In the ongoing debacle on Health Care, Medicaid, and the social net, it’s clear the GOP can’t admit defeat, can’t participate in a democracy, and can’t do simple math. If politics makes doing math difficult the GOP has proven they are so politicized they can’t add much less do algebra–oh yeah, I forgot, algebra is evil Muslim-originated crap.
Amanda Marcotte writes the mean-spriritied GOP verges on ideological hatred. Ya, think. Sadistic bastards. If the country ejected the poor from the Earth, all would be well. Before my spouse joined the public school system we had no health insurance. As a self-employed farmer and builder I had a high-deductible, emergency-only HSA coverage that went from $200 a month to $2,000 a month, while my wages went down. Our insurance was more than half our income–in some years it would have been most of our income. Of course we dropped it refusing Mitt Romney’s gleeful assurance that the system worked: we could just claim bankruptcy if we got really sick, or die if that was too humiliating. We fit the medicaid scenario of just above the poverty line, that part Medicaid expansion would cover.
Make no mistake: The only reason Republican-led states are doing this is out of an ideological distrust often bordering on hatred of the working class. According to the relentless drumbeat of conservative media outlets like Fox News, people who require government help to survive are just lazy leeches who think they’re too good to fight for a better-paying job. But the second that the lowest-income Americans do stand up for themselves and demand better pay so that they don’t have to go on Medicaid and food stamps, the very same conservatives angrily denounce them for that too. You’re a bad person if you need help. You’re a bad person if you seek a job with a living wage. Given the conservative mentality, there’s nothing people can do to win.
It’s so sadistic and political they can’t do the math. And for those who can it’s more sick. Hey, if we convince the poor and middle class they fucked up then no one will blame us!
The refusal to accept the Medicaid expansion cannot be justified through the usual half-baked conservatives rationalizations. It doesn’t save the states any money to refuse it; theexpansion is to be paid for almost entirely by the federal government. In other words, taxpayers in those states will pay the same taxes as everyone else, but their states will get less in return. That means it is costing the states money to refuse the Medicaid expansion. And that’s all before the excessive health costs that end up falling on taxpayers when people who don’t have insurance end up in emergency rooms, often because they couldn’t afford preventive care. In addition, refusing the Medicaid expansion reduces the amount of competition on the insurance market, meaning that even well-off Americans in red states will be paying more for insurance.
While the GOP wants to blame the poor, even brilliant conservative writers like Thomas Sowell can’t do the math in a hideous gossamer of pretty, political myopia. You can’t blame it on the people. There are X number of jobs for Y number of people where Y-X is a rather large number (I feel like I’m repeating myself). This penchant for blaming the poor for not being sufficiently motivated is sadistic and beats down any gumption to look for work even more. But no therapy for the poor–just facile homilies of “can do” and “I did it.” At least the poor can do the math and know those lists of jobs in the paper are a fraction of the jobs needed to make most people employed. Every day they get their loss and it’s no wonder that cheap beer and pretty shoes become most important for relief and to show-off some part of them is attractive.
My grandfather was a believer of volunteer work. If you really want a job go volunteer–they will eventually see your drive and motivation and will hire you. Great story, no match to reality. This is a story of how to win in a hyper competitive market and not how to get everyone employed.
Hell, I’m depressed at the lack of ability for even bright, promising young people like my son on the dean’s list to be sure of a career. As capitalism wins and creates robotics for many more jobs than we think can be done by robotics niow, like doctors (basic triage) and even lawyers (basic legal research), the work market place is going to switch from labor and capital to capital. You have a 50/50 chance of a computer stealing your job.
“We examine how susceptible jobs are to computerisation. To assess this, we begin by implementing a novel methodology to estimate the probability of computerisation for 702 detailed occupations, using a Gaussian process classifier. Based on these estimates, we examine expected impacts of future computerisation on US labour market outcomes, with the primary objective of analysing the number of jobs at risk and the relationship between an occupation’s probability of computerisation, wages and educational attainment. According to our estimates, about 45 percent of total US employment is at risk. We further provide evidence that wages and educational attainment exhibit a strong negative relationship with an occupation’s probability of computerisation.”
If you have money in stocks, you’re doing great and have for a few years–your recovery was some time ago. If you’re service, labor, middle-management, and most everything else, nadda. How does one convert labor to capital if there is no disposable income after meeting expenses? No way out.
Robots are supposed to free us from the tedious work but eventually they will relieve us of employment as a concept. Very soon. The math of computer-expertise doubling means the greatest difference is in the last few cycles and we’re there. Soon a robot will do most jobs better than their organic counterparts. Exponential math is even more hard for humans to get but it is why compound interest creates huge wealth at the last few cycles and why artificial intelligence will overcome ours soon.
If education, skill training, internships, and working are not a way towards wealth anymore and passive income rules there will be more poor. It’s time the GOP and its intellectual minions woke up, had fun with some math, and changed their tune to how we can enable more people to become part of a capital system. Because it sure as hell isn’t in labor, with your hands or intellectual.
Jim Newman, bright and well