that Americans are fleeing the health care system, the very article that identifies the years-long wait in Canada as the reason that Canadians flee their health care system.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, Mr. Bliffle. I’m glad you and yours are fortunate enough to be able to travel – for pleasure or “medical tourism,” whatever the case. I, however, am not. I am aware, however, that even the cost of travel is well worth it if it means considerable savings on some medical procedures which are too costly in the US. But then again, this option, sorry to say, is not available to me.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    You who buy into the belief that our lives and health should be determined by the marketplace, rather than seeing the protection of our lives and health as essential to the function of the marketplace….

    YES, many of those pharmas I listed are subsidiaries of Big Pharma here in America – but why is it that we can buy American-made drugs in Canada for LESS than we can buy those same drugs here? Do you see a problem here?

    To wit: An article concerning actions taken by Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch back in 2003 against Glaxo-Smith-Kline: “Hatch in 2003 filed a lawsuit that sought to require GSK to produce records related to a company policy implemented in January 2003 under which GSK refused to sell products to Canadian pharmacies and wholesalers that market the products online to the United States and other nations. In the lawsuit, Hatch argued that AstraZeneca, Wyeth and Pfizer implemented similar policies within a three-month period, which appeared to be “too much of a coincidence.””

    Gee golly-darn! The four biggest pharmas all implemented the SAME policy within three months? And they did so because their customers were selling the drugs back to Americans for CHEAPER than the pharmas were here in America?

    Baronius, wake up and smell the guarana-laced espresso!

    AND in your last paragraph you neglected to mention the REASON why many Canadians wait so long – it’s almost always for ELECTIVE surgeries!

    And FYI, I did NOT say that most or even many of the SIX MILLION Americans going outside our borders for health care are going to Canada! Many probably do go to Canada, but most go to Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Thailand (where a family friend got her surgery that she couldn’t get in America and now has a child that American doctors said she couldn’t have), or the Philippines (where I got $16,000 worth of dental work for about $1000, all in one week by a dentist registered with the ADA.

    I do know something of medical tourism, Baronius – been there, done that, and real happy with it, just like millions of other American citizens who can’t afford medical or dental care here.

    Funny how many conservatives will pay $1000 a month for a good health insurance plan, but will refuse to pay half that for government insurance that will provide equally good care and will not unexpectedly drop their coverage of anyone because of ‘pre-existing conditions’.

    Yeah, keep listening to your right-wing pundits…but they’re not giving you real-world facts.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re forgetting, Glenn, is that the addressee is a right-wing pundit in his/her own right. So perhaps, just perhaps, your comment is misdirected.

  • Baronius

    Again, Glenn, it’s very easy to lower pharmaceutical prices, but you do it at the cost of future innovation.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Glenn, your concern in #70 is easily addressed THROUGH the free market. Just open the borders to importation of drugs from Canada, Mexico and Europe. Let pharmacies do it and let individuals do it. The price will be raised slightly worldwide and lowered substantially here in the US and the marketplace will both cause the cost of research to be allocated appropraitely and set a much more reasonable price for those drugs in the US.

    The free market is NOT the enemy here. In fact, the problem is the lack of a free market Selective government regulation instituted on behalf of the pharmaceutical companies is the problem.

    Dave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius and Dave –

    The problem with my long posts is that sometimes the point gets lost in the noise, so I’ll try once more.

    Don’t you think it’s a problem that US Big Pharma was selling drugs to Canada at a price so low that Americans were able to buy those same American-made drugs in Canada for HALF what they were paying here?

    You don’t see a problem with that?

    AND if you’re wondering why you haven’t heard about this lately, it’s because Big Pharma stopped selling to those Canadian resellers…and so they started buying the drugs from other countries like China and continue even now to export these drugs to America.

    The point is that if Big Pharma was selling to Canada, they were doing so at a PROFIT…even though those same American-made drugs were resold to Americans for so much less than the prices at which Big Pharma was already selling to Americans!

    You really do not see a problem with this????

    That, sirs, is your unregulated free market at work!

    This all begs the question – WHY could Big Pharma (since they were making a profit selling drugs to Canada) sell those same drugs to Americans for the same low price they gave to Canadians?

    WHY?

  • Bliffle

    Glenn makes the most cogent remark:

    “That, sirs, is your unregulated free market at work!”

    Indeed. An ‘unregulated’ free market is soon dominated by a monopoly or oligopoly that will supply the missing regulation in favor of the established vendors. THEY will provide ‘regulation’ that bars competitors, divides the market amongst it’s members, and charges arbitrary prices.

    That is exactly what we see in the case of pharmas.

    Failing to supply federal regulation of a market guarantees that a monopoly will arise to supply the missing regulation, to the advantage of the vendors and to the disadvantage of buyers.

    That’s one of the basic flaws in the notion of “unregulated free markets”. The “unregulated” part cannot last, and the industry itself will supply regulation, in it’s own interests.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I would have thought that all the proponents of “unregulated markets” should have learned their lesson by now. Have they forgotten the present economic crisis which, quite rightly, can be traced to deregulation-crazed Reagan?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    “…it is corporations suddenly behaving responsible out of desperation…”

    Dave? You are admitting that corporations are irresponsible? Doesn’t this give your whole ideology a black eye? If they CAN be irresponsible then they do not work via some magical free market balancing act scheme. What would Uncle Milton say?

    Isn’t that diametrically opposed to saying that the free market can solve everything? How can you even consider handing over responsibility for the welfare of society to a bunch of irresponsible corporations?

    By the way, here is my vision for the future of the U.S.:

    “About 500 miners seized eight supervisors at the Crocodile River Mine on Thursday, demanding permanent jobs. Three fled overnight.

    (snip)

    The managers had been kept 30 metres underground, without water or food.”

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I am waiting for any example of a free market that ever existed in any technological society. From what I understand there are/were none…zero.