How to Rebuild Trust — and Infrastructure

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Illustration by Oliver Munday and John Custer for TIME

Over the course of this campaign, commentators on both sides of the political divide seemed to agree on one point: this was a campaign about nothing. Barack Obama’s supporters wanted him to lay out a detailed and ambitious agenda for his second term. Mitt Romney’s fans wanted to hear more about the radical restructuring of government. But in fact, by the standards of most elections, this was a campaign about something very big.

Obama and Romney presented two distinct visions of how to rebuild the American economy. Romney emphasized the need to cut taxes and spending and, in general, shrink government. Obama talked about core investments that would allow the country to compete in this century. (Both agreed, without being specific, that they would pursue their agenda while reducing the deficit.) This is not a trivial divide, and the fact that Obama won should have consequences.

(MORE: Obama’s Re-election Celebrated Around the World)

And yet it looks as if it won’t, because the partisan gridlock in Washington means that nothing gets done. A normal process of democratic legislation — each side making concessions to arrive at a compromise plan — has become impossible. Congressional Republicans, in particular, have decided that they would rather have the country be paralyzed than work with a President they have demonized.

Is there a way out? President Obama will have to try to find several — on a debt deal, immigration, energy. But perhaps the most pressing issue is also the one of greatest hope: infrastructure. Dealing with the larger challenges is important, but none of them will have an instant impact on the economy. A large push to rebuild America would. With economic growth still sluggish and unemployment in the construction industry at 11.4% — the highest of any field in the country — an ambitious effort in this area could yield immediate results.

In the long run, you cannot have robust growth without strong infrastructure. The U.S. has historically been world class in this regard. Only a decade ago we were ranked fifth in overall infrastructure by the World Economic Forum; today we have dropped to 25th. The American Society of Civil Engineers calculates that we have a $2 trillion backlog of repairs that must be done over the next five years to stay competitive.

Hurricane Sandy should give us a sense of urgency about these projects. Our crumbling levees, roads, subways and bridges are not just barriers to growth; they are dangers to our lives. We are simply not prepared for a world in which there will be sharp increases in hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and perhaps even earthquakes. We could use concern about these threats to build a new and more resilient system, including most vitally a new energy and information grid, so that we are protected from nature, resilient in hardship and poised for growth.

(VIDEO: TIME Explains: How Obama Won)

Properly done, such a program would also save billions. Before Katrina, the New Orleans water system was losing 30% of its treated water in leaky pipes. (Around the U.S., this percentage is about 25%.) A new system could be far more efficient and detect leaks almost instantly. In almost every area, new technologies would reduce waste in energy, water and time.

Infrastructure improvement is something many Republicans and Democrats agree on. On immigration, taxes and the budget, deals are not happening because conservatives and liberals are deeply divided. That’s not true on infrastructure. Republican Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and Lindsey Graham along with Democratic Senator Mark Warner and others have co-sponsored John Kerry’s legislation to create a national infrastructure bank. It’s an innovative idea for a partnership between the public and private sectors, ensuring that government funds get leveraged and projects get chosen on merit rather than for political reasons and are then executed efficiently. Many European countries use one — with superb results.

In the first debate, Romney made a smart and eloquent case for caution with regard to government spending. He explained that he thought any new government spending should pass this test: “Is it worth borrowing from the Chinese to pay for it?” I would argue that a national bank to rebuild America and give it a 21st century infrastructure passes this test with flying colors. In fact, right now, people everywhere are willing to lend money to the U.S. at rates that are lower than at any point in history, so we wouldn’t need any particular generosity from the Chinese.

Is there a special tactic that might help bring Republicans along? Well, in his gracious speech on Wednesday morning after his re-election, Obama noted that he hoped to talk to Romney about ways they might work together. Why not ask Romney if he would be willing to spearhead this project? It would be an act of bipartisanship in the service of a national interest — and it might just begin to change the tenor of Washington for the next four years.

