March 24, 2020

"Since the election of Ronald Reagan, America has tended to value individual market choice over collective welfare."

"Even Democratic administrations have had to operate within what’s often called the neoliberal consensus. That consensus was crumbling before coronavirus, but the pandemic should annihilate it for good. This calamity has revealed that the fundamental insecurity of American life is a threat to us all. 'There’s no such thing as society,' Margaret Thatcher famously said. 'There are individual men and women and there are families.' Tell that to the families effectively under house arrest until society gets this right."

From "Here Come the Death Panels/Obamacare didn’t lead to rationing. The mismanagement of the coronavirus will" by Michelle Goldberg (NYT).

70 comments:

narciso said...

Does she not release diblasio mamdated this triage.

Shouting Thomas said...

This calamity has revealed that the fundamental insecurity of American life is a threat to us all.

Fundamental insecurity is the reality of life. It's also the lifeblood of freedom.

Insuring everything doubles and triples cost. That was the only outcome I experienced from Obamacare... doubling and tripling of premiums with no apparent improvement in medial care.

Accepting risk is the price of freedom. I don't want to live in the world of guaranteed security of all things.

narciso said...

Obamacare, that barnicle grafted 10 years ago, made things worse.

narciso said...

How are other first world countries hamdling it.

Gahrie said...

Actually, the preference for individual market choice goes back to our nation's founding. It was temporarily suppressed by the Left during the Great Depression, and RESTORED by Reagan. The Democrats are giddy at the prospect of being able to do so again, and are praying for a new Great Depression.

Gahrie said...

Capitalism = individual market choice

Socialism/Communism = collective welfare

Chris said...

Individual choice is bad for the individual and bad for everyone - because individuals often make bad choices. Individual choice should be eliminated and only the elite should be able to choose for us. - Democrats.

Gahrie said...

Shorter Goldberg: "I think government should force you to behave the way I want you to."

Xmas said...

The only thing coming out of this will be rules put in place to stop travel from China as soon as reports of an outbreak of a new virus are heard.

MayBee said...

What expertise does Michelle Goldberg have in this?
Is this the way the New York Times choses to use ink and paper (or pixels) in this time?

Gahrie said...

Hey...couldn't one use this idea of "collective welfare" to outlaw abortions? Aren't abortions the most dramatic case of individual market choice over collective welfare possible?

MayBee said...

I would like to take this time to stop hearing from people who opine on everything, and benefit only from having opinions that stir people up.

Yesterday, I was wishing so much that CNN was what it used to be.

narciso said...

Goldberg has rather singularly wrong about everything.

MayBee said...

She's wrong about the fundamental insecurity of American life. It is just the opposite. Life is SO GOOD here, we are easily frightened by something that *might* harm us.
We have gotten ourselves worked up in the past, too. SARS, Zika, MERS, Bird Flu. We are prone to heart panics because we are so very used to being healthy.

Big Mike said...

Poor Michelle is blithely unaware that in this pandemic all of the most serious screw-ups have been the fault of the federal bureaucracy. From the DHS official who overruled Trump to let infected Diamond Princess passengers back into US with, in retrospect, inadequate isolation precautions to the CDC monopolizing virus test kit development and botching the job, to FDA trying to slow down use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment, the bureaucracy has stunk up nearly everything it touched.

narciso said...

conversely

Gahrie said...

Event: Literally anything and everything

Leftwing response: We need bigger and more powerful government! Right now!

MayBee said...

(and I'm not saying corona might not be especially dangerous. But we were really worked up about past viruses, too. We've just forgotten because they passed without the extreme measures, turned out ok (except for those who died!) and people have really really short memories)

rehajm said...

Fortunately humanity doesn't have the bandwidth do contemplate this type of dreck right now...

Darrell said...

I thought the NYT went out of business.

rhhardin said...

Quarantine is allowed under public health and safety. Arriving ships underwent it no matter who the passengers were, long ago.

You can't have a continuing crisis though.

Nothing new today. Anybody who proposes something permanent should be shot down.

