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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10898/american-healthcare-fascialism/

American Healthcare Fascialism

October 23, 2009 by

Some time ago I invented the phrase “fascialism” to describe the American system of political economy. Fascialism means an economy is part fascist, part socialist. The problems of the American healthcare system are caused entirely by the fact that the government subjects the system to massive interventions, some of which are fascist in nature, while others are socialist. FULL ARTICLE

{ 49 comments }

Anonymous October 23, 2009 at 10:26 am

“………at the beginning of the 20th century, about 90% of all American hospitals were private, for-profit enterprises. State and local governments then began taking over the hospital industry. So, by the early 1990s only about 10% of all American hospitals were private, for-profit enterprises. Socialism characterizes at least 90% of all hospitals. Many other hospitals have received government subsidies, and with the subsidies come reams of regulation, making them fascist by definition”.

Granted. All of this is true. Besides, nobody twisted their arms to accept the subsidies.

My question is: Where the hell were all you guys these many decades? Why didn’t you take up this issue in the 1990s? Now, when something is being done to improve healthcare, albeit the wrong way, all I’m reading is protests and the shifting of blame. Put your money where your mouths are and come up with a solution and then PUSH THAT SOLUTION via the various avenues available to you, i.e. the media, for example. Talk is cheap and I don’t care who the authors are on this subject.

All I read on the Mises blogs, in general, are reactions. Talk is cheap. If you are really interested in making a difference in changing the direction in which this country is heading then leave your ivory towers and HIT THE STREETS!!

Mike October 23, 2009 at 10:41 am

There are many of us who have given up on winning hearts and minds that are not open to being won. Many of us are waiting out the inevitable collapse. Pardon the language, but I personally believe that only a major shitstorm is going to result in any substantial change.

Mike October 23, 2009 at 10:43 am

When that happens, then yes, it will be time to act. Nut up or shut up, if you’ve seen Zombieland :-).

matskralc October 23, 2009 at 10:52 am

What anonymous doesn’t quite seem to grasp is that the Austrian “solution” is to stop pushing solutions on people.

htran October 23, 2009 at 11:28 am

Anonymous:
“My question is: Where the hell were all you guys these many decades? Why didn’t you take up this issue in the 1990s? Now, when something is being done to improve healthcare, albeit the wrong way, all I’m reading is protests and the shifting of blame. Put your money where your mouths are and come up with a solution and then PUSH THAT SOLUTION via the various avenues available to you, i.e. the media, for example. Talk is cheap and I don’t care who the authors are on this subject.

All I read on the Mises blogs, in general, are reactions. Talk is cheap. If you are really interested in making a difference in changing the direction in which this country is heading then leave your ivory towers and HIT THE STREETS!!”

Ron Paul tried. Look at how the Republicans treated him during the debates.

Look at HuffPost or HotAir. Libertarians are verbally and intellectually assaulted by both sides.

The fact is, people who are Libertarians do not want to force their views onto others. They want people to stand on their own feet, in body and mind. The best we can do is provide information for those who seek it out, because we can’t change people when our very beliefs say people should decide for themselves.

I’m also waiting for the inevitable collapse. My consolation is that reality offers no mercy, only justice. That will have to suffice.

Mike C. October 23, 2009 at 11:51 am

“All I read on the Mises blogs, in general, are reactions. Talk is cheap. If you are really interested in making a difference in changing the direction in which this country is heading then leave your ivory towers and HIT THE STREETS!! ” ~ Anonymous

You clearly have a muddled understanding of the problem.

There are many speakers for the liberal cause today but in case you haven’t noticed they are being shunned, smeared, and shouted down by the socialist at every turn. They are ignored by the media, the politicians, and by the ill-educated people in general.

Mises — liberalism — is very much like the common sense you come back to after you have acted irrationally in your life, it is not something that can simply be forced down the throats of people who are not ready and willing to see and fix the errors causing their pain. And in fact, to attempt to force liberalism on others is a contradiction in itself, not to mention, a complete and futile waste of time.

I could advise anyone to quit urinating into the wind or beating themselves in the head with a hammer but I certainly cannot stop them permanently unless I am prepared to use force and monitor them 24/7. But that would not cure their irrational desire to keep doing so, and in fact, forcing them to stop will only hide the systems of the underlying problem and cause it to spread to others.

Most people, like water, tend to take the easiest path available to them but when these people reap what they have sown and they are ready to make sense and the hard choices again, they will find the people who are still holding the torch high and keeping the flame of reason and liberty alive.

