Monday, April 30, 2012
Two Schools of Health Reform Thought: Neocon and Neogov
I think, therefore I am.
Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
All jargon of the schools.
Matthew Prior (1664-1721), I Am That I Am, An Ode (1688)
April 30, 2012 – As I wandered down the health reform campaign trail, I came across two schools of thought. They were engaged in an “ I am” jam session.
Neocon: I am American business. I am a pragmatic capitalist. Prosperity, happiness, and freedom come only through economic growth.
Neolib: I am American government. I am an expert and an idealist. I am for a more perfect union, which can only come through social justice and fairness.
Neocon: I am a bottom-up person. Anything truly American percolates up from the bottom of society from the people. I buy and sell. I consume. I live and let live. I am free.
Neolib: I am a top-down person. Everything truly good in America flows from the top-down for the truly down, from the educated and dedicated to the common good.
Neocon: I am the center-right, where America has always been and will continue to be. It is the government’s responsibility to get out of the way.
Neolib: I am from the center-left, where America ought to be. It is the government’s responsibility to cure all the ills of the human condition.
Neocon: I am the mainstream of everything truly American. I am why people came and continue to come to America.
Neolib: Nonsense, I am the mainstream. I speak for American. That is why our spokespersons are called the mainstream media.
Neocon: I am for personal liberty – the right to be what one wants to be, free of government rules and domination. .
Neolib: I am for personal fraternity and the obligation to follow the rules of a civilized society. Only government can establish those rules.
Neocon: I am the common folk – the true believers in American freedom.
Neolib: I am the uncommon educated folk - scientists, teachers, administrators, government employees, doctors in the public sector, public lawyers, politicians, staffs of foundations, government experts – all of whom stand up for the disenfranchised.
Neocon: I am markets. Markets are imperfect but they are most efficient at creating wealth and distributing it.
Neolib: I am government. Only government can redistribute wealth fairly and justly. Only government can oversee markets.
Neocon: I am free enterprise. It works. It avoids the welfare state, which slows economic growth and spreads economic misery.
Neolib: I am for the broad public interest. I am the hope and guiding light for the public good.
Tweet: Two schools of American political thought exist- each right in its own way – the bottom-up center-right and the top-down center-left.