“Let him die!”

A few days ago, we had a post here on the site about the aggressive strain of conservative bloodlust that was starting to rise to the surface in the Republican Presidential debates. Well, tonight’s Tea Party-sponsored debate was no different. Watch the following clip featuring Ron Paul being asked by Wolf Blitzer what should happen to an uninsured man who finds himself in need of intensive medical treatment. Paul, who’s used to fielding questions like this, answers by not answering, instead making a broad statement about personal liberty, suggesting that the man should be free not to purchase health insurance, if that’s what he wants to do. The Tea Partying audience, however, was a little more blunt. Beneath the cheering, you can hear someone clearly yell, “Let him die!”

I’d love to know a little more about the man who yelled out, the federal assistance he and his family members have accepted over the course of his life, and the religion he undoubtedly professes to believe in.

The thing that amazes me most about the Tea Partiers is their inability to recognize, let alone acknowledge, their own hypocrisy. I’m reminded of our old friend Joe the Plummer who went around saying things like, “Was it patriotic for Joe Biden to say ‘take my money and give it to other people?’ That’s patriotism?” only to have it discovered later that his own family had relied on welfare not once, but twice, to get by. It’s as though these self-proclaimed Tea Party “patriots” feel as though their use of government assistance programs is somehow justified, whereas others who depend on the very same programs are shiftless, lying schemers who just want to suckle from the government teat. Certainly a huge part of this can be attributed to racism, but I credit a great deal to what I’ll call the John Stosselization of American media. We apparently can’t get enough of these stories about the isolated individuals out there who are manipulating the system for their own benefit. It gives us convenient scapegoats to focus our anger on, and diverts our attention from the real crime taking place all around us – the companies paying off our legislators to look the other way as they pollute our environment, hide their profits, and send our jobs to third world countries where they can exploit slave labor. I don’t deny that there’s room for improvement in our current welfare system. That doesn’t change the fact, however, that the man trying to milk the system by getting his dialysis for free probably isn’t as much to blame for the current state of America as the investment banker who got wealthy shuffling around financial assets that he knew were toxic.

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  1. Eel
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    In Paul’s defense, he also said, “We never turned anybody away from the hospital.” So I guess he’s saying that none of us should have insurance, and that we should expect doctors to care for us out of the goodness of their hearts.

  2. Posted September 12, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I would like to know if the man who yelled that considers himself “pro life”. I would also like to know at what point that man lost his fucking soul. No one is born that hateful, so something had to give. I seriously would like to know at what point one turns into someone like that…is it in childhood? when you’re grown? what? Is it nature, nurture, what?

    Once in awhile, I think of how f’in embarrassing it must be to be God and I feel bad. You go and create us and look at this shit. I would slam us all down in a fiery rainstorm, personally….

  3. b
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    so sick!

  4. Posted September 13, 2011 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Ron Paul’s appeal is in that he offers very few solutions. It’s quite easy to say that everything is fucked up, let’s stop doing this, stop doing that, but quite difficult to offer up constructive solutions to solve problems such as the incredible problem of what to do about sick people who have no insurance.

    It’s interesting that Ron asks doctors to see patients for free. His son believes that public health insurance plans will enslave doctors. At least under a public system, they’d get paid.

  5. Megan
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Ok, I see two sides to this. One, it reminds me of that story, I can’t remember where it was, where you had an option to buy fire coverage from the local fire department because it wasn’t part of your taxes. This one family’s house caught on fire and the fire department refused to put it out (the reason being (and they’re right) if they stepped in and put it out, no one would buy the fire coverage b/c the fire dept just proved they’d put it out anyway).

    In some ways, i see it similar to that. If this hypothetical 30 year old has the option and the means to pay for his own insurance, and refuses to do so, I don’t see the government stepping in and helping him out when hindsight goes, “Oh, you know… maybe I should have…”

    On the other hand, surely there’s some other alternative to just letting him die. Some sort of hospital loan or something.

    Not all states require car insurance. If you get in an accident and you don’t have insurance, that’s your problem. The government isn’t going to step up and go, “Oh, I’ll go ahead and cover it for you.”

    So in a way, I see what Paul is trying to (not) say. Though I don’t agree with Mr. Let Him Die in the audience.

  6. Posted September 13, 2011 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Have you ever lived in a state that doesn’t require auto insurance?

    Let’s say you get hit by an uninsured driver. Who pays your medical bills?

