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The Decline of Healthcare Availability

Regulation, Insurance, Cost and the Decline of Healthcare Availability

Healthcare is a Special Trust

The narrative around healthcare accessibility for Americans begins with qualified data in 1873. Before that, healthcare was widely available though not as we know it now. Medical schools were numerous. But, mankind was not yet blessed with the scientific method. Medical practice in the “western tradition” was varied, with wisdom passed down through the ages in texts and through oral recitation. The basis for medicine was service to man. Even with such loose rules and primitive methodologies (by today’s standards) medicine was inextricably attached to ethics.

Doctors, especially good ones, have always been highly valued members of their communities. Many doctors in the US before modern medicine taught young doctors as a duty in their craft. The hippocratic oath tied ethics to the practice of medicine directly. The purpose of the wisdom was the betterment of the lives of fellow men. The promise made when taught the medical arts was that you took on a mantle of a very special trust between yourself and your fellow man.

Doctors from their beginnings in Ancient Greece had to promise to help when needed, to do only good with their knowledge, and never to do harm even through inaction. This contract was passed down from doctor to doctor for thousands of years standing the test of time – like few other principles ever did. The truth of righteous human interaction is manifest within the oath: Men who took on the knowledge of the body could do good with that knowledge or evil; the contract for gaining it was that they served their fellow men. This natural trust in our society is seemingly non-existent today.

The hippocratic oath and its many manifestations are now replaced by voluminous regulations. An examination of a century of healthcare decline in the United States along with the corresponding regulations that drove the industry’s evolution make a compelling illustration of how the fascist doctrines of licensure and currency controls are turned against the public trust. It is an especially compelling illustration because society is, again, trying to find solutions to the devastating economic trends that are making it impossible for people to get comprehensive access to doctors.

A Quick Aside on ‘Fascist Thought’

The purpose of this blog post is to cause discussion. The term ‘fascism’ is used in this post with a specific definition. Here fascism is referred to as the political philosophy of socialist central management though licensure and currency controls. Many pop-culture definitions of this word exist. They invoke imagery of death camps, jack boots, and cultural oppression. In the United States, the culture resisted fascism so its encroachment came more gradually like it did in England and France, but not like Germany or Italy whose adoptions were swift and terrifying, or in Spain or Russia where coups by Franco and Stalin brought fascism with immediate applications and more devastatingly evil impact.

Stalin had his committees pretending to be communist, handing favor of industry to his friends and developed a system of favoritism that would dominate the Soviet economy until it’s realignment. Germany made wider concessions granting companies like Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes into pseudo-competing models. In the US fascist economic policy took the form of immigration laws, wage controls, economic development initiatives, and then regulatory committees. The difference in how this philosophy took hold was one of speed and penetration. The specific economic strategies, however share one specific common thread: Government licensure and currency control.

This socialist economic strategy is the definition of the word ‘fascist’ that is used here. The reader may object because of the emotional impact of the word. I do not blame them. Their emotions should be heightened. The economic principles of fascism are devastating to both the economy and the society that adopts them. Fascist strategies lend themselves to out-of-control feedback loops and authoritarianism. The faster the adoption, the stronger the application of violence was manifest in the societies.

The emotional reaction the word evokes is valid, however cowing to that emotionalism has caused us to miss the evil pervasive in our own society – to miss the actual jackboots that inspire “Black Lives Matter”, and the actual concentration camps that make us the most imprisoned of all nations. We have a truth to face as Americans if we are ever to have access to healthcare, much less effective education and a thriving economy in general. We must acknowledge that we adopted fascist policies in the 20th century, that we are in denial of this fact, and that when we turn to face it, we will become much more healthy and happy as a people.

We are in a transitional time. The generations for which this word is evocative are largely passed on, and a better understanding of ‘fascism’ is resolving as the mists of denial drift off into time. Younger generations starting with the baby boomers increasingly understood the brainwashing their parents and grandparents were afflicted with in this age. For us, the word ‘fascist’ is increasingly important as a guide away from the failures of some past generations.

The United States was fortunate to have had a strong tradition of individual rights. When fascism was running rampant in the world it only got “half-way” in the US. It is also unwinding here and elsewhere where civil rights still exist nominally. Medical care’s history in the US is one that unmistakably follows the fascist model. The mistakes we made over 100 years ago in following the fascist model require a defining word – a pin in the map. That pin in the map, identifying that philosophy and the naive time in which it flourished, in this work’s context, is the specific definition of “fascist thought” used here.

