The year the world changed, and no one noticed

Mark Schmitt, in a piece in New Republic, takes note of Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal to make 1956 the dividing line between two Americas: “Those over 55 will continue to benefit from one of the triumphs of social insurance in the Great Society, while the rest of us will be on our own, with a coupon for private health insurance.”

As a 1956 baby and member of the graduating class of 1974, I stand right on that dividing line. And I was particularly struck by Schmitt’s description of 1974 as a pivot point in American social and economic history:

“Look at almost any historical chart of the American economy, and you see two sharp breaks in the 1970s. First, in 1974, household incomes, which had been rising since World War II, flattened. Real wages started to stagnate. The poverty rate stopped falling. Health insurance coverage stopped rising. Those trends have continued ever since.

Second, a little later in the decade, around the time today’s 55-year-olds graduated from college (if they did—fewer than 30 percent have a four-year degree), inequality began its sharp rise, and the share of national income going to the bottom 40 percent began to fall. Productivity and wages, which had tended to keep pace, began to diverge, meaning that workers began seeing little of the benefits of their own productivity gains. The number of jobs in manufacturing peaked and began to drop sharply. Defined benefit pensions, which provide a secure base of income in retirement, began to give way to 401(k)s and similar schemes that depend on the worker to save and the stock market to perform….

The Ryan plan, in other words, delivers to the older generation exactly what they’ve had all their lives—secure and predictable benefits—and to the next generation, more of what they’ve known—insecurity and risk. “

Personally, I’d take that analysis several steps further. I’d argue that our cultural expectations of the American Dream, our image of the international role played by the United States, our comprehension of how the economy is supposed to work, our understanding of the proper interplay among government, business and individual citizens — they’re all still predicated on the world that existed prior to 1974. As a culture, we haven’t really come to grips with the fact that those expectations and understandings are no longer valid, and haven’t been for a long time. Even Americans too young to have experienced that earlier world firsthand have absorbed the expectations it created among their parents and grandparents.

In fact, that chasm between outdated expectation and modern reality is driving a lot of the political ferment we now see. People sense that things aren’t as they’ve been taught they should be; they just don’t know why. And it’s not about Obama, any more than it was about George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. (The later Clinton years, in fact, can be seen in retrospect as the last gasp of the pre-’74 America, a period in which the old economic order seemed to reassert itself, if all too briefly.)

The transition is bigger than any president or party. Nobody caused it; nobody can stop it. At most we can try to deal with and adjust to it. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Democrats have come to grips with that reality at all — not in their rhetoric, and not in their policy. I think the Republicans have done so only to the extent of blaming it all on government, when in fact much more powerful forces are at work. Both parties are still stuck trying to convince voters that they have the secret to making things as they used to be, and neither has any hope of doing so.

– Jay Bookman

500 comments Add your comment

Kamchak

May 23rd, 2011
3:14 pm

WEALTH ENVY!

Just thought I’d get that out early.

Mick

May 23rd, 2011
3:18 pm

Very pessimistic view in your closure, jay. Did we reach “peak” america in 1974 and its all downhill from there?

moonbat betty

May 23rd, 2011
3:26 pm

Welcome to hell, folks.

jasper

May 23rd, 2011
3:29 pm

74 was a great year, I got most team spirit award in 8th grade football, made the varsity tennis team, had my first steady girlfriend, and Elton John had not come out of the closet yet.

JohnnyReb

May 23rd, 2011
3:30 pm

“I don’t think the Democrats have come to grips with that reality at all — not in their rhetoric, and not in their policy.”

There may be hope for you yet, Jay.

I agree that while Repubs talk a big game, they still have to deliver. But at least they are in the right ballpark.

Crying towels for Jay’s loyal left at a nominal charge.

AmVet

May 23rd, 2011
3:31 pm

Woo hoo! I’m a 1955 baby!

But who am I kidding here? For all of the reasons noted above, and lots more, things are getting more and more and more difficult in terms of economic security for the working man in this country.

The fruition of the American Plutocracy is at hand and we the people, heretofore known as the Middle Class, are screwed.