    Insurance, be it health, auto or even the insurance provided by your local fire department isn’t all about the holder of the policy. It’s also about all the other people involved. A sick society reduces the quality of living for even those who aren’t ill. A burning house next to yours raises the probability of your own house being burned. In an urban area, one house left to burn could lead to a situation that gets out of control really fast.

    I would recommend that you go and experience life in Jackson, Mississippi. The trouble is that “haves” like Paul and his Tea Partying supporters believe that they live in a vaccuum, free from the troubles of the outside world, which is absolute nonsense.

    So, no, I don’t see what Paul is trying to say, and you shouldn’t either.

  7. Edward
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Depressing debate. Everything Perry said, regardless of how stupid, impractical or ill-informed, drew huge screams of support from the Tea Party audience. I hope to god they aren’t reflective of the greater Republican electorate, and Perry turns out to be this year’s Rudy Giuliani.

  8. Posted September 13, 2011 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    These ‘debates,’ with their ‘gotcha’ questioning and short answer times, are not really a good way to transmit substantive thought. Since most of you seem to only have heard about Ron Paul through the salute-the-troops, car-chase, missing-white-girl cable news lens, I’ll point out that he has actually written and spoken about this subject in depth in much more substantive formats. Your “let them die, or have doctors treat them for free” characterization is about as idiotic as Santorum’s “they hate us because our women wear pants, and Ron Paul thinks 911 was America’s fault.”

  9. Megan
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    @Peter – In the fire dept example, the fire department did come out to make sure the houses nearby did not catch on fire because they had bought fire coverage.

    And there has to be a third option between “I’m not bothering to pay for it even though I can afford it” and the government coming in behind and doing it for them when something happens. In some ways, Paul is very right – we have to take responsibility for ourselves. And in that hypothetical example, the man was not unemployed or on welfare. He was employed with a good job and made a conscious decision to not buy insurance. That makes it his own problem.

    But the “let them die” people are wrong. There has to be a third option.

  10. Megan
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Right now, if this were to happen, he would be responsible for the medical bills. I don’t see why that would change. If the government came in behind every person who didn’t have insurance and paid their bill for them, then no one would buy insurance.

  11. Edward
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Please enlighten us, mSS. What would healthcare look like in the perfect Libertarian world of Ron Paul?

  12. Glen S.
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    On paper, what Ron Paul and the rest of the Ayn Rand cultists propose in this regard actually sounds pretty good: Americans (being the “rugged individualists” that they are) should be free to choose whether they want to purchase health insurance, car insurance, wear a motorcycle helmet, whatever — as long as they agree to take responsibility for their actions.

    The problem, of course, is that 99 percent of the time, the “take responsibility” part is complete bullshit.

    What these people really are saying is this: “I demand the ‘freedom’ to make irresponsible decisions, or to save myself money by not purchasing insurance, etc.” — all the while knowing that when they become sick, injured or disabled, either the state (you and me) will end up taking care of them; or their unpaid hospital/rehab bills will be passed along in the form of higher rates and deductibles for everyone else who decides to purchase insurance (you and me).

    Unfortunately, their economic philosophy works the same way: Deregulating business and weakening environmental laws does NOTHING to actually lower costs, it merely shifts these costs onto others — small business, communities, workers, the environment, etc. (again, you and me.)

  13. Posted September 13, 2011 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Edward, you can start by clicking on the link I provided. It’s an archive of his writings, speeches, interviews, and articles about him. Your browser probably has a ‘search,’ or ‘find’ function; try ctrl-F. Try looking for things like ‘medical,’ ‘health,’ or ‘insurance.’ Read a few of those, and if you still want me to summarize it in a 40 word blog comment, I guess I can try, but that’s really what I was trying to avoid.

  14. Posted September 13, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    If we are going to talk about this debate, let’s definitely talk about the part where Ron Paul got boos for stating fact.

    The terrorists didn’t attack us on 9/11 because they hate our freedom, they did it because they hate our military interventionism in their governments and all the bombing and killings in their holy lands that are a direct result of our military interventionism.

    When Paul corrected the idiocy of Santorum saying that we were attacked because the bad guys hate how good and free we are, the crowd booed.

    I think that’s more interesting than the moron who said “let him die’. Let him die guy was one idiot. The Santorum/Paul moment was a large amount of the audience not liking the truth about why we have enemies. Thats astonishing because I promise you it’s not just conservatives who believe that stuff.

