The Weekly Standard has the story.
Jonah Goldberg discusses how the base philosophy of American government has changed. We are now ruled by people, like Barack Obama, who believe that they know better than we do ourselves what’s good for us.
Several times now, the president has endeavored to explain that it’s not that big a deal millions of Americans are losing their health-insurance plans against their will. The people who had plans they liked didn’t understand that the plans they liked were no good — they were the actuarial equivalent of trans fats, don’t you know? The fact that the people who held them liked them, thought they were good, and wanted to keep them doesn’t count for much, because the government knows best.
The president can’t say it as plainly as he would like, because to do so would be to admit not only that he lied to the American people, but that he thinks the complainers are ignorant about their own needs and interests.
The president’s more intellectually honest defenders have said exactly that. “Vast swathes of policy are based on the correct presumption that people don’t know what’s best for them. Nothing new,” tweeted Josh Barro, politics editor for Business Insider.
Barro’s fairly liberal, but I’d be dishonest if I said that he was wrong from a conservative perspective. The difference, however, is that conservatives tend to see government as a necessary evil, and therefore see policymaking with some humility. Liberals tend to see government as a necessary good, and see ordering people to do things “for their own good” as a source of pride, even hubris.
From a conservative perspective, telling people how to run their lives when not absolutely necessary is an abuse of power. For liberals, telling people how to run their lives is one of the really fun perks of working for the government.
You can see the frustration on the president’s face. It’s almost like the ingrates who refuse to understand that his were necessary lies for their own good are spoiling all his fun.
A piece of viral humor circulating these days without attribution. The earliest example I found appeared here, but the posting says it came from somewhere else.
The U.S. government has just passed a new law entitled “The Affordable Boat Act” declaring that every citizen MUST purchase a new boat by April, 2014. These ‘affordable’ boats will cost an average of $54,000-$155,000 each. This does not include taxes, trailers, towing fees, licensing and registration fees, fuel, docking and storage fees, maintenance, or repair costs.
This law has been passed because, until now, typically only wealthy and financially responsible people have been able to purchase boats. This new law ensures that every American can now have an ‘affordable’ boat of their own, because everyone is ‘entitled’ to a new boat. If you purchase your boat before the end of the year, you will receive four ‘free’ life jackets (does not include monthly usage fees).
In order to make sure everyone purchases an ‘affordable boat,’ the cost of owning a boat will increase on average of 250-400% per year. This way, wealthy people will pay more for something that other people don’t want or can’t afford to maintain. But, to be fair, people who can’t afford to maintain their boat will be regularly fined and children (under the age of 26) can use their parents boat(s) to party on until they turn 27, after which date they must purchase their own boat.
If you already have a boat, you can keep yours (just kidding; no you can’t). If you don’t want or don’t need a boat, you are required to buy one anyhow. If you refuse to buy one or can’t afford one, you will be regularly fined $800 until you purchase one, or face imprisonment. If you cannot (or don’t want to) purchase an ‘affordable boat’ from a private business, you can buy a starter boat from the U. S. government ‘affordable boat exchange.’ Such a boat will have the basic necessities (hull, oars or paddles) and will only cost ‘slightly more’ than a similar boat purchased from a private business. Plus, since your tax dollars will subsidize the purchase of a boat from the U. S. government’s ‘affordable boat exchange,’ it will appear that you are getting a good deal.
Failure to use the boat will also result in fines. People living in the desert, ghettos, inner cities, or areas with no access to lakes are not exempt. Neither age, motion sickness, experience, knowledge, nor lack of desire are acceptable excuses for not using your boat.
A government review board (that doesn’t know the difference between the port side, starboard side, or stern of a boat) will decide everything, including when, where, how often, and for what purposes you can use your boat, along with how many people can ride your boat. The board will also determine if one is too old or healthy enough to be able to use their boat, and will also decide if your boat has out lived its usefulness or if you must purchase specific accessories(like a $500 compass) or a newer and more expensive boat.
Those that can afford yachts will be required to do so … it’s only fair. The government will also decide the name for each boat. Failure to comply with these rules will result in fines and possible imprisonment.
Government officials are exempt from this new law. If they want a boat, they and their families can obtain boats free at the expense of tax payers. Unions, bankers, and mega companies with large political affiliations ($$$) are also exempt.
Hat tip to Bookworm via Karen L. Myers.
Kurt Schlichter enjoys a good laugh at the Dummer Junger’s expense.