Or maybe just trickled on…

Peadawg

May 23rd, 2011
3:33 pm

“Both parties are still stuck trying to convince voters that they have the secret to making things as they used to be”

And sadly, a lot of voters believe them.

jt

May 23rd, 2011
3:36 pm

It is no coincidence that the standard of living started declining after LBJ’s great society BS.
.It took a few years for the family-destroying measures to take effect.
We CAN take it back.
.
Do a collective shrug………..shrug the government leeches off of your back.
Ron Paul 2012.

ByteMe

May 23rd, 2011
3:36 pm

It’s all the fault of disco.

Dusty

May 23rd, 2011
3:37 pm

Not so, Bookman but you try to make us believe it every day. Just because you are a disillusioned, depressed, pressimistic and antagonistic to what is known as “the American way of life’, don’t dump it on us.

I love this country and reading your boohoo bad old way of doing things makes me angry at your lack of appreciation for your birthplace. You lucked out and don’t even know it..

Maybe if you stopped looking for the faults of Republicans every day you might be happier. Digging for the thrill of a bitter pill is not the way to joy by any means.

It is not the world, Bookman. The world has always been changing. It is you..

Haywood Jablome

May 23rd, 2011
3:37 pm

Yeah, I’d really like to take 35+ year ride in the way-back machine. Back when things were good especially for a white male like me. We knew how to run the world.

jm

May 23rd, 2011
3:39 pm

Its demographic. Old people that don’t work cost a lot to take care of.

poison pen

May 23rd, 2011
3:41 pm

California will have to release 46,000 criminals as per a Supreme court decision. I hope they all go to Hollywood.

jm

May 23rd, 2011
3:42 pm

“Nobody caused it; nobody can stop it.”

I disagree. Social programs suck a lot of wind out of an economy. And ours are bloated, inefficient, ineffective, and overly expensive.

Moderating the design of the social programs could do an immense amount of good. Remember, we invest (spend) something like 20x the amount on old people as we do on young people.

Education gets cut to keep granny on life support when she has a terminal illness. The United States of Saturn…..

USMC

May 23rd, 2011
3:42 pm

“Unfortunately, I don’t think the Democrats have come to grips with that reality at all — not in their rhetoric, and not in their policy.”–Jay Bookman

Here is one brilliant solution to this problem:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLdA1ikkoEc

jm

May 23rd, 2011
3:44 pm

“Nobody caused it; nobody can stop it.”

With Mitch Daniels out, Huntsman will have to take up the cause.

Dusty

May 23rd, 2011
3:45 pm

USMC 3:42

That was a great incentive and still is.. Do what you can for your country!! Kennedy got that right.

Mighy Righty

May 23rd, 2011
3:47 pm

I completely disagree with the idea that we cannot turn this ship around. First we have to stop our government from regulating everything we do. For example: If there were no EPA we would have access to billions of barrels of oil right now, which would drive cost of commodities down making American products competitive world wide.
Millions of Americans would be employed. I am serious. Our government is strangling this nation with silly rules and regulations.

Southern Comfort

May 23rd, 2011
3:47 pm

Unfortunately, I don’t think the Democrats have come to grips with that reality at all — not in their rhetoric, and not in their policy. I think the Republicans have done so only to the extent of blaming it all on government, when in fact much more powerful forces are at work.

All the more reason not to trust any of the bovine fecal matter coming from Dipshiiite City. Those are probably the most truthful words you’ve written, Jay.

jm

May 23rd, 2011
3:48 pm

“they have the secret to making things as they used to be”

Um. Please see Mitch Daniels’ Indiana cookbook. Recipe is right there…..

St Simons - we're on Island time

May 23rd, 2011
3:50 pm

oh, save the fainting spells. We will soon have Medicare for All, thereby saving it. And that’s the way it should be. And we will look back and say, “it all started with this president.” He is The Man. The Future is coming. Be happy. Be there.

jm

May 23rd, 2011
3:50 pm

soco 3:47 – bingo. ie, smaller govt = better govt! You got it!

Finn McCool

May 23rd, 2011
3:50 pm

I know the secret! Rapture!

I know I haven’t come to terms with it – and it p*$$e$ me off.

No more defined benefit plan – no, we have to “hope” the market performs for us over the next 20-30 years so we CAN retire. All the while our retirement is in the hands of some really greedy Wall Street types.

” Oh, sure it’s gonna be there….would you like to buy a bridge?”

