Path Dependency And Political Naiviete

One of the lessons we should–but don’t–learn from history is that revolutions almost never succeed in replacing the systems being rejected with those that are more to the liking of the revolutionaries.

Revolutions can and do change the identity of the people in charge. The American Revolution got rid of King George and English authority, for example–but it didn’t change fundamental attitudes about individual rights, or a legal system based on common law, or  accepted ways of doing business.

Short of revolution, efforts to effect big changes in the way a society functions inevitably come up against social inertia and stubborn resistance to changes in habitual ways of seeing and doing. Paul Krugman–no apologist for neoliberalism–was recently interviewed by Ezra Klein, and explained why he supports the more incremental, less radical proposals on health care.

A lot of things we think of as being very left-wing are actually extremely popular — like higher taxes on rich people. But other things requiring ordinary middle class people to change aren’t ever easy to do.

Systems that are very different from our own on health care all have deep historical roots. There is enormous path dependence in policy. The systems that countries have on health care, retirement, and most other stuff has a lot to do with decisions that were made generations ago. And it’s very hard to shift to a radically different path. So incrementalism tends to rule everywhere.

Krugman points to polling that says that a public buy-in to Medicare is very popular, but a replacement of private insurance that is not voluntary is not.

The international evidence is that it’s just very hard for to make radical changes in social programs. The shape of them tends to be fixed for a really long time. US Social Security is widely held up as a role model of doing it right because we got it right at a time when things were still pretty amorphous and uninformed. On the other hand, our health care system is a mess because of decisions we made around the same time that left us with bad stuff entrenched in the system.

The operative word is “entrenched.”

Wikipedia begins its discussion of “path dependency” thusly:  “Path dependence explains how the set of decisions people face for any given circumstance is limited by the decisions they have made in the past or by the events that they experienced, even though past circumstances may no longer be relevant.”

Multiple studies of path dependence confirm that previous policy decisions that have since become “the way we do things” generate enormous inertia. Studies of welfare policies, especially, have concluded that significant changes can be made only in exceptional situations. (It isn’t only politics. Studies of how technologies become path-dependent demonstrate that so-called “externalities”–habits, really– resulting from established supplier and customer preferences can lead to the dominance of one technology over another, even if the technology that “loses” is clearly superior.)

It is one thing to compare the mess that is America’s health system with the far better systems elsewhere and acknowledge that we got it wrong. In an ideal world, we would start from scratch and devise something very different. But we don’t live in an ideal world; we live in a world and country where most people fear and resist change– even change to something that is clearly superior.

No president can wave a magic wand and effect overnight transformation. FDR and Truman both pushed for forms of national health insurance and failed. Nixon also favored it. President Kennedy supported Medicare and Johnson finally got that done in 1965–after the trauma of an assassination. All other efforts failed until 2010, when Obama and Pelosi (barely) managed to get the Affordable Care Act passed.  Even that compromised legislation triggered ferocious opposition, including bills that weaken it and litigation that aims to overturn it.

People who think we just have to elect a candidate who recognizes what a better system would look like, and empower that person to wave his or her magic wand and give us a “do-over,” aren’t simply naive. They’re delusional.

The question–as always–isn’t just what. It’s how. 

All of the Democrats running for President know we need single-payer. Not all of them are willing to acknowledge that we face enormous barriers to getting it done. And only one, to my knowledge, has outlined a plan to overcome path-dependency and get us from here to there.

That isn’t being “moderate.” It’s being realistic.

 

 

39 thoughts on “Path Dependency And Political Naiviete

  1. At the same time Martin Luther King Jr. decried incrementalism in his Letter from the Birmingham jail.

  2. Thank you. Once again I have spent a few minutes reading your comments and conclude that time grateful that you made them.

  3. I wonder how many people on Medicare yearn for the days when they had employer-based health care.

  4. “A lot of things we think of as being very left-wing are actually extremely popular — like higher taxes on rich people.”

    Now, today, in this county that statement is misleading; those “higher taxes” we seek today is simply a “RETURN” to a reasonable taxation on the rich. It is not an escalation beyond their ability to pay or their responsibility to pay their “fair share”. Sad to say this decline in reasonable taxation began when President Obama allowed President George W. Bush’s lower tax on the wealthy to continue beyond the end date of January 1, 2010 set by Bush. It was within his power, and his responsibility, to allow it to end. Their tax rate has continued to decline to almost 0%.

