For you Bernie people

THERE ARE Bernie people, past or present, who read The Moon on occasion. One is my second ex-wife, an otherwise intelligent woman. Another is a Louisiana lady who used to work in Honduras, also an otherwise intelligent woman.

I know this from the 2016 presidential election. Perhaps both have changed their tunes. Let us pray so. But as Bernie is riding high now in the Democrat Party nominee-selection process, it is clear there are hordes of Bernie people in the United States.

To quote President Trump: Sad.

Another Moon reader, a Cuban immigrant to the United States who now lives on the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende, tells me he will vote for whomever the Democrat Party nominates because Trump has to be defeated.

And if Ole Bernie, a geriatric socialist, is the Democrat candidate?

Dear me!

Here are two interesting and brief videos from the brilliant economist and Nobel Prize* winner Milton Friedman. He addresses the issues of socialism/collectivism, things dear to the heart of Bernie and his fanatical lemmings.

The videos were made in the 1970s, so when Friedman refers to Russia, it’s the former Soviet Union he’s talking about, not the Russia of today.

* This was when the Nobel Prize meant something, unlike now when it’s handed out to people like Barry Obama (Peace!) and Bob Dylan (Literature!). One must cringe.

38 thoughts on “For you Bernie people

  1. I just had a similar conversation with a Bernie supporter down here on the coast. We were discussing Bernie’s Medicare for All proposal, and I suggested I would not mind if the federal giovernment offered a state-run option for citizens (even though I doubt it can be found amongst the enumerated powers of the Constitution) as long as the option would rely on the premiums paid in and not be subsidized by any tax dollars. I am not certain which part of my hypothetical triggered the following outburst, but, after being called two over-used swear words of the left, I was informed everyone wanted Medicare for All. I responded: “I don’t.” And then the truth came forth (just as Milton predicted): “You will be forced to be.”

    I just finished watching Ken Burns’s Vietnam War series. His thesis is that the Vietnam war divided Americans into two permanent camps — and we still have that division. I agree in part. But the division between Americans on what the country should be goes all the way back to the 1800 election when the rift between the Hamiltonians and the Jeffersonians clearly showed itself.

    The problem is that the social rift cannot be resolved with the art of politics — though Clay certainly tried until the two sides could not stand living with one another resulting in the civil war (discussed brilliantly by another great series by Ken Burns). We are not yet to a civil war mentality, but we have certainly reached the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions stage.

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    1. Señor Cotton: Your voluntary interactions with ill-tempered Bernie supporters mystifies me, especially your trying to reason with them.

      We watched the Burns series on the Vietnam War a few months ago on Netflix. It was superb.

      As for the United States not having reached a civil war mentality, I think quite a few have.

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  2. Two great videos, Felipe! Along these same lines, although with a little different theme, is an older book that I just picked up in a second-hand store. “Culture Warrior,” written by Bill O”Reilly. In it, O’Reilly opines that this rift is not between liberal and conservative, but between traditionalists and progressives. There being both kinds in each party. The book was written fourteen years ago, but starts out by the inauguration speech given by the newly elected president of the 2020 election! It is almost verbatim to all of the 2020 Democrat presidential campaigns, particularly Bernie’s. Milton Friedman’s assessment is right on.

    Pablo Ladrillo

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    1. Pablo: O’Reilly is sharp. The only one of his many books that I have read is the relatively recent one about Trump. It was very good. As for “`progressives” being in the GOP, if one is using the current definition, I imagine you’d have to use a magnifying glass to find one. And the “progressives” in the Democrat Party now are anything but. They are regressive.

