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Author Topic: King v. Burwell or, if you Prefer, Just Rewrite the Law if You Don't Like It  (Read 12524 times)

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  • Dude
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  • Time wounds all heels -John Lennon
There are things that Government is uniquely able to do that private industry can't and won't.
Research is one area and certainly public works another.
Private companies can't sink billions into researching technology that won't pay dividends for a decade or more.
Taken to this sort of extreme government services impinge on "individual liberties" There are very very few things that everyone agrees with.
But part of taking part in a democracy is the basic agreement to abide.
This sort of hyper libertarianism is IMO basically a bit childish.
When you were a child, the world revolved around you. All that mattered was your meals and your toys and, if you were lucky, you had a galaxy of benign grown ups to bring them to you.

For the first few years of our life we?re all convinced of this simplistic worldview, until, sometime around the age of four, we start getting to grips with the idea that other people have desires and ambitions that are different to, but just as valid as, our own.

Unless, that is, you?re a libertarian.
The cult of Rand. Gimme a break.

And most basically what about the vast majority of the populace that desires a functional and active government?
That is the fact that gets the most distorted in the echo chamber. The reality is that most people do want things like a public highway system,
military, publicly funded research on and on. Basic stuff. And specifically NOT a privately owned and run highway system or military.
Most people don't mind paying taxes to fund public institutions.
And in fact people have supported the idea of government run health care. By a wide margin and it's been so since the 50's. It's a bit difficult to call these things impinging on people's rights if they want them.
Nobody in Canada seems to feel that their health care system impinges on their rights.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 01:21:36 PM by BikerDude »

Out here we are all his children


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Government cannot provide services without compelling taxes or conscripting labor. Doing so impinges on individual liberties when the activities exceed constitutional boundaries. It's neither childish nor irrational to insist everyone play by fundamental established rules. Someone (socialist, communist, nihilist, whatever) wants to change the rules? Great. Burden is on them. They can't ignore the rules. They can't reinterpret words so that "green" means "yellow." They can't point to a Gallop Poll to justify unconstitutional activities. If so many of us want an overbearing, fascistic, nanny state there is a mechanism to effect that will. I suspect it hasn't been pursued because there is not.

The sphere of activities which the public can do but the private cannot (or will not) is very small. Certainly smaller than the role designated to the federal government by the Constitution. Science got along very well on private patronage for centuries - the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, all essentially privately funded. Don't get me wrong, private funding can also be problematic. I wouldn't view a Pfizer study on viagra with much trust either.

The quote passage entirely misses the point. I'm not solipsistic. I agree everyone else's desires and ambitions are as valid as mine - shit, maybe even more so. I draw the line, however, at conceding everyone else can therefore demand that I endorse, approve, or provide for their desires and ambitions. You can ask me to help. You can persuade me your aim is worthy. But you cannot compel me by simple fiat.

Or so it used to be.


  • Dude
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The key being constitutional boundaries.
This is why we have a supreme court.
Yeah I know that's the issue.

If we want to limit ourselves to the advances possible during the renaissance then fine.
But the reality is that we have gone far beyond that and in fact the advances of science today are the result of public investment.
And they practically need to be. The horizon is very far out there and any pure research is unlikely to pay immediate dividends.
But we should be very hesitant to cede our position to other countries that are willing to pursue these sort of advances.
We have been going down that road for a while now. I suspect that the next big thing will come from India or China.
By now it's old news that the "tech boom" the internet was all built of the infrastructure that was payed for with public funding at universities.
And the point being that if we were depending on old Ma Bell to invest billions into developing the internet it just never would have happened.
If we were dependent on private investment things like the hadron large particle accelerator simply wouldn't happen.
Pure research just wouldn't be possible.

More generally the new trend toward this sort of hyper libertarianism denies even the most basic role of government and becomes IMO a bit silly. And self defeating.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 09:36:28 AM by BikerDude »

Out here we are all his children


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First of all, BikerDude, I appreciate your points on this and your engaging in the the issues intelligently.

To my opinion, when the supreme court (I've stopped capitalizing it to emphasize the magnitude of my disrespect) becomes an overtly partisan tool of a two-party political system instead of a neutral interpreter of law, it ceases to have relevance or authority. Remember, judicial review was not established in the Constitution. It's not there, go look. Judicial review, instead, dates to Marbury v. Madison - a decision by which the court unilaterally enlarged its own province. That worked well for a while. And the people abound (past tense for abide?) because it seemed to further the mechanisms and ends set forth in the Constitution.  But Just no. We simply can't abide five robed fanatics interpreting away clear and fundamental liberties and substituting their own personal/political preferences. Fuck that.

I also don't agree with the implication that public funding of science is necessary to advance past a Renaissance level of development. In fact, it wasn't. But, more to the point, public finance isn't necessary to advance even on today's impressive array of discoveries and inventions. It all defaults to opportunity cost. For every dollar of private funding dedicated to public research, there is one dollar of private funding that we have no idea how it would have been spent. Public funding only directs investment/spending to the areas of government preference. It doesn't create new money from the ether.

Also, if the tech boom was the result of government spending, then I presume the tech bubble (and its bursting) was, too. It's a zero-sum game. Better to let the market (i.e., each individual) decide where to allocate resources than a politician who - I think we can agree - is almost certainly subject to influence peddling and self-aggrandizement.


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