Saturday, July 16, 2011

The David Brooks Solution for the Out of Control Budget: He will Decide How Long You Live

For real.

David Brooks in his NYT column writes:
This fiscal crisis is about many things, but one of them is our inability to face death — our willingness to spend our nation into bankruptcy to extend life for a few more sickly months.

The fiscal crisis is driven largely by health care costs. We have the illusion that in spending so much on health care we are radically improving the quality of our lives. We have the illusion that through advances in medical research we are in the process of eradicating deadly diseases. We have the barely suppressed hope that someday all this spending and innovation will produce something close to immortality...

Years ago, people hoped that science could delay the onset of morbidity. We would live longer, healthier lives and then die quickly. This is not happening. Most of us will still suffer from chronic diseases for years near the end of life, and then die slowly...

Others disagree with this pessimistic view of medical progress. But that phrase, “marginally extend the lives of the very sick,” should ring in the ears. Many of our budget problems spring from our quest to do that...

My only point today is that we think the budget mess is a squabble between partisans in Washington. But in large measure it’s about our inability to face death and our willingness as a nation to spend whatever it takes to push it just slightly over the horizon.
There you have it, a clueless man, who believes a central planning authority should decide when you live and when you die.

Brooks doesn't specifically address a mandatory national healthcare plan, but that is generally part of the idea by those who promote "central planning deciders". These people don't understand basic economics and how private enterprise advances an economy. If people like Brooks are willing to kill people off by stopping their treatment, they are not going to have any problem forcing everyone into the same master plan. In fact, they will consider it a great thing that everyone is on their master plan of healthcare, life and death.

There is so much evil in Brooks's column that it is difficult to know where to start. First, it is that he puts the health of the elderly as the number one budget problem, ahead of the wars that the United States is engaged in.

Second is the entire problem of social planning in the health sector, Brooks is likely in favor of allowing us to choose what clothes we wear and how we style our hair, but because he views money spent on healthcare to be government money, he believes his imagined central planning commission should determine when you should die.

How's this for a solution, stop taxing and otherwise deducting money from people's pay checks for healthcare? Let them make their own decisionss as to what treatments they choose and when, if ever, they choose to end such treatments.

The growth in America has always been in the sectors that are most free from government interference. The personal computer industry and the cell phone industry are obvious examples. Part of the advancements in these sectors is the result of the fact that early on the very rich were willing to pay large sums for inferior products that the average person now pays a lot less for but are of much superior quality.

The dying rich are needed in healthcare because they are the only ones that have the money to pay for new experimental treatments that will advacne care for all of us. For Brooks to suggest that major medical advancement is near an end, is an indication of his failure to understand the basics of economics which explain that advancements take place in an environment of fierce competition and that the vastness of advancements are simply, in most cases, unknowable years before they occur . It is impossible for any of of us to know, for example, what apps may be developed for phones over the next five years, what internet sites may leapfrog over Facebook in five years. Was Brooks such a great seer at the start of email that he foresaw Facebook, Youtube and the NYT paywall? Yet, this man proclaims all major medical discoveries are likely over. Brooks in his column displays nothing but cluelessness as to how the world advances and an out of control ego which causes him to believe he can determine who should live and who should die.Bottom line: He is a very scary man.


  1. "There is so much evil in Brooks's column that it is difficult to know where to start"

    Exactly. When Republicans started talking about "death panels" they were ridiculed as extremist, but each day sees some new permutation of the idea that the state should decide when health care should be discontinued. Evil isn't a strong enough word. Although comparisons to Hitler are mocked as "the end of intelligent discourse" if the Brownshirt fits, they should wear it.

    Getting the government out of health care 100% is the only way that dignity and innovation can be returned to the arena.

  2. And this Bozo is the NYT house "conservative".

    America has become a very scary place.

    Glad I don't live there.

  3. If this sadist ever get's fired, he qualifies to work in a concentration camp easy bake oven facility. He is entitled to his opinion, and his column shows it is produced with the brain of a small dog. His mother must be very proud of him.

  4. Well, if DB believes that his very own country men ought to just man up and die without whining in the interests of keeping spending down, you can see why he'd think blowing up a few mussulmans is the only way to create jobs and keep the national morale up.

    Now we know.

    It's all grandpa's fault for living so long. Pull the plug on that ole brat.

    Meanwhile, we've got enough firepower, and spy-power to take over the Milky Way.....

