George Sarant

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Archive for October 2009

HEALTH CARE, THE MEDIA, AND THE MAJORITY

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I had an indication of what health care may become like the other day when I had to stand in line for an hour and a half to get a flu shot at a pharmacy, since none of my doctors had it on hand. Whatever the outcome of this legislative process it is going to result in something infinitely worse than what we currently have. The original purpose for health care “reform” was the forty something million who are uninsured. Never mind that this consists mostly of illegal aliens and young people who don’t want to pay for insurance. Nevertheless if the government was really interested in a safety net for those without coverage, it would provide for that, not upend and revolutionize the coverage everyone else has.

Over 70% of the population is satisfied with the coverage they have, so the liberals, in typical fashion want to destroy something the majority has because they cannot abide a minority without. In the liberal mindset any minority that is at variance with the majority average must be accommodated, almost always at the expense of the majority. Think about “affirmative action, “ etc. and you get the picture.

But in the process they are pursuing two mutually exclusive objectives- expanding coverage and reducing costs. This is a no-brainer that most people can figure out; it just isn’t possible without taking something away from someone else. As a result there is skepticism and opposition from many quarters, even as pernicious organizations like the AARP betray their members interests. In desperation the administration has proactively attacked perceived enemies, such as Fox News and the Chamber of Commerce, going beyond anything Nixon ever did.

I’m particularly nervous about News Corporation, the parent of Fox. I own stock in the company, although as an investment it is a turkey. I had mixed feelings about the purchase of the Wall Street Journal, for as people like John Stossel move over to Fox you have virtually the entire right located in one company. This is a recipe for disaster should anything go wrong. Although the head-on attack on Fox backfired as even the “official” media balked at excluding them from briefings, the company is particularly vulnerable to back door pressure, via administration appointments to the FCC, which will certainly be gunning for them. Meanwhile Fox ratings are increasing while the administration’s popularity is decreasing, and continued public support and vigilance is the best safeguard for what in truth is press freedom. Jefferson said given a choice between a government without newspapers and newspapers without a government he would choose the latter, and his word echo to the modern media of today.

Overall I believe that the administration and congress have seriously overreached and there will be a reaction in 2010, which should help undo whatever damage they have done by then.

Written by georgesarant

October 26, 2009 at 4:55 PM

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OF PEOPLE AND PLACES

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We’re in Vermont for the week, doing some leaf-peeping. I have yet to come across any socialists, not a sign of them, (apart from an abundance of Venezuela-owned Citgo stations) which is odd insofar as this state has elected a bona fide Socialist to the Senate. I haven’t come across many Yankees either, and therein lies a tale. For generations this was a state of flinty Yankees, but two things caused this to change. First the Anglo-Americans failed to reproduce, as in much of the north and their culture faded away as they were replaced by others. Given the small population base of the state it did not take that many people coming up from New York and Massachusetts to cause a culture change, particularly insofar as many of them were Ben and Jerry types. Thus the whole political dynamic changed as the underlying culture shifted. The same thing is happening to a lesser extent in neighboring New Hampshire.

There’s not a hell of a lot to do around here and so the highlight of our trip so far has been across Lake Champlain in neighboring New York, where we visited Ausable Chasm, often called the “Grand Canyon of the east.” The natural scenery there is stunningly beautiful and our enjoyment was enhanced by the fact that we had the entire place virtually to ourselves. New York state offers a different kind of example of population change. Upstate New York has become depopulated and contains the most wide-open spaces you’re likely to find in the east. The state is continuously hemorrhaging population, which is partially masked by the large number of immigrants moving into the state.

When I was growing up the Empire state had the largest population in the union. It was eventually supplanted by California, which is now approaching nearly double the population of New York. It has been passed by Texas, and will be passed by Florida in a few years. As other states have progressed New York has declined. None of this was inevitable. It is largely a consequence of decades of miserable political leadership, high taxes, and government dysfunction. All of this has caused industry to flee the state leaving upstate cities a shadow of their former selves. Every election there is talk of reviving the state economy but nothing is done. If you don’t like living too close to your neighbors you definitely want to move upstate New York.

Written by georgesarant

October 7, 2009 at 5:00 PM

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