Saturday, November 03, 2012

read your Krauthammer


The man in the wheelchair writes:

Obama’s intention has always been to re-normalize, to reverse ideological course, to be the anti-Reagan — the author of a new liberal ascendancy. Nor did he hide his ambition. In his February 2009 address to Congress he declared his intention to transform America. This was no abstraction. He would do it in three areas: health care, education and energy.

Think about that. Health care is one-sixth of the economy. Education is the future. And energy is the lifeblood of any advanced country — control pricing and production, and you’ve controlled the industrial economy.

And it wasn’t just rhetoric. He enacted liberalism’s holy grail: the nationalization of health care. His $830 billion stimulus, by far the largest spending bill in U.S. history, massively injected government into the free market — lavishing immense amounts of tax dollars on favored companies and industries in a naked display of industrial policy.

And what Obama failed to pass through Congress, he enacted unilaterally by executive action. He could not pass cap-and-trade, but his EPA is killing coal. (No new coal-fired power plant would ever be built.) In 2006, liberals failed legislatively to gut welfare’s work requirement. Obama’s new Health and Human Services rule does that by fiat. Continued in a second term, it would abolish welfare reform as we know it — just as in a second term, natural gas will follow coal, as Obama’s EPA regulates fracking into noncompetitiveness.

Government grows in size and power as the individual shrinks into dependency. Until the tipping point where dependency becomes the new norm — as it is in Europe, where even minor retrenchment of the entitlement state has led to despair and, for the more energetic, rioting.

An Obama second term means that the movement toward European-style social democracy continues, in part by legislation, in part by executive decree. The American experiment — the more individualistic, energetic, innovative, risk-taking model of democratic governance — continues to recede, yielding to the supervised life of the entitlement state.

Four more years of this, right?



John said...

Unlike you, I truly believe Romney is going to win. It's past time for a course correction, and I think Romney can turn this ship around.

We'll know in a couple of days.

Scott said...

In sum: Healthcare is evil. It robs the government of money that it could give to the military instead (because if we ain't spending more than the next dozen or so countries combined...uh...something bad happens). More coal plants are good (cause we all know climate change is a hoax, right?). And...I guess that's all he's got.
So yeah. I'll take my chances with four more years.

Kevin Kim said...

I don't think the Republican argument is that healthcare is evil. Nationalized healthcare is evil because of its intrusive, over-regulated nature. With your health at stake, government has you by the balls.

As for environmental alarmism: we've seen it all before: food's gonna run out, oil's gonna run out, blah, blah, blah... and thus far the predictions of disaster have all been wrong. While I do think climate change is a reality (it's trivially true that climate changes all the time, after all), it's arguable as to whether this spells disaster. For example, as Freeman Dyson points out, what's wrong with cold parts of northern Canada warming up and becoming habitable? The fact of the matter is that our powers of prediction are laughably limited, so there's room for civil, reasoned discussion about what to do regarding climate change. Meanwhile, I somehow doubt that Costner's "Waterworld" is in our future.

Scott said...

Is the current health care system better? I don't think so. Perhaps Obama's plan is far from ideal, but the Republicans have made it clear they have no intention of changing anything.

As for climate change, there are several reasons that I think make you have to look at it differently than scares in the past. One is the consensus of scientists. Sure, you can say that a while back some scientists (but far from the consensus) thought we were heading towards an ice age, and some scholars thought we'd be starving by now, but never before have entire bodies of scientists globally got behind something like this before. By 1990 they were calling it, and the next two decades we've seen the predictions happen.
And yes, there is certainly a need for reasoned discussion. The problem is, the Republican party doesn't want to have ANY discussion about it. Are you really comfortable with that?

Kevin Kim said...

The Republican party does want to discuss climate change, but they want to frame the discussion in terms of (1) alternative explanations for current trends and phenomena (e.g., solar activity's role in producing atmospheric CO2-- there's a strong correlation), and (2) alternative explanations for what those trends/phenomena mean. The accusation of rightist "denialism" can be met with the equally forceful accusation of leftist "dogmatism": to a leftist, there's no other way to interpret the status quo than as being bad. That closed-mindedness signals the end of any discussion.

There's also the fact that many scientists with leftist bias have allowed their bias to rule their science. Unethical practices have been unearthed in a spate of embarrassing emails, for example.

Finally, there's the fact that the "consensus" in the scientific community isn't nearly as solid as certain misleading parties in the media would have us believe. Prominent climatologists have fallen off the global-warming bandwagon and have written extensively about their misgivings. Do we simply ignore these people in our blind rush to "save the planet"? (You know I'm a Carlinist when it comes to planet-saving.)

Scott said...

Give me some links and I'll check them out. From my understanding, your first point (solar activity) has been accounted for and ruled out.

"the fact that many scientists with a leftist bias..."

Again, I need to see some data here that would qualify that as a fact. Scientists also tend to support GM research and foods, which those on the left usually (and unwisely, IMO) resist.

If indeed most scientists are liberal, is it possible that right-wing conservatives in the States have gone so far off the deep end that they had no choice but to take a step to the left?

And is there a source about the prominent climatologists that have shifted away from man-made climate change? I can show you a list of former skeptics that have switched sides. My understanding that this is still the trend.

Finally, this is not an issue that is only playing out in America. Scientific communities globally agree that CO2 emissions are likely the cause of the warming trend.

Anyway, what to DO about it is an important question and I'm not sure what the answer is.

Kevin Kim said...


Give me a few days and I'll give you a pile of links. Like sausage. Not that I'm threatening to give you the sausage or anything naughty like that. We don't know each other well enough to be that close.

I'm snowed under with proofreading/editing work right now. A few days, OK? I promise.

In the meantime, feel free to take a gander at what Freeman Dyson has to say about climate change.

Scott said...

Cool. Or just a link to a site that compiles these kinds of arguments will suffice. Here is a site that shows some of the common responses to climate change doubts.
I also follow the Scientific America and Point of Inquiry podcasts that tend to go deeper into the issue.