March 28, 2012

The Health Racket Mandate, Toward Other Corporate Mandates


A few thoughts on the health racket mandate, for anyone who supports or knows someone who supports it, constitutionally and/or on policy grounds.
(This is also for anyone who’s wondering about my rage vs. liberals, as I expressed in this post earlier today, for example. Look at this mandate as a prime example of the incoherency and malevolence I describe.)
Let’s recap the history.
1. In the mid-20th century Congress granted antitrust exemptions to the health insurance racketeers, giving them monopolies or oligopolies in every state. This is a command economy, a forced market. The only alternative for most people is non-participation.
2. On account of this growing non-participation, as well as the desperate financial straits of many insurance rackets, especially post-2008, the government instituted a bailout of the sector, in the form of Obamacare. (It’s also an austerity policy and a union-busting measure.) This is Obama’s core policy. The funds for this bailout are to be extorted in the form of a poll tax imposed on human beings, as the price of their physical existence. (The mandated “policies” themselves will be worthless, and subsidies to purchase them will never materialize.)
3. Supporters of this policy now argue that it’s constitutional, thanks to totalitarian commerce clause jurisprudence. I’ve extensively covered this here, here, and here. (For the health racket bailout and Stamp mandate in general, see my posts catalogued here.)
For anyone who supports this, please explain:
1. Does this mean that if Congress decides that proprietary GMOs are to be normative in the same way it has dictated for private health insurance, it can mandate purchase of these seeds by all growers? Impose penalties on heirloom seeds, or ban them? What about other agricultural inputs?
(See here for the shaky financial position of Monsanto. Pro-GMO Obama policy, tangibly accelerated right around the time Monsanto’s travails hit the papers, can already be seen as a Monsanto bailout. I’ll write more on this soon.)
2. Does this mean that if Congress decides that big box retailing is to be normative in the same way it has dictated for private health insurance, it can mandate shopping at Walmart and similar boxes (say, by having the IRS require receipts)? Can it penalize or ban independent retailers?
(See here for Walmart’s increasing market difficulties.)
Not for a moment do I mean for either of these examples to be taken as hyperbole or in any Swiftian sense. If the health racket mandate can be enacted, then both of these, and any number of comparable policies, would be enactable by the same logic. I have no doubt about the system’s will to enact any such policy, limited only by whatever political fears it may have.


  1. The political rationale for those examples would be just as obvious (and fraudulent) as that for the health racket bailout (“universal coverage”, “for our health”).

    GMOs are “needed to feed the world”.

    Walmart is “America’s biggest job creator”.

    Comment by Russ — March 28, 2012 @ 4:55 am

  2. I think it’s always wise to look beyond the immediate “reason” given for implementing these kinds of policies.The one step taken today will take us many steps in ten years.
    Meanwhile the unaware will be like the lobster placidly boiling to death, thinking”Well, that happened and the world didn’t come to an end”. It reminds me of people who think if God doesn’t strike them dead immediately when they do something bad, it must be okay (excuse me for that religious comparison)
    I hope this comment is coherent 🙂

    Comment by DualPersonality — March 28, 2012 @ 9:37 am

    • Yes, like all corporatist policy and action it has its immediate, specific predatory goal and its long-range goal for corporate totalitarianism in general.

      You’re right about those who are either incapable of comprehending this big picture, long-term view, or who stupidly discount it.

      Since you once scolded me about calling criminals “pigs”, I’ll point out that you insult lobsters by comparing them to these people. 🙂

      Actually, the commonly used animal metaphor in this sort of case is “sheep”. But that too is unfair to the animal.

      Comment by Russ — March 28, 2012 @ 11:09 am

      • The difference between the lobster and the pig, sir, is that you were using “pig” to describe repugnant behavior in humans.The lobster is an unfortunate victim of circumstance-so are many of the people who believe in all this. They’ve been constantly brainwashed since infancy and had most of the common sense knocked out of them.

        Concerning the sheep, if I were to refer to folks as sheep I still wouldn’t necessarily be insulting the sheep. Just observing that the people are too prone to follow trustingly.
        Is this hair-splitting? Absolutely, but it’s fun 🙂

        Comment by DualPersonality — March 28, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

      • So the sheep aren’t also innocent victims, rather than being willfully complacent the way our “sheeple” are? 🙂

        Comment by Russ — March 28, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

      • Of course the sheep are still innocent victims like the lobster. But the pigs are not at all like the criminals or other unadmirable specimens you were describing.

