T Nation

Why Are Your Views Better?

T-gents:

I have seen a tremendous amount of political debate on this forum, much of it consisting of why the “other side” is bad, and it’s going in never-ending circles. I’m interested in better understanding why someone’s views and ideas would, if implemented, make the country a better place (as opposed to why someone else’s would make it worse).

For example, Lumpy is a committed leftist and has definably socialist viewpoints. So, Lumpy, why would (for example) universal, “free” healthcare for everyone make America better? Explain how it will be paid for, what the incentive will be to provide better service in the absence of competition, etc. Ditto for other issues that you support, such as “living” wage, environmental protection, “fair” taxation of the “rich,” etc.

Ditto for ZEB or thunderbolt, who are committed to their conservative/libertarian views. Why doesn’t everyone have the right to free healthcare (or housing or a living wage or whatever)? Why are we better off letting individual charity, the free market and competition take care of it, and thereby risking leaving some out? Why shouldn’t the government exercise control over our lives to the extent that it maintains order in society? Shouldn’t we allow “experts” who are better educated than we to help us manage things like public education, the environment, commerce, etc.? Why not? Why shouldn’t the tax burden be more heavily weighted to those who can afford it?

Please explain and support YOUR views; DO NOT lambaste someone else’s. I (and probably others) am interested in the reasoning and/or historical basis behind your positions. Tell us how they would make our beloved USA a better place. DO NOT explain to us for the 2,759,842nd time why Bush/Kerry equals God/Spawn of Satan. We get it, already!

Being the Prince of all Sayajins and all, I have had much more experience ruling a planet than anyone else here. Therefore my ideas are better and based more on real world experience. Duh!

Really though, my main reason that I support a conservative approach is that I believe in the laws of nature. The laws of nature far outweigh the laws of man. The more control man tries to take the bigger the problems that will be created. Remember the movie Jurassic Park? The problem I have with everyone getting an equal share is that human emotions like jealosy and envy are two powerful. If there is a true free society where one earns his own way, is given nothing for free and chizzles his own existance, there is only himself to blame if he fails. If the laws of man say that everyone is to be given equal benefits from the collective wealth of man then surely somone will feel like they are getting less because it is not possible for every single person to recieve the exact same as everyone else. In this instance, there will be good reason for someone to get angry at someone else, they were promised something and did not get it. Then the other person gets more than was promised and this compounds problems.

Unfortunately I believe that man belongs livng like that wild west town in the latest atomic dog. Mainly by the rules of nature. Sure it’s a little more Hardcore but isn’t that what we all claim to be? If you are top dog in the town you will be top dog. if you’re some sickly street urchan, thats exactly what you’ll be. I don’t want to be part of some great society where everyone drives the same car and works the same hours and does everything the same. It’s f-ing boring that way.

If any of you are into Sci-fi, take a look at what we consider an advanced race would be like. Generally, advanced races are depicted as calm, unemotional beings who all look and act alike. They may be very advanced but do they actually enjoy their lives? Who can tell.

Being liberal is fine but where do you draw the line?

Vegita ~ Prince of all Sayajins

Bandgeek,

I’ll address some of your thoughts with brief statements - trying to answer your big question would take volumes, but here goes a few thoughts.

“…who are committed to their conservative/libertarian views…”

Just for the record, I am not a libertarian and I disagree with them on many issues. Nothing wrong with that point of view, I just wanted to distinguish myself to avoid confusion.

“Why doesn’t everyone have the right to free healthcare (or housing or a living wage or whatever)?”

Personal responsibility. You are obligated to take care of yourself.

Moreover, there is no such thing as a ‘right’ to health care, etc. for everyone (it’s be a privilege if we created it, not a right) - what if everyone suddenly decided they were entitled to all sorts of great things a rights?

Someone has to provide these things, someone has to pay for them. Then human nature takes over. Why should I share the cost of someone’s health when they smoke, overeat, use drugs, or engage in risky, stupid behavior when I eat well, exercise, take care of myself, and avoid harm? People resent having to share that burden when other people refuse to pull their weight in society.

“Why shouldn’t the government exercise control over our lives to the extent that it maintains order in society?”

It certainly should - and that’s why I’m not a libertarian. I believe in ordered liberty, a balance. A community or society cannot have prosperity without order.

“Shouldn’t we allow “experts” who are better educated than we to help us manage things like public education, the environment, commerce, etc.?”

To some degree, yes, but their power should be limited and they should be accountable to the people they work for. That’s one reason we opted for a republic - our best and brightest would be our decision makers, compared to a democracy, which governs by herd instinct and whim.

“Why shouldn’t the tax burden be more heavily weighted to those who can afford it?”

I don’t mind a slight progressivism in taxation, if it stopped there. But all too often, the taxation at the highest levels of income is designed to do something other than provide revenue for government goods and services - it is an attempt to constrain wealthy people and redisctibute income. Levelling of this nature debases a free society and should never be permitted. Therefore, a flatter tax would suggest a way to prevent mischief in the top tax brackets.

