It is now one week until the 2020 election. And although I have tried to keep this blog to religious posts, I couldn’t help but be motivated to try and explain how dire this election––and future elections––are to the preservation of a free society.
I am unashamedly voting for Donald Trump, not because of his personality (even his most ardent supporters will tell you he can be his own worst enemy at times) but I am voting for his policies. His policies have been much greater than I expected when I voted for him in 2016 (because of his personality, I almost didn’t vote at all in 2016), and even historically significant. Even on the religious front, he has done much more than anyone ever expected.
Although I could go on about the accomplishments of the president, I would actually like to focus on the subject of Democratic Socialism. I’m not one to normally ‘accentuate the negative,’ but this is a subject that has been on my mind a lot lately. To everyone who is for Democratic Socialism, you can disagree with me if you want, but this is what I have seen and experienced firsthand from an ultra-liberal government (New York State), and quite frankly, we can’t extend this type of government any further into the quagmire of socialism. We need to instead deregulate and find ways to cut taxes and spending. We can’t have ignorant bureaucrats and politicians micromanaging people’s lives, businesses and healthcare. We need to have the professionals be free to be in charge of the profession in which they have dedicated their lives.
I used to help my wife run a daycare and I used to work for a newspaper. I currently work for a medical shuttle service. Here’s what I’ve learned about what we have so far with ultra-liberalism.
New York State has the highest tax burden in the country, yet it is $150 billion in debt, and that was before COVID. Now, that doesn’t add up to me. Shouldn’t New York’s budget be balanced if it has such high taxes? On the other hand, maybe part of it is because 1.4 million people have left New York over the past decade because of its high taxes and outrageous regulations.
And speaking of outrageous regulations…
Here’s what I learned from running a daycare:
We had hundreds, that’s right––hundreds of regulations on our personal in-home business. Technically, on paper, the business was ours; but essentially speaking, our home and business was seized by the government.
I know it sounds ridiculous, but that’s because it was.
We couldn’t have dogs in our own home. I know some of you might be against guns, but imagine all the hunters out there who couldn’t have guns anymore because they had a daycare in their home (never mind the guns are locked in a cabinet and many gun cabinets are now essentially safes). We couldn’t let the kids watch TV––not even Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers (try and tell a four year old with autism they can’t watch their favorite TV show). We couldn’t give kids cookies or lemonade. We had to have bars on our windows. We had to have an evacuation plan and monthly fire drills. We had to have a shelter-in-place plan and kit (in the event of an active shooter in the middle of nowhere on a dead end road or a flood on top of a hill). We had to keep an attendance list, we had to have a paid employee for more than six children, and the employee ended up making more money than we did because of minimum wage––and because we had subsidized children, we couldn’t bill the state our own rate (more on that when I talk about healthcare). And because most of the kids were subsidized we thought it fair to give the paying parents (who were also trying to make ends meet with two jobs) the state rate. We had to be in the same room as the children at all times (which meant all the children had to be in the same room at all times. Try doing that while potty training or changing a diaper or making lunch. That also meant we had to literally watch children while they slept.). We had our name on some kind of watch list because we filled out paperwork wrong. And the list goes on.
Ask anyone who is a business owner about the heavy restrictions under New York regulations, i.e. those who are under an agency that “The Empire” has taken over (I do not believe that’s what they meant when they named New York “The Empire State”) or manage taxed-based agencies such as town, county and school districts.
Here’s what I learned about free healthcare through personal experience with the newspaper and medical shuttle service:
What good is free healthcare if there are no healthcare providers left or what ones we do have left have subpar healthcare compared to what we have now or what we could have through the free market? When I drive throughout half of NY (from Buffalo to Binghamton), almost every healthcare institution I go to is part of a larger system. Why is that? Because Medicare and Medicaid does not pay its bills. And when they do, it’s not at the provider’s rate, it’s at the state’s rate…just like it was when we had subsidized kids in our daycare.
