“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Does an unabashed Liberal Economist, Robert Reich, have a plan?

Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary to Bill Clinton, loves to talk. I find him entertaining and intellectualy honest. He has some interesting views on job creation.

I did say Robert likes to talk and I did say he was intellectualy honest.

Robert is also currently an advisor to Barack Obama. Well guess what Robert had to say about government health care back in 2007:


  1. Like he said, if you want to live to about the same age as your father vote for Single-payer health insurance.

    Problem: My father died when he was a year younger than I am now. He died from a heart attack. Thanks to evil, big pharma, I have simvastatin.

    In my father's day they had X-Rays. Today, they have Advanced MRIs, and Cat Scans. He suffered from an "ulcer" most of his adult life. I take Omeprazole.

    In the last two years I've had two prostate biopsies, an ultra-sound, and a colonescopy. Brain surgeries are as common as tonsillectomies it seems, sometimes.

    And, yep, health insurance costs more. Whodathunkit?

  2. I noticed, when he told the young people they'd have to pay for health insurance there wasn't much applause;

    but, when he said the old folks wouldn't live so long there was a LOT of applause.

    Little Bastards.

  3. The marginal value of time is low for the young and high to very high for the old, thus the utility of money spent to preserve time for the elderly is high. The rub is, as always, whose money?

  4. Reich is an interesting guy. He brings a little balance to the discussions whenever Kudlow and Steve Moore start going off the deep end regarding the Laffer Curve.

    That being said, he also fits right in with the socialists in the Obama administraion.

  5. Whodathunkit that the ultimate outcome of egalitarianism and secular society would be a demand for expensive medical services by elderly short-timers, when in less enlightened times a rosary would have done just fine.

  6. When the time comes, I be holding that rosary as I demand those expensive medical services.

  7. I don't remember ever reading of a time in American history that we provided less medical care to the elderly than we provided to the rest.

  8. Whose money?


    It would be a mighty precocious youngster that would have paid more money into the system than I have.

  9. Anyway, as Q (I think it was) stated the other day, the chances of Congress cutting money out of Medicare is, exactly, zero.

  10. I said it Rufus; but it was in the context of them cutting "fraud and waste". Now that doesn't mean they won't eventually get around to cutting the benefits they will pay for.

  11. One is a cost issue and the other a benefits issue.

    They will never get around to cutting costs. However, the benefits issue will be driven by the political calculation of who has the more votes, the young or the old.

  12. Interesting time on Af-Pak border:

    "BRUSSELS: Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed on Monday Pakistan’s offensive against Taliban in South Waziristan, saying it was crucial for regional stability.
    Mr Rasmussen expressed his ‘appreciation of the increased efforts by the Pakistani military and the Pakistani government in the fight against terrorists in the border regions’.

    ‘We really appreciate that very much. It is crucial for stability in the whole region that the Pakistani government and military succeed in their endeavours,’ he told reporters at Nato headquarters here.

    He said that Nato-led troops in Afghanistan, who are fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda militants, would be able to deal with any fighters who crossed the border.

    The International Security Assistance Force, he said, ‘will take sufficient measures to deal with a possible influx of Taliban fighters’.—AFP

  13. In fact the Pakis may have to cry Uncle:

    Pakistani Taliban recapture leader's birthplace


    DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan -- Taliban guerrillas recaptured the birthplace of the Pakistani Taliban leader from the Pakistani army Tuesday, inflicting the heaviest military losses so far in Pakistan's high-stakes offensive in South Waziristan, a refuge for Pakistani extremists, Afghan insurgents and al Qaeda.

    A government attempt to foment a tribal uprising against the Pakistani Taliban also failed Tuesday. In a meeting with the top Pakistani official for the tribal areas, elders of the area's Mehsud clan refused a request to form a militia to battle the Taliban who have taken over their territory.

    Separately, two suicide bomb blasts at a university in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, killed six people and wounded at least 20. In response, many educational institutionsannounced that they would close.

    The Pakistani offensive appears to be the first serious operation against extremists in South Waziristan since 2004 when the military entered the area for the first time.

    However, Kotkai, a town surrounded by mountains in the Sararogha area of South Waziristan, remained in Taliban hands late Tuesday after Pakistani forces were beaten back on the fourth day of the operation. The town is the birthplace of Hakimullah Mehsud, the head of the Pakistani Taliban.

  14. This Image Is Deep, An Icon of Reality

    Notice how the delicant right foot is so lightly elevated above the floor, the ground of our being ,while the left is softly pushing up from it, an image of our arising from the deep creative.

    Notice how the black and white, representative of our common suffering, and the bliss of our common arising, are so prominentely displayed on the lower portions, indicative of the struggles of our ancestral and animal past, which stops immediately at the lovely waist, where a hint of natural nakedness is displayed, urging us upward to a white clad body, representing our endevour to uncover the meaning of our life in the world, to be discovered with reason and grace.

    Notice also the long left arm, touching the floor, counterpoised by the right, a long path to travel, which rests reposedly near the head of our spirituality.

    Notice then the head and the gaze, which neither connects nor disconnects with the viewer, and lures one on, invitingly, to an experience beyond viewing.

    I think this is an image of our being, an icon in the old, best style, a work of art.