Tea and Unsympathy

At first blush, it’s rather surprising that 70 percent of Tea Partiers oppose Paul Ryan’s plan to phase out Medicare and Medicaid.  Isn’t the Republican Party all about getting Big Gubmint off our backs?

But I think it’s a consequence of the divide between the Randian-talking-points-driven views of the institutional GOP on one side, and the Tea-leaning, birther-friendly, “take our country back,” impulse-driven rank and file on the other.

The research has been in on this matter for a while.

[A]mong white voters being ethnocentric is associated– independent of self-described ideology and other factors– with decreased support for means-tested welfare…. [W]hen it comes to social insurance programs[ ] you actually see the reverse. Ethnocentrism increases support.

That’s not the view of GOP elites like Paul Ryan, whose few misremembered anecdotes from the Reagan era and dim awareness of something Hayek said once lead them to believe that government is always bad, even if it is helping white people (unless, of course, it’s targeting minorities or foreigners).

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8 Responses to Tea and Unsympathy

  1. pino says:

    At first blush, it’s rather surprising that 70 percent of Tea Partiers oppose Paul Ryan’s plan to phase out Medicare and Medicaid. Isn’t the Republican Party all about getting Big Gubmint off our backs?

    That is the distressing aspect of social programs. Once it becomes clear to someone that they can elect people who will institute programs that take money from someone else and give it to them, they [not surprisingly] are anxious to continue said program.

    • Well, given the peculiarity of the health care market, and the fact that all other industrialized countries have a much less expensive, much more effective, it seems that too much government involvement is not the problem with our current health care system.

      You’re right, of course, that this is a problem that can arise– farm subsidies, for example, leap to mind– but I’m not sure it’s something that arises too often.

      • pino says:

        all other industrialized countries have a much less expensive,

        I should go on the record that I don’t buy into your belief that the OECD represents the gold standard on spending, debt and all things fiscal.
        ;-)

        I happen to take the position that spending more on health care is a feature, not a bug. See, the fact that we have more money than virtually the whole world, and the fact that we are able to spend it on things like keeping us healthy, is, in my mind, a good if not GREAT thing.

        Further, I suspect if you take any sufficiently random “thing”, I bet we would spend more on it. Think:

        1. Fish aquariums.
        2. Pro-sports tickets.
        3. Nike shoes.
        4. Lawn fertilizer.

        Is it any wonder that we spend more than any other nation?

        much more effective,

        I’m not convinced that we are less effective than other nations. The studies themselves start off by listing as an input into the ranking the “socializing” of the system. That is the going in position is that the more “Socialist” a system is, the better it is. Some studies assign as much of 25% of their ranking to such a condition.

        With that said, we can discuss some of the other criteria. Say Life Expectancy. America is a great and violent place to live and work. We have a much higher rate of “dying” than many other nations. So, knowing that, should the metric that is being used to measure the ability to deliver medical care take into account only those deaths that have anything to do with medical care? For example, should we ding our doctors and hospitals when there are 8 gang bangers dead in a gangland style shooting? I don’t think so.

        So, when those deaths that have nothing to do with medical care delivery are removed form the scenario, the United States ranks near the top, some say AT the top.

        Another aspect dealing with life expectancy is that the United States is a dramatically more ethnically integrated society than any other nation. The life style choices of some can impact that stats of the whole. But the thing is, the folks of a certain nationality live as long as native born folks of the same nationality. For example, Japanese-Americans live as long in America as do native Japanese living in Japan. Same for Swedish-Americans.

        Another stat that is regularly used to measure medical care is infant mortality. Again, out of the box it is a poor measure. It doesn’t take into account the variables that go into measuring such a stat. For example, did you know that some nations don’t count all live births as live births? Some require the child be a certain weight, others a certain length while yet others have a length AND weight requirement. Further yet, some nations don’t count a birth unless the child lives24 hours. And let’s not even talk about the countries that have high levels of gendercide. Whole generations of women are missing in certain countries…never to be reported.

        Again, life choices that people make impact infant mortality. When massive segments of a population find them selves at risk in terms of weight, drug use and single mother status, it’s not surprising that the stat trends upward. Check the numbers surrounding single teen mothers in the black community. Equally distressing is the plight of the black mother where the father is in prison. Ugly ugly stuff to be sure. None of it, however, is an indication of our ability to deliver medical care to our children.

