A Philosopher's Blog

Adjuncts & the Affordable Care Act

Posted in Business, Philosophy, Politics, Universities & Colleges by Michael LaBossiere on January 7, 2013
English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Affordable Care Act imposes fines on large employers (defined as those employing 51+ people full time) that fail to offer affordable insurance coverage to their full-time employees. As might be imagined, this has created some concerns for such employers and their employees.

While I do believe that the act has some positive aspects, I tend to agree with those who think that health insurance should be split from employment. That is, it should be something people can select from a competitive market regardless of who they are working for. Properly done, this would be a considerable benefit to businesses and individuals.  However, my main concern here is with the likely impact of the Act on adjuncts and others in a similar plight.

Adjuncts are, in many ways, the temp workers of academics. They are typically hired from semester to semester to teach a few classes at relatively low pay ($1,500-3,000 per class being typical) and generally have no benefits or job security.  Adjuncts are usually classified as part-time employees, primarily because they often teach less than what is considered a full class load and typically do not have the other duties (such as committee work or advising) of full-time faculty. They are also typically classified as part-time so as to avoid the need to provide them with the benefits of full-time employees.

The Affordable Care Act defines a full-time employee as one who is employed an average of thirty hours a week.  Currently, there is not a clear definition of how the part-time status of adjuncts should be determined, since adjuncts typically work in terms of credit hours taught rather than in terms of hours on the clock.

As might be suspected, colleges, universities and businesses have varied definitions of what counts as being part-time and not all of these match the Affordable Care Act definition. In response, some colleges and universities are already taking steps to address this matter. A common responses has been to cut the hours of adjuncts and other part-time workers to 29 hours or less to avoid having to provide affordable insurance or paying the fine.  In the case of adjuncts, some schools have cut the number of courses and adjunct can teach, despite the fact that the matter of what counts as full time faculty under the act has not been sorted out.

As might be guessed, the reduction in hours is an unintended consequence of the act. However, it is obviously not good for the adjuncts and other part-time employees who are typically struggling to get as much work as they can. As it stands, adjuncts often have to teach classes at multiple colleges in order to get by and other part-time workers often have to hold multiple jobs. If employers start reducing the hours of part-time workers, they will need to find additional jobs to make up for the lost income, which will be at least inconvenient.

On the one hand, it is easy to blame the Affordable Care Act (or, to avoid the fallacy of reification, the people who passed the act). After all, the “big” employers are being forced into a trilemma: provide affordable health care or pay fines or cut employee hours down to 29 hours a week or less. Since the first two options cost money, the obvious choice is the third one. No doubt employers would prefer to keep things as they are, but the act forces them to make the employees pay the price for the act.

On the other hand, it could be argued that the employers deserve some of the blame, especially in the case of colleges and universities. After all, adjuncts are exploited by universities and do not even get the insurance coverage that is offered to students (I had better benefits as a grad student than as an adjunct). Adjuncts could be provided with affordable health care (as students are) it is just the case that employers are choosing not to do so in order to save some money. That is, it is just another case of the working people being screwed over by those with vastly larger salaries and plenty of benefits. It is not surprising that many of the same folks who weep over the rich being forced to pay marginally more taxes are also outraged that businesses would have to provide affordable health insurance to employees. There is also a certain meanness in the attitude that is essentially this: “What, we have to provide full-time employees with affordable health insurance or pay fines!? In that case, we’ll just fire people or cut their hours!”

My own view is that this illustrates the important of separating health insurance from employment. This would allow employers to hire people without worrying about the costs of providing insurance (or paying fines) and would allow individuals to get insurance apart from being employed. Of course, this would require serious revisions to the health insurance industry to make health care actually affordable for individuals, especially those working low-paying part time jobs. Naturally, employers could continue to offer health insurance, but this would not be mandatory. However, no matter what is done, someone obviously has to pay the bills.

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
About these ads

56 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. T. J. Babson said, on January 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    “As might be guessed, the reduction in hours is an unintended consequence of the act.”

    It was not hard to predict that this would happen, and many critics pointed it out. I think we have to regard it as fully intentional.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      So, you think that the creators of the act intended that the hours of “part time” employees be cut? What are their motivations?

