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View Diary: Western Dems embrace Dean (318 comments)

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  •  Great post (none)
    Regarding #4, Bush's nuclear initiative may hit hard here too (think Yucca Mtn.)

    And regarding #5, I couldn't agree more.  No matter how charitable a "big government program" may be, they're inefficient.  It's like what Dean has said about gun laws: you can't have the same ones in Vermont and Southern California.  We're a diverse country.  We need diverse government programs that don't try to sweep us all under one label.

    •  Yucca mountain (none)
      I wish you were right, but Nevada knew what they were getting into in 2004 and voted Bush anyway.

      If I owned both Hell and Texas I'd rent out Texas and live in Hell. W.T. Sherman

      by Ralph on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:01:30 AM PDT

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      •  It's going to get worse, though. (none)
        The whole "new energy plan" is going to put Yucca Mtn. at the forefront again, and I think it's going to seem a lot more "real."  You'd be surprised at how much of the American public probably doesn't think we have any nuclear power anymore, except the plant owned by Montgomery Burns in Springfield.

        On a similar note, I had a geology class last term where the professor was a very strong opponent of nuclear storage at Yucca Mtn (but, as we know, the current administration hates scientists).  Why?  Because the area's geologic history shows a potential for cindercone volcanoes (i.e. "baby volcanoes" that pop up, go boom, and go away).  There haven't been any in the past thousand years, but this is a very serious point.  Volcano near nuclear waste storage = bad, and I think most people would understand that.

        In conclusion, if the "less oil, more nuke" plan goes ahead, Nevada residents may be asking some questions.

    •  And what about "big government" (none)
      programs like social security, which keep large swaths of our population from poverty?

      In one of the comments above, someone cited a statistic to the effect of some Midwestern states receiving a grossly disproportionate return for what they contribute to the federal government.  How does this mesh with the libertarian ideal?  Certainly, liberalism can and does embrace notions of self-determination and self-sufficiency.  However, liberalism also embraces the values of an even playing field and a safety net for those who need it.  The Democratic party can not be the party of wholescale libertarianism.

      I've made it very clear, he was not involved, that there's no truth to the suggestion that he was.-McClellan, 2003

      by GN1927 on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:08:58 AM PDT

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      •  Social security... (none)
        is actually a fairly small government program, in terms of administration.

        That's not just splitting hairs.  But there's no reason to be logical.

        Three big government programs that are horribly inefficient, but very popular in the west:

        1. Water storage.
        2. Agricultural subsidies.
        3. Military procurement.

        If I owned both Hell and Texas I'd rent out Texas and live in Hell. W.T. Sherman

        by Ralph on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 09:23:58 AM PDT

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    •  No Preference (none)
      Social Security, the biggest government program, is extraordinarily efficient. Westerners like it as much as everybody else. Probably more, because the West is not rich and people may depend on it more.

      Let's talk straight to people. Let's not just simply pander to delusions.

      Sorry, but I'm just tired of all-pervading PR, aka  dishonesty.

      On the other hand, I like all the rest of the points.

    •  What's more inefficient than (none)
      a big government program? A big corporations' program.

      Look at healthcare in the US. Profit motive all the way, right? Well, so what's happening to health insurance premiums these days? Skyrocketing. Where's that vaunted private sector efficiency everyone talks about? Disappearing into the pockets of stockholders and top executives, that's where. Oh, no -- that's not where all of it is going. Some of it goes to pay the salaries of whole departments of people whose job it is to routinely deny legitimate claims. And then there's the mind-boggling duplication of paperwork, as every insurance company offers a number of different policies to employers, with different provider forms and different coverage rules.

      Meanwhile, countries with a "big government program" to provide their citizens with healthcare get better results by every measure -- lifespan, infant mortality, you name it -- while spending about half the amount per capita on administration. Much, much more efficient.

      And we're not talking some uniquely American propensity for inefficiency in government, either. Medicare also spends far, far less on administration than private insurance does.

      The "big government programs are always inefficient" idea is just a lie, pure and simple. It has been repeated so often, people don't bother to look at the evidence.

      Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

      by Canadian Reader on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 12:20:27 PM PDT

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