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Is dissent still patriotic?
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Author Topic: Is dissent still patriotic?  (Read 16373 times)
DavidLeoThomas
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« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2009, 15:33:08 EST »

And how, precisely, does universal healthcare infringe on liberty?

It infringes on the liberty of health-care practitioners to choose the terms under which they provide their services,
How so?  Why does the proffering of universal healthcare result in the destruction of private healthcare?  Even if it did, those working in universal health-care systems indicate that they are MORE free to provide services, as before, they were permitted to offer services only if the person could pay for it, whereas in universal healthcare that restriction is removed.

The manner and measure of the infringement here depends hugely on the details of the system.  Some constraints on providers can reduce costs; they may or may not be justified.  Any choice here - constructing any particular universal system of health-care, or having no such system at all - is a balancing act between many factors which have an impact on the freedoms of some, many, or all.

and it infringes on the liberty of the rest of us to choose how we spend that portion of our income used to pay for it.
Property rights and liberty are not the same thing. 

I make no claim that property rights and liberty are the same thing.  However, I think it plain that property rights are a type of liberty.  All other things being equal, a person who has control over the resources we allocate them to realize their needs and wants is more free than a person who does not.  Ceteris, however, is rarely paribus, and where I break strongly with the libertarians - with whom I do share many views - is that when property rights come into conflict with other rights, I do not assign them a privileged status.

Incidentally, the view that property rights were intended to be included in those respected by the new government - our point of departure for this particular digression - should be uncontroversial; the Declaration of Independence very nearly read "life, liberty, and pursuit of property," and various aspects of property rights are several times addressed in the Constitution.


Not to mention, choosing to be a citizen of the United States means that you are now in a "contract" with the US government, receiving rights, privileges, responsibilities, and duties thereof.

It is hardly a contract entered into freely.  It was, for me and most others, a choice made at an age when we're legally, traditionally, and rightly viewed as incapable of entering into *any* contract, and moving between countries can be quite difficult.

Now, I certainly agree that the notion of a social contract is a necessary one, but this is insofar as it increases overall liberty - the "choice" to enter this contract does not itself *constitute* liberty.
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wodan46
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« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2009, 19:40:11 EST »

And how, precisely, does universal healthcare infringe on liberty?

It infringes on the liberty of health-care practitioners to choose the terms under which they provide their services,
How so?  Why does the proffering of universal healthcare result in the destruction of private healthcare?  Even if it did, those working in universal health-care systems indicate that they are MORE free to provide services, as before, they were permitted to offer services only if the person could pay for it, whereas in universal healthcare that restriction is removed.
The manner and measure of the infringement here depends hugely on the details of the system.  Some constraints on providers can reduce costs; they may or may not be justified.  Any choice here - constructing any particular universal system of health-care, or having no such system at all - is a balancing act between many factors which have an impact on the freedoms of some, many, or all.
In short, levels of infringement are lower with Universal Healthcare than without.

I make no claim that property rights and liberty are the same thing.  However, I think it plain that property rights are a type of liberty.  All other things being equal, a person who has control over the resources we allocate them to realize their needs and wants is more free than a person who does not.
Somewhat.  I don't consider right to own Property to be a part of Liberty itself, merely an implement through which Liberty is realized.

Ceteris, however, is rarely paribus, and where I break strongly with the libertarians - with whom I do share many views - is that when property rights come into conflict with other rights, I do not assign them a privileged status.
Which is the reason why I am confused by Current when he claims he isn't Utilitarian, even though he ruthlessly sacrifices precious liberties to protect his extremely narrow concept of liberty.

Incidentally, the view that property rights were intended to be included in those respected by the new government - our point of departure for this particular digression - should be uncontroversial; the Declaration of Independence very nearly read "life, liberty, and pursuit of property," and various aspects of property rights are several times addressed in the Constitution.
They did put Eminent domain, indicating they didn't think highly of it.

