Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Liberal Democracy

Monday, September 25, 2017

Brookings Institution: FixGov- Dana Goldman: Why Bernie Sander's Plan For Universal Health Care Is Only Half Right

Source: Brookings Institution-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Actually, I believe Dana Goldman is being generous here and giving Senator Bernie Sanders too much credit here. I don't believe Senator Sanders is even half right and is selling his supporters a Mercedes for the cost of a Ford Escort and telling them that he'll get back to them as far as how much the Mercedes really cost later on. Leaving his supporters with hopes of buying a Mercedes with only the budget of an Escort.

The problem with a Mercedes health care plan is that is cost as much as a Mercedes. If you're looking at a Mercedes SEL or sports car, you're talking about eighty thousand dollars or more. If you're a young public school teacher just starting out, you might only be able to afford the Ford Escort economy car. Luxury cars are expensive for most Americans and so are great health care plans. Even Senator Sanders is now acknowledging that his so-called free universal Medicare For All health care plan is not free.

Why? Because it would be run by government. Who funds government? The taxpayers that consume its services. How do taxpayers pay for government services? Through taxation and that includes from their annual income, as well as payroll taxes that comes out of their paychecks. Whether you're new public school teacher making 25-30 thousand dollars a year, driving a Ford Escort or another economy car. Or corporate lawyer or crooked politician making 500 hundred thousand dollars a year driving a Mercedes SEL or perhaps a Jaguar, or another great luxury car. The Sanders's Medicare For All plan comes with deep costs and they have no idea to pay for it.

And you would be talking about a Medicare For All budget assuming you're completely eliminating all private health insurance companies, as well as Medicaid, Tri-Care, the Federal civil service health insurance program, and all state health insurance programs, you would be talking about an annual Medicare budget of over three-trillion-dollars, to go on top of the already four-trillion-dollar U.S. Government budget. There's no free health care for anyone who pays taxes. Which means the Medicare For All supporters would have to come up with the finances to pay for it.

And if that is not depressing enough I only covered the costs of a Medicare For All plan and the fact that their supporters don't have a damn clue how to pay for it. Other than saying, "well, if we can borrow trillions of dollars to pay for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we can do that to guarantee health care for everyone." Which at best is a sophomoric answer. Which is like saying, "hey if Billy can skip cool and shoplift, how come I can't and have to go to go to school everyday?." Not exactly an example that you want to teach people.

But how about the other big problem dealing with completely eliminating competition in the health insurance system and completely putting the U.S. Government in charge of the health insurance for 320 million Americans. We've already seen the problem with the Veteran Affairs Administration when you put the one agency in charge of not just the health insurance for everyone, but their complete health care as well.

Which is military veterans not able to get needed health care because their hospitals are overcrowded or live hundreds of miles from the nearest VA hospital. Which is why Congress and the Obama Administration reformed the VA in 2014 and now veterans can get health care at private hospitals at least, leaving taxpayers to pick up the costs of their health care that these veterans have earned by serving their country.

The VA example is really the only example you need to know why government shouldn't be in complete control of the health insurance for a country of 320 million people at least. Socialism is just not the answer here because government is no bureaucratic and moves so slowly with the executive not being able to reform themselves quickly and keep up with the times without the approval of Congress. And Congress which always has their eye on the next election and always keeping their eyes on their donors and making sure they're pleasing them and only being able to move when it helps them politically.

The U.S. Government doesn't respond to competition because it doesn't have any in America. In theory they can do whatever they want and don't even have to meet a budget. Private organizations obviously don't have have that luxury and have to stay within their budgets and be able to adapt and deliver the best and most affordable services that they can. Or they'll lose to the competition. Which is why you want competition in the health insurance market and you want to keep that market and if anything expand that market and give people other options to pay for their health insurance.

Like Medicare option and not just having Medicare for our oldest and unhealthiest Americans. That could be run by the states and not adding to the Federal budget. As well as health savings accounts including for low-income workers which would add even more competition to the health insurance market.

So, other than the costs of a Medicare For All plan other than their supporters seeming to believe that we can borrow three-trillion-dollars a years and put it on the national debt, which would actually be more expensive than what we borrowed for Afghanistan and Iraq, at least annually. Or than having rich people not only fund their own health care and health insurance, but forcing them to pay for everyone else's even for people who can afford health insurance and health care and that the U.S. Government would be in complete control of everyone's health insurance in a country of three-hundred and twenty-million people, without the money to pay for it other than deep borrowing and expecting wealthy people to cover the other costs and forgetting that rich people can simply escape taxes by moving their money to other countries, you might actually have to like the Sanders's Medicare For All Plan. At least the idealistic romance novel side of it. Free health care for everyone. Who would be against that. But again, so such thing as a free lunch for people who buy that food. No such thing as free health care for people who consume that health care.
Source: TYT


The Young Turks: Ana Kasparian, Jimmy Dore & Ron Placone

Monday, September 18, 2017

Inside Edition: Bonnie Strauss- 1992 Feature on Jayne Mansfield

Source: FRS FreeState Plus- Baby Jayne Mansfield-
Source: The Daily Review

The man anchoring this show might look familiar to all you political and news junkies out there. Especially cable news junkies, because before Bill O'Reilly got his big gig The O'Reilly Factor at Fox News Channel in the mid 1990s, he was anchor of the syndicated tabloid/news magazine show Inside Edition. I remember watching him on that show in the mid 1990s after work. But enough about The O'Reilly Factor, or as I prefer to call him The O'Reilly Finger and give him my middle finger to show how I feel about him.

