Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I Wonder If She Wonders?

 

One of my patients today mentioned how excited she was that Joe Biden was going to be our next president. That caught my ear, as you might imagine. Most of my Democrat friends are understandably thrilled that Trump seems to be leaving the White House. But she is the first to express actual enthusiasm for Joe Biden. I asked her what she hoped Mr. Biden would do with his time in office.

She immediately responded, “He’s forgiving student loans! That’s just a brilliant economic move! I mean, these people are trying to improve themselves. And once they get their diploma, they can earn more money, so they pay more taxes! It’s a win-win! How on earth can Republicans so short-sighted?” I nodded sagely, thinking to myself, ‘Don’t respond to this. Get back to medicine. Do not respond, you moron. Shut up and do your job. Don’t respond…’ So naturally, I responded:

“That’s a brilliant point! And I completely agree. For example, I wasn’t making any money in my previous practice, so I bought this one. It cost a lot of money to buy it, of course, and I didn’t have that kind of cash. So I took out a business loan. Now I’m making more money, and I’m paying a lot more taxes.”

She just stared at me, at tilted her head a bit, signaling that she didn’t understand my point. So I continued:

“So I presume Mr. Biden will be forgiving business loans, just like he is student loans. I mean, we’re trying to improve ourselves, we’re earning more money, and then we’re paying more taxes. It’s a win-win! Obviously, he should forgive business loans, as well. If he can get it past the darn Republicans, at least. You’re right. Republicans are so short-sighted. They just don’t understand basic economics.”

She sat there for a second, and said, “Um, I don’t know about business loans…”

I plaintively asked, “Why not?”

She looked sort of uncertain, and then stammered, “Um…would that even be Constitutional?…”

Realizing that I had an opportunity to get out sort of unscathed, I responded, “Ah. Good point. I know a lot about medicine, but I don’t know as much about our Constitution as you do. I don’t really follow this stuff. Now, about your carotid disease…”

I wonder if she wondered about that.

I was amazed by our pleasant, although surreal, conversation for a few reasons. First, she’s the first person I’ve heard sound excited about Joe Biden. Second, it sounded strange to hear a Democrat attempting to explain the benefits of their preferred policies using reason and logic. It sounded sort of odd. Not their style. For good reason.

Third, I wonder if she went home and wondered why having taxpayers pay off other people’s student loans is Constitutional, but having taxpayers pay off other people’s business loans is not Constitutional? That’s a head-scratcher.

And if she wondered about that, where does she stop? That type of logical thinking could lead her down a dangerous road. It might even lead her to read the Constitution, just out of curiosity. Which then might lead her to wonder how much government spending actually is Constitutional. A third, maybe? Gosh, perhaps a quarter? How many Democrat policies are actually Constitutional? Lordy…

Scary stuff for a leftist. She’s nearly 75 years old. She’s managed to avoid curiosity and independent thought for this long. I wonder how many close calls she’s had. Surely this was not her first.

I’m sure she’ll be fine. Just another close call.

But when I have a conversation with someone in which I think they might have a point, that can lead me to days and weeks of reading a wider and wider range of sources. Partially to see if I was right, or if they were. And partially just out of curiosity. “Gosh. I hadn’t thought of it that way before. Maybe I should check this out a bit. Am I missing something here?

Leftists appear to be remarkably resistant to such impulses. While conservatives struggle to control their curiosity and desire to understand things.

And leftists consider conservatives to be closed-minded.

I wonder if she wonders about that?

Nah, probably not. She’ll be fine.

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  1. philo Member

    Dr. Bastiat: Scary stuff for a leftist. She’s nearly 75 years old. She’s managed to avoid curiosity and independent thought for this long. I wonder how many close calls she’s had. Surely this was not her first.

    There’s my giggle for the day.

    • #1
    • November 23, 2020, at 4:36 PM PST
    • 15 likes
  2. Metalheaddoc Member
    MetalheaddocJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Just fire up those printing presses. Why not just have a government guaranteed basic income of $400,000 per person but raise taxes to 50%? So everybody would get 200k income and the government would get 200k in taxes. Everyone wins! We’ll all be farting through silk. 

     

     

    • #2
    • November 23, 2020, at 4:42 PM PST
    • 22 likes
  3. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat

    Metalheaddoc (View Comment):

    Just fire up those printing presses. Why not just have a government guaranteed basic income of $400,000 per person but raise taxes to 50%? So everybody would get 200k income and the government would get 200k in taxes. Everyone wins! We’ll all be farting through silk.

     

     

    That’s a good idea, but we should stick with $350,000. I’m not sure that $400,000 would be Constitutional…

    • #3
    • November 23, 2020, at 4:51 PM PST
    • 18 likes
  4. OldPhil Coolidge

    She sat there for a second, and said, “Um, I don’t know about business loans…”

    I plaintively asked, “Why not?”