  15. Mr. X
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Looks like there are more people to let die than we’d anticipated.

    The following news flash was just issued from the Washington Post.

    The Census Bureau reports the number of Americans in poverty jumped to 15.1 percent in 2010, a 27-year high. About 46.2 million people, or nearly 1 in 6, were in poverty. That’s up from 43.6 million, or 14.3 percent, in 2009. It was the highest level since 1983.

    The number of people lacking health insurance increased to 49.9 million, a new high after revisions were made to 2009 figures. Losses were due mostly to working-age Americans who lost employer-provided insurance in the weak economy.


  16. Glen S.
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    @ Mr. X.

    Time for more tax cuts?

  17. dragon
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    So the teatards only problem with the individual mandate is that the penalties are not harsh enough?

  18. Glen S.
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    The new Ayn Rand/Koch Brothers/Tea Party/Republican philosophy of “individual responsibility” means that — if you become sick, injured or disabled — you can either go without medical care (and likely suffer or die), OR you can choose to receive medical care you know you can’t afford (and risk losing your job, home and life savings.)

    Either way, the most important thing is that YOU get to choose! Isn’t that what “freedom” is all about?

    Besides, even if you end up going bankrupt and losing your home, you may still have options. For instance, if you live in New Jersey, you could always end up living here:


  19. mSS
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    It’s worth pointing out that the Ron Paul crowd is explicitly *not* a part of the Rand/Koch types. They have as much or more in common with Kucinich than with Rand, and the Kochs have been trying to destroy Ron Paul and the Mises Institute for decades.

  20. Glen S.
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    “They have as much or more in common with Kucinich than with Rand … ”


  21. K2
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Paul on health care, according to Wikipedia:

    Paul rejects universal health care, believing that the more government interferes in medicine, the higher prices rise and the less efficient care becomes. He points to how many people today are upset with the HMO system, but few people realize that HMOs came about because of a federal mandate in 1973. He also points to the 1974 ERISA law that grants tax benefits to employers for providing insurance but not individuals; he prefers a system which grants tax credits to individuals. He supports the U.S. converting to a free market health care system, saying in an interview on New Hampshire NPR that the present system is akin to a “corporatist-fascist” system which keeps prices high. He says that in industries with freer markets prices go down due to technological innovation, but because of the corporatist system, this is prevented from happening in health care. He opposes socialized health care promoted by Democrats as being harmful because they lead to bigger and less efficient government.

    Paul has said that although he prefers tax credits to socialized medicine, he would be willing to “prop up” the current systems of Medicare and Medicaid with money saved by bringing troops home from foreign bases in places such as those in South Korea.

    If this is true, though, why is American health care more expensive than it is in countries like Canada, where it’s socialized?

  22. Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, seriously. Rand had her love affairs with corporate statism. See her comment about business being America’s most persecuted minority. You never would have heard anything like that out of Rothbard. Rand also expressed strong doubts about whether you should be charitable to those in need. In contrast, Ron Paul and Kucinich both feel very strongly that it society ought to aid those in need, Paul just recognizes that government is not analogous to society.

  23. Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I’m even being charitable to Rand. A common complaint is that she never had doubts about anything, she was always certain that she was right, even if it conflicted with other views she held.

  24. Posted September 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink


    He supports the U.S. converting to a free market health care system, saying in an interview on New Hampshire NPR that the present system is akin to a “corporatist-fascist” system which keeps prices high. He says that in industries with freer markets prices go down due to technological innovation, but because of the corporatist system, this is prevented from happening in health care.

    The point is that we *don’t* have a free market.

  25. Posted September 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    @megan – there is a third option, it’s called the individual mandate and it’s in the ACA. There is also a fourth option, the dreaded public option.

    The problem you are noticing is extremely well known. The phenomena by which only those who most need insurance will buy it is called adverse selection. This kind of problem is known as a moral hazard, and it is a species of collective action problem.

    You say that you can see what the Paulites are getting at, the unfairness of it all. Do you also see that the solution is to get rid of the problem? That is, stop making whether or not a person can pay for health care depend on that person’s prior choices.

