Saturday, June 20, 2015

Missing The Point

A couple of examples, today, of the rifle range malaprop practice of firing at your neighboring station’s target.

Paul Krugman has a piece today in which he refers to one benefit of Obamacare being that it provides “major gains in coverage at relatively low cost.”  It does nothing of the sort, of course, and as an economist he should be very well aware of and outraged by that. It provides people with access to high-cost coverage by having the government pick up part of the tab.

We should, instead, be providing everyone in this nation with actual “relatively low cost”  coverage by regulating the health care provider industry, just as we regulate all other industries which provide services which consumers buy from necessity and not from choice. Deregulating energy distribution was a disaster, and leaving the provision of health care unregulated is precisely the same kind of disaster.

Second amendment fanatics are reenergized after the latest mass shooting, and are crying out that the founders stated the need for a “well organized militia”  so that citizens could fight against a tyrannical government. I am always amused at how vigorously people claim to defend a document while knowing so little about it, because these same morons defend a “strong national defense” with equal devotion.

The founders actually spoke of the need for a “well organized militia”  because in the same document, our own sacred constitution, they forbade the government from maintaining a standing army. Article I, Section 8 authorizes Congress “To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years.”

So the “well organized militia”  was not intended to fight against our own government, which the founders never in their worst nightmares imagined would ever become tyrannical, but rather to rise up and fight against possible invaders. And the enormous military establishment which second amendment fanatics almost universally support with the same fervor that they devote to their guns, is a gross violation of our governing document.

And we wonder why democracy doesn’t seem to be working very well.

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Krugman is correct, but it depends on your perspective. To someone who did not have it and now does courtesy of the ACA, it is "a major gain in coverage at reasonable cost", especially if it's being subsidized.

    In a broader sense of course, you are correct that it is in general still costly, both in regards to services rendered, and the actually availability of those services, and the hidden costs (ie, subsidies, paid for by the government, probably by borrowing money). Never mind that out-of-pocket expenses are not often mentioned and these can be equal to premium costs. There is a horrible amount of waste, profiteering, lobbying, political influence in tis industry. It could be so much better.

    I may be paraphrasing here, but the right to bear arms came out of the founding fathers not wishing the populace to be unarmed in case of external threats, the biggest being native indians and the "tyrannical government", which at that time had been external in the form of Great Britain, whom would have loved the colonists to be un-armed.

    Once independence was accomplished, they didn't want that to happen again, but that's where the balance of powers came in. And just because they couldn't have imagined the new government becoming tyrannical, doesn't mean they can't plan for it.

    And the "well-organized" militia was needed for frontier defense. And maybe others, it was (and is) an unsafe world. Do we need an armed populace anymore? Perhaps not, but those that would do harm to you would like you to be un-armed. I have no real problem with firearm regulation, but would not like the government to say "you can't have any".

    They didn't like standing armies, because they belonged to The Crown and were interfering with their regular life and liberties. If you've got a standing army hanging around, you'll be temped to do something with it. It does seem that they wanted to use the state militias(s) for a collective defense, if necessary. Which was actually hard to do in practice, If I'm not mistaken.

    As far as it being a gross violation of the Constitution to have a standing army - the 2 year provision is constantly being renewed, which is NOT un-constitutional. Not what the Founding Fathers had in mind, perhaps, sure. But times are different than back then. If you don;t like it, then maybe get your congressperson to vote not renew it.. Oh, and your senator, too. And several hundred others. It could happen.