The new aristocrats?

letter to the editor
Your site does credit to the thinking man! Mr. Warshawsky's article asking about high-cost of health care hits the nail on the head for health care, but much, much more.

He writes, "But what about the argument -- which has become commonplace in public policy circles since the days of Hillarycare -- that the main reason health care costs are so high in this country is because we pay for our medical care through third-party payment plans, i.e., insurance (both public and private)?  Washington Post and Newsweek columnist Robert Samuelson makes this argument in his most recent column."

As I see it and especially from the vantage point of working and living in more than one nation and culture, much of modern government can be called a system of "third-party payment plans" from healthcare to education to even the arts -- my field.

With so much money going through middle men's hands, some is siphoned off immediately for their "costs." Secondly, the regulations another group of middle men -- politicians -- place on so many transactions raises the costs of goods and services even further.

All in all and without belaboring the point, governments plural from the governance of an insurance company to the governance of cities, counties, states and the nation all add to the costs of goods and services, such that it seems to me we are simply reproducing the old monarchic system of levels of aristocracies, commissars and bureaucrats all intent on "gaming the system" for their own sustenance on the backs of those who actually produce something other than governance.

How far this is from the old days of the aristocrats seems not far to me.

The other article by Mr. Hoven makes a similar point, wherein the massed bureaucracy ostensibly intent on our best interests seems often a redundant "cost center" which might well be reexamined. 

I just came from Wittenbergplatz where there was a labor demonstration on a cold day in Berlin. This demonstration was noisy by virtue of loudspeakers, drums and whistles but it was tiny in number. Their purpose was to see their "take" not lessened. What do many unions in the West -- Germany or the United States -- organize? The public sector workers, many of whom seem to be "cost centers" per the above arguments by Warshawsky and Hoven, aimed directly at the private sector -- most of whose workers earn less than the whining public sector who are so easily roused to demonstration.

Around this demonstration, passers by outnumbered the union folks by many factors of ten over their time there. Folks going about their daily routines, shopping and buying while providing to the public sector their tax monies. The public sector proudly turns back some of these funds, but much stays in the public sector for above average wages and benefits the private sector does not receive, validating the notion that the public servant serves himself first. Or so it seems to me. Say this aloud, and the private sector nods in agreement while the public sector becomes further aggrieved.

This explains the current political climate in France quite well, as in other European nations with which I am familiar. Even so, I just received my "American" insurance company's new rates for next year, and I am seriously considering "jumping ship." Why? Hoven's argument is most sound economically, as is Warshawsky's.

The public middle men have managed to simply become the modern version of the USSR's once-upon-a-time commissars and soviets, and the even older bureaucrats who helped aristocracies rule a people in so many lands historically. The little guy gets pinched -- in between those who would tax his work -- and his profits get pinched -- in the sense of a non-private class which assigns costs to him according to their "needs."

I think we are seeing the old cycle enacted again, in which the "ruling class" serves to feather its nest first, and those ruled after the fact and only when it suits them. Individuality and freedom are therefore diluted by just a new ruling class.

The question in my mind is: Is this simply the way of "ruling" classes, or will the American revolution hold firm for freedom, individuality, religious liberty and "justice for all?" It is a fair question.

Gary Bachlund
http://www.bachlund.org/ 
Your site does credit to the thinking man! Mr. Warshawsky's article asking about high-cost of health care hits the nail on the head for health care, but much, much more.

He writes, "But what about the argument -- which has become commonplace in public policy circles since the days of Hillarycare -- that the main reason health care costs are so high in this country is because we pay for our medical care through third-party payment plans, i.e., insurance (both public and private)?  Washington Post and Newsweek columnist Robert Samuelson makes this argument in his most recent column."

As I see it and especially from the vantage point of working and living in more than one nation and culture, much of modern government can be called a system of "third-party payment plans" from healthcare to education to even the arts -- my field.

With so much money going through middle men's hands, some is siphoned off immediately for their "costs." Secondly, the regulations another group of middle men -- politicians -- place on so many transactions raises the costs of goods and services even further.

All in all and without belaboring the point, governments plural from the governance of an insurance company to the governance of cities, counties, states and the nation all add to the costs of goods and services, such that it seems to me we are simply reproducing the old monarchic system of levels of aristocracies, commissars and bureaucrats all intent on "gaming the system" for their own sustenance on the backs of those who actually produce something other than governance.

How far this is from the old days of the aristocrats seems not far to me.

The other article by Mr. Hoven makes a similar point, wherein the massed bureaucracy ostensibly intent on our best interests seems often a redundant "cost center" which might well be reexamined. 

I just came from Wittenbergplatz where there was a labor demonstration on a cold day in Berlin. This demonstration was noisy by virtue of loudspeakers, drums and whistles but it was tiny in number. Their purpose was to see their "take" not lessened. What do many unions in the West -- Germany or the United States -- organize? The public sector workers, many of whom seem to be "cost centers" per the above arguments by Warshawsky and Hoven, aimed directly at the private sector -- most of whose workers earn less than the whining public sector who are so easily roused to demonstration.

Around this demonstration, passers by outnumbered the union folks by many factors of ten over their time there. Folks going about their daily routines, shopping and buying while providing to the public sector their tax monies. The public sector proudly turns back some of these funds, but much stays in the public sector for above average wages and benefits the private sector does not receive, validating the notion that the public servant serves himself first. Or so it seems to me. Say this aloud, and the private sector nods in agreement while the public sector becomes further aggrieved.

This explains the current political climate in France quite well, as in other European nations with which I am familiar. Even so, I just received my "American" insurance company's new rates for next year, and I am seriously considering "jumping ship." Why? Hoven's argument is most sound economically, as is Warshawsky's.

The public middle men have managed to simply become the modern version of the USSR's once-upon-a-time commissars and soviets, and the even older bureaucrats who helped aristocracies rule a people in so many lands historically. The little guy gets pinched -- in between those who would tax his work -- and his profits get pinched -- in the sense of a non-private class which assigns costs to him according to their "needs."

I think we are seeing the old cycle enacted again, in which the "ruling class" serves to feather its nest first, and those ruled after the fact and only when it suits them. Individuality and freedom are therefore diluted by just a new ruling class.

The question in my mind is: Is this simply the way of "ruling" classes, or will the American revolution hold firm for freedom, individuality, religious liberty and "justice for all?" It is a fair question.

Gary Bachlund
http://www.bachlund.org/