With radical centrist Howard Schultz tossing his hat into the ring, as predicted, radical centrists are starting up with the ‘how are you going to pay for it?‘ crap. The snarky answer would be, “We’ll pay for it the same way we pay for Republican tax cuts and Freedom Bombs–Congress will appropriate the funds, and the Treasury will ultimately credit the necessary accounts.”
For regular readers and those who follow me on the Twitterz, if you’re wondering why I am mad at Howard Schultz, it’s not because I’m worried about him costing Democrats the election (as a life-long Democrat, I’m certain the party is quite capable of doing that all by its lonesome). It’s that, once again, we will have to beat back the austerity crap–and if there is one ideology to which our political press corps hews, it is the puritanical belief that sins must be paid for (by others. Never by themselves, of course). What infuriates me is that, for the past quarter century or so, balancing budgets has taken priority over providing things we need (never mind providing nice things we want).
We’ve now reached the point where tens of thousands of people die needlessly every year due to inadequate healthcare. Many more suffer and are immiserated. People die because they can’t afford insulin. To use a prominent local politician’s phrase, our healthcare system, despite its overall expense, is inflicting massive American Carnage. This is a full scale emergency.
We need to staunch the bleeding.
We need to stop the dying.
First order of business must be providing healthcare to all. If we stipulate that everything must be paid for up front, it will be nearly impossible to stop the dying. Inflation might rise if we don’t have a payment mechanism, but we have ways to deal with that through both fiscal and monetary means. Yet we know, with near certainty, that if nothing changes, this year, and the next, and the year after that, people will die needlessly.
That is the crisis. The potential hit to after-inflation returns on unearned income pales by comparison. If Boomers can ever get past their unresolved issues with their fathers, finally focusing, after so long, on our immediate crisis might not make them the Greatest Generation, but it would be redemptive.
We need to stop the dying.
Have you read “Debt: The first 5000 years by David Graeber? He has some very interesting thoughts about debt, paying bills and the American puritanical streak that encourages austerity. Debtors in early parts of the USA apparently could get their ear nailed to a post, presumably while it was still attached to the head.
It’s called having sensible and moral priorities. This shouldn’t be rocket science….
Reblogged this on Thesseli.
If I did business in the same manner as government does, and forced strangers to give me money, would you consider me a criminal?