It is hardly a contract entered into freely.  It was, for me and most others, a choice made at an age when we're legally, traditionally, and rightly viewed as incapable of entering into *any* contract, and moving between countries can be quite difficult.
You can go be Amish.  Also, until your an adult, your parent's decisions are the same as your own.
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Heq
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« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2009, 23:43:53 EST »

Wodan, I disagree with you entirely.

Madness is expecting to get different outputs from the same inputs, and quite frankly, the politicians have, if anything, shown to be getting steadily less intelligent and competent and voters sloppier and lazier.

You can expect real reform without actual change, and this change will only come about once the electorate demands it (which sadly brings us back to education).

Especially in America, where recycling the glory days is the surest sign of solid leadership (something I don't really get).  It's like the bank issue, which even diehards like Krugman are coming to feel is just...  America is congenitally built to resist significant changes unless applied in a nuke and pave style.
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DavidLeoThomas
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« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2009, 02:52:26 EST »

And how, precisely, does universal healthcare infringe on liberty?

It infringes on the liberty of health-care practitioners to choose the terms under which they provide their services,
How so?  Why does the proffering of universal healthcare result in the destruction of private healthcare?  Even if it did, those working in universal health-care systems indicate that they are MORE free to provide services, as before, they were permitted to offer services only if the person could pay for it, whereas in universal healthcare that restriction is removed.
The manner and measure of the infringement here depends hugely on the details of the system.  Some constraints on providers can reduce costs; they may or may not be justified.  Any choice here - constructing any particular universal system of health-care, or having no such system at all - is a balancing act between many factors which have an impact on the freedoms of some, many, or all.
In short, levels of infringement are lower with Universal Healthcare than without.

Please don't use the phrase "in short" to describe my words unless it honestly is a summary of what I said.

I don't think "levels of infringement" is really a coherent notion.  The question is whether the particular trade-offs are worth it, and this comes down to a question of how much various types of liberty are valued - principally a subjective assessment.

Personally, I expect that a well implemented system of universal health-care is very much needed.  My point here, however, has been that *neither* such a system *nor* its absence follows automatically from the values expressed in the founding of this country; it is, rather, highly context dependent - a pragmatic question of what we are gaining and what we are sacrificing, both in terms of benefit and liberty.

I make no claim that property rights and liberty are the same thing.  However, I think it plain that property rights are a type of liberty.  All other things being equal, a person who has control over the resources we allocate them to realize their needs and wants is more free than a person who does not.
Somewhat.  I don't consider right to own Property to be a part of Liberty itself, merely an implement through which Liberty is realized.

How is the ability to exercise control over aspects of ones physical environment not an element of liberty?

Ceteris, however, is rarely paribus, and where I break strongly with the libertarians - with whom I do share many views - is that when property rights come into conflict with other rights, I do not assign them a privileged status.
Which is the reason why I am confused by Current when he claims he isn't Utilitarian, even though he ruthlessly sacrifices precious liberties to protect his extremely narrow concept of liberty.

I am not entirely sure how the views held by Current are relevant to discussion of those held by you and I, and such would be better put to him.  Nonetheless, tentatively addressing your confusion, I would stipulate that he claims not to be Utilitarian precisely because he seeks to maximize "his extremely narrow concept of liberty" rather than "utility."

Incidentally, the view that property rights were intended to be included in those respected by the new government - our point of departure for this particular digression - should be uncontroversial; the Declaration of Independence very nearly read "life, liberty, and pursuit of property," and various aspects of property rights are several times addressed in the Constitution.
They did put Eminent domain, indicating they didn't think highly of it.

They *restricted* eminent domain, indicating precisely the opposite.  That they did not prohibit it altogether shows a (correct, in my view) acknowledgment that other liberties will sometimes be more important.

It is hardly a contract entered into freely.  It was, for me and most others, a choice made at an age when we're legally, traditionally, and rightly viewed as incapable of entering into *any* contract, and moving between countries can be quite difficult.
You can go be Amish.

The Amish do not opt out of the social contract - they receive services and pay taxes.

Also, until your an adult, your parent's decisions are the same as your own.
Legally, this is the case.  It is also almost entirely beside the point.