I propose that understanding this model is the key to once again having access to medicine for everyone in society. It will not be done through socialist and fascist means. Those strategies have failed us. Those systems rely on a shortage of supply, and they keep the supply short to maintain themselves. We need to recognize that “healthcare” is about a patient and their doctor.  Anyone else trying to insert themselves in that relationship with force is going to destroy the necessary trust that medicine demands. Any institution that inserts itself in there with law will destroy healthcare in all aspects.

Modern Medicine

Modern medicine began in the US when Johns Hopkins established what would become the model hospital in 1876. Doctors were plentiful for the most part. Hospitals concentrated specialized care and increased access to technology. Healthcare at the turn of the twentieth century was very affordable.  The cost of a doctor visit was about one dollar, or about $20 in today’s money. Aside: My co-pay is twice that.

Before modern medicine, hospitals were unknown. It was the civil war that gave birth to the need for large scale medical services. Johns Hopkins was established in 1876 creating the model for what we call hospitals.

The application of the scientific method on medical research brought great advances to medicine; all of them good. Once mankind adopted science, the study of the human body and how to mend and strengthen it took off. By 1904 there were over 4300 hospitals in the US following Johns Hopkins model. There were over 52 hospitals per million people in the US. This would be the high point of medical accessibility for Americans. The study of medicine was flourishing and that attracted the attentions of men who had learned a new game: Using government and regulation to narrow markets into the hands of the politically connected.

The AMA’s Growing Relationship with Government

An organization emerged in the nineteenth century with a noble purpose. The American Medical Association created advisory statements on medical practices. Along with several other organizations they advised people about what was good medicine and what was snake oil. The success of their education efforts, however, took on a dark and perverse cast, one shaped by the raise of fascist economic ideology. Early on they started to adopt the unwholesome tactic of seeking the use of law to regulate medicine. Citing “quackery” they began advising the state to adopt laws requiring the registration of births, deaths and even marriages. They pushed forward national laws regarding quarantine procedures, and compulsory vaccinations.

While a majority of the educational work the AMA did was very valuable to the populace, they began to be affected by their relationship to the legislative process. Their educational materials and their focus narrowed to systems that were easy to apply at massive scales. Instead of being guided by principles, the AMA began codifying rules to keep doctors and the profession of medicine strictly inside the narrow confines of what could be enforced. Instead of advising and educating – instead of informing and empowering – they began directing and dictating.

The Decline of Healthcare Availability

1904 was the year that medical care was the most accessible. In 1910 (A) the AMA becomes the sole legal licensor of medical care. Calivn Coolidge passes numerous medical regulations including authorizing medical patents in 1925 (B).

In 1910 the AMA published a report with funding from the Carnegie Melon Foundation. The Flechner Report claimed that most medical schools where “diploma mills” and the AMA began calling for more control on the spreading of medical knowledge and the restriction of its practice. By 1912 they had secured themselves as the authority for medical law and licensing in the states. More than half of the medical schools in the US were closed and many hospitals, closed and quickly changed ownership or administration to conform to the AMA’s unilateral licensing procedures. The accessibility to healthcare for Americans began a steep century long decline we have not yet recovered from.

By 1925, fascist thought was gaining popularity. Institutions like the Federal Reserve and the AMA who were not government, and not private, but something else… something that could only exist in autocracy… began using their legislatively granted economic muscle to manipulate the populace. Government regulation started becoming a popular way of dealing with social problems and long lived organizations focused on philanthropy began to be subsumed by committees with political favor.

Calvin Coolidge began allowing medical patents to be issued. Previous to this and previous to the AMA’s demi-government control, it was unthinkable for doctors to deny medical help to people in need. Now, with the threat of criminal prosecution, and loss of career, doctors were restricted in how they could deliver that service. It had once been unthinkable to use intellectual property to restrict medical care. Suddenly men could withhold access to even the idea of a procedure or device and the government itself became an agent of withholding medical care for the unprincipled concept of patent and license.

The Twentieth Century and the Rise of Fascism

Through the beginning of the twentieth century and the rise of fascism, the AMA gathered tremendous power. They had become the one and only source for license to become a doctor. By 1945, fascism in the US was in it’s post-war heyday. After World War 2 there was not a single industry that was not significantly licensed through political favor. The AMA had already moved into inspecting food and had elevated psychiatry to the level that the practice was embedded into criminal and family courts. It had established state sponsored grant programs that directed medical research into fewer hands. They had even pushed for alcohol limits and tests for drunken drivers.

