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March 13, 2009

Socialism vs. freedom

Terri C. Hayes (3/8, Letters) says it's OK to call her a socialist. OK, Terri, you are a socialist. Terri wants the "freedom" for all Americans to have government-run health care and other government programs. Terri, freedom is the right to choose. There is no freedom in the government providing a single choice.

Socialism gives freedom to the government. Democracy gives freedom to the people. Be careful in choosing how you wish to be labeled. The two are not interchangeable and cannot intermingle. One is worth fighting for, and the other is not.

The two are opposites and always will be. One is a win for the people, the other a win for the government. Unfortunately, there is a growing number of people in our country like Terri who are not students of democracy or the great teachers of our past. They accept socialism as a solution.

Abraham Lincoln warned, "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

Terri, do not confuse freedom for the government with freedom for the people. Freedom is easy to give up. It's getting it back that costs lives.

Brad Seitter
Overland Park



You oversimplify socialism in relation to America. We are not a democracy, but a republic. We do not make all the decisions, people we elect do. Also, socialism has many forms and all should not be put into one to be accurate enough. You can mix socialism in this republic in allowing governmental healthcare which will still allow for private practice (for persons like yourself). Take it or leave it, this is far from black and white.

Pub 17

Engineer, on this one you're not only dead wrong but inexcusably dead wrong. Spend three minutes with the Google and you'll discover that the U.S. spends one-third to one-half more of its GDP on health care than any other industrialized nation, yet we have lower life expectancy in this country than those same countries.

If you haven't looked, please don't theorize.


Pub 17
If we are talking about abundant places for and sources of quality care for serious conditions I don't think that, in general, anyplace in the world can surpass the US. If we are talking about statistics, there are a lot of things besides the quality of the health care that affect them. One thing I don't believe is that government health care will be less expensive overall. I learned early in life that if someone told me he was going to supply more of something, of a higher quality, at a lower cost, there had to be a catch. In the government health care systems I have read about the catch is the rationing of expensive procedures. If you don’t do heart surgery on an eighty year old or dialysis on a 75 year old it doesn’t bother your statistics much but it does write them off.

Pub 17

Talk to 'em like they're adults and they prove ya wrong every time.

Roger, have a nine-year-old explain what I just said, which is nothing like what you pretend I said. You really need to remember that even though you feel better, you can't stop taking your meds.

Roger Lambert

"then the obvious conclusion is that long lines and restricted choice somehow result in good health. OR, conservatives are wrong in their views."

I take it all back. You are serious. And a dumb dumb. Causation and correlation type thing. Doctors TREAT health issues. They do not CAUSE them.

And, as previously stated, we will see shortly how well a socialized medical system deals with a fat arsed American population.

Pub 17

It's not sarcasm, Roger Lambert. It's that in the face of the religious repetition by the members of the loony right that the U.S. has the best health system in the world, when clearly it does not and has not had such for several decades, SOMEBODY has to point it out:
If national health involves long lines and restrictions on choice, as conservatives claim, and those living in those systems live longer, which they do, then the obvious conclusion is that long lines and restricted choice somehow result in good health. OR, conservatives are wrong in their views.

Now, you're exactly right about one thing, and you didn't even know it. The European-style systems are very, very, VERY heavy on wellness, prevention, and active promotion of healthier life styles. That is absolutely key to not only increasing longevity but keeping their health costs much lower than ours. Another side benefit you'd probably like is that malpractice suits are far less common: the prime factor usually cited isn't that the governments forbid them, but that there isn't the adversarial relationship between doctor and patient fostered by the American system.

Why insist on trying to patch our ridiculous system, Roger, in the name of ideology? Why not just copy one of the European systems outright? What we know is that if we do that we'll get longer lives at a significantly reduced cost.

Roger Lambert

"If the "socialist" systems of Europe, Canada, and Australia really do cause long lines, then long lines bring good health. If the "socialist" systems restrict choice, then restriction of choice brings good health."

I really hope you're kidding. With Pub17, it's hard to know where the sarcasm stops and the nastiness begins.

Long lines and socialism do not improve medicine. American doctors are still the best in the world. Americans, however, might just live the least healthy lifestyle in the world (e.g., when I see Pub 17 stuffing his fat face full of Snead's a few times a week). But taking unhealthy Americans and subjecting them to long lines and rationed care is not a recipe for success. I'm thinking we're going to see this first hand, though, when Obama rams through his policies.