I would also add that it is only the vestiges of reason and sense that remain within our culture that allow for even limited prosperity and freedom but it is also what enables this insanity to continue, and the more the socialist crooks attempt to stomp reason out the closer they are to their own real demise, and deep in the back of their warped parasitic minds, they know this reality only too well.

gene October 23, 2009 at 12:41 pm

good article, but………….

opps, forgot all about patents!!! how did that happen??

author did mention “slick trial lawyers” tho, but I guess none of those slickers have anything to do with patents!

I guess government intervention and socialism is okay when it protects what one perceives as one’s own interests but evil when it doesn’t?

Robert Mossberg October 23, 2009 at 1:12 pm

This is one of the most inaccurate, misleading, misinformed articles I have had the misfortune to read. I suppose the author does not realize the insurance corporations are a protected monopoly unrestrained by the Sherman Anti-Trust laws and the profit margins since year 2000 are up an average of 428% for the business of providing health insurance to Americans. Unadulterated hogwash.

Mike October 23, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Robert, please peruse this site for a while, then come back and tell us what you’ve learned.

Ronald October 23, 2009 at 1:23 pm

So the solution is to add another layer of socialism on top of the insurance companies so government get a piece of the pie.

No part of today’s economic ladder is untouched by socialism’s mandates so it would be hard to distinguish what a private company is at this moment.

I’d keep lawyers as part of any mix as paid balance between those who have no power against those that do but I wouldn’t allow the governmnet into medicine as we have seen what they can do to an economy, inner cities, eduction, railways, and budget restraint, not to mention their dabbling in housing markets which they just destroyed.

Ronald October 23, 2009 at 1:25 pm

By the way I was being sarcastic in my comments about socialism……in case you were wondering.

C October 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Friedman’s discussion of Gammon’s Law in 1991, excellent reading and more pertinent than ever today:

http://hadm.sph.sc.edu/Courses/ECON/CLASSES/Friedman.html

Thomas Talionis October 23, 2009 at 2:39 pm

If you understand the enemy in Atlas Shrugged, you will understand Fascism.

SPOILER: Fascism doesn’t work out very well.

Mr Eko October 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Anonymous,

Sadly, we live in an age of economic illiteracy, and demagoguery works so much better than logically constructed arguments like Dr. DiLorenzo’s.

Anonymous October 23, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Comment by Mike C: “You clearly have a muddled understanding of the problem”.

I know I was pretty clear in what I was saying. But I’ll say it again, this time in the language of the common man: All supporters of freedom and capitalism amongst the populace had been quiet for all these decades in spite of the socilaist shenanigans going on under their very noses. And by that I don’t mean Ron Paul fighting his battles in congress. I mean you guys living in your ivory towers and spouting theoretical philosophy.

Suddenly, when sombody is proposing a solution and sadly a socialistic one, then all of us who are safely esconsed behind our healthcare plans are spouting eloquence on socilaistic healthcare “reform”. YOU SHOULD HAVE VOICED YOUR OBJECTIONS THESE MANY DECADES AND TAKEN TO THE STREETS IF YOU FELT SO STRONGLY ABOUT IT. DON’T REACT. ACT!

dana October 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Anonymous-who are these people in ivory towers that you keep speaking of? I do agree that the followers of Austrian economics and libertarianism should act, but you’re missing the point several others have already mentioned: no matter how many times you try to voice your views, people who don’t want to learn or understand will not learn or understand i.e. the media, the mass public, congress.

Ribald October 23, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Actually, I found DiLorenzo’s argument to lack a logical structure. It establishes none of its premises in order to reach its conclusion, and lacks any substantial reference to facts and relevant statistics. Even if it’s true, one must admit that it is not a logical argument by any means. I don’t think it’s a very good rhetorical piece either, because of the appeal to logic that is only sound if the reader believes the premises. If the reader doesn’t, then DiLorenzo’s words lack persuasion.

My two cents on the matter:

Mossberg has a good point regarding the anti-trust exemption. Also, insurance companies do not honor the laws regarding broad-spectrum insurance, namely by rejecting claims. Most federal intervention in the private insurance market is what I would call “escapable,” meaning that the costs of complying can be avoided entirely.

DiLorenzo would have it that the insurance industry is burdened by excessive intervention, yet as Mossberg noted, the profits of the health insurance industry have increased massively. It’s bizarre that anyone can analyze the health insurance industry without explaining how government intervention has made the industry more profitable. However, it is perfectly sensible to ignore the issue if you aren’t aware of it.

Medicare costs have increased at a much slower rate than private health insurance, despite the government’s total immersion in the program. Yet, it produces similar outcomes for the illnesses it covers. Presumably, DiLorenzo isn’t aware of this either, and didn’t care to explain why this was the case.

