Is Bernie Sanders correct to say that Canada has better, lower-cost health care?

Wall Street Journal calculates cost of Sanders spending plan
Wall Street Journal calculates cost of Sanders spending plan

He seems to be really passionate about raising taxes on working families, and then giving them “free” health care in return. Let’s see how that’s working out in Canada, where they do have a single-payer health care system.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Waiting times for medically necessary health care services under Canada’s single-payer system have hit a record high, according to a report from the Fraser Institute.

[…]The Fraser Institute found that patients under Canada’s single-payer system this year waited an average of 10.9 weeks—roughly two-and-a-half months—from the time they had a consultation with a specialist to the time at which they received treatment. Physicians consider 7.2 weeks to be a clinically reasonable wait time.

The report also found that patients’ wait for treatment after referral to a specialist by their general practitioner was 21.2 weeks, or longer than four months.

“This year’s wait time—the longest ever recorded in this survey’s history—is 128 percent longer than in 1993, when it was just 9.3 weeks,” the report states.

The report, which looks at 10 provinces in Canada, found that there are 1,040,791 patients waiting for procedures. There are also high wait times to receive scans and ultrasounds. Patients waited an average of 10.8 weeks for an MRI scan and 3.9 weeks for an ultrasound.

“Research has repeatedly indicated that wait times for medically necessary treatment are not benign inconveniences,” the report states. “Wait times can, and do, have serious consequences such as increased pain, suffering, and mental anguish.”

According to the report, patients experience long wait times for surgeries, waiting as long as 41.7 weeks for orthopedic surgery, 32.9 weeks for neurosurgery, and 31.4 weeks for ophthalmology.

“In certain instances, [wait times] can also result in poorer medical outcomes—transforming potentially reversible illnesses or injuries into chronic, irreversible conditions, or even permanent disabilities,” the report states. “In many instances, patients may also have to forgo their wages while they wait for treatment, resulting in an economic cost to the individuals themselves and the economy in general.”

Fraser points out that previous studies have found the lost economic output in waiting for joint replacement surgery, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, MRI scans, and cataract surgery totaled $14.8 billion in 2007.

The report also notes that 46.3 percent of patients would prefer to have their procedure performed within a week if they had the opportunity to do so.

The article also quotes Sally C. Pipes, a Canadian health care expert who knows how much Canadian taxpayers pay for “free” health care.

Pipes also refutes Sanders’s claim that Canada’s system offers relatively the same quality of care at a cheaper cost.

“It isn’t cheaper because Canadians pay for health care through their taxes,” Pipes explains. “The average Canadian family pays anywhere between $4,000 and $12,000 a year in taxes for a system where they have to wait over five months from seeing a primary care doctor to getting treatment by a specialist.”

“There’s fewer doctors relative to the population than in all but four other industrialized countries,” she said. “It’s last in terms of acute care hospital beds and there’s doctor shortages, residency spots are down, and waiting times—this is what happens when government controls the health care system, and this is what Bernie Sanders wants for the United States.”

Canadians are also paid less than Americans. Why? Because Canadian employers have to pay a percentage of their employee’s salary to the government for health care. Obviously, the employers are going to take that out of their employee’s salary without telling them.

Finally, it should be obvious that progressive Canadian politicians go South when they’re sick for healthcare. They know that when health care is free, you get the quality you’re paying for.

One thing you need to understand is that if you put health care in the hands of politicians, they they will use it for vote-buying, like they do with any government-run social program. So, if you are young and want an abortion or a sex change, you’re in luck. Because you have a lot of voting ahead of you, and they want to keep you happy with big government. But, if you’re old, and don’t have so much voting left to do, you’re expendable. That’s why countries with big government health care, like the Netherlands and Canada and the UK are always tinkering with euthanasia for the elderly.

Jay Richards: why should Christians learn about economics?