I admit that a few things need to change ASAP. One, Americans paying full price for drugs and everyone else in the world paying a much reduced price. Two, insured people paying a much reduced price from the uninsured for the same medical or dental service. Three, an easier way for the uninsured to get coverage outside of the horrible COBRA system. I don't see any justification for these current facts.

Pub 17

Once again--
Our health care system costs us a third to a half more than any other industrialized nations. The results are inferior: our life expectancy is significantly less than that of other industrialized nations.

If the "socialist" systems of Europe, Canada, and Australia really do cause long lines, then long lines bring good health. If the "socialist" systems restrict choice, then restriction of choice brings good health.

Or, conservatives are wrong.

In any case, BASED ON RESULTS, on what possible grounds could you argue that we should continue doing what we're doing? IT DOESN'T WORK VERY WELL.

Incidentally, my experience with socialized medicine has been very, very good. It's called the Veterans' Administration: Linwood saved my bacon TWICE.


"...the quality of care tends to go along with what test the insurer will pay for."

No, the quality of care tends to go along with what the patient will put up with. If you have a doctor who is not being candid with you - get a second opinion. If there is a test that a doctor feels might help answer some questions but insurance doesn't cover it - pay for it yourself.
The problem isn't too much private industry being involved - the problem is that insurance companies are seen as a surrogate government teet on which to suckle.
There is nothing stopping anyone from seeking out their best medical options.

Now, where we could use help is in the category of catastrophic and chronic illness. That is where the drain on the insurance companies and the citizens pocketbooks is a problem. That doesn't mean big brother needs to pay for every case of the flu - just deal with the unmanageable.

Roger Lambert

More action the KC Star forgot to cover:



"Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose - and you allow him to make war at pleasure."

Yep, old Abe was a smart fellow.


Abe also said, "whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

And, "these capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people."

And, "the shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty."

A smart guy, was old Abe.

Pub 17

solomon, if you're still in town--you're fine as long as you keep a Corolla in reserve.


mike d,

I am not for gov't provided coverage but I pay a lot more for insurance than I do for phone and cable. The problem is that the system as it is has flaws that favor the insurance companies. the quality of care tends to go along with what test the insurer will pay for. The cost of meds is controlled by the insurers and the pharm companies. If this was baseball Congress would call it collusion. Since these companies pour millions into the pockets of politicians its called free enterprise.

mike d

I'm still trying to figure out where all of you people go to get your medical care. In the last few years I developed a chronic condition that has required many trips to receive medical care and 99% of them have been positive. If I don't like something about a Dr. I find another one. I wonder if I will have that same luxury with socialized medicine? Is it cheap? It's cheaper than my cell phone or my satellite dish. Get your priorities straight.


hey Pub,

I'm headed to Arkansas to drive that Lincoln today. I know what you said about the harness to be true, but I've watched Topkapi about 20 times.

Pub 17

One I liked from another blog: Obama's the relief pitcher who comes into the game eight runs behind in the seventh, finishes his warmup, and there's some clown in the cheap seats already hollering he's a loser.


Forgive my backspace editing....

..."but some people don't see that its taken many years of going in a certain direction"....


Tell him how you really feel, XVII.

I get sick of this BS hubris too. All systems change and some times need a different approach before they level out. who knows what its going to take to fix the system but people who don't see it taken many years of a certain direction to get us to where we are today. The people who blame Bush don't go back far enough. The people who blame Obama are idiots, that's like blaming the period for the content of a sentence.

Pub 17

Oh, sorry, Brad, there's the buzzer, times up. See, Brad, our "free market" health care system doesn't work very well. We have crappy health care that costs us at least a third more than any other civilized nation in the world's health care systemm while our citizens are less healthy and don't live as long as all those poor bastids in all those "socialist" countries. Your belief that it's better to be free to be able to choose how to defend ourselves against the common enemy, to be free to hand-carry our own postcards, and to choose which privately-owned turnpike to take to get from here to Duluth now looks just as completely whack in reference to your contention that we're so much better off having the right to choose between getting the cardiologist a new Bimmer this year and dying.

Maybe you should have stayed awake in Econ class, Brad. You would have learned that there's some things that the private sector does well and some things the public sector does well. Grow up, and turn off Rush Limbaugh.

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