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Political Capital and the Best Ways to Waste It

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The greatest strength of the Democratic Party may well be its greatest weakness. Virtually everyone seems to know this, of course, but the party leaders in recent years have not been able to process the idea. It is one thing to brag about protecting candidates' diverse ideologies no matter how unresearched or extreme they may be. It is quite another to forbid party leaders and "elders" to sit them down and explain how much damage can be done by their lack of discipline and their needless squandering of precious political capital. Elizabeth Warren, once the voice and universal authority with regard to banking and consumer protection, sounds downright foolhardy when talking about "Medicare for All." This is a subject of which she appears to know very little with respect to the political and social analytics involved.

The economics of "Medicare for All" or the government-run "Single-Payer System" are actually quite simple, that is, on paper. Many studies have shown that the system should cost far less than other forms of healthcare insurance. Left to the government bureaucracy, there would be little or no expensive competitive advertising, no billion-dollar CEO bonuses and less cheating of their patients for inordinate profit. Sounds great, doesn't it! Then why does 35-40 cents of every Medicare dollar end up as "legal" political graft? With Congress in charge, there is virtually no hope for an honest system and multiplying lobby graft by about five or six times to cover the entire U.S. population, government bankruptcy would ensue even more rapidly than under any criminal-privatization scheme that even Dick Cheney could devise. Pharmaceuticals, durable goods, oxygen, laboratory tests would still cost 3-10 times legitimately negotiated prices. And, those illicit problems pale compared to the mammoth legitimate economic problem that physicians are unfairly assigned almost every day. Even in the unlikely event that someday our Congress will act as an honest broker, what do we do about the American public's expectation that we will continue to keep elderly "dead" people alive on ventilators at the whim of concerned family members. This is not just a political and economic problem, but a legitimate moral dilemma that no one wants to tackle.

So, if Democrats do not at least have an internal "discussion" among candidates advocating adding a "Public Option" to the ACA and those advocating "Medicare for All," they are throwing millions of "dollars" in political capital right down the drain. Would voters of either party really resent a Bernie Sanders or an Elizabeth Warren if they said they still believe in "Medicare for All," but that it may be necessary to "pave the way" with a "Public Option." I think not! At least Democrats would not look like too many of their Republican colleagues who try to convince their "prey" that "ignorance is bliss" when it comes to healthcare.

Another Democratic Party "off the top of the head" issue is "free college tuition." Instead of a reasonable system of affordable student loans, let's subsidize getting drunk or stoned and flunking out of college! At least with reasonable loans, there may actually be some incentive to take college seriously. Bringing up the success of free tuition in countries in which most "high school" graduates enter trade schools and only a relatively few graduates qualify for college doesn't paint a pretty picture for a Democratic extremist candidate. It's time to either research the issues thoroughly or ask the members of the "Freedom Carcass" for advice on how to professionally ignore facts.

So, is the Democratic Party's solution for President Donald Non Compos Mentis, the one who has set out to systematically destroy relationships with our country's most valuable allies, desecrate our major treaties, obliterate healthcare, plot the genocide of Kurds, Syrians, Central and South Americans, not to mention to destroy as many of our democratic institutions as possible, including our international economy, is that solution really "Medicare for All," "Free College Tuition," and advocating the destruction of corporations instead of regulating them? Why, socialism and capitalism aren't competing ideologies for goodness sake. Capitalism is the world's greatest creator of wealth, while socialism is merely an evolving way to divide wealth. Clearly, voters in every free capitalist society have chosen various social institutions to help divide the wealth between those that have created it, between the workers and the owners of the businesses. Hatred of either "side" has no useful place in the long-term relationship between the two entities. It's merely a waste of that precious commodity, "Political Capital." It's time for us to hold our impetuous candidates, no matter how brilliant and exciting we think they are, to more rigorous standards with regard to the actual implications of their political views.

Allen Finkelstein, D.O. 10/16/19

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Dr. Allen Finkelstein, writing since 2006 under the penname “O’finky,” was born in New York, where he attended the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County as a boy. He continued his religious training in South Florida until his family, (more...)

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