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  3. Jonas: I don’t know about anybody else, but I happily cash my SS check every month. Also my stock dividend checks and my IRA payments. All made possible by the U.S. having a capitalistic system. Having a job of my choosing, all those years was due to the capitalistic system. I retired last year after working 69 years. If you check one of those graphs that show how much money you will have after so many years of investing small amounts every week, I figure the government has used my money for long enough (although sometimes not wisely), so they’re far ahead of the game, even after paying my small check. I’ve also outlived the actuarial tables of my annuities, so the insurance companies have lost their bet on my early demise. I had family in East Germany who in 1945 thought the Soviets “wouldn’t be so bad”. Other family members thought otherwise and headed for West Germany at the war’s end. In the family, which group do you think fared the best? Capitalist or Socialist/Communist? Bernie is blowing smoke and mirrors if he thinks socialism is better in any way.

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  4. Dear Pablo, I was born in post-war Denmark. My father was an engineer for an American oil company (Tidewater) and we relocated for three years to the U.S. when I was beginning my last year of high school. Through happenstance I stayed when the rest returned. All of my relatives (except kids and grandkids) live in Denmark and regardless what you may read, are quite content with the Danish economic system. All received good educations, held steady jobs their whole working lives as do their children and grandchildren. They have just as much freedom as I enjoy in the U.S. And they also enjoy a far superior health system. I can no longer afford private health insurance in the U.S. Medicare is being threatened by the Republicans. The only thing that keeps my wife and I in the U.S. are our children and grandchildren, but it looks like we will have to choose being close to them or moving back to the old country for healthcare. Or maybe Mexico, if what we read is true about the affordability of care there!

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      1. Felipe, how do you describe huge cuts in Medicare spending? I checked out the WH’s webpage and nary a mention of the cuts to Medicare in articles on his budget proposal.

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        1. Jonas, P.S.: Neither of us know the intricate details of the budget item for Medicare, but I would guess that Trump’s aim is to reduce financial bloat and waste in the program. It’s a longtime government program, so we know there is loads of that. Have faith. He always does the right thing.

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  5. Felipe: Progressives in the GOP? I would put John McCain in that category, as well as the Republican politicians from Alaska, Minnesota, Arizona, and Vermont, I think. I’d also put the former presidents Bush in that category just from their past actions here in Arizona. And also I do think that some local Democrats could be labeled “traditionalist,” but certainly not any on a national scale. Their “vision” of America is so far out of sync with the rest of the country, it’s frightening. I agree — they and their policies are truly “regressive.”

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  6. Jonas: I know very little about life in Denmark, but if folks are happy with their way of life there, it’s fine with me. Is it truly a socialist country? As far as your saying the Republicans are threatening Medicare, wasn’t it Obama and his “Obamacare” that threatened to destroy Medicare? And if Bernie enacts his “free healthcare for the world,” thanks to open borders, won’t that pretty much also destroy Medicare as we know it, as well as many other social programs that will be bankrupted?

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  7. I don’t know if I’ll be voting for Bernie Sanders. I certainly won’t be voting for anyone who thinks it’s OK for people in this country to die on the sidewalk for lack of basic medical care.

    As far as Friedman goes, he’s known as the father of monetary policy — the idea that the economy can be managed by having the central bank control the money supply and interest rates. After 50 or so years of trying, even central bankers are coming to believe that there is little or no connection between monetary policy and the level of economic activity.

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    1. Creigh: I sure would not vote for Bernie, and I sure would not vote for someone who thinks it’s okay to die on the sidewalk for lack of medical care. Good grief! Thank God we’ve got the Trump Option, far better than the Bern and who would not want anyone to die on the sidewalk for lack of medical care.

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  8. Scandinavian socialism depends upon North Sea oil income. Otherwise, it is just Cuba in the north. Social welfare states based on oil income eventually out spend their revenue. Saudi Arabia is at that tipping point.

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  9. Creigh: How many people die on the sidewalk for lack of basic medical care? Every place in the U.S. that I’ve lived had hospitals that would admit anyone seeking help, whether they could pay or not. Many people from south of the border take advantage of this system, forcing some border hospitals to close their doors permanently. So, if someone dies on the sidewalk, it surely wasn’t the government’s fault.

