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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

That Idea Is Old And Stale

EJ Dionne writes in today's Washington Post editorial page of "The Left's Big Ideas", some thoughts for the left of center movement to try and regain power in DC.

He correctly notes a few interesting things:
New ideas," "bold visions," "detailed solutions" and "courageous policies" almost never originate with politicians, especially politicians in the middle of election campaigns. Political consultants, with a few honorable exceptions, don't do "vision" either.

It's pretty easy to point out that Reagan in 1980 and Gingrich in 1994 were the last two who really showed "vision" during an election. Dionne does point out that Reagan's vision was more of a rehash of William F. Buckley and other's writings, but moved to a much wider audience.

He then gets into the "big idea" the left needs to sell, the common good; unfortunately, it's going to be a tougher idea to sell than it was 30 or 40 years ago. Part of the reason for that can be traced to Bill Clinton and welfare reform, the rest to Reagan's vision of "a hand up, not a hand out".

Unfortunately, for the left, both of those worked exactly as the right said they would. While the far left cried that millions would end up on the streets because of welfare reform, instead there are millions of new homeowners and workers, less people living in poverty and the masses that were going to flood the streets never materialized.

Other than the farthest left end of the spectrum American's have come to realize that a "common good welfare state" ends up a failure, on all levels. It allows a permanent underclass to fester and not attempt to move up, and ends up a drag on those who wish to move upward in society.

I pick on "Old Europe" a lot in my musings because nearly every idea of the "progessive left" is rooted in something they do over there; most of it endin up as an abject failure. The "common good" mantra of Europe has left Germany, France, Italy and Spain as shells of their old selves, supporting an ever growing dole, as jobs vanish to "New Europe", where upward mobility, and personal accomplishment are still rewarded.

The idea of tough labor laws that make it impossible to get rid of poor workers has given France it's huge unemployment rates. The "common good" idea of regulated drug prices has destroyed the European pharmaceutical industry, which now produces about 20% of the worlds new drugs, down from 66% twenty years ago.

Strict, protectionist measures in their economies has destroyed the chance of an EU Constitution, and huge government subsidies, that have helped a few businesses, have taxed others off the continent.

Does that mean there can't be tweaks to our system to make it better, and more accomodating, absolutely not. But at the same time those tweaks need to be rooted in fact and ideas that can actually work, not the fantasies that have proven to fail over and over again.

For instance, prescription drug prices are constantly lamented in the US, rightfully so. We are one of the few major countries left that allows profits in the pharmaceutical industry to offset R&D costs.

Instead of deciding, as Europe and Canada have, on an arbritrary price, based on other nations controlled prices, we need to take a different tack. Impose an export tariff on drug to countries that don't calculate their price to include the US wholesale cost. Use that money to cover the cost of the new Medicare prescription drug benefits, and help low income people pay for their prescriptions.

Along with that would have to be an agreement between the drug companies and the government to pass any additional profit from countries who do recalculate back to the consumer.

Europe has proven what capping prices does, it stifles innovation, and if we decide to take that road "for the common good", we'll watch our own drug companies leave the US for China, India, and other countries that understand that.

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5Comments:

Blogger Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Excellent post CP...really!!
Yeah, the lefties would love to turn our country into what Europe has for governments. That is one of their big ideas that they strive for. I wish they would just move over there....and stay.

10:26 AM  
Blogger on-my-mind said...

CP-- I like your export tariff idea regarding pharmaceuticals, and I agree with what you said about capping their prices. You are right.

This from someone who cannot afford her own medicine....

The liberals never quite get it. They think every person on a tight budget believes liberalism will work and wants to play their game. They are wrong.

I can do without. No one said life would be easy. Moreover, no one promised me that I would get to live forever. (You may quote me on that at my funeral if you want. It will still be true.)

I would rather die honest, than die a liberal. (You may quote me on that, too.)

As long as I am around, I'll be around! Thanks for the great posts! It's nice to hear some common sense....

1:31 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Suzie, they don't actually want to live there, they just want to complain we aren't like them more. Alec Baldwin want's all the niceties of the US, with a euro-twist. The problem is it won't work.

On-My-Mind, thanks so much for visiting and interjecting your own common sense. Too many folks believe everyone wants "big brother" to protect them. The facts show that the more he does, the worse things get, not better.

3:43 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

The left cannot accept any common good that is not engineered by big government. We conservatives do look to the common good, but we don't look to the state to do it. We do it ourselves when we help our friends and neighbors or donate out of our own wallets to causes we believe in; while the left expects the government to do it and supports their causes by opening other people's wallets via taxes.

5:51 PM  
Blogger DA said...

You folks are a laugh riot. You revise history on the fly, swap your hypocritical feel-good babble but cite ZERO facts.

Who exactly are the people that you claim ("Yeah, the lefties would love to turn our country into what Europe has for governments." & "Suzie, they don't actually want to live there, they just want to complain we aren't like them more.") want America to be like Europe for instance? Who? "Alec Baldwin" is your example??? Gimmie a break! First you want to TALK like you are all just regular-folk, but you want to lump all your political enemies in with whatever failed Hollywood actor you can scrape-up as an example, you make me laugh-out-loud! ;-)

The person who said this got the basic premise right: "Too many folks believe everyone wants "big brother" to protect them. The facts show that the more he does, the worse things get, not better." they just seem to automatically and mistakenly attribute the "too many folks" part to the wrong political party. For instance, you righties TALK a good game about having LESS intrusive government, but the second that someone, somewhere is doing something in their personal lives that you don't personally care for, you are the first cry-babies-whiners to run to government to beg them to intervene: Death With Dignity, Gay Marriages, Terri what's-her-face, etc, etc, etc ... you TALK states rights too, but when Oregon voters pass a death-with-dignity law TWICE and defend your attacks all the way to the Supreme Court (Yeah, that's another one of your hypocritical LIES ... you complain about others taking matters all the way to the Supreme Court, meanwhile it is Conservatives who do that exact same thing on an even grander scale!) you wanna scream about it.

Conservatives righties are forever crying about lefties wanting to spend, spend, spend, hell we couldn't come close to spending the amount of money, and driving the country into the massive debt as every so-called conservative Republican has done, is we all lived forever.

You whine about FDR's 70-year successful Social Security prorgam, but not a damn one of you returns the checks to the gov't un-cashed ... what's that about, huh? Hypocrites. BLIND hypocrites at that. Sheep-people. Lemmings. Turn -off your drug-addled Lush Bimbaugh, and Sean Insanity long-enough to to some FACTUAL research before you continue down your silly road to ruin.

And then you contradict yourselves, and your so-called conservative political platforms when you say junk like this too: "CP-- I like your export tariff idea regarding pharmaceuticals, and I agree with what you said about capping their prices. You are right."

No he's not, he's dead wrong. Price Controls? Have you completely abandoned your conservatism, or do you only refer to it when it is convenient, which is it? "Price Controls" are 110% accepted as a liberal economic ploy. What happened to all your flag-waving chants of FREE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE, and getting government to stop interfering with the Capitilist system, huh? Ya see ... hypocrites. Do even ONE of you realize that your Republican Majority (in every branch of gov't for YEARS now) passed that prescription drug nonsense with a LAW built into it that prohibits Medicare/Aid from negotiating the price of prescription drugs based upon the MASSIVE and growing volume of seniors that those programs represent? Did you know that? So riddle me this my conservative genius friends ... since when is it free-market, free-enterprise-capitalism to make it a LAW that prices can be FIXED rather than subject to supply and demand, hmmm? Ya see my conservative rocket scientists, if you WALKED the TALK, and you demanded the same from those you claim to represent you, the free-market, supply & demand forces would have eliminated the need for your liberal-price control idea.

Then there was this jewel from one of those so-called tough conservative types:

"I can do without. No one said life would be easy. Moreover, no one promised me that I would get to live forever. (You may quote me on that at my funeral if you want. It will still be true.)

I would rather die honest, than die a liberal. (You may quote me on that, too.)"

Hey, if you like doing without, go ahead ... keep voting for the crooks you have been sending to jail through Washington. Are you on crack? The next Republican Convention may have to be held in a Federal Pen. at the rate they are going. There is no law that says you can't choose to be stupid, and any one who thinks the way you do, that going without, while conservative executives of conservative corporations buy $6,000 shower curtains, and $15,000 toilets with monies that belonged to REAL regular-folk that worked for 30+ years to earn it, is somehow gonna reserve you a better place in heaven than those of us who get fed-up and say so ... go-for-it. But, don't even THINK about trying to inhibit THIS lefty's right to an opposing point of view. You can't shout us down like you'd like to imagine in that fantasyland where you apparently reside.

It is Conservative Republicans that are afraid. Afraid of their own shadows. So afraid that they refer to the U.S. Constitution as just a piece of paper and follow the fool that playes cowboy and filght-suit dress-up, but who went AWOL when the going got too real for him. It is that Conservative Republican majority who sent young American soldiers to die for them because those same conservatives are SCARED of a pack of rug-riding camel-jockies. Republicans govern from fear and stupidity, rather than from any noble cause / purpose.

I'd be willing to wager that a percentage of the commenters who whined that liberals all want us to be like Europe don't even own a passport and the farthest they've traveled out of the U.S. is Tijuana! The lot of ya crack me up.

Face it folks, you're just strking out in anger at the liberals that have been telling you so, and not that it has all come to pass, you're embarrassed. Just like the junk form the original post above that mistakenly says that the economy is doing great and we have full employment and yadda, yadda, yadda. What planet are yo from? We manufacture nothing in America anymore. We're down to one giant corporation (Wal-Mart), and it's a retailer, and real, living-wage jobs have all been exported while we're left with being a nation of Wal-Mart greeters.

Your political leadership has been in the majority for years now, and the FACT is that they can't manage anything right. They have screwed-up every train wreck that they have created, and they continue to try to lay the blame on others because they don't have the nads to even take responsibility when they screw-up. YOu folks should seriously consider changing your party's name to "THP" from "GOP": The Hypocrite Party"

Rather Be Dead Than Red & I'll Hug Your Elephant If You'll Kiss My Ass.

"Mission Accomplished" & "Bring It On"!

8:29 AM  

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