AllenS said...

People of the world are trying to get into this country any way that they can, and have been since day one. They are not doing this because the US sucks.

DavidUW said...

So you have society without individuals?

This idiot is the result of "social justice" conditioning. There is no "just society" without INDIVIDUAL justice, and if you don't have that, there is certainly no such thing as "social justice," so let's stop using a redundant term.

rehajm said...

TV this morning has the familiar partisan bickering and the scoring of political points, business leaders discussing earnings. Combine that with 'think' pieces like this...all signs we're starting to return to normal. Good luck trying to swim against that tide al you long term shut-in supporters...

Wince said...

If the "neoliberal consensus" is "globalism" and a country without borders, she would be the proverbial broken clock.

Lurker21 said...

That was the rhetoric anyway. People love to use Reagan as a symbol for individualism and unfettered free enterprise, whether they love it or hate it, and Reagan wouldn't have objected, but how much that was the reality and reflected in policy is harder to say.

Because of Reagan, some people have the idea that the 1970s were a lovingly kind age of sharing and caring, and that definitely wasn't the case. There was more homogeneity in society and that may have led to more of a "we're in this together" feeling than in subsequent decades, at least as we look back and compare, but I wouldn't want to go back. Could we still have that feeling, to the extent that it was there, and still make diversity and identity our guiding stars?

Thatcher's comment was a classic example of the rhetorical Eighties. People picked out a key sentence to make it a symbol in the ideological conflict, a red flag (or in this case a Tory blue flag) to wave in people's faces. Thatcher was the kind of politician who would give them that powerful sound bite, but what she actually said was more complicated and more understandable in its context:

I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first… There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.’

Michael K said...

Anyone who reads the NY Times deserves what they get.

Mattman26 said...

Wishful thinking by Michelle.

rcocean said...

Shouldn't every Goldberg column come with a warning label? What about:

Warning: Dumb Bimbo hired only due to knowing the right people . Viewer discretion is advised.

Two-eyed Jack said...

I imagine that Goldberg's policy preferences mostly come from repeated listenings of John Lennon's Imagine.

rcocean said...

IF you look at the growth of Government over the last 30 years, you'll see Reagan had no lasting impact. He was followed by Big Spender Bush ( who lied "No new taxes) then Clinton and then Bush II and Obama.

Reagan's real legacy was to change the R Party from the "balanced budget" party to the 'Tax cutting party'. Before the R party got tagged as heartless green-shade accountants who wanted to spoil everyone's fun by balancing the budget. Reagan said we'll spend money on defense and cut taxes, and if we can balance the budget fine, but if not, we're cutting taxes anyway. Which is now the official R position.

rcocean said...

Laughably the Never Trumper were attacking Trump was being a "Big spender". We need worry about the deficit they squawked. I think that was Sanford's big message. Of course, that went by the boards once the Chinese Flu hit and their new boy Biden got the nomination. They are such a bunch of frauds.

rcocean said...

I'll never get over Michelle Goldberg sneering at motherhood AS A FEMINST, and then doing a complete 180 when she became one. How can anyone take such a bubblehead seriously?

Todd said...

Shouting Thomas said...

This calamity has revealed that the fundamental insecurity of American life is a threat to us all.

Fundamental insecurity is the reality of life. It's also the lifeblood of freedom.

Insuring everything doubles and triples cost. That was the only outcome I experienced from Obamacare... doubling and tripling of premiums with no apparent improvement in medial care.

Accepting risk is the price of freedom. I don't want to live in the world of guaranteed security of all things.

3/24/20, 6:15 AM


That road always leads to "I robot" no matter what. The "overlords" may be man or machine but the end result is always the same. The crushing of the individual ability to "choose".

Some wish to exit in "bubble wrap", protected from every possibility of physical or mental challenge or danger. Others just want to be "left alone" to make their own way. That is the new "clash" in America. Will some "benevolent overlords" strive to protect everyone from everything, to include responsibility OR will "citizens" still be giving the ability to make mistakes and to fail? One road leads to slaves, the other to growth, freedom, and "options". Make your choice.

