Put Down That Rifle Red-Face
(The is the unexpurgated version of my piece News For Democrats: Profits Push Cost Down which appeared in American Thinker)
Harry Reid’s renowned for shooting his mouth off with his brain only half loaded, but we don’t need his occasional lapse one way or another for us to know that for him, Obamacare is only a “stepping stone” or a “work … passed”, on the nation’s way to a single payer system. That’s been his goal all along just as it’s all along been the goal of Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and hundreds of other committed Leftists in the Democrat Party in and out of Government.
Which means that if in the extremely unlikely event Obamacare does everything they promised us, that is insured the forty million currently without medical insurance, actually let everybody keep the insurance they liked and the doctor they liked, all for an “affordable” price, it’s still not game over for the Democrats because it seems it didn’t ever matter to them whether Obamacare worked or not, just as long as it furthered the cause.
Indeed the closer you examine their motives in enacting Obamacare the it smells like the only thing that really mattered to them was the vast regulatory powers which accompanied the Affordable Care Act. Because they gave them the means to play the Settlers and Indians Game.
As in kill all the buffalo so that all the Plains Indians, even the proudest warriors among them, are forced onto government reservations in order to eat.
“Put down your rifle red face and pick up your little bag of corn.”
Or in the case of Obamacare use its fifty thousand pages of regulations to smash-mouth the nation’s innumerable intricate doctor, patient, specialist, insurance and hospital networks in order to leave them dead and skinned for the vultures to pick over so that all the government’s new little Indians from Point Barrow to Key West, Eastport Maine to Oahu, rich and middle class, have to run to a government reservation in order to get their next flu shot. Bowel resection. Chemo, x-ray or blood test. Whether they want to or not.
“Put down that Blue Cross – Blue Shield card zit-face and take this little number I‘m giving you.”
But the really, really sad part is that most people will want to. Take that little number that is, because unless Conservatives do something they’ll have hook, line and sinker swallowed something like the following story-line:
In a spirit of bipartisan conciliation the Democrat party embraced the fundamentals of Romneycare, the very plan Republican Mitt Romney implemented in Massachusetts and first proposed by the Republican think tank Newt Gingrich was with. But in the worst display of political partisanship in living memory Republicans divided the country by doing everything thing they could to sabotage their own plan. And so threatened their membership, especially women, that not one Republican Congressperson voted for their own law. Then they held up funding even to the point of shutting down the government. No government, no family for that matter could adequately plan or budget in such a matter and it’s became a complicated disaster, a complicated Republican caused disaster in which certain insurance companies and rich Republicans are getting even richer..
So the only way to go on from here is to pick up the pieces and do what the American people wanted us to do in the first place. Adopt the single payer system and make certain that never again will rich Republicans, big insurance companies or big drug companies and their unconscionable profits stand between children and mothers the disabled, both poor and middle class and their access to quality health care.
Indeed it’ll have Americans will lining up behind Single Payer with all the ferocity of stampeding flat screen TV shoppers on Black Friday because they’ve forever bought some form of this “Simple Math” pitch.
Simply put Democrat “Simple Math” holds that if Walter is selling widgets to the public for a dollar and making a profit of twenty percent government can take the enterprise over and sell widgets for eighty cents. In other words profits stand in way of affordability, access – a lower price. You have the cost, you have the profit, the two of them added together make up the price, eliminate the profit and price falls – what could be simpler? Which in this case means of course, that the only thing standing between your family and affordable medical care is yes those evil rich Republican and big drug company, big insurance company profits.
A rationale which Conservatives can never seem to contradict the simple idiocy of. At least not in a simple sentence. Not that they couldn’t – think Ronald Reagan – he could have – but he didn’t. Of course there’s a million reams of intelligent discourse which refute “Simple Math” not to mention thousands of books on the shelves of our libraries, but in all of that, not one single sentence as convincing as the lie.
Take my small town dump. It has been had been run for years, and very well too, by a private contractor and his daughter but one day I get there and its gates are padlocked with a notice that we temporarily have to use a neighboring town’s dump.
So I go to the Town Hall and find that the Town Board to a man being a Conservative, had decided to take the dump over and when I asked why was told by a woman in the Clerk’s office that “because we won’t have to worry about making profit. So we can pass that savings on to the people. It’s simple math.”
“Oh” I rolled my eyes, “this is not going to be good.” And sure enough when I got to the dump the next day with four cans of extra malodorous garbage it was open, but with a sign announcing its new shorter hours and its increase in fees. Also a notice that they weren’t accepting cash or credit cards any longer. So I dumped one last time and ordered a dumpster.
The same “Simple Math” which had the British Labor government taking over of the steel, shipbuilding, coal mining and what-all else industries after World War II intending to reduce prices by consolidating and eliminating the British capitalist’s unconscionable profit. But what they got instead was a catastrophe. Prices went up not down, innovation fled those industries along with the smartest engineers and eventually the government had to sell these businesses back to new private shareholders.
A really funny example of how “Simple Math” worked out closer to home is the cement (concrete) business in Manhattan. It’s prices are the highest in the nation because as the government once postured, the crime boss Fat Tony Salerno and/or his descendants in perdition run it. So the government financed a rival cement plant, the West 57th Street Corporation which wouldn’t make pay-offs or any of that bad, bad profit and guess what? Yes! The government concrete wound up being seven dollars more a yard than the Mafia concrete.
And it turns out that it turns out this way, always. Whether with British Steel, Manhattan concrete, my small town dump or in Russia where Lenin’s ruthless application of “Simple Math” guaranteed that ninety-eight out of the hundred most common consumer items available off the shelf prior to the Russian Revolution vanished after it.
Because all other things being equal, profit holds cost down.
Indeed we could say that God invented profit in order to lower costs and so make goods cheap enough for the poor to afford! Shout Out to Pope Francis! Profits hold prices down! Consider this a profitcy (sorry – couldn’t resist.)
But we never get the word out. So let me be the first – Hello Conservatives. Profits hold costs down. You cannot subtract profit them from price and wind up with a new lower price. Instead you always wind up with a higher one. And that’s all you have to say whenever “Simple Math” pops up! “Profits push costs down.” Indeed the bigger the profit the cheaper something will be in the long run because huge profits draw new thinking and new entrepreneurs.
John D. Rockefeller was vilified for his Trusts, accused of looting the public with the vast profits he made. Yet every year he was free to operate and accumulate all that cash the price of refined crude fell. Indeed it’s unappreciated, not even recognized for the most part, how much these “Robber Barons” radically changed the standard of living in the United States by pushing the costs of everyday items often to a hundredth part of the earlier price. Sometimes further. Andrew Carnegie for example became the richest man in the world by pushing the price of steel from seven dollars a pound to three pounds for two cents.
Profit pushes costs down.
Say it and save us.
Post Script For the New Year:
One – the Poles had a saying about moving back into a free economy from a Socialist one – “It’s easy to turn an aquarium into fish soup, but the process doesn’t work so well in the other direction.” Yet they more or less did exactly that. So cherish that thought this New Year.
Two – It’s true that the end of 2013 has more incumbent Democrats wetting their Tommy Hilfiger undies at any time since Ronald Reagan’s second term blowout but not those who have long ago sold their souls to the dark side. So it’s a good time in this New Year to tell those who may yet be saved from those from whom, you or your children should never accept anything to eat or drink, let alone look for a lost puppy with.