The Leftist Dilema
So, I try to keep up with our constantly changing world. It's a very hard thing to do, but I spend so much time on a computer as it is, I try to set aside a little time (at least once a week if not more often) to bring myself up to date on things that interest me besides the web and technology. Those things often include the state of matters in North/South Korea, and American politics. Now Ju hates politics, and this is quite understandable, it's a dirty business with so many moving components as to make any political stance debatable by the opposing side. In essence, there's never a "correct" answer, and this is, and should be, infuriating to all peoples on some level.
Lately my focus has been, understandably, on the new propositions for healthcare in America. I'm a full disclosure kind of guy, so let me start by saying that I don't believe the current system is "good", but I'm more opposed to a gov't run system. Ju summed up my feelings pretty well in a previous blog, so I won't get into it here. Now if you haven't read the Wall Street Journal OpEd piece The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare, I would highly encourage it. In it, John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, outlines things he thinks would improve health care in the US without necessarily increasing the existing deficit (something the current proposal will do in spades). The current national debt (as of 8/20/2009) is $11,720,828,555,380.16 according to treasurydirect.gov, and the "ObamaCare" proposal will add an additional estimated $1,000,000,000,000.00 to that debt. Now, how exactly they even calculate numbers of that size is something I'm not even going to guess at. As the next closest analog I spent a lot of time looking for projected/actual costs for Medicare, only to come up with nothing, however it doesn't take reading too much of this report to see that things are bad bad bad. (This report appears to be the landing page for the report on an ongoing basis, so it will likely change year to year, normally this would make me want to look for a better link, but given the abysmal outlook here, it will probably continue to be "bad bad bad", so I'm not going to worry about it)
Now, getting back to John Mackey and Whole Foods, I find this all very interesting. The aspect that interests me is well summed up by this article on the BBC in which former customers are now boycotting his company due to being "mislead", or simply disagreeing with him. I find it funny that somehow being "green(er)" and wanting to have a sustainable product are fundamentally related to the "right" to have healthcare in these people's minds. Why would anyone suspect a self-described Libertarian CEO of a company started in Texas would really have a different opinion? I find it very humorous that these individuals feel somehow mislead by the marketing of the company. The company markets itself and its product as being sustainable, not as free healthcare. These things are not related in any way, and it's a total non sequitur.
All this to get to my point which is that, as often as I have a pleasant, worth-while exchange with members of the Left, it has been my experience that I more often have experiences in which I'm simply "wrong", no matter what, and they're simply "right". I won't pretend that member of the "Right" don't also treat debates this way, but for a group of people who are self-described as "open-minded" this is very vexxing, and I can't help but feel that this same logic is being applied to John and his company. He's "wrong" they're "right", nevermind the fact that the two things are completely unrelated.
As a final point, I'll mention that I don't necessarily agree/disagree with John's proposals. This isn't an endorsement of his stance, just a observation of his treatment by the left for disagreeing with them.