DiLorenzo should probably spend some time researching the health insurance industry. Doing so, he will be able to explain the anomalies that free market opponents use as counterarguments. I look forward to it.

M.W. October 23, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Anonymous, you should call yourself “the common man” because that’s who you represent.

All these right wingers represent the billion dollar corporations and Team America.

You see, the corporations finance Team America and then Team America goes out . . . and the corporations sit there in their corporation buildings . . . and they’re all corporationy . . . . . . and they make money. heh.

Thomas Talionis October 23, 2009 at 3:50 pm

@ Ribald, to understand DiLorenzo’s argument you need to understand Fascism. It is a system that allows private ownership (insurance companies) to work hand in hand with the government.

A quote often attributed to Mussolini defines it as the merger of industry and State or Corporatism. It’s goal was to set profits, prices, wages and supply by avoiding competition. (today, newspapers want Obama to allow them to do the same thing.)

It was a response to the Great Depression and the subsequent lure of Marxism. Churchill called it ‘the antidote for Communism’ because it allowed a class structure. It was also the essence of FDR’s New Deal. (not spending)

The result was another 8 years of Depression because it didn’t work and our pesky Constitution and anti-trust laws kept getting in FDR’s way. He said Capitalists hid behind the Constitution. Finally, WW2 forced him to abandon his ideology and the economy was allowed to function.

Again, see Atlas Shrugged for a true understanding. Corporations (or insurance companies) with ‘friends in Washington’ do very well under Fascism.

Mr Eko October 23, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Ribald,

A massive increase in profits is the indicator of an imbalance. More companies would then enter the insurance market. Competition would drive profits back down. This is how a market works absent of interference.

Government interference is required in order to prevent this from occurring. Therefore the imbalance is perpetuated.

Kato October 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Here’s a short video of Ron Paul schooling CNN on Fascism:

http://www.popmodal.com/video/2507/Obama-Fascism

Corporations like getting favors from the government too?

Thomas Talionis October 23, 2009 at 4:25 pm

@ ribald and eko,

This is similar to the great depression in that the price of wheat shot up from around .40 cents a bushel to over $4. That was the indicator.

It’s human nature to celebrate the ‘boom’ but again that is the indicator.

Thomas Talionis October 23, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Continued . . . FDR felt it was his role to keep the prices high so he destroyed farms and livestock to artificially lower supply and thereby raise prices of those commodities. (which were artificially raised in the first place)

Again, this is why the war brought us out of the depression. We couldn’t burn our farms down anymore, trying to cling to FDR’s ideological grudge.

Paul Stephens October 23, 2009 at 6:07 pm

I agree with the basic premise of this article, but I’m sure this is wrong: “Friedman documented how, at the beginning of the 20th century, about 90% of all American hospitals were private, for-profit enterprises.”
In fact, they were nearly all NOT-FOR-PROFIT church, university, or other charitable or County institutions. “Clinic” is the term for smaller, doctor-owned co-ops which were the main primary care providers. Some hospitals were privately or co-operatively owned by doctors, but the existing rules left them open to all, and obligated to provide care to everyone regardless of ability to pay. Of course, if you were an atheist in a Catholic hospital, you probably didn’t get very good care!
We had one Catholic and one Protestant hospital here in Great Falls, MT for nearly a century (pop. c.60,000). We had some of the cheapest and best health care in the country.
Arthur Andersen was hired by the local “business community” to plan how to reduce “health insurance” costs for their workers and employees. The solution was to merge these two entities, which were then both “profitable” (i.e., taking in more money than they were spending, although they were both non-profits). At that time, our health care statistics were in the top 10% – patient mortality, costs, number of nurses per patient, hospital infections, etc.
No one but the business-dominated boards favored this. Virtually all doctors opposed it, as did patients, families, contributors to their endowments, etc. Lawyers were dispatched to Helena to change the laws allowing for such a bad idea. It finally happened. Immediately, the Enron-style monopoly pricing went into effect. 300 staff were fired (all people who had opposed the merger), a hundred or more rooms closed, along with an ER, OR, and Mercy Flight services (helicopter ambulance – we are a rural area where people come a hundred miles or more for services) and several dozen doctors were denied privileges, fired, or otherwise run out of town, or out medicine, entirely.
Our statistics fell precipitously to something like the 30th percentile. Costs skyrocketed, as planned. Fictional pricing took over. People without insurance were charged 4 times more than those with it, or with Medicare/Medicaid. Dozens of lawyers went into the collections business, foreclosing people’s homes and pensions, and garnishing their wages.
I maintain that “health insurance” is a category mistake. You’re not “insuring” your health, but only protecting your assets from confiscation by the hospital and doctor’s collection agencies. And it gives you some access to care in the first place. Although emergency rooms have to see you, the wait can be hours, and they don’t have to give you a bed or more treatment, later, unless you can prove you can pay.
A single-payer system is the real “free market” solution, equivalent to a voucher system in education. All providers are paid, no costs are shifted, and fair, cost-based prices maintained. It was the free-market Social Credit party in Canada which invented their system, as an alternative to the British single-provider, government bureaucratic socialism.
Yet, this history and analysis has virtually never appeared in congressional hearings or the mainstream media. Sen Baucus, from my state, actually had single-payer advocates (leading physicians and nurses in PNHP) arrested at his hearings, where all “industry” lobbyists were represented, but no consumer advocates.