Scooter (The Original)

May 23rd, 2011
3:50 pm

Jay, your generation entrusted power to politicians to provide “secure and predictable benefits” and my generation is watching those become unsustainable because power corrupted. Honestly Jay, if you were 29 years old would you consider Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to be “secure and predictable benefits”?

jm

May 23rd, 2011
3:51 pm

“Our government is strangling this nation with silly rules and regulations.” second that

USMC

May 23rd, 2011
3:52 pm

“That was a great incentive and still is.. Do what you can for your country!! Kennedy got that right.”

Thanks Dusty, that is one of Mick’s Favorites!

AmVet

May 23rd, 2011
3:52 pm

1956 is also infamous for a couple of other boneheaded moves. Albeit symbolic only.

The McCarthyites got their mythology officially added to the pledge and the traitors here in Georgia got their loser flag flying. (And yes, I know the history of it and what the original, innocuous red, white and blue one derived from.)

jt, way to miss the much bigger reason…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY

Southern Comfort

May 23rd, 2011
3:52 pm

smaller govt = better govt!

effective govt = better govt!!! That’s how Brosephus rolls..

For example: If there were no EPA we would have access to billions of barrels of oil right now, which would drive cost of commodities down making American products competitive world wide.

For example: When there was no EPA, you had instances like this…

http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=1642

I’d rather take my chances with the EPA instead of worrying about whether my water will catch fire.
Just sayin’

josef nix

May 23rd, 2011
3:52 pm

Billy Joel probably put it best, “the good ole days weren’t all that good, and tomorrow’s not as dark as it seems…”

I’m not trying to say that we didn’t have a lot of the good life back then, but the world of Ozzie and Harriet, which looks so good in retrospect, was confined to a few choice areas among a few choice people. I grew up in the South with roots in the countryside and small towns…it was light years removed from that statistical hooplah, still mired in a semi-feudal economic system with all the attendant woes. Those seeking to escape this fled north and west where they were locked into ghetto conditions far removed from that economic golden era.

Once my Mama was asked why she had such a dislike for Yankees. Her answer was, “we didn’t know we were poor til they came down here to tell us. All that time we thought we were comfortable middle class.”

That chasm has yet to be bridged. There has been a revolution of rising expectations, true, but it has been stalled in its tracks. I’m not saying that life is not considerably better these days for many if not most of Uncle Sam’s oldest colonials be they still in the colonies or still segregated in unseen and unheard from urban enclaves, but I am saying that the slide backward is not too much of a slide and expectations are not so high.

If anyone will come through this readjustment without rancor and thirst for vegence, it will be they.

And me? Well, Yankee overlords, welcome to the real world…

jm

May 23rd, 2011
3:53 pm

My new solution to Medicare (since Ryan’s plan won’t fly, and Obamacare doesn’t do much to cut costs). Lifetime Medicare benefit caps of $400,000. After you run through that, you’re done and on your own.

stands for decibels

May 23rd, 2011
3:54 pm

Anyone else read that TNR piece Jay linked? here’s the summary graf:

For Democrats, the defeat of the Ryan plan, like the failed Social Security privatization before it, will be regarded as a great victory, and an opportunity to get a fresh start with worried older voters. But they should not ignore the generational divide revealed by Ryan’s cutoff. If progressive politics has nothing to offer the late Boomers and the generations that follow except the same old programs, and nothing that responds to their distinctive experience of the economy, then eventually they’ll fall for one of these gimmicks from the right.

And maybe that’s true, but…we don’t really think so much about long term fixes. We think about the next election, and by 2014, there will be some other superduper issue screaming at us, one assumes. so you can’t let the Right have all the gimmicks, you gotta toss in some of your own.

(that’s the best I can do on what Jay pays me to post here.)

Dusty

May 23rd, 2011
3:55 pm

OK folks, don’t forget to put on your sackcloth and ashes before dinner. The “wake” will be held afterwards.

Where's My Party?

May 23rd, 2011
3:56 pm

Two things can help turn us around. Become a producer again (manufacturing sector) and reduce the size and scope of the Federal Government. The manufacturing will require Americans pay more for goods, but that is a small price to pay for the return of our economic sanity. We have the best form of government in the world, but it regulation is out of control. Yes, the government most definitely has a place just like rules and regulations have a place, but we have overstepped.

jm

May 23rd, 2011
3:59 pm

sfd 3:54 – the existing Medicare plan goes broke. 2 choices: nothing, or reform Medicare. Your choice.

