Comment Of The Day: “The Mark Of A Totalitarian: Michael Moore’s ‘Replacement’ For The Second Amendment”

I assumed Michael Moore’s epic idiocy in the form of a “new amendment” would provoke some lively responses. Among the liveliest was this Comment of the Day from one of longest running active commenter (and one of few I’ve had the pleasure to meet face-to-face, Tim LeVier.

Tim makes the timely observation that Moore doesn’t understand what a “right” is in American tradition, and indeed there’s a lot of that going around. Part of the Left’s fury over not only the SCOTUS opinion reaffirming the Second Amendment but its long-overdue erasure of the imaginary “right to abortion.” Numerous ideological scholars are now attacking the Founders and their Constitution as archaic because they didn’t understand the more expansive concept of “rights” favored by progressives. They want recognition of a right to make a living wage, a right to have a home, a right to have enough food, and so on, ad infinitem. That inflated concept of “rights” is the predominant one in socialist and communist societies. They don’t work, you know. Usually the nations gulled into either system fail spectacularly. However, all those “rights” sound great in theory: the problem is that all require an efficient, trustworthy government that won’t abuse the almost limitless power maintaining such a society requires. Isn’t there an old saying about that? I seem to remember one.

The first stirrings of serious socialist aspirations in high places emanated from none other than President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who always had a dangerous measure of dictatorial aspirations in his soul. In his famous Four Freedoms speech, he endorsed loose talk about “Freedom from Fear” and “Freedom from Want” to accompany the basic First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom the worship. “Freedom from Fear” sums up Moore’s insidious “28th Amendment” and “Freedom from Want” is an open invitation to the nanny state., or worse. FDR was pandering when he launched this irresponsible rhetoric, at a time when poverty was rampant, there was an unhealthy and growing popular attachment to Communism, and when he was also rallying support for a war against Nazi Germany. Calling these universal freedoms that all people possess—in other words, rights— was metaphorically playing with dynamite that could blow up democracy.

It still is.

Here is Tim LeVier’s Comment of the Day on the post, “The Mark Of A Totalitarian: Michael Moore’s “Replacement” For The Second Amendment.”

***

Too bad he doesn’t understand what a “right” is. You have a right to exist and create safe conditions for yourself, but you do not have a “right” to protection. If we had a “right to protection”, the Uvalde police officers would be on death row at this moment. No. Police a.k.a. the government, is for maintaining the peace if possible, but restoring peace and cleaning up after tragedy is more correct to their mission.

To that end, Moore’s amendment falls short in only repealing the 2nd amendment. To be effective, it needs to also repeal the 3rd, 4th, and 6th amendments. Why the 3rd you ask? Well, we can’t have gunsmiths and people with the knowledge to create weapons go un-surveilled. We’ll have to station stooges and cameras in the homes of those most likely to create weapons to ensure they don’t.

This whole thing is sprawling out of the mantra of “healthcare is a right”, to which the opposition correctly points out that healthcare is a service and the service of another person is not something that can be a right of yours. Those proponents will argue that they meant “health insurance is a right”, but again, service of another. To which, I actually agree with their motivations. To get the cheapest prices in healthcare, one needs to create the largest pool of participants as possible. Making the service of healthcare a government concern much the way we do with streets and infrastructure would, if nothing else, be a wash from a cost perspective (at least according to my finances). I pay as much for health insurance and service each year as I do taxes, so if you say my taxes will double – what would I care?

So then we say “well, if we kill private insurance, that’s going to put a ton of people out of work.” Yes. Yes it is. You know what? This is probably a great time to do it. We’re a nation in a transition at the moment. We have staffing shortages because a ton of people figured out how to be financially free by creating a social media platform and there are a ton of kids coming of age who will never apply for a job in the first place. So if our private health insurance people can’t swing to a different line of insurance, we can sure use them in some of the trades and service industry. Will they make less money? Sure, but they won’t have to pay as much for health insurance either, so it might actually just be a win-win.

Ho boy. I forgot, the reason I started down this tangent of “Healthcare is a right”. Let’s say it’s true. Really, literally. You have a right to healthcare. That’s actually a good amendment. *STAY WITH ME HERE*. I’m not saying the service of healthcare is a right the way our lefty friends are saying it. What I’m saying is, that you, as an individual, should have the recognized right to try any medicine, any procedure that you think will improve your condition. This would drastically reduce government regulations and restrictions in the healthcare space. If you want to use an unlicensed doctor or try an experimental drug for an off-label use, that should be your right. Again, I’m not saying you have a right to have that all paid for you, but it should be available to you.

