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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Can I Just Say…

posted by on September 10 at 14:08 PM

… that a country that can’t give its citizens health insurance—because that’d be socialism—but is busy nationalizing its fucking real estate market is totally, totally backwards.

(Yeah, yeah—Fannie and Freddie weren’t entirely private companies before, you free-market fundamentalists were right all along, blah fucking blah. The cold, sad facts: We have failed to socialize medicine, which every other reasonably decent country in the world did a long time ago. And now we’re socializing the real estate market, just in time for its collapse. No matter how you parse the failure—it is pathetic.)

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This isn't a great time for america.

McCain is going to win, and our economy is a joke.

Posted by Andrew | September 10, 2008 2:11 PM

yay brendan! i love seeing a slogger who doesn't think socialism is a bad word. (looking at you mudede)

Posted by bo | September 10, 2008 2:12 PM

I don't really care. I have awesome health insurance, and I like being able to see the doctor when I really need to.

Posted by What? Fuck you guys. | September 10, 2008 2:14 PM
4, great point...i guess, the american dream is to have a house and a fence and all it is our government's priority...and health care...well, only weak people need yes. healthcare nah.

Posted by uhmm | September 10, 2008 2:14 PM

There's more money to be made by Those Who Really Matter by bailing out the real estate market than there is by providing universal health care, silly rabbit.

Posted by Tiktok | September 10, 2008 2:16 PM

There's a saying for what we do here in Amurrica. We privatize the profits and socialize the losses. Nouriel Roubini, my favorite hairy economist, calls it "socialism for the rich, the well-connected, and Wall Street."

So if health care ever starts being a net money-loser, it will get socialized in a heartbeat.

Posted by tomasyalba | September 10, 2008 2:19 PM

Here, here!

Posted by Max | September 10, 2008 2:19 PM

It's worse than that...if the real estate market was the thing being nationalized, there would at least be an asset the taxpayer would hold.

What is actually being socialized are the LOSSES that these assholes racked up. You, me and every other tax payer are getting stuck with the tab--I'm sure hoping the execs that ran Freddy and Fannie go from the board room to testifying in front of a grand jury.

Posted by Westside forever | September 10, 2008 2:23 PM

So-called "free-market fundamentalists" are full of shite.

There's never EVER been such a thing as a completely "free" market system in place in this country.

"Free-market" enterprises are only free from government influence/interference WHEN THEY'RE MAKING MONEY FOR INVESTORS. But the second any market-driven enterprise starts LOSING MONEY, the investors start DEMANDING the government step in to protect their investments; it's an American Tradition that goes back at least to the days of the Robber Baron railroads, if not earlier.

If the free-market were truly free, debacles like the Teapot Dome Scandal of the 1920's, the S&L Crisis of the 1980's, and the current situation with Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac would never have occurred, and taxpayers wouldn't have been put in the position of bailing them out, because the enterprises involved would have been allowed to die "by the market", just as they lived by it.

Posted by COMTE | September 10, 2008 2:24 PM

@1 Whoa buddy, how many threads have you posted some negative, defeatist comment on today? Take a deep breath, maybe pop an antidepressant, and chill the fuck out. If you want to concede the election to McCain today, fine, but keep it to your depressing self.

Posted by Hernandez | September 10, 2008 2:28 PM

My god @6, you might be onto something profound.

I'm fairly certain there will come a time- not far from now considering America's growing health problems due to diet/obesity and pollution/stress levels- when insurance companies will hit that threshold where the cost of insuring people will outgrow the prices they could conceivably demand without having every major business and middle/lower class citizen dropping health insurance en mass.

They will either have to continue to provide health insurance at a rate that does not produce a profit or increase it to the point where they lose their customer base- both of which will result in plummeting stock prices and the eventual "American Socialism" taking hold and finally providing healthcare through government.

So here's the plan my friends: get as fat and unhealthy as you can- every last one of you. Lets speed up the process!

Posted by Johnny Liverwerst | September 10, 2008 2:29 PM

Privatize the profits. Socialize the losses. That's the American Way. It's the Mexican way too lately, so maybe it's the North American way.

Posted by kinaidos | September 10, 2008 2:30 PM

Even as an evil neo-liberal who opposes both the socializtion of health risk and mortgage default risk, I couldn't agree more. The ethical argument for socializing health risk is a hell of a lot stronger than the argument for socializing mortgage default risk. Could you please call up Dodd and Frank (democrats both) and tell them that their plans to use the now nationalized GSEs to offer yet more guaranteed mortgages at yet lower rates to yet less qualified buyers is not progressive?

Posted by David Wright | September 10, 2008 2:32 PM

I blame the Cold War. And the DLC. And the two party system. For the fact that Americans, in general, have no idea what neoliberalism is, let alone what kinds of alternatives there are to it.

Posted by Trevor | September 10, 2008 2:41 PM

Damn dude. That is the best quote I have read in a long, long time. I just sent this link to my parents, in futile hopes I can persuade my dad to vote for Obama.

Posted by Original Monique | September 10, 2008 2:49 PM

#3: The wait in European emergency rooms is usually a lot faster than in American emergency rooms. That awesome medical insurance won't let you cut in line. I have good medical insurance and I recently had to wait 2 months to see a specialist.

And guess who pays for that awesome medical insurance. YOU DO. How much more would you be making a year without it? $20k? $30k? Paying for socialized medicine would cost a lot less. ANYWAY, under Obama's plan anyway, it's not required that you take government insurance.

The only reason someone with good medical insurance doesn't want socialized medicine is because they like to see people suffer if they're born poor (and often black).

Posted by jrrrl | September 10, 2008 2:50 PM

@16, good thing you don't live in Canada. In America's Hat, some specialists are so overworked they've resorted to picking patients names at random -- they treat them and ignore the others. There's not even a line you can wait in.

Posted by joykiller | September 10, 2008 3:01 PM

I have great medical insurance too. Too bad my awesome GP just converted to "concierge medicine" because the demands of the insurance companies meant she couldn't provide the quality of care she wanted. Also too bad that I also recently had to wait just over two months to see a specialist.

The health industry isn't just broken from the patient side, it's broken from the doctor side as well.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 10, 2008 3:07 PM

Why should the American government subsidize home ownership in the first place? You can track everything wrong with the credit quality problem and with the mortgage markets to the the government's love affair with people owning homes.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 10, 2008 3:08 PM


It's so politicians can pretend they're providing for people while cloaking the program in the mantle of personal responsibility. The French government, as one example, with its overweening welfare state, leaves it entirely up to individuals to come up with the funds to buy a home.

Posted by keshmeshi | September 10, 2008 5:11 PM

You CAN say it - and you'd be right!

...and Harry and Louise can go fuck themselves and the insurance companies that funded them.

Posted by Mr. X | September 10, 2008 9:15 PM

Enjoy debt.

Cause you just got another $10,000 deeper in it thanks to Bush/McCain.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 10, 2008 11:15 PM

oh, joykiller, the reality is Canadians live - by WHO statistics - on average 8-10 years longer than Americans thanks to nationalized health care.

Except for the top 0.5 percent - they only live the same amount.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 10, 2008 11:21 PM

Will @ 23:

You can look up WHO country data
here. You will find that Canadian life expectancy is 3 years higher than US, not anywhere near 8-10.

Posted by David Wright | September 11, 2008 1:46 AM

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