The Decline of Healthcare Availability

In 1945 the McCarran-Reguson Act (C) made health insurance free of anti-trust and tax exempt privilege. In 1946 the Hospital Survey and Reconstruction Act (D) was passed requiring a lot of regulations on medicine that were considered, at the time, unconstitutional and not implemented. In 1965 Medicare (E) was passed because healthcare costs were out of control for those who did not have insurance.

It is important to note that this pervasive evil was not born and brought by evil men. None of these pursuits were themselves evil in intent, but in implementation in always using government to enact these social solutions. The problems were real, but because of the AMA’s power over the life and death of every American, they were able to make society turn to law enforcement to combat misfortune and stupidity. The natural evil that was once supposed to be contained in government – the authority to do violence – was released from the burden of the Republic’s constitutional limitations.

Problems that had once been solving themselves through advancements in communication and technology were now being directed by groups that did not tolerate any deviation from their dictates – dictates that often seemed ambiguous because they were politically motivated, not crafted for the health or welfare of people. Safe and effective folk remedies known to healers for centuries were made illegal. The neighborhood wise-women and others who once rendered first aid, were jailed for practicing medicine. Those who tried to defend themselves in the courts or by addressing the public were targeted with prejudice.

The government enforced the AMA’s program in the market ruthlessly.  The progress of medical advancement in the once burgeoning scientific community began to slow. Medicine had its voice and scientific innovation reduced to the confines of a few men with a strict perspective on health care. Whole schools of medicine had been wiped out or sent underground. The number of hospitals grew in those decades, but not enough compared to the population. The number of hospitals in the US grew by only 25% in these 30-40 years of increasing AMA control but the population grew much faster increasing 75% in that span. The ratio of hospitals to people dropped to a little more than 42 hospitals per million as a nominal rate. Government research facilities and veterans hospitals had been promoted more than civilian ones in the new economy.  These hospitals were not available to the public, thus the meaningful rate of accessibility was only 36.5 hospitals per million.

Medical schools were restricted on how many graduates they could produce a year. The healers of the neighborhood could no longer treat minor health issues with advice. Even a headache or a cut required a license to give advice or aid. The World Wars had brought with it the advent of government hospitals, primarily serving veterans – poorly. Access to healthcare had hit a low, and people were outraged. Declines in access once blamed on war efforts and economic depression were painful to the people. Before, Americans had great access to doctors. The Roosevelt administration, a great progressive friend to the AMA moved forward legislation to solve the problem with more regulation and privileges for the elites whom would fill their committees.

The New Deal’s Special Deal for Insurance

Medical insurance was given privileges in the post-war economy in 1945 with the McCarran-Reguson Act. The industry immediately began to consolidate into a few hands of the politically connected. The next year The Hospital Survey and Construction Act moved government into every medical provider by providing funding, with very heavy strings and bloated administrative requirements. All of it overseen by the AMA and their political allies which aimed at control, not access.

From 1946 to 1956 the United States economy was transformed in terms of medical care but not necessarily in a good way. Health insurance, firmly attached to government favor and immune from antitrust, took over health care and the entire industry began to reduce and narrow on all levels of provider-ship.

Consolidations backed by government grants and special license from the AMA put pharmaceutical supply, medical equipment, facilities, and the very supply of doctors and nurses into their very small circles of friends. The very model of fascism, narrow licensure, autocratic destruction of competing views, burdensome requirements selectively enforced against political enemies, and public shaming of dissenters dominated healthcare. The entire industry was regulated into a cartel, and protected from antitrust.

Health insurance became the dominant source of health access, and the once tiny, unwanted industry was thrust into the economy as job benefits with massive tax incentives. So ubiquitous was the domination and so rapid the takeover, that within only about 10 years, the people of the United States went from 9% having insurance to 75% in 1956. It was not long before the rest of the people, the uninsured, could not even get a check-up or see a doctor for a routine emergency need like a broken bone.

Cost Plus Profit Models and Vertical Integration

The introduction of insurance did not make the industry, nor the American people more healthy. The number of hospitals to people began to decline further. The price of healthcare as expressed by the “Medical Care Price Index” began to outpace the Consumer Price index marginally but immediately. Medical access became, in very short time, a government mandated privilege only to the middle class with 25% or more of the populace not able to get access except through charity. Minorities, not surprisingly, were the ones primarily excluded from jobs that brought health care insurance.

The Decline of Healthcare Availability

In 1975 major pieces of the 1946 Hospital Survey and Reconstruction Act (C) previously thought unconstitutional, were implemented by the Nixon administration demanding copious amounts of paperwork and other procedural requirements that drive costs soaring. A few conglomerates were “lucky” enough to have been the models of the legislations. They begin to quickly eat their competition.