Thomas McGovern October 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm

I agree with all that was written in this essay, but I want to comment on Mr. DiLorenzo’s term “fascialism” which he defines as “Fascialism means an economy is part fascist, part socialist.” It is a clever and perhaps useful new word, but it obscures the fact that fascism is a variant of socialism. That is a fact that left-socialists like to obscure, and I believe those opposed to collectivist ideologies need to make it clear.

Fascism is socialism based on national identity, communism is socialism based on class identity. They both lead to prison camps and mass murder. Since the end justifies the means for both of them, their means are also similar. Communists advocate de jure government control of the economy, fascists advocate de facto control implemented via government spending, regulation, and taxation. As George Wallace said of American Democrats and Republicans, “There’s not a dime’s difference between the two of them.” European fascists of the early 20th century liked to say that they were Christians and the communists said that they were atheists, but otherwise it would be hard to tell them apart.

gene October 23, 2009 at 6:29 pm

that’s right, calling the turn of the century care, “private care” isn’t even close to the truth. almost all care was based on “socialized” need.

the single payer system will not even be looked at, because none of the congressional wimps will stand up to the medical corporate monopoly.

Baucas is probably the worst of the bunch, he is probably counting the latest donation to his campaign comittee from big medical right now.

the system is completely bought off, there is no remote hint of any sort of “free market” and we have the choice of poor care at high prices or no care at all.

we already have complete socialism, problem is the monopoly corporations are the beneficiaries. of course, we don’t want to slide into any “real” socailism as that would be un “American”.

Thomas Talionis October 23, 2009 at 7:05 pm

I agree with McGovern. There is no need to make a hybrid term for Fascism and Socialism. Fascism is merely a form of Socialism.

Though I contend that the difference between Fascism and Communism (both forms of Socialism) has to do with egalitarianism. Fascism appealed to anti-communists because it allowed a class system while still providing for all citizens.

And they were “nationalists” in so far as they believed in State Sovereignty. Communists believe in a one world Utopia.

The sliding scale of Socialism to Capitalism comes down to who much the individual is allowed own. Nothing to everything.

Thomas Talionis October 23, 2009 at 7:50 pm

CORRECTION: . . . HOW much the individual is allowed to own.

Kato October 23, 2009 at 8:09 pm

A question. How do we determine the cost of a medical procedure?

With a blank check from an insurance company? Or a blank check from the government?

If there were no blank checks, something tells me the cost would have to come down.

gene October 23, 2009 at 9:04 pm

If you are defining Socailism and Capitalism on a sliding scale as to how much the “individual” is “allowed” to own, then why is it in “Capitalism as it is” the majority of wealth is owned by multinational corporations?

Do you somehow consider these corporate entities “individuals” or do you consider them “collectives” [ownership by groups]?

Fascism is a totalitarian form in which the economic system is secondary to the complete control of it, along with everything else, by a select group, usually with a supreme commander. the german mode was based on socialism, while the italian mode was strictly coporatism which evolved directly from and in reaction to the aristocracy. The means, whether socialistic or otherwise, are not important to a fascist.

Socialism is based on central planning and comes in various forms, usually with a large state bureauacracy.

we have a form of state monopoly capital, which is a highly socialized system. There is no seperation possible between the state and the corporate, neither would exist in anything close to their current form without the other.

confusion always occurs when we mistake “capitalism as it is” for a “free market”.

Thomas Talionis October 23, 2009 at 10:10 pm

I say, Capitalism. You say, Capitalism as it is.

In a free Capitalist society I am free to join with other individuals (in my nation or multi-national) and form a corporation or entity for the purpose of doing (fill in the blank).

And we would be free to own as much capital, land or goods as we have earned. Until the mob or the State stepped in and told us how much we were allowed to keep.

