Monday, April 16, 2012

Quotes on Rhetoric Vs. Reality in the Real  World
Rhetoric is cheap, reality is evidence.

John Fund (born 1957)  Wall Street Journal Editor
Reality is things as they are.

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), American Poet

April 16, 2012 -  Talk is cheap, and it can  lull you to sleep about real world realities.   This is especially true when it comes to the abyss between top-down rhetoric versus real world performance and center-left beliefs in a center right society like the U.S.
The following quotes  help  support my thesis.

The U.S. A Bottom-Up Society
“In the course of my work, I have been overwhelmingly impressed with the extent to which America is a bottom-up society, that is, where new trends and ideas begin in cities and small communities, not New York City or Washington, D.C. My colleagues and I have studied this great country by reading the local newspapers. We have discovered trends are generated from the bottom-up, fads from the top-down.”

The Left, Top-Down , The Right,  Bottom-up

Basically, there are two ways to reform health care. One way is top down. The other is bottom up. The latter is based on the economic way of thinking. The former rejects that way of thinking. The latter gets the economic incentives right for all the individual actors, leaving the social result largely unpredictable. The former starts with a social goal and tries to impose it from above, leaving individuals with perverse incentives to undermine it. The latter depends for its success on people acting in their self-interest. The former depends for its success on preventing people from acting in their self-interest.
In general, the left is obsessed with distributional issues. That’s why it’s so surprising that they passed a law that is going to force middle- and upper-middle-income families to have more insurance than they really want. Once they have it and act on it, they will in the process make access more difficult for the poorest and most vulnerable segments Of society.
John Goodman,  The Health Reform Blog,  January 24, 2011

High-Tech,  Low-Touch
I don’t know what I would do without a computer. I use it to write these posts. I use it to email friends and colleagues. I use it to connect to the world, to gather news, to conduct business, and to search the Internet.

But I am convinced the computer is sometimes oversold as a tool to improve healthcare, implement reform, and empower patients. Useful, yes, but oversold as the Holy Grail, as the OSHA (Our Savior Has Arrived) of healthcare.
You cannot look a computer in the eye.  You cannot read its body language . You canot sympathize or empathize with it. It is just there, an inanimate object form dumping, retrieving, and  transmitting data.
Richard L. Reece,  The Health Reform Maze (Greenbranch Publishing, 2011)

Tweet:   Basically,  health reform disputes  boil down to rhetoric vs. reality,  center-left vs. center right, and high-tech vs. low-touch.

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