There’s no sugar-coating it – your votes for Democrats have ensured that you are the first generation in American history that will fail to exceed what their parents attained. Embracing liberalism was a stupid thing to do, done for the stupidest of reasons, and I will now let you subsidize my affluent lifestyle without a shred of guilt.
I’m a 48 year old trial lawyer living on the coast in California – I should have “Hope and Change” tattooed on my glutes. I’d have an excuse to be lib-curious, but you Millennials? Why do you support an ideology that pillages you to pay-off Democrat constituencies? Your time in the indoctrination factories of academia trained you in a form of “critical thinking” that is neither. Somehow, you came to embrace the bizarre notion that conservatives are psychotic Jesus freaks who want to Footloosisze America into a land of mandatory Sunday school and no dancing.
But liberals, in contrast, are nice. Obama is cool. You chose petty fascism with a smile. Not a lot of thought went into it. Facts, evidence – these were mere distractions from the feelings-based validation that came from rejecting us wicked conservatives.
What did you get? The chance to be forced to buy health insurance you don’t want at inflated rates so my rates can be lower. You get to pay more out of your monthly barista take – liberalism ensured that the tanked job market foreclosed a real career – so that I get to pay less out of my lawyer checks. Thanks, suckers.
You fume that conservatives want to spy on you in your bedrooms. Leaving aside the fact that that your tacky boudoir fumblings are the last thing conservatives care about, have you noticed how your precious Big Brother spies on your doings everywhere else? But who cares about that – Mumford & Sons totally digs Obama!
Don’t even get me started on your crappy music.
Enjoy your student loans, Millennials! We tried to tell you that it was a Democrat scam designed to subsidize liberal academia by allowing you to go into decades of crushing debt to pay for a bachelors in Ancient Guatemalan Gender Identity Issues.
Good plan. Now fetch my latte – I’m in a hurry to get to my corner office. And I’ll leave you a tip – next time you decide to vote for a liberal, first be born in 1964.
Don’t think that I’m happy about this. I came to Los Angeles after the Gulf War. I had a car and a few bucks I had saved in the desert which went right into paying for Loyola Law School. I had no contacts and no money, but I knew I had endless opportunity.
I worked hard. I could start a business. I could get credit. I could – and did – build my own future.
But can you? Liberalism, with its impoverishing redistribution, crippling regulations and the debt it suckered you into undertaking, has ensured that most of you can’t.
You live with your parents, and Obamacare encourages sponging until you are 26 years old. At 26, I was leading Americans in a war, not begging mommy to pay my bills. The liberals want you to be eternal man-children, wearing cargo shorts and passively pumping money into their socialized medicine nightmare in return for “Brosurance” you don’t want or need.
It breaks my heart to see the young lawyers I hire hobbled by six figures of debt. But hey, your desperation works fine for us established folks. I got 297 applications for a junior associate position. Let me say that again – 297. Most of them weren’t even practicing law – they were brewing coffee, not writing briefs. Now, I understand that most of you learned nothing but liberal clichés in college, but take a guess: As an employer, are the salaries I pay generally more or less when I have 297 people competing for each job?
So feel free to keep voting for the liberals who keep you in chains. I’ll take my cheaper insurance, my future Social Security checks, and the other benefits that come from being established without guilt. The guys who you squander your votes upon certainly won’t change that equation. You’ll tread water in life, but hey, at least those conservatives won’t be in charge!
Thanks again, suckers. Now get off my lawn.
Eratosthenes wonders aloud how liberals like Obama can lie so blatantly without shame or inhibition.
I was thinking about Barack Obama. And, other liberals. Some of the stuff that comes out of them is just so obviously untrue you have to think, “How did you think you’d be able to sell that line of baloney?” In the President’s case, the one thing that keeps coming up over and over again is “I first found out about this in the last day or two, from reading the newspapers just like you” and now that He knows about it, “nobody is angrier about this than I am.”I know there is a hardcore segment of our population that is still gaga over Barack Obama, but is anyone actually buying this swill?