MORE: Lessons from Florida’s Electoral Gridlock

1051 comments
kgjacob1
kgjacob1

Fareed Zakaria should give it a rest..he is a disgrace..

kgjacob1
kgjacob1

Fareed Zakaria should rebild trust with his readers before advising others. He , who is too clever by half, managed to close down Newsweek

and he is doing it with TIME. He is exposed as a most unhesitating plagiarist and should of thrown out of TIME/CNN too.

max40
max40

Except for President Clinton's second term, one has to go back several decades to find an administration that ran a surplus.  We've had deficit spending in both good times and bad for the entire lifetimes of most Americans.  It wouldn't be so bad if the money was spent on infrastructure, but it wasn't.  So, on top of amassing a huge mountain of debt, our leaders from both parties have allowed our  infrastructure, our house if you will, to become well on the way to decrepitude.  It's as if we've had drunken bums as our heads of household.  And now, you call for massive spending ($2T?) to fix our house, as if the choice is ours alone.  Mr. Zakaria, we are broke and deeply in debt.  Who will lend us this money to fix our house?  You call for actions that would be reasonable for a serious nation that has merely slipped a little from what otherwise was a sober, responsible path.  But, alas, we are not that nation, and have not been for quite awhile.  And I'm afraid that there are consequences for our profligate ways, consequences that we have yet to face.  What you propose is simply unrealistic; it is beyond our present capabilities.

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

75% TAX on 1%; NOW!  It's only FAIR.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Looks like FLA finally dropped into Obama's basket!

I think we can now call Obama's win a semi-landslide with having won ALL the battleground states.

One day, the South will wake up and realize that they're just one more chunk of the United States.

opinion101
opinion101

If the GOP denounced theocracy and stuck to economics, they would be occupying the Whitehouse today.

Business is business - that is the universal appeal of America.That is what makes America great. That is what the American Revolution was all about: business.

It doesn’t matter the color of your skin, your gender, your sexual preference, your weight, your height, your appearance, whatever. Making money crosses all divides.

No one comes to America for Medicare, or Medicaid. Food stamps and welfare are not the big immigration draw. Sorry to disappoint. People come to America because it is actually possible, forget the odds, it is actually possible, to make it and make it big.

If Mitt said he unequivocally supported women rights; If he said he would veto any imposition of religious views or opinions upon Americans, whether on women or on men, period; If he had stood up on immigration and admitted that although his personal views would obviously shape his approach, the needs and aspiration of the American people would always trump his own personal beliefs and views - or anyone else’s, period. He would have had a landslide victory. HUGE.

Mitt’s defeat was not a defeat of capitalism over socialism. It was a defeat of a GOP agenda of theocratic social engineering versus the secular status quo.

If the Republican Party is, at its core, a party of theocratic social engineering, they are finished. If they are not, then with some serious house cleaning, they can once again rise to the forefront of American consciousness.

CareyGire
CareyGire

Hmm...it still appears that many commenters on this site have nothing positive to add.  They're against a lot, but for nothing.

 The infrastructure  bank idea has been tried at the state level (Kansas, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia) successfully.  It looks like a way to incentivize private investment at relatively small cost to the government. If set up appropriately, it could fund a regular amount of construction work (and associated construction jobs) for years.  What better way to get people back to work on useful tasks?

tsanday
tsanday

You know, I don't have a degree in economics, but I'm looking at this practically.  If the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, it only means one thing.  The corporations and billionaires are not paying their employee's enough or hiring enough Americans.  Distribute the wealth guys, you did not do it alone.  You had employees!  Be patriotic, spread the wealth.

