Somewhere, Ayn Rand is laughing . . .


Just_A_Guy
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Hey JAG! I'm unsure about this: Were you suggesting that Ayn Rand is sad that health care is given to criminals, or sad that a homeless guy was really sick and couldn't afford medical attention?

I assumed he was saying that it is sad that we have created a system where people have systemic incentive to commit bank robbery.

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I assumed he was saying that it is sad that we have created a system where people have systemic incentive to commit bank robbery.

So you're suggesting that we shouldn't provide health care to people in jail?

Or is he saying that health care should be provided to anyone regardless of personal finances?

'Cause if it's the second, I'd say Ayn Rand disagrees pretty vocally with that. If it's the first, I would call it monstrous.

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So you're suggesting that we shouldn't provide health care to people in jail?

Pretty sure I said nothing of the sort.

Or is he saying that health care should be provided to anyone regardless of personal finances?

That isn't what I got from his post.

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Well... Maybe it's me not understanding, but I'm pretty sure that story was talking about health care.

Call me crazy, Vort, but it seems to me that the point of the story(Which caused Ayn Rand to either laugh or roll over in his grave) was health care. Here's what I got from the story:

1) Man is poor.

2) Man is sick.

3) Man can't afford health care.

4) People imprisoned get health care.

5) Man commits crime to get the health care he needs.

Would you say that's accurate? If it is accurate, then can you spell out exactly why Ayn Rand would roll over in his grave based upon that? Because I really can't see how you could read that story in any way other than:

We need health care for everyone! A man shouldn't need to be imprisoned to get the care he needs.

Or:

Criminals get free health care? That's insane! We shouldn't be encouraging people to go to prison. We need to eliminate health care for prisoners!

If you could walk me through exactly what is being said, I would love to learn. If it isn't either of those two viewpoints, then great! I obviously don't want to accuse someone of saying something they didn't.

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Hey JAG! I'm unsure about this: Were you suggesting that Ayn Rand is sad that health care is given to criminals, or sad that a homeless guy was really sick and couldn't afford medical attention?

To be honest, I'm not really sure. I think Vort's first post here pretty much sums up my reaction when I read the article.

I wouldn't argue we shouldn't provide health care in prison; but if the standard of care exceeds what's available to American seniors through Medicare then it strikes me we need to re-think our priorities.

If it is accurate, then can you spell out exactly why Ayn Rand would roll over in his grave based upon that?

Uh . . . her grave. ;)

Although I suppose [best Austin Powers Voice:] you must admit she is rather mannish.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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To be honest, I'm not really sure. I think Vort's first post here pretty much sums up my reaction when I read the article.

I wouldn't argue we shouldn't provide health care in prison; but if the standard of care exceeds what's available to American seniors through Medicare then it strikes me we need to re-think our priorities.

Fair enough. Would you say it would be more important to lower the standard of health care in prisons(Which would save money, admittedly), or raise the standard of health care for seniors(Which would cost a lot more, as Seniors require demonstrably more care)?

Ultimately, I think that's fair, JAG - To say you read this and aren't sure how to feel. I certainly don't, either. Obviously, a man needing to commit a felony in order to get the health care he needs is ridiculous.

Is there a way to grant good, affordable health care even to the homeless given their lack of income? Would doing so stifle development in health care?

I'm a fan of the NHS in England. It's such a big part of the culture here that when austerity measures were made, that's the one thing they didn't want to remove. I've had great treatment the whole time I've been here.

But I also don't know if that's the answer in the US, which already has Medicare/Medicaid as an albatross which spends far more than the UK on health care per person while delivering much worse treatment. I don't honestly know why that is and can't intelligently suggest increasing funds to universal health care when doing so might bankrupt your nation.

It's a tough call.

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Fair enough. Would you say it would be more important to lower the standard of health care in prisons(Which would save money, admittedly), or raise the standard of health care for seniors(Which would cost a lot more, as Seniors require demonstrably more care)?

I can't claim to know for sure, because I haven't seen any comparison between the two standards of care.

Ultimately, I think that's fair, JAG - To say you read this and aren't sure how to feel. I certainly don't, either. Obviously, a man needing to commit a felony in order to get the health care he needs is ridiculous.

Is there a way to grant good, affordable health care even to the homeless given their lack of income? Would doing so stifle development in health care?

