Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Facts Matter

Megan McArdle, putting attitude in other people's mouths:

Bruce McQuain says that the problems at Walter Reed prove that the VA isn't so hot. Ezra Klein snaps back :
Walter Reed is an army hospital, not a veteran's hospital. The two systems have nothing to do with one another. That's why the problems at Walter Reed led to the resignation of the Secretary of the Army and not the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Ezra wins on points.

"Ezra wins on points."? "Ezra wins on points."? This isn't a debate. Mr. Klein's facts were correct and Mr. McQuain's were wrong. McQuain's conclusion was therefore wrong. This might be difficult for McArdle to understand, given her track record, but when you are wrong you do not get to act as if you are right. Simply ignoring corrections of fact and logic has served McArdle well, but some people do actually care about the truth. In discussions of health care, education, Wall Street and Paul Krugman, McArdle ignored corrections of her mistakes and continues to impress her wrong ideas on the public through repetition.

But here's the thing: Army hospitals have all the advantages that single-payer advocates love about the VA. They're unified. There's no profit incentive--indeed, the doctors are on quite low salaries. They have great incentives for preventive care. They certainly don't have any profit motive to provide bad care. So why did Walter Reed suck? And what guarantees that the VA is the system we'll follow, rather than the multiple other dysfunctional government systems everyone hates?

Her commenters on the Business page answer her questions and take her to task for not doing her homework. (We also know that McArdle doesn't read source material or perhaps is unable to understand it.) But McArdle's job is not economic analysis, it is following the editorial demands of The Atlantic. She has successfully supported the wealthy elite's attempt to loot America's remaining wealth and wait out the ensuing collapse. The fact that she is on the wrong side of the security gates will finally sink in, one day.


Downpuppy said...

I didn't realize that the Atlantic has separate comments thread on the same posts in 2 different places.

The Business crew is much, much better than Megan's minions.

satch said...

Megan's Minions indeed. What no one is ready to admit is that one way or another, we all have to pay for health care. Would you rather spend over twelve thousand dollars a year for private insurance, as my wife and I have to, since neither of us gets employer provided insurance, and we're too young for medicare; or spend maybe six to eight thousand a year in increased taxes for an efficiently run single payer system? Is that too tough a decision to make? How about this: would you rather deal with a "gummint byoorokrat" who has no financial consideration other than to see that you get the health care you need, or some drone in the call center of a for-profit insurer whose supervisor has to explain every dollar that goes out the door for health care rather than into the pockets of the stockholders? Are you like most of the small business owners I've talked to, who piss and moan about Obama leading the USofA down the road to socialized medicine, and in the very next breath piss and moan about the cost of providing health care to their employees? Jezus...this ain't rocket science...even for Megan.

Susan of Texas said...

The Republican world-view is pretty incomprehensible here. They must have to suspend all rational thought. Conservatives tend to repeat and believe what they are told, since obedience and unquestioning, absolute belief are considered essential for good parenting in authoritarian homes. So conservatives find reasons to dismiss facts and even their own observations when they conflict with what they are told.

It's the only explanation I can think of to explain their ability to tolerate cognitive dissonance. It's going to take direct experience to change their minds.

satch said...

Direct engagement will help, too. And isn't it passing strange that most conservative sites, like Megan's, require the prospective commenter to log in, sign up, and create an account, while most progressive, for ex...allow all comers to drop by and post. What are they afraid of?

Anonymous said...


In answer to your question: Pretty much everything.