AmVet

May 23rd, 2011
4:00 pm

“If there were no EPA …”

Unfrigginbelievable. And goes right to the very black heart of this neo-con myopia.

And smaller government does not equal better government. That statement says absolutely zero of value.

SoCo is right, the size argument is a canard. I could make an obvious reference(!), but let’s just say it’s like saying a bigger baseball pitcher is a better baseball pitcher.

Sloganesque and looks good on a bumpr sticker, but that’s all…

Jay

May 23rd, 2011
4:00 pm

Mighty Righty, your claim has absolutely no basis in fact. We could put an oil rig every 20 feet across the width and breadth of this nation and we wouldn’t come close to meeting our demand for oil and we wouldn’t budge the worldwide price of oil by more than a few percentage points.

And no good petroleum expert or geologist would tell you otherwise.

(plus, what SoCo said about the EPA….)

jconservative

May 23rd, 2011
4:01 pm

Damn fine column Bookman.

Note the following:

Net Job Creation by Decade
1940’s 38%
1950’s 24%
1960’s 31%
1970’s 27%
1980’s 20%
1990’s 20%
2000’s 0%
2010’s ?
US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Note that by the 1980’s we have a disaster on our hands. And no one has a clue what to do about jobs gone, and gone forever.

Then this:

Percentage of Total Income Earned by Lowest 60% of Wage Earners

1970 32.30%
1980 31.20
1990 29.30
2000 27.30
2009 26.60
(US Census Bureau)

Can you spot trends? Do you hear anyone offer solutions. Do you hear anyone even address the problem?

jt

May 23rd, 2011
4:02 pm

AmVet

One begets the other.
And vice versus.
.
If the MIC state gets it……………..ya can’t deny the Welfare state.
.
Ill gotten gains.

RP is the only one that speaks truth to power.

jm

May 23rd, 2011
4:03 pm

Jay, would you support lifetime benefit caps for Medicare?

Jay

May 23rd, 2011
4:04 pm

jm, no.

Are you gonna cut a 40-year-old mother of three with a chronic condition off from care because she hit her limit?

No, you’re not.

josef nix

May 23rd, 2011
4:05 pm

JAY
@ 4:03

“No, you’re not”

You have more faith than I do, then…in a New York minute…

jm

May 23rd, 2011
4:07 pm

oh jesus. I didn’t know this. This will drive health care costs into the stratosphere……

On Sept. 23, lifetime limits are effectively banned for all plans that begin or are renewed after that date. Insurance companies can no longer cut off policy holders when their medical expenses reach a lifetime limit. Annual limits on coverage will be phased out over the next few years, beginning this year.

http://www.aarp.org/health/health-care-reform/info-08-2010/hcr_explained.html

Obamacare = dumbest idea in history. (or at least very important parts of it, dumbest of all time)

Disgusted

May 23rd, 2011
4:07 pm

If there were no EPA we would have access to billions of barrels of oil right now, which would drive cost of commodities down making American products competitive world wide.

Two words for the benighted to ponder: Love Canal.

Recon (2nd.and 3rd.)

May 23rd, 2011
4:07 pm

Sounds like Jay’s giving up on America. We’ve gone through difficult challenges before in our history, this is just another one.

jm

May 23rd, 2011
4:09 pm

Jay 4:03 –

A. Why is a 40 year old on Medicare? Do people with chronic conditions get early Medicare?
B. Yes, you should. If it costs $5 million to keep the woman alive, it would be sad, but it would be better to let her pass away and turn her kids over to good foster parents. Better for the kids ultimately, better for our prosperity.

And you can criticize my “B” response all you want, but this is the exact similar decision the virtual “death panel” (or whatever you want to call the Medicare board) will be doing (in a somewhat different manner).

TaxPayer

May 23rd, 2011
4:10 pm

Wow, Jay. I feel like stoking the coal-burning stove before heading out to the outhouse one last time before dark since the kerosene lamp has run dry and I cannot afford a refill. I just hate bed pans, doncha know.

Jay

May 23rd, 2011
4:11 pm

No, jm, that’s not what the Medicare panel will do. It will recommend what treatments are most cost-effective, it may recommend whether a particular treatment has a good-enough track record to be funded, etc.