There is one contract where I am; I can "freely" choose to accept it or sit in a cell, or if I am lucky enough to have the resources I may be able to choose from a (small) set of other contracts.  Again, the contract that I (and others) are effectively forced into may (and should) have the effect of increasing liberty - particularly those liberties we value.  It is misleading to say that the choice of whether to accept that contract *constitutes* additional liberty, as it is not really an available choice.
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Current
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« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2009, 13:09:58 EST »

There is a difference between meanings of the word "protecting".  As I understand it what the founders of the US thought was that the government should not infringe upon "life", "liberty" and "happiness".  And it should protect against others infringing on such things.
Therein is the key.  The government's purpose is to prevent infringement upon life, liberty, and pursuit, which necessitates that it protect people from other people, from the government itself(duh),
Yes.

and from anything else.
No, I don't think so.  The defence of liberty relates to other people and groups, not to the external world.

If you fall down a ravine in a glacier you are likely to be trapped, and may die.  The government though is not obligated to help you because it champions liberty.  Though of course it may do.

For example, if a disease runs rampant, it is the government's job to quarantine and eliminate it.  This is in part because the government is the only entity who has the motive and capability to do such things.  If each person was supposed to deal with disease on their own, the rich would form poorly coordinated organizations to protect themselves, and leave everyone else to rot, as they lack the means to deal with it.
Certainly the government should protect the public interest in that situation.  That though is not a protection of liberty.  It is an important a task though, like national defence.

That protection though was not meant to mean assistance though.  The protection of life meant that the state should put in place a criminal justice system to deter others from taking lives, and should not take lives itself.  It is protection against other men, not against the forces of nature.
No.  It is not.
Well, in that case where does the role of the state end?

For example, the earth in my garden may be rocky.  I want to grow some celery in it, celery doesn't like rocks, so I'd have to dig them out.  Surely I can claim that the environment is coercing me into doing its bidding.  In that case shouldn't the government step in and help me.

The analogy I gave about an armed guard shows something else.  If we take an extreme view of protection then that may justify almost any action.  I don't think it was that extreme view that the founders had in mind.  When a scheme infringes on liberty, as universal healthcare does, that must be kept in mind.
And how, precisely, does universal healthcare infringe on liberty?
Schemes like that in Canada where private healthcare is prohibited clearly infringe on liberty.
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wodan46
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« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2009, 15:59:26 EST »

and from anything else.
No, I don't think so.  The defence of liberty relates to other people and groups, not to the external world.

If you fall down a ravine in a glacier you are likely to be trapped, and may die.  The government though is not obligated to help you because it champions liberty.  Though of course it may do.
No, the government is obligated to help if it can do so with the resources at hand.  The government represents the will of the people, and the will of the people is to seek life, liberty, and happiness.  Hence, government is obligated to help them seek it.  It should be fairly obvious that excessive government interference represents a conflict between the government obligation to protect liberty and its obligation to protect life, pursuit, and different liberties.

Certainly the government should protect the public interest in that situation.  That though is not a protection of liberty.  It is an important a task though, like national defence.
So you agree with me then?  Because you do realize that in order to protect people from an epidemic, that will have to engage in all sorts of infringements of liberty, such as forcibly quarantining people if need be?  Same goes for national defense.  The thing you don't seem to get is that removal of government does not result in removal of infringement, infringement will always exist, only its levels and foci may be changed, and government can reduce infringement thereof.

Well, in that case where does the role of the state end?

For example, the earth in my garden may be rocky.  I want to grow some celery in it, celery doesn't like rocks, so I'd have to dig them out.  Surely I can claim that the environment is coercing me into doing its bidding.  In that case shouldn't the government step in and help me.
No.  Because that fails to qualify as a significant infringement of liberty, and thus the expenditure of resources needed to fix that infringement is non-economical.  Furthermore, the resolving of that infringement would require the government to interfere in such a way that would result in far greater infringement of other liberties. Such is blatantly obvious.

