Friday, December 17, 2010

The most dangerous bias

I've said it before. I say it in the column just to the right of this post. And I'll no doubt continue saying it as long as I continue to do this blog (however sporadic that may be): The single most dangerous bias in the entirety of what passes for journalism today is the belief that you're unbiased.

It's dangerous because it's false. It's dangerous because it's never been true. And it's dangerous because it leads unfailingly to the assumption that those who disagree with your "objective" opinions are not just mistaken or misguided, but deliberately lying, with nefarious aims, and so forth.

Hence my deep skepticism of "objective" journalism in general, and "fact-checking" in particular. I have no confidence that any of these groups are aware of or make allowances for their own biases. On the contrary, I fully expect that on any issue that is not a cut-and-dried matter of number crunching, they will adopt partisan points of view (almost always Democratic, given their profession) as the absolute truth, and "fact-check" accordingly.

Case in point: PolitiFact's "lie of the year." Obamacare, they assure us, is not a government takeover of health care. The government is ordering everyone to buy health insurance under pain of tax/financial penalty, the government is telling everyone what kind of health insurance they can and cannot get, and both supporters and opponents of the plan say it is the first and biggest step on an inevitable road to single-payer health care in this country.

But don't worry, PolitiFact assures us. It's not a government takeover, and those who say otherwise are "lying."

See Don Surber for a more thorough disassembly of this blatantly partisan, overtly biased "fact-checking."


Thursday, September 23, 2010

"We are all getting poorer in hopes that a few don't get richer."

That's the highlight of the latest from Victor Davis Hanson, summing up in one sentence everything that's wrong with the Obama administration's economic approach.

It really does come down to the basic assumptions of the left.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beating a dead horse

This has played out many, many times before over the course of the debate on ObamaCare. And the same thing happens every time: Supporters simply don't want to hear it, so they ignore it.

Still, it plays out again. The latest to try in vain to point out the precedent of the debacle in Canada is Sally Pipes:

[I]t's instructive to consider the Canadian story. It begins in 1946, when Tommy Douglas, the socialist premier of Saskatchewan, secured legislative approval of government-funded hospital insurance for all residents of the province. The federal government followed suit in 1957, funding hospital insurance for the entire country.

Douglas led the way again in 1961, when Saskatchewan became the first province to fund full medical insurance for all its residents. In response, some 700 doctors in Saskatchewan went on strike for 23 days, charging that the Douglas plan opened the door to government control of health care. Several thousand citizens joined them, staging an orderly protest against the new "medicare" scheme outside the legislative building in the provincial capital.

The protests eventually died down, and by 1966, the Canadian government had passed legislation providing money to provinces that followed Saskatchewan's lead. Two years later, they all had.

Proponents of the reforms touted them as a happy medium between the British system, where the government owned and operated hospitals, and the American system, where healthcare services were largely left to the private market. Canada's federal government provided funding to the provinces, which the provinces used to deliver care.

This happy medium soon crumbled. With health care now effectively "free" -- that is, paid for by other taxpayers -- Canadians began visiting the doctor twice as much. Exploding demand drove up costs. To keep spending under control, the federal government simply reduced how much it sent to provinces to run the system. Provinces in turn cut payments to doctors and covered fewer services and cutting-edge treatments.

At first, doctors responded by billing patients directly for amounts greater than the government reimbursements. But in 1984, the federal government outlawed such practices -- thereby banning private delivery of services covered under the Canada Health Act. At this point, the Canadian government effectively controlled health care in the country.

The Canadian experience offers a preview of what Obamacare has in store for the United States.

Will this convince ObamaCare supporters? No. They think that this is a great thing to have happen, and until it actually does, they will not be convinced otherwise.



Friday, July 30, 2010

Spot-on, and yet completely clueless

Paul Krugman, writing in Friday's New York Times:

Why does the Obama administration keep looking for love in all the wrong places? Why does it go out of its way to alienate its friends, while wooing people who will never waver in their hatred?

How about that? Even someone as "out there" as Krugman has finally figured out that Obama's foreign policy is completely bass-ackwards!

These questions were inspired by the ongoing suspense over whether President Obama will do the obviously right thing and nominate Elizabeth Warren to lead the new consumer financial protection agency.


You know what?

Forget I said anything.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Even liberals have limits

When it comes to common sense, at least.

Over at the Huffington Post, Lynn Paramore put together a collection of 9 "myths," which were "exposed" by various professors of economics.

A sampling:

Myth #2: Fixing Social Security and Medicare will require "tough choices."
Reality: Social Security and Medicare are not facing a financial crisis.

Myth #3: We are passing on debt to our grandchildren.
Reality: Payments on Treasury securities are a matter of data entry, not a financial burden.

Myth #6: Deficits and government borrowing takes away savings.
Reality: Deficits add to income and savings.

And so forth. The whole piece is so ridiculous that even the readers at the Huffington Post are calling it the BS that it is--comments on the post are almost unanimous in their negativity.

It's as if the readership has been collectively possessed by Paul Ryan. And regardless of what I think of their positions on other issues, it's a welcome sight.