  26. Mr. X
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I liked it when stupid people said things like, “Let them eat cake.” “Let them die” is just mean. I obviously wasn’t around in Germany at the rise of Nazi party, but I suspect it shared some common elements with what we’re witnessing today. Which isn’t to say that Tea Partiers are Nazis. I just mean that I feel as though there was the same kind of scapegoating going on. People who are poor and hopeless want to feel empowered, and nothing does that like having a scapegoat. Back then, the scapegoat was the “international Jew.” Today it’s the socialist and the welfare queen. The irony being that those shouting the loudest are themselves on welfare. I wouldn’t believe it if it were written in a novel, but there it is.

  27. Meta
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    William Rivers Pitt agrees.

    During the GOP debate last week, Rick Perry burnished his law-and-order credentials by bragging about the 234 executions – at least one of which took the life of an innocent man – he has presided over while governor of Texas. The GOP crowd at the debate went absolutely wild, cheering and hooting their approval of the taking of so much life.

    On Monday night, candidate Ron Paul was given a hypothetical about providing health care to a dying man who lacked health insurance. Wolf Blitzer, who moderated the debate, asked Paul, “Are you saying society should just let him die?” Before Paul could cobble together an answer, the “Tea Party” audience again erupted, this time yelling “Yes!” in answer to Blitzer’s question.


    These “Tea Party” people profess to be representatives of average Americans, despite being a complete creation of the 0.1% wealthy elite. They claim government is too big, even as many of them hail from states (think Texas) that would utterly collapse without federal funding. They bring guns to public rallies. They like Medicare, until they are reminded that Medicare is a government program.

    And they are Christians, members of the faithful, who enjoy executions and who think uninsured people should be left to die.

    Correction: they are “Christians,” because it is impossible to build any kind of bridge between the teachings of Jesus and the beliefs these people espouse at the top of their lungs.

    They are not Christians, but are in fact a death-worshipping cult. The best response to the vile display broadcast by CNN on Monday night was provided by former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, who has had more than a few go-rounds with this particular breed of cat. “What you saw tonight,” said Grayson, “is something much more sinister than not having a healthcare plan. It’s sadism, pure and simple. It’s the same impulse that led people in the Coliseum to cheer when the lions ate the Christians. And that seems to be where we are heading – bread and circuses, without the bread. The world that Hobbes wrote about – ‘the war of all against all.'”

    Thanks to the “mainstream” news media, to ardent yet covert supporters like the Koch brothers, and to the sweaty intensity of their own deranged ideals, these “Tea Party” people have emerged as a true force in American politics. What we saw last week, and on Monday night, is a glimpse of what the world would be like if these people achieve the supremacy they seek.


  28. mSS
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    So do I win when people stop replying to me?

  29. Posted September 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Ask Tater.

  30. Posted September 13, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, mSS, I do value your opinion, and I’m going to read up on Ron Paul’s health care position. And I promise to do my best to keep an open mind, in spite of the fact that, in the past, while I’ve found a lot of Libertarian stuff to sound good in theory, I think it would be near impossible to pull off in the real world.

  31. Bob
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    I like that Ron Paul has the guts to tell the truth about military spending and the fiancial insanity of operating hundreds of bases around the world. Sadly, that part of his platform doesn’t seem to get any traction. But before you start to give him credit for anything, you need to remind yourself that he doesn’t even believe in evolution. In the end, he has much in common with Bachman and Perry. He’s a slightly intellectual moron.

  32. mSS
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Re: Tater. Touche. I ignore him, too, and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t won any arguments.

    Thanks for the kind and diplomatic words, Mark. I seem to remember the Mises Institute putting together a health care reader; I’ll try to dig that up. The thing is, though, it’s really hard to understand his ‘position’ without a solid grounding in marginal economic analysis. Henry Hazlitt’s ‘Economics in One Lesson’ is great, but it’s more an extended illustration of Bastiat’s broken window fallacy. Your best shot is to become so swooned by Ron Paul’s extended arguments that you end up listening to the Rothbard collection nonstop.

  33. dragon
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    “It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history. ” – Ludwig von Mises, 1927

  34. Just me
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Life isn’t always what you planned at the beginning. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard you work, how much you try to give to your community and how often you are truthful and helping to others just because you want to make the world a better place. Being a good, hard working person doesn’t always buy health insurance for your children or put dinner on the table. Just saying it plain Jane style because it seems that too many forget that simple fact.