Guys: Thanks for the replies. I look forward to reading more and will of course post my own at some point. There is a reason for all this.

thunderbolt, I don’t mean to pigeonhole you or assume that you represent any particular viewpoint(s) and apologize if I did. I’ve just noted that you seem to fall on the “right” side of things more often than not. Also, the questions I posed were for example only, and I hope that people will discuss those issues that are most important to their own personal vision of a well-functioning free society. As to it being complicated, of course it is. I think we’ll see some long and detailed posts here. They will be read. There are a lot of strong convictions on this board, and I’d like to see people’s visions of those convictions. Why do/will they work?

bandgeek,

I feel the same way. It seems sometimes that opinions on politics are based on stereotypes. I noticed that many people are NOT open minded and will criticize another point of view because of this.

People have joked that presidential candidate John Kerry has a dull personality because it appears that way. The fact that he speaks French also makes him a ?traitor?.

George Bush is ridiculed for stupidity. Texas is considered deeply conservative in a negative way, which is a stereotype.

I believe it is important to be open-minded and vote for the best person, despite the political party they belong to.

Bandgeek,

“I don’t mean to pigeonhole you or assume that you represent any particular viewpoint(s) and apologize if I did. I’ve just noted that you seem to fall on the “right” side of things more often than not…”

Oh no, no offense taken. You didn’t pigeonhole me. I just wanted to distinguish myself from any libertarian folk here so no one thought I was representing a libertarian point of view.

Most had already figured out I didn’t represent a left-of-center point of view (wink).

I think everyone should have free healthcare, just like everyone has a right to a court appointed lawyer right?

Just, think how bad the health system will be if everyone is allowed free healthcare. Will, people want to be doctors? Will there be good doctors? Will there be competition for drug companies to make the best drugs probably not.

So, I think there should be a system that we do have to pay for healthcare. But, it should be a % taken out of your check like what they do now.

So, should homeless get free healthcare? I think not.

Should every working person and their family get free healthcare I would say yes to a certian degree. As the saying goes you get what you paid for.

This is coming from someone that is a lower bracket income single person income.

In Health,

Silas C.

Hey guys:

Good to see a few replies trickling in. I’m afraid though, that in my original post, in trying to make myself clear, maybe I was TOO specific. I’m not looking for answers to MY questions. As I said before, there are a lot of deeply held convictions here about socio-political issues, so I’m curious how you believe your personal convictions apply in a practical sense, and how would they make the country better, never mind the questions I put forward.

I’m asking you all because I was asking myself the same question, and it’s not an easy one to answer. I guess I’m just posing the same “challenge” to you as I did to myself. And yes, I do intend to reply to my own question – just as soon as I think about it some more :slight_smile:

An estimated 18,000 Americans die every year because they can’t afford access to health care. I think that is totally unnacceptable.

I personally can’t afford health care. I am self-employed. Last time I looked, two years ago, health insurance was @ 350 dollars a month.

I recently needed some bloodwork done… 5 hundred bucks to have standard bloodwork. (cholesterol assay). You can bet I won’t do that again (have bloodwork done). I was shocked when I got the bill.

The biggest problems with healthcare (from what I understand) is too many middle men (the insurance companies) and runaway costs for prescription drugs.

Why is my political philososphy better? I never said it was. However, I see a lot of evidence of selfishness among some of the people who post here… someone wrote that they are against public health care because everyone has to take care of themselves. OH REALLY? I can think of a wide variety of people who are unable to fend for themselves… old ladies and so on.

Medical crises are one of the leading causes of people declaring bankruptcy. People who can’t afford health care often end up getting emergency medical care, because that is the only way they can see a medical professional. They default on their bills. Those costs are passed on to other patients. You may think that you are keeping every penny by not helping others get health care, but it’s not true. You are paying more at the clinic and at the hospital.

I would gladly pay a high tax rate, if it meant that nobody in America was freezing to death, or starving to death, or couldn’t get the education that they needed. (I heard that lately the millionaire Rush Limbaugh has been saying there is no hunger in America… what an idiot).

I see that many of the guys here on T-Mag have a screw-the-other-guy mentality, and openly say to hell with everybody else. Very sad. The stereotype about bodybuilders is that they are ridiculously self-centered (and not very smart). Try not to live up to all the stereotypes at once, guys.

Lumpy: Thank you for taking the time to reply. Again, though, it seems more like you are answering my questions that I posed as examples (i.e. healthcare). I should have been more general. And it may be that you see attitudes reflected in others that you disagree with, but what I’m getting at is why YOUR ideas are, in your mind, good for the country, not why others’ are bad. I don’t mean to sound rude, but you clearly DO think your ideas are better, otherwise you wouldn’t hold to them so strongly (that is a GOOD thing, so don’t worry).