11 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “The Mark Of A Totalitarian: Michael Moore’s ‘Replacement’ For The Second Amendment”

  1. Tim, this was an excellent comment and worthy of CotD status. In addition, I pretty much agree with everything you wrote there. Well done.

  2. Tim,

    I felt your comments were valid and well-presented except for your nationalization and deregulation of healthcare proposal.

    The nationalization part of the proposal would be a disaster from my perspective. It will not usher in quality healthcare for all at no additional cost. Nationalized, socialized, or “Free Healthcare” always comes with rationing. To support my assertion, look at other nationalized healthcare systems around the globe. Alternatively, look at the VA system here. This 100% government-provided healthcare system has repeatedly come under fire for timeliness and quality of care issues.

    Currently, all health insurance coverage is not created equal. There are varying deductibles, co-pays, and premium costs. Nationalization will not result in everyone receiving their same current level of healthcare at a net no-cost increase in their healthcare and tax expenses.

    Depending on the year, approximately 40 to 60 percent of households pay no income tax, but they and/or their employer may be paying for health insurance coverage. Your proposal would require politicians to levy an income tax on a portion of the electorate not paying this tax. I don’t think many politicians would have the guts to do that.

    To truly break even, all the companies and governments currently paying for health insurance for their employees would need to cut their prices or taxes. It is impossible to know which companies would cut their prices. Regarding governments cutting taxes, right.

    Obama Care was sold partly on saving everyone money and everyone buying health insurance. After becoming law, the insurance purchase mandate was removed. The only ones saving money under Obama Care are the ones getting government subsidies. Everyone else ended up paying more in insurance costs and taxes. I can think of no government-provided system or service which is not fraught with waste, malfeasance, and political chicanery. I can’t imagine a nationalized healthcare system would be any different.

    Regarding the deregulation of healthcare, it is not going to happen. To deregulate healthcare would require the FDA, CDC, and other agencies to relinquish control and possibly excess/fire some employees. This will only occur after simultaneously hell freezing over, pigs flying, chickens sprouting teeth, and finding a living and honest politician in DC.

    • All true, thanks for the reply. I’ll address your last point first.

      Deregulation would be forced. They won’t relinquish control, but if an amendment recognized my right to make my medical decisions, my right to try, then a lot of government regulations would be challenged in court and struck down. It would reign in the excesses of government public health. (In theory at least.) It might also open the door to a proper finding of a right to an abortion (I’m okay with that, though I whole-heartedly agree that the Dobbs decision was a correct opinion that overturned RvW – but from a legal standpoint. The effects of that opinion are what they are, and to me, a new undesirable status-quo. (Look at me off on another tangent…I apologize profusely.)

      On the rationing, quality, etc. – all true, but I wonder if those problems aren’t insurmountable. Along with deregulation, let’s lower the standards for doctors and cap liability. One of the great miscarriages of our nation at the moment is that we don’t clearly articulate the value of a life. So when two cops kill two different people under similar circumstances, the judgements can vary widely from $100k to $36M. (I made up those numbers, but you get the idea.) We can stabilize liability insurance and expected outcomes if we simply put a value on life. Let’s start at $500k. No less, no more. (Applicable only to negligence / malfeasance / 2nd order responsibility to employer, etc.)

      The bigger problem I see with a transition to Gov’t Healthcare is all of the private facilities and investment that have already been made. It’s too insurmountable to just change in 1 day from system x to system y. It will require a hybrid transition like every 5 years the Medicare age goes down a year. Or big hospital systems pay their federal taxes by relinquishing a % of ownership to government each year. Or, my favorite that I’ve spouted here time and again, a 3 tiered healthcare system.

      Tier 1 – Mental Health services – 100% government funded.
      Tier 2 – Primary Care services – 100% cash based, no insurance accepted. Annual check-up, bloodwork, etc.
      Tier 3 – Advanced Care services – Private Insurance for long term disease and major medical.

      Anyway, I fully agree with you and don’t think there’s a chance in hell of anything changing in this country, which is fine. But we can continue to talk it out and hypothesize on potential solutions and maybe one day someone will strike a golden opportunity.