kolagunta
kolagunta

I agree with Zakeria that infrastructure has to be prime focus for recovery and it is true for all countries. But the main trap the US is falling into as also the west is proliferation of waste, due to uncontrolled over consumption. Today the waste in the US is almost 30%, which grew 3 times to this level in the last decade. To maintain this over consumption the US is resorting to huge cheap imports from the east and South America. The energy used in producing the extra which makes up the waste and that used for treating the waste is indirectly adding to global warming. The other major reason for the economy to falter is the cost of engagement in other countries, especially the Muslim world. Billions in aid which are counter productive.Much of the aid, unfortunately, is being used to abet terror rather than otherwise. For some countries the economy is based on the terror machine amply aided by the US. Thus if the US wants to turn around it should disengage from involvement in other countries, while reducing waste by avoiding over consumption. In other words it has to become self sufficient using resources rationally. This may entail a reduction in economic activity which needs to be compensated by large investments in  infrastructure, organic farming and above all disaster management, to counter the climate change. 

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

How about making Romney an ambassador?  It's worked well for the likes of Bush and Clinton and there are certainly many countries out there that need aid and attention. 

Arclight
Arclight

Disregarding the pulp in the article what is coming will be more of the same. The erosion of what used to make the USA work will continue and this will be evident momentarily. (No matter how much was paid to write this skewed article!) The downward slide away from what has made us great over decades will now begin refreshed. The ideological rape of America will continue in all its vainglory. We have become an ignorant people. Good but ignorant. So, let the disassembly continue and with luck and maybe less masochistic tendencies, maybe after four more years there will be enough of a nub of a country left to once again climb back up from the slime into which we are descending. I surely hope so.

Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2012/11/07/how-to-rebuild-trust-and-infrastructure/#ixzz2BjYyouMc

SkyMKinley
SkyMKinley

Ewww..no. The way the Democrats went after Romney on every possible front and even dug into 20 year old divorce records in an attempt to deomonize the entire Romney family I would be shocked if they agreed to let their father do anything for the current Government. I know I'd be advising my dad to stay the hell away!  Obama can figure it out. That's what his job is.

desertscar
desertscar

The more I think about it Romney & Obama probably won't do such a thing right now. But Obama should bring in a Pawlenty, Snow or Lugar into the administration. Someone with relations with some other republicans and who can facilitate compromise with a minority sub-group of republicans.

Divided government takes some compromise.

-Raise revenue (call it eliminate loopholes--such as ability to deduct interest on your second home or cap the home deduction interest, or rolling back some temporary tax breaks if you will).

-Cut the military 5% next year and 2.5% more per year until we get to a point where just double the military strength of the next strongest county (China, Russia) is just fine.

-Cut federal law enforcement by similar measures (DEA, FBI, DHS), focus efforts on terrorism and less on immigration & drugs. Our whole criminal justice system needs revamped (a huge burden on the states, we spend way too much as a nation for incarceration and legal costs associated with non-violent offenders) but it is a lot more than the feds, but the feds can set priorities and set some examples. A rock solid guest worker program would also decrease immigration enforcement needs and raise revenue.

-Freeze total discretionary spending and set new priorities (less ag subsidies, more on R & D, supplementing student loans, maybe more in STEM fields). The spending should be more tied to immediate infrastructure or immediate purchasing power to the poor as well as for long term innovation and growth investments in health, science and engineering.

-Phase in reductions to entitlements consistent with many elements of Ryan's plan + reduce benefits to high income retirees.

-Lower medicare & medicaid costs by incentivizing prevention and low tech but effective treatments, disincentivising unnecc and not cost effective procedures. This is potentially huge if we have the balls truly change the culture of current medical practice (I am not blaming MDs here, it is the warped fee structure largely imposed on them). Just look around the world for models. Some tort reform in there is fine too--will help a tad on costs and provide something else republicans can bring back to their constituents.

America can work its way out of its hole. Unlike many other nations facing austerity and with a less massive GNP we have some low hanging fruit (our waistfullness in health care expenditures; reductions in the military and enforcement elements less specifically tailed to risk of terrorism threats; some not too painfully introduced increased revenue measures). Repubs can be part of the bargain and help shape it, or be left behind. Remember the house is entirely up in 2 years and the American people want moderate and centrist steps to be taken.

gmc
gmc

Why, was he accused of plagiarism? 

