Me, about three weeks ago…
And that gets into a fifth perception-discrepancy that arouses conflict, the perception of time. Liberals do not view time the same way normal people do. But that is truly a post for some other day.
Looks like the time has come. The Limbaugh Letter arrived last night, and on page twelve there’s a critical review of the Affordable Care Act, starting off with some bizarre quotes like “lower costs for young adults” from an official fact sheet, “How Health Insurance Reform Will Help Young Adults.”
…[A]s humans are warming the globe, and this warming will cause disruption of agriculture, inundation and salinization of arable lands, increased desertification, mass extinction, human migration with its attendant political destablization, and as this is avoidable, most people would combine these scientific findings with their personal morality to try and find solutions, especially as those solutions are readily available, and have many other salubrious effects. But that’s just ourselves. We happen to be rather fond of the little apes you call humans. Call it a peccadillo.
[D]eveloping nations will have to learn to control their emissions too. Ignoring the legitimate concerns of each nation will never lead to joint agreement. The obvious solution is for the developed nations to develop and export new technologies to the developing world. And that is what is going to happen. However, the longer the delay, the more expensive the solutions, and the more damage done to the environment.
[T]he sooner people address the problem, the cheaper the transition and the less the damage to the environment.
The accumulation of carbon currently in the atmosphere is primarily from the U.S. and other industrialized countries, not China. China is emitting much less than the U.S. per capita.
However, all countries need to begin making the transition as soon as practical.
Like Severian said,
I’m trying to recall the last time I’ve heard a liberal say “I don’t know” about any matter of consequence. Ask ‘em where the nearest post office is or the price of rice in China, and they’ll happily admit ignorance. But ask them what we should do about genocide in Darfur, or the regulation of the entire world economy, or the navy’s defensive doctrine on the Pacific rim, and all of a sudden they’ve got all the answers…. [ellipses in original]
Of course, in a sophisticated world economy like what we have today, it is very rare that a consumer is directly involved in acquiring the thing he wants to consume. This makes it worth the effort to categories the commodities according to how much we care about the bringing, once they’ve been brought. A gold ingot or a share of stock, these things are fungible, entirely interchangeable with their equals, possessing no sentimental value. If you have the gold ingot delivered to your front door for some reason, once it’s there all you care about is that it’s there. Maybe the guy lost it while he was bringing it to you, and then found it again. As long as the delivery is made, it doesn’t matter to you. Such knowledge might affect your decision to order another ingot by the same means, but that’s out of scope, this order is complete.
French Toast isn’t like that.
A lot of other commodities are not like that. Information isn’t like that. It’s much closer to French Toast; you want to know what happened to it while it was in the process of being produced, before you consume it. It can be important.
Especially when predicting future events. The example under our inspection is health care costs being lowered. In this case, and many others, liberals are absolutely sure of what is going to happen. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius demonstrated the mania anew a few weeks ago on the White House website:
January is the perfect month for looking forward to new and great things around the corner.
I’m feeling that way about the new Health Insurance Marketplace. Anticipation is building, and this month we start an important countdown, first to October 1, 2013, when open enrollment begins, and continuing on to January 1, 2014, the start of new health insurance coverage for millions of Americans…
The Marketplace will offer much more than any health insurance website you’ve used before. Insurers will compete for your business on a level playing field, with no hidden costs or misleading fine print.
There is still work to be done to make sure the insurance market works for families and small businesses. But, for millions of Americans, the time for having the affordable, quality health care coverage, security, and peace of mind they need and deserve is finally within sight.
But reality says otherwise. Note that this article is nearly three years old; we’ve had our warning for awhile now.
One of the promises of Obamacare has been that it would reduce health care costs. The day after the House passed the Senate’s version of health care reform, this headline says “Health Care Companies Pull Stock Market Higher.” Clearly, money is being bet on health care costs increasing, putting more money, not less, into the health care sector.