Well, and that's the thing. The US does have programs for this kind of guy (to wit: Medicaid and, depending on his age, Medicare). So it becomes more a question of whether the care isn't available, versus whether it's available but only after jumping through prescribed bureaucratic hoops and the guy's just sick of dealing with it all.

I see that mentality (though certainly not to the same degree) a lot--whether dealing with private-sector or public-sector bureaucracies, at a certain point people just shut down. I talked to a lady Monday who wanted to declare bankruptcy on about $6,000 in debt, because she was just tired of calling collectors and trying to get them to settle. Spent a good hour and a half trying to talk her out of bankruptcy, but she was adamant: she was "done".

I'm a fan of the NHS in England. It's such a big part of the culture here that when austerity measures were made, that's the one thing they didn't want to remove. I've had great treatment the whole time I've been here.

But I also don't know if that's the answer in the US, which already has Medicare/Medicaid as an albatross which spends far more than the UK on health care per person while delivering much worse treatment. I don't honestly know why that is and can't intelligently suggest increasing funds to universal health care when doing so might bankrupt your nation.

It's a tough call.

Agreed. It'd be interesting to hear more about the bureaucratic aspects of NHS - how how get on, what you have to do to stay on, what kinds of proofs/verifications you have to submit and how often, how to resolve glitches in your coverage, wait-times for callbacks, etc.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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I guess it would help if people knew a thing or two about Ayn Rand.

1. She's a she, not a he.

2. If there's a phrase you could use to describe her, it would be "Passionate Zeal".

3. She summed up her philosophy this way: "My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." [bolding mine]

4. She was often a critic, and not a kind one. Charity usually faileth'ed with her.

So, given these facts about her, here's the deal: The story is about someone pursuing his own self-interest via committing a crime on purpose so other people will take care of him. He, and the society that permits such things, are the antithesis of everything she spent her life yelling at people about. Therefore, IMO, this story has Ayn neither laughing or weeping. I think it has her swearing. People walking past her grave are having to hold hands over their kid's ears even as we speak.

LM

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Agreed. It'd be interesting to hear more about the bureaucratic aspects of NHS - how how get on, what you have to do to stay on, what kinds of proofs/verifications you have to submit and how often, how to resolve glitches in your coverage, wait-times for callbacks, etc.

The bureaucracy is mainly controlled by the middle management(I've heard it said that there are more middle managers than nurses and Doctors working for the NHS).

For me, I know that:

1) I have always gotten an appointment for the same day.

2) When I needed an X-ray, they sent me to a hospital which saw me after about 5 minutes wait.

3) When I needed medication, all medication was £7.

I had to bring proof of residency and my passport when I first signed up. Beyond that... Nothing. Now, they're talking about making non-EU citizens purchase health care to use it, which I think is fair. This country has treated me well. I don't begrudge paying my fair share.

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Agreed. It'd be interesting to hear more about the bureaucratic aspects of NHS - how how get on, what you have to do to stay on, what kinds of proofs/verifications you have to submit and how often, how to resolve glitches in your coverage, wait-times for callbacks, etc.

To register with my first NHS GP, I took in my passport and filled out a one-page form. I've never had to submit any kind of proof or verification (not sure what you actually mean by that?), and I've always had appointments within three days, urgent appointments were always same-day. I love the NHS, and I'm proud to pay into National Insurance.

I've just taken a look at North Carolina's Medicaid program, and I don't think Verone is eligable under any category. What a sad story.

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I don't think it's a particularly sad story, I'm sorry to say. While I do like the concept of socialized medicine, the States don't really have it. Instead of going to a charity, which was clearly an option, he spent all this effort trying to get people to take care of him!

As for healthcare for prisoners, I support it. I figure those prisoners are often working.

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1) Man is poor.

2) Man is sick.

3) Man can't afford health care.

4) People imprisoned get health care.

5) Man commits crime to get the health care he needs.

Everyone knows that Rand was anti-Christian? One of her heroes was William Hickman, a "Superman" who kidnapped a twelve year old girl, held her ransom, and after the ransom was paid he cut her to pieces and then returned her dead body to the parents. That man is Ran's hero.

Why do some people pick these nutty people to follow? She's scary. That old interview she did with Mike Wallace is scary. She looks psycho.

She seems more a worshiper of the industrialists and ultra wealthy.

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Call me crazy, Vort

If you insist. You are crazy, FT.

but it seems to me that the point of the story(Which caused Ayn Rand to either laugh or roll over in his grave) was health care.

