Thursday, May 13, 2010

Is Rep. Paul Ryan an anti-communitarian?

Here's something interesting that came up today. Derek Thompson wrote an article for the Atlantic about a New Republic writer's article "blasting Rep. Paul Ryan and his anti-communitarian ilk," but, the NR writer (Jonathan Chait) never used the word communitarian or anti-communitarian in the referred to article. What Chait did write about Ryan was even more revealing, and their phony game couldn't be more obvious to a real anti communitarian like myself.

Rep. Paul Ryan is an objectivist following Randian dialectical principles. Derek and Jonathan follow Marxist dialectical principles. Anti-communitarians object to the Hegelian dialectical process that leads to the final communitarian synthesis. We do NOT endorse dialectical debates, and we stand firm in opposition to the "perfect" communitarian synthesis (which renders it imperfect!) As the leading anti-communitarian thinker in the world, I think I can speak with some authority on this subject.

Anti-communitarians do not join political parties that play into the dialectical games. To date I have found not one politician in the USA who has a clue what anti-communitarianism is. The ONLY elected official in the world who DOES know what it is, is President Vaclav Klaus. (He won my mind with his reasonable assessments of the communitarian scam and we quoted him in 2020: Our Common Destiny. He won my heart when I found Etzioni's story telling about how Klaus almost punched him after an international meeting. That quote is posted at the ACL.)

This is the "great libertarian-communitarian divide" that E.J. Dionne told us (in the Washington Post) existed in America before anyone in America had ever heard of communitarianism. I knew Ayn Rand was a tool, even though I loved all her books when I was a teenager. John Galt was the perfect antithesis to the communist thesis, and without her arguments the "right" would have no dialectical philosophy to feed the final Hegelian synthesis of all ideas.

The biggest joke now is the Tea Party conservatives who are being labeled as anti-communitarians by mainstream leftist authors haven't got the first clue what communitarianism is, and Gigi Bowman confirmed this fact for me last month. The Tea Party is nothing more than a dialectical tool for the communitarians.

Where did Derek Thompson learn to use the word anti-communitarian to describe their politics? And why did he use that particular label, and not "anti-communist", which is what the Tea Party people often use to define their principles?

Should We Protect or Erode Employer-Based Health Care?

by Derek Thompson - Derek Thompson is a staff editor at Atlantic Business, where he writes about economics, business and technology. Derek has also written for BusinessWeek and Slate.
Mar 24 2010, 11:11 AM ET

This morning I peered into the crystal ball to think about how some provisions in the health care bill could shake out in the next ten to twenty years. I acknowledge that this experiment is of limited value because Congress can always pass laws that change the way we regulate, tax and spend our way through health policy, but it's useful I think to extrapolate based on current law since health reform is, after all, the law of the land.

Jon Chait, in a long post blasting Rep. Paul Ryan and his anti-communitarian ilk, says this about employer-based insurance:
Ryan would turn that on its head. Medicare and the employer-based health care system mitigate the risk of chronic or severe sickness. Ryan would slash the former and eliminate the latter.
And then this:
Dissolving employer-based insurance would help a healthy, low-earning 25-year-old at the expense of a diabetic high-earning 50-year-old.
I come into this argument closer to Chait's side than Ryan's, but I think it's important to be clear that in the long run this health care bill erodes the prominence of employer-provided health care. Employer-provided insurance is tax free. In 2018, an excise tax on gold-plated plans kicks in that will grow faster than inflation, hitting more business over time. Americans will have the chance to break with their employer insurance and enter the exchange market where they can receive subsidies (that will also shrink in value over time). Exchange-care will grow. Employer-care will shrink. That's the plan.

Chait should mostly like this. The employer subsidy is awfully regressive because the tax subsidy disproportionately goes to richer insurance plans. Beginning to tax insurance would not only be fair -- inasmuch as wages and benefits should receive similar tax treatment -- it would also correct a fundamental distortion in the health care market, which is that employees don't see the money they're spending on health care because it's taken out of their compensation pre-wages. Economists on all sides of the spectrum agree that tax subsidies on employed-based coverage are critical distorters, and also low-hanging fruit compared to, say, dismantling fee-for-service Medicare.

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