  35. ZP
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s worth noting that folks who revile government handouts don’t always revile handouts in and of themselves. They seem to think that charity is perfectly acceptible from individuals and churches but not governments. I think Ron Paul said as much when he mentioned that the hypotheitcal sick man was free to receive care from churches & charity clinics

    It would seem that people don’t really reject compassion or communal support. They just seem to think that receiving handouts from a religious beaurocracy (the church) is much better than those entitlement programs administered by the secular beaurocracy (the state).

  36. Stella M
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Below is my recent encounter on FB with a man who is either libertarian or teaparty (or both). He re-posts many of the fairly inflammatory teaparty memes anyway. He posted this (comparatively mild) one on the anniversary of his brothers death. I usually ignore him. My only connection to him is that I was primary caregiver to, and dearly loved, his brother for many years. I just found this so egregious on a day, which for me, is a day of deep mourning I felt compelled to respond. Note the initial laudatory responses. No one else responded after my comment, (I remain the mighty thread killer). I think that that may somewhat answer your ruminations as to how people espousing these beliefs do or do not personalize and/or grasp the reality of what they espouse. I suppose that I should also mention that for almost the first 10 years of my friends illness his family did nothing whatsoever to help, nor even visited him.
    I ran across your post very soon after. We seem to have an affinity for the teat language.

    “The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. ~Cicero, 55 BC~
    Like · · at 9:43am · Privacy:
    6 people like this.

    ——– that is a good one
    at 9:57am · Like · 1 person

    ——- A foreboding warning from the past.
    at 10:04am · Like

    ——- Indeed.
    at 10:44am · Like

    ——– Those who fail to learn from the past…
    at 11:57am · Like · 1 person

    Stella M—– Your own brother worked hard for years and years paying into the system. When he would have been otherwise left to die 13 years ago, it was public assistance which allowed him to live ( albeit in relative, physical, poverty, the spirit being another matter) another 11 years as of 2 years ago today. Would you have had that opportunity to live ripped away from him for mere political sloganeering? That is the actuality of potential future “death panels”. He was the unlucky, poor, and sick that your political advisors want you to shut your eyes and ears to… while they guzzle at the teat of corporate welfare. Today of all days, please rethink this.
    at 1:50pm · Like”

  37. ZP
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I am apparently incapable of spelling bureaucracy.

  38. Posted September 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Well done, Stella… I’m sure your friend would have approved.

  39. mSS
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 6:32 am | Permalink


    That quote is from Mises’ ‘Liberalism.’ You probably got the quote from Michael Lind. He left out what immediately followed: “But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success. Fascism was an emergency makeshift. To view it as something more would be a fatal error.”

    The point of the section in which he wrote that was that while the people embracing fascism were right to fight communism, that it was a morally and economic bankrupt idea, and would drag all of Europe into war.

    Not that I’ve read it. I had heard it before, googled the phrase, and most of the responses are rebuttals to Lind’s poorly researched/deceptive piece. Do your homework, dude.

    Hey, maybe next time, you could accuse Rothbard of being an anti-Semite?

  40. mSS
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    ZP, I think the distinction, rather than between a gov’t bureaucracy or religious, is between coercive and voluntary. Churches get mentioned a lot because the did a lot of charity work prior to the New Deal and the Great Society. The benefit of voluntary charity, is that you don’t have to do it of you think it doesn’t work. As an example, see the steeply declining membership of the corrupt Catholic church. Unfortunately, I can’t opt out of the state-run system that seems intent on either leaving the poor to die, or pumping them full of pharmaceuticals and subsidizing processed food for them to eat.

  41. Posted September 14, 2011 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    @ mSS. Love the defense of Austrian Economics.

    mSS is right by the way. Those of you who have a social liberal leaning should really check out Hazlitt’s economics in One Lesson.

    I also like the writing of Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. Their columns are about the free market but they are intellectual. They are not Tea Party stereotypes

    Not everyone who hates Obama’s policies is a teatard, or a Palin lover. Just saying….

  42. Posted September 14, 2011 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Simple if the uninsured unemployed uneducated marginalized folks roll over and die, not so good if they make your sandwich or break in to your home. What comes around has a way of going around. This “let him die” attitude can be turned back on the ‘king,’ and the ‘church,’ both of whose grasps on reality have slipped. A rising tide lifts all boats, no man is an island, and all that jazz.