    “Systems that are very different from our own on health care all have deep historical roots.”

    We can trace the historical roots of our health care dilemma to Nixon’s repeal of the law preventing health care to become “for profit” business. Is it history when we, most of us on this blog, watched it happen and are paying for the “Political Naivete” that allowed it to happen in our lifetime?

  5. Sheila:

    “People who think we just have to elect a candidate who recognizes what a better system would look like, and empower that person to wave his or her magic wand and give us a “do-over,” aren’t simply naive. They’re delusional.”

    It is also “delusional” to think that there can be any fundamental changes made without attempting to neutralize the negative effect of the underlying FASCIST LEANING, OLIGARCHIC, CONTROL SYSTEM.

  6. You say Pete Buttigieg is the only candidate with an incremental approach. Is that not also true of Elizabeth Warren’s plan?

  7. The good news is: even if he doesn’t get the nomination, we can still benefit from that brilliant mind.

  8. I think Marv has really hit on something. Most people talking about candidates on the left are talking about what they are going to do when in office acting as if it is clean slate on day one. It is not. In no way is it an easy start. One must start working to change things but real change will ONLY come after dismantling the systems in place now that work against the change we “allegedly” want when electing people. One day, perhaps the left will learn what the right learned over 40 years ago — that tere are only three things that matter in making long lasting change in Washington DC: Judges, Judges, Judges… and just how many has this President appointed now? And how many after his second term will be in place (for life)? Now tell me some more about those magic “policy” wands the candidates say they have….

  9. I don’t know about the idea of trying for a small improvement, I’m not sure that would be easier.

    To put it into car buying terms – if:

    The MSRP is $20k
    You want to pay $15k
    The salesman wants you to spend $50k

    Then the middle ground – the perfect compromise between what you want and want the salesman wants – is therefore $32.5k. That’s not an improvement from your starting location.

    The Republicans aren’t honest actors. Finding the middle ground between “reasonable” and “insane” isn’t a victory.

  10. Or, if I wasn’t an idiot, I just would have said: Finding the middle ground between reasonable and crazy is how the Overton Window gets moved further towards crazy.

  11. Buttegieg keeps using the for profit insurance industry talking points. It appears that his ‘connections with and days at’ McKinsey are strongly connected.

    Tarbell is a nonprofit started by a former Cigna Health insurance executive Wendell Potter. His mission during the past ten years has been to expose the private insurance industry tactics used to obtain obscene profits while diligently working to deny actual coverage.

    For those of you interested in gaining knowledge about our system of health care and insurance tarbell.org provides honest information. I just listened to an interview of Wendell Potter about Mayor Pete yesterday on a podcast of theirs. It is not flattering.

  12. TLentych,

    “One must start working to change things but real change will ONLY come after dismantling the systems in place now that work against the change we “allegedly” want when electing people.”

    Right on. That’s exactly what we did in Dallas during the ’80s and early ’90s. We dismantled the fascist-leaning, oligarchic, control system. That allowed Dallas to move from being known as the most reactionary city in the U.S., after the assassination of President Kennedy, to one with a dynamic, worldwide, and positive reputation.

  13. There are any number of solid lessons learned from making significant change happen in the business world – a challenge I worked with for over 25 years, for example:

    – The more complex the company, the more “varieties” of the change have to be considered – “mass customization”. This is especially true regarding local practices and cultures.

    – The most risky parts of the change must be piloted to understand: winners and losers, unintended consequences, how the change might be co-opted for the benefit of a few

    – Those going to be negatively impacted must be proactively explained and offered significant assistance to become as whole as possible

    I could go on and on…but, my greatest single lesson is that making a change is easy compared to having it “stick” and give the benefits originally envisioned. It is human nature to revert to the old ways….

  14. When Trump was elected, inertia was something I was grateful for. My husband calls it “political viscosity..”

  15. Anyone who thinks it’s going to be easy to have universal health care, or a single payer system, or anything other than what we currently have hasn’t been paying attention over the course of his or her lifetime. Remember that, if it gets out of committee, it still needs 60 Senators to vote for cloture. Then individual Senators will offer amendments and depending on who that Senator is and how many others owe him or her big favors, amendments may be added that drastically change the bill.