        In fact, when normalized, the US again, ranks at or near the top.

        The simple truth is that the United States delivers more care with a higher level of quality than any other nation in the world. If you wanna throw the noodle against the wall to check….notice how many of the world’s populations comes HERE for care versus how many American’s go THERE. The only exception is for well understood and standard medical tourism you see in India.

      • The figures from the OECD are *per capita*, so it’s not at all similar to us buying more aquariums.

        “In 2007, the total spending for health care accounted for 16% of the country’s GDP, the highest share among the OECD and almost double the OECD average; On a per capita basis also the U.S. spent the highest with a total of $7,290 which is two-and-half times the OECD average.”

        I’ve continually linked to substantiate my claims about our fiscal & health care situation. You can’t just say, “we have black people, and they ruin everything” and not make any effort to back it up.

        (Incidentally, it’s great how conservatives always think that allowing gay marriage, or limiting child labor, or creating Medicare, or allowing women to vote will completely destroy our way of life, but when confronted with centuries of slavery, deliberately splitting apart families, another century of extrajudicial murders and systematic denial of human rights, not to mention the persistence of racism today, conservatives have nothing to say but the phrases “personal responsibility” and “race card!”)

      • pino says:

        The figures from the OECD are *per capita*, so it’s not at all similar to us buying more aquariums.

        So too is my example. I am sure that Americans buy more fish tanks, Nike shoes, pro-sports tickets and lawn fertilizer than the Spanish do, per capita. I am equally sure that we rank at the top of each of those lists for all countries per capita.

        I’ve continually linked to substantiate my claims about our fiscal & health care situation. You can’t just say, “we have black people, and they ruin everything” and not make any effort to back it up.

        Fair enough.

        The United States usesthe WHO definition when measuring infant mortality and births:

        Live birth refers to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception, irrespective of the duration of the pregnancy, which, after such separation, breathes or shows any other evidence of life – e.g. beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord or definite movement of voluntary muscles – whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached. Each product of such a birth is considered live born.

        Some countries use a different definition:

        The infant mortality rate is defined as the number of infant deaths (days 0-364) after live birth at or
        after 22 completed weeks of gestation in a given year, expressed per 1000 live births in the same
        year.

        And even even more inconsistencies

        Almost all countries provided data on overall infant mortality rates. However, many fewer were able to provide data on infant mortality rates by gestational age or birth weight, since infant deaths are registered in separate systems and not linked to perinatal data. These data were available for gestational age only from Flanders and Brussels in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Austria, Poland, Finland, Sweden, the UK, and Norway.

        The result

        Norway boasts one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world. But when the main determinant of mortality — weight at birth — is factored in, Norway has no better survival rates than the United States.

        You can’t just say, “we have black people, and they ruin everything” and not make any effort to back it up.

        I most certainly am NOT saying that “we have black people and they ruin everything.” I’m saying that

        black mothers give birth to more low birth weight babies than other sub-groups which in turn leads to higher infant mortality rates

        And it seems race is a determinant:

        Race is another factor that contributes to the higher infant-mortality rate in Mississippi and the rest of the South. Nationally, black mothers are twice as likely to lose their babies as white mothers, and in Mississippi, about half of all babies are born to African-American women.

        Even well-educated, affluent black women are more likely to have problem pregnancies than their white counterparts, but it’s not clear why.

        You wanna know what WHO never EVER reports?

        Since 2000, 42 of the world’s 52 surviving babies weighing less than 400g (0.9 lbs.) were born in the United States.

        In short, we seem to ‘effin rock!

        By the way, I am going to guess that I will have many HTML tagging issues. I don’t code and most of the time I’m building posts that give me a WYSIWYG editor. Please edit my tags if they’re broke. Thanks.

      • pino says:

        You’re right, of course, that this is a problem that can arise– farm subsidies, for example, leap to mind– but I’m not sure it’s something that arises too often.

        Oh yeah. I forgot to mention that farm subsidies should end. As well as oil subsidies. And coal. And natural gas too. I’m no more “pro-oil” than I am “pro-sun”. I just wanna let the best technology win.

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