In 1965, Medicare and Medicaid were passed to make up the healthcare gap, and acted to further isolate racial groups into second class citizens. The same people who created the gap, now administered massive government funds meant to provide for the portion of the populace who did not have insurance and were priced out of seeing a doctor. Access continued to decline with falling rates of hospital construction and in the numbers of new doctors graduating.

Medicare further drove a particular evil called cost plus. Very popular in the age of fascism, this model only existed within markets completely controlled. Presented as a control on costs, it served the opposite effect. The idea is that insurance companies had to restrict their profits by making only a small percentage in profit above their costs. The same model was used pervasively for government contracts and other industries where the fascist doctrine of government license was applied.

The politically connected would generate regulatory requirements through their lobbying that matched their already in place procedures. Their rivals would be destroyed, unable to absorb the costs of changing their processes to match the overly specific and burdensome ones the elites dictated. Then once their competition was eliminated, they could dictate costs and profits without competition or restraint. Cost plus profit models, backed by regulations, allowed elites to monopolize the entire vertical market in healthcare. The medical industry was suddenly dominated by holding companies that owned both hospitals and medical suppliers, specialized middle-men, that would negotiate massive contracts between conglomerates. Deals that in any other industry would be recognized as illegal collusion from a position of legislated privilege. Indeed, in most other industries, in government contracts especially, the cost plus model has been made illegal. But in healthcare it persists, and it would literally take an act of congress to change it.

By 1975 the market in health care was so constricted that the ratio of hospitals fell to under 33 per million people. Making matter worse, the number of hospitals we count include government hospitals and for profit hospitals that provide elite and elective surgeries, not healthcare. The number of not-for-profit hospitals available to the public gives a realistic number of only 26 hospitals per million.

Responding to the crisis that his political sponsors helped create, Nixon passed more laws and executive orders implementing the worst regulations left dormant, and thought unconstitutional in the Hospital Survey and Construction Act authorizing regulators to demand mountains of documents and requirements from hospitals. All of the requirements meant needing to hire more licensed staff that did paperwork, not healthcare and to purchase new equipment; equipment supplied by patent based businesses owned the same people who owned the hospitals and the insurance companies.

A Decade of Hospital Failures

The medical industry in the United States in just 25 years following the passage of the New Deal measures became extremely narrow. Every aspect of medicine was consolidated into very few hands. Immunity from anti-trust and armed with protectionist regulations elites in the medical industry used the political influence and the draconian regulations to destroy businesses, and then take over the assets in bankruptcy.

Following the passage of Medicare and Nixon’s implementation of regulations, hospitals began failing in large numbers. Emergency rooms, once a model of social advancement in medicine, began to evaporate. Hospitals once run by community benefit organizations were taken over by the corporations that drove the regulations that sent hospitals into receivership. Boards of Directors were no longer members of the community whom had a vested interest in philanthropy. They were replaced by men who demanded profitability for the mega-corporate holding companies that owned them.

Profitability did not mean the hospital needed to show a profit. Indeed most hospitals were regulated into a non-profit status. The profit was instead realized in the narrowing of medical supplies. Here the elites had the political clout to dictate patents and regulations, but were also unfettered with price controls. These men, taking over the failing not-for-profit hospitals all began paying incredible and unreasonable amounts of money to their unregulated business partners. A modern day illustration of this effect is the now famous $700 bag of saline. It does not cost anywhere near $700 to make, store and distribute sterilized salt water in non-allergenic bags. Regulations however make it so that only a small number of people have license to make salt water in a bag, and the medical cartel makes sure that the hospitals only buy from a supplier that they also own.

The Decline of Healthcare Availability

By 1986 (F) we see a sudden departure of the Medical Care Price Index (MCPI) and the already steeply rising Consumer Price Index (CPI). Nixon’s regulations have caused a decade of non-profit hospital failures as small partnerships and many hospitals go out of business unable to cope with regulations designed to accommodate politically connected conglomerates.

The number of hospitals went into free fall and the price of medical providers shot through the roof. By 1986 the medical profession was in a shambles compared to the golden era of free market medicine. Even though the populous now had 86% access to health insurance, access itself was in the toilet. The population continued to rise but the number of hospitals dropped. The ratio was at only 22.5 hospitals per million people at the nominal rate. Though lower than imaginable already that number is off by quite a bit. Massive government grants for research, and swelling needs for treating veterans inflated government hospitals to record numbers.