    She looked sort of uncertain, and then stammered, “Um…would that even be Constitutional?…”

    See the source image

    • #4
    • November 23, 2020, at 5:00 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  5. Barfly Member

    Don’t fret. They don’t think. 

    • #5
    • November 23, 2020, at 5:03 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  6. E. Kent Golding Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Metalheaddoc (View Comment):

    Just fire up those printing presses. Why not just have a government guaranteed basic income of $400,000 per person but raise taxes to 50%? So everybody would get 200k income and the government would get 200k in taxes. Everyone wins! We’ll all be farting through silk.

     

     

    That’s a good idea, but we should stick with $350,000. I’m not sure that $400,000 would be Constitutional…

    Democrats need a Constitutional…

    • #6
    • November 23, 2020, at 5:07 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  7. Barfly Member

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Metalheaddoc (View Comment):

    Just fire up those printing presses. Why not just have a government guaranteed basic income of $400,000 per person but raise taxes to 50%? So everybody would get 200k income and the government would get 200k in taxes. Everyone wins! We’ll all be farting through silk.

     

     

    That’s a good idea, but we should stick with $350,000. I’m not sure that $400,000 would be Constitutional…

    Democrats need a Constitutional…

    Yes. A nice long hot acid Constitutional.

    • #7
    • November 23, 2020, at 5:10 PM PST
    • Like
  8. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge

    Joe R. Biden should buy my kid a car, so he can delivery some pizza and pay some taxes.

    Pizza Delivery Facts and FAQ - Album on Imgur

    • #8
    • November 23, 2020, at 5:13 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  9. Arahant Member

    Great stuff, Doc.

    • #9
    • November 23, 2020, at 5:28 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. PHCheese Member

    philo (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Scary stuff for a leftist. She’s nearly 75 years old. She’s managed to avoid curiosity and independent thought for this long. I wonder how many close calls she’s had. Surely this was not her first.

    There’s my giggle for the day.

    And what’s wrong with 75 years old?

    • #10
    • November 23, 2020, at 5:33 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. Arahant Member

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    And what’s wrong with 75 years old?

    Nothing. But then you do your own thinking.

    • #11
    • November 23, 2020, at 5:36 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. JoelB Member

    It’s all perfectly logical. People who own businesses, medical practices, and stuff like that are rich and don’t need government help. In fact, they should be paying their fair share in taxes to help these kids get started. C’mon man! ;-)

    • #12
    • November 23, 2020, at 5:41 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  13. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat

    JoelB (View Comment):

    It’s all perfectly logical. People who own businesses, medical practices, and stuff like that are rich and don’t need government help. In fact, they should be paying their fair share in taxes to help these kids get started. C’mon man! ;-)

    Or perhaps, students vote Democrat, and should be encouraged to do so with free stuff. But small businessmen vote Republican, and should be punished. 

    Sorry. That was really cynical. Don’t listen to me…

    • #13
    • November 23, 2020, at 5:48 PM PST
    • 16 likes
  14. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Don’t fret. They don’t think.

    Critical thinking screws up the progressive objectives. That is why it has been eliminated from education.

    Feel, don’t think.

    • #14
    • November 23, 2020, at 6:01 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  15. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce CawardJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    If Biden is offering to forgive student debt, wouldn’t that mean he will have to also immediately suspend any future student loans backed by the government, because obviously these student deadbeats are a bad investment?

    Suck on that, universities.

    • #15
    • November 23, 2020, at 7:02 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  16. Henry Castaigne Member

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Scary stuff for a leftist. She’s nearly 75 years old. She’s managed to avoid curiosity and independent thought for this long. I wonder how many close calls she’s had. Surely this was not her first.

    There’s my giggle for the day.

    And what’s wrong with 75 years old?

    The problem isn’t being 75. The problem is being a 75 year old with a brain of a 19 year old raised by a hippy Mom without a Dad. Aren’t older people supposed to be smarter because they’ve though through things. Though he didn’t actually say this quote, Winston Churchill was reported to have said, “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.” She had forty years to figure out how humans and economies work.

    • #16
    • November 23, 2020, at 7:04 PM PST
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  17. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce CawardJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I paid for my son’s education in Boulder for the last 4 years. Twice a year I got a big bill and I paid it.

    I tried to resist after the first year and made him take out a loan. After one semester I relented, realizing I was beaten, and I paid every bill after that.

    He graduated this spring. He had a loan still outstanding for $32 grand, for that loan. As a graduation present, I paid it off for him. Now he can yell at me about Trump, but with no debt. You’re welcome, Max.

    If Biden is going to forgive college debt, can I get my money back?