That did indeed seem to be the point of the story. But I doubt it was the point of JAG's posting of the story, which is what you were responding to.

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Everyone knows that Rand was anti-Christian? One of her heroes was William Hickman, a "Superman" who kidnapped a twelve year old girl, held her ransom, and after the ransom was paid he cut her to pieces and then returned her dead body to the parents. That man is Ran's hero.

Why do some people pick these nutty people to follow? She's scary. That old interview she did with Mike Wallace is scary. She looks psycho.

She seems more a worshiper of the industrialists and ultra wealthy.

I've never actually bothered to read any of her work, but that is the impression I get.

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Everyone knows that Rand was anti-Christian? One of her heroes was William Hickman, a "Superman" who kidnapped a twelve year old girl, held her ransom, and after the ransom was paid he cut her to pieces and then returned her dead body to the parents. That man is Ran's hero.

Err . . . no, he wasn't. What interested Rand was the interplay of one man universally being condemned by society.

Rand wanted the hero of her novel to be "A Hickman with a purpose. And without the degeneracy. It is more exact to say that the model is not Hickman, but what Hickman suggested to me."

Why do some people pick these nutty people to follow? She's scary. That old interview she did with Mike Wallace is scary. She looks psycho.

Wow. We're reduced to judging philosophers by the way they "look"?

What she looks like in that video is, a middle-aged woman with bad make-up and hair and crooked teeth speaking in an eastern-European accent on black-and-white television.

"Content of their character", indeed.

She seems more a worshiper of the industrialists and ultra wealthy.

I think she's a worshipper of "reason", of the human spirit, and of what the individual can obtain. That kind of worldview is certainly problematic from a gospel and philosophical standpoint. But it has merit from an economic standpoint. You don't feed people with a culture of victimhood. The Bolsheviks found that out the hard way--eradicate the rich people, and all you have left is a bunch of poor people.

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Everyone knows that Rand was anti-Christian?

Wouldn't surprise me. Probably anti-religion in general. Anti-anything that stood between unbridled pursuit of unbridled self-interest.

One of her heroes was William Hickman, a "Superman" who kidnapped a twelve year old girl, held her ransom, and after the ransom was paid he cut her to pieces and then returned her dead body to the parents. That man is Ran's hero.

*snicker*. This criticism sort of falls into the same category as the Protocols of the Elder's of Zion. Total demonization to the point of absurdity.

Yeah HossierGuy - of course Ayn Rand's hero was a sadistic killer. Everyone knows that - you can safely dismiss anyone who finds something worthy in her views, as a dumbkopf not worth listening to. After all, anyone who idolizes someone who cuts up a 12 yr old girl has to be wrong, yes? No sense in interacting any further with them.

Why do some people pick these nutty people to follow?

I wouldn't say I follow her. She goes places I just don't agree with. But her novel Atlas Shrugged was a good third of the reason I did a political 180 from liberal to conservative in my early 20's.

I daresay you shouldn't read it though. It might turn you into a follower of someone who idolizes a sadistic murderer. Or a conservative, which is obviously far worse. Anyone who becomes converted to the notion that A = A, obviously has something wrong with them.

She's scary. That old interview she did with Mike Wallace is scary. She looks psycho.

Actually, I mostly agree with you. From what I know of her personally, she sure scares the heck out of me. That's why it's fun to link the OP's story with her reaction.

She seems more a worshiper of the industrialists and ultra wealthy.

She didn't worship people. She worshipped unbridled pursuit of profit. She just pointed to ultra-wealthy as heroic examples of people pursuing their self-interest.

Sorry. I'm not really moved by your attempt to demonize her and her followers. I've interacted with her ideas - and found them quite worldview-changing. And yet I'm somehow able to maintain my membership in the church, and haven't felt like mailing any body parts of people anywhere. Guess I'm just funny that way.

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I remember in my teens when I opened my new Rush album.....(yeah vinyl was cool) 2112! It was the kind that you could open up and had lots of pics and info ...very cool. In addition to the lyrics were bits of a story preceding the songs. I was enthralled...not just by the music, being a guitar player and loving Rush and all of that...but the concept. I later learned that Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist was inspired to write the lyrics after reading some books by Ayn Rand...notably Anthem and Atlas Shrugs. I sought those books out at a pretty young age and have enjoyed her works since.

Just some worthless offerings to the post....:)

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