31 July 2007

Link-fest

Too tired to seriously blog today, so here are some fun links:

Japanese One-Click Award! Truly a Zen masterpiece. Well, it's inexplicable anyways. Via the NYTimes' brilliant David Pogue.

The Bad Astronomer is anything but bad. Today he has a pretty picture - and I love pretty pictures - and a beautiful, almost elegiac explanation of its origin.

Crazy Andy Sullivan loves to psychoanalyze Hillary Clinton. He's hated her for years. But since his apostasy from the Cult of W he doesn't know who to love. I think he's falling for Obama. Today he compares Hillary's approach with Barack's, and I think he's right on. (I always worry when I find myself agreeing with Crazy Andy.)

By the way, for those who care, my current Dem President preferences are:
Obama (strong)
Edwards (lukewarm)
Richardson (cautious)
Hillary (better than a republican)
Biden (kill me now)
Dodd (who?)
Kucinich (crazy elf)
Gravel (hysterical!)

7 comments:

Kath said...

Biden (kill me now) = HILARIOUS!

Will you be going to Yearly Kos?

Nurse K said...

Obama, per his website, believes "health care is a right" and he wants to "strengthen Medicaid". In other words, tax us a lot, give everyone a program that offers no disincentives to use the highest levels of care such as ERs and then call himself a hero for the poor even though the illegitimacy birth rate and ER visits for non-urgent problems will go up with that plan as they always have when welfare is increased and personal responsibility for one's own health care decreases.

There is no concurrent right to "keep my wages" that I earn. He says "everyone much pay their fair share" and that means the more you make, the more you pay. As you make more, your rights to your money become less.

We're all screwed once health care is determined to be a "right". If it's your right, it's our job to give it for free or for below cost (or whatever the bureaucrats think it should cost) or else we'd be violating their rights. It's like EMTALA, but for all clinics, all specialties, everything.

It's also your duty, as someone, presumably, in the highest socioeconomic class to pay for a good portion of it, as Obama has said.

Excellent choice, doctor! ;-)

shadowfax said...

kath, Sadly, so. Sounds like fun, but not really my gig.

Nurse K,
I know we don't agree so I'll make this brief in the hopes of avoiding a shouting match. It's no accident that I like Obama. I also agree that healthcare should be a right, by which I mean that I think it should be provided to every American (and I am not much interested in the semantic argument over whether this is a fundamental right vs an entitlement. Call it what you like, just cover everybody). This is a nuanced opinion, in that I also think that I have a right to earn a living and to be paid for what I do. These positions can come into conflict but are not irreconcilable. In fact it is worth noting that Obama's health plan is probably the most modest of the major candidate's and contains the most market-based incentives.

And yeah, I pay a lot in taxes, more than many people make in a year. I am blessed with a good income. I'm on board with the hardly-radical concept of a progressive tax policy -- in fact I think that wealthy people like me should pay more, since we can afford it. We profit more by the economic system that our government, so it is only fair that we should pay more to support it.

Cheers,

SF

Nurse K said...

Sometimes I think I should just hand out my money to the people in the lobby when I come in, just to avoid the bureaucracy of having to give it first to the government then to the people in the lobby. If more people showed up in my lobby, I'd just pay a little more and a little more until I just said screw it and didn't show up to work at all because it was no longer worth it.

This lobby is pretty nice, I'd say, and sit there right with them.

[Sigh]

I'm on track to pay 9K in Federal income taxes alone this year, and I'm just a nurse with a kid and a broken down car and broken down old house with, as of today, a non-functioning washing machine. If it were 1776, I'd have paid about $550 if you use their Federal tax rates. Child support is a dream I have only.

There's just something...wrong about taking more from you and more from me too. We did the right stuff. We went to college and didn't bother anyone or steal. We worked 90 or 100 hours a week and slept in our cars between classes.

You think I should show up to work and dole out my money to the people in the lobby, I think I should give it to my son and myself. On that, we will never agree I guess.

Over the course of the year, I spend far more supporting other peoples' children than I do my own son. These handout programs affect people like me greatly. Just remember that when you wish for my taxes to go up.

shadowfax said...

Nurse K,

First off, sorry to hear about the washer.

Second, do recall that you actually spent way more fueling F-18s than you spent on the people in the lobby. (this is not an anti-military point, BTW. I think F-18s are way cool.) But the budget allocates almost three times as much on the DoD as it does on medicaid and welfare combined. For that matter, you paid more in interest on the national debt than you paid for programs for the poor.(remember when clinton balanced the budget and we were on course to eliminate the national debt? Good times...)

Bush spent about 7 cents of every dollar you pay in taxes on programs for the poor. (he also spent $1.15 for every dollar you paid, overall.) But it's really not a large part of the federal budget.


The point is that, no offense, my washing machine works fine and I can buy a new one if it breaks. So I think the government should tax people like me more (um, like they did before 2001, when the budget was balanced) so they can give tax relief to people like you, who, on a proportionate basis, need it much more.

makeminetrauma said...

I'm starting to like you shadowfax.....it's scaring me a little.

Lyle said...

We're all screwed once health care is determined to be a "right".

was that what conservatives were saying when we were trying to figure out whether public education should be a right for every child in this country, too?

just wondering.