Communists would take it all. Fascists would take most. Mild Socialists would take some. Hippies would just complain that the multi-national corporations are ruining the world.

Inquisitor October 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm

“This is one of the most inaccurate, misleading, misinformed articles I have had the misfortune to read. I suppose the author does not realize the insurance corporations are a protected monopoly unrestrained by the Sherman Anti-Trust laws and the profit margins since year 2000 are up an average of 428% for the business of providing health insurance to Americans. Unadulterated hogwash.”

Prove it.

Mike C. October 23, 2009 at 10:48 pm

“All supporters of freedom and capitalism amongst the populace had been quiet for all these decades in spite of the socialist shenanigans going on under their very noses. And by that I don’t mean Ron Paul fighting his battles in congress. I mean you guys living in your ivory towers and spouting theoretical philosophy. ” ~ Anonymous

All WHAT supporters of freedom and capitalism amongst the populace? By far the large majority of the populace are confused little half socialist in their thinking, and most people have been for over one hundred years in this country. Even the average businessman and business leaders today are ok with controls so long as they myopically think it will benefit them, yet any real capitalist would have the two cents worth of common sense to know that he cannot shackle his competitions hands today without expecting the same around his neck tomorrow.

About the only political choice we have left to us today is between Socialist A or Fascist B and every time someone like Ron Paul stands up to speak out he is treated like an oddball and as a harmless little curiosity. And if he does start to become a serious political threat the leaders in the republican party do whatever it takes to shortcut and silence him… as was witnessed in the 08 presidential campaign when, while still doing fairly good in the polls, he was shut out of the debates.

When you vote for modern liberals in this country then you are just plain ignorant if you do not know what you are going to get but even when you try to get more supposed freedom loving, flag waving, red white and blue, conservatives elected these days all you really end up with is lip service and a bunch of power hungry economic charlatans, fools, and excuse making, back room dealing, control freaks.

The republicans had been driving this nation slowly toward statism for years, they were growing government like there was no tomorrow and you barely heard out a peep out of the conservatives on most issues while their boys were behind the wheel, yet let the left take control and let them push the gas pedal down and all of the sudden, they have woken up and, we are all headed to hell in a hand basket… So here we go again with their talk of freedom and small government, at least until they get their own boys back behind the wheel again, and then it will be time to tone it down, go back to sleep, and just grumble a little, like they really mean it, from time to time.

As you may notice I have experienced a few election cycles in my life and as for myself, I voted in the last election, I went to the local tea parties, I talk with as many people that will coherently listen, and I still try to find what I believe to be the good decent candidates in the local and state elections. But unless you have some brilliant light bulb shattering idea that will magically get through to the majority of the ill-educated populace in this country, who are slowly sanctioning their own destruction, then I really do not see much else that can rationally be done.

We have been doing the slow and miserable progressive two step towards the philosophic, economic and political cliff for over a century now, and sir, or madam, I think you would do very well to understand that we are not dealing with the same classical liberal, grounded in reality, mindset that birthed this once great and mostly sane and moral nation. And if and until the people do decide to come back to their senses and grow some REAL renewed appreciation and hunger for what originally made America possible to begin with, then no offense, but IMO, all you are really doing is shouting loudly and urinating into the political wind.

But please friend, feel free to go hit those streets and grasp at all the glory your hot blooded idealist heart can handle… just remember to keep your head low and your powder dry and good luck.

Teddy B. October 24, 2009 at 12:06 am

The syllogism goes as follows:

1.Socialism has been a failure everywhere it has been tried;
2.Everyone knows this; and
3.Therefore, we need more socialism.

Hmm, an analogy to this might be a 200 year long night where a drunk nation sits at a bar thinking that another drink won’t help but it will certainly feel good until tomorrow.

Paul S. Nofs October 24, 2009 at 12:46 am

Great Falls MT history
“Lawyers were dispatched to Helena to change the laws allowing for such a bad idea.”

Did the government mandate or allow for this to happen? That is to create a monopoly. As the monopoly siphons off excess profits, why can’t a competitor willing to lower costs and improve quality at lower profits start and steal patients and profits. In a free market excessive profits are risky even hazardous.

Arthur Anderson’s plan was to eliminate competition in order to gather profits through monopoly controls. The solution is all out competition. This is the antidote to corporate favoritism by government.

Any single payer plan will be a government created monopoly. By eliminating competition monopoly control will be established. To what ends? The rational choices of hundreds of millions of self-serving consumers (patients or their guardians) paying their own money and operating in a free and competitive market will always tend in the long run to find lower costs and improved quality. A Single payer Czar will tend to work in his own self-interest having been given monopoly control.

