Billionaires for Wealthcare

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby poto » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:14 pm

adamposey wrote:
poto wrote:How can you be certain that the current reform efforts are not driven by corporate lobbies? For example, I have heard that the Baucus Bill was written entirely by the healthcare lobby, and I'd say it's likely that much of the other legislation has been similarly influenced.

Also, I'm not sure if I agree that government is not bad. I view government more a as necessary evil, and on that note I am weary of expanding that necessary evil to include my healthcare.


Why do you think giving the government more power would be a good thing?


I understand where you come from on the view that any government is, to some extent, a bad thing. Historically, this is not only not true, but without precedent. Even the forms of government that we consider to be evils, or at least misguided, have made indisputable contributions to human history. The only reason we tend to disagree with the idea of governance is that it must infringe on the absolute freedom of the individual by design. If you are an anarchist, or an individualist, then this is a point of view that I understand, but can't easily agree with.

There have been periods in human history of relative anarchy. There have been periods of massive empires, and small kingdoms, and city states, and so forth... there is one thing that seems to have ALWAYS been true of human civilization: We are not individuals wholly. Even in relative anarchy societies formed, tribes formed, then small towns formed, and eventually a government. Government in some form (even by a religion) is a fact of human history and is something that has helped insured the survival of our species through massive natural disasters, climate change, and war. More recently, where there was not government there was the church. Where the church was not, there were aristocrats, and so on. This is true of all societies of which I am aware.

So, historically, there is no precedent to believe that the individual will ever experience complete freedom lest he go to the woods and seclude himself from all humanity, never to be seen or heard from again. Acknowledging that, we then have to decide "what power structure shall exist?" I say that government is a functionally good system, particularly in the last century or so, as the world becomes more Democratic Republican in nature. The real problem with OUR government is that it created a cosmopolitan society that gave birth to a brand new kind of power structure: The mega corporation. These corporations replace the functions of the church of the middle ages, in most cases, by providing us goods and services. Whereas the church at least had to pretend that it was doing so for the sake of the common good, corporations have no need to make such distinctions—Pure profit is the goal.

The mega corporation is, by design, a government and it behaves as such. This is allowed because of a popular movement in the states that REALLY culminated in the 80s (continuing until today even) that essentially shrank the size of government in many areas in favor of private enterprise. Reagan's revolution really marked the beginning of this as a movement.

In my mind the choice is not "shall I have a power structure over me?" but "What will it look like?" and I, personally, side with the power structure of our government and our society. The corporations will return us to a society just short of feudalism in nature, if we allow it. Government must be grown to take away these functions from the corporation and to end the infringing on the rights of society at large, and on the individual. That's why government needs to be larger, and more powerful.

EDIT:

I would also like to add that from the point of any economic conservative the Mega corporation is a heretical establishment. I don't personally practice economic conservatism, but if you believe in free markets you must find the mega corporation offensive for they threaten the nature of the markets, and they have shown recently that they have the power to manipulate the markets and break them if they so desire.

Point #2: the only thing that has saved our society thus far from the undo influence of existing megacorporations is that these predatory agencies are currently involved in a veritable turf war. They do not agree, and thankfully, right now they counter each other in many ways. The big pharma do not necessarily want the big Insurance industries to do well, and the hospitals don't really want either to do well, and the doctors might side with insurance sometimes, and pharma other times, and so forth.

I still propose that the legalized bribery of congress and the existence of these massive organizations of profit must be ended in order to protect our democratic republic. Let us not forget that Democracy is derived from the greek: demokratia. Which breaks down to "common people" (demos) and "kratia" (power, strength). Megacorporations are the enemy of Democracy and the will further inhibit our rights is allowed.


Just to clear things up, I'm not a total anarchist, I am a libertarian-leaning independent who dislikes both the Democrats and Republicans.

I'm also a businessman. My business is a small one consisting of myself and what I have built by my own effort. I'm not a billionaire, nor am I even a millionaire, but I do respect the rights of corporations to exist and seek profits. Making profits is not considered wrong in Buddhism. I do not share your view that corporation are evil destructive forces, although I do recognize the reality of the harm that unchecked greed and shortsighted actions can do. Completely free markets lead to slavery among other bad things, this is why we have government regulated capitalist markets here in the states. Still, there is a fine line between too little regulation and too much. Cross that line either way and harm can be done.

adamposey wrote:there is no precedent to believe that the individual will ever experience complete freedom lest he go to the woods and seclude himself from all humanity, never to be seen or heard from again.


We live in a world with no unexplored frontiers, that in itself stifles freedom and creates conflict. Previously, and throughout human history, if one found a government or religion to be too oppressive, one had only to pick up and leave for the unexplored frontier. Now there is nowhere to go. Every bit of land on earth is claimed and governed by some authority. This, I see as a major problem for our species, and one that will likely continue to cause problems and conflicts until we develop enough technology to make commercial space travel and colonization possible.

Also, I'm a bit of a hermit-type, so your argument of secluding oneself in the woods never to be heard from again is not unappealing to me. ;)
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby adamposey » Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:08 am

poto wrote:
Just to clear things up, I'm not a total anarchist, I am a libertarian-leaning independent who dislikes both the Democrats and Republicans.

I'm also a businessman. My business is a small one consisting of myself and what I have built by my own effort. I'm not a billionaire, nor am I even a millionaire, but I do respect the rights of corporations to exist and seek profits. Making profits is not considered wrong in Buddhism. I do not share your view that corporation are evil destructive forces, although I do recognize the reality of the harm that unchecked greed and shortsighted actions can do. Completely free markets lead to slavery among other bad things, this is why we have government regulated capitalist markets here in the states. Still, there is a fine line between too little regulation and too much. Cross that line either way and harm can be done.


Well, for regulation, you're right.. you can have too much or too little but that's not government. Let's be clear about what I mean when I say "the corporation." I almost exclusively use the term "megacorporation" because the problem begins when you've achieved a certain scale. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with business, let's be clear. Business has a tradition of being around as long as people have started specializing in certain trades to benefit society. That's not a problem. Nor is profit the problem.

The problem begins at the level where your BUSINESS becomes a megacorporation with annual revenues worth more than the GDP of nearly every African country combined. At that scale your business is no longer just a simple profiteering entity that creates jobs, and so on. It is a conservative entity with considerable power to sway the government and ruin lives.

I LOVE small business and I will never tell you differently. 80% of new jobs are created by small business, and the best ideas in technology are created by small businesses (which then, sadly, are purchased by massive companies like google.) Small businesses are the engine of our economy and they deserve to be respected as such. Let me show you, graphically, the power of the megacorporations when they're given preference over small corporations. I said in an earlier post that this REALLY got going under Reagan (right around 1980).

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=Un ... employment << see that spike in 1980? That was about the time that Reagan's economic agenda started. He empowered the corporations under the guise of "government is bad." and the manufacturing sector of the United States virtually disappeared overnight.

Even if "government is bad." Countries with "big government" are doing pretty well in this recession. You know which countries weren't doing so well? Countries with limited government and big corporations.






We live in a world with no unexplored frontiers, that in itself stifles freedom and creates conflict. Previously, and throughout human history, if one found a government or religion to be too oppressive, one had only to pick up and leave for the unexplored frontier. Now there is nowhere to go. Every bit of land on earth is claimed and governed by some authority. This, I see as a major problem for our species, and one that will likely continue to cause problems and conflicts until we develop enough technology to make commercial space travel and colonization possible.

Also, I'm a bit of a hermit-type, so your argument of secluding oneself in the woods never to be heard from again is not unappealing to me. ;)
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