It’s not going to enforce a lifetime limit on care.

josef nix

May 23rd, 2011
4:11 pm

jm

Like I said, in a New York minute you would…and should I decide that you’re a drain on society and we’d ultimately be better off without you? Seriously, Mate, this is eugenics and we know where that leads…

Kamchak

May 23rd, 2011
4:11 pm

oh jesus. I didn’t know this.

Translation: The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

Same message every day, every thread.

jm

May 23rd, 2011
4:12 pm

Jay, if you won’t support lifetime caps, what’s your (realistic) suggestion to fix the Medicare mess?

(I’m assuming Medicaid block grants will happen at some point, so ignoring that one for now)

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

May 23rd, 2011
4:13 pm

Well, I agree with that guy that said get rid of the EPA. We don’t need no stinking guvmint checking our food, water, air, drugs, etc. It’s a jungle out there and if you can’t look out for yourself, well, we’re better off without you. You can’t even pour used motor oil down a sewer without some guvmint bureaucrat acting like you murdered somebody. And stuff like making sure sewers don’t leak costs a bundle. Heck, you even got to pay a tire disposal fee when you buy a new set of tires. I’m sick of it.

I say let’s go back to the old ways. They won’t poison us much. And what with Medicare and SS in such a sorry fix, we don’t need people living longer.

jm

May 23rd, 2011
4:14 pm

josef nix 4:11 – there’s no “right” to a government provided benefit. Its a privilege. We went over all this when the Republicans were (stupidly) engaging in mediscare tactics in regards to the “death panels”. Death panels are a reality. Its just a question of how they will be done. Equitably, or by a panel of “experts”.

Driving is a privilege, social security is a privilege, etc etc, despite the delusions that liberals may sell to themselves.

Mighy Righty

May 23rd, 2011
4:14 pm

Southern Comfort

May 23rd, 2011
3:52 pm
smaller govt = better govt!

effective govt = better govt!!! That’s how Brosephus rolls..

For example: If there were no EPA we would have access to billions of barrels of oil right now, which would drive cost of commodities down making American products competitive world wide.

For example: When there was no EPA, you had instances like this…

http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=1642

I’d rather take my chances with the EPA instead of worrying about whether my water will catch fire.
Just sayin’

Good point. Not saying there aren’t a few things where the government can do a little good. Right now this government is out of control. The EPA has prevented oil drilling and refining for more than thirty years! We aren’t building dams, hydro electric power plants, nucleur power plants, coal powered electric plants, nothing but windmills. Just what in the H-ll do you think your and your childrens future is going to be with your primary source of energy coming from 14th century windmills!

Bosch

May 23rd, 2011
4:15 pm

Instead of pushing to 40 year old mother off the cliff can’t we just get single pater and let her watch her kids grow up? And her grand kids?

jm

May 23rd, 2011
4:15 pm

Jay 4:11 – yes, a panel of experts will decide what they think is cost effective. And given budget constraints, the formula will have to cut off access to things that work just fine, but are deemed “too expensive.” Same sh-t, different formula.

One empowers personal choice, the other empowers bureaucrats. That’s all.

CJ

May 23rd, 2011
4:16 pm

This is a great piece. However, I vehemently disagree with both of these assertions: “Nobody caused it; nobody can stop it.”

A political system that gives voice to those with the most free speech (i.e. money) is what caused it. This has happened in a number of ways: tax policy that rewards unearned income at the expense of earned income, corporate personhood, the notion that money is speech, the lack of enforcement of anti-trust laws, trade agreements that reward anti-labor policies, media consolidation… I could go on forever.

The causes are clear, and we can absolutely stop it.

USMC

May 23rd, 2011
4:17 pm

“We could put an oil rig every 20 feet across the width and breadth of this nation and we wouldn’t come close to meeting our demand for oil…”–Jay Bookman

Can you back this statement up with facts?
(”real” facts)

Jay

May 23rd, 2011
4:18 pm

Which one “empowers personal choice”, jm?

You mean the personal choice to have your insurance company tell you to crawl off and die because you’re not worth saving?

jm

May 23rd, 2011
4:18 pm

Oh, might I add to my 4:15 in regards to lifetime benefit caps.

