The Sky is Falling – Resistance is Futile

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Chicken Little is a fable about a small animal, commonly a chicken, sometimes a hare, on whose head an acorn falls, convincing it that the sky is about to fall. It then runs round the barnyard, telling anyone who will listen, and many who won’t, about its hysterical, mistaken belief that disaster is imminent. The Rightwing National Anxiety Center gives out a Chicken Little award,

"to debunk…claims [made by those]…engaged in deliberately false, mass media-driven scare campaigns".

The center’s original aim was to "debunk" purportedly false claims made by environmentalists that we should fear something called "global warming". But it could legitimately give its award out to Dick Cheney, or today, to David Brooks for, And the Angels Rejoiced. Scarecrow has an excellent post up skewering Brooks’ latest hyperbolic fear mongering about health care reform.

Bobo is so apopletically against rational health care reform that he can’t articulate his concerns (lest he broadcast whose pocket he’s in). His Angels is snark from beginning to end. He compares Obama to Hitler, and compares corporate America to France and the Low Countries he invaded in World War Two. Kein Witz (No kidding). I’m surprised he didn’t pick World War One, instead. Then he could have compared Obama to German soldiers bayoneting Belgian babies.

Put aside how the Right would have attacked Paul Krugman for such an absurd analogy. What elicited such ahistorical intellectual vomit?

Brooks claims that Obama’s tepid reform of the highly profitable health care industry, which done badly could make it richer, will steal two trillion dollars of their money. Moreover, the lion sat down with the lamb – health care companies sat down with Obama, the people’s advocate – and he took their money – their promises to reduce costs (is that money?) – and gave them nothing in return. The nerve.

Some say these are just meaningless promises that ignore hard choices and that no one has any intention of keeping. But this is ungenerous. [But is it accurate?] At these events, the president has taken former rivals and has joined them in the holy bonds of mutual fantasy. He has taken a divided nation and has given us photo-ops to bind us and remind us of our common humanity. Business lies down with government. Management embraces labor. You call it what you will; I call it beautiful.

I call it stupid, for a million and a half New York Times dollars a year.

Health care reform is about how best to provide health services to a public underserved by them, yet paying for the most expensive health care in the world. It is about how to make each health care dollar count, how to get "value add" from each person who takes a chunk from it. It’s about how to get a citizenry and their families healthier, and our businesses more competitive. It’s not about subsidizing a player that demands his ten to thirteen figure salary for pitching hundred mile an hour fastballs when the only thing he can still throw is used bubble gum mixed with chewing tobacco.

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