JoseRodriguez
JoseRodriguez

Mejorar la economia es lo importante  ?? .  Como hacerlo es la pregunta del millon de dolares . Muy sencillo poner a los Republicanos sentados en la mesa sin decir nada , porque no tienen la capacidad de pensar correctamente como estudiados (los titulos son comprados  ,  no ganados). No incrementar los taxes esa es la solucion para ellos , cuando como millonarios no saben ni difrutar la vida como millonario (el unico millonario que vive como millonario es ORACLE MEN. EN TODOS LOS USA ) . HAY MAS DE 10 MILLONES DE MILLONARIOS QUE TIENEN QUE TENER ALTOS TAXES , PORQUE , FAMILIAS CON SALARIOS ANUELES DE $100000.00 VIVEN BIEN SIN FALTARLES COMIDA Y EDUCACION (ESTA ES LA CLASE TRABAJADORA) , 

PONER TAXES DEL 100 % A VEHICULOS DE MAS DE $50000.00 QUE VENGAN DEL EXTERIOR (FUERA DE LOS USA ) Y DEL 50% A LOS VEHICULOS DE MAS DE $10,000.00 HASTA  $ 49,999.99., DE ESTA FORMA SE INCREMENTARA LOS TRABAJOS EN USA Y HABRA MAS PERSONAS QUE PAGEN TAXES. ESTO PAGARA EL DEFICE EN UN 50% A 4 ANOS.

HACER EL NUEVO DOLAR , ANULAR EL DOLAR ACTUAL Y HACER UN NUEVO DOLAR CON MAYOR VALOR , DE ESTA FORMA , SE BORRARA LOS NARCO DINEROS O LOS DINEROS MANEJADOS POR LA MAFIA , LOS QUE LABAN DINERO .  COBRAR POR LA VENTA DEL NUEVO DOLAR UN 3% , O INTERCAMBIO DEL DOLAR VIEJO , SE HARAN LOS INTERCAMBIOS DIRECTAMENTE A TRAVEZ DE BANCOS CENTRALES DE DIFERENTES PAISES.    DE ESTA NUEVO DOLAR EN CIRCULACION , SE ANULARAN 3 TRILLONES DE DOLARES QUE SON LAVADOS , MANEJADOS POR MAFIA , POR EL NARCO Y BANCOS QUE MANEJAN DINEROS DE ALTA SECRETA UTILIZACION.

DemerrickMoton
DemerrickMoton

Didn't Obama try to invest in infrastructure as a stimulus measure back in 2011? He got shut down by Republicans, and some Democrats. Why do assume those anti-spending forces have changed? Perhaps after the fiscal cliff fiasco is dealt with, then he'll have enough leverage to offer another stimulus bill aimed directly at construction and expanding public sector employment... I suspect he will. 

sodajerk
sodajerk

Lets start up the blame game. Somehow no matter what it will be the republicans fault that Obummer cant get anything done.

By all means its not his sheer incompetence or utter disregard for the constitution.

wildwanda2011
wildwanda2011

The United States of America has become the Global Federal Bankrupt Empire of America.  It is unsettling to see how many people truly believe that the economy should be "run" by the government.  By rewarding failure and demonizing success the fall of the empire has been set in motion and is unstoppable at this point.  The belief that the government exists to provide material wealth is insane and has landed everyone in a solid pile of tyranny.  Freedom means that our individual choices affect our lives more than the decisions made by politicians thousands of miles away.  Good Luck riding out the collapse of a long forgotten concept of free people living in United States. Millions upon millions of dependent, no skill, no entrepreneurial drive, socialist, baby makers cannot compete in a world where people are willing to work a lot harder for a lot less than Americans.  All the fancy smiling speeches by corrupt Chicago mega-politicians will not change that fact.  Good Night America. 