Schemes like that in Canada where private healthcare is prohibited clearly infringe on liberty.
I would not support such.  Canada has the worst universal healthcare system of pretty much any country, and I would like you to stop using it as the posterboy for universal healthcare.
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Alitorious
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« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2009, 14:16:23 EST »

Schemes like that in Canada where private healthcare is prohibited clearly infringe on liberty.
Do you mean privatized health services or privatized health insurance? There does exist private insurance, and private clinics and hospitals do exist and are not explicitly prohibited federally (provincial is another matter).

One issue with private health clinics stems directly from the fact that we have a shortage of doctors. Private clinics can offer better doctor:patient ratios and better payment for doctors - this will tend to leave fewer doctors for the public system, increasing wait times and creating even more of a burden for the doctors that are left.
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Heq
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« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2009, 17:29:16 EDT »

*whispers in the night*

-allow Nurses to give persciptions for common ailments-

*flees before the holy terror that is the medical lobby*
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« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2009, 19:53:22 EDT »

You know, that might solve multiple problems in one. If nurses were given prescriptive power for a small subset of drugs, it might convince more people that being a nurse is a good career choice. Something would still have to be done about the stigma of being a male nurse, though.
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Bringerofpie
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« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2009, 21:25:05 EDT »

You know, that might solve multiple problems in one. If nurses were given prescriptive power for a small subset of drugs, it might convince more people that being a nurse is a good career choice. Something would still have to be done about the stigma of being a male nurse, though.

At a certain point, all nurse practitioners are becoming doctors. I don't know exactly how that's going to work though.
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wodan46
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« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2009, 10:34:44 EDT »

On the original subject, is dissent patriotic?  The answer is simple.  If your dissent is a form of constructive criticism, then yes.  If your dissent is a form of destructive criticism.  Constructive criticism is rational skepticism and evaluation of the options, such as questioning the necessity of rushing the stimulus plan.  Destructive criticism usually comes in the form of being a whiny obstructionist because Obama didn't install Christianity as the state religion or give you pony.
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Current
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« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2009, 11:00:10 EDT »

Quote from: wodan46
questioning the necessity of rushing the stimulus plan
What about questioning the stimulus plan full stop?  That's constructive in my book, if the questioning brings up intelligent criticisms of it.

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Ihlosi
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« Reply #42 on: March 10, 2009, 11:17:39 EDT »

What about questioning the stimulus plan full stop? 

If that questioning contains alternative approaches and realistic estimates about their possible outcomes, no problem.

Questioning it on the basis of ideology alone, using untenable premises when making estimates and turning a blind eye on possible failure modes, however, would fall under destructive criticism.
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wodan46
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« Reply #43 on: March 10, 2009, 12:05:13 EDT »

From what I've heard, the reason the stimulus has been rushed i because a similar plan in Japan was believed to have failed specifically because they did not rush it, and that they concluded that if they had spent the money earlier, it would've cost them much less overall.  Then again, everyone has their own interpretations of what things mean.

On the subject of critcism, Current, you and your libertarians say that we should do nothing as a solution, that we should just let the bad parts of the economy die rather than keep them propped up.  I'll admit that is actually quite constructive.  The problem with that is that when the bad parts of the economy die, the good parts do as well, and that without government interference, bad parts will often be able to sustain themselves far longer than they would otherwise.  The bailout/stimulus is about propping up the good parts even as we let the bad parts die.
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« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2009, 14:13:22 EDT »

No, the Japan failure was a whole lot deeper then that.

Krugman and others have fought for years to figure out just what went wrong, but the answer is that it's probably a chicago-school problem, not a Keynsian problem.  In short it needed to import the ideas from the second world advocated by the Chi-town kids in the 80s.  Instead of throwing money into the economy, take money out, take one in the jaw and pray to Jude Law you can stay through it.

It's what Muroney did in Canada (which faced a similar crisis in the early 80s), and has a really, really good track level.  However, "tighten your belt" is not going to fly politically in America.

From the outside it seems clear to me that the issue at hand with the stimulous is the same as the core issues during the republican reign, those in charge have no idea what they are doing.
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