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    1. Hospitals by law must treat anyone seeking help. But they only treat the acute symptoms and discharge the patient. People with chronic conditions like diabetes are stabilized and discharged with no follow-up. Sometimes they are back soon, sometimes they die. This also happens with mental health cases. Poor people have statistically shorter lifespans; that is, poverty is a statistically significant health issue. People without health insurance have statistically shorter lifespans.

      It’s not an issue of whose fault this is, it’s a matter of what we do about it as public policy. Other countries manage to cover all citizens at a much lower cost than the US. I see no reason why we can’t also, except that certain people like things the way they are.

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      1. Creigh: I imagine a very small percentage of Americans like their healthcare system the way it is. It’s one of the worst in the world, cost-wise, efficiency-wise. There is a solution somewhere. I don’t think government takeover of healthcare is that solution. Government, especially over time, runs things badly. The Social Security system is a good example. It wastes money. Donald Trump is eligible to receive SS, which is ridiculous. Means testing is needed, among other things. Fraud is rampant in the Medicare system. What is the solution? I do not know, but there must be one.

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  10. Felipe: Well, it must be Trump’s fault. That’s all I hear on TV these days, so it must be true! I do agree that as a policy, something must be done. For instance, last year my wife and I were going to be in Mexico for a couple of months. One medicine she needed was going to run out before we returned home. I went to buy another supply at the pharmacy. The insurance company refused to cover the purchase, stating that she already had an almost one month’s supply. So I said OK, I’ll pay for it out of pocket. How much will it be? Six hundred bucks!?? With insurance, it’s “only” about a hundred bucks. When we got to Mexico City, she went to a pharmacy and bought the same medicine, made in the USA by the same company, only the directions were in Spanish. Price? The equivalent of NINETEEN U.S. dollars! And we were told that we overpaid. If we had gone to another pharmacy, we could have bought it cheaper! So why isn’t Congress investigating that, rather than quibbling for three years over some phony impeachment? Come on, Nancy Pelosi, and Dems, get your priorities straight!

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      1. I suspect that the people of the U.S. through the excessive cost of prescription drugs pay the bulk of the expense of research and development of drugs. Also, there is the problem of legal liability. All day, the television runs ads for personal injury lawyers. They are seeking people to sue the drug companies. The judgments must be huge. That money must come from somewhere.

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    1. Bernie Sanders has literally accompanied busloads of old people from Vermont to Canada to buy cheaper drugs. He has introduced legislation to allow legal importation, which has not yet gotten a vote, and will over Mitch McConnell’s dead body. Representatives from both parties voted to prevent Medicare from competitive bidding on drugs. Why? Some people (drug companies and the politicians they have bought) like things the way they are.

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      1. “introduced a bill to allow for legal importation.” Why do you suppose THAT wasn’t in Trump’s so-called free trade deal?

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  11. Okey-dokey, señor, you’re on a roll here.

    Every issue herein gets to the meat of some important issue we all face throughout our lives. I am sure I detect some actual compassion and reasoning among your commenters. I am just about almost sure they are not all of the same politics. Here is the hope. We just have to remember to think through our issues and learn to adjust so that we get the best possible results for the most of us.

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  12. Felipe: I agree with Robert Gill on the TV ads. You’ve been missing out on all the fun for the past 20 years! Here in my part of the country, it seems that half the TV ads are from pharmaceutical companies trying to get folks to tell their doctors about all the great prescription drugs available that can cure just about whatever ails you. The other half of the ads shown are for lawyers who want to sue these self-same drug companies for problems caused by these drugs. I’m sure the costs for both types of ads (and lawsuits), add immeasurably to the cost of the drugs in the U.S.. Opponents of regulations curbing these types of ads, as well as lowering the overall cost of drugs, say that “research and development” by the drug companies would cease. Yeah, right! I say that in the hopes of finding the newest (and most profitable) drug to market, R&D will continue unabated, if not increase.

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