DanRuleman
DanRuleman

China competes wonderfully but their infrasturcture is fractions of ours. Yes, they have some high speed rail but it is only available to 5% of the population due to cost and location(?) They have awesome seaports of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Schenzen. What they do have is extremely cheap labor, how do we get this in the U.S.? Infrastructure is wonderful when someone else pays for it, like big businesses. But a lack of bridges or airports is not why this country is loosing manufacturing and service jobs.

secchron
secchron

The reality is the republicans would rather watch america go down a drain than work with a black president... ant to think this was the party of Abraham Lincoln. Honestly I wish Hilary had won in 08 because americans can't afford this racial divide we have now.

tinglott
tinglott

Who the fools now?You got your lame duck imbecile re-elected and he can't deliver. I hope he fails on his fat tail and make all you folks suffer for electing him president. I would be glad to see democrats finally agree the made a big mistake for re-electing such a in complacent man. If I was Mitt I would not even agree to help him. 

soundr
soundr

What is Fareed Zakaria thinking??? We already blew 800bi of stimulus money to "fix roads and bridges and create shovel-ready jobs", and there is NOTHING to show for it. The country is at the brink of insolvency, so why not just double down? Maybe U$2 trillion this time. Brilliant.

nhautamaki
nhautamaki

@opinion101 

Your points are irrelevant because the GOP has no credibility on economic management anyway.  If it's true that the GOP is actually capable of growing the economy then why does it keep crashing and burning on their watch, and fail to recover until a Democrat comes along and cleans up the mess?  I don't want to see the Republicans get any credit on economic management skills until the Red States start paying back the Blue States for all the sucking at the Federal Teat they've been doing for the last 40 odd years, just for starters.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@opinion101  

I think that health care is constantly misrepresented.  With health care, there are no "freedom" issues, with respect to the penalty.  If you elect to forgo health insurance then you risk dumping your expenses raw, onto the taxpayers.

I'm not one to believe that only certain people are entitled to health care.  I do believe that if you affluent enough, go ahead, you have the right to get the best you can afford.  

What bothers me most about the health care debate is that there is some sense of being "responsible" when in fact, with or without Obamacare, health care is simply unaffordable.  We have run up $1,935,000 in bills in the lengthy recovery of my wife, which is still not complete.  The idea that you can "make arrangements" on even a tiny fraction of a bill like that is ludicrous.  As it is, I pay nearly 20% in taxes, insurance premiums, and uncovered costs out of a combined income of $47,000.  I also pay 2350 in income tax.  I also pay SS tax of $1875.

Why do I mention all of this?

Because the idea that the lower "47%" don't pay taxes is totally wrong.  The idea that one can be "responsible" for the health care bills is totally wrong. For many seniors like myself (and everyone, everyone who follows!) the need to turn to the government for help is necessary if one is to keep their home or their loved ones alive. I don't care that it's 2,600 pages long.  It works.  

I'm in the Home Health Care (medicaid and medicare) program, and I take care of my wife at home.  For all of you who claim the government wastes money, this is absurd: I the time I have provided care for my wife since April of this year, I have run up some $330,000 in additional expenses, whereas, if she had remained in the health care system outside the home, those bills would have topped $800,000!  Furthermore, we are about ready to resume home hemodialysis, which will ameliorate most of the rest of that bill.  The costs to the government and insurance companies will drop below $5,000 / month.

There is not a shred of proof that an unfettered free market can bring anything but misery (there is proof of that, btw) to those who can't afford health care, so that's no solution, either.

In short, in nearly every respect, the entire health care debate his been in the wrong framework.

desertscar
desertscar

@opinion101 I agree with you to a degree. Where I diverge is about health care and the environment. The pro-business community has not offered any compelling plans about health care, unless you go with Romneycare/Obamacare which they now run away from. Capitalism has yet to generate a cost-effective, quality and comprehensive way to address persons' health needs as well as a few other collective needs (healthy environments to live in, infrastructure). A few libertarians have began to acknowledge this.