Government hospitals for limited use or research swelled and elective medical grew while healthcare for the people languished. In 1986 only 3420 general not-for-profit hospitals remained in the US making the ratio for access only 18.3 hospitals per million. More people had access to health care from insurance, or so you would think, but not so… Now there were waiting lists and approval procedures that lasted long enough that the afflicted would sometimes just die before getting treated. The level of care had disappeared, treatment time was reduced to an order of magnitude less, but costs skyrocketed. The perpetrators of the scam were all privileged men, politically connected and protected by law from any liability by the very regulations purported to prevent the abuse.

A Monopolized Market in Healthcare

The cost of healthcare was out of reach even for the insured. The MCPI became double the CPI. If you didn’t have insurance, you could not afford to catch even the flu; copays for something big were catastrophic and the doctors and nurses treated you like complete shit spending far more time running you in procedural circles than treating your ailments.

Today the disparity continues to get worse, and Obamacare is certainly contributing the systemic failure by driving insurance into a mandatory model. The cost of healthcare in the MCPI is still more than double CPI meaning that inflation in healthcare has been double the rate of the rest of the consumer economy for over 30 years. Today, a stay at a hospital for one night can cost 2 months of gross income for a median income family.

The Decline of Healthcare Availability

Regulations have served to artificially drive costs and monopolistic gains in healthcare in the US. Mandatory insurance serves to further monopolize the market.

Never in the history of man, have doctors and healthcare been so corrupt. The twentieth century brought us modern medicine, but also brought us crushingly immoral social and political strategies. The emotional sensitivity of healthcare access makes it ironically hard to fix. The strategies of autocratic rule rely on fear, and when the matter is one of life and death, the emotion is very easy to invoke.

The problems of healthcare are obvious even to the most privileged in society. All but the most politically connected feel or have long felt their access and quality of care slip, even in the face of miraculous technological advancement. Most however are feeling a massive pinch. Few are alive that remember when healthcare was freely available and when there were emergency rooms plentiful in urban areas. Over a century, law guided by fascism eroded healthcare little by little. Each generation that passed had less access to doctors than the previous.

If we are going to solve the problem of healthcare access as a society, we must face the plain truth. Our system of regulation has not made healthcare better. With the decline of access so easily demonstrated, with the costs skyrocketing the way they are, with such easy demonstrations of how the foundation of the system is corrupt – one has to wonder why we have not fixed the problem yet. Why do we hold onto such a draconian system of healthcare still? Why are the only solutions discussed, ones that further compound the same failures that caused them?

I believe that it is the delusion that also keeps us from recognizing fascism within the policies formed in the 20th century. We need to embrace the failures of those now gone generations, face the fascist policies they naively allowed into our society, and set healthcare straight by undoing their destructive influence.

An Invitation to Expand

This narrative and the infographic that accompanies it were inspired by an article from the Mises Institute and several other sources of data. As a personal note, I offer many assertions that I recognize are not supported with evidence in this blog post. Many of them are addressed in these below links. Others, like the ambiguous definition of “fascism” I use in a context I hope is made clear as illustrative. To produce a schollarly work on this subject is beyond my intent. To spark discussion and to promote a more sophiticated understanding of the market forces involved in the modern medical crisis.

I invite the reader to research and to comment on any assertions that they can support or that they can find contradictory evidence to. This work may one day be fleshed into a format more fitting of the dense amount of information that supports it claims. I specifically offer it in it’s raw form for the reader to muse over, and to research their own understanding of how regulatory forces have undermined medical access.

 

How Government Regulations Made Healthcare So Expensive
https://mises.org/blog/how-government-regulations-made-healthcare-so-expensive

Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010 / Current Population Reports – Consumer Income; By Carmen DeNavas-Walt, Bernadette D. Proctor, Jessica C. Smith
http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-239.pdf

Hospitals: Origin, Organization, and Performance
http://www.jblearning.com/samples/0763749745/49745_Ch03.pdf

Hospitals By Ownership Type
The Kaiser Foundation

 

How to Charge $546 for Six Liters of Saltwater
By AUG. 25, 2013

The post The Decline of Healthcare Availability appeared first on Alive Free Happy.

Dude, California Radical

http://www.lpcevent.com

I Grew into Being a “Radical”

When I first got into helping move our freedoms forward in a more determined fashion, I joined the LP. I found a lot of friends and people who truly believed in Liberty. A great number of them far better learned in the philosophy than I. They gave me an education. The LP made me a California Radical.