        Do I win this round, or shall we keep it going? 🙂

        Comment by DualPersonality — March 28, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

      • No, you win. 🙂

        Comment by Russ — March 29, 2012 @ 5:00 am

  3. A majority of the Supreme Court seems to agree with your position and was quoted asking similar questions as you. The Administration argues that the health market has unique economic properties because of the perverse disincentives between insurers and customers.

    Maybe police will check for health insurance when they stop and frisk.

    Comment by Ross — March 28, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    • Well, that’s pretty brazen – citing the perversities of the very policy they’re seeking to radically entrench and aggravate.

      I’m not holding my breath waiting for any small favors from the supremely corporatist court, though. They commonly grill a side but then find for it. I’d be quite surprised to see them start rolling back the very jurisprudence corporatism is counting on. If anything, they’re more likely to leave the mandate intact but strike down some of the measly crumbs.

      Comment by Russ — March 28, 2012 @ 11:02 am

  4. Isn’t this all just a kabuki theater sideshow? Maybe I’m missing it but it seems the victory was already won when the Insurance Cartel survived the one chance we had to get rid of them by reframing the debate to the “quality” of their flimsy contracts (single payer wad dead on arrival). The Trojan Horse, Obama, is wheeled in to “fight the insurance industry” and save the people…Now it’s just a fake fight over how much of the spoils they get to keep and where the new profit extraction points are. Ultimately non-participation in all these command/enforced rackets has to be where the battle is won.

    It is starting to look like a giant Walmartsanto “Company Store” is being formed.

    Comment by Pete — March 28, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    • The post isn’t about the kabuki but about the ideology. It’s meant to clarify the implications of the ideology, to try to get people to reject it. Obviously the only thing that’ll change anything will be direct action and resistance.

      Comment by Russ — March 28, 2012 @ 11:01 am

      • Right, sorry. I got that. I’m just trying to sort through all the misdirection right now. It seems like another heads we win, tails you lose situation.

        Heads: Mandated/guaranteed customers for the monopoly racket. (maybe a few measily concessions as you note)
        Tails: Whoops, we’re right back where we started and all the concessions are thrown out with the mandate.

        Either way, bend over. You (we) have no say in the matter…

        Anyone want to have a go at translating this little gem? It’s getting bad fast, folks.


        Comment by Pete — March 28, 2012 @ 11:17 am

      • Well, they can keep their phony “concessions”. The best outcome would be for the whole thing to be scuttled.

        That would then restore the status quo ante, which was bad, but at least we weren’t staring down the barrel of an arduous poll tax.

        Meanwhile, we’ll have complete say as soon as we choose to speak for ourselves, with our own voices and, most of all, our direct actions. But so long as we choose to “speak” and “do” through “voting” and “representatives”, we’ll indeed have no say, by our own shameful choice.

        Comment by Russ — March 28, 2012 @ 11:41 am

  5. I wanted to add to my comment that another purpose of this and other posts is to give a clear description of what we’re up against.

    In that vein, the Bovine quotes from several of my posts today, with emphasis on the GMO threat.


    They’ve frequently cross-posted my food stuff in the past.

    Comment by Russ — March 28, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

  6. Is this for real?


    Comment by tawal — March 29, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

    • While the tone of that piece is more extreme than others I’ve read, it’s basically true – that’s what Michigan says it intends to do. It’s pushing the envelope of state aggression, but still typical of corporatist food system policy. Are people going to recognize that the only answer is direct defiance and resistance?

      (This is the same Michigan which claims to be in such a fiscal calamity that it needs to dissolve local sovereignty from the top down, as a 1933-German-style Emergency Decree. Then how do they have the money for this adventure? We see again how deficit and budget alarmism is always a lie.)

      Comment by Russ — March 30, 2012 @ 3:22 am

      • Too sad! This may be the tipping point. Let’s keep our eyes on this and let the facts be widely known.

        Comment by tawal — March 30, 2012 @ 3:44 am

  7. […] mandate is constitutional? But the exact same totalitarian commerce clause logic which would find Obama’s poll tax “constitutional” could also find that a state-level labeling requirement is “unconstitutional” if it […]

    Pingback by GMO Labeling « Volatility — April 16, 2012 @ 8:22 am

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