The Republican Party will need the Social Conservatives to maintain a large political influence (even if just a large minority) until they come to grips with the former.

Even in the UK, Canada, Australia, and Switzerland, the pro business conservatives don't have a conflict with government mandated health care for all. US economic conservatives need to get a grip on this reality too if they expect to be taken very seriously at a national level.

desertscar
desertscar

@tsanday You know in Japan the government does not largely redistribute its wealth. But it would be unseemly for a CEO to have the kind of disparity from the companies other workers as apparent in the US. But asking that kind of cultural and ethos shift--I just don't see that happening in America.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@DonQuixotic Libya is lovely this time of the year and since he tried to politicize the death of the last ambassador there it is only fitting that he should go and serve there.

Piacevole
Piacevole

Romney was only interested in occupying the white House.  Any other government job would be simply beneath his dignity.

And ours.

ahandout
ahandout

@DemerrickMoton  Hey went for those shovel ready jobs instead, remember.  Ha, ha funny stuff, that.

desertscar
desertscar

Reminds me of a scene for the Life of Brian: What has Obama ever done for us?

-Passed a conservative principled overhall of health care?

(R-"well yes")

-Middle class tax cut?

(R-"well, OK")

-Saving jobs with a stimulus?

(R-"questionable overall impact, but OK")

-Weakening Al Qauda to its lowest point in 12+ years? 

(R-"yes, I guess so")

-Brought thousands of troops home to their families?

(R-in an irritated voice, "yes")

-Peace?

(R-"Shut Up Now")

Piacevole
Piacevole

I will be happy not to have the goverment in my bedroom - or anybody else's - or sitting in on any reproductive decisions, determining that some people may not marry whom they choose, and that some people are in a permanent subclass.

The government should provide regulation of corporations which might act other than in the best interests of citizens (Enron and several of the more predatory financial institutions come to mind, as well as that disaster unfolding at the medical compounding facility in Massachusetts), things like that.

No, it's not up to "government" to make everyone wealthy, but then, nobody except stuck-in-the-echo-chamber people claim that.

wildwanda2011
wildwanda2011

@secchron the reality is that we are all enslaved by the limitless promises made by politicians because now we have to pay for their socialist schemes.  Color matters not.  We are all slaves now.

Piacevole
Piacevole

You really are a slow learner, aren't you?  President Obama was re-elected very comfortably, and most Americans are very happy about that.  It might be nice if you guys would stop your gratuitous insolence.

As for Mitt, he won't be eating at the mission house and living under a bridge, will he?  He'll be okay.  He doesn't need us. . . and we sure don't need him.

SmoothEdward1
SmoothEdward1

@tinglott Thanks, your screed is so helpful, and will go a long way in fostering the kind of bipartisanship needed to get Washington unstuck and compromising to get things done.

SmoothEdward1
SmoothEdward1

@soundr You know, you are the typical low-information voter who spouts off about things and really doesn't know any of the facts. Why don't read the New New Deal book. It goes into detail about the stimulus package, and how the monies were spent. You'll learn something.

opinion101
opinion101

@53_3 @opinion101 

I empathize with your statements but deeply struggle with how to turn them into political persuasion. Politics is the art of persuading others to do what they originally had no intention of doing. America is in a sense trapped by its ideology. It wants to do certain things, but it can’t; on principle. It needs a way to do the right thing, yet maintain face on a position that may, or may not be, completely ludicrous. That is why your argument, though perhaps factual, will not induce the results you seek.

The cost of raising an army has been socialized because long ago folks realized that only the crown could raise the finances sufficient for an effective army. As a republic, America faced an interesting choice: face the crown with an army, or without one. Staring into the business end of a sea of muskets, our founding fathers never even blinked; the republic forever socialized the cost of raising an army.