    Even after it’s passed and signed into law, there are more things that have to happen. The affected agency will start putting together the new rules and posting them for public comment. Big insurance will be there making tons of comments and offering cush jobs to the rulemakers to get the changes they want. This is where the hearts of many laws are gutted.

    Last, but never least, is the courts (now populated by incompetents who have one thing in common, and that is their complete disdain for liberals). The law will face years of lawsuits attempting to void it.

    Maybe we get universal health care, but maybe we don’t.

  16. Sheila, thanks for adding a new concept to my worldview. DIrk_Gently, thanks for a real life example of how change is.

  17. Both revolution and incrementalism have their places depending on the situation or the topic under consideration. If the spineless Democrats had turned their backs on the $1.4 million per day bribe from the health care insurance industry and implemented the public option, back in 2010, we wouldn’t be wringing our hands about universal health care today.

    The insurance companies saw that money as an investment and the cost of doing business. Medicare for all is rather simple to implement. Connect the databases with Social Security and expand the memory. Medicare only costs the taxpayer 7% for overhead. Insurance company overhead ranges from 25%-60%. We could even afford a 10% Medicare expansion overhead. Don’t do anything with private health care insurance or plans. Under the auspices of market-oriented economics, they will just wither away on their own. Right? Isn’t that how Republicans see economics?

  18. One problem with Putin’s choice for our Presidency is that nothing of substance has been accomplished during this term and I doubt if anyone here is surprised by that. Stasis accounts for virtually all foreign and domestic Republican appeal.

    That couldn’t hardly come at a worse time with the possible exceptions of the lead up to or aftermath of the Revolution, Civil or World Wars for independence.

    With the world changing as fast as it has been is and will be for quite awhile, that is disasterous and just crams the urgency for us to keep up with world change into fewer and fewer years while our world position to influence from is falling like a rock.

    The next Presidents job will be virtually impossible to do successfully with the Trump depression, climate change, and foreign and domestic social instability all growing unimpeded by progress at a time when extremism is eating at the very core of our freedom to solve problems.

    Unfortunately I don’t see the next Obama in the running from the only Party in the running.

  19. Vernon @ 9:22 am, is correct spineless Democrats turned away any consideration of Medicare 4 All in 2010.

    Now we have “Wine Cave” Mayor Pete offering along with Corporate Joe Biden another “incremental” approach to preserve the “For Profit” Healthcare System, that has so miserably failed in the past.

    Martin Luther King had this to say from a jail in 1963:

    “First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”

    Wine Cave Mayor Pete and Corporate Joe Biden are the incrementalists and “moderates” who want Americans to wait longer for viable health care, which will never happen as long as Wall Street has a say.

  20. ” No president can wave a magic wand and effect overnight transformation.”

    Trump sure seems to have a lot of magic wands. He waived one last night.

  21. There are so many obstacles to progressive incremental change–republicans, conservatives, big corporations, habits, procedural rules, 30 million deplorables, 60 million I Don’t Care types, the stacked judicial, and all the other progress blockages mentioned in this blog every day–that PROGRESSIVE INCREMENTAL CHANGE HAS BECOME IMPOSSIBLE. Even when a tiny change enters the legislative birth canal, it is soon aborted piece by piece, judge by judge, presidential decree by presidential decree.

    There is no other path to progress than revolution; what kind of revolution is yet to be determined. But the more who hang onto the idea of incremental change, the more violent the revolution will have to be.

  22. Our country has been saved from bankruptcy at the hands of our ill advised health care non system only by the advent and success of Medicare which was successful by getting us to spread the spending for the really expensive end of our lives over the rest of our working lives and then empowering government to beat the private health care delivery businesses into submission on costs. They submitted to governmental beatings only because they could save their living lavishly life style by an extra soaking of their corporate brethren by making pre old age health care a reward for working for the man.

    Now what?

  23. Marv amd Vern are on to something today. It is noteworthy that those who follow the talking points of the insurance industry in re employer insurance with their neglect to mention what happens when their employees quit or are laid off. There are no layoffs nor a threat of them with single payer, and as Vern rightly suggests, leave that area alone and in time employer insurance will wither away.