Jayne Mansfield died in a horrible car crash in 1967 and she wasn't drunk or even driving the car. The two men in front that were supposed to protect her were simply too tired to work and drive that night and should have never been on that trip. Especially with other people with them and in back of the car. So that is why Inside Edition did this story about Jayne in 1992. Because even though she did make a brief impact in Hollywood in the mid 1950s, it was sort of like that talented QB who has a couple big years early in his career and perhaps even wins the Super Bowl, but gets hurt or thinks too much of himself and stops doing the work and finds himself even playing for bad teams, or completely out of the NFL. The fall ends up being as dramatic as the rise to the top floor in Hollywood. That was Jayne Mansfield's short Hollywood adventure.

 I disagree with James Bacon that Jayne wasn't a good actress though and was only famous because of her, lets say measurements. She was a good actress, but more importantly a very good entertainer. Who was also a very good singer and comedian and had she realized that early on and just took with that instead of trying to move to doing drama and serious roles, we might be talking about one of the best comedic actresses and comedians at least of her generation. Which is how Carol Burnett and Mary Tyler Moore are remembered today. Not as great dramatic actresses, but great comedians as they should be. But Jayne got bored with comedy and tried to move away from what made her great in Hollywood.
Inside Edition: Bonnie Strauss- 1992 Feature on Jayne Mansfield

Monday, September 11, 2017

The New Republic: Opinion- John Judis: The Socialism America Needs Now

Source: The New Republic-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

To give you an idea of what I believe socialism is and what it isn't, I agree with John Judis at TNR that socialism has a couple layers, three if you include Chinese communism. But before that I want to talk about a discussion I had on Quora last week. (Of all places) Before that discussion I had absolutely no use for Quora and would even tweet or post on Google+, "why is someone following me on Quora, I'm never on Quora!" Which is true! When I would pick up a new follower. Except for last week when I responded to a question posed on Quora about socialism by someone who will go nameless simply because I don't remember their name. And this person asked are Liberals, Socialists?

To put it simply Liberals are not since liberal democracy is very different from social democracy or communism. But I went further and said that there three separate political ideologies in this discussion. Liberalism that I believe in as a Liberal. Marxism which is essentially communism today. Which is the Un-democratic form of socialism. And social democracy/democratic socialism. The third layer of socialism would be Chinese communism.

China certainly still qualifies as a Marxist-Communist State as it relates to social policy with no free press and legal political opposition in the country. No guaranteed ability for people to speak out and express themselves, certainly about the central government. No right to privacy and people could lose their homes easily to the state if the state simply decides to take that property from them. No guaranteed right of religion and for people to make that choice to practice or not practice religion themselves.

But economically the only reason why China has boomed in the last lost forty years now is because of the privatization of their economy. You have big cities in China now like Shanghai that look like big cities in Japan, Europe, or even America. Highly developed with all sorts of private companies and business's, with large middle classes and even rich people. That is because they've now become a capitalist economy with a large welfare state and still have some state-run enterprises from their previous communist regimes.

What I was trying to get through to the person on Quora I was talking to with his point being that so-called Liberals aren't socialists because they haven't called for economic nationalization with the state owning and running the entire economy, is that there are layers of socialism. And none of them are part of liberalism.

Yes, there are still Marxist-Communists who are Un-Democratic Socialists who do believe there should be no private sector and private ownership in the economy. But other than North Korea and someone might find some small country in Africa where this philosophy is still practiced, Marxism is a dying governing philosophy in the world. Even Cuba has opened their economy to so some private ownership and capitalism. Other than maybe Eugene Debbs (Socialist Party presidential candidate in the early 20th Century) there are really no Democratic Socialists who believe in complete state-control of the economy in society.

The mainstream wing of socialism is social democracy/democratic socialism. Which includes private ownership of the economy and even allowing for people to own their own property. But where private industry is heavily regulated for the good of society. As Democratic Socialists would put it) Highly taxed to prevent income inequality and to provide a large welfare state to provide the public services to people that Socialists believe shouldn't be in private for-profit hands. Services like health care, health insurance, education, pensions, child care, perhaps a few other social services.