Socialized or universal health care in America needs a similar “obvious” moment. A key obstacle is that health care is very fragmented: private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, employer pay, etc. This fracturing has done the equivalent of “divide and conquer” to the idea of universal medical coverage.

Deliberate or not, this strategy has been very successful in keeping health care private. Imagine if Medicaid and Medicare were shut down and soldiers & vets were told to pay for their own “repair”. The health care debate would suddenly be very different.

How to initiate that “moment” that is both compelling and politically acceptable is a huge challenge. If you find it, please share. America, I believe, wants to do the right thing, but right here, right now, it just can’t.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@opinion101  

...and I can thank the GOP for honing their skills in twisting that framework of discussion.

Piacevole
Piacevole

Just one thing. . . if Romney went anyplace as an ambassador, what would we do about his bone-deep inability to identify with people unlike himself?

Piacevole
Piacevole

Oh, please.  If you feel "enslaved," you forged your own chains.  For the rest of us, freedom means democracy, which has spoken loudly.

Can you hear us NOW?

opinion101
opinion101

@desertscar @opinion101 @53_3 

You miss my point. The American Constitution upholds a citizen’s freedom (right) to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness". Life and Liberty are absolutes, and are addressed by the military and the judiciary; maintenance of both is socialized.

The operative word in "pursuit of happiness" is the word pursue. If health care makes you happy, then the constitution ensures you are free to pursue it. If you can afford it, great: if not, too bad.

THIS IS THE CORE PROBLEM for socialized health care in America. Framed in this arena, the facts presented above not only work against @53_3, they crush him.

@53_3 derides corporate entities, operating within the laws of the United States, that can command nearly one million dollars of revenue per customer, despite those customers having annual incomes of only 47k$. How can that, in America, be argued as a bad thing? It is generally applauded as absolute genius (with perhaps suspicion of being a little too good to be true).

The position of universal (or affordable) health care cannot be won by facts. It is a constitutional issue. Health care is not a right of citizenship in the USA and hence it has no basis to be socialized.

In those other countries mentioned, healthcare is either in fact, or generally accepted as, a right of citizenship.

This returns me to my original position: I deeply struggle with how to turn @53_3’s statements into political persuasion.

desertscar
desertscar

@opinion101 @53_3 I would like to think economic conservatives pride themselves on being attuned to cost and data. America's health care costs are 50% greater than the next highest country, and we don't care for everyone nor have great data based results for those even  with coverage. How about more data, how about that other 1st world nations considered even more economically free than the US (e.g., by the Heritage Foundation) either have a single payer almost entirely run government based health care system, or a very heavily regulated system with government subsidies (for high risk patients) that gets ones' employers out of the health coverage responsibility.   

I think the libertarian oriented economic conservative who hasn't grasped this is stuck on ideology, and not results or data driven, which is contrary on one of their core beliefs (e.g., the problem with socialism and government regulation isn't the theory, it is the results). 

While I think this is politically persuasive to the economic conservatives masses, the America problem of implementation will foremost be be big insurance and big pharma. Some cultural changes among MDs too, but there are plenty of them (particularly younger ones) seeing the mess we are in and ready to try some new approaches--particularly if we added some tort reform to protect them if they are doing reasonable efforts at evidenced based practice as part of further health care reform and restructuring. 

Piacevole
Piacevole

It's amusing how little the cons have learned from this comeuppance.  They're still playing the same game.

It's sort of like trying to play baseball with a football.  It's hard to pitch, and it keeps taking funny bounces. 

wildwanda2011
wildwanda2011

@TyPollard @wildwanda2011 @secchron  

In order to effect control over an economy you need to control the behavior of hundreds of millions of people.  You can only do this with great power.  The slaves need to do what the masters dictate from the Federal Empire in DC or the credit card bill for the USA never gets paid.  Material wealth has trumped freedom.  Enjoy your first taste of the worsening levels of slavery to come.