Here’s a good basic introduction to the free enterprise system by Dr. Jay Richards:

In this lecture, Dr. Richards covers the following topics:

  • the piety myth – thinking that good intentions matter more than good results
  • the greed myth – thinking that capitalism is about greed instead of about innovation and serving others
  • the zero sum game myth – thinking that voluntary exchanges between buyers and sellers result in win-lose outcomes
  • the materialist myth – thinking that there is only a set amount of wealth to be divided by competition

It turns out that the best system for lifting the poor out of poverty – by work or charity – is the economic system that creates wealth through human ingenuity and hard work. That system is the free enterprise system.

Something to read?

If you can’t listen to the lecture and don’t want to buy the whole book “Money, Greed and God?” Then I have a series of posts on each chapter for you.

The index post is here.

Here are the posts in the series:

  • Part 1: The Eight Most Common Myths about Wealth, Poverty, and Free Enterprise
  • Part 2: Can’t We Build A Just Society?
  • Part 3: The Piety Myth
  • Part 4: The Myth of the Zero Sum Game
  • Part 5: Is Wealth Created or Transferred?
  • Part 6: Is Free Enterprise Based on Greed?
  • Part 7: Hasn’t Christianity Always Opposed Free Enterprise?
  • Part 8: Does Free Enterprise Lead to An Ugly Consumerist Culture?
  • Part 9: Will We Use Up All Our Resources?
  • Part 10: Are Markets An Example of Providence?

Parts 4 and 5 are my favorites. It’s so hard to choose one to excerpt, but I must. I will choose… Part 4.

Here’s the problem:

Myth #3: The Zero Sum Game Myth – believing that trade requires a winner and a loser. 

One reason people believe this myth is because they misunderstand how economic value is determined. Economic thinkers with views as diverse as Adam Smith and Karl Marx believed economic value was determined by the labor theory of value. This theory stipulates that the cost to produce an object determines its economic value.

According to this theory, if you build a house that costs you $500,000 to build, that house is worth $500,000. But what if no one can or wants to buy the house? Then what is it worth?

Medieval church scholars put forth a very different theory, one derived from human nature: economic value is in the eye of the beholder. The economic value of an object is determined by how much someone is willing to give up to get that object. This is the subjective theory of value.

And here’s an example of how to avoid the problem:

How you determine economic value affects whether you view free enterprise as a zero-sum game, or a win-win game in which both participants benefit.

Let’s return to the example of the $500,000 house. As the developer of the house, you hire workers to build the house. You then sell it for more than $500,000. According to the labor theory of value, you have taken more than the good is actually worth. You’ve exploited the buyer and your workers by taking this surplus value. You win, they lose.

Yet this situation looks different according to the subjective theory of value. Here, everybody wins. You market and sell the house for more than it cost to produce, but not more than customers will freely pay. The buyer is not forced to pay a cost he doesn’t agree to. You are rewarded for your entrepreneurial effort. Your workers benefit, because you paid them the wages they agreed to when you hired them.

This illustration brings up a couple important points about free enterprise that are often overlooked:

1. Free exchange is a win-win game.

In win-win games, some players may end up better off than others, but everyone ends up better off than they were at the beginning. As the developer, you might make more than your workers. Yet the workers determined they would be better off by freely exchanging their labor for wages, than if they didn’t have the job at all.

A free market doesn’t guarantee that everyone wins in every competition. Rather, it allows many more win-win encounters than any other alternative.

2. The game is win-win because of rules set-up beforehand. 

A free market is not a free-for-all in which everybody can do what they want. Any exchange must be free on both sides. Rule of law, contracts, and property rights are needed to ensure exchanges are conducted rightly. As the developer of the house, you’d be held accountable if you broke your contract and failed to pay workers what you promised.

An exchange that is free on both sides, in which no one is forced or tricked into participating, is a win-win game.

If you do get the book, be sure and skip the chapter on usury. It’s just not as engaging as the others, in my opinion.

Elections have consequences: Trump DOJ investigating Planned Parenthood

Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood
Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood

I remember the days when the DOJ was managed by Eric Holder, and was as corrupt as corrupt could be. The rank and file is probably still corrupt, but a Republican administration brings different priorities.

Fox News reports:

The Justice Department has launched a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices and the sale of fetal tissue.

