If you’ve followed American politics long enough, you’ve noticed a pattern that inevitably plays out with failed social policy.
Thomas Sowell discusses this pattern in his excellent book ‘Vision of the Anointed’ (1995 Harper Collins). The second chapter is entitled ‘The Pattern’, and in it Professor Sowell lays out the 4 stages of social policy failure:
“STAGE 1. THE ‘CRISIS: Some situation exists, whose negative aspects the anointed propose to eliminate. Such a situation is routinely characterized as a ‘crisis’ ….Sometimes the situation…has in fact already been getting better for years.
STAGE 2. THE ‘SOLUTION’: Policies to end the ‘crisis’ are advocated by the anointed, who say that these policies will lead to beneficial result A. Critics say that these policies will lead to detrimental result Z. The anointed dismiss these latter claims as absurd and ‘simplistic,’ if not dishonest.
STAGE 3. THE RESULTS: The policies are instituted and lead to detrimental result Z.
STAGE 4. THE RESPONSE: Those who attribute detrimental result Z to the policies instituted are dismissed as ‘simplistic’ for ignoring the ‘complexities’ involved, as ‘many factors’ went into determining the outcome. The burden of proof is put on the critics to demonstrate to a certainty that these policies alone were the only possible cause of the worsening that occurred. No burden of proof whatever is put on those who had so confidently, [but wrongly], predicted improvement. Indeed, it is often asserted that things would have been even worse, were it not for the wonderful programs that mitigated the inevitable damage from other factors.”
Sowell then goes on to provide 3 distinct and well known examples of failed Progressive social policy: The War on Poverty, Sex Education and Criminal Justice.
Throughout the 1960’s and ’70’s Progressives implemented a host of new policies in all three areas that they claimed would reduce poverty, teen pregnancy, and crime. As Sowell demonstrates, American society was greatly harmed instead, as instead of getting better each problem became significantly worse. Poverty, which was declining before the launch of the ‘War on Poverty’, actually increased instead of decreasing.
So did the number of sexually active teens, and therefore the number of pregnant teens. Teen pregnancy was ALREADY IN DECLINE when the new sex ed courses were implemented.
The huge crime wave of the 1960’s to the early 1990’s also resulted from the new Criminal Justice policies that were supposed to decrease crime.
The promises all of these new social policies were enacted versus the actual real world results that were obtained are stark and a matter of public record.
It’s important to go over this because we’re presently at a point where a big new social policy is about to enter that important Stage 4 as it’s real world results start coming in. Which means The Usual Suspects will be there to try to deny & hide those results when they aren’t lying about them.
All of us watched Progressives take ObamaCare through the first three stages. We had Stage 1: The Crisis of the need for health insurance reform, followed by Stage 2, the introduction of the huge monstrosity known as ‘The Affordable Care Act’, AKA ‘ObamaCare’ as the ‘solution’ to the problem.
Here is the wonderful ObamaCare ‘solution’ to the health insurance problem. Six feet tall & still growing!
We are right now at Stage 3, where real world results of ObamaCare’s enactment are coming in. Progressives in the media remember quite well what critics of the new policy said would happen if it was enacted. Premium’s would skyrocket, employers would drop employees and cut hours and benefits from those that remained, and there would be a doctor shortage, among other detrimental results.
Remember how the MSM helped sell this turkey to the public, while it also roundly attacked & mocked the people claiming ObamaCare would end up being a huge disaster? What do you suppose they’re going to do now that the results are coming in? Admit they were wrong? Of course not.
They’ll do what Paul Krugman did at the NYT’s this week, where he snidely pontificated that ObamaCare, despite all the indicators to the contrary, is really going to be a huge success:
“ObamaCare a failure?! You wish, wingnutz!”
“The Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare, goes fully into effect at the beginning of next year, and predictions of disaster are being heard far and wide. There will be an administrative “train wreck,” we’re told; consumers will face a terrible shock. Republicans, one hears, are already counting on the law’s troubles to give them a big electoral advantage.
No doubt there will be problems, as there are with any large new government initiative, and in this case, we have the added complication that many Republican governors and legislators are doing all they can to sabotage reform. Yet important new evidence — especially from California, the law’s most important test case — suggests that the real Obamacare shock will be one of unexpected success.”
Stephen Kruiser at Freedomworks put up a blog post yesterday in which he pointed out Forbes has already blown the whistle on the clever trick Krugman used in his column:
It looks like progressivism’s beard was doing his happy dance a bit prematurely about those California numbers.
Here’s what happened. Last week, Covered California–the name for the state’s Obamacare-compatible insurance exchange–released the rates that Californians will have to pay to enroll in the exchange.
“The rates submitted to Covered California for the 2014 individual market,” the state said in a press release, “ranged from two percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small employer plans in California’s most populous regions.”
That’s the sentence that led to all of the triumphant commentary from the left. “This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” exulted Peter Lee.
Except that Lee was making a misleading comparison. He was comparing apples–the plans that Californians buy today for themselves in a robust individual market–and oranges–the highly regulated plans that small employers purchase for their workers as a group. The difference is critical.
Obamacare to double individual-market premiums
If you’re a 25 year old male non-smoker, buying insurance for yourself, the cheapest plan on Obamacare’s exchanges is the catastrophic plan, which costs an average of $184 a month. (By “average,” I mean the median monthly premium across California’s 19 insurance rating regions.)
In other words, for the typical 25-year-old male non-smoking Californian, Obamacare will drive premiums up by between 100 and 123 percent.
Under Obamacare, only people under the age of 30 can participate in the slightly cheaper catastrophic plan. So if you’re 40, your cheapest option is the bronze plan. In California, the median price of a bronze plan for a 40-year-old male non-smoker will be $261.
But on eHealthInsurance, the median cost of the five cheapest plans was $121. That is, Obamacare will increase individual-market premiums by an average of 116 percent.
Because he won a Nobel Prize in economics, Krugman is considered by many to be some kind of impeachable source. So his use of these fraudulent numbers in his NYT’s column is just one of the first shots fired in this Stage 4 attempt to cover up/hide ObamaCare’s real world results – until at least maybe just one more election cycle.
Krugman, like many in the MSM, dismissed the huge wave of layoffs at the beginning of the year as having anything to do with ObamaCare. Instead Liberal media attacked employers for being ‘greedy’ and ‘selfish’ instead of honestly discussing the economic impact of the new law.
As people’s health insurance premiums began skyrocketing, again the MSM defenders of ObamaCare loudly pointed the finger at the ‘greedy’ health insurance companies, claiming that the free market was to blame, rather than a terribly burdensome new law hitting the industry with thousands of expensive new regulations.
Progressives are counting on the vicious cycle they’ve enacted continuing unabated:
1) Gov’t regulations & interference in the health insurance market drives prices up
2) Progressives point to higher prices as ‘sign’ of failure of the industry to serve consumers ‘fairly’
3) Progressives propose MORE gov’t interference as the ‘solution’ to the problem. Repeat Step 1.
ObamaCare was designed to kill the private insurance market so they could bring in a single payer system. Our job is to point out its ObamaCare and its creators that failed, not the health insurance industry that was burdened with it.
We’re entering Stage 4. They are getting their spin ready to cover up ObamaCare’s real world results & to attack anybody who brings them up. Are you ready for this fight?