I think it’s a behavior learned from childhood — to go ahead and try & sell it, no matter how ridiculous it is. I think it’s bad parenting. Was going to start a blog post about it called Bad Mothering or something, but that would have been an exercise in just trying to tick people off, which isn’t healthy. However, the problem must start there. An important part of a parent’s job, and unfortunately it seems to fall disproportionately onto the mothers, is to send the message “That’s not going to fly, if you really want to go through life lying you need to get better at it.” That must be the problem, for there’s only one alternative and I don’t find the alternative credible. I can’t believe Barack Obama and His inner circle meet behind closed doors, go through all their shrewd calculations about what spin will & won’t work, and with all their P.R. talents come to the conclusion that the most winning strategy available to them is: Obama goes out and says “I had no idea this was going on…”…again…for the fifty-seven billionth time or whatever. It must be something far more primitive. Like a gag reflex. The aid comes up and says “Sir, questions are being asked about when You knew the website was going to take a crap,” and inside Obama’s head the instinct is activated — it’s worked this way since childhood. “Barack, did you know such-and-such?” and “No Mom, I had no idea” has always worked. Since the umbilical cord was cut. If something has always worked since then, that can be a powerful motivator.
Obama-Enigma starts to achieve resolution and make more sense when you open yourself to the possibility that President Obama, far from being a deity who hung the moon and sprinkled the stars across the inky canvas of heaven, is actually a tiny man who lives in a tiny world. Someone says “did You know” and the answer is “had no idea.” It’s just expected. And so I think, due to bad mothering, the boss says “had no idea” and the underlings…well, who the heck are they to question it? And so, I infer, they sprint off to the telephones and the computer keyboards and the podiums, and repeat it. Only after that does any real rational thinking enter into it, and of course by then the thinking is institutional, it says “Now that we’ve said it we’ve got to stick to the story.”
These lefty politicians seem to be trying to make a name for themselves, showing off what bad mothering they had. How naturally it comes to them to peddle such clear and obvious lies. It’s like they’ve figured out, the democrat politicians who rise to the power structure and get nominated for the big offices every two years, are the ones who have no shame. Shame weighs you down. So you rise to the top by showing off that you don’t have any.
“They were running the biggest start-up in the world, and they didn’t have anyone who had run a start-up, or even run a business,” said David Cutler, a Harvard professor and health adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Dan Greenfield observes that no one should be very surprised that the Obamacare web-site failed to work. In this case, it was simply a matter of the Nomenklatura’s characteristic magical thinking attempting to take the place of software engineering in very much the same way the idea of Obamacare itself tries to replace the market with a theoretical determination of what is best by similar great minds.
Our technocracy is detached from competence. It’s not the technocracy of engineers, but of “thinkers” who read Malcolm Gladwell and Thomas Friedman and watch TED talks and savor the flavor of competence, without ever imbibing its substance.
These are the people who love Freakonomics, who enjoy all sorts of mental puzzles, who like to see an idea turned on its head, but who couldn’t fix a toaster.
The ObamaCare website is the natural spawn of that technocracy who love the idea of using modernity to make things faster and easier, but have no idea what anything costs or how it works.
It’s hard to have a functioning technocracy without engineers. A technocracy made in Silicon Valley with its complete disregard for anything outside its own ego zone would be bad enough. But this is a Bloombergian technocracy of billionaires and activists, of people who think that “progress” makes things work, rather than things working leading to progress.
Healthcare.gov showed us that behind all the smoother and shinier designs was the same old clunky government where everything gets done because the right companies hire the right lobbyists and everything costs ten times what it should.
If the government can’t build a health care website, how is it going to actually run health care for an entire country is the obvious question that so many are asking. And the obvious answer is that it will run it the way it ran the website. It will throw wads of money and people at the problem and then look for programs it doesn’t like to squeeze for extra cash.
Read the whole thing.
Mark Steyn identifies the Canadian Company which got the no-bid contract to build the botched Obamacare web-site. Who knew? They were already famous for their achievements on behalf of the Canadian Government.
CGI is… a Canadian corporate behemoth. Indeed, CGI is so Canadian their name is French: Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique. Their most famous government project was for the Canadian Firearms Registry. The registry was estimated to cost in total $119 million, which would be offset by $117 million in fees. That’s a net cost of $2 million. Instead, by 2004 the CBC (Canada’s PBS) was reporting costs of some $2 billion — or a thousand times more expensive.
Yeah, yeah, I know, we’ve all had bathroom remodelers like that. But in this case the database had to register some 7 million long guns belonging to some two-and-a-half to three million Canadians. That works out to almost $300 per gun — or somewhat higher than the original estimate for processing a firearm registration of $4.60. Of those $300 gun registrations, Canada’s auditor general reported to parliament that much of the information was either duplicated or wrong in respect to basic information such as names and addresses.
Read the whole thing.