    • #17
    • November 23, 2020, at 7:09 PM PST
    • 15 likes
  18. Henry Castaigne Member

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    I paid for my son’s education in Boulder for the last 4 years. Twice a year I got a big bill and I paid it.

    I tried to resist after the first year and made him take out a loan. After one semester I relented, realizing I was beaten, and I paid every bill after that.

    He graduated this spring. He had a loan still outstanding for $32 grand, for that loan. As a graduation present, I paid it off for him. Now he can yell at me about Trump, but with no debt. You’re welcome, Max.

    If Biden is going to forgive college debt, can I get my money back?

    Did your son actually get a useful degree?

    • #18
    • November 23, 2020, at 7:10 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  19. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    I paid for my son’s education in Boulder for the last 4 years. Twice a year I got a big bill and I paid it.

    I tried to resist after the first year and made him take out a loan. After one semester I relented, realizing I was beaten, and I paid every bill after that.

    He graduated this spring. He had a loan still outstanding for $32 grand, for that loan. As a graduation present, I paid it off for him. Now he can yell at me about Trump, but with no debt. You’re welcome, Max.

    If Biden is going to forgive college debt, can I get my money back?

    Not if you voted for the wrong guy.

    • #19
    • November 23, 2020, at 7:40 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    Curiosity > Intelligence 

    • #20
    • November 23, 2020, at 7:54 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    I paid for my son’s education in Boulder for the last 4 years. Twice a year I got a big bill and I paid it.

    I tried to resist after the first year and made him take out a loan. After one semester I relented, realizing I was beaten, and I paid every bill after that.

    He graduated this spring. He had a loan still outstanding for $32 grand, for that loan. As a graduation present, I paid it off for him. Now he can yell at me about Trump, but with no debt. You’re welcome, Max.

    If Biden is going to forgive college debt, can I get my money back?

    Chump.

     

    • #21
    • November 23, 2020, at 8:21 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  22. James Lileks Contributor

    I wonder if Biden’s boxed himself into a corner here, and someone will have to take him by the shoulders and turn him around so he can face away from the corner and towards reality: A) he signed on to the idea without thinking it through, because he is Joe Biden, content he can wave away any problems with a grin and a wave or a sternly uttered remonstration or lacrymose anecdote, and B) this is not exactly a “champion of the working people” issue, unless to expand the definition to include liberal arts majors whose fields have no jobs, and are thus reduced to pulling shots at Starbucks. There are a lot of working people who aren’t working, and staring at big credit card debt they accumulated to get by over the last year. Where’s their bailout?

    Oh: sorry. Forgot. They’ll get jobs in Green Energy. Soon. Like, June.

    • #22
    • November 23, 2020, at 10:11 PM PST
    • 17 likes
  23. Freeven Member
    FreevenJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It’s going to be tough for all those fine young people with their newly paid-off loans to improve themselves and pay a lot of taxes when Biden has them all under house arrest.

    • #23
    • November 23, 2020, at 10:46 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  24. cirby Member

    Dr. Bastiat: Scary stuff for a leftist. She’s nearly 75 years old. She’s managed to avoid curiosity and independent thought for this long.

    Something similar happened to me yesterday.

    I was sitting down to eat lunch yesterday, and an older woman (at least a few years older than I am, probably pushing 70) sat down near me. She wanted to talk. She tried a little political discussion, and that went as far as “is socialism really a bad idea?” I spent the next five minutes or so telling her that socialism really is a bad idea, and how it had failed – miserably – time and time again, everywhere it had been tried. Then she tried “but capitalism means the rich get richer and the poor get poorer!” So I pointed out that that’s one of the biggest lies of history, and how that was so badly, stupidly wrong.

    So she shifted gears.

    She told me about how she’d gone to a local outdoor event before COVID hit, and there was a booth set up by (as she put it) “independent thinkers.” She was shocked by the idea. “People can be independent thinkers?” There was not one single bit of irony in her voice. She was honestly surprised that people could think for themselves, without being fed directions by someone above them.

    It went downhill from there.

    • #24
    • November 24, 2020, at 4:36 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  25. Old Buckeye Inactive

    “While conservatives struggle to control their curiosity and desire to understand things.”

    This resonates so well with me. The liberal friends and family I have do nothing to expand their horizons beyond the pablum they’re fed by the mainstream and social media outlets. Meanwhile, I don’t start in on my household “chores” until about noon because I’m reading anything and everything that catches my interest, going down rabbit holes on the ‘net, bookmarking things for reference, etc., etc. One of my lib friends posed a question recently and within five minutes I had an answer for her based on a couple of online searches. She couldn’t understand how I’d found the information that fast. It never occurred to her to look for it. 

    • #25
    • November 24, 2020, at 5:10 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  26. Henry Castaigne Member

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):

    “While conservatives struggle to control their curiosity and desire to understand things.”

    This resonates so well with me. The liberal friends and family I have do nothing to expand their horizons beyond the pablum they’re fed by the mainstream and social media outlets. Meanwhile, I don’t start in on my household “chores” until about noon because I’m reading anything and everything that catches my interest, going down rabbit holes on the ‘net, bookmarking things for reference, etc., etc. One of my lib friends posed a question recently and within five minutes I had an answer for her based on a couple of online searches. She couldn’t understand how I’d found the information that fast. It never occurred to her to look for it.

    That was a line as pregnant as Abraham’s elderly wife. Conservatives on Ricochet struggle to control their curiosity. I doubt that other people, conservative or no are curious. 

    • #26
    • November 24, 2020, at 5:33 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  27. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):

    “While conservatives struggle to control their curiosity and desire to understand things.”

    This resonates so well with me. The liberal friends and family I have do nothing to expand their horizons beyond the pablum they’re fed by the mainstream and social media outlets. Meanwhile, I don’t start in on my household “chores” until about noon because I’m reading anything and everything that catches my interest, going down rabbit holes on the ‘net, bookmarking things for reference, etc., etc. One of my lib friends posed a question recently and within five minutes I had an answer for her based on a couple of online searches. She couldn’t understand how I’d found the information that fast. It never occurred to her to look for it.

    That was a line as pregnant as Abraham’s elderly wife. Conservatives on Ricochet struggle to control their curiosity. I doubt that other people, conservative or no are curious.

    This explains the touchstone adage of my mentor of practical politics, a Democrat former office holder: “The first liar always wins.” Don’t know the answer? Make one up. Get cornered by an unruly fact, lie your way out. I always wondered how that could work, and was amazed to see him get away with it over and over again. The lesson I took away was never to trust him, and I was shocked that other people did. Eventually, it became obvious that he was trusted only by members of his party, who apparently never questioned anything he said, nor were they ever curious about the source of his knowledge.

    • #27
    • November 24, 2020, at 5:58 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  28. MarciN Member

    It feels like we are living through some sort of Atlas Shrugged story. Donald Trump is Hank Reardon, and the political upper classes are his family. There’s a powerful scene in the story when his family has asked him for money for some cause they want to support, but they tell him they don’t want his name on the donation check because Reardon is looked down upon by the foundation’s board. The upper classes just don’t like Hank Reardon.

    Making the story complete at this moment is the current eerie desertedness of our major cities.

    Biden is the true empty suit–he has no idea how productivity occurs. He’s been in government all his life and knows only how to raise taxes and play the political game. Biden is putting together a government that can’t be dodged any longer by the people who really are productive in spite of the Democrats. For the next four years, the government will be in our way morning to night.

    Biden didn’t even campaign really. All he did was be the inconspicuous front man for the old ghosts of the Democratic Party. Biden has been a nondescript fixture in the party for eons. He has no plans for this country.

    I knew exactly what Trump wanted to do when he ran for office, and I know exactly which of those things he’s been able to do, against great odds, and which he had planned to continue working on during his second term. All I know about Biden is that he has mastered doublespeak and the anti-Trump shibboleths.

    I keep seeing headlines floating by that tout “the recovery.” That’s Trump’s V-shaped recovery. I think it is going strongly enough to withstand the Biden administration’s complete ineptitude, at least for a year or possibly two. I hope people remember whose recovery it was.

    This whole election, heck, the entire last four years, has felt like Atlas Shrugged. I wonder how this story will end. With any kind of luck, Hank Reardon will find it more fun to torture the newly installed Democrats than he will to disappear somewhere. :-)

    • #28
    • November 24, 2020, at 6:04 AM PST
    • 11 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  29. cirby Member

    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler (View Comment):
    This explains the touchstone adage of my mentor of practical politics, a Democrat former office holder: “The first liar always wins.”

    I run into this online all of the time. They’ll start off with a big, obvious lie, get called on it, will offer zero proof, yet insist they proved their point – and that you have to prove them wrong now because of that.

    They expect iron-clad proof that they said something wrong, but will offer none to prove themselves right.

     

    • #29
    • November 24, 2020, at 6:33 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  30. Henry Castaigne Member

    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler (View Comment):
    This explains the touchstone adage of my mentor of practical politics, a Democrat former office holder: “The first liar always wins.” Don’t know the answer? Make one up. Get cornered by an unruly fact, lie your way out. I always wondered how that could work, and was amazed to see him get away with it over and over again. The lesson I took away was never to trust him, and I was shocked that other people did. Eventually, it became obvious that he was trusted only by members of his party, who apparently never questioned anything he said, nor were they ever curious about the source of his knowledge.

    I want to hear more about this guy.

    • #30
    • November 24, 2020, at 7:16 AM PST
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.