        • Honestly, I’d love to have an informed conversation with you and anyone about the VA, medicare, and all of this – but I must admit, I’m steering this conversation from an emotional / gut check perspective because I’m not educated on the matter nor am I in the industry. All I have are hearsay recollections of article headlines and anecdotes. The VA struggled with construction of the giant medical facility in Aurora Colorado. Medicare faces $8B in fraud each year. But what have the private carriers (hospitals and insurance companies) faced? Do they stop fraud? Do they ration medical interventions? The #1 concern people seem to have with Gov’t healthcare is rationing. Do we think private insurance doesn’t ration it by denying coverage? Then people go and pay for it out of pocket anyway or they just don’t get treatment. All of the things we are concerned about happening under Gov’t is knowing all the problems and calling it waste – but we seem fine not knowing that those same problems exist with private carriers and they’re still able to report healthy profits. (Healthy for the shareholders.)

          So – I don’t know. I think I’m just trying to be a “bellwether” in my comments to indicate the mood of those who know a little but nothing in great detail to advocate one way or the other. Just, that if you gave me an option to vote today, here’s what I think. Which means – anyone – feel free to reply with your favorite information to swing my opinion back the way you’d like to see it with your most convincing arguments. Keep in mind that I’m best swayed with data that looks at both sides and appears fair. Though, I’ll take whatever you have to offer.

      • Tim,

        Thanks for your thoughtful reply. We share the opinion that probably nothing will change but talking about it may help. Where we may differ is in our approach. To understand my philosophy toward politics in general I would characterize myself as a devout constitutionalist and capitalist. I believe capitalism and the marketplace can solve problems better than governments and lobbyists. I also acknowledge that the marketplace can be downright cruel and is not always fair to all individuals.

        Our healthcare system is a dysfunctional mess. Under our current system, the quality of care and cost of care are not linked. Doctors are rewarded for the number of patients they see not the quality of care they deliver. Individuals don’t purchase healthcare they purchase insurance and the insurance pays for the healthcare.

        When making a purchase, individuals ask how much it costs and what do I get. That doesn’t happen in our healthcare system. When ordering tests, procedures, or medications neither the patient nor doctor know for certain what the costs are. Making matters worse government regulations limit insurance companies’ profit margins. Therefore it benefits insurance company profits if healthcare costs increase. Which results in increased customer premiums. Assuming a 10% profit margin for argument’s sake. Basic math shows that 10% of a $100 premium is less than 10% of a $1,000 premium. Government regulations and restrictions foster reduced competition in the insurance markets. In many markets insurance companies have near monopolies putting consumers at a disadvantage. Governmental regulation of the industry fosters these monopolies. Most insurance is regulated by the states. Each state requires registration, differing requirements, and filings. All of this restricts the marketplace by providing barriers to entry, increasing overhead costs, and reducing competition.

        Under the current system hospitals and insurance companies make out and the taxpayers and consumers get screwed.

        Historically healthcare and insurance costs continually go up yet uncovered procedures such as Lasik eye surgery, costs have dropped over time. This shows the efficiency of the market.
        I have tried to provide some data as you requested from another commenter.

        Hospitals and Insurance companies cooking the books

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/05/08/the-great-american-hospital-pricing-scam-exposed-we-now-know-why-healthcare-costs-are-so-artificially-high/?sh=484031663bff

        Good overview of healthcare statistics
        https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/u-s-spending-healthcare-changed-time/#Contribution%20to%20change%20in%20total%20national%20health%20expenditures,%20from%202019-2020,%20by%20spending%20category

        Market-based healthcare example
        https://americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org/lasik-isnt-as-expensive-as-you-might-think/
        Cash-only doctors abandon the insurance system
        https://money.cnn.com/2013/06/11/news/economy/cash-only-doctors/
        America is significantly outperforming Canada in surgery wait times
        https://fee.org/articles/america-outperforms-canada-in-surgery-wait-times-and-its-not-even-close/

        True change to the healthcare system for the benefit of consumers requires a quantum shift in how healthcare is paid for and how it is administered. The consumer and healthcare professionals need to drive the decisions with insurance companies and the government playing very minor roles. The problem is there is too much money to be made by insurance companies, hospitals, politicians, and lobbyists for this to happen. As you suggest laws need to be enacted to force this change. Sadly, incumbent politicians prevent change from happening. The electorate needs to stop electing the same people who benefit from the status quo.

  3. Thanks all. It was meandering at best. I appreciate the love, but please do challenge assertions as appropriate. I don’t disagree with Tom P above, but I’m also becoming more ambivalent about it day by day….I’ll do a proper response there.

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