  43. Eel
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    News flash:

    Ron Paul’s Campaign Manager Died of Pneumonia, Penniless and Uninsured

    As it turns out, Paul was not speaking purely in hypotheticals. Back in 2008, Kent Snyder — Paul’s former campaign chairman — died of complications from pneumonia. Like the man in Blitzer’s example, the 49-year-old Snyder was relatively young and seemingly healthy* when the illness struck. He was also uninsured. When he died on June 26, 2008, two weeks after Paul withdrew his first bid for the presidency, his hospital costs amounted to $400,000. The bill was handed to Snyder’s surviving mother, who was incapable of paying. Friends launched a website to solicit donations.


  44. mSS
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Let’s be clear, because I think a lot of you are forgetting something: Paul did not say “let him die,” and his answer to that question was no. Paul and the subset of self-identified libertarians who are sympathetic to him – which I differentiate from the Rand crowd and the Koch-funded Tea Party – do not generally think that society should let people die just because they can’t afford their medical treatment. Their disagreement with you is not on that point, but rather, as you refuse to recognize, that government is not synonymous with society. There are many institutions in society through which cooperation occurs; government is one, market institutions are others. The libertarian economic argument is that the market is better, *on net*, of achieving the shared goal of better health care for more people.

  45. Kim
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I’d also suggest reading this from Daily Kos.

    “That was my brother’s death you were cheering, you a$$holes”


  46. Bob
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    “The libertarian economic argument is that the market is better, *on net*, of achieving the shared goal of better health care for more people.”

    Except that it isn’t. One needs only to look at all the civilized countries where government run health largely works pretty well, even if it means higher taxes. It’s also worth noting that even in the U.S. the Medicare/Medicaid programs and Social Security, despite some need for tweaking, have worked pretty well for decades.
    I really love the ridiculous notion that 90% of the Tea Party people would ever sit around reading Ayn Rand. I’m not sure they read anything.

  47. mSS
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    “I really love the ridiculous notion that 90% of the Tea Party people would ever sit around reading Ayn Rand. I’m not sure they read anything.”

    Where did you hear that notion?

  48. mSS
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 9:41 am | Permalink


    See the comment from K2. The system we have right now is a government run system.

  49. Bob
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Have you seen the crowds at these Tea Party events? From toting their guns to shouting “keep your government away from my Medicare,” it’s pretty obvious that most of them are dumb as fucking stumps. Not all of them I’m sure, many are probably reasonably educated people who have drunk the economic Kool-aid passed down (second or third hand) via the Friedman school of economics. But I don’t believe for a second that most of the TP people could even pronounce Ayn Rand’s name correctly, let alone have read her. I’m not sure what you mean by our current system being government run. It’s a slightly government-influenced mish-mash, that is CORPORATION run. Insurance companies run the medical industry, structure how hospitalization operates, dictate policy and decide ultimately who lives and who dies. The only thing your precious Ron Paul and his libertarian boneheads would ensure is that the corporate influence and gets stronger, richer, and systematically snuffs government programs that are more help than harm, flaws and all.

  50. mSS
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink


    Again, did I say anything to imply that I support Tea Party types, or that they are well-read and well-informed? Have you not read my repeated posts trying to distinguish and distance Ron Paul from the Tea Party? You really sound like you think you’re correcting me on something, but I honestly just can’t figure out what you’re talking about.

    Slightly government-influenced? Good one. I believe Medicaid/Medicare now pay close to half of all medical bills, with VA and state and local governments bringing it around 2/3. My numbers might be off, but I know it’s a lot higher than the, say, 12% we might call “slight.”

    And if Ron Paul is so great for corporations, why don’t they give him money? On the other hand, I think I can find some pro-state politicians who have received contributions from corporations…

  51. dragon
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Hey, maybe next time, you could accuse Rothbard of being an anti-Semite?

    A little defensive aren’t you?

    The Southern Poverty Law Center has Ludwig von Mises Institute listed as a hate group.
    A key player in the institute for years was the late Murray Rothbard, who worked with Rockwell closely and co-edited a journal with him. The institute’s Web site includes a cybershrine to Rothbard, a man who complained that the “Officially Oppressed” of American society (read, blacks, women and so on) were a “parasitic burden,” forcing their “hapless Oppressors” to provide “an endless flow of benefits.”

    “The call of ‘equality,'” he wrote, “is a siren song that can only mean the destruction of all that we cherish as being human.” Rothbard blamed much of what he disliked on meddling women. In the mid-1800s, a “legion of Yankee women” who were “not fettered by the responsibilities” of household work “imposed” voting rights for women on the nation. Later, Jewish women, after raising funds from “top Jewish financiers,” agitated for child labor laws, Rothbard adds with evident disgust. The “dominant tradition” of all these activist women, he suggests, is lesbianism.

