Monday, August 24, 2009

Vacation, Have To Get Away

It astounds me the hoopla raised over a simple week away from the White House:
Senior White House officials have not ruled out the possibility of a town hall -- which, in Obama world, might qualify as a fun vacation activity.

That's probably not First Lady Michelle Obama's notion of the ideal vacation. For months, aides have been planning as normal a summer getaway as possible, whittling down the possible sites until they found a secluded spot on a tony island, where stars and presidents have long been able to expect privacy.
It is, in my opinion, not coincidental that the networks scheduled all these Republicans (including Joe LiebeRman) to speak this weekend, just as the video of Obama stepping off a plane in the Vineyard hit the wires.

After all, we all recall what happened the first summer that Bush took six weeks off to vacation:
But I digress...

The concern trolling on the part of the Republicans (including Joe LiebeRman) has been touching but unnecessary. After all, when Bush was running up half trillion dollar deficits during our last recall? The one that lasted nearly his entire first term? one seemed to mind. Indeed, Veep Cheney pointed out that deficits don't matter.

So long as you're running a war of aggression on a people half a world away that did nothing to harm you.

Once you actually try to help people, well, Katie bar the door!

Even a Nobel Prize-winning economist seems to think the Republicans (including Joe LiebeRman) are talking out their asses.

Others have pointed out that, just because the US government runs a postal service, private businesses are still highly competitive and highly profitable, and that is a good analogy. After all, the US government is mandated by Congress to provide affordable mail delivery to each and every address in the United States. Neither UPS nor Fedex could possibly achieve that and make a profit. They can make a profit on niches that the USPS can't really focus its resources on.

It's called limiting a bureaucracy.

But I put a different case: unions.

Some would make the claim that the government getting into the health insurance business would put private insurance out of work.


There are union workplaces, and non-union, and if anything, the non-union places seem to be more competitive once the trouble of swallowing the fall-out from union-based benefits is worked through.

After all, if a union shop gets a vacation concession, other companies will start to lose workers to those union shops that have greater goodies, until they too offer more competitive employment benefits.

Then things straighten up and fly right and non-union shops can still gouge their workers in other areas.

What unions provide is a single large entity that can negotiate with large corporations, thus balancing an equation that is woefully tilted against an individual worker.

Government ideally should be the firewall between individuals and corporations, but sadly that has been co-opted by the SCOTUS, which has ruled that corporations have the same rights as individuals, plus a few more. Among those rights is the right to free speech, and by extension, to donate to political campaigns.

The concentration of cash in a corporation's coffers makes this a slam-dunk: they will buy candidates that individuals could not possibly afford.

Except thru unions, of course.

The analogy coalesces when one realizes that any health care reform must include a governmental component whereby doctors, hospitals, and yes, insurance companies must deal with some entity with the resources that a government can bring to bear in an industry.

Just like a union can legitimately be the only organ an individual can use to address the inequities of the working world.

This is the sole legitimate function of government: to protect its citizenry.