Tag Archives: mandate

The Abuse and Misuse of Common Words in Politics

Etymology: an explanation of where a word came from : the history of a word

As we all know, words have meanings. Some words are pretty universally understood, but others start as meaning one thing, then become something entirely different in the common vernacular. This is often due to someone who knows the etymology behind the word, sharing it with those who don’t, then those people who don’t sharing it in ways it was not intended for because they didn’t really understand it.17141936-abstract-word-cloud-for-etymology-with-related-tags-and-terms-stock-photo1

So let’s look at a few.

Liberal:  of freedom, pertaining to or befitting a free man

At the root of liberal is liber (also at the root of libertarian, liberty, etc.), a latin word meaning free (man); unimpeded; void of; independent| outspoken/frank; licentious; idle.

These days, this word is often used to be a generic term to describe people who often vote Democrat. Yet Democrat policies often around increased government spending on social programs and wealth redistribution—policies quite contradictory to the “free man” aspect of liberal.

In other countries, “liberal” is often synonymous with libertarian. This is why you hear many liberty-minded people abroad refer to themselves as classic liberals.liberalism-definition-then-and-now1

It is fairly well understood that although Republicans were the party responsible for the civil rights of the black community, both in ending slavery and in the 50s and 60s during the civil rights movement, Republicans have had a shoddy reputation with the gay community, marijuana users, the sex-work industry, and other individuals who seemed to exhibit what Republicans refer to as “deviant” behavior.

Democrats, to their credit, have been quicker to show tolerance towards such people, and in those instances, accurately describe themselves as liberals—or at least more liberal than Republicans. From there, the name just stuck.

America has a pretty anti-socialist history, so when Democrats champion socialistic policies, calling themselves socialists would not typically help their cause, although Bernie Sanders may have disproven that theory. So picking “liberal” over “socialist,” if intentionally used to mislead, would have been pretty smart anyway.

Awareness: having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge

Often when people are championing a cause, they universally just say they want to raise awareness, when they really should be saying money for research or help.bigstock-awareness-level-conceptual-met-518681621

For instance, breast cancer, thanks to efforts by organizations like the Susan B. Komen foundation, is one of the most popular charitable enterprises dedicated to helping millions of women who are, or will be, affected by the disease.

As such, almost everyone is aware of breast cancer—what is needed is money for research.

The term AWAREness started being used correctly as a way to make people more AWARE of causes they may not know about. For instance, the current Zika virus issue, emanating from a foreign country, and just recently migrating to the United States, was largely an unknown in America until the media started raising awareness.

Once people are aware however, you have a better chance of raising money if needed, or if it’s more of a cause to change people’s behavior, such as a new improved health discovery that may be discovered, which is free to do, you just need to make people aware they should do it.

Establishment: a group of social, economic, and political leaders who form a ruling class (as of a nation)

President Barack Obama delivers a health care address to a joint session of Congress at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
President Barack Obama delivers a health care address to a joint session of Congress at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

This word is almost entirely derogatory in nature, even though it shouldn’t be. It’s very rare you have a politician willfully claim to be “The Establishment,” due to the negative perception the term has. I’d argue they should claim it proudly, however.

Be proud that you were elected, and proud of the work you’ve done. Let people know that if they’re displeased with “The Establishment,” that maybe it’s not because of them, but instead, the people who didn’t vote with them.

Politicians who are currently elected and serving are the establishment, whether they like that term or not. Those who are not currently sitting, are not. It’s really that simple.

Theory: a coherent group of propositions formulated to explain a group of factsor phenomena in the natural world and repeatedly confirmed through experiment or observation

There are multiple versions of the word theory, and it’s important to distinguish them, and not intermix them wrongly.
Some equate the word theory to a simple guess—you have a question, conjure up an answer, and BAM!…theory.
However, a theory isn’t a guess. A theory, in science, is something that has been thoroughly tested, and through such testing, consistently confirmed.
Simply put, a theory has scientific work behind it, and has no conflicting evidence. A guess has zero work behind it, and could just as easily be false as it is true.
Mandate:  the power to act that voters give to their elected leaders
Once elected, when political talking heads start discussing the incoming president or congress, they often ask, “Do you think the incoming president has a mandate?
It’s asked as if mandate is clearly defined in some way, when it simply isn’t. If the elected person won, they have a vote (if in congress), or a veto pen if they’re an executive. If they got the most votes, that means the majority chose them to use those powers in a way that’s commensurate with the ideals. they proclaimed during the election.
There’s no situation, by definition, where one elected official has a mandate while another does not—it’s an entirely subjective term. So when asking the question, it shouldn’t be, “Does this elected official have a mandate?” Instead, it should be, “Do you feel the elected official has a mandate?”
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Why Pre-Existing Conditions Matter

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

In the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare, there is a provision that requires health insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions. While the majority has condemned the insurance mandate of the ACA, most are in favor of pre-existing condition coverage being forced onto health insurers.ACA%20image[1]

However, I feel that this is unwitting hypocrisy. How can someone oppose the government forcing them to pay for something but be OK with the government forcing someone else to? We oppose the mandate because we empathize with those who feel they don’t need to buy health insurance right now. But with pre-existing conditions, we then imagine situations where we lose our job and insurance and then are unable to get coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and lose our wonderful powers of empathy we had a moment ago and decide “f*** the insurance companies.”

This is what happens when people don’t care where money is coming from or who the loss hurts, as long as it benefits them personally.

It seems cruel to people that insurance companies would deny pre-existing conditions, but quite frankly, it’s wrong for us to expect them to cover them. I’d like to think it is because people don’t fully understand the issues with this, so having an insurance background, I’ll try to explain.

Imagine you decide to trade in your car which happens to have a irreparably damaged engine—now only serving the function of an industrial-sized paperweight. The car should be worth $5,000, but it needs $3,000 worth of repairs. The dealer takes the car in on trade for $2,000, and then resells it without fixing the engine. Instead, they sell the new buyer a $1,000 warranty. The new owner takes the car to a repair shop to address the blown engine, submits the claim, and now the $1,000 policy is supposed to pay for a $3,000 engine repair everyone knew it needed before all of this started?

Engine Which Has Suffered a Connecting Rod Failure
Engine Which Has Suffered a Connecting Rod Failure

The insurance company would immediately take a $2,000 loss that it would have no way to recover since the policy was paid in full up front for $1,000. While the consumer and dealer might think this is awesome, the insurance company and all its employees who are about to go out of business because they’re repeatedly taking unrecoverable loss, won’t be as pleased.

The ultimate truth is that covering a pre-existing condition is not insurance, it’s a grant.

Insurance is designed so that the insured pays a premium up front, and in return, the insurer takes a financial risk that the insured can’t afford to take themselves. What’s the risk you ask?

Imagine you open a collision policy, and then pay your first premium of $200. On the way home from the agent’s office, you plow into someone and send them to the hospital with a quarter-million dollar medical bill. Guess what? The insurance company just lost $249,800 on you, and there is nothing to stop you from canceling your policy immediately after, leaving them with a massive loss. That’s a legitimate risk they take every single day.gap-insurance-1[1]

The way they make a profit is by employing actuaries who calculate the insurance company’s anticipated claims using mathematical models, then the insurer charges a percentage above that in hopes the actuaries are have nailed their projected losses. You the consumer benefit because you passed that risk of a $250,000 settlement you might have incurred and can’t afford onto the insurance company, in favor of a monthly payment you can afford.

Here’s the reason I say that covering pre-existing conditions is a grant. What is to stop you from dropping your insurance company after you’ve had a massive claim like that? The answer is nothing. In the accident situation I explained, it is the risk the insurance companies take. While they lost, risk is the business they are in after all.

But in the pre-existing condition situation, there is absolutely no risk. You already have the condition, and they are going to be expected to pay for it. The word risk implies they may or may not incur damages, but with pre-existing conditions, risk is replaced with certainty because now they are liable for something you knew existed—because it was PRE-EXISTING.

Imagine you owned an insurance company and someone drove up with their car on a tow truck smashed to bits, requesting to start a full coverage policy with you. Are you really going to agree to that deal knowing that the claimant is going to give you $200 only to file a $10,000 claim tomorrow? If you’re answer is yes, you may want to avoid starting your own company. So, using the “Golden Rule” as a standard, why are we doing unto them, what we wouldn’t want done unto us?gap-insurance-1[1]

I am not a heartless person who thinks people should be left to die. But, aside from the obvious personal responsibility issues of people who can buy insurance but opt not to, I believe we should not be treating insurance companies as if they’re Satan in business form, and that taking advantage of them should be considered an acceptable or even honorable practice. They employ a lot of people and help keep our economy strong by assuming those risks most of us can’t afford for a nominal fee we can. If you don’t like it, feel free to take that risk yourself if you can afford to.

Contrary to left-wing beliefs, insurance companies do not have a bottomless wallet. They can, and often do, go out of business if their losses become excessive, just like any other business. Which hurts all the people who work for them.

So while this law doesn’t pass the costs onto the taxpayer per se, insurance companies will pass it to the consumer in the form of raised rates, lest they go out of business. Many of you have no doubt noticed the rate increases already. And while we’re at it, taxpayer and consumer are generally the same people; it’s just the former implies the government pilfered a few bucks first.

There is a better way to improve the health care system through deregulation and tort reform which would lower costs. Taking advantage of legitimate businesses that are then forced to pass those damages onto us is not the answer.