    Another misconception the insurance industry does not discuss is that employer insurance is not free; such premiums (and profits to the industry) are extracted from wages paid employees. Neither single payer nor employer paid coverage is free; nothing is; but with public oversight of premiums and coverages and vastly less costs of administration, single payer is the way to go. I just read a squib to the effect that 22 of 23 advanced countries have single payer; guess who doesn’t – the richest country in the world? Thus measured by our coddling to insurance companies response to solution of our healthcare crisis, one could argue that we are not “advanced” with our horse and buggy system of patchwork coverage of the nation’s health.

    The argument is not whether one system or another is better (though single payer is clearly better),but how do we get there from here, given the inertia and resistance to change noted by Krugman and Sheila. I think Vern is on track, i.e., pass single payer into law with a provision to leave it up to the employed individual as to choice, and then bide our time until nearly everyone sees the difference in cost and coverage and follows the footsteps of 22 other countries.

    From the standpoint of the status quo inertia is a terrible thing to waste, but given time, experience and understanding of the parallel systems now open to choice I think we will opt for single payer. Why? Well, there have been no serious efforts to repeal such system in the 22 out of 23 countries who have it. We have to start from where we are, however we got here, so I for one am voting for a Democratic candidate who favors adoption of single payer coverage with the proviso of freedom to choose – and then wait for the new inertia to take effect, as it will.

  24. Folks – love your commitment to “single payer”. If that is your driving force on selecting a 2020 presidential candidate, you may get that single payer – DJT – watch what you ask for in the name of idealism. 4 M votes in 2016 for “radical change” candidates on the left and right gave us….

  25. Gerald,
    FDR’s vision didn’t stand a chance outside of hell, which we got in the form of the Great Depression. I could argue that none of FDR’s programs were “incremental” and were instead REVOLUTIONARY. FDR’s revolution was one of those forms of revolution I mentioned as an option awaiting our willingness; and willingness will not happen without the presence of hell–hell in similar form to the Depression, JFK’s assassination and the horrendous racial conditions that brought on MLK’s revolution.

    I’ve read too many essays by 7th and 8th graders to have heard enough of grade school idealism.

  26. For ML-
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/21/about-that-wine-cave-dinner-i-was-there/
    Please consider that you are serving up propaganda to those who will make good use of it when the primaries are over.
    BTW – Being a “moderate” after a lifetime of experience just means that the unintended consequences of abrupt change may be worse than the previously existing conditions. It means that I am willing to think deeply before acting. Maybe not pleasing to those who have decided that only they have the correct solution, but probably more appealing to the “middle”.

  27. Hey Marv, can I ask you a question? Where have you not been, LOL.

    Just kidding brother. You know what I was thinking, being a member of the international brotherhood of electrical workers hierarchy in my particular local at the time, everything was decided by, and put forth by “Past Practice.” Not only in drawing up contracts, but presenting litigation into the court system. The system of past practice is embedded in our society, including our laws and other form of governance. Medical treatment, insurance policies, and criminal sentencing (no matter how unfair) is also under the veil of “Past Practice.” Now I’m not sure if I’m making a correct analogy, but, it seems to me, Past Practice is directly related to Path Dependency. And, you know why? Because it’s the lazy way out. No one wants to step forward and jeopardize their cushy easy street positions!

    One of the things that is so interesting about the current state of affairs, is, it’s not Past Practice. Now you have all of those individuals supporting this sort of behavior, so obviously incremental changes are not completely necessary. Having the will to change one’s Path Dependency, one would have to have the “Stones” or Cojones, and the conviction to put up with the howling at the moon that would emanate from those who do not agree. Way back when, around 2013 when a lot of the shenanigans started in politics, only a few of us talked about the Supreme Court and judgeships, it was mind-boggling. The reason it was mind-boggling was because it was so clear and obvious, but for some reason, people focused on everything else but. Even Barack Obama told everyone that elections have consequences. And he was talking about the Supreme Court!

    Was it Path Dependency that caused people to blind themselves? Was it Path Dependency that caused people to wear impregnable earplugs? Or was it just simple naïveté? Having intuition, being able to draw conclusions from current events, one would have to say, business as usual is done. So, what’s next? Executive Order! That’s one thing the GOP is afraid of, Executive Orders. That’s why they were so afraid of the previous POTUS using them. And, why they’re so excited for the current POTUS to use them.