      • WTP said, on January 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm

        TJ’s point is rather apparent. Either they were oblvious to concerns raised at the time and/or ignorant of the rather obvious consequences OR they knew this would happen and did it anyway, and thus it was intentional. Personally, I believe in Hanlon’s Razor, to whit Be wary of attributing to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity/ But I suspect I repeat myself.

        • T. J. Babson said, on January 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm

          I’m generally a believer in Hanlon’s Razor, too, but here I think there is a hidden agenda at work.

          Obviously, if you draw a line at 30 hours and make it expensive to cross that line, a lot of people are going to step back from that line.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm

            What is on the agenda?

            You are right to point out that if 30 hours+ results in a significant cost to employers, they are going to try to avoid that. The line does, of course, need to be drawn by the law-but a good question is what should be reasonably considered part time? It might make sense to have some sort of more flexible scale in terms of what employers provide, rather than just two options of part and full time.

            Of course, I think a better solution would be splitting health care from employment and getting health costs down to reasonable levels that people could actually afford without subsidies. I do agree with the critics that we are mainly pushing the cost around rather than getting as serious as we should about this matter. But who really knows what is hidden in all those pages?

      • T. J. Babson said, on January 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm

        These people are still mandated to get healthcare, right? Where will they get their healthcare? Through the government, of course. All proceeding toward single payer as planned.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm

          In general, the typical adjunct is so poorly paid that she would qualify for the subsidy from the state. This could be seen as another case in which costs are pushed from the employer to the public. That is, the taxpayers subsidize employers so they can pay low wages and not provide benefits without their workers starving.

          • WTP said, on January 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm

            The tax payers are not subsidizing the employers. It is not the employers responsibility to provide health care. The state is the one doing the pushing. The state is creating business for itself. As for “the typical adjunct” you need to step outside your world there. The “typical adjunct” in such a situation is more than likely working at a STATE institution. It is thus the state (as in FL, RI, ME, whatever) pushing the costs onto the FEDERAL government.

            Again, you simply do not sufficiently understand the fundamentals of economics. I’ll repeat it until the cows come home, pigs fly, and the 3rd coming of Christ because I seriously doubt you will ever acknowledge this point to make the effort to actually learn anything about the subject. But, hey, I live to be proved wrong.

            • biomass2 said, on January 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm

              Remember the Clerk (edited)
              “A CLERK ther was of Oxenford also,
              That unto logyk hadde longe y-go.
              As leene was his hors as is a rake,
              And he nas nat right fat, I undertake,
              But looked holwe, and ther-to sobrely;
              . . . . . .
              Noght o word spak he moore than was neede,
              And that was seyd in forme and reverence,
              And short and quyk and ful of hy sentence.
              Sownynge in moral vertu was his speche
              And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche. ”

              I’m awaiting a serious response to my replies to you at The The Cliff and Gun Violence discussions. . . Please refrain from the snide remarks for one moment and tell us enough about what you know about economics to explain your support for the statement ” Shuffling money from one place to another does not ‘create’ jobs.”
              What, precisely, is wrong with the following?

              As per one of the sources I offered, wealth can be stored in money/cash until needed. From that point on,
              “1/ Man earns money
              (from source above: that money (his “Kinesian wealth”—more economic doublespeak, I presume) may be held until the worker needs to use it)
              2/ Man spends money (when he needs to use it?)
              3/ The goods and services man purchases with his earnings/money must be provided by people who are hired to produce those goods and perform those services.
              4/ If , at some point, enough goods and services are purchased by enough people (people who have been paid with money, I presume), the manpower and equipment available to produce the goods and services might become inadequate. More ^jobs are created^ to provide the services and produce the goods.”

              I think this may be relevant. A couple more non-WTP sources.
              WTP’s contention in a reply to MIchael is that ” Shuffling money from one place to another does not ‘create’ jobs.”

              http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntharvey/2012/10/22/government-creates-jobs/

              “Furthermore, the means by which public sector activity is financed is more complex than implied above. Not only do your taxes go to pay the salary of the fireman, but, when he spends it, his salary contributes to your wages. So who is supporting whom–is the government dependent on taxation of private sector salaries, or are private sector salaries dependent on sales to government institutions and employees? Obviously, they are largely interdependent and rely on the continuation of the flow between them. Largely, however, but not completely, for if one of the two can act with autonomy, it is the government.”
              So. Taxes pay fireman. Fireman spends money. Some shuffling there already.