  52. Bob
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    “Again, did I say anything to imply that I support Tea Party types, or that they are well-read and well-informed?”

    You just asked me to basically defend my contention that 90% of TP’s are low-information dolts, so which argument are you defending? Is this just a devils advocate thing? I’m confused by your actual position. Are you
    a libertarian or do you just love Ron Paul?

    He doesn’t believe in evolution, wants to do away with all government services, opposes abortion and would let all states decide their own reproductive rights (Jesus), and is kind of on record as being a racist. That’s just for starters, off the top of my head.

  53. mSS
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    No, see the joke is that Rothbard was Jewish. So when the SPLC quotes him in that way, it intends to make it look like he was anti-semitic, and that’s ironic. Kind of like when Michael Lind tries to make Mises look like a fascist sympathizer by quoting, out of context, from a section in which he predicts fascism will cause Europe to fall into war more than a decade in advance, and before being chased out of Europe by the fascists.

    Also, when you quote like that, by stringing sentence fragments together into larger thoughts, it’s usually because you weren’t able to find any actually damaging quotes. Kind of like when I say that Mark Maynard “hates” “children,” and their “little dogs,” too. Although, in your defense, you only copied and pasted that comment from the SPLC.

  54. dragon
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    What other hate groups the SPLC “take out of context”??

  55. mSS
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    “I really love the ridiculous notion that 90% of the Tea Party people would ever sit around reading Ayn Rand. I’m not sure they read anything.”

    This quote strongly implies that someone had stated that 90% of the TP reads Rand. I definitely didn’t say that. Since it seemed like it came out of left field, I asked you who said it. You replied by saying the TP people don’t seem too bright. Fine. I never contested that. I did not ask you to defend that statement, I asked you who had said otherwise.

    “Paul and the subset of self-identified libertarians who are sympathetic to him – which I differentiate from the Rand crowd and the Koch-funded Tea Party …”

    Did you read that?

  56. mSS
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    If you read my comment carefully, “out of context” referred to the Michael Lind piece in Salon, from which the out-of-context Mises quote originated, not the SPLC; but their Rothbard quotes are pretty cheap.

    “The ‘dominant tradition’ of all these activist women, he suggests, is lesbianism.”

    The only words quoted from Rothbard are “dominant tradition.” The part that makes him sound like a bigot are outside of quotation marks. Apparently, he writes in a secret code that “suggests” lesbianism without saying it, because then, they probably would have just included his quote.

  57. Posted September 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    mSS, hear me now and believe me later. Your problem is that any rational human being can see that you’re right, and that your arguments are logical.

    Why that is a problem is that committed demoralized sophists who see the world in false premises and false dilemmas can/will not see that you’re right, simply because you ARE right. They never can/will because they are psychologically incapable of it, like pavlov’s dogs. And this blog is the dish where many of them go to feed.

    However, they are capable of heaping illogical abuse on you, and of putting words in your mouth. They have no moral problem with doing so whatsoever.

    I just hate seeing perfectly good arguments go to waste, but good on you for trying anyway. It shows that you assume that other people are as reasonable as you are, and as far as good will goes, that’s a nice assumption. The problem is that many people aren’t reasonable, and I would go so far as to say that many people (but not all) who comment on this blog are even anti-reasonable. Unlike you, who derive pleasure out of sound logical arguments supported by facts, they actually take pleasure in drowning reason with irrationality, and truth with untruths (or half-truths). It’s hard to believe that of someone, even when confronted with overwhelming evidence of their low characters, but it’s true.

    Hence why I (and anybody else in their right mind) no longer comment here, and why I won’t respond to the sophist ridiculousness that may or may not follow this comment — a comment which I’ve made for your sake alone, since you seem like a sane, thoughtful person who actually knows his ass from a hole in the ground… or is willing to actually do a little research on the matter if he didn’t.

  58. mSS
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Aw, thanks, Jake. I try not to read this blog too much, because I can end up just wasting days at a time like this. But, I’ve been in fighting mode since that awful debate, and I felt like getting some stuff off my chest.

