It's not that I think stupidity should be punishable by death. I just think we should take the warning labels off of everything and let the problem take care of itself.
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Stone Four
Need some writing
or photography done?
Ah, politics
Watching CNN's Late Edition this morning, I caught a few minutes with one of Florida's senators, Bill Nelson. He was, as you might expect, talking about Wilma's potential impact on his home state. At the end of the interview, Wolf asked about the financial trouble that the National Flood Insurance Program is facing. Nelson had this to say:
There's gonna have to be some major changes Wolf. Look, 60% of New Orleans residents under sea level had no federal flood insurance. Now that's inexcusable. We've got to change that. Otherwise, guess who picks it up? It's the American taxpayer that picks up the tab - so people are gonna have to start buying flood insurance or else suffer the consequences.
If you believe this, Senator Ted Stevens has a bridge he'd like to sell you. While it's refreshing to hear an elected official make such statements, it's nothing but hot air - when push comes to shove, people will NEVER be forced in such a situation to bear the consequences of their choices.


Comments
Insurance carries with it certain inevitable problems, which is why government ends up being the insurer in a variety of circumstances. Government can require the insured pay -- such required payments are called taxes; how much will be paid by whom becomes a political question, but then how much will be paid by whom is ALWAYS a political question.

Bad government is a serious mistake, and voting for morons is a serious mistake. A libertarian fantasy might make you feel better, but it does not make the world better.
BruceW07 | 2011-05-09 21:51

Well, it's hot air in the sense that the Democrats are in the minority; it's somewhat cooler air in that sooner or later something has to change.

The fundamental problem here is that you place way too much faith in private insurance - here's the flaw: private companies exist to make a profit first, and to provide a quality service to their clients second.

The failing of the tax and spend debate in the US, if I may say so, is that politicians pander to those wanting the lowest tax but you never look at the total bill you end up paying, if you addd in healthcare insurance for instance and all the other services it is anathema for the state to provide there.

Now, is the state always the most efficient, effective way to provide services? No, it certainly isn't. But is it the only way to guarantee universal coverage of US citizens of sufficient quality AND costing less overall than private insurance? Yes.

That doesn't mean ending private insurance: you can buy more, or stay private if you want (in fact great - that cuts the costs of universal health provision further!).

But isn't it about time, instead of cutting tax for the richest, yet spending more than ever before and piling up a...well, ridiculous doesn't quite do it justice, does it...national debt, the wealthiest nation on earth established a safety net for everyone - not just those who can afford it?

On a completely different subject, you also need to give the Federal Elections Commission sole responsibility for drawing electoral boundaries - take it out of the hands of politicians.
Adam | 2011-05-09 21:51

Adam, maybe you missed it, but everyone who pays Federal Income Taxes received a cut. In addition those cuts managed to increase total income to the Feds, just as they did for JFK and RWR.

You say the problem is putting too much faith in private companies is bad, but your solution is transferring that faith to an unaccountable and unmotivated bureaucracy that will, as all bureaucracies eventually do, become bloated. At least private entities have a motivation to keep customers as those customers have a choice, unlike your preferred solution.
DKK
LifeTrek | 2011-05-09 21:51

Spare us the Republican spin Life Trek - you'll be telling us next that flat rate tax benefits the poorest the most. Good grief! Talk about voodoo economics!

You really should read what I said - look - it's right above: "..is the state always the most efficient effective way to provide services? No.."

So, it's a simple balance between freedom and fairness: continue with the gross inequity of millions of Americans in the richest country on earth being without health insurance but gee, at least we're all free to be destitute, or opt for universal coverage, maintain the option for private cover on top, and you'll find you pay less as well as that not insignificant benefit: a healthier US. How are you doing on that measure in, say, the realm of obesity?

I bet you all the money in my pocket right now, against all the money in yours, that the UK National Health Service costs less per capita than if everyone in the US had a private health insurance plan. Corporate fat cats are, by and large far greedier than public sector "bloated bureaucracies".
Adam | 2011-05-09 21:51

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