In a letter first obtained by Fox News, Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd formally requested unredacted documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee, the same panel that led the congressional probe into the women’s health organization.

[…]A spokesman for the committee told Fox News on Friday that they received the Department’s “official request for unredacted copies of its 2016 report and we will work to cooperate fully.”

In that final report entitled “Human Fetal Tissue Research: Context and Controversy” published in December 2016, Grassley referred Planned Parenthood and other providers to the FBI for investigation.

Grassley said at the time that the committee has discovered enough evidence that shows how abortion providers had transferred fetal tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses for research by charging amounts higher than they actually cost.

“The report documents the failure of the Department of Justice, across multiple administrations, to enforce the law that bans the buying and selling of human fetal tissue,” Grassley wrote last December urging the Justice Department and FBI to investigate. “It also documents substantial evidence suggesting that the specific entities involved in the recent controversy, and/or individuals employed by those entities, may have violated that law.”

This would never have happened if Hillary Clinton had won the election in 2016.

That’s happening at the federal level. At the state level, two companies that were in the baby parts selling business just got hit with massive fines.

The radically leftist Los Angeles Times reports:

Two bioscience companies that once operated in Costa Mesa have reached a $7.785-million settlement with the Orange County district attorney’s office over allegations that they illegally sold fetal tissue to companies around the world, prosecutors said Friday.

According to the settlement signed Monday, DV Biologics LLC and sister company DaVinci Biosciences LLC, both based in Yorba Linda, must cease all operations in California within 60 to 120 days. The agreement also requires the companies to admit liability for violations of state and federal laws prohibiting the sale or purchase of fetal tissue for research purposes, prosecutors said.

[…]Prosecutors opened an investigation into the companies in September 2015 after a complaint was submitted by the Irvine-based Center for Medical Progress. The anti-abortion group gained national attention in 2015 after releasing a video showing Planned Parenthood affiliates discussing the sale of aborted fetuses.

There’s been a lot of good news lately. In Iraq, ISIS has been forced to give up all the territory they had taken. Government regulations continue to be obliterated by the Trump administration. Republicans are working on a tax bill which will give taxpayers some of their earned income back – as well as stimulating American companies to create more jobs. And more and more originalist judges are being appointed. Things are looking good in the short term.

Feminist and self-described “professional misandrist” explains what to look for in a man

Do young women understand how to get to a stable marriage?
Do young women understand how to get to a stable marriage?

I heard about “Everyday Feminism” by listening to the Andrew Klavan podcast. Today, I wanted to link to an article featuring 10 questions that a radical feminist should ask the man on the first date.

Here are a few:

4. What are your thoughts on sex work?

You may scratch your head at this one, but much like racism and misogynoir, being pro-sex worker is a necessary pillar of dismantling the patriarchy. I don’t mean pro-sex worker in the sense where non-sex workers write op-eds and think pieces about how sex work is amazing and feminist.

I mean the kind where we pass the mic to sex workers because they know their experiences better than anyone who hasn’t ever engaged in sex work. I mean the kind of pro-heauxism where you understand the labor of sex workers of color, especially trans women of color who engage in sex work, because their experience and knowledge is crucial to understanding the oppressive structures of our world.

7. Do you think capitalism is exploitative?

Anti-capitalism, especially in the U.S., is imperative if you have an understanding of systemic racism, the prison industrial complex, the 13th Amendment, and exploitation. Capitalism, for one, teaches us that we are only valuable if we produce capital. That means that if you aren’t contributing to the system with your labor, your life means almost nothing.

If your date says they’re anti-fascist and part of the resistance but they’re cool with exploiting labor from communities of color and they support the school to prison pipeline, then there’s a good chance they’ll only value you for your ability to nurture them without any reciprocation.

8. Can any human be illegal?

We live on a tiny planet, with land and water within a galaxy surrounded by a universe with an inconceivable number of other galaxies and planets. Yet here we dictate where we are and who is allowed to be where we are. It’s mind-boggling that borders are even a thing, so to call people “aliens” or “illegal immigrants” is so inhumane and despicable.