  59. dragon
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Rothbard advocated support for ex-Klansman David Duke:

    It is fascinating that there was nothing in Duke’s current program or campaign that could not also be embraced by paleoconservatives or paleo-libertarians; lower taxes, dismantling the bureaucracy, slashing the welfare system, attacking affirmative action and racial set-asides, calling for equal rights for all Americans, including whites: what’s wrong with any of that? And of course the mighty anti-Duke coalition did not choose to oppose Duke on any of these issues.

    This led one disaffected libertarian to write:

    The idea that it’s fine to [buddy] up with open racists just because they are for limited government is ridiculous though. Is the idea that with their help it will just be a tiny racist government?

  60. Bob
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I don’t even know what the SPLC reference means. I merely spoke about Paul’s viewpoints from the top of memory, I did not cut and paste anything. Was I wrong about any of his views? I think it was the tip of the iceberg really, his list of crazy is long. This absurd contention that the government can’t do anything right, just because it’s the government, is so stupid.

    As to why corporations aren’t giving Ron Paul money, probably because even they recognize how crazy and fringe he is. If he actually got to a place where he was considered a viable candidate, by anyone, they would support him. If he were to gain the Republican nomination, the corporate money would rain down.

    Ron Paul would also cash the checks. He would amend some of his principles to further support the multinationals who elected him too, if it came to that. Not that he’s very far from them in his ideology. Ron Paul loves corporations and thinks he should dismantle anything that gets in their way. IRS, EPA,FDA. It’s fucking sick.

  61. Mr. X
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink


    I knew this plan to lure Jake to the surface would work.

  62. mSS
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Permalink


    Sorry I didn’t address every post, but if you read through the thread, I was clearly referring to dragon’s post. I think I’ll take half of Jake’s advice, at least, and stop replying to you. I don’t mind fallacies, but I do mind the apparent lack of reading comprehension skills.

  63. mSS
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink


    It was after the election, so Rothbard wasn’t exactly advocating support. If I remember correctly, the gist of his Duke comments was that a paleo-libertarian campaign did as well as it did despite his deplorable personal views.

  64. Bob
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    What fallacies? The real fallacy is this regurgitated, trickle down theory of economics that was shit out by the Friedman/Rand/Reagan’s of the world. Ron Paul continues to push for this “cut taxes at all costs” approach to driving the economy. Thirty plus years of Reaganomics has proven to be complete horseshit. Paul even had to back-peddle his criticism of Reagan when he got to the GOP debate at the Reagan library. He was quick to pander to the Ronnie zombies when he was asked about his earlier remarks.

  65. BLT
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Nearly 45,000 deaths in the U.S. every year are associated with lack of health insurance, according to a study this year by Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Health Alliance published by the American Journal of Public Health.

    …..Why didn’t they just go to the free church clinics that Paul talks about, and get their CAT scans, open heart surgery, ect there?

  66. The reaper
    Posted September 15, 2011 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    How many deaths are associated with healthcare? I’ll bet more in the U.S. die with health insurance than without. I was under the impression that death was the inevitable result of living.

  67. Mr. X
    Posted September 15, 2011 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I don’t believe that number (45,000) is just the number of people without health insurance who died last year, Reaper. That’s the number of people who died of things that, if they’d had insurance, they probably wouldn’t have died from, like untreated infections and the like. Granted, it’s a very loose number. That doesn’t change the fact, however, that a great many Americans die each year who didn’t have to. But, yes, everyone dies. By your logic, I guess we should just kill the elderly and be done with it. They’re going to die anyway, right?

  68. Eel
    Posted September 19, 2011 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I found this young man articulated the beliefs of Ron Paul quite well.


  69. Meta
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I thought that this belonged here:

    Last night, Troy Davis was executed. Despite the lack of physical evidence, despite the recantations by seven of nine eyewitnesses, and despite a global campaign by more than a million people insisting there was simply too much doubt, Georgia put this man to death.

    But in this moment of sadness and anger, it’s up to all of us to make sure that Davis’ struggle does not die with him. That the fight to fix a criminal justice system riven by racial and class disparities, and to stop our country from executing the innocent, is made stronger because of his example.

    As Davis wrote in a letter when he was facing execution in 2008:

    “… no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.”

    So today, I’m signing Amnesty International’s pledge to fight the death penalty and donating to the Innocence Project. If you’re looking for a way to turn your sadness today into action, I hope you’ll join me.

    You can sign Amnesty International USA’s pledge here:

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