Whereas the Consumer works to find the best that the markets have to offer even an altruistic Czar has to create results by arbitrary command. If he commands a cut in costs, quality will suffer. If he commands an increase in quality, then costs will rise. If he makes too many mistakes on the federal level the whole system could collapse. The new new solution is likely to be taxpayer subsidized bailouts as a fix to fix the fix.

How can a single man and his staff outwit hundreds of millions of self-serving consumers and millions of self-serving producers? The free market is dealing with real prices and costs, real quality, real breakthroughs and real complications, right now. Any Czar must rely on aggregated data, reports and abstracts of dubious quality months if not years out of date. He must presume that commands based on yesterday’s conditions are appropriate today. Single payer will prove to be inflexible and out of step with the real world by design. Truly free markets tend towards optimum results even as conditions change, as they always do for both patient and provider.

Single payer like Medicare and Medicaid will also stifle innovation. For example, Medicare doesn’t pay for emails so the new technology isn’t used. Even though it could improve patient-doctor communications efficiently besides leaving an email trail. A provider looking to compete with lower costs and higher quality care might find email works. The incentive to innovate is lacking. Why worry about costs or quality if the pay is the same and no choices are available? Only a free market evolves viable products and services for actual consumers.

Modern health insurance is another fix to fix a fix. The inflationary monetary policies of the Central Bank (Federal Reserve) led to wage and price controls. One way around this is to give employees health benefits sanctioned by IRS tax breaks. As the inflation impoverished the middle and lower income classes and insurance raised medical costs many found health care harder to afford. The new solution was Medicare and Medicaid. These government programs pay out 3 times what the insurance company pays the provider. Individuals without insurance pay the higher amount that Medicare/Medicaid pays. Why is that?

Only governments can create permanent monopolies. Monopoly control allows a provider of insurance or health care to maximize profits by increasing costs and reducing quality. The only recourse is for the consumer to redress his grievances in Congress or the Czars office in far off Washington DC. Good Luck. In a free market the consumer can choose for cost, or quality or both as it suit his needs today.

Government interference causes these problems. More government interference cannot solve these problems with out causing even larger problems.

Tracy Saboe October 24, 2009 at 1:05 am

I don’t know where you’ve been, but I’ve been advocating libertarian solutions and opposing increasing health care fascialism for about a decade and a half now (Longer then when Mr Thomas coined the phrase.)

Gil October 24, 2009 at 1:08 am

“All I read on the Mises blogs, in general, are reactions. Talk is cheap. If you are really interested in making a difference in changing the direction in which this country is heading then leave your ivory towers and HIT THE STREETS!!” – Anonymous.

When was the last time you saw Alpha male Libertarians? They’re as rare as hen’s teeth! Still you’ll would like to read these two articles as well:

Article 1

Article 2

Mike C. October 24, 2009 at 1:17 am

Perhaps we should have politicians take the Hippocratic Oath and study a little harder so they will know when to quit doing harm to the patient.

Mike C. October 24, 2009 at 1:28 am

Gil, your coments sound like me when I was 14. I still own several pit mix dogs and I know full well how to keep them in submission, but why you would extract that into a society and call it civil is beyond me… piss on buddy!

Gil October 24, 2009 at 1:40 am

Duh, Mike C., Alpha males are leaders not followers and don’t like being pushed and people don’t like push around Alpha males because they push back harder. There few, if any, Libertarians who would exhibit such traits. Thus “we’re doing to do nothing and hope society caves in on itself and we’ll thrive in the aftermath” is akin to “I’ll still get to date one of the beautiful cheerleaders from high schools by waiting for her husband, a former burly footballer, to die from his excessive drinking and smoking in his fifties and I’ll catch her on the rebound even though she is now a scraggled-tooth hag”.

Mike C. October 24, 2009 at 1:57 am

“Mike C., Alpha males are leaders not followers and don’t like being pushed and people don’t like push around Alpha males because they push back harder. There few, if any, Libertarians who would exhibit such traits”

Men are not dogs, they do have boundaries of course, but even mean dogs, once they figure out they will not be forced are very capable of certain amounts of reason… in fact when you get to know dogs, or any wild thing, on its own merits you figure out that in many ways they are much smarter in terms on natural law than the average individual is today.

However, the idea that you must describe things in pissy macho boundaries pretty much says that you a person who can’t wait to see what is before you feel the need to impress your own personal image upon it.

Gil October 24, 2009 at 6:40 am

Well that should’ve been worded: “There are few, if any, Libertarians who would exhibit such traits nowadays”. Libertarians were made of tougher stuff back in the 1700s and had no qualms about literally fighting for their freedoms.

gene October 24, 2009 at 11:08 am

Thomas, I agree with most of what you say, but you are still confusing a “free” society or system with Capitalism.