Among some of those people who truly believed in Liberty and inspired me was a man who had been a part of the Party from the beginning. Ted Brown is one of those stalwarts that has been working in one way or another for freedom, engaging the electoral process for 40 years. A genuinely nice guy that only a most pathological madman could criticize. The Golden State’s Libertarians are lucky to have him.

He recently replaced a more “pragmatic” chair, who had grand plans, and unfortunate tactics for trying to make the party a bit more mainstream. Our ballot statements were dry; our platform was going fallow, our ability to put people on the ballot in disrepair for the drag of party leadership in the face of “Top Two”. But all of that has changed in California.

Radical California

I wanted to share with you what it looks like when you have a polished radical leading a ballot qualified party in the most populous and electorally rich state in the US:

Libertarians stand for something: Freedom.

We believe that the most peaceful, most prosperous, most socially fair and tolerant and progressive society is one that solves its problems without government force. We believe that social woes like inaccessible healthcare, inadequate social justice, economic instability, and racial disparity are caused and perpetuated by officials who would rather increase their power instead of truly solving any problems.

We believe in all freedoms. For over four decades, the Libertarian Party has been the feet on the ground advancing once radical issues like marijuana legalization, gay marriage, gun rights, closing the Federal Reserve, school choice, transportation competition, ending mandatory minimum sentences, and ending eminent domain. We oppose foreign wars and want to bring our troops home from overseas.

We want to end graft that robs the poor, destroys honest businesses and corrupts education, police, courts and elections. We believe that Americans are being taxed to death to support a failed system full of waste and corruption.

We must stop giving money and power to the same people who have caused the problems we face today.

It’s time for a big change. If you are tired of throwing away your vote, send a message

– Vote Libertarian.

Ted Brown, Chair

Libertarian Party of California

That is a party that understands that politics follows the people. That to reach out and educate, to take radical stances and stand by them, to speak the truth and to not apologize for it, is what has made Libertarians win policy change even if the rules of the ballot are stacked against them. To win the hearts and minds of millions of people is a generational endeavor, and no matter what barriers are placed in front of you, there is always a way for a radical to punch through.

A Gathering of Radicals

The Libertarian Party of California has it’s Annual Convention starting April 1st, 2016 and it is a great opportunity to make friends. I guarantee an excellent time.

Yeah, April Fools Day was neither a mistake nor a joke. There is irony in it reflected against the farce of voting and the organizers have  sweet sense of humor. It is a presidential election year and guys like John McAfee are going to be there. I am hoping for a presidential steel cage death match for Friday Night.

I’ve sent like 15 letters to the convention committee recommending it. I bought 6 rolls of hurricane fence, 16 steel posts and 8 cubic feet of gravel and QuickCrete just in case there is a last minute approval for my plan. I’ve also reached out to both John McAfee and Austin Petersen to see if they might contend in the Main Event. I figure they were a good match up. Gary Johnson would annihilate any of ’em if we let him in.

There has been no response from our hopeful contenders either, but they are probably waiting on a committee decision with me. No doubt they are secretly training so as not to be caught napping. If it happens, I have $50 to put on McAfee and another $20 says he wins with an eye gouge.

I hear Vermin Supreme wont make it out to this convention though he has declared himself a Libertarian candidate. Love that guy. He would have been an excellent referee.

A Great Program

As far as the already scheduled activities go, the party has a bunch of great speakers lined up. It’s a great list from across the spectrum. David Nott who is the President of the Reason Foundation will be there. Angela Keaton from AntiWar.com too. The one I want to hear most of all is Lily Tang Williams from Colorado. She is featured above with a very alluring pose if I may say so.

Mrs. Williams escaped communist China, came to America, and then was horrified when she found out that her daughter’s Common Core education was identical to the Maoist travesty she ran away from. California, espeically Los Angeles is pretty cosmopolitan and so is the State Party. The leaders of both The Libertarian Party of Canada and the Libertarian Party of Mexico will be speaking. The program has a bunch more. But speakers are only the cake. The icing comes at night.

A Great Opportunity to Make Friends

The California Libertarian Party is renown for it’s parties. The banquet is going to be great, and the night gets kewler with the hospitality suite rocking late into the night. I can tell you some epic stories… Do bring a check book. Make donations at the festivities. It is well directed money and someone bought all that free booze. It is only right to give back.

If you have misgivings about voting. That’s kewl. Come to just make a friend or six. If you are on the fence let me repeat this tidbit of stolen wisdom: If voting could change the system, it would be illegal and if not voting could change the system it would be illegal. Right? Well, electoral politics on its own wont do any good for moving society in the right directions. We all know it. Evil lives in those halls of power and taking a seat there is a dangerous proposition at the least and a corrupting one most likely.

