Rhetoric and Reality _ Choices and Consequences

There is so much rhetoric in politics, is it any wonder that the average voter is ill-informed? Matt Ross, the host of Conservative Hideout 2.0, had a post the other day on this very subject. His post had to do the Democrat’s rhetoric following the House vote to repeal ObamaCare. More specifically, he focused on the comment by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius  that 129 million Americans with a pre-existing condition could be denied coverage without ObamaCare. Matt was quick to point out that the whole argument to support passage of ObamaCare was predicated on 47 million people who could be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. So where did the number 129 million come from? Apparently it was fabricated on the spot.  That to me is not rhetoric; that is a bald-faced lie. But getting back to rhetoric, Matt quoted from a much earlier post he had done where he dissected the rhetorical number of 47 million. Using Census Bureau information, Matt pointed out that the 47 million included 10 million people who are in this country illegally and about 17 million people who earn enough to buy insurance but opted not to buy it. This was a real eye opener to me  and points out not only how missleading rhetoric can be; but also that people have the right to make their own choices in life and then live with the consequences. What percentage of the voters do you think were aware that ObamaCare was pushed through to aid a relatively small number of people. One has to wonder how many of the people who can’t afford health insurance would choose to buy it if they could afford it or would they spend the money on something els;,i.e., choices and consequences.

This brings me to the subject of today’s post. One of the blogs I follow is What We Think and Why which is hosted by Grant Davies. While visiting Grant’s site the other day I clicked on an article from his archives that caught my eye. After reading it; I thought; this is a perfect complement to Matt’s article. So I asked Grant and he was gracious enough to give me permission reprint his article. I think, like Matt’s article, it points out the need for all of us to dig behind the rhetoric so we can see the reality. Here is Grant’s look at the reality behind the rhetoric ( and indirectly the consequences that come from choices made) of the poor in America. Please let me know what you think. 

The Best Place to be Poor

Have you ever been approached by a “poor” person on the street begging for help because of their desperate condition, only to notice the $125 Air Jordans they were wearing? To be fair, most beggars aren’t dressed that way, but it’s certainly not rare in downtown Chicago to see that sight.
That kind of story provides anecdotal evidence, a type that’s extremely popular with politicians and other power seekers because it can be reliably used to mislead many people. And although the tales usually have an element of truth, you can’t draw broad conclusions based on them because it might be like looking at the Mona Lisa as a profile picture.
Without the other half of her face, she would be about as compelling as the notion that most beggars prefer Nikes to Mad Dog 20/20.

Having said that, consistent observation by interested parties can turn the anecdotes into actual evidence, if not proof. And the evidence shows that a different type of begging is becoming a real problem in our current American situation.

In order to attain the objective of placing more and more of our private institutions under government control, (and even ownership) we are being bombarded by a nonsensical caricature of people without private health insurance. Many of whom, we are told, live in such frightful conditions that they cannot afford food much less healthcare.

A step back from the edge of that rhetorical cliff reveals a different tale, one that most people know intuitively. The actual story reports on the spending behavior of the very people who we are supposed to be saving from calamity by irreversibly changing our entire healthcare system and squashing the attendant rights we currently enjoy. So first, let’s have a look at the “poor” people, sans the emotional response the “changers” hope we will have.

In 2007 Robert Rector updated his work on poverty using the most up to date government figures available, (many from the 2005 US census) and what it shows is that to be “poor” in America is the aspiration of the truly poor in the rest of the world. Here are a few facts he gleaned as he admired Mona’s whole face:
(I paraphrase his work)

•A little less than half of all poor households actu­ally own their own homes, and that average home has three bedrooms, one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
•The vast majority, 80%,  of poor households have air conditioning. He notes that “by contrast, in 1970, only 36 % of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.”
•Only 6% of poor households are over­crowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
•”Poor” Americans have more living space than average individuals living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens,  to mention just a few cities. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
•Almost 75% of poor households own a car while 31% own two or more..
•97% of poor households have color television; over 50% own two or more.
•78% have a VCR or DVD player; 62 % have cable or satellite TV reception.
•89% own microwave ovens, more than 50%  have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.
His findings and their presentation, “How Poor Are America’s Poor?” can be found here and are worthy of your time.

So as it turns out, the poor aren’t as destitute as we have been led to believe, but more importantly, they not only have access to healthcare, and even health insurance (as provided by various failing state insurance plans for the needy), but they, like the rest of us, would rather spend the money they have on other things. And it seems they do just that according to Dr. Linda Halderman, who wrote an article concerning it for the Web magazine American Thinker.  Which brings me to the second thing we should have a look at, courtesy of her commentary.

Her article reveals much about human behavior while giving us a peek at what is in store for us if we allow “progressives” to jam socialized health insurance down our throats to help those who would rather spend their own money on Body tattoos, Botox injections, Boats, BlackBerrys and every other “B” necessity they perceive, while leaving the rest of us to pay for their true essentials.
I strongly urge you to read her first hand account of ABUSE OF SUBSIDIZED HEALTH CARE: THE VIEW FROM ONE EXAM ROOM as published in the Investors Business Daily on Oct. 5th.

As I pointed out in my earlier essay, the problem with health insurance in this country is that we want more from it than we are willing to pay for with our own money. And the “poor”, with plenty of money for the above “B“s, are no different, except when being used as anecdotal evidence.

President Obama, who has confessed his preference for, and plan to get to a single payer system, says we need socialized medicine in this country to address the problems of the “anecdotal people”, but with all due respect Mr. President, I BEG to differ.

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