              Read more of the following @

              http://www.businessinsider.com/rich-people-do-not-create-jobs-2011-12#ixzz2HE2uygqd

              The following sounds surprisingly like what I was writing:
              “The company’s customers buy the company’s products, which, in turn, creates the need for the employees to produce, sell, and service those products. If those customers go broke, the demand for the company’s products will collapse. And the jobs will disappear, regardless of what the entrepreneur does.”
              So. Customer (fireman, let’s say) buys product and that “creates the need for the employees” (jobs?).
              This still sounds to me like “shuffling money” from one place to another does, indeed, create jobs.

              Tinker to Evers to WTP? to Chance. Tinker’s money (taxes) go to Evers (fireman) then to WTP (retailer) then to Chance (new employees taken on to produce, sell, and service the product Evers bought and WTP sold.) Shuffle. Shuffle.
              How, WTP, is that not creating jobs by “shuffling money from one place to another”?
              Reply
              WTP said, on January 6, 2013 at 7:18 pm

              0

              0

              Rate This

              OK, this is my last response as I pity you’re wasting your time. You do not understand, nor from all previous discussions with you do I believe you have any genuine desire to understand, the fundamentals underlying even the arguments of the sources you quote. And unlike Mike, who is responsible for educating hundreds of students per year, whether or not you understand is irrelevant and a waste of time. I made a good faith effort to engage you in discussion on this topic and you mocked my effort. As you enjoy brining up discussions from years ago, I refer you to one of your previous replies to me from back then that went something to the effect of FYATHYRIO. Funny that didn’t disturb Mikey given his laser focus on presumed ad hominem attacks.
              Reply
              biomass2 said, on January 6, 2013 at 9:37 pm

              0

              0

              Rate This

              WTP: Are you sure this wasn’t your last last response? I
              “FYATHYRIO” :) I believe Mike is perfectly capable of understanding the ContexT of that statement. Apparently, you’re not.
              Allow me to refresh your memory a bit.

              I posted the following as erik on Jan 28 2011 SOTU Draft:
              “Oh—WTP: You responded to my post on Nov. 19-The Terrorists are Winning
              by referring to the “dipshit attitude” of liberals. That all came not too long after you had responded to one of MIKES’s posts: “Oh. Bull fucking shit.” I thought: “What uncommon variety of turd is this asshole?” But I didn’t write it, because generally, on this blog, people disagree, BUT NOT SO DISAGREEABLY. “**

              Simply stated, WTP, I was responding in kind to ‘your’ vulgarity. Simply explained, you began with DS and OBFS. I responded with FYATHYRIO. Understand now? That should clearly and succinctly explain why my FYATHYRIO didn’t set off Mike’s “laser focus on presumed ad hominem attacks (some sarcasm in that, right?) “.
              ***Do go back to that post in the January 2011 archives— Glenn Beck’s pic in the upper right corner. Caps added to assist understanding.

              “if you truly believe the statement you made (‘ Shuffling money from one place to another does not ‘create’ jobs.’”). . . explain it [your belief] light of the information I’ve provided . . . from the forbes, businessleader, and midimagic.sgc-hosting sites. . . above. Take it one step at a time, if you will, beginning with ‘“Man earns money.’
              A CLERK from Oxford was with us also,
              Who’d turned to getting knowledge, long ago.
              As meagre was his horse as is a rake,
              Nor he himself too fat, I’ll undertake,
              But he looked hollow and went soberly.
              Right threadbare was his overcoat; for he
              Had got him yet no churchly benefice,
              Nor was so worldly as to gain office.
              For he would rather have at his bed’s head
              Some twenty books, all bound in black and red,
              Of Aristotle and his philosophy
              Than rich robes, fiddle, or gay psaltery.
              Yet, and for all he was philosopher,
              He had but little gold within his coffer;
              But all that he might borrow from a friend
              On books and learning he would swiftly spend,
              And then he’d pray right busily for the souls
              Of those who gave him wherewithal for schools.
              Of study took he utmost care and heed.
              Not one word spoke he more than was his need;
              And that was said in fullest reverence
              And short and quick and full of high good sense.
              Pregnant of moral virtue was his speech;
              And gladly would he learn and gladly teach.