Sebastian said...

"Since the election of Ronald Reagan, America has tended to value individual market choice over collective welfare."

Huh? Like with growing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and disability payments? Like with bailouts of car companies and GSEs? Like with Dodd-Frank and Obamacare?

"Even Democratic administrations have had to operate within what’s often called the neoliberal consensus."

"This calamity has revealed that the fundamental insecurity of American life is a threat to us all."

The fundamental insecurity of living in the richest big country in the history of the world, where any poor person gets more and lives better than even rich people a hundred years ago?

"'There’s no such thing as society,' Margaret Thatcher famously said. 'There are individual men and women and there are families.' Tell that to the families effectively under house arrest until society gets this right.""

It's a g*&^%$amn lefty cliche.Of course, Thatcher, challenged phony lefty arguments that x was necessary "for society," that "society" needed x. Here we go again. So, is "society" gonna get you tests and masks and vaccines and food?

Of course BS like this reinforces our deplorable cynicism. But it is also encouraging: the lame weakness of our opponents is our strength.

Chris N said...

I’m pretty sure most people most of the time, are happy to enforce the rules they’re following and the ideas they’ve internalized, often into unchallenged beliefs.

Many problems with Goldberg’s ideas are well-documented, of course, and that, of course, doesn’t stop her from gaining professional status, money and some prestige in peddling them.

The problem isn’t just with bad ideas like so many of hers, but also is also found in the logic within, and how so many ‘gatekeepers’, sometimes VERY smart people and more often people who rarely try and think for themselves, bend to bad ideas just to appear modern, cool, good and avant-garde.

The berries on the bush last only a few days, and then you have the thorns. Enjoy the thorns, Goldberg, and please stay away from me nd the institutions which still work decently well without you

narciso said...


I posted this on another blog



Look at the cost of this 'close call' how much wealth was redistributed, someone bought those shares, how much strain on the supply chain, how many communities devastated

Unknown said...

It won't be a "death panel" of "medical ethicists" calmly debating payback for white privilege. It will be a doctor or nurse or some hospital employee taking a few seconds for a seat of the pants call on who lives and dies. NYT really needs to up their game.

ngtrains said...

Amazing the change in meaning of a quote when the total context is shown

MikeR said...

I don't recall Michelle Goldberg ever saying anything that I didn't regard as wrong-headed. She always misses half the story, the bigger half.

Freder Frederson said...

Insuring everything doubles and triples cost.

Except of course, all the countries that insure everyone spend much less on healthcare than we do.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

If the theme is mismanagement of the response to the virus then the FDA should be the subject. Turns out every delay in testing was from FDA rules that contradicted emergency orders and hampered lab certification for the whole month of February.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

That’s not “insurance” Freder. It’s a political appointee in charge of allocating resources instead of the market. Insurance indemnified against loss, and is not a way to “finance” ongoing ordinary expenses. The Progressives 100-year attempt for redefine bureaucracy as “insurance” has run its natural course and been exposed as a fallacy by the enormous cost in lives where Freder’s approach is in fashion like China and Italy and Iran.

MikeR said...

"Except of course, all the countries that insure everyone spend much less on healthcare than we do." Yeah, they pay their doctors, nurses, lab techs, OTAs, every health care professional 2/3 as much as we do. Their costs rise 4%/year, same as ours, and that has been true since well before 2008.
People arguing your argument did it in 2008; they were going to "bend the cost curve". They have failed to save us a nickel, exactly as predicted then, so here they are to do it again.

Shouting Thomas said...

Except of course, all the countries that insure everyone spend much less on healthcare than we do.

This habit of aggregating cost into a communal social expense is a lie.

Cost is individual.

Gahrie said...

Except of course, all the countries that insure everyone spend much less on healthcare than we do.

And they get much less healthcare in return.

Birkel said...

The accusations made by Democratics always reveal their plans.
Always.

E.g. When Nancy Pelosi's kid wants to deliver violence to political opponents, believe her.