    It’s been turned into a fascist form of government that had slowly eroded by Congress giving up its authority to the executive branch. So that authority is going to have to be used to restore and or change course. Now that might be hard for some people to swallow, but, if hardball is the game that is being played, better leave your softball bats at home. That being said, that’s in the political realm, and I’m not sure mankind has the stomach and or the wherewithal to make things right no matter the cost.

  28. JD, Since I do not want to spend a $1.00 to read the the Washington Post Op-Ed, I learned the Op-Ed was written by Bill Wehrle, is a Vice President of Health Insurance Exchange at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, California.

    From an article in Forward Thinking Democracy:
    Kaiser Permanente is an integrated managed care consortium of for-profit and non-for-profit healthcare entities. As of 2018, the organization had 12.2 million health plan members, 217,000 employees, 23,000 physicians, 59,000 nurses, 39 medical centers, and 690 medical facilities. In 2018, the company made $79.7 Billion in operating revenues.

    Bill Wehrle, again, a VP of the multi-billion-dollar Kaiser Permanente, took to the Washington Post (Owned by the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos), to discuss the event and talk about how nothing wrong occurred in the room. http://forwardthinkingdemocracy.com/index.php/2019/12/23/debunking-washington-posts-wine-cave-op-ed/
    ==============================================

    Gee what a surprise someone in the Health Care Industry writing an Op-Ed- Nothing to See Here in the Wine Cave. Do the attendees in the Wine Cave worry about paying for insurance or high deductibles, co-pays or in and out of network schemes, and the high prices for prescription drugs???

  29. I find it interesting that, not every single commenter on his page notices how unconventional the changes have been recently in government.

    How this unconventionality so to speak plays with the rest of the democratic world, remains to be seen.

    It sure seems that there is a predominantly influential block of powers coming together in a hegemonic Union. The ultimate form of authoritarian power, because it’s worldwide and will use trade to forment changes in smaller governments.

    time is running out rapidly on being able to formulate a change in this unconventional path that is taking place now. Too bad everyone’s Epiphany didn’t take place about 10 years ago.

    Everyone was lulled into a false sense of security, and then, Rocky (GOP) pulled a rabbit out of his hat!

    They were/are grateful for the blinders everyone else was wearing.

  30. John Sorg,

    “Everyone was lulled into a false sense of security, and then, Rocky (GOP) pulled a rabbit out of his hat!

    “They were/are grateful for the blinders everyone else was wearing.

    Don’t include me. I haven’t been blind to the perfidy behind all of this and have, continually, tried to warn about its consequences, off and on, during the more than five years I’ve been a participant on this blog.

  31. Commonplace laws may be very important when the People circulate their ideas, as in committee work in presidential style — this year. Per Wikipedia contributors “In the United States, the law is derived from five sources: constitutional law, statutory law, treaties, administrative regulations, and the common law (which includes case law)” BUT Humans have two kinds of laws, laws of persons being one [Human census since Mary took Jesus David with her and Joseph]. The other is persons laws about LAND use. This is The State of Indiana for the land census reports.
    We get ONE only USA officer, Mike Cawley Pence, for example. He has one ‘commonly known as’ residence for mail services six [6] days weekly by uniformed guards. That is uncommonly good service. And it is not the same business envelope PERMIT each piece of common wisdom. Since Indiana does not have reliable legislation, even rules and regulations of Trade and Transportation, you might as well look at Ohio common law cases on the State of Ohio channel uphill from the boundary line. Where three or four ‘cops’ confer, their expressions preSAGE the Statutory prognosis, sometimes beginning, ‘Look Lady.’
    The up-to-date Vincennes lawyer tried that 20% approach as the most recent from that 1732 to present site. As regards LAND [lady and lord] laws, the AFRICAN proverb WAY OVERSEAS is attend to your neighbors to the East or they soon will be your neighbors to the West. The D.C. ‘money’ all is paper-backed, not BOOKED at a BANK until both faces arrive at a common workplace, not the candidates’ homes.