Capitalism, as the only way we know it [not how it exists in fairy tales], is a system in which constraints forced upon society by the state favor the formation of directed capital to the detriment of both the land and labor. Corporations are the major benefactors of this system.

Every economist agrees that profit goes away in a truly free competitive system. wherever profit showed up, so would many competitors.

without a state enforced system of socialized protection of ALL state selected property, regardless of how it was obtained, as we have now, ownership of property bears greater costs and therefore becomes based more on utility than the ownership of capital. So, a lot of rent also goes away.

in other words, in a free system, capital tends to become very “sticky”, and becomes closely related to actual production. it is probable we wouldn’t even recognize it, in comparison to our world.

referring to “free” systems as “capitalism” is like referring to soviet russia as a “city state”. Capitalism, AS WE KNOW IT, is an extremely repressive system, we as a nation and the western world, just happen to be the benefactors of it, so it doesn’t seem all THAT bad. Our subjective opinion only defines it for ourselves, not for everyone. And real freedom, is for everyone.

Mike C. October 24, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Gil,

The libertarians, or classical liberals, of the 18th century did not take the use of force lightly and they didn’t go off half cocked irrationally picking for a fight. Years of talk and debate took place before there was any real blood shed between England and the colonies. And were it time to contemplate the use of force today, I believe you are being very unfair and rash in your assumption that there would be some shortage of volunteers amongst the libertarians.

Exactly what your petty beef with a bunch of economist and philosophers is and what else you really expect of them aside from them practicing their stock and trade I do not know. You sit here and call these people useless and you seem to see intellectual pursuits as useless too but one point that seems to allude you, in all your grand mouthy wisdom, is that were it not for a bunch of intellectual ivory tower weenies — as you call them — doing their jobs, most of the average Joes in this world would have never even have known that they had any individual rights to defend. They would not realize that their rights were being violated in any meaningful, cognitive, and definable way, and they would most certainly have had a lot tougher time finding the moral courage and certitude needed to stand up to the crooks when the need did arise.

Every real battle starts within the mind Gil, everyone has a job to do, and the honest intellectuals are doing there’s to the best of their ability. For you to sit and idly rant about them being cowards and not doing enough over the last few decades, when in fact it took a more than a century for this moral rot to set in, and they have been outnumbered at least ten to one by the excuse making crooks in politics, academia, and the media only goes to show your own lack of understanding of the issues.

As I stated in a prior post, most people, like water, tend to take the mental path of least resistance, and given moral excuses that equate the irrational with rational action most will blindly start performing accordingly. And correcting this problem among the people is not simply a matter of pointing to reality and saying OK ya’ll all follow me now. It is something that most will not face until they have suffered enough to decide that it is wiser to come back to their senses.

But since you seem to have all the answers and you are looking for front line grunts to hit the streets with you then perhaps you would have better luck finding those real macho men of action down at the local pub. You obviously seem to think that winding up a bunch of toy soldiers and sending them wily-nily in all directions at once is brilliant strategy so please feel free to bark on general.

Thomas Talionis October 24, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Gene,

I understand what you’re saying, however, I think you’re actually describing Fascism AKA Corporatism to the letter. An unholy union of business and State. The illusion of private ownership.

There is so much confusion because the term Fascism has become taboo so, as a society, we can’t have an intelligent discussion of those ideas.

Example: It would be hard to argue that FDR was not a Fascist. But try bringing that up in a public debate. (This is alluded to in Atlas Shrugged; change the name to make it acceptable.)

Nick October 25, 2009 at 12:47 am

Umm… I don’t know if this will count as intelligent, but arguably funny story from the frontlines.

A local NV congresswoman had a meeting about healthcare today (rather hush hush, so low show audience), and I set up a table with a big banner “Liberty is the Natural Way of Life” and then made posters to hang on my table.

I had been searching for words to describe our system, and DiLorenzo’s ‘Fascialism’ was perfect, just what I was looking for. Only I spelled it wrong, in my hurry, so that it read “Our facialist healthcare is broken” (followed by a sign: “Free our healthcare market”).

Perhaps this was a good error, as it drew in a few middle-aged women, apparently concerned that their skin treatment options were under fire.