Birkel said...

The accusations made by Democratics always reveal their plans.
Always.

E.g. When Nancy Pelosi's kid wants to deliver violence to political opponents, believe her.

Browndog said...

The question is will Senate republicans cave to the fundamental change in Pelosi's Control of Workers and Families Act.

Every law democrats propose gives them more power and you less freedom.

elkh1 said...

$425 to jump the queue for a coronavirus test in the UK.
80,000 RMB (a little more than $11,000) for the hospital stay of a coronavirus patient in China.

Not exactly free national healthcare, is it? These people pay more taxes than we do to the govt. to take care of their healthcare, and make less than we do from their jobs.

chickelit said...

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

~B. Franklin

Caligula said...

Self-reliance (to the extent possible) used to be considered a basic American value. Where self-reliance referred to ad-hoc solutions devised by small groups of neighbors as well as by individuals.

It's not practical to be totally self-reliant (and you'd give up too much if you tried), but, we could at least recognize the moral hazard in expecting government to take care of practically everything.

Bilwick said...

Statists gotta statify.

wildswan said...

"This calamity has revealed that the fundamental insecurity of American life is a threat to us all."

This "calamity" has killed the most people in Italy which has socialized medicine. And now no one over sixty gets a respirator there. You pay into the system till you're old and get sick, then you're worthless, and they throw you out to die. But you aren't insecure, you can count on it happening. The next highest number have died in China. The whole country is communist and the party suppressed the truth about this virus leading to its spread within China and then elsewhere. And they have disgusting practices that guarantee more deadly viruses which they will lie about and you can count on that. And you can count on a deadly virus and a deadly lie riding together out of China into the world again. So that's how socialized medicine and communism eliminate "fundamental insecurity."

Inside this country the cities with the most socialist leadership have the most sick, dirty, homeless people wandering about sneezing, spitting and defecating in the streets and the subways, and have the highest numbers on the spread of the flu, and have the most media mouths disconnected from a brain and left unable to connect the three data points. And that creeping zombie-brain disease is what is causing the rest of us to feel somewhat insecure.

Somewhat insecure, but probably we'll simply go about our business, doing what's needed to get to better times. And, when I say "we", I include millions inside NYC who aren't purveyors of advanced fears to to the hysterical.

chuck said...

Goldberg? Haberman? Not my first choice for Tuesday morning entertainment while in isolation. Weren't there any cartoons?

Todd said...

Freder Frederson said...
Insuring everything doubles and triples cost.

Except of course, all the countries that insure everyone spend much less on healthcare than we do.

3/24/20, 8:13 AM


LOL!

Of course they do and we COULD do that too but:

a) it means rationing care (fewer MRIs, CTscans, etc.)
b) it means higher, much higher taxes
c) it means all medical innovation stops as:
- we fund all drug research as all those other countries have price controls for drugs
d) higher infant mortality (ignore the numbers, they count different)

but sure, lets to that!

mccullough said...

The NY Times is shrieking harridans writing for shrieking harridans

Mr. T. said...

This is the same Michelle Goldberg who was the cause of a record number of corrections in an article at Slate and compared motherhood to Nazism? And we should listen to anything she ever says again why?

n.n said...

So, the problem is democracy, representative and otherwise, and the solution is dictatorial or a minority regime.

hombre said...

When I see Michelle Goldberg or the NYT I know I will be bombarded with obsessive TDS puling - if I were to read it. So I don’t.

Even so, “house arrest?” I don’t agree with the way it’s all being handled by Trump or the mostly Democrat governors, but it appears to me that the people calling for the most authoritarian government behavior are Democrats. Neither Trump nor my Republican Governor have told us we are under arrest, House or otherwise. We are staying home, mostly, because we are old, at greater risk and careful.

I believe Trump is reacting to the Democrats and the mediaswine to an extent that ignores their seditiousness and their stupidity. I hope that will stop before we are under house arrest.

Yancey Ward said...

Would it be wrong if I found it hilarious when Goldberg dies of COVID-19 in New York City?

Calypso Facto said...

Shorter Goldberg: The government has created fundamental insecurity and locked us in our houses!

Her solution: More government!

Jupiter said...

If this turns out to be a disaster, the Left Fascists will say it's because there were a few aspects of our lives we did not allow them to control. And if it turns out not to be a disaster, they will say it was narrowly averted because we allowed them to seize control of so many aspects of our lives. Whatever happens is evidence that they are right.

Michael said...

Don't get your hopes up, Michelle.

Temujin said...

Smells like click-bait. Which, I guess is part of what makes this blog tick. She's not very bright. Yes- she's been to school and has her degrees to show for it. But she's not bright. But somehow manages a job with the New York Times. (feign shock).

Individualism bad.
Collectivism Good!! :):):)

I used to hear Sen. Ted Kennedy say much the same. And I know we've had 30 or so years of college professors spouting the same mush. None of these people would have what they have without individual striving for greatness, individual creativity, guts, determination, etc. Want to see the collective at work? Watch your government. Want to see how things actually work- what individuals in the business or creative worlds.

The Michelle Goldbergs of the world are getting paid for nothing. She brings nothing. Adds nothing. Even her greatest thoughts appear to be nothing. While she wails and waits for 'society to get it right', many of us individuals have and continue to take actions to make sure we will get it right. She'll be taken care of- not by some mysterious collectivist overseer, but by individuals working apart and together with those whom they choose to work with- to make things great. Individuals have been pulling the collective forward, kicking and screaming all the way, for the entirety of human history.

Leland said...

There's a bit more than death panels going on. We currently have an authoritarian government telling us under what circumstances we can leave our house and how many people can gather together for any reason at all. Sure, it is not quite as bad as France, which requires a permit to leave the house, or China, that welded front doors shut to prevent people from leaving their home. We were just slow to respond because of a President hesitant to take our freedoms.

YoungHegelian said...

Even Democratic administrations have had to operate within what’s often called the neoliberal consensus.

Whenever you read the words "neoliberal consensus" just STOP. RIGHT. THERE.

These are words used by the Marxist & post-Marxist Left to describe modern global capitalism, especially after the West outlasted the Soviet Union. It is like the phrase "Social Darwinism" in that the historical actors so labeled never used those terms to describe themselves**. The very use of the terms brings with it a whole trainload of ideological baggage.

** The folks who did call themselves "NeoLiberals" in the late 70s & 80s (e.g. the writers around Charlie Peters & Washington Monthly, such as Gregg Easterbrook) are never referenced by the modern leftists who use the term.

PJ said...

Since its founding, America has tended to value individual market choice as the best means of promoting collective welfare.

Better. Casting "individual market choice" in opposition to "collective welfare" is a cheap rhetorical trick. "Markets" and "Central planning" are both believed by their supporters to constitute means of achieving collective welfare. You can't have a conversation until you acknowledge that.

Rusty said...

PJ said...
"Since its founding, America has tended to value individual market choice as the best means of promoting collective welfare.

Better. Casting "individual market choice" in opposition to "collective welfare" is a cheap rhetorical trick. "Markets" and "Central planning" are both believed by their supporters to constitute means of achieving collective welfare. You can't have a conversation until you acknowledge that."

It's not a cheap rhetorical trick if you understand what an "individual market choice" is. It's a voluntary association. Collective welfare is forced on people.

PJ said...

@Rusty, I don’t think we fundamentally disagree, but I won’t concede the point of language. Individual market choice can be compared with central planning because they are both means. “Collective welfare” is an end, and if you give those words their ordinary meaning it is an end that may arguably be achieved with or without force. Central planning is a means that involves force whereas individual market choice is voluntary as you say. But Michelle Goldberg uses “collective welfare” as a euphemism for “central planning” in describing the alternative to individual market choice. She likely makes that rhetorical move because she wants to exclude, obliquely for obvious reasons, the possibility that individual market choice is actually the alternative that maximizes collective welfare.