Tuesday, November 12

On Pragmatism


Today it seems like pragmatism is entirely out of vogue on both sides of the political spectrum.  I will admit that I think the more inflexible side of the aisle is undoubtedly the Democrats, but I think both sides are to blame to some extent.  Gerrymandering has largely been blamed for the current hyper-partisan nature of our national politics and lack of pragmatic agreement.  This though I think is completely wrong and Sean Trende makes a very good case here that is not what ails our politics.  The real issue at hand is the divide over what is true and false.  The truth it seems has become unpopular and not worth paying any attention.  Such behavior comes at a severe cost because the truth will not only set you free, but ignoring the truth will also eventually come to to haunt you. 

The ignorance of truth or just the blatant willingness to bend the truth to fit your world view I think is best displayed by refusal of leftists to admit the true nature of human beings.  A blog entry on Real Clear Science concisely sums up the madness in the beliefs of such leftists.  I think the best example of the ignorance of the truth today is seen the epic failure of Obamacare.  The President's signature legislation ignores a plethora of universal truths about human beings.  One universal truth which the left continually ignores is the relationship between human beings and economic incentive.  

This relationship is seen in many situations in life.  The example given in the aforementioned blog entry is of hiring the next door neighbor's kid to mow your lawn for $50 and offering him $25 extra to trim you hedges.  Let us then ask the question would there have been a chance that you hedges would have been trimmed without the extra reward?  Any person with a connection to reality would quickly answer no, but many on the left today would answer with a qualified yes.  Such thought is seen all throughout Obamacare such as the belief that young and healthy people will somehow pay premiums higher than the market rate to subsidize the old and the sick.  This is a fairytale but a whole political party and many intelligent pundits believe this good for young people and that they will actually take such self-defeating actions.  The belief that young and healthy people will willingly subsidize everyone else's healthcare is patently false and is explained well by Chris Conover at Forbes.  Conover explains that young and healthy people will catch the short end of the stick once the time value of money is taken into account.  This means that young people value $500 now more than they will value $500 when they are 65, thus meaning young people will be better off forgoing insurance and saving the money that they would otherwise have spent on healthcare.

The right is clearly on the right side of the truth and reality in this situation, yet they have not seize on this monopoly of the truth to be viewed as pragmatic decision makers by the voting public.  If Republicans can capture this moment they will soon enjoy comfortable majorities in both houses and a resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  If Republicans continue to use careless tactics the truth will be forgotten and the incompetence of this administration will also be forgotten.  Republicans must hold the truth high right now to ensure the disaster which socialized medicine will never be forced upon the American people and so that we can finally have truly market-oriented healthcare. 

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