JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OBAMA’S “TAINTED VICTORY” ON HEALTHCARE – ACTUALLY THE MESSINESS AND INEFFICIENCY OF THE LEGISLATION ARE TYPICAL OF AMERICAN POLITICS   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY CLIVE CROOK IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES

Many of the criticisms here are true, especially those about costs.

But since when in America is it possible to legislate a neat, rational, economical, sensible bill about anything?

That’s not just a sarcasm.

American legislation is often so convoluted, so fraught with nonsense, that it in practice it achieves the opposite of its title.

That’s just a reality of government in America.

The one real merit of this legislation is that the door is finally thrown open to some extent on healthcare.

And that’s no small thing.

With time, the legislation will be refined, improved, and perhaps changed significantly.

The real truth is that America – with its opinionated extremes, its ideologies, and its sheer volume of noise – learns often only by banging its head against walls.

We have seen that time and time again.

Turning America in anything is like turning a super-oil tanker in a tight channel, and too often there is a drunk at the helm.

America is a chaotic society, yet pretends to be well organized, and it is overflowing with posing and melodrama.

It is, as Robert Hughes said, a culture of complaint.

________________

“…it is opposed by most of the country; and it is now law. I would never have believed this possible in the United States.”

Clive Crook, that statement by someone as well-informed as you astounds me.

A great many major votes in Congress do not reflect general public opinion in America. Check out public opinion on subjects like gun control, abortion, and some of America’s wars.

The truth is that a great many Americans do not vote, so while their views are reflected in a valid poll, they have no political influence.

Also, Congress blurs many issues with immensely complex omnibus bills, making it difficult to sort out votes.

And since representation is what economists call “bundled,” voters will forget or forgive an unwelcome vote on some issues so long as they get what they want on others.

In a political duopoly, no voter gets the policies he or wants without lots of extra baggage from either party.

Finally, there has been an immense amount of misinformation, genuinely stupid stuff like the rubbish about death panels put forward by genuine airheads like Sarah Palin.

Once voters see that such misinformation is what it is, views will alter. There will undoubtedly be a big educational drive too.

I would have much preferred another approach – this one has many shortcomings – but it is step forward, and it will make it easier to make refinements in future.

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