One process is political and will be rife with corruption. The other won’t. No points for guessing which does which.

Bosch

May 23rd, 2011
4:19 pm

” “we didn’t know we were poor ”

josef,

I think that is so true on so many levels. I read so many here talk about being “successful” and “wealthy” — and to be honest, that means something different to everyone.

Kamchak

May 23rd, 2011
4:19 pm

Bosch — a single pater?

Many on the right already see single dads as dead beat dads and a problem.

josef nix

May 23rd, 2011
4:19 pm

jm

And while we’re at it, let’s bring back the Nuremberg laws and the Strassbourg tests…yeah, I know what this sounds like to some, but it’s there, step by step…the government is charged with protecting the life of EVERY citizen…and if we have no charity for the weakest among us, then perhaps it is better that we fall flat and go into well-deserved and well earned oblivion…

@@

May 23rd, 2011
4:20 pm

People sense that things aren’t as they’ve been taught they should be; they just don’t know why.

…they’ve been taught?

Only thing I ever taught my daughter was the old addage…”A failure to plan is a plan to fail.”

My husband’s advice was a bit more descriptive. “Don’t look for the government to back you up ’cause you won’t like what they’re offering.”

Future generations will be okay. Unlike the baby boomers who bought the SS scam, they know better. They’ll be driven by ambition…motivated to look out for themselves.

jm

May 23rd, 2011
4:20 pm

Jay 4:18 – people can always choose how much to spend, but not with government intervention.

“You mean the personal choice to have your insurance company tell you to crawl off and die because you’re not worth saving?”

Well, Obamacare is going work this way:

“You mean the personal choice to have your government tell you to crawl off and die because you’re not worth saving?”

Just a question of who does the rationing and how, not if.

MM

May 23rd, 2011
4:21 pm

In the mid-70s American business mobilized to counter what they perceived as their diminished power after the debacle in Vietnam and broad dissatisfaction in the public with the direction of the country. These power elites (Business Roundtable, Chamber of Commerce, etc.) financed Ronald Reagan to be their genial spokesperson and the politics of “mass distraction” began with the goal of providing an on-going circus so ensure Americans would not see the long slide of the last 35 years. We have had decades of stagnating incomes as inequality has steadily increased. Business wants to blame government as a distraction from the private sector sucking wealth from the public.

Yes, the rest of the world has been catching up to the US economically but that’s not really such a bad thing unless you see our dominance as the key to happiness. Things have changed wrt America’s superiority in the world but that is not the prime driver of why our workers have not shared in steep increases in GDP. Trickle-down was never meant to work as advertised but was just a comforting story to keep the folks from getting all riled up.

Jay, I’ll play the optimist and challenge your overly pessimistic view of the economic future of Americans. Things will improve for working Americans when they stop voting for people that sell them down the river, primarily Republicans but not a few Democrats. How wealth is shared between the rich and workers is not primarily due to the impersonal functioning of the market, or foreign competition, but as the result of a political process that Americans only dimly understand. Knowledge is power. Even with the growing onslaught of corporate cash that Congress and the Supreme Court have engineered under corporate influence, I believe there is realistic hope that the blind will see. That’s as optimistic as I can get.

Dusty

May 23rd, 2011
4:21 pm

Would we cut off the benefits of a 40 year old mother of three with a chronic disease?

If Obamacare doesn’t mess everything up, we’d send that mother to GRADY HOSPITAL (and many others just like it) which has helped the indigent for years. Lack of funds is nothing new although Bookman acts like we’ve been throwing sick people on the streets forever.

Not true. And now comes the Honorable Knight of Humanity to save us with the obfuscation of Obamacare.

As ’tis said, sometimes the cure is worse than the ailment. …

ByteMe

May 23rd, 2011
4:21 pm

37 years ago only looks good in the windshield because you were a little kid then and everything looks good to little kids. Time to grow up and accept the world as it is and not try to re-create what never really was.

As for jm being fixated on lifetime caps: how much tax is collected to pay for Medicare right now? You’ll see the solution when you understand how things are funded.

Bosch

May 23rd, 2011
4:21 pm

Healthcare and access to it should NEVER be considered a privledge — we are all Americans, live in the richest country on Earth, and NO ONE should be without access to health care — it is not a privledge, it is a right of citizenship.

