Monday, January 27, 2014

When They Come For Your Freedom

Here’s how they take away your freedom. Better yet, here's how the new science of behavioral economics persuades you to hand over your freedom.

First, they prove “scientifically” that free will does not exist.

Second, they say that they are just giving you a “nudge” in right direction.

Third, they force you to do what they want you to do, because they know best.

Fourth, they tell you that you should be grateful because your loss is really a gain.

David Bernstein at the Volokh Conspiracy blog exposes the rhetorical ploy that defines behavioral economics:

You haven’t been divorced, you’ve been given the opportunity to change to a better spouse.

You haven’t been expelled, you’ve been given the opportunity to change to a better school.

You haven’t been evicted, you’ve been given the opportunity to change to a better apartment.

You haven’t received a cancellation notice for your pre-Obamacare insurance policy, you’ve been given the opportunity to “change to a better policy.”

That last one is from from a New York Times editorial. Seriously: “The 225,000 Michigan residents who the ad said received ‘cancellation notices’ were actually told that they could change to a better policy.”

Don’t worry about it. Once you discover the truth you will see that it’s all for your best.


Ralph said...

I'm a Michigan resident that had a health insurance policy cancelled, or whatever they call it. I now haven't a health insurance policy, so I guess I missed my chance because the numbers BCBS gave us seemed to mathematically add up that we would pay more for less coverage and over 3 x the deductible.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy a conspiracy, just insincere sequence of standard fare escalated coercion. Why pick fight if you can get your opponent to defeat himself?

It reminds me of the quote "Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip" - possibly attributed to Winston Churchill
Or "A diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip." - Caskie Stinnett

Lastango said...

That's feminism's new shtick too.

Feminists have discovered they need to co-opt men to further the feminist agenda, so they emphasize that feminism frees men too, and that feminism is about human rights, not just rights for women.

For feminists, one equivalent to "you've been given the opportunity to change to a better school" is something like "by deconstructing/reconstructing your masculinity (something we'll help you with - or else) you free yourself to become even more masculine, and to become the father you truly want to be".

See? Once men discover that feminism wants what's best for everyone, they'll really get on board with becoming New Men who have learned to participate in the New Equality. Ignore the reactionaries who think that in the New Equality, some pigs will be more equal than others.

Anonymous said...

I was talking to a friend the other day who is going through contract negotiations with his union. He got a 30% increase in health insurance premiums for the upcoming year, and he has to get in compliance by March 1. So he went to the union negotiator and told him he wasn't going to pay 30% more. The union man said he had to. My friend said "Okay, I don't care. You can take me to the NLRB. I cannot pay this." The union guy came back and bargained, and they reached a decision. What they have now is a high-deductible plan where the worker is responsible for up to $3,000 of healthcare costs. Give or take a few thousand dollars, this is what used to be called a high-deductible plan.

So I got to thinking about this. Remember when Obama told us we had to help the 30 million uninsured? I'm not talking about the ones with pre-existing conditions, I'm talking about the people who chose not to purchase a high-deductible plan with a low premium because they were young and healthy. So in the next 3-5 years, we're all going to be moving to the same high-deductible plans the young people refused to buy, and are (surprise!) still unwilling to buy because they're "too expensive."

This whole ObamaCare thing is a horrible fraud. It's so destructive to middle class Americans (who Obama refers to as "folks") because they're not rich enough to afford whatever they want, and they're not poor enough to qualify for the subsidies. So another pillar of American economic life (employer-sponsored health insurance) is going by the wayside, and the middle class gets screwed. Oh, and Congress exempted themselves and a bunch of their friends. Power to the people! Oh, and because the earth's climate is changing, you have to pay more for utilities. Oh, and because we burn food in our cars, global food prices have gone up. Oh, and you have to pay all your state, county and municipal taxes, too. Oh, and… and… and...

When are people going to wake up and realize that politicians running for whichever office that will take them to Washington, D.C. are destroying your economic freedom? I'm speaking especially to the middle class! This is all insane. You're voting to stick it to "the man," and you're the only one who loses out. It's crazy.

We are bankrupting our country, and the only responsible party is us. We're getting what we deserve. We're falling for the same old tired rhetoric of tax cuts and entitlements. The federal government has too much power, and the bureaucrats are the only group that truly benefits from all this nonsense. And there are no consequences. Few are bothered by their loss in purchasing power, it just… happens.

If it sound too good to be true, it probably is.


Charles A Pennison said...

Possible sign of things to come. According to in the article "Too Old to be Given Cancer Treatment," the policy in Britain is to refuse cancer treatment for those 75 and older. Unless you're rich and can buy treatment, of course.

Anonymous said...

Charles A Pennison, my uncle died in 1996 at age 72 due to heart failure, and he was denied a heart replacement surgery because of his age, so "death panels" already exist.

Its easy to feel entitled to unlimited medical treatments, but even more generally, if there are reasons that older patients have a higher failure rate on certain treatments or procedures, it makes sense to set somewhat arbitrary age limits, and just accept it.

Of course the rich won't accept it, but if you had a choice of mortgaging your house at age 70 to pay for treatment, or having an inheritance to pass on to your children, I bet many parents would say they had a good life, and stop demanding unlimited treatments no matter what quality of life can be expected out of it.

Charles A Pennison said...

I agree with everything you say. But, if I'm not going to get treatment, why am I being forced to pay for insurance? If I have to pay into the system, I want something in return.