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Personal political profile regarding positions on economy and healthcare

By Jim Killebrew

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[February 22, 2014]  This is the fourth article in the series of personal political profiles where we are examining the positions taken by the liberal perspective and the conservative perspective regarding various issues. To better understand the positions each of the candidates hold as they give their speeches and campaign for their specific office, we need to have an idea of where their party affiliation stands on the issues. By reviewing some of the issues from the perspective of the liberal and conservative, we can better understand how that candidate will develop and implement policies and regulations after elected to the office. Today's article will focus on two issues: economy and healthcare.


Liberal perspective

The liberal perspective for the marketplace is focused on the government being in charge of the economy and making the decisions about that marketplace. Coming from a position of protectionism, the liberal perspective believes people need to be protected from unscrupulous business CEOs and their private companies that will likely take advantage of the average citizen who does business with that company. The liberal camp believes that the marketplace is driven mostly by greed from those who are the owners of the business and private sectors of commerce.

The liberal perspective is focused on looking out for the public interest of all people who are purchasing and/or selling goods or services to the public at large. The liberal group believes the private sector in the marketplace needs regulations to keep the enterprises in line so as not to place a heavy burden on the buyer in the market. The liberal will place as many regulations as necessary on the business and private sector as is determined necessary by government regulators to keep the businesses in check and prevent any harm from coming to the consumer. Even though there are tens of thousands of regulations controlling almost every aspect of the exchange process in commerce, the liberal perspective believes there is always a need for more regulations. For the most part, the liberal perspective is driven by the assumption that those who are in business for profit somehow gain an advantage over the consumer and establish an unfair advantage, even to the point of cheating the consumer.

An outshoot of the liberal perspective, with assumptions about those who have gained profits and become wealthy, is the perspective of "redistribution" of wealth by government regulators deciding on the process of taking the wealth from those who have it and giving it to those who do not have it. The assumption of "greed" and "dishonesty" in achieving wealth has led to a form of class warfare, almost making it acceptable for people with less means to dislike those with more means. The liberal believes a set of taxes, rules, policies and regulations mandated by the government will "level the economic playing field."

Conservative perspective

The conservative perspective views the economy as a living, growing process established in a free market system. Capitalism is the driving force that fuels the economy, with each individual having opportunity to pursue their dream in the economic world. The conservative believes in hard work, achievement, taking risks with personal capital, failing sometimes but starting over, and being competitive with others who are achieving their goals and dreams in the same economic mix. The conservative believes firmly in private enterprise and opportunity for all.

The conservative perspective opposes large government interference in the free market system. The more regulatory restrictions that are placed on business by government, the more repressed the economy will become. The example given by many conservatives will be the "pie" analogy. The conservative believes the "pie" is ever expanding as more enterprising people join the market, become competitive, and offer the best goods and services, bringing customers to their door. They reject the analogy that the "pie" is static and being used up with someone having a smaller piece if another has a larger piece. They believe that analogy belongs to the liberal group and offer examples of growth when government is smaller, with less regulation and freedom to keep most of what they earn.

The conservative perspective believes there is created in the economy a much higher standard of living because free market experiences, growth with lower taxes and less regulation actually create more jobs, which in turn broadens the tax base and more free trade. The conservative perspective believes that government regulations should be set only at the level of protecting consumers, not stifling commerce.


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Liberal perspective

For the most part the liberal position regarding healthcare is centered in the assumption that the government should provide either free or low-cost government healthcare to those who cannot afford it. The liberal perspective believes that every person in America, whether a citizen or not, should have that government-provided healthcare. To fill the gap, the government has enacted the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. It is a healthcare insurance that has been mandated by the government that incorporates all the liberal perspectives from other issues. Those who are younger and healthier should pay more in premiums in order to help defray the higher cost for those who are elderly and those who have higher rates of illnesses. It is another form of redistribution of wealth, except it does not redistribute only money; it redistributes the health and age of the person:  Younger and healthier pay more; older and sicker pay less.

The liberal perspective is that healthcare insurance is a right and must be provided by the government as a form of protection. The liberal perspective is that everyone must have equalized healthcare protection in the form of government-provided insurance, regardless of any ability to pay. Therefore, through premium costs from the healthy and higher taxes from those who work, as well as the wealthy, money will be collected by the government to provide "subsidies" to those who need it.

Conservative perspective

The conservative perspective believes insurance for healthcare should be a part of the free market system. The conservative group separates healthcare from insurance. The conservative believes that America has as good or better healthcare than any country in the world, and access to that healthcare has always been available to those who need it.

Regarding insurance for healthcare, the conservative believes that the laws that prohibit a person from having "portable" insurance should be repealed. A person who has an insurance plan in one state should be able to transport that plan to another state as the family or person moves to a different state. The conservative believes that with free government healthcare insurance being mandated for each person who cannot afford it, this will move the country closer to a system of socialized medicine. The conservative position is that it will lower the quality of health delivery, dampen research and development of new medicines and treatments, and result in much higher costs for standard health services.

The conservative position is to maintain the healthcare system in the hands of private providers. They believe there is a much better chance of the individual being in control of their personal health with a relationship between the private physician and themselves rather than having the government as the middleman deciding what treatment should or should not be provided for each individual.

So, as with the issues discussed in other articles, these issues of economy and healthcare adds to the voter's personal political profile and will help guide the voter through the election. Each candidate will be examined regarding their standing, not just on their political party affiliation, but how they stand on the issues of abortion, energy, gun control, economy and healthcare. That candidate who matches the voter's personal perspective will win the vote from that person. Again, this is very important not just in the general election, but in the primaries as well. During the primary cycle there is usually an array of candidates from the same party, but with differing viewpoints regarding how they will approach solutions for any given issue. So look for discussions regarding more issues in the next articles.


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