Bosch

May 23rd, 2011
4:22 pm

Kamchak,

My bad….payer….

jm

May 23rd, 2011
4:22 pm

josef nix 4:19 – its this simple dude: the taxpayers and government cannot afford unlimited funds to take care of everyone. Blank checks make one broke.

For every problem, there’s a $5 million solution (believe me I know from a relative’s experience). But we’re not worth $5 million. That simple….

Curious Observer

May 23rd, 2011
4:23 pm

I wish I could be around when jm has a loved one in a nursing home or in a critical medical state. I’d like to see how he reacts when he’s told that the loved one has reached the lifetime maximum and can no longer be cared for.

What kind of savages have been raised in this money-is-everything environment? God help us all.

josef nix

May 23rd, 2011
4:24 pm

jm

Wrong. For those with a moral compass, every life is priceless… and, yes, it really is that simple…otherwise why did we ever evolve as a communal species and not as a solitary predator?

Jay

May 23rd, 2011
4:24 pm

The EPA has prevented oil drilling and refining for more than thirty years! We aren’t building dams, hydro electric power plants, nucleur power plants, coal powered electric plants, nothing but windmills. Just what in the H-ll do you think your and your childrens future is going to be with your primary source of energy coming from 14th century windmills!

Oh please. Have you enrolled in jm University or something?

If all that were true, how on earth do we Americans manage to consume twice as much energy per capita as most other industrialized nations?

jm

May 23rd, 2011
4:26 pm

“As for jm being fixated on lifetime caps: how much tax is collected to pay for Medicare right now?”

Answer: less than $100,000 per beneficiary. So you’d still get out 4x what you put in, which is still ridiculous, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

Common Sense

May 23rd, 2011
4:26 pm

@Jay,

“If all that were true, how on earth do we Americans manage to consume twice as much energy per capita as most other industrialized nations?”

It’s simple, we produce more and feed more than any other nation on the planet.

Have you forgotten this little fact?

TaxPayer

May 23rd, 2011
4:26 pm

How much are you worth, jm.

USMC

May 23rd, 2011
4:27 pm

I saw a great Bumper sticker the other day that relates to the topic on the 40 year old mother of 3:

IF YOU CAN’T FEED THEM…. DON’T BREED THEM!

Classic!

Bosch

May 23rd, 2011
4:27 pm

” the taxpayers and government cannot afford unlimited funds to take care of everyone.”

Funny how every industrialized country on the planet can do so.

Joe Mama

May 23rd, 2011
4:27 pm

Righty, jm — “Our government is strangling this nation with silly rules and regulations.”

http://images.politico.com/global/cartoon/110511_cartoon_600.jpg

Moderate Line

May 23rd, 2011
4:28 pm

The transition is bigger than any president or party. Nobody caused it; nobody can stop it. At most we can try to deal with and adjust to it. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Democrats have come to grips with that reality at all — not in their rhetoric, and not in their policy. I think the Republicans have done so only to the extent of blaming it all on government, when in fact much more powerful forces are at work. Both parties are still stuck trying to convince voters that they have the secret to making things as they used to be, and neither has any hope of doing so.
+++
Great comment. Medicare and Social Security have always been somewhat of a pyramid scheme where you pay in hoping there will be someone to pay when you needed it. Three things worked against it which affected the ratio of payer to receiver. As Americans became older and the birthrate dropped the ratio became unfavorable for sustainment. The last thing that affected it was the unwillingness of the politicians to address the issue earlier. If the issue was address earlier the affects could have been mitigated. There is not way to sustain either program without a decrease in benefits or an increase in taxes.

Bosch

May 23rd, 2011
4:28 pm

” has reached the lifetime maximum and can no longer be cared for.”

And he gets to care for them out of his own pocket.

Kamchak

May 23rd, 2011
4:28 pm

Bosch

Yeah, knew it was a typo — just pulling your pinata.

The Blue Lions sacked Ancelotti only hours after losing the last match of the season to a 10 man Everton squad.

I’m afraid Mourinho may be back at The Bridge.

shawny

May 23rd, 2011
4:30 pm

It started in late ‘71 when we went off the gold standard. Years of inflation made everthing more expensive and our savings worth less.