White Americans stole this land, colonized this land, created so many borders, pushed out, killed and enslaved people of color and somehow they have the audacity to claim that this land is theirs and that black and brown immigrants are stealing their jobs, land, and homes? Miss me with that b***s***.

9. Do you support Muslim Americans and non-Muslim people from Islamic countries?

I can’t think of any other religion which has been vilified and lied about more than Islam in a cultural and systemic way. I am not Muslim, so I will stay in my lane, but I cannot imagine for a second even claiming to be a feminist if I didn’t stand in solidarity with my Muslim friends and family — especially now, especially after 9/11.

Don’t waste your time and energy on dating someone who thinks that Islam is inherently violent or misogynistic. Instead, read some Huda Sha’arawi or Mona Eltahawy to educate yourself further on Muslim feminism.

So, she’s looking for a man who doesn’t enough marketable skills to work in the private sector, who doesn’t believe in the rule of law, who thinks that his earnings should be taxed to pay for illegal immigrants to get free school, free health care, free entitlements, etc. (instead of paying for his own family and household), and who thinks that radical Muslims are doing great work by intentionally targeting innocent people for terrorist attacks. Is this man she is looking for someone who can do man-roles in a long-term relationship? It doesn’t sound to me like he is capable of doing the jobs a man does in marriage. Marriage-capable men protect, provide and lead on moral and spiritual issues.

I found a little bit of biography about this woman. I was shocked to find that she does not have a STEM degree. (not shocked!)

I am an intersectional feminist writer and freelance journalist. I was born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland and I moved to Philadelphia in 2010. I received my BA in Journalism from Temple University and interned at the Philadelphia Daily News as a full-time news intern and reporter. I wrote over twenty pieces covering court stories, crime and neighborhood events, including my own column and two front page stories.

Following my internship & graduation I became increasingly committed to writing freelance for feminist and anti-racist publications like BUST, Guerrilla Feminism, Rewire, Blavity and Philadelphia Printworks. I am currently the senior editor for Wear Your Voice Magazine and a freelance writer for publications like Teen Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Allure and more.

I specialize in online editorial branding and communications for anti-racist, pro-feminist sites. I helped rebrand and re-focus Wear Your Voice to expand their readership and provide a platform for marginalized voices and those who wish to learn more about intersectional feminism.

I am available for speaking events and panels about anti-racism, feminism, journalism, freelance writing and activism.

Political science is one of the easiest and most useless degrees to get, and jobs for political science graduates pay far less than science and engineering careers. Writing feminist screeds is not a career. Petroleum engineering is a career. Intelligent people study hard things, so that they can get good jobs, and make real money by offering real value to customers.

Her Instagram describes her as a “professional misandrist”. Yet she’s looking for a man. Imagine that! Marriage requires a woman to embrace her feminine nature, and to affirm and cultivate her man’s male nature. None of her views are compatible with what a woman does in a marriage. And none of her views are compatible with keeping a husband engaged in a marriage. She just doesn’t have any ability to keep a long-term relationship together.

Secular men might find her useful for a quick hook-up or as a friend with benefits, but she would be an absolute nightmare to marry. And that ability to get hook-up sex will fade as her youth and appearance fade. Then she’ll have no value whatsoever, to any man – even the ones who just want to use her for sex. It’s sad. Her father should be able to convey some wisdom to her about how to live, but I suspect her father is absent – probably because her mother made poor choices about who to have babies with.

Ten better questions

You can find my list of ten questions for courting here. I don’t ask these questions all at once, on the first date. I just raise these issues and see if there is any interest in them. I think you’ll find that my list of 10 questions is a lot more relevant to the roles that a woman plays in a marriage than the radical feminist’s ten questions are relevant to the roles a man plays in marriage. But then again, I doubt that radical feminists are interested in a marriage that lasts – not enough to make choices to really achieve it. 

Finally, my friend Wes posted a response to the radical feminist questions by equity feminist Christina Hoff Sommers:

Tennessee Senate candidates Phil Bredesen and Marsha Blackburn differ on sexual harassment

A conservative lady is running for Senate in Tennessee
A conservative lady is running for Senate in Tennessee

Let’s take a look at the differing records of the two leading candidates for the open Senate seat in Tennessee on the issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault. First, the Democrat candidate Phil Bredesen and then second, the Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn.