But, the electoral system is a great place to get a handful of statist nutsack and wrench.

Check out the website.

The tickets are cheap. You are going to make a lot of great friends.

The banquets cost extra -totally worth the price – but the parties are free, in every sense of the word. You don’t want to miss it.

http://www.lpcevent.com

The post Dude, California Radical appeared first on Alive Free Happy.

McAfee and Libertarian Party Appearances

Should the Libertarian Party be looking only at electable candidates,
or are colorful public figures like John McAfee good for the effort?

McAfee Runs For President under the LP Banner

McAfee Antivirus inventor John McAfee’s announcement that he will run for President as a Libertarian has sparked a lot of conversation in some large media properties. Many of the comments, interestingly enough seem to criticize the LP for being on the sidelines with guys like McAfee.

When poked, it is my experience that these detractors are largely not in the LP, but in the GOP and are just doing their routine sniping. It brings me to ask the question: Are we really sidelined when we run colorful characters in the LP?

Here are some posts regarding McAfee’s announcement and other sites useful for research:

https://mcafee16.com/ | http://www.whoismcafee.com/ | Wikipedia

Reason Article | Newsweek Article | Gizmodo Article

Even with all of this reading, at this moment I do not know much about the guy. I do not know if he would well represent the philosophy and spread it, but I do know something about how the LP operates, and “from the sidelines” is where the LP thrives for now.

The LP on the Game Field

The LP does operate from the sidelines. It seems to me that it is only allowed to exist because the powers that be, have to maintain an illusion of the principles encoded in the first and strongest constitution based on freedom ever written. It would have been easiest to simply outlaw the LP, and today that effort seems to be gaining traction under the guise of National Security but it has been hard to do and not get exposed. Instead they just change the rules of elections whenever there is a gain by any independent movement. By the rule of law, the sidelines is where the LP must play.

As I can foresee, it will be that way until one of two things happens:

1) We change our system to be more parliamentary in nature.

2) One of the corrupt so-called parties, falters in it’s ability to turn out even the tiny minority they need to keep their power and it collapses.

The first option is too foreign to people in the US and is not supported in the Constitution. Most people seem to agree with me thinking that this is not likely going to happen without a catastrophic crash of the economy and political structure.

The second option, however, is looming.  Both parties are ruled far from the voters and in controvert to the wishes of their base.  The Republicans are nearly defunct. This is especially obvious in states like California where they are no more than a zombie institution locally, and an ATM machine for the east coast masters of the party. They have been rigid and exclusive for decades, pushing out all who disobey. Goldwater scared the crap out of them.

The Democrats are far less rigid than the GOP keeping their leadership in place in a complex of winks and nods. Their structure is more tolerant of converse movement at the top as the base is allowed to move more or less on its own.  Control happens through less direct routes than in the GOP. But that same structure makes flexible makes them more prone to pieces breaking off on their own.

Political Change

The LP is on the sidelines and fighting the good fight. One day there will be a shake-up; likely shattering the GOP. At the same time an influence vacuum will form that will detach large pieces of the Democrat’s base as the people on top, fat with power, eschew the need to cater to the inconvenient. At this time, a new “team” will try and form to take the field.

Some think that this change is imminent in just two presidential cycles. I think that a Donald Trump could make it happen in one. One thing is for sure: A minority of people in the US are eligible to vote; a minority of the eligible bother to register; a minority of those registered go to the polls – and elections are won with tiny percentages of the population. The sham is actively falling apart… right now.

Success or Ruin

It will be after this time that the LP has it’s chance. People will be seeking “genuine” and “honest” representatives like people who are attracted to Bernie Sanders exemplify. If the LP has maintained their “pure” message the “kookiness of dissent” becomes “the wisdom of the people” and society will move forward toward freedom.

The other outcome that might happen is that we become a single party system officially. What is really scary is that this is our current trajectory as I see it. The GOP and Democrats are already shells for the same interests. Those interests have no want to have to keep paying twice the “cost of influence.” There will be a lot of pressure to keep the GOP extant but tiny as the token “minority party” institutionalized in the constitution and legislative processes.

Politics is About People

We are unprepared. The LP was at its strongest when radicals were out front and making noise.  Where is the Doctor Demento’s of the 21st century in the LP? Where is the Church of the Subgenius and the other such counter culture groups?McAfee and Libertarian Party Appearances

I can tell you. They were chased out by people who were afraid of statements like “peanut gallery” – suits, who following the examples of the dragon they once fought, took a page from the GOP vs. Goldwater and started purging the “unseemly” activists and “povertarians” from the party. In effect they chased out 90% of the party.