But even this wing of socialism would considered Far-Left in America, (except for Millennial's and aging Baby Boomers like Bernie Sanders) because of the high taxation, regulation, over centralization of government especially in a federal republic like America where we tend not to trust big centralized government and like to see more power with the states, localities, and individuals themselves. But still a very mainstream not just political philosophy, but governing philosophy in Europe. Especially in Scandinavia.

I disagree with John Judis and his TNR column about another thing. I don't believe America needs any form of socialism. You would almost have to rewrite or at least seriously reform our U.S. Constitution and take away our federal form of government for any socialist model of government to be put in place in America. Or have some political revolution where Communists come into power through violent  military means and eventually take over the U.S. Government and throw out our form of government. And start nationalizing state and local government's and replacing them with Marxist-Socialists or Communists. (I guess ANTIFA is working on that right now)

So in this sense at least socialism simply wouldn't be a practical governing philosophy in America. Our form of government is simply too decentralized and would require again reforming the U.S. Constitution through all sorts of amendments, or rewriting it which would require amendments. But for socialism in the democratic form to become an alternative philosophy to Center-Right conservatism and Center-Left liberalism, Socialists in America and that starts with their leaders Senator Bernie Sanders and Dr. Jill Stein, need to start being real with their followers.

Stop promising free candy, cookies, sodas, to their followers that they want Uncle Sam to take care of. Explain to them why democratic socialism is the best governing philosophy, but also be realistic and honest with that. Stop promising free stuff! Like health care, health insurance, college, pensions, child care, etc. And tell them that government services have to paid for and be paid for by the people who consume them who are taxpayers. And tell them that if government is going to provide these services to people that taxes are going to have to be raised on everyone who consumes these government services.

And then we'll really see how popular socialism is in America and if Americans really want to pay for this government-run Socialist Utopia that Socialists keep promising. Especially as more Baby Boomers die off and Millennial's get older and hopefully finally grow up.
Source: The Young Turks- U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Democratic Socialist, Socialist Republic of Vermont


The Young Turks: John Iadarola, Ana Kasparian & Ben Mankiewicz- Bernie Sanders Speech on Democratic Socialism

Monday, September 4, 2017

Jerry Skinner: What Happened To Jayne Mansfield?

Source: Jerry Skinner- Hollywood Babydoll Jayne Mansfield 
Source: The Daily Review

What happened to Jayne Mansfield? Well as far as her death, she died in a car accident in June, 1967. She was a passenger and not driving and was headed to New Orleans from Biloxi, Mississippi just after midnight because Jayne had an interview that next day on a local New Orleans news show. They probably should have waited until the next morning to leave because as we know now the driver of the car was working and driving literally on no sleep.

And to make things worst they were trying to make an 87 mile trip in about an hour or so and were in a real rush. So you got a tired driver driving past midnight and in a hurry to get from Biloxi to Mississippi and you also had a lot of traffic on the road as well and two men who died in the accident in front of Jayne's car who were real impatient.

But I believe the better question as far as what really happened to Jayne Mansfield is not so much about how she died in the end. But why was she performing in nightclubs in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1967 when she was still only 34 years old. Instead of New York or Los Angeles making movies, or doing TV shows, performing comedy, perhaps putting her own music album together. Because she had real talent to do all these things as a versatile entertainer, but wasn't doing them by 1967.

One thing that I agree with the narrator in this video is that Jayne Mansfield wasn't a dumb blonde. The woman had a college degree and came from a successful family in Pennsylvania and later Texas. The daughter of a layer and teacher. She could act, she had a comedic wit, and a singer's voice. But she played the dumb sexy blonde as a career move in order to make money and bring publicity to herself.

But to go back to the fact that she was actually a good actress who could act. She played the dumb sexy blonde so well that people took her seriously as the dumb sexy blonde and didn't see her as anything else. Both her fans and studios, movie and TV executives. She voluntarily left Hollywood in the 1960s because she was tired of playing the dumb sexy blonde and wanted serious roles as an actress. She could have stayed in Hollywood and continued to play the dumb sexy blonde and had very successful career as a comedic actress and comedian in general.

But Jayne was no longer interested in those roles. I believe she would have made a great soap actress in the 1970s and 80s even on prime time had she lived a normal life in years, because of a great comedic timing and wit and she had real dramatic affect as well. But of course we'll never know that. I believe Saturday Night Live in the 1970s and 80s would have been a great place for her too, but we'll never know that either. By the early and mid 1960s Jayne's Hollywood career was basically over.

Not because Jayne was kicked out, but because she was tired of the roles that she was getting. As the comedy relief in movies and TV appearances and wanted to go further as an actress. And was left to doing b-movies and and even some pornographic film and even films of her simply traveling around the country and going to Europe simply to stay busy as an actress. Marilyn Monroe is famous for saying that it takes a smart woman to play the dumb blonde. Jayne played the dumb blonde so well that she had too many people fooled. Which is why she's always been known as the dumb sexy blonde and not much else even though she had so much else going for her as an entertainer and person.
Jerry Skinner: What Happened To Jayne Mansfield?