Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

31 May, 2007

Dueling dipshits

Ah yes, the digital age, where anyone can be a filmmaker, no matter how grossly untalented. Meet Logan Darrow Clements:

You may remember Logan from his 2004 run for governor in California on the "privatize everything!" ticket. Or, maybe not.

Regardless, our friend Logan is ready to shake shit up this fall. Do tell:
While Michael Moore plans to release a movie, “Sicko,” in the fall advocating socialized medicine, Clements' plan is to release a movie, “Sick and Sicker,” for theatres at the same time which exposes the realities of socialized medicine.

Hoo boy, this interview should be fun...
FP: So tell us what inspired you to make this film.

Clements: I simply don't want the government to force me and everyone else into socialized medicine. I don't like being forced around when I haven't done anything wrong and I can see that nearly everything that government does is a complete and utter failure, often with deadly consequences.

I'd so love to believe he's referring to the Iraq war, but he's not. And I think we've found the only man in America who thinks that receiving health care from the government is some form of punishment.
FP: Why do you think that nearly everything that government does is a failure? Empirical reality does suggest that the free market always works the best. Why do you think this is so?

I love this question. "Empirical reality" suggests the free market always works best? What does that mean? Works best to do what? I'm fairly certain our interviewer doesn't know what "empirical reality" means if he's ignoring such free market "success stories" like energy deregulation in California.
Clements: The reason that nearly everything that government does is a failure is because everything that government does is an act of force. You are forced to do X. You are forced to not do Y. It takes money by force from its rightful owner and gives it to another person. As humans our primary tool of survival is our mind. However, when the government forces us around we are unable to use our mind. Instead of each person using their own mind and acting in their own best self interest we are forced to act in a way that suits the political interests of the people that made the law.

Since government operates on the principle of coercion, they keep you from using your mind. Logan, being the good Objectivist, doesn't believe in the "common good," of course.
FP: So what difficulties have you had, and are you having, to get this film into gear?

Clements: Fundraising.

He forgot to add "lack of talent."
FP: I can tell you that as a Canadian myself I know that most of my fellow Canadians pride themselves tremendously on their health care system. It is a way that they distinguish themselves from Americans and foster their own identity. The tragic thing is that they don’t really know anything about their own health care system but without it they would have no self-definition.

Huh. I was under the impression that Canadians loved their health care system because it provided them with high quality health care at no cost, ensuring Canadian citizens the ability to receive care for almost any condition without risking financial ruin. But you're telling me it's just a way to say, "Look at us! We're not Americans, eh?" I did not know this.
[Clements]:The pragmatic arguments against socialized medicine are that it leads to bad health outcomes. When health care is provided by the government there is always more demand than supply so health care has to be rationed through the use of waiting lists. As a result more people die from treatable illnesses, more people suffer in pain for longer periods of time, fewer new technologies and new drugs are available. Furthermore, the idea that government can provide health care more efficiently, as some proponents advocate, is laughable. When the government does anything it always costs far more than an average buyer would pay in the free market.

This all pretty much bullshit. With a mostly privatized system and the highest per-patient health care expenditures in the world, the U.S. has by far the worst health outcomes (by most measures) of any industrialized country. But "empirical reality" is no match for the siren song of Ayn Rand...
Clements: The long term solution is to remove as much government interference and create an efficient market. In all other markets you see price declining and quality improving. For example, you can buy a computer now that is many hundred times more powerful than one from several decades ago at a small fraction of the cost. We can see similar improvements in the parts of the health care industry which are not dominated by government interference. The cost for laser eye surgery for example has dropped significantly while the quality of the technique has improved. Cosmetic procedures have also gone down in price.

Anyone else enjoying how obtaining basic health care treatment is analagous to getting elective eye surgery? Or buying a computer? Or getting a boob-job? Because obtaining basic health care bears no resemblance to those other items!
And, having something paid for by a third party makes the consumer not care what the cost of it is. Imagine if a third party agreed to pay for whatever car you need. I need a Lamborghini, no, make that two Lamborghinis.

That's right! If only I had to worry about the cost, I'd see that I don't really need that liver transplant. I'll take the much cheaper take-two-aspirin-and-die-in-the-morning approach. Jesus, Logan, your bio says you have an MBA, but your understanding of basic economics is as sophisticated as that of a frat boy who slept through all but the first two weeks of Economics 101.
It's bad enough when health consumers don't care what something costs because their employer or employer's insurance agency is paying for it. Exacerbating the problem are all the people whose health treatments are paid for as part of a government program. A large percent of all health consumers have their health care bills paid for by Medicaid, Medicare and various state program. These consumers don't care if an x-ray costs $50 or $500.

Poor people on Medicaid are wasting your hard-earned tax dollars on frivolous $500 x-rays. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, hippie.
FP: So when can our readers expect to see the film?

Clements: If we receive a sufficient amount of funding we could have it out in the fall of 2007. If no one steps forward to help fund our movie we'll probably all have to suffer through Michael Moore's film and go home and take two aspirin

So the answer is never? Sounds good to me!

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