So, I would recommend that we embrace every colorful character that will sell the philosophy; that we “own” the sidelines with an excellent show. We need people like McAfee to fill the roles of the likes of Aaron Burr, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin. People with the courage to stand up are often people who have colorful pasts. People who know how to make waves do not learn that skill by having led an unassuming life. Look up George Washington’s early career for instance or Thomas Jefferson’s constant battle with solvency.

People Love the Circus, and Hate the Opera

We need showmen and risk takers, and men with views askew that highlight truth. We need people to look, to remember our name and the earnestness behind it. We need people who want to join in the circus that is an insurgent movement, we need to make it fun, and we need to make it effective in one thing: Winning people over to liberty and building our base. From that base, everything else naturally follows including elections.

If we do not do this duty; if good liberty loving people do not get on board and start making noise along with us; if they give into irrational fears of not getting elected; if we reject the unsightly or unseemly and lose their support: The fascists will immanentize their single party strategy and true liberty will be lost from its first and last vestige on Earth.

 


Several questions worthy of discussion are raised and I invite your comment: Is McAfee someone who will represent the philosophy? Do colorful people spoil the chances of the LP getting elected. Does the LP need to better embrace the strange? Can the LP be effective for liberty even when it does not take offices? I invite your comment!

 

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The Mean Streets and Private Police

A community fires its police force for private security. Is this a manifestation of freedom?

Article on The Blaze

When considering this question, I asked myself a different query than I think most libertarians might: How well might this work out in South Central Los Angeles? It is a tough place full of racial tension and strife. For fans of trivia it may interest you to know that Los Angeles is the 10th most segregated city in the US.

Racial Segregation

http://static.atlantablackstar.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Los-Angeles-map1.jpg
The blue dots are South Central.

In South Central one ethic group, the majority of the residents, rent their homes and apartments and do not find a lot of local jobs.  All of the stores in the area are run by another exclusive ethnic group (green dots) that treats the residents like they are less than human.  They hire only family and treat their captive customer base like dog shit.

Yet another ethnic group (pink dots) owns nearly all of the property and manages it through companies. Off in the distance, a mega-city city council manages all of the services, including police that treat the neighborhood as a training ground. Every couple of decades the locals raize the place in defiance to oppression, some injustice sparking the ever drying tinder. Like the chaparral in the hollywood hills, South Central has to burn when the dead wood stacks too high. People ask, “how can they burn their own homes? How can they rob the stores they shop in?” They have never lived in South Central or in a rent only neighborhood. They have never shopped in stores that transact with you only though an inch of Plexiglas.

How does a neighborhood like this do a damn thing about private security? That is the real problem we are dealing with. I think that the fact that these people are used as an anti-paragon, held up as the dregs of society is really profitable for a lot of people. These people have no political influence. Who is going to give them the clout to determine their own policing?

Private Police on the Mean Streets

I thought about the effects. If private policing could take hold in South Central, it would be tremendous. If local residents hired security for the neighborhood there would be a major challenge at least at first. I believe the real challenge would be to keep neighborhoods from seeking to hire a company affiliated with one group of “local entrepreneurs” and then used as a tool against rival “business interests”.

I think that it could be possible. If the neighborhoods were small enough, and the security firms held to the law, I think that graft or aggression would balance out very quickly. Perhaps the role for government police would be oversight of the actions of the firms. That might be a huge savings all around but I still think we miss the point.

Even if this libertarian utopia could exist in South Central, who would let them? I think that there is a multi-headed powerful interest for keeping the area, oppressed, pissed off, poor and consuming massive quantities of bad ideas in a bottle or bag. I think that there is a powerful political interest in keeping the area dangerous and the residents frightened and the HUD dollars flowing. I think that there is also an unfortunate and shameful racially biased feeling of self righteousness derived from the situation perpetuated by ethnic groups that identify the residents as less than human. They exploit their misery with a relish of satisfaction.

Privatization does not Equate to Freedom

While these wealthy folk in a gated community have the pleasure of tossing off their local police; and certainly enjoying a freer lifestyle than most, how could our brothers and sisters in a place like South Central ever hope to be able to secede from the city of Los Angeles? Self determination? Not for these people, forget it.

In autocratic nations the privileged always have their own protection. This private police force is not an ideal of Capitalism, it isn’t a manifestation of freedom either, freedom that has to be bought isn’t freedom, it is Fascism.

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