Mike the Mad Biologist

Either one shouldn’t take polls or 24 percent of the American public seriously. Of course, these are not mutually exclusive options. Kevin Drum summarizes the incongruence:

So 29% think government should be responsible for providing healthcare, but 53% approve of extending Medicare to cover everyone. Uh huh. And then this Blendon fellow suggests that maybe this contradiction is the result of people not realizing that Medicare is paid for with taxes. That’s completely crazy, of course, but it’s also quite possibly true.

I think this is not just ignorance, but the effect of several decades of conservative anti-government propaganda: at this point, I think if you asked, “Should government be responsible for providing national defense?”, a large chunk of Americans would reflexively say no. As maha put it:

A generation of Americans have been born and grown into adulthood listening to rightie propaganda that taxes must always go down. “Starve the beast,” you know. The problem is that “the beast” conservatives are starving is our country.



  1. #1 Dunc
    October 30, 2007

    I suppose that in the particular case you could argue that “providing healthcare” and “paying for privately provided healthcare” are not the same thing, but that’s a pretty fine distinction to expect poll respondents to make.

    But it’s long been observed that there is no position too insane for about 25% of the population to take when polled. Heck, that’s fewer than the number who believe in Bigfoot.

  2. #2 Joseph j7uy5
    October 30, 2007

    From the corporate perspective, that is exactly the point. Countries are bad for the economy. Just get rid of them and have corporations run everything.

  3. #3 Coturnix
    October 30, 2007

    I am still deciphering your first sentence…

  4. #4 John
    October 30, 2007

    I like colorful language but please either use fuck or don’t use it. Pretending like f-ck f@%!k or similar ones are more polite is just annoying.

  5. #5 Eileen
    October 30, 2007

    I disagree with John, the above commenter. I appreciated your politeness. Thank you.

    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas

  6. #6 blf
    October 30, 2007

    I tend to concur with John: Either spell it out, or don’t use it at all. For what it’s worth, that’s also the recommendation in The Guardian Style Guide (PDF):

    We are more liberal than any other newspaper, using words such as cunt and fuck that most of our competitors would not use.
    The editor’s guidelines:
    First, remember the reader, and respect demands that we should not casually use words that are likely to offend.
    Second, use such words only when absolutely necessary to the facts of a piece, or to portray a character in an article; there is almost never a case in which we need to use a swearword outside direct quotes.
    Third, the stronger the swearword, the harder we ought to think about using it.
    Finally, never use asterisks, which are just a copout

    Whether or not its use in here fits is a judgement call. Whilst I’ve no problem with the use, I’m also not convinced it was necessary since I can imagine alternatives that also get the point across but which don’t generate these sort of comments.

  7. #7 Graculus
    October 31, 2007

    I’m also not convinced it was necessary since I can imagine alternatives that also get the point across but which don’t generate these sort of comments.

    Unfortunately, PZ has the copyright cornered on “demented fuckwits”.

  8. #8 sex shop
    March 25, 2009

    thanks for you

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