If you were to ask any healthcare provider, they’ll say that they cannot keep in business under government-paid healthcare. The cost would bankrupt them, which is exactly why every hospital and doctor’s office is part of a chain now. I’ve taken some passengers on a two-hour drive just to go to a routine dental appointment because dentists don’t take medicare or medicaid anymore. They’d go broke. And my company doesn’t take Medicare passengers anymore because the state doesn’t pay its bills. I have one passenger on Medicaid that I’ve had consistently for five years (at least twice a week). Each year, Medicaid lowers his payment by about $10/trip. You would think they would increase it, right? You know, give people raises? I mean, afterall, the state is imposing minimum wage hikes, so of course they’re going to pay us more to accomodate that…right?
Furthermore, the governmental system is not as compassionate as socialists would like to believe it is. When my passengers get a goof up in their trip, I cannot just take them to the right address. That would be insurance fraud. So, they have to get on the phone while I am parked in the van, have them call Medical Answering Service (a central call center), and wait and wait and wait while they are on hold for sometimes a half an hour to an hour for them to talk to a cranky call-staff member who gives my passenger a hard time for asking for their trip to be corrected. There’s not compassion. There’s hardly a friendly (or competent) person on the other end.
Once that’s all taken care of, then I have to get the confirmation from my dispatchers that they got the trip changed. So all in all, someone could miss their appointment waiting for an hour to get the address corrected. That’s government efficiency for you.
And why aren’t the folks at the call center so friendly? Well, quite frankly, those who work in the system are looking forward to 5 o’clock just as much as anyone else. They aren’t missionaries. I know this because I, too am someone who is on Medicaid and have had to deal with the folks in the social services offices. Most of them are nice, but have you ever had to fill out paperwork for an application to Medicaid, HEAP or SNAP? It isn’t hard, but it has taken weeks for me to get them all the paperwork they require. Then weeks to get approval. That’s government efficiency for you.
But isn’t that ironic, that someone who receives his pay from Medicaid is also forced to be on Medicaid? That’s because if I were to take the company’s healthcare plan, it would take all of my income and then some. So I know what it’s like to not be able to afford my own healthcare. But democratic socialism and healthcare-for-all isn’t the answer because it just isn’t economially feasible. It would cripple the entire healthcare system and we would see providers go under. Then, instead of some not being able to receive adequate healthcare, no one would be able to receive adequate healthcare. This is assuming that our nation’s deficit doesn’t balloon to $50 trillion with no end in sight. At best, we would be subject to providers like our dentist (which is government provided) who does not have the same quality resources that an independent dentist could afford to have.
I urge you to go ahead and ask your healthcare providers what they think of Medicare and Medicaid billing and payment. Ask people who work in billing. Ask the hospital CEO and CFO. Ask a dentist, an eye-care specialist, a chiropractor, anyone. Prove me wrong. Ask why your hospital or doctor’s office is part of a larger system and no longer independent. Ask these same questions of someone who works in a VA.
Ask people why they and/or their business moved out of state. The problem with imposing national Democratic Socialism is that while we could move out of New York (which has crossed our mind), there’s nowhere for us to move if these policies get implemented nationally and we see our country $30 trillion in debt and still can’t afford healthcare, infrastructure, etc.
And as Columbo would say, Oh, and one more thing…
I also don’t see any sort of patriotism coming from Democratic Socialism. It seems as if the movement is very negative. Take the American Flag for example. I wonder if they want to do away with the Red, White and Blue altogether. When was the last time you saw a Democratic function with any sort of patriotism? It seems as if they are the ones who accentuate the negative, even when it comes to Old Glory.
I hear that those on the Left say that the flag represents all that’s wrong with our country. Really? Since when? The flag does not, nor has it ever represented anything negative. It does not, nor has it ever represented injustice. As the Pledge of Allegiance states, the flag represents “liberty and justice for all.” But because we have been a nation of flawed human beings (sometimes tragically so), our flag is our reminder of our principles. Principles that are so perfect they have been unattainable for the past 250 years. Principles that we should and have strived for and have achieved (increasingly, over time) in our relatively short history. Yes, there is still more to achieve. But I don’t get why Democrats want to support kneeling or protesting the very symbol of every good and perfect principle this country (and I am assuming they, themselves) stands for.