            • biomass2 said, on January 7, 2013 at 8:35 pm

              Please eliminate everything after item #4. . .i

      • T. J. Babson said, on January 7, 2013 at 11:24 pm

        Just watch.

        • WTP said, on January 8, 2013 at 12:15 am

          TJ,
          5 bucks says Mike won’t respond to this.

          • magus71 said, on January 8, 2013 at 10:25 am

            I barely recognize my country.

            Obama: “I’ll have more flexibility after the November election”
            Medvedev: “I will transmit this to Vladimir”

          • biomass2 said, on January 8, 2013 at 10:43 am

            WTP:

            $6 from my savings account ( a part of my wealth) says you cannot/will not answer this question:
            WHAT, PRECISELY, IS WRONG WITH THE FOLLOWING?

            “As per one of the sources I offered, wealth can be stored in money/cash until needed. From that point on,
            ‘1/ Man earns money
            (from source above: that money (his ‘Kinesian wealth’—more economic doublespeak, I presume) may be held until the worker needs to use it)
            2/ Man spends money (when he needs to use it?)
            3/ The goods and services man purchases with his earnings/money must be provided by people who are hired to produce those goods and perform those services.
            4/ If , at some point, enough goods and services are purchased by enough people (people who have been paid with money, I presume), the manpower and equipment available to produce the goods and services might become inadequate. More ^jobs are created^ to provide the services and produce the goods.’.”
            . . . . . . . . . .

            A CLERK there was from Oxenford, also,
            That unto logyk hadde longe y-go.
            As leene was his hors as is a rake,
            And he nas nat right fat, I undertake,
            But looked holwe, and ther-to sobrely;
            . . . . . .
            Noght o word spak he moore than was neede,
            And that was seyd in forme and reverence,
            And short and quyk and ful of hy sentence.
            Sownynge in moral vertu was his speche
            And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche. ”

            I’m seriously awaiting a ^serious^ response to my replies to you at The The Cliff and Gun Violence discussions. . . Please refrain from snide remarks for one moment and tell us enough about what you know about economics to explain your support for the statement ” Shuffling money from one place to another does not ‘create’ jobs.”

          • WTP said, on January 10, 2013 at 4:37 pm

            (Crickets)

            • biomass2 said, on January 10, 2013 at 11:33 pm

              WTP.

              http://midimagic.sgc-hosting.com/kinecono.htm

              Police (including , I would assume, sky marshals) appear n the chart that appears at the site above,and they are considered “productive” in the economy.
              The accompanying article contains much interesting information:
              “Kinesian Wealth is economic wealth created by work. This wealth did not exist before the work was done. ”
              This raises the issue: Once the wealth (which we find comes from many sources , including land, buildings, food, etc) is stored, as needed, as cash , how many jobs are created with that wealth? I ask this because I notice that ‘wealth’ courses around that diagram —wealth, cash, consumption, production, (and consequent job creation if production increases) then wealth, then etc. . . .

              http://midimagic.sgc-hosting.com/kinecono.htm

              Is it safe to say that the money that “come[s} from somewhere” (for example, it’s generated in the
              process pictured in the diagram below) is “shuffled around” to a greater or lesser degree and that, in the end that money, which may have supported one job in the first spin of the wealth wheel might, indeed support MORE than one job? Or even no jobs? All jobs are not equivalent. All are not paid equally. Some are more productive, others less. At any rate, the workers may be paid at different rates. Purchase more or less. Etc.

              Do me a favor. I told you my background in economics weeks ago. Could you possibly come up with an explanation of your ” Shuffling money from one place to another does not ‘create’ jobs.” statemen that would be appropriate to my admitted “inadequate level of understanding”. If, along the way, you can deal with my attempts to fit the information I gathered and cited with your statement I would greatly appreciate it.
              Otherwise, you owe me ^$

        • T. J. Babson said, on January 8, 2013 at 8:26 am

          Single payer here we come.

