President Trump will stop subsidizing insurance companies – i.e. stop the Treasury from making ‘cost sharing reductions’ (CSRs) that allow the health insurers to reduce premium and deductible costs required to slow down the capsizing of the ACA (aka Obamacare). The CSRs were instituted by Obama’s executive order in 2011 as one of several hastily cobbled together band aids after the ACA predictably started diving for the mud. The problem was that the CSRs are not constitutional, therefore not legal, as subsequently confirmed by a federal court. The President cannot bypass Congress’s power of the purse and start draining the Treasury with EOs at his whim. Obama appealed the ruling while the CSRs continued. Now the Dems are putting Alinsky Allegation into gear and volubly accusing Trump of violating the law which never existed. (I swear, you can’t make this stuff up.) But aided by the lamestream – e.g. NPR’s 12oct17 Weekend Edition – the national Left is screaming outrage to their mini-minded constituents and other lightly read folks, implying that the CSR payments went directly to needy consumers, and that Trump is sabotaging the critical components of the ACA (which the CSR never was), thereby he and the Republicans are the cause of ACA’s catastrophes. (See also Bob Crabb's contribution to the cacophony here.) Instead, President Trump is putting the entire issue back into Congress, which is where it still belongs. (more here)
Socialism is and always has been a sorry and sordid means to organize society, no matter how altruistic its proponents have been at the outset of every attempt ever tried. The Israeli kibbutzim have been a poster child of such attempts. After independence in 1948 the kibbutzim thrived and played an important part in the new nation’s economy. Why? Because they were heavily subsidized with other people’s money and borrowing, and their products were protected by Israel’s high tariff walls. As the world and Israel liberalized and capitalism again became the acknowledged approach to generating wealth and allocating its use, the kibbutzim came on hard times and all the weaknesses of collectivism started showing their true colors. The alternative was to start introducing privatization in profits, products, and property. The first crack was that workers could keep their own wages which represented their individual abilities and skill sets instead of putting them into the public pot to be divided equally among the kibbutzniks. Now Israel is a dynamic country that invites and promotes free enterprise, and trades with the world. Fewer than 13% of Israelis consider themselves to be leftwing, and less than 2% are kibbutzniks. (more here) While the rest of the world develops and grows by incorporating free enterprise and expanding personal liberties, the progressives of America are doing all they can to take us back to the days of failed collective autocracies with their very effective tool of co-opted public education playing at a school district near you.
[16oct17 update] Has Israel become more capitalistic while shedding socialist policies in the process? This threatened to become a comment thread on RL Crabb’s blog (here) where Bob celebrated the Israeli state-run healthcare. I threw a bit of water on that celebration which brought in Steve Frisch, our local defender and promoter of everything collectivist. After reprising Israel’s socialistic inception (which is not it dispute), Frisch ends with his piece de resistance –
Under the LIkud rule since 1977 Israel has seen the same rise in income inequality and a narrowng of its middle class, which was growing under the socilaist (sic) labor parties before the rise of the Likud. In addition Israel has one of the highest proportions of debt to revenue in the developed world…meaning they may say they are capitalists, but they sure have a ton of debt. … So although it is popular to parrot the Likud line that Israel has moved from socialism to capitalism, they have not, and their capitalist economic policies have increased debt and reduced economic opportunity. (emphasis mine)
I have no idea how such arguments support or are even relevant to his conclusion that Israel has not seen a major shift from socialism to capitalism, literally along almost every dimension of its enterprise intensive economy. The entire world has witnessed this significant migration in a very visible and prominent nation-state – here is just one report on that from Forbes. But for a real snootful on this change, just google ‘israel from socialism to capitalism’. Meanwhile our local misinformed continue their desperate fabrication of the never-ending glories of socialism.
Europe’s multi-kulti problems compound with Germans joining other EU countries now starting to realize at the grass roots level what their feel-good leadership has done. Towns that openly catered to the Islamic refugees from the Mideast and Africa wonder how they will live together with newcomers who are not joining the workforce, are putting a heavy burden on their welfare programs, degrading community safety, and have no propensity to assimilate with the culture of their new home countries – German towns filled with refugees ask, ‘Who is integrating whom?’. And Austria’s recent election brought two populist parties with anti-immigrant agendas into power and prominence, and will give that country its youngest chancellor, the 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz. In spite of the suppressed news about Europe’s experience with the masses of migrants they have admitted, all of them are beginning to rethink what their uncritically welcoming stance will have on their own citizens and culture. To the extent that our lamestream permits, Americans should pay close attention to what’s happening over there as we debate our own immigration and border control policies. (more here and here) Whoulda thought?