Here’s the Washington Free Beacon.

Excerpt:

The Tennessean, a Nashville-based publication owned by Gannett, first began investigating the ethical processes of Bredesen’s office after the May 2005 news that a top official appointed by Bredesen was being suspended for workplace harassment. Reporting on the incident proved difficult as state investigators shredded all the notes taken during the investigation, with the top investigator admitting to being “keenly aware” that documentation could later be requested as public records.

The details of the 2005 harassment claims against Mack Cooper, Bredesen’s senior adviser for legislation and policy, were never revealed.

Bredesen denied that shredding documents was part of a “cover up.” Instead he argued it was part of an effort to protect the identities of victims. He admitted, however, that there was no way to prove his point.

“There’s nothing to be covered up here,” Bredesen told the AP in reference to the Cooper case. “I don’t have any way of proving that to you.”

Equally damning for Bredesen’s office was the case of Quenton White, appointed commissioner of Tennessee’s Department of Corrections by Bredesen shortly after he was elected governor in 2002.

White resigned from the post in July 2005, just two months after Cooper’s suspension, due to “mounting questions about a sexual harassment allegation against him, his handling of a sexual harassment case against his executive assistant, and circumstances surrounding his relationship with a former subordinate,” the Tennessean reported.

White, reporters discovered, had been accused of sexual harassment a year before his resignation. Bredesen confirmed the 2004 sexual assault allegation but said investigators found “no corroboration” of the claim.

Bredesen again had to explain to reporters, however, that he could not give any proof for his statement because the top investigator shredded her notes and had no written report on what was found.

[…]The Tennessean‘s then editor, Everett J. Mitchell II, slammed Bredesen’s secrecy on high-profile cases, writing in his paper, “How is the public to be assured that the problem has been appropriately and adequately addressed if the public business is done in secrecy?”

Mitchell argued “the shredding of documents raises the specter there was more to it and that there was something to hide.”

The paper even sued the state of Tennessee for access to sealed sexual harassment files, but had its case dismissed by a state judge who ruled Bredesen could withhold documents on grounds of attorney-client privilege. Bredesen had previously told the paper he would “consider” opening withheld case files.

So there’s the record of the Tennessee Democrat on sexual harassment and sexual assault.  The striking thing about all this is that the Nashville Tennessean is actually left-of-center on political issues.

The record of the Tennessee Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn, is very different from the Democrat candidate.

The Washington Times explains:

Rep. Marsha Blackburn said Thursday that any member of Congress who used taxpayer dollars to fund sexual harassment-related settlements needs to refund that money.

“They need to pay that money back with interest,” Ms. Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, said on Fox News.

She said she did not know who or how many congressmen are on the list of those who have used this money for such a purpose, but said the issue needs to be addressed.

“It is inappropriate that there has not been transparency with members of Congress and the American taxpayer. So let’s clean this up,” Ms. Blackburn said.

Ms. Blackburn is helping push forward a bill sponsored by Rep. Ron DeSantis, Florida Republican, to end these so-called “hush funds” used to fund sexual harassment settlements.

So far, Rep. John Conyers is the only member publicly known to have used this money to settle a sexual harassment claim. He was accused of harassment by a former employee and settled a lawsuit with her using taxpayer money.

John Conyers is, of course, a Democrat.

So, Marsha’s position on sexual harassment and sexual assault is that the investigation documents should not be shredded, but that they should be made public. The names of the accused should be made public. The settlements paid to the accusers at taxpayer expense should be made public, and paid back with interest. And payouts to accusers should stop being made using taxpayer dollars. That all sounds good to me.

Just so you know, the payouts for these sexual harassment claims is not a small amount of money. Democrat congressman Alcee Hastings paid out $220,000 to his accuser. Well, he didn’t pay it out, the taxpayers paid it out for him with our money.

Tennesseans certainly have a clear choice to make in this Senate race. There are clear differences.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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