USMC

May 23rd, 2011
4:30 pm

Sounds like Jay is getting his talking points on oil from Hank Johnson; <what a Buffoon!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jjwcha5m0u0

josef nix

May 23rd, 2011
4:30 pm

observer

“What kind of savages have been raised in this money-is-everything environment? God help us all.”

Assuming G-d hasn’t decided that the homo sapiens has reached its lifetime cap set by the Alm-ghty…

jm

May 23rd, 2011
4:31 pm

Bosch 4:27 “Funny how every industrialized country on the planet can do so.”

You apparently don’t understand that every other industrialized country is free riding on the medical innovations created in the US. That said, you’re not wrong. But you just haven’t thought through the repercussions of what you’re implying.

Bosch

May 23rd, 2011
4:32 pm

Kamchak,

Did I read that the Blue Lions were not in the UEFA Championship? Dude, that’s rough (if I read it right)…..

josef nix

May 23rd, 2011
4:32 pm

BOSCH

“And he gets to care for them out of his own pocket”

Ha! Give ‘em a slab of seal blubber, put ‘em on an ice floe and wave bye bye (or is that buy buy)

Bosch

May 23rd, 2011
4:33 pm

jm,

“But you just haven’t thought through the repercussions of what you’re implying.”

Excuse me, Hyperbole Boy, and as one who is so disrespectful of our military men and women, I’ll decide what I have thought through logically or not. Not you.

Jay

May 23rd, 2011
4:34 pm

jm, one more like that and you WILL be done.

Step away from the computer and take a breath.

jm

May 23rd, 2011
4:34 pm

Jay 4:27 – fair enough. Just saw that. The insinuation that I’m just someone who doesn’t care about anyone is very insulting.

Joe Mama

May 23rd, 2011
4:35 pm

jm — “You apparently don’t understand that every other industrialized country is free riding on the medical innovations created in the US.”

That’s ludicrous. There’s plenty of medical research, medical innovation and pharmaceutical development going on in the world that’s *not* happening in the US.

Southern Comfort

May 23rd, 2011
4:36 pm

Mighty Righty: Just what in the H-ll do you think your and your childrens future is going to be with your primary source of energy coming from 14th century windmills!

We’ll have a future, and that’s my primary concern. Unlike you and the other flavors of the month, I know what Americans are capable of. Instead of trying to sell out my country to the highest bidder for a cheap profit now, I’d rather invest in the future to put America back on top of the manufacturing and innovation lists. We live in a country that just sent astronauts into space in a vehicle powered by “Apple IIe” type computer systems. In this day and age, we should be eons above other countries in innovation instead of importing crap now. I’d rather push foward on innovation instead of backcrawling on 19th century technology.

jm

May 23rd, 2011
4:36 pm

Bosch 4:33 – I never accused you of disrespecting the military. You accused me of that earlier today.

enough

Dusty

May 23rd, 2011
4:40 pm

Oh hush preaching, BOSCH. Access? R U kidding? Emergency rooms do not turn away the sick.

If you want everybody to be dependent on the government for everything, just say so as you usually do. . But it has no basis in independence.

Bosch

May 23rd, 2011
4:40 pm

“You accused me of that earlier today.”

I know I accused you of that today — because you did when you erroneously equated the conflicts in Libya and Iraq.

And?

TaxPayer

May 23rd, 2011
4:40 pm

But you just haven’t thought through the repercussions of what you’re implying.

Yeh! That’s right. I mean, can’t you imagine the cost associated with helping people when that money could be put to better use making more money.

Bosch

May 23rd, 2011
4:42 pm

“just say so as you usually do”

And Dusty, I’m sure you will be able to find one post in all the years you and I have been blogging together where I’ve even hinted at such. That’s was really cheap, even for you.

So…..now that that’s out of the way….how’s your day been?

Disgusted

May 23rd, 2011
4:43 pm

If you want everybody to be dependent on the government for everything, just say so as you usually do. . But it has no basis in independence.

. . . says one who makes her living from the profit-oriented medical industry. Pardon me if I put little credence in Dusty’s special pleading.

Recent Grad

May 23rd, 2011
4:43 pm

This just in: “The New Colossus” bronze plaque will be removed from the Statue of Liberty and in its place will be a tin plaque simply engraved with “All hope abandon, ye who enter here.”