OK, as simply as I can put it: Why are your ideas good for the country, and how do they work PRACTICALLY as the underpinnings of a free and just society? That is THE question I am trying to get an answer to.

ZEB? vroom? Boston? Elk? Dustin? Anyone?

Lumpy,

By the way, ‘universal’ means everyone.

I never suggested that I didn’t support public health assistance to those who can’t help themselves.

I disagree with the concept of ‘universality’ - that has nothing to do with a ‘screw the other guy’ mentality. I think you jump to too many erroneous conclusions when assessing how other people think here.

Here’s my basic philosophy on welfare, public help, transfer payments: every dollar given to someone who can help themselves but won’t takes a dollar away from someone who can’t help themselves.

It’s as simple as that. Those people who can take care of themselves but won’t are taking food, help, and medicine from those who really need it - and there is too many of them.

Lumpy,

I agree with you in part. No one should die in America because health care is so expensive. However, the answer is not for government to fund health care. All that will do is drive our already high tax bill even higher!

Here is what needs to be done: Why is health care so expensive? The same reason that other things, without enough competition, are expensive. The answer is to flood the market with doctors!

Give government grants to everyone who wants to become a doctor. If there were more doctors the price of becoming ill would come down. We would also get better service. How many times have you waited up to an hour in a doctors office? Years ago doctors used to actually make house calls! That was before they got fat and happy.

Okay, I know that this sounds a bit radical but why not?

Bandgeek,

“OK, as simply as I can put it: Why are your ideas good for the country, and how do they work PRACTICALLY as the underpinnings of a free and just society? That is THE question I am trying to get an answer to.”

This is a pretty tough question to answer in full.

I’ll add this: my ideas are good because they focus on the long-term consequences rather than short-term popularity (prudence), understand that much of why are we are great is because of the wisdom of the historical experience we have inherited (prescription), and I believe our society should be based on an understanding of human nature and its flaws rather than contrary to it and constantly trying to redefine it - rather than promising Utopian blueprints for a world that cannot exist, we should create a practical government that steers us past the twin banks of tyranny and anarchy.

How? Private property, civil liberties, republican government, federalism, limited but strong institutions, responsible civic audit, exultation of high art, education, and values rather than a celebration of the lowest common denominator, and a system that is not easily budged by fashion, fad, trend, or flavor-of-the-day in social or political thinking.

Pretty generic, but, again, a tough question to answer and keep it readable.

ZEB, what about the inherent asymettry of knowledge in the free market?

-Zulu

One thing that needs to be addressed is the prescription drug system in the country. The cost of prescription drugs is just too high.

Zulu,

I don’t think that plays into it.

[quote]ZEB wrote:

Here is what needs to be done: Why is health care so expensive? The same reason that other things, without enough competition, are expensive. The answer is to flood the market with doctors!

Give government grants to everyone who wants to become a doctor. If there were more doctors the price of becoming ill would come down. We would also get better service. How many times have you waited up to an hour in a doctors office? Years ago doctors used to actually make house calls! That was before they got fat and happy.

Okay, I know that this sounds a bit radical but why not?[/quote]

Go Zeb! Finally! Someone has the ability to have an original thought! I like it!

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
This is a pretty tough question to answer in full.[/quote]

Very true. I often catch myself reading these threads and mentally destroying, with utterly brilliant arguments, positions with which I don’t agree. This is so much easier than explaining and supporting MY ideas. We can all counter an opposing position with a few well-crafted sentences. But to explain, even at great length, the merits of our own ideas, is difficult to say the least. I’m looking forward to some others (hint, hint)!

Quite well said though.

Zeb,

In a libertarian world the government wouldn’t look over things. Don’t get me wrong, I think the government should get the hell away from most functions it performs.

But imagine if anybody could be a doctor. Great…there would be perfect competition, rates would drop, innovations would soar. The problem is that, given the asymmetry of knowledge in our society, you don’t actually have to be a good doctor to get clients. I could actually give you advice that hurts you 10 years down the road and you’d have no way of knowing it was my fault. Basically, there isn’t always an incentive to provide a genuinely good service.

Then again, this happens already when the government is there, so…

[quote]Zulu wrote:
Zeb,

In a libertarian world the government wouldn’t look over things. Don’t get me wrong, I think the government should get the hell away from most functions it performs.

But imagine if anybody could be a doctor. Great…there would be perfect competition, rates would drop, innovations would soar. The problem is that, given the asymmetry of knowledge in our society, you don’t actually have to be a good doctor to get clients. I could actually give you advice that hurts you 10 years down the road and you’d have no way of knowing it was my fault. Basically, there isn’t always an incentive to provide a genuinely good service.

Then again, this happens already when the government is there, so…[/quote]

There’s no way to insure that you’re getting good service now.