          U.S. Set to Sponsor Health Insurance
          By ROBERT PEAR
          Published: October 27, 2012

          WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will soon take on a new role as the sponsor of at least two nationwide health insurance plans to be operated under contract with the federal government and offered to consumers in every state.

          These multistate plans were included in President Obama’s health care law as a substitute for a pure government-run health insurance program — the public option sought by many liberal Democrats and reviled by Republicans. Supporters of the national plans say they will increase competition in state health insurance markets, many of which are dominated by a handful of companies.

          https://aphilosopher.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/adjuncts-the-affordable-care-act/#comments

        • magus71 said, on January 8, 2013 at 10:29 am

          These people are Marxists. Krugman is a full-blown Marxist. And who did Obama recenlty try to get for the Treasury Secretary post? Krugman.

  2. WTP said, on January 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Wiki:

    Possible causes of unintended consequences include the world’s inherent complexity (parts of a system responding to changes in the environment), perverse incentives, human stupidity, self-deception, failure to account for human nature or other cognitive or emotional biases. As a sub-component of complexity (in the scientific sense), the chaotic nature of the universe—and especially its quality of having small, apparently insignificant changes with far-reaching effects (e.g., the butterfly effect)—applies.

    Robert K. Merton listed five possible causes of unanticipated consequences in 1936:[11]

    1.Ignorance (It is impossible to anticipate everything, thereby leading to incomplete analysis)
    2.Error (Incorrect analysis of the problem or following habits that worked in the past but may not apply to the current situation)
    3.Immediate interest, which may override long-term interests
    4.Basic values may require or prohibit certain actions even if the long-term result might be unfavorable (these long-term consequences may eventually cause changes in basic values)
    5.Self-defeating prophecy (Fear of some consequence drives people to find solutions before the problem occurs, thus the non-occurrence of the problem is not anticipated.)

  3. magus71 said, on January 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    So, a bit off the subject. A friend of mine, now out of the army, said to me once, that he thought Obama would try to abolish the presidential term limits in his second term. Even I didn’t believe he’d try such a thing. Maybe I was right, but others in the Dem party have made just such a proposal, in the form of a bill proposal.

    http://nation.foxnews.com/22nd-amendment/2013/01/06/king-obama-congressman-introduces-bill-end-presidential-term-limits.

    The Dems have wasted no time since Obama was granted “more flexibility” by the American people.

    Thoughts?

    • biomass2 said, on January 8, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      :) Off the track we go.

      We know that this amendment has been introduced numerous times since the ratification of the 22nd. We also know how complex the amendment process is. Proposals. Committees. State ratifications. Etc.
      Only seventeen constitutional amendments have been ratified since 1792, Even once ratified, it can be repealed. We also should be well aware that the country is probably more divided now than it has be since the Civil War—a fact that would not bode well for ratification of any amendment.

      I’ll make no predictions, but bring the topic up again a year or so from now and tell me what you can find out about it from sources close to Congress. I’ll still be here, likely waiting for WTP’s response to my questions from 10:43 above and earlier.
      Perhaps before then you could clear it all up for me.

    • T. J. Babson said, on January 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      The Dems look for ways to circumvent the Constitution whenever they don’t get their way. The “trillion dollar coin” is just the latest. Maybe they will get O declared dead and say there is nothing in the Constitution about a dead man not being allowed to serve.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm

        Some Dems might.

        I had first thought the trillion dollar coin was a joke. However, the state does just print and mint money.

        • magus71 said, on January 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm

          Why did you think it was a joke? Because you thought it to be absurdly stupid and damaging? Do you see where we are going, Mike?

          Things are moving more rapidly than even a cynic like me would have believed possible.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 9, 2013 at 5:36 pm

            I don’t think they will be minting that coin. But, Michael Bay should make a movie called Trillion Dollar Coin.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm

            Do you remember Traveller’s Trillion Credit Squadron book? I was thinking that a Trillion used to buy a lot, like a fleet of starships.

            • magus71 said, on January 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm

              Starships sound dangerous. We could never buy those.

