Romney's "Legless Reptile" Oil

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has decided to address the biggest complaint of his detractors by meeting the issue of RomneyCare head-on. Based on the way it appears he'll attempt to do so, I hope he fails to remove that albatross from his neck, but succeeds in bringing clarity to the issue in spite of himself.

Romney is expected to propose tax breaks for consumers buying coverage on the open market; a requirement that insurers cover patients with preexisting conditions; and provisions giving states more power in the health coverage arena.
Why not make possible tax breaks for everyone by dramatically reducing spending? What better way for an open market to flourish than by getting the government out of the marketplace, both as a player and as a rule-maker? (A good place to start would be to argue that we should not force insurers to take unreasonable risks, as Yaron Brook and Don Watkins's series, "The Road to Socialized Medicine Is Paved With Preexisting Conditions," makes clear.) And how are fifty rights-violating socialized medicine plans somehow better than one?

There is not one bit of difference between Obama's snake oil and Romney's besides the packaging. Fortunately, Romney's past mistake forces him to stick his neck out. This may prove to be a valuable opportunity for advocates of freedom in medicine.

-- CAV

----- In Other News -----

Picking up after yourself is, like paying taxes and obeying the law, for the "little people," if we take the behavior of Maria Shriver and her daughter as an indication of how leftists think. Please note that while I regard a common leftist attitude about taxation as hypocritical, I do not condone the government robbing private citizens for any reason.

This idea about how to end Gerrymandering is interesting from a mathematical point of view, but a more freedom-valuing electorate might render it unnecessary. A lack of general support for central planning and redistributive policies would eventually get rid of the kinds of favors politicians could hand out to bribe voters. But I could be wrong about this making the practice die out. In such a case, I'd prefer some other means besides institutionalizing political parties as a check.

Baja Arizona? The whole idea of people from the increasingly totalitarian left working to secede from a government unit is beyond absurd to me.

John Cook questions, "whether we really know that a statistical procedure works well if it isn’t well understood," [bold added] and moves to the more specific. I'll generalize, and say that it's better to have reached a wrong conclusion through fundamentally sound means than to have reached a "right" one through fundamentally bad reasoning. In the former case, one remains able to discover and correct an error. In the latter, one not only doesn't fully appreciate one's own conclusion (hence, isn't really right), but remains at the tender mercy of chance if the bad reasoning is his typical mode of functioning.


Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you write: "Baja Arizona? The whole idea of people from the increasingly totalitarian left working to secede from a government unit is beyond absurd to me." Meh, welcome to the American Transnistria. The European one? A breakaway Soviet republic run by former Red Army officers. The American? A breakaway Soviet republic led by wanna-be Red Army officers. Or, to bring it full circle, simply gerrymandering carried to its logical extreme.

Gus Van Horn said...

Those are absurd to me, too, but maybe it's absurd that I am able to be amazed by such things.

Jim May said...

Quebec is the same sort of absurdity. Fortunately, the recent election indicates that this particular absurdity may finally be in some retreat; in the last election, socialist Quebec abandoned the socialist-secessionist Bloc Quebecois in favor of the straight socialist NDP.

Gus Van Horn said...

I noticed that. The Bloc went from something like 50 seats to something like 4, if I recall correctly. Socialism wasn't repudiated, then. I wonder, then, whether this change merely reflected hope that a national socialist party would form a more viable opposition to the winning conservatives than a coalition formed in part by the Bloc.