    But only a fink or a crypto-jihadi would suggest to taking a look at that, right?

  5. The guy's a monster. It's truly perverse that this guy is published in a major newspaper and taken seriously.

  6. Brooks rightly identifies increasing health care costs as one of the modern challenges of Western countries. He is also right that this cost increase is to a significant part driven by the aging of our population. However, it is up to the individuals to draw consequences. I for one would hope for me that I'll find the courage to do it like Gunther Sachs before losing control over my life due to Alzheimers or similar. I'd rather be able to finance a good education for my grandchildren than spending that money on unnecessarily prolonging my life. Of course, it is not the governments business to decide this, but I think society should deeply respect people like Gunther Sachs who decided to end his life before losing control over it.

  7. You and your commenters are avoiding the core truth of his column. There will be, and there will have to be, serious decisions made as to how much healthcare we are entitled to at the end of life. Isn't economics the study of scarcity? Look at where the childishness of the Left has led us. We can't be all things to all people

  8. @Bernie Manning

    "Wasting money trying to prolong life" (Healthcare budget)

    Surely that comes way down AFTER

    "Wasting money trying to destroy life" (War budget)

    in any reasonably prioritized budget- cutting.

  9. Bernie Manning said...

    You and your commenters are avoiding the core truth of his column. There will be, and there will have to be, serious decisions made as to how much healthcare we are entitled to at the end of life. Isn't economics the study of scarcity? Look at where the childishness of the Left has led us. We can't be all things to all people

    So you advocate that a man (if you climb high enough up the ladder it always comes down to one man who makes the decisions) would be voluntarily be given authority over everyone to determine who's life is useful enough to him (for he cares nothing of society) to warrant allowing it to continue? If you want to live in fear under a king/dictator/tyrant for the rest of what life they let you have, there are plenty of shitholes around the world that can accommodate you.

    Scarcity is not the problem when an economy is unfettered by the government- only when regulation and price controls are mandated by the government does scarcity of resources become an issue. There is no truth to Brooks' love letter to Marxism outside of the secret wish that he be pardoned from genocide based on his adoration of the dictator's motives.

    Progressives--that includes you--believe they are entitled/destined to rule over the rest of us because we're just too weak minded and selfish to govern ourselves. YOU ARE THE LEFT and when you awake to that realization it will sicken and disgust you as much as it does any free man.

    If you value a life in terms of it's utility to others at any point in time, no one deserves reprieve. This is not a zero-sum game as you and progressives like you would believe.

  10. Brooks has such a hard time picking whether he is a Democrat and Republican that I bet he has a hard time choosing to piss in the urinal or toilet in a public restroom.

    The dude is a true statist and is a pathetic representation of the NYT's idea of a conservative. Not only is his writing bland, but he wants the government involved in everything, not just foreign imperialism like other syndicated "conservatives."

  11. A dark view of the history of American medicine and the elite agenda sheds light on Brooks' preoccupation:

  12. What we need is for each individual to have the FREEDOM and sovereignity over their own life without interference from goobermint bureaucrats or right-wing religious folks. Each individual should be able to request, on demand, at any age, to be given a lethal dose of gas or drugs that will humanely and gently put them to sleep never to wake up. (I recommend a bag over the head, pump in pure nitrogen gas - you take one or two breaths, pass out, then you die from lack of O2. Because air is ~78% N2 the body does not even know anything is wrong - no convulsing, etc.)

    It is called FREEDOM.

    Allowing individuals to decide their own destiny, to be free, would save a fair percentage of all medicare/caid costs.

    The majority who are afraid to die would also be FREE to use whatever medical care is available paid for either privately or by the goobermint, to keep that old body breathing, as long as they wanted. It's big business involving billions of dollars each year and that's why it continues.

    OK NOW, WHO is for individual FREEDOM. Post away.

  13. Bernie Manning said, "There will be, and there will have to be, serious decisions made as to how much healthcare we are entitled to at the end of life."

    Neither you nor I nor anyone else is ENTITLED to any healthcare any more than we are entitled to a given number of shoes or pounds of green beans or any other good. Because that is what healthcare is: a good--not a right to which one can be entitled, but a good that can be or can not be afforded. To believe that anyone is entitled to healthcare or a car or a telephone or any other good is to believe that person is morally entitled to force someone else to provide it; that is, to endorse the enslavement of one person by the one who is "entitled."

  14. That's as scary as Rahm Emmanuel.