  4. WTP said, on January 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Some Dems might.
    Parse this in the context of Mike’s track history (even outside of Mike’s track history) and you’ll find this statement is meaningless.

    Let’s put the Constitutional aspects aside for just a moment and do tell, Mike…what are the economic consequences of of this tactic?

    • biomass2 said, on January 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      TJ wrote that “The Dems look for ways to . . .etc.” Mike responded that “Some Dems might” . I read this as meaning that not all Democrats ” look for ways to circumvent the Constitution whenever they don’t get their way. ” So, keep in mind the words ‘some’, ‘any’, ‘none’, ‘all’, ‘none’, ‘most’, ‘few’ when parsing Mike’s statement. Those seven words and others like them are in the language for a reason.

      Only in the minds of some (many, few. . .) Republicans are all “Dems” the same. EX: Not all Democrats believe all Republicans are “dittoheads”. For that matter, only in the minds of some (many, few. . .) ^Republicans^ are all Republicans “dittoheads”. George Will, for example, doesn’t toe Rush’s line.

  5. magus71 said, on January 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    “Mussolini is a Latin [Teddy] Roosevelt who first acts and then inquires if it is legal. He has been of great service to Italy.”~magazine writer Isaac Marcosson.

    I think many Obama voters and his fellow Democrats in government think the same thing of Obama.

  6. magus71 said, on January 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Read this article in Forbes, about Mussolini, and his economic policies. At the beginning of Mussolini’s rein, he hired a free market economist to help Italy regain its footing after WWI. The economy soared, with unemployment falling significantly. Soon, however, after Mussolini received the popularity he needed from the booming economy, he fired the economist and granted full economic power to the state. Regulation, crony capitalism, increased taxes and labyrinthine bureaucracy were the name of the game. The economy quickly crumbled. Sound familiar?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimpowell/2012/02/22/the-economic-leadership-secrets-of-benito-mussolini/

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 10, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Being compared to Mussolini is a downgrade for Obama. Remember when he was at the Stalin and Hitler level?

      • magus71 said, on January 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm

        Mussolini seems a better fit.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 11, 2013 at 9:45 am

          How so?

          • magus71 said, on January 11, 2013 at 10:00 am

            Well, the economics, for one. The desire for central control in everything, is another. Do you really suppose our own government is less inclined than Mussolini’s Italy to use violence against its citizens to enforce its own laws?

            Government IS force. The more laws and regulations, the more force is necessarily against a supposedly free people.

            How many rules must be piled on a society before it is no longer free?

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 11, 2013 at 6:25 pm

              But this makes everyone but anarchists and pacifists like Mussolini…

            • magus71 said, on January 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm

              I’m only pointing out that he is doing things that make us less free. And he shouldn’t.

            • biomass2 said, on January 11, 2013 at 8:40 pm

              “. . . he is doing things that make us less free. And he shouldn’t”

              Yes, he’s probably done some “things that make us less free”. But when you write “us”, I’m not sure which “us” you are referring to .I don’t think you could randomly list 20 things that O’s done that \would make us both feel less free.

              He won 52% of the popular vote. Did those voters vote for him because they don’t feel oppressed by Obama’s policies, because they simply couldn’t imagine being led by the opposition’s leader, because of stubborn partisan and ideological leanings leanings, because they were forced to vote for him, because the election was rigged or for some other reason? You mustl admit the possibilities are many..

              I agree wholeheartedly with your second sentence. But I don’t believe Obama’s done enough oppressive things to make ‘me’ feel less free. Lincoln did some things many people thought were oppressive. Some of those things. . .well, let’s say that I believe he should have done them. 150 years later I don’t think we’re worse off for having Lincoln as president.

            • T. J. Babson said, on January 12, 2013 at 12:26 am

              When the history books are written, O will go down as the best or worst president ever depending on whether the U.S. becomes like every other nation or retains its uniqueness. I’m afraid we’ve lost what is special and are just like all the other nations now.

              I think the people in red states should stop joining the military now and let the blue staters carry the burden for a while.

              The top TV shows for liberals are those that ridicule conservatives. The top TV show for conservatives is college football.

              Why should red state kids die for those who ridicule them?