That should not be surprising. In a free market setting, individuals decide how much they want to spend on various services, including health care. With increasing government control, spending on health care will increasingly be a political decision, not the aggregation of individual decisions. Health care companies already have their lobbyists, who pull for more generous reimbursements. Consumers (the elderly on Medicare, the poor (and increasingly middle class) on Medicaid, etc.) will exert political pressures for more benefits. Political allocation of resources will surely increase costs.
Taxpayers won’t like the idea of higher taxes, already a part of Obamacare, so expect the bulk of the increased cost to push the budget deficit higher. Essentially, Congress has looked around the world and decided they’d like to shape our public sector to be more like Greece. At least, by not being on the leading edge here, we can see what’s coming.
The post contains a link to the original article, which doesn’t work anymore. But there are other copies lying around the Internet, like here for example. The article makes a lot of attempts to explain the stock price up-tick. It contains a lot of rosy language about a “string of improved economic reports,” which hasn’t aged very well, and there are a few litanies about uncertainty being lifted. This can have a buoyant effect on stock prices. But the logic remains: When the stock price goes up, there has to be demand. Demand means, someone is putting money in. Why would they be putting money in if they thought the industry, as a whole, was going to be sucking up less money? Is this more of the liberal fantasy about businesses being regulated into more profitable operating models, which left to their own devices, they wouldn’t be smart enough to reform on their own? Or was it a matter of these investors believing in that, and that’s why they were buying the stock?
If that’s your explanation, you can keep it. Yes, I could be wrong…but…I don’t think that’s it.
I previously identified time as one of the five pillars of STACI, the implicit guarantee that liberal ideas will always fail. Indeed, the evidence that they’re winning most-to-all of the elections lately, is our assurance that liberals never apply the same policies toward their own objectives that they insist the rest of us apply to ours. When they run political campaigns they behave like perfect little war-hawk, take-no-prisoners, “yes this IS the hill I want to die on” conservatives. I’ve often had the view that this one paragraph I scribbled together about the time thing, deserved more attention.
The future, to them, is as clear as our own past is to us. Clearer, even. There’s no Rashomon Effect; you ask a hundred liberals what the climate will do over the next century, you get back more-or-less the same answer. But the past, on Planet Liberal, is murky, much like our own future is to us. Detroit elected a bunch of lefty politicians and the place went to Hell, but of course, the truth has to be more complicated and nuanced than that — even if it isn’t. Even though, as you take the time to look into more and more metropolis cities that dogmatically elected liberals everywhere for generations at a time, the result is constant, and after a time becomes rather predictable. It doesn’t matter. Things are still foggy.
Like the narrator says at the beginning of Braveheart, “Historians from England will say I am a liar, but history is written by those who have hanged heroes…” See, that’s part of the problem. When it comes to crafting an argument, on Planet Liberal quantity trumps quality. Say it enough times from enough different directions, and after a time it becomes true that Franklin Roosevelt singlehandedly brought an end to the Great Depression. Not only that but you become an idiot, and evil too, for even daring to question it.
If I were a Republican strategist, trying to implement my doctrine of driving a wedge between liberals and casual-consumer-of-news centrists they are trying to recruit, I would concentrate my resources toward the perception-of-future thing, and away from the perception-of-past thing. Liberals muddying up the past, making simple things appear complicated and complicated things appear simple, sound like they know what they’re talking about. And the stuff they’re saying, is just repetition of what’s been heard many times before already, so it certainly sounds true. It isn’t immediately revolting to the low-information voter. The same cannot be said about the liberal waxing lyrically about future events, how it’s all going to go down. The lack of uncertainty about any of it, that thing Severian was talking about — it’s just creepy.
I believe this is the hole in their armor. Because they don’t think there’s anything wrong with this; they think they’re scoring points, coming off as confident and strong. But I think, on average, they’re freaking people out. Again, lest I be guilty of the transgression I reveal in others…I’m fully aware I could be wrong about this. But it would be nice to see it tested.
Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes.