Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





The U.S. was just downgraded from a “Full” to “Flawed Democracy.”

You can thank President Porn-Star Shagger, the one who praised a murderous North Korean dictator and insulted our closest ally, Canada.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Massachusetts vs. Louisiana

It is difficult NOT to make this a conservative vs. liberal policy comparison in this two-state illustration.  

I live in Massachusetts and have heard my state vilified by conservatives [most of whom don't know what they're talking about when it comes to Massachusetts and its successes] but these statistics tell a very, very interesting story, and it's not flattering to the conservative ideology, which appears to be one that fails its constituents:

David Gregory on Meet the Press:

"Here are some statistics, state to state, Massachusetts to Louisiana that reflect more services less taxes and the different results. 

  • Massachusetts has a bigger population.  
  • The high school graduation rate is much higher in Massachusetts. 
  • The median income is about $20,000 higher. 
  • The percentage of population without healthcare insurance much higher in Louisiana. 
  • The percentage of the population on food stamps much higher in Louisiana. 

So, do results break along some of the ideological and philosophical lines concerning taxes and the amount of government services?"

See the video HERE.

"Meet the Press's David Gregory makes it a question even though the above-mentioned facts prove liberal policies that are humane and balanced intrinsically effect a better educated and a more prosperous populace. 

Conversely, the touted Republican policies that have had free rein in Louisiana, a state blessed with an abundance of oil and other hydrocarbons, the Mississippi River, agriculture, and a large segment of the petrochemical industry, continue to lag in all metrics that matter to the middle class. 

This is not an isolated comparison of one state to another. The ten poorest states in our country are Red States. Moreover, Red States are mostly welfare states as they receive more from the federal government than they pay in. 

That the media does not cover this fact is a disservice to the entire American population. If America knew what policies worked throughout the nation it would be impossible for the GOP to continue to hold middle class policies hostage to a failed ideology."  h/t daily kos


skudrunner said...

Very fair comparison Louisiana and Massachusetts. Overall index shows that Massachusetts is 27% higher cost of living than Louisiana.

It does make since that the Republicans are responsible for Louisiana being behind. After all for the last 100 years there have been 3 republican governors and 34 Democrat. It was a Democrat governor and Democrat Mayor who totally mishandled Katrina. Remember the "we are prepared" and do not need federal help and the mayor who left hundreds of buses flood in their lot. Of course after the S--- hit the fan both of the esteemed leaders bailed and blamed the Federal government.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Isn't it hilarious how skudrunner comes here and blames previous administrations in Louisiana for its poor showing versus Massachusetts, but when the Democrats point out the mess the GOP left the country in 2008, people like skudrunner say our mess is due to Obama's policies.

BTW, skudrunner, Louisiana has always been run by CONSERVATIVE Democrats, and now it is in the hands of CONSERVATIVE Republicans.

In Massachusetts, we've had LIBERAL Republican governors as well. The governor before Deval Patrick was the LIBERAL Republican, Mitt Romney, who gave the state Romneycare, you know, the plan that LIBERAL President Obama used to form the ACA.

Plus you did your usual job of changing the subject [Katrina], which is what you always do when you don't like facts that show how the present form of conservatism is not serving its constituents.

You don't like reality.

dmarks said...

Skud did have a good point on the cost of living. One thing I wondered was the <a href = ">US Census data</A> on population change from 2000 to 2010: a good indicator of how good a state <I>really<I/> is: how people vote with their feet. Here, too, Mass comes across better than La. 3.1% growth compared to 1.4 for La.

Michigan, a very blue state under Jennifer Granholm during this period, was the only state that lost population. Texas and Utah and Idaho (red states) had significant population growth. This is just to point out that there are other factors going on besides the few listed that people use in determining the relative quality of life in the different states.

As for whether Louisiana always elects conservative Democrats, this is worth fact checking. But so far I can't find one of those liberal vs conservative checklists that evaluates her. I do know that some are accused of being conservative Democrats when they indeed come out on the left side of the dividing line (still liberal, but less liberal than others).

Ducky's here said...

Well, yeah, but people are much more free in Louisiana despite the diminished quality of life.
Isn't that how it goes?

dmarks said...

Regarding your assertion that the comparison you gave "and it's not flattering to the
conservative ideology, which appears to be one that fails its constituents".
I would venture to amend that it speaks more about the difference between
Massachusetts and Louisiana, rather than the liberal and conservative ideology.

* Median Income: $51,704 click here for source). It is indeed definitely higher in Mass, but the difference is very little once you look at cost of living factors, in which Mass is pretty bad.

* High School Graduation Rate: 85.9%
(the second highest in the nation)

* Health Insurance: With 10.7% uninsured, North Dakota is indeed much higher than Mass. But having health insurance
is a different metric from having quality health care.
This page
ranks states by which is the most healthy or not.
North Dakota edges Massachusetts by one point to come out as a
healthier state (and Louisiana has a very high score, which is bad).
In another important indicator of actual health care,
Massachusetts and North Dakota are the same.

* Percent on food stamps: 9% (2011 numbers). North Dakota has a much lower percentage than Massachusetts.

And now you use the metric you used to classify the states, based on governors:

North Dakota has had conservative Republicans since 1992,
including Ed Schafer (also an activist for the Koch bros' "Americans for Prosperity"), John Hoeven (a Republican who is a conservative on major issues, including the Keystone Pipeline, abortion, unions, and many others), and Jack Dalrymple (a conservative who has a 92% rating from the NRA and signed a bill which lets North Dakota residents make their own choices on health insurance, something that goes against "Obamacare" strictures)

Ducky's here said...

"As for whether Louisiana always elects conservative Democrats"

You're kidding, right?

Billy Tauzin (D- Big Pharma pimp)
Mary Landrieu (D - Lots of gas)

Actually Tauzin switched parties but in Louisiana that's a moot point.
He's gone on to be a big friend of the pharma industry.

Landrieu is a shill for oil companies and opposed Obamacare until the bill was changed to funnel 300 million directly to Louisiana Medicaid. If you can find any record of her taking a progressive position you're going to have to move in mysterious ways.

But it's currently famous for Vitter (R - Famous John) and Jindal (R - Dumb as a stump).

The House members are all R but one.

It's a corrupt, conservative state that has adversely effected national legislation and leeched off the Federal government because its regressive taxation (highly dependent on the regressive sales tax) has hurt growth.
Hardly liberal in any way I would use the word.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"* Median Income: $51,704 click here for source). It is indeed definitely higher in Mass, but the difference is very little once you look at cost of living factors, in which Mass is pretty bad."

Yes, the cost of living is higher in Massachusetts, but the standard of living is also very good. Among those standards, we have the highest scores, not just in the this country, but in the world, for math and science students. Education is not cheap.

Plus, about 95% of our citizens are covered under Romneycare.

This state was the first to recognize equal protection under the law for gay and lesbian couples who wished to marry.

There are a lot of other pluses that make the state attractive. I've never said it's perfect. But after living in California and Florida, I've willingly come back to Massachusetts; and for all of its warts, love it.

Of course, it helps that I live in a neighborhood that has Mike's Pastry, Modern Pastry, and Maria's Pastry, along with 100 eateries.

Especially the incomparable Umberto's!

dmarks said...

Ducky: I suspect the characterization is true, but would like to see something more subjective than "Lots of gas" and "dumb as a stump". I suspect that it is probably true, but Limbaugh-esque insults do not have a lot of objective weight.

dmarks said...

Shaw said: " But after living in California and Florida, I've willingly come back to Massachusetts; and for all of its warts, love it."

When I think of comparing all 3, I think of ridiculously heavy traffic in all of them. And in Mass I saw them actually open the breakdown lanes to high-speed traffic (I suppose that meant if your car actually broke down, it gets Earnhardt Sr'd and eventually completely vaporized by Lexii going 70 mpg). Sightly better in Florida, and much worse in New York.

(And yes, I don't share the contempt for gays that many have, and what you mentioned on marriage equality is a point for Mass).

dmarks said...

If one can cherry-pick to find a conservative-run place much worse than liberal-run Massachusetts, one can also cherry pick to find a liberal place much worse than conservative Louisiana.

Let's look at Detroit. Run by a succession of liberal Democrats since 1974.

* Uninsured? Higher than Louisiana, even, at 18% (source: "Who Are the Uninsured"

* High school graduation rate? 65% in 2011 (from various sources). A lot worse than Louisiana.

* Median income? $25,193, from the US Census, which is significantly lower than Louisiana: only 56% of the total in that state.

* Food stamps? 20% is the most common figure I find for this: the best out of these metrics, and the only one where liberal Democrat-run Detroit is as good as conservative run Louisiana.

Moral of the story; move to North Dakota or Massachusetts, and get the hell out of Louisiana and Detroit.

Ambassador Truth 101 said...

I hear Louisiana is getting a Red Lobster soon.

Shaw Kenawe said...


No one "cherry picked" the comparison. This was presented on Meet the Press yesterday.

Why do you bring up wildly extraneous subjects that have absolutely nothing to do with the post, like driving in the break-down lane? What's your motive?

Yes, Detroit is a mess, but that's a CITY, not a state. We're comparing LOUISIANA WITH MASSACHUSETTS: STATES.

US News and World Report published an article of the ten poorest states in America: All five are conservative STATES, not cities.

Another report cited the 10 WORST states for children. Want to know what they are:

Alaska, Kentucky, Alabama, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada, Arkansas, LOUISIANA, Mississippi, and New Mexico.

See any pattern there?

S.W. Anderson said...

Undoubtedly, more and better education and other government services have helped Massachusetts people attain and keep a higher standard of living through good times and bad. But that is not the only essential difference and might not be the decisive one. Any comparison must take into account the fact that Louisiana's black population for generations was deliberately and forcibly stunted, educationally and economically. When you can become a restaurant waiter, bus boy or cook, but never a manager and rarely an owner, for example, you're held to lifelong minimal wages and see little hope of moving up. Same thing if you're a lot boy at a car dealer, washing and vacuuming cars you could never afford, but have no chance of becoming a salesman or manager. Upward mobility has long been much more possible for blacks and other minorities in Mass. than in Louisiana, and that has made a huge difference, not just for blacks but for Mass.' economic stats.

Dmarks, FYI one of American history's ugly ironies is that because of bigotry and limited opportunities for a better life in the deep South, millions of blacks migrated north, especially from the 1930's-1970's. They went to work in Upper Midwest industrial cities, where civil rights reforms such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Act finally made it possible for them to join unions and become equally paid steel workers, auto workers, etc. But just as large numbers of them were getting into those well-paying jobs with great benefits, and making their way into the middle class, large numbers of those big industries started moving to the Sun Belt. The industries were lured to places like Louisiana with inducements such as low land rent, tax excusals and the fact that labor was dirt cheap and the fact that state governments were proactively anti-union.

Those developments left Rust Belt states like Michigan with very large numbers of poor and poor-again blacks, with hollowed out, decimated economies and a severely anemic tax base. Detroit is Exhibit-A. Granholm, like other Michigan governors, had to grapple with overwhelming problems using limited and too often declining resources. Casting off on her or her state for what has happened there makes as much sense as blaming Louisiana for not getting up and moving out of Katrina's way.

BTW, since the Reagan so-called revolution, Southern states have gorged at the federal trough. Michigan gets mostly food stamps, Medicaid, what's left of welfare and some job retraining money.

billy pilgrim said...

mass has about 7% black population whilst louisiana has about 32% black population.

am i a racist for pointing this out?

FreeThinke said...

Apples and oranges.

dmarks said...

Mentioning a bad and dangerous freeway situation more wildly extraneous than you bringing up the gay and lesbian situation in Mass.... as part of the living conditions there. Sheesh.

dmarks said...

SW said: "Detroit is Exhibit-A. Granholm, like other Michigan governors, had to grapple with overwhelming problems using limited and too often declining resources"

More like Michigan had to grapple with Granholm, and her alliance with the UAW, rather worker-hostile, forcing so many factories to close and so many people to leave the state. I remember when Toyota wanted to build a plant here. Granholm told them they weren't welcome (mainly due to the fact that worker-friendly Toyota doesn't bully workers into joining unions against their will and instead lets workers choose whether or not to give money). I was here and watched all this happen... the UAW's successful war on Michigan jobs. The state's "lost decade".

dmarks said...

Billy said: "mass has about 7% black population whilst louisiana has about 32% black population."

It has nothing to do with the quality of life there and the indicators being discussed. There's a good chance that someone who says this has anything to do with quality of life might be racist. Otherwise, it has no more to do with anything than saying Louisiana has more gumbo.

Shaw Kenawe said...

dmarks, protecting gay and lesbians' equal rights makes Massachusetts a more pleasant state to live in. Allowing travel in break-down lanes for two hours during commuting time is relevant to this discussion, how?

billy, see S.W. Anderson's answer to you question.

dmarks said...

Shaw: I agree that one is much more important than the other, yes.

dmarks said...

And, SW, Granholm was like a Katrina to the state, actively working to keep Michigan businesses overtaxed and overregulated and otherwisr clobbered, on one of the worst business (and thus, employment) situations in the nation. Her choice, not anything forced on her.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"CNN business correspondent Ali Velshi slammed Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) for likening the federal budget to family spending and suggesting that the Obama administration should not spend more than the government takes in.

'Every family has to balance their budget, isn’t allowed to spend more than they need, every business is more efficient, tighten their belt. The reality is it can be done,' Jindal said in remarks outside of the White House on Monday, following a meeting between the National Governor’s Association and President Obama. He added that the administration can implement the automatic across-the-board sequestration cuts that are likely to go into effect on March 1 'without jeopardizing the economy' or 'critical services' by focusing on 'wasteful spending.'
Velshi rejected Jindal’s comparison as 'misleading nonsense' and pointed out that businesses and families routinely borrow money to invest in their futures, reasoning that an investment made today in college education or a new equipment can lead to greater returns down the road:

VELSHI: It’s 3% of a small part of the federal budget which makes it a very big part of some major agencies. It’s misleading stuff Bobby Jindal is saying, number one.

Number two when he says families understand they have to live within their budget. I don’t know a lot of families who buy a house with cash. Buying a house on a mortgage, is that living within your budget or not living within your budget? You would have to be 80 years old to be able to buy a house with cash. We have an understanding in our society, it may be flawed, that we borrow money based on our future earnings potential. All people do that, companies do that and governments do that. There’s a point at which you can say, we’ve gone too far with that or we’re too much of a risk of not paying back so we’ll end up paying a higher interest rate. When you borrow too much money, your personal interest rate goes up, credit cards go up. But to suggest within your means and balanced budget nonsense is just misleading. That is not how families live. It’s not how businesses conduct themselves. It is certainly not since the history of time the way governments run themselves.

Bobby Jindal is a smart guy. He runs a state. He needs to not talk like this and it’s become common to hear this stuff coming out in these press conferences."

Shaw Kenawe said...

More nonsense from people like Gov. Jindal who ought to know better.

S.W. Anderson said...

Billy, I don't think giving the percentage of a state's population that's African American, or anything else, is evidence of racism. Why would you ask that?

Broad, deep, strictly enforced discrimination so severe that it's state policy to prohibit education for generations of some people, then discourage and limit education for generations for those people, has a massive impact on a state's economy. Same thing when you have stores and other businesses where those people are shunned as customers. The damage isn't just done to the people discriminated against. It ultimately hurts everyone. It's like a tying one hand behind yourself before tackling mundane tasks like tying your shoes.

That Massachusetts has a much smaller percentage of blacks that Louisiana is relevant in arguing against comparing the two states. Still, I think deliberately stunting even 7 percent of a state's population systematically and for decades would drag its economy down. I think that factor is relevant as well.

Anonymous said...

TAO has told us, Dmarks and Skud, are the same.

dmarks said...

Nice to meet me, Skud. How are you?

S.W. Anderson said...

DMarks wrote: "More like Michigan had to grapple with Granholm, and her alliance with the UAW, rather worker-hostile, forcing so many factories to close and so many people to leave the state."

That is complete nonsense and an insult to the intelligence of everyone here. No governor, Dem, Republican or independent, forces many factories to close. That's especially so in an era when too many workers are chasing too few worthwhile jobs in most of the country. Spare me the absurdities, please.

Michigan's economy has been in trouble for a long time, and companies have been leaving the state for a long time. See my comment about migration to the Sun Belt. Automation, computerization, modern telecommunications, outsourcing and importation of every kind of component and subassembly you can think of for cars and other products have devastated small and medium companies in Michigan and the upper Midwest that support the auto and truck industries. You're blaming all the problems on Granholm and unions is simple-minded nonsense and GOP/U.S. Chamber of Commerce propaganda. BS, in other words.

What you revealed with you statement is, 1, where you get your "news" and 2, that you have swallowed whole and without any fair-minded consideration or independent judgment the movement-conservatives' line on unions. Which is, they are always all bad, corrupt, counterproductive and ruinous for business.

In fact, the UAW has been called on repeatedly over the past 40 years to make concessions about all sorts of things big and small. When the union saw its industries in serious trouble, it was forthcoming and has directly contributed to keeping each of the big-three automakers in business and viable.

Companies that are genuinely fair and reasonable with their employees tend to not have a union voted in. Toyota has nothing to fear from a union if it's willing to treat its workers fairly, providing pay and benefits at the industry standard. Ford does that and is doing quite well. I think a big part of Toyota's problem with unionization is that it goes against the grain of its corporate culture. My heart goes out to Toyota's poor traumatized executives, but If its workers want and feel they need a union, the company should accept that with good grace and get on with business. If that doesn't work for Toyota executives, they should exit the U.S. market and go back to Japan. I'm sure Ford, Chrysler and GM will be glad to take up the slack.

S.W. Anderson said...

Ali Velshi wrote, "Bobby Jindal is a smart guy."

There goes Velshi's credibility. Again.

S.W. Anderson said...

Re: my previous comment on Velshi. While his statement about Jindal's being "a smart guy" deserves my snark. But in fairness I should add that his larger point is correct and mostly well made.

dmarks said...

Unions aren't always bad. Only the ones that force people to join (which shows great contempt for workers' rights and choices). As for where I got my news (no quotes needed), S. W., it has nothing to do with "movement conservatism" whatever that is. My main source is NPR (and related local affiliates) and direct experience with the issues. Including Granholm's job-hostile taxes and UAW concessions which weren't really concessions at all, but rather slightly less excessive demands completely out of touch with reality. Granholm famously chose to turn her back on the auto industry and auto jobs and focus on a film incentive and greenscam corporate welfare.

As for Toyota, if they had arrived in Michigan then, the workers would have been forced into the union against their will (as it is not a case of "what workers want" in closed-shop states). The victims in this bullying by unions are not "traumatized executives" but rather the workers themselves. But now thankfully things are different.

Workers do tend to love Toyota, which is one reason why more and more of them go to work for the place and fewer and fewer for the Big 3

skudrunner said...

dmarks, the pleasure is all mine

I think Boston is a great city to visit. Some interesting historical sites and great food. As to living there, I prefer elsewhere as I am sure many do.

You point out the experience when you live in the elite section, I am sure the experience would be different is you lived in a less affluent area and had to work in a low paying job.

"Any comparison must take into account the fact that Louisiana's black population for generations was deliberately and forcibly stunted, educationally and economically."

SW, your statement was correct decades ago and some prejudice does still exist. Parental involvement is the key to raising children. There is also a very high rate of generational welfare in Louisiana therefore it could be said the federal government is partially responsible for holding the poor back.

S.W. Anderson said...

DMarks, those who find employment in a union shop unacceptable are free to go elsewhere. Those who do go elsewhere usually benefit from the better pay, benefits and working conditions that become industry standards after unions have spent years bargaining for them.

In many states no one is forced to join a union to get a job in a unionized business, but those who choose not to join must pay union dues. The rule is aimed at freeloaders who are only too happy to reap the benefits of working in a union shop while leaving the work and expense to others.

So-called right-to-work states ban that practice. Statistics consistently show that what workers in those state really get is the right to work for less.


skudrunner, there are many reasons some people don't get out and hustle to improve their situation. Most are psychological. Enjoying a life of ease on welfare checks is way down the list. To believe otherwise is to believe that those who do it prefer being stuck in poverty and either don't know or care that welfare is time limited.

A healthy, growing economy that produces plenty of worthwhile job opportunities for all, one where even the less motivated see their relatives, friends and neighbors doing better and moving up, creates a powerful impetus to do likewise. Conversely, a weak, recession-prone economy with high bars to entry for worthwhile jobs and little chance to hang on long enough to get somewhere does tend to discourage some people, especially those with less education, and those in pockets of poverty.

Attributing chronic joblessness to the availability of safety net programs is a cop-out, politically self-satisfying diagnosis for a complex problem. Just as business people won't hire more people to take care of customers who aren't showing up and buying, even if the businesspersons' business and personal taxes are cut to zero, some people won't get out and hustle for a paycheck in an economic environment that discourages them repreatedly on many levels and in many ways.

Rational Nation USA said...

"Bobby Jindal is a smart guy. He runs a state. He needs to not talk like this and it’s become common to hear this stuff coming out in these press conferences."

I agree Shaw. The issue is can the nation continue to increase the national debt and expect that it will not eventually catch up to the nation and bite it badly?

Would be interesting to see the average American homeowner's percent of dept to income. Then compare it to the national debt to revenue. (% debt to GDP for example)

For his reference to have meaning it must be based on something tangible. Percentages are a way to do that.

It is time to balance the budget in order to pay down the national debt. If it keeps growing the service on the national debt will eventually choke the nation to death.

KP said...

Perhaps we should just focus on California if you want to go by states. We are the 7th or 8th largest nation in the world and what we do, the rest of the 'liberal' country follows. We are failing in many (most) ways measurabble. I will spare you the detail because it is so long a list.

dmarks said...

SW: It shows contempt for working people who earn the worth of their work without paying dues to political organazations that have nothing to do with one's ability to do their job "freeloaders". Right-to-work is truly right-to-work for more money: these workers get to keep hundreds or thousands more dollars per year from their paycheck instead of being forced by unions to turn it over to be used for campaign contributions and political causes that go against their interests. Right-to-work states give workers a choice of whether or not to do this. Anti-worker, non right-to-work states force workers to do this or they will be fired.

The "must pay union dues" policy you defend is outrageous and bullies workers. It makes as much sense as requiring women to have sex with the boss or be fired, or requiring them to cut checks to the local Baptist church or be fired. In all of these situations (including closed-shop union workplaces) workers are abused and fired for refusing to engage in activities which are absolutely unrelated to their ability to do the job.

The idea of a "union shop" in which people must cough up hundreds or thousands to go to political slush funds or get fired is unacceptable. People should be able to work for a living and earn their wage (which is never "freeloading") despite their refusal to submit to political extortion.

dmarks said...

Skud: The 2010 census figures on population growth of the states are a strong indicator of quality of life that takes into account many factors other than the few that Shaw lists in the parent post. The individuals, workers, and families take a lot of things into account when they choose to move to or from a place. And indeed Massachusetts comes out ahead of Lousiana in this regard.

Shaw Kenawe said...


Point taken, but what has it to do with the Massachusetts/Louisiana comparison?

KP, California ranks about in the middle in the categories cited for Massachusetts and Louisiana. I know California has problems, but according to the reports I've read, the state is on a good path.

From Bloomberg: "California’s chronic budget shortfalls that hobbled the most populous U.S. state for a decade may give way to surpluses thanks to voter approval of Governor Jerry Brown’s tax increases, the state’s independent fiscal analyst said.

Brown and lawmakers will need to fill a $1.9 billion deficit through June 2014, the Legislative Analyst’s Office said yesterday, down from $13 billion estimated a year ago. If lawmakers can resist more spending and the economy continues to improve, the state could see a surplus of $1 billion by 2015 and $9 billion by 2018, the analyst’s office said.

“This report validates the hard work the state has done to cut its deficit and balance its budget,” Brown said in a statement. “California is now on the path for a fair and sustainable budget as long as we continue to exercise fiscal discipline and pay down debt.”

Standard & Poor’s, which rates the state’s credit A-, six levels below AAA and lower than any other U.S. state, has said the tax increase was a positive development.
Jordan Levine, director of economic research at Beacon Economics LLC in Los Angeles, said the recovery has broadened out to most sectors of the state’s economy. Housing and construction are on the rise, as is consumer spending, Levine said, and he projects the state’s unemployment rate will fall below 10 percent from the current 10.2 percent.

“We do see the economy continuing to grow,” Levine said in an interview. “In fact, we are forecasting it to pick up a little bit of steam as we get into 2013 and 2014.”

KP said...

Shaw, somebody is painting blue sky :-)

"Standard & Poor’s, which rates the state’s credit A-, six levels below AAA and lower than any other U.S. state ..."

Anonymous said...

"The issue is can the nation continue to increase the national debt and expect that it will not eventually catch up to the nation and bite it badly?"

After 30 years of supporting the policies that caused the debt you are now willing to say it will bite us? Like it has not HURT us already? Of course not; the hurt only happens when a Democrat is president. It was fine when your boy Bush was in office screaming "tax cuts" like a party mantra.

Rational Nation USA said...

"Bobby Jindal is a smart guy. He runs a state. He needs to not talk like this and it’s become common to hear this stuff coming out in these press conferences."

Shaw, was responding to the above. It was your comment I believe.

As the entire post? Good post, thought provoking.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Standard & Poor’s, which rates the state’s credit A-, six levels below AAA and lower than any other U.S. state ..."

That's the bad news.

The good news is that Standard & Poor's has said that what the governor has done is a positive development. As you stated, California is as large as a country, and the problems it accumulated over years and years of mismanagement by the Republicans and Democrats cannot be remedied in a few years.

Just like this country's problems, California's problems are man-made, so they have man-made solutions, if the people who were voted into office to find solutions would work together.

dmarks said...

Anon: Rational has always opposed the policies that caused the debt. He is probably the most consistent on this of all commenting here And Bush was "his boy"? You have RN confused with someone else, obviously. Welcome to the party, but next time you might want to read the name of the person commenting before you make assumptions and go off on the wrong tangent.

Rational Nation USA said...

I thank you dmarks for clarifying a position I have always held and continue to hold. Principles are the bedrock of a consistent philosophy of living ones life.

Shaw Kenawe said...

It is an extreme embarrassment that the wealthiest country, the USA, has so many uninsured citizens. We are the only country in western democracies that allows people to become bankrupt because they get sick.

It's a disgrace.

That so many Americans are uninsured is a gigantic failure of political will. There is no reason for this to be so.

Rational Nation USA said...

Is it Shaw? I live in the same state as you do, albeit the western half, and those who are partaking of RomneyCare have told me it "sucks." But I suspose a state run system that "sucks", funded by tax payer dollars is better than the alternative of no coverage.

Such is the reality of our present day system. I wonder what Thomas Paine would have to say about this reality. I'm sure he would have quite a bit to say. It likely would not be omplementay .

Rational Nation USA said...

The larger question that at some point must be answered by all is this.. Are we as individuals obligated to be our brother or sisters keeper?

As a corrolary, are we as individuals ethically obligated to be our brother and sisters keeper?

For those who are. on the fence I recommend a reading of one who was instrumental to our founding, Thomas Paine

dmarks said...

RN: I don't recall for sure, really. but I rather doubt you voted for "your boy" George W. Bush in either of the elections that he won. Might be from my own recollection of reading you, or just my general knowledge of your strong Libertarian leanings. I leave it to you to clarify.

Shaw Kenawe said...

RN: "Is it Shaw? I live in the same state as you do, albeit the western half, and those who are partaking of RomneyCare have told me it "sucks." But I suspose a state run system that "sucks", funded by tax payer dollars is better than the alternative of no coverage."

Yes, it is a disgrace for a country as wealthy and technically advanced as ours to allow people to go bankrupt because they get sick. The people I know on Romneycare are quite happy they have it and that they are covered.

Our Declaration of Independence states this:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness..."

I wish someone would tell me how citizens of this country can pursue life, liberty, and happiness if they face financial ruin and desolation should they become ill.

Should we live in a country where only the wealthy and employed have access to good healthcare, and the underinsured and poor get their healthcare in emergency rooms, if even there?

If this country had the political will and stopped political grandstanding and bickering, we could insure, through the government as a single payer, every man, woman, and child.

That is how an advanced democracy treats its citizens. And every advanced democracy, [EXCEPT the United States of America--which brags about its exceptionalism all the time]--has some sort of government run health system. EVERY ONE!

I'd like you, RN, or anyone else to tell me why the United States is the ONLY exception. Yes, this is an exceptional country where it comes to health care for its citizens--it is exceptionally heartless and a disgrace.

The ACA has so many aspects that could be much, much better, especially better were it a single-payer system, but the libertarians and the conservatives wanted nothing to do with giving our citizens the ability to pursue life, liberty and happiness, so the ACA was cobbled together, and, I believe less than optimal system.

However, notice how fierce those same people behave when it comes to protecting citizens rights to own lethal weapons!

Our priorities are messed up in that regard.

BTW, I do believe we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers. I don't know what Thomas Paine wrote about that, but everything the founding fathers did was not perfect. For example, slavery. And those rights that Thomas Jefferson beautifully defined in the eloquent DoI? They were for property-owning white men ONLY.

People tend to forget that.

WE don't live in that kind of country anymore. And haven't in a long, long time.

Rational Nation USA said...

dmarks, I came to recognizing my strong libertarian beliefs for what are a bit late. I unfortunaly mistook rEpublicans as being pro libertarian, I was wrong. So, as I have acknowledged before I voted for the
Lesser of Two Evils one two many times. Finally recognizing the rEpublican party for what it has become I no longer have any illusions about its real intentions. Rove needs to go, along with the Romney wing of the party for it to have a chance of remaining relevant. For me the Libertarian party gets my support these day. I voted Johnson and will be supporting the best third party candidate on 2016.

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw, you really should make it a point of reading Thomas Paine. There is more to him than just what the Beck crowd would have you believe. It is why I referenced him. He was truly a man ahead of his times in ways many like Beck would prefer people not know.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I've read Thomas Paine, just not every single thing he's written. I actually featured some of his work in a blog post this month.

Rational Nation USA said...

Then there is more. Enjoy!

dmarks said...

Shaw: I strongly disagree that single payer would be better. Its just a euphemism for monopoly. We need many more payers, not the mistake of taking away all choice in this. Less consolidation, for sure.

The opposition to such a power grab by unaccountable authorites has everything to do with preserving "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

ACA is "less than optimal" indeed, but it is a lot more optimal thanks to the work of both Democrats and Republicans who kept the public interest in mind during the debates and negotiations and kicked some of the fangs off of it, steering it away from a single-payer "one size fits few" monopoly. Still, it has fangs, such as the penalty which serves to discourage employers from having employees work more than 30 hours a week... and the provision to force medical equipment makers to raise prices.

Shaw Kenawe said...


You apparently don't understand what single payer means.

"Single-payer health insurance collects all medical fees, then pays for all services, through a "single" government (or government-related) source.[2] In wealthy nations, this kind of publicly managed insurance is typically extended to all citizens and legal residents. Examples include the United Kingdom's National Health Service,Australia's Medicare, Canada's Medicare, and Taiwan's National Health Insurance.

The standard usage of the term "single-payer health care" refers to health insurance, as opposed to healthcare delivery, operating as a public service and offered to citizens and legal residents towards providing near-universal or universal health care. The fund can be managed by the government directly or as a publicly owned and regulated agency.[2] Some writers describe publicly administered health care systems as "single-payer plans". Some writers have described any system of health care which intends to cover the entire population, such as voucher plans, as "single-payer plans",[3] although this is uncommon usage.

Many nations worldwide have single-payer health insurance programs. These programs generally provide some form of universal health care, which are implemented in a variety of ways. In some cases doctors may be employed, and hospitals run by, the government such as in the United Kingdom.[4] Alternatively the government may purchase healthcare services from outside organizations. This is the approach taken in Canada."