            • magus71 said, on January 12, 2013 at 10:30 am

              If mandatory birth control or “morning after pills” is under the purview of the federal government, than anything can be under its control. We are less free than we were 10 years ago. Under the reign of the Thirty Tyrants, installed in Athens by Sparta after Athens’ defeat in the Peloponnesian War, only 3000 Athenians were authorized to carry weapons. The Thirty Tyrants also continuously trumped up charges against rich people in order to get money from them. Sound familiar?

              Hobby Lobby is being fined 1.3 million per day for refusing to provide the morning after pill to employees. Is this justice? I would be equally offended if the government mandated that businesses provide bibles and crucifixes.

              Joe Biden is on a rampage, trying very hard to hammer video games because of gun violence. Eric Holder has made it clear that he’d outlaw guns if he could. Do you really believe, Mike, that this administration would not do away with the 2nd Amendment if it could? I don’t doubt it for a second. The Democrat party is filled with people who do not understand the role of government as defined by the founding fathers.

              Interestingly, it is the Army that is partially responsible for my political and philosophical transformation. I see how people with power will try to control every minutiae of others’ lives if given the opportunity. Leaving even small decisions to others’ is a terribly trying thing for those with the totalitarian mind. Some “leaders” here in the Army have to tell lower ranking people to move a pouch three inches left or right on their body armor. Than the next tyrant that comes along needs to tell that same person to move it back where it was. No regard is given for what the person wearing the stuff may actually want. And just like the government, each leader has a different idea, so individuals are never right. I on the other hand leave 90% of a soldier’s life up to him. I monitor the vitals: Do you have your weapon, your armor, your water? Good–because I refuse to count a damn grown man’s underwear in his pack. I don’t want anyone counting my underwear and I won’t do it myself. Believe me, I’m considered a distinctly odd Army NCO for thinking this way.

              And so it is with my government: Don’t count my underwear.

          • magus71 said, on January 11, 2013 at 10:03 am

            Also, to more specifically answer your question, Hitler’s fascist was heavily rooted in racial superiority beliefs, whereas Mussolini’s prime philosophy was that the State is more important than an individual, that fascism was the anti-individual movement. This seems appropriate now.

            Ask yourself, who would be more likely to propose the gun restriction laws the president is pondering: Mussolini or Thomas Jefferson?

            http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/09/politics/gun-control-battle/

            • T. J. Babson said, on January 11, 2013 at 4:55 pm

              Magus, I just finished your book — well done! I enjoyed it very much.

            • magus71 said, on January 11, 2013 at 5:28 pm

              Wow. Thank you for reading!

  7. magus71 said, on January 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    To all here: I’m headed back to Afghanistan. This will probably be the last day I post on here for a while, depending on connectivity at my future location. In parting, I want to thank everyone here for making me think. My worldview has evolved considerably in the last 5 years, though I still cling to my guns and religion. And I have in part the people on this blog to thank. The other thing I have to thank is that greatest of teachers: pain.

    The area that I’m headed to is dangerous. The enemy moves virtually at will not more than a kilometer from the front gate of the base. It is the target of routine mortar and rocket attacks. A company commander at the unit in the base I am going to was recently killed, shot in the neck with an SVD sniper rifle while doing his best to interact with the Afghan population. I look forward to doing my duty; I also look forward to America leaving Afghanistan and not sacrificing the best for the worst.

    Every person who posts on this blog should remember how very different much of the world is from the West. We take too much for granted; our freedoms, our technology; our values. We must guard them jealously, at times with blood. Preferably with the blood of our enemies.

    To my fellow Americans: Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

    To the Taliban: Fuck you.

    • T. J. Babson said, on January 12, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      Stay safe, Magus.

    • Williamtpeabody@gmail.com said, on January 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      Yes, stay safe. God bless you and your troops.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 12, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      You’ll be back. We’ll leave the beer in the fridge.

    • biomass2 said, on January 12, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      magus71:
      A song from my childhood—the dark ages— for you to take with you to Afghanistan . A simple song from a different time.

      To personalize the lyrics a bit : “Safe trails to you.” Happiness should come as a result of successfully doing your duty.
      Later.

  8. WTP said, on January 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Ah, damn you, WordPress.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,084 other followers

%d bloggers like this: