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. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    MarciN (View Comment):
    This whole election, heck, the entire last four years, has felt like Atlas Shrugged. I wonder how this story will end.

    This is so true! I re-read Atlas Shrugged last year for the first time in about 50 years. All I could do was marvel at Rand’s prescience. 

    • #31
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    This whole election, heck, the entire last four years, has felt like Atlas Shrugged. I wonder how this story will end.

    This is so true! I re-read Atlas Shrugged last year for the first time in about 50 years. All I could do was marvel at Rand’s prescience.

    I used to think Rand was crazy.

    I used to think conspiracy theorists were crazy.

    I used to think preppers were crazy.

    Now, I’m thinking that perhaps I should keep my criticisms to myself…

    • #32
  3. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Dr. Bastiat: You’re right. Republicans are so short-sighted. They just don’t understand basic economics.”

    Bwahahahaaa! You did NOT say that to her! Yer killin’ me here. 

    • #33
  4. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: You’re right. Republicans are so short-sighted. They just don’t understand basic economics.”

    Bwahahahaaa! You did NOT say that to her! Yer killin’ me here.

    And I didn’t even giggle.  Not even a bit.  I was so proud of myself.  Usually, my poker face sucks.  But this time, I was so smooth…

    • #34
  5. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: You’re right. Republicans are so short-sighted. They just don’t understand basic economics.”

    Bwahahahaaa! You did NOT say that to her! Yer killin’ me here.

    And I didn’t even giggle. Not even a bit. I was so proud of myself. Usually, my poker face sucks. But this time, I was so smooth…

    I have newfound respect. And I already had quite a bit!

    • #35
  6. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

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

    Dr. Bastiat, you must understand that constitutional equals good to people like her. The idea that something can be a good idea that is still unconstitutional has never crossed her mind and never will. 

    • #36
  7. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    The Scarecrow (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?

    That’s called “The Chump Effect.”

    https://www.city-journal.org/chump-effect-of-progressive-policies

     

     

    • #37
  8. GFHandle Member
    GFHandle
    @GFHandle

    My guess is she will stop at: “student loans go to students (good vibes) and business loans go to businesses (bad vibes).”

    (See leftist rage at idea of corporations as legal persons who pay taxes and so must have right to speak. How could a business–or a fetus, for that matter–be a person?)

    • #38
  9. Suspira Member
    Suspira
    @Suspira

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    This whole election, heck, the entire last four years, has felt like Atlas Shrugged. I wonder how this story will end.

    This is so true! I re-read Atlas Shrugged last year for the first time in about 50 years. All I could do was marvel at Rand’s prescience.

    I used to think Rand was crazy.

    I used to think conspiracy theorists were crazy.

    I used to think preppers were crazy.

    Now, I’m thinking that perhaps I should keep my criticisms to myself…

    Hmm. I still think Rand was crazy (and tedious). I still think conspiracy theorists are crazy. I still think preppers are crazy (at least about their end-of-days scenarios). Unfortunately, 2020 has added lots of new groups for me to think crazy.

    • #39
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    MarciN (View Comment):

    It feels like we are living through some sort of Atlas Shrugged story. . . .

    Interesting hypothesis, Marci.

    To me, it looks more like the Kingdom of Judah at the end of Josiah’s reign, circa 609 BC.  Though Josiah didn’t have President Trump’s, um, personality quirks, as far as we know.

     

    • #40
  11. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

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

    Dr. Bastiat, you must understand that constitutional equals good to people like her. The idea that something can be a good idea that is still unconstitutional has never crossed her mind and never will.

    And an idea can be bad, but Constitutional.

    Justice Scalia wanted to issue Federal judges a rubber stamp that said “Stupid, but Constitutional”.

     

    • #41
  12. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member
    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler
    @Muleskinner

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    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.

    Another example of the lack of critical thinking on that side was the day my mentor walks into my office and says “Now you’ve gone and done it. You’re in trouble with the Governor’s office.” That being the first time, my mind was racing trying to figure out what I might have done. Failing to come up with anything obvious, I finally asked, and was told that I had been talking to Representative X, without permission. I protested that I never met the man, much less talked to him about policy or anything else. Then it occurred to me to ask why would they think I did? Well, simple he says, I ask you about some obscure policy matter and you give me an answer–well eventually you do, because you do meander around some. They ask X the same question and get the same answer, so you must be talking to each other, how else could that happen? I pointed out that X was an economist, and had the same specialty as me. And several of my professors, including my Dissertation chair were classmates of his in his PhD program. “So why wouldn’t we independently work our way through the weird questions you ask, using the same or similar theory, and not come to similar conclusions most of the time?” Think about it. 

    • #42
  13. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    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.

    I wonder what she’ll think when the Ezekiel Emanuel death panel denies her care . . .

    • #43
  14. WriterDude Inactive
    WriterDude
    @WriterDude

    @metalheaddoc Yes, the magical thinking of the basic income. One of my favorite responses to the $15 minimum wage crew is to say “why not make it $50? Aren’t those people unique individuals and deserve to live their best lives?” 

    I mean, they want a $15 minimum wage because people can’t live on less. So they’re saying without a $15 minimum wage, they’re either actually or practically UNABLE TO LIVE. And yet they’re living now. Maybe they’re not living well, but they’re living. Like everyone, if they had made better choices at certain inflection points in their lives, they would be living better.

    Ah, so maybe that’s the problem. We’re not allowed to remind them of their own choices, and as we all know, blame is easier than work.

    • #44
  15. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    When they were calling for free tuition, I got out my SC guide to colleges, listed them all with enrollment, then multiplied each by cost of tuition, and voila, more money than the state has. Had some fun….can take it one step further and divide the cost among all residents.

    Biden will forgive loans then, since money isn’t coming back in, he will ask Congress to appropriate more or else women and minorities won’t get to attend college. Republicans will cave.

     

    • #45
  16. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Stad (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.

    I wonder what she’ll think when the Ezekiel Emanuel death panel denies her care . . .

    She won’t know that the private sector could have afforded her a few more years. 

    • #46
  17. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Don’t fret. They don’t think.

    I had a similar conversation with my Uncle awhile ago. 

    Me and my Uncle were discussing the borderwall and Daca and whatnot. He mentioned that we should help the economy of Honduras and Nicaragua. I responded that we cannot develop the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan and we invaded them. Apparently, he believes that cooperating with said countries would be more effective. I do not know why he believes that. I would think that Honduras and Nicaragua would have more incentive to develop their economies and lower their crime rates than America. 

    I mentioned that on the micro level, we can’t get Native Americans on reservations, blacks in inner-cities and whites in the rust belt and Appalachia to renovate their subculture to be successful. When it comes to countries, communities and families. We don’t do a great job at fixing what is broken. My uncle retorted that just because things are hard doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try. Which sounds very nice but I’m not sure I’d like to base foreign policy on that principle.

    A policy to make Nicaragua rich feels good so it can and should be done. Whether or not it is sensible or even possible is secondary. Woe to humanity. 

    • #47
  18. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Dr. Bastiat, you must understand that constitutional equals good to people like her. The idea that something can be a good idea that is still unconstitutional has never crossed her mind and never will. 

    I parse that as “constitutional” equals “good to people like her”, not “constitutional” equals “good”, to people like her

    Which is, I think, at the heart of the problem. Things are going to get much worse before they get better.

    • #48
  19. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    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.

    No, it would only mean that in the real world, not in Dem Utopia.

    • #49
  20. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    This whole election, heck, the entire last four years, has felt like Atlas Shrugged. I wonder how this story will end.

    This is so true! I re-read Atlas Shrugged last year for the first time in about 50 years. All I could do was marvel at Rand’s prescience.

    I used to think Rand was crazy.

    I used to think conspiracy theorists were crazy.

    I used to think preppers were crazy.

    Now, I’m thinking that perhaps I should keep my criticisms to myself…

    Hmm. I still think Rand was crazy (and tedious). I still think conspiracy theorists are crazy. I still think preppers are crazy (at least about their end-of-days scenarios). Unfortunately, 2020 has added lots of new groups for me to think crazy.

    I enjoyed Rand’s almost prophetic vignettes in Atlas, but had to skip some of the tedious monologues and weird romantic scenes. She could have used a good editor. As for preppers, I am beginning to hear worries about toilet paper supplies again and I can’t quite shake the urge to read up on small generators or convertors for my home. Might not be a totally bad idea to make sure that a good stock of non-perishables is at hand. If these are end-of days times, then no worries. What is troubling is perhaps they are not yet.

    • #50
  21. Freeven Member
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    JoelB (View Comment):
    She could have used a good editor.

    Or even a bad one, in a pinch.

    • #51
  22. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    JoelB (View Comment):
    I enjoyed Rand’s almost prophetic vignettes in Atlas, but had to skip some of the tedious monologues and weird romantic scenes.

    Oh, agreed. I had read it a couple of times as a teen and young adult, but now her writing appeared somewhat juvenile. Didn’t change the substance though. And I never got through John Galt’s speech.

    • #52
  23. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Can you imagine being excited about Joe Biden?? 😂😂😂

    • #53
  24. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Can you imagine being excited about Joe Biden?? 😂😂😂

    • #54
  25. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    My guess is she will stop at: “student loans go to students (good vibes) and business loans go to businesses (bad vibes).”

    (See leftist rage at idea of corporations as legal persons who pay taxes and so must have right to speak. How could a business–or a fetus, for that matter–be a person?)

    When I started in practice, I attended a seminar in incorporating medical practices.  At one point the lawyer discussing such things as the “Personhood” of a corporation added that there is only one thing a person can do that a corporation cannot.  Go to prison.

    • #55
  26. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Aren’t older people supposed to be smarter because they’ve though through things.

    Older people aren’t supposed to be smarter, they’re supposed to be wiser.  It’s why they drift rightward as they get older.

    • #56
  27. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    This whole election, heck, the entire last four years, has felt like Atlas Shrugged. I wonder how this story will end.

    This is so true! I re-read Atlas Shrugged last year for the first time in about 50 years. All I could do was marvel at Rand’s prescience.

    I used to think Rand was crazy.

    I used to think conspiracy theorists were crazy.

    I used to think preppers were crazy.

    Now, I’m thinking that perhaps I should keep my criticisms to myself…

    Hmm. I still think Rand was crazy (and tedious). I still think conspiracy theorists are crazy. I still think preppers are crazy (at least about their end-of-days scenarios). Unfortunately, 2020 has added lots of new groups for me to think crazy.

    Has any of 2020 made you think that maybe they aren’t so crazy?

    • #57
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