Paul Stephens October 25, 2009 at 4:48 am

Maybe this will help.
Work expands to fill the time available (Parkinson)
Welfare payments expand to fill and then exceed the budgets allocated for these services.
Costs expand to whatever extent any entity is able to pay them.
People will not save or accumulate wealth if they expect to lose everything in one serious hospital bill.
People will not work and save if they can get the necessities of life for free, unless the amount they can get is minimal, and they can earn much more by working. (Now, even middle-class people can’t afford the inflated costs of medical care and “health insurance,” so the disincentives are tremendous. Most people would simply choose not to buy insurance or seek this sort of expensive medical services. They will turn to faith-healing, self-medication with illegal drugs, naturopathy, acupuncture, etc. This has been going on for a long time). So, the “solution” to make everyone buy insurance which they can’t afford. And the medical monopolies are the ones promoting this.

There is no difference between a monopoly and a duopoly, except that customers (patients) will choose the one which treats them better and has the better doctors, care protocols, etc. A lack of price competition means that providers will compete on the basis of all these other factors. That was why even this competition I described in my first comment had to be eliminated.
One wealthy man, outraged at this, did finance a “Central Montana Surgery Center”, and it was built. Benefis (the merged monopoly) spent millions of dollars lobbying to prevent this competition from being licensed, and the laws were changed so that no further competition would be allowed, and the CMSC had to affiliate with another existing provider. Since the Catholic hospital was eliminated, they tried to ally with another Catholic system from Minnesota. This, too, was blocked. Now, Benefis is close to taking over the Great Falls Clinic, a primary care center organized as a doctor’s cooperative. It has been nearly driven out of business because Benefis has refused hospital privileges and otherwise discriminated against its doctors.
In every case, Benefis has acted like a textbook monopolist, but by huge advertising expenditures in the corporate media, and threatening people who have opposed it, they have consolidated their power, and few oppose it, now. There is also a widespread feeling that if you are on record as an “enemy,” if you (or your family and friends) ever need to go to the hospital, you will not get good care, and may even be targeted for extermination, withholding of services, etc. This is real – I’ve seen or heard about it happening many times.
And here’s how the pricing works:
Say, you have surgery or cancer treaments, and the bill is $100,000 (this might be just a few days’ stay, with scans, chemotherapy, or whatever).
If you have good insurance, that company will either negotiate the bill, or refuse to pay more than a standard fee, which is about $30-35,000. And they might go through the bill, item by item, and find that half or more of the charges are either for non-existent things, or are so inflated (like 10-fold or more above real costs) that they refuse to pay them. The hospital knows this, and will erase them (often claiming that they have refunded these charges as “charity,” which they use to justify their existence as a “non-profit).
If you have Medicare, the bill (again, standardized) will be reduced to maybe $25,000 – but you will still have to make co-payments, pay outrageous prices for prescriptions from the hospital pharmacy (unless you have Part D, which involves another lengthy schedule and negotiations), etc. So, you might still have a bill to pay out of your own pocket of $5-10,000.
If you are indigent and qualify for Medicaid, the most the hospital is going to get is maybe $12,000 out of the original $100,000 bill. They know this, so you will get minimal care, be on waiting lists, etc. You might very well be too late to cure whatever is wrong with you.
With the “downsizing” which was essential to the merger, many people simply can’t get admitted at all – especially if they don’t like you or your friends, for some reason. I’ve seen that happen several times, too. They might just ship you to the Rescue mission for homeless people, instead.
So, the idea that Medicare and Medicaid are somehow abuses of the taxpayer’s money is ridiculous. Profit-maximizing corporations, insurance companies, and medical practitioners are killing us, and on a daily basis.

Bruce Koerber October 25, 2009 at 4:53 pm

http://propertyrightsarehumanrights.blogspot.com/
Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Bogus Swine Flu ‘National Emergency’ Expands Socialism And Fascism.

It is part of the strategy of the unConstitutional coup to gain more control over private property rights (socialism) and to reward those industries that do their bidding (fascism). So with a tug on one of their strings the chief puppet makes the appropriate moves!

Will you be able to enter an airport if you are not immunized, regardless of whether you own a flight ticket? As more places come under the control (socialism) of the unConstitutional coup they will mandate that everyone pay their ‘dues’ by forcing everyone to purchase goods and services from their benefactors (fascism).

The puppets and pawns (in other words, the corrupt politicians) are peons simply doing the bidding of the main enemy. The true enemy is the unConstitutional coup. Who are the economic terrorists that comprise the inner circle of the unConstitutional coup?

Find out their names and make them known.

Paul S. Nofs October 27, 2009 at 8:43 pm

“If you are indigent and qualify for Medicaid, the most the hospital is going to get is maybe $12,000 out of the original $100,000 bill. They know this, so you will get minimal care, be on waiting lists, etc. You might very well be too late to cure whatever is wrong with you.’

Have you found a medicaid fee schedule?

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