Drawbacks of three progressive ideas

Progressives have long called for certain policy solutions as the only alternatives to alleviate human problems.

Universal health care or health care for all is one such idealistic idea, which may seem desirable at first, but in the long run, it is doomed to fail.

Excessive cost is the primary drawback.  Taxes will have to increase, and it also means that the healthy population will bear most of the brunt of taxes and will not be rewarded for staying healthy, but will be punished by having to support the unhealthy lifestyles of the rest of the population.  Far fewer will choose the commonsense healthy lifestyle, which works in most cases, which is to eat healthy food and drink, exercise enough, get plenty of sleep, stay away from bad addictive and risky habits, and get some sunshine.

With the same number of hospitals and doctors, it is not uncommon for there to be longer wait times for non-emergency medical procedures.  This fact alone reduces quality health care for all.

The government eventually needs to make difficult decisions about resource allocation, thus limiting access to certain treatments such as expensive dialysis and other costly procedures.

A larger government role in health care does lead to increased bureaucracy and administrative inefficiencies, which translates into delayed care and reduction in quality health care.

Without the profit motive, there is an expected reduction in medical innovation, since the incentive to provide better medical care is not present.

Already quality health care is reduced in low-population regions, and it will only get worse with hospitals closing down and physicians leaving under universal health care.

Some people will travel abroad for quicker or specialized treatments, thus draining some resources from the domestic system.

Universal health care means rationing of health care services to control costs, thus denying certain specialized treatments without alternative choices.

Politicians could make decisions about health care based on popularity rather than medical necessity.

Universal health care will not cater well to individual needs and preferences.

With no or low co-payments, patients have a tendency to over-utilize health care services.

Medical malpractice claims will not be handled well.

Health care workers could face high stress and burnout due to increased patient loads, and with low pay, doctors may leave the country, and workers may stop preparing for a health care future in the field.

What universal health care does not mean is quality health care for all.  But it definitely means substandard health care for all except the wealthy, who will travel elsewhere to get quality health care.

Meanwhile, the stated goals of progressive criminal justice reform are to implement laws to address systematic racism, reduce mass incarceration, and promote rehabilitation over punishment.

It all sounds so desirable.  But it doesn't work.

Right now, we have an epidemic of crime done by mostly young people who have never been taught right from wrong.

The reality is that it is easier to teach youngsters to be ethical or moral and to motivate them to do their best than it is to rehabilitate adults who lack ethical or moral self-awareness and have not been motivated to do their best.  So rehabilitation efforts are expensive, mostly fruitless attempts at indoctrinating wayward adults and doomed to fail for the majority of this needy population.

Quite a few largely Democrat cities have tried to reduce mass incarceration by eliminating bail and refusing to prosecute criminals for theft, violent assaults, and an assortment of other lower-level crimes.  The result has been a double-digit increase in crimes, especially theft, and once lovely places like San Francisco are beginning to see a substantial exodus of businesses and population.  The net result has been an increase in roaming criminal activity, victimization of law-abiding citizens, and a reduction in the police force since many police feel they are not supported by the system and have riskier jobs due to the increase in gun violence.

An emphasis on mythical systemic white racism almost everywhere is just promoting more polarization of the population into opposing racist camps, and the ugly head of segregationism and not quality character is being revived.

That, too, fuels crime.

A third bad idea is a newer one.

Basic Guaranteed Income (BGI) or the Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a veiled Social Security for all, with more progressive government bureaucracy.

Just like Social Security, the Basic Guaranteed Income would have to be adjusted or increased yearly to keep up with inflation, thus guaranteeing that taxes will probably have to increase, creating a further burden on the working population.

Initially, the program would need a steep rise in taxes and cause initial inflation due to greater spending demand.  Higher minimum wage, necessary to entice workers to work in the first place, and higher rents would be a major shock to the economy.

Incentivized to work in the first place for marginal earners would be gone as more and more of them would opt out of the work environment, become homeless, and lead marginal lives drinking alcohol, smoking, doing drugs, and eating unhealthily.  A major blow to the labor force and productivity would occur.

Most progressive ideas lead to a more inefficient government bureaucracy and the long-term failure of the instituted programs, making things worse.

Those are three that stand out.

Image: Marco Verch Professional Photographer via FlickrCC BY 2.0.

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