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Jonathan Swift's America


Jonathan Swift's America

Charles Idelson

In 1729 writer/satirist Jonathan Swift penned an essay directed toward the English upper class suggesting a solution for how to prevent the children of poor people in Ireland from being a burden to the country and empire and “for making them beneficial to the public.”


To all my friends on the left/progressive side: After reading this article, how can anyone say, with a straight face, that Democrats are just as bad as Republicans! Whatever their faults, and they are
many, you must admit that they would never be this cruel and callous. If you still think that Democrats are just as bad as Republicans, you are in need of an intervention.


Although the Democrats are never as far right as the GOP, their ever rightward movement gives the GOP cover to keep moving rightward. Had the Democrats, when they controlled the White House and both houses of Congress in 2010 simply reduced the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60 rather than giving us the 2600 page Rube Goldberg corporate welfare cake with a little healthcare icing, the GOP would never have taken control of Congress and Trump would have never attempted a run for POTUS.

Reducing the Medicare eligibility age would have:

1) enabled tens of millions of older workers to retire earlier between 2010 and 2016, opening their former jobs with medical insurance to younger workers, thereby

2) expanded health care coverage to more Murkins than the ACA did,

3) reduced the unemployment rate among young Murkins, AND

4) been so popular among voters, that Congress could have further reduced the Medicare eligibility age and/or made other progressive health care policy during Obama's second term.


Full Social Security does not kick in until age 66, or 75% SS at age 62, so some could retire with other pensions but many depend only on SS. SS benefits are too low, they should be raised, along with the age of eligibility being lowered.


For most Murkins contemplating retirement, Social Security benefit considerations are dwarfed by medical insurance costs for retirees under age 65.

There is a huge disparity depending on if your employer foots the bill for retiree medical insurance...10 to 20% of my friends and acquaintances in the approaching retirement age demographic pay $19 to $350 per month for Chevrolet or better coverage (very few have Cadillac coverage) while another 50% have access to Chevrolet coverage for $1,000 to $1.200 per month. The rest are limited to catastrophic coverage ($1,000 to $6000 deductble, high copays) under ACA or other programs costing $400 to $800 per month. If Trump dumps the ACA subsidies the ACA participants will pay $1,200 or more for that same catastrophiic coverage.


It would seem a serious downside to satire and literary warnings is that for some people they are prescriptive. For the rest of us, who knew such monsters roamed the earth?


"And so, maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they should invest it in their own health care. "

The quote is from a Republican, but I've heard the same argument many times, always from a Democrat. I was a deadbeat in Massachusetts before Romneycare because my principle option for health insurance was COBRA at several hundred dollars per month out-of-pocket (I lost my job, hence my employer's contribution to insurance, due to illness.)

Of course, the argument is always the fact that people who choose not to purchase insurance (at a level that is obviously not even possible) are very inconsiderately raising the premiums on middle-class folks by a few dollars a month.

Savings are the main issue, especially when considering a bronze plan with $6500 deductible (in many cases a silver plan is less expensive, assuming a certain degree of health care needs.) Even without an iphone (and really, the comparison is more in the contract than the device--I have all the minutes I need on a 7-year old flip phone for $16 per month,) without cable TV, without ever dining out (essentially no social life), keeping the thermostat set at 50, etc. etc. consider this difference:

For someone with means, $8000 in savings is an emergency expense, equivalent to a deductible on a family policy.

For someone with limited means, $8000 in savings is always in the back of your mind because the car could go kaput at any moment, and then there's no job and no income. Getting health care is not an option.

ACA has certainly turned the middle class against the poor, which is just how the upper-class likes it. You may remember that before ACA, we kept hearing about people who had to decide each month whether to pay health care bills or utility bills. Now there are people who have to decide whether of not to pay health care bills or health "insurance" bills.


How about PayDay Loan promoter Debbi Wasswerman Schultz, or coal, pharma Manchin, or phara and banster Cory Booker or Hillary who never saw a war she didn't like? I could go on but please don't trash people who you want to keep close and on your side. Obama was a "trader" not a fair and free trader. Obama like Clinton before him had Wall Street insiders and corporate CEO's in cabinet or team. How ya all like Schumer, he seems to be coming to his senses but do you believe him? I don't, it is convenient.


Re: Social Security -
1. Remove the "cap" from Social Security contributions.
2. Since Corporations are People, make them pay in at the same rate as everyone else.

Re: Medicare -
1. Reduce the age of eligibility by two years (or maybe three) each calendar year until virtually everyone
    is enrolled.   Voila – Medicare for All!
2. Since Corporations are People, make them pay in at the same rate as everyone else.

Of course with two branches of "our" government - and soon all three - in the hands of the Repooplicans all of the above are essentially D.O.A.


Hmmm....ok, as long we don't have to pay retirement benefits to corporations when they turn 62.

OK, as long as we don't have to provide healthcare to corporations. Every time a corporation gets "sick" (i.e. loses money), I don't want to be responsible for "curing" their illness.

Doesn't mean we shouldn't be demanding it.


Perhaps a similar concept could be applied to the root cause of nearly all of our current problems - Conflicts, Famines and Global Warming: GROSS OVERPOPULATION.   Rather than reducing the addictive and car- cinogenic nature of cigarettes, encourage the tobacco industry to make their products as strong as possible
in both of these characteristics — thereby inducing as many people as possible to self-select for population reduction.  If a tobacco additive to reduce human fertility could be developed, so much the better – especially if it could also be required in canned and bottled beverages . . .


Nationalize the fossil fuel industry, implement single payer and levy a two dollar tax on all stock and commodity trades. The power brokers of both parties think they have this casino system figured out. The solutions of the distant and forgotten "left" in the tradition of Aneurin Bevan are forbidden thoughts in this sick political world. We are only talking about the speed of murder, not whether it should carried out.


You listed only a handful of Democrats and no views relevant to this discussion. Joe Manchin will jumping over to the Republican party soon...


I think that when the top 10 pecent start to see their suburban McMansions burning down, maybe they will change their views...


Gotta love these die-hard old farts still clinging to their yellow paperback copies of Erlich's "The Population bomb".


Wow. Fed a story that was one sided and you fell like a rock. Face plant.


Who knew the current administration would treat the film Idiocracy as a documentary 'how-to' manual?


yes, but think of the electrolytes!


In a Nation that has a sizable chunk of the Population self identifying as "Christians", this state of affairs sure puts the Disconnect, from Talk to Walk, in striking relief.


I agree with your insights UncleFester, but the lack of an Opposition Party is the grease to the Rep wheels.