  32. John Sorg,

    The following is from my essay: “Democracide: The Far Right’s Path to Power (1993).” The complete essay can be viewed at http://www.Democracide.info. The co-author was my long-time companion Barbara Hunter Walch.

    ” A handful of personal morality issues with “correct” answers labeled “pro-family” had become the litmus test for rejecting or supporting candidates. There was only one way to think, and everyone else became the enemy–even “devils.” In 1981, Bailey Smith head of the Southern Baptist Convention (who later was pastor of the North Jacksonville Baptist Church) declared publically that “God doesn’t deliver the prayers of the Jews.” He again made the same statement in 1986, and this time, the statement was confirmed by Paige Patterson, Executive Director of the Southern Baptist Convention, who added, “If the Jews want to do anything about it, there will be trouble.” [18] Otherwise interpreted….you won’t receive a dime for Israel, if you make one step to effectively defend anti-Semitism in America. Thus was formed the “modus vivendi” between the SBC and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). First capitulation, then collaboration. All of this under the so-called……Christian-Zionist Alliance.”

  33. Marv,
    Holy mackerel!

    Okay, okay, okay, now I know where you been, LOL. Some of this stuff (information) I was not privy to. Of course I’m a bit younger, and Youth can be ignorance’ best friend.

    I will have to admit, by your paper and comments, you were definitely ahead of your time. I think one of the tools that groups used to alleviate people’s consciences, if they have one, is the once saved always saved fable.

    So once you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, (born again) you can do anything you like and you will still be saved! And, I really was not including you in that group I was painting with a broad brush, can I have my left cheek back please? That was my mistake. Obviously you have the chops Marv, and, I hope you do not object to me sharing your paper with full credit DUE you of course.

    I’ve been saying some of these things myself for a long time, and, it promotes ridicule. Or, people just blow by your comments. But, that’s okay, because when you are ringing the heralds Bell, and people refuse to heed, the consequences are on them. I have to say Marv, I wish I would’ve had an association with an intellectual spiritually minded person when I was younger, one that made me hungry for the knowledge and truth behind Scripture and prophecies and promises and life.

    In my lifetime I’ve been all over the map, but one thing I always tried to remain, and that was to never abandon my conscience. And there were many times when my conscience would beat me to a pulp. I am very well aware of the evil being perpetrated by those who claim to be religious. None of it is based on accurate knowledge or truth. I find it interesting reading about the parable that Christ spoke about, the Vineyard workers. When the vineyards OWNER sent his man to find workers for the Vineyard, and was authorized to pay them a Denarius for a day’s work in the Vineyard. But people came at the 3rd hour, and the 6th hour, and the 8th hour and the 11th hour. (I hope I have that right) They all were paid the same for the entire day. The ones that were there 1st thought they were going to get more, but the owners Vineyard master said it was his right to pay everyone the same because it was his property ( money) to give.

    And then, you parallel that to the story or parable of the prodigal son which wanted to leave home and spend his inheritance. So the father gave his son the inheritance and he wasted it on women and inappropriate activities. To the point where he was eating carob pods that only pigs would eat. A person couldn’t sink too much lower than that. The man’s son eventually got his mind right and returned home, the brother and father saw the young man coming up the road, the father said bring me my role, bring me a ring for his finger, and prepare the fat young bull for a feast. The other son was angry, he said why are you giving him more inheritance, you already gave him his inheritance. His father embraced his young son and gently kissed him on his neck. He welcomed him back.

    The Vineyard workers that were there all day, and the brother in the prodigal son, The brother that was angry, represented established religious leaders and laymen in the congregations of both Jewish and Christian beliefs. Why should the newbies get the same pay (Benefits and privileges)as the ones that have been there all along, and why should the young prodigal son be welcomed back with full reinstatement of his inheritance? Because God’s kingdom welcomes people of all sorts, from the Jewish proselytes, which were Gentiles practicing the Jewish faith, and the burgeoning Christian faith which at the time were made up of the lowest or last on the list, the lowest caste so to speak of people. (The 1st were last and the last were 1st as denoted by the Vineyard workers payment)

    That doesn’t mean that a person can do whatever they like, and still have God’s favor and God’s love. A person can do a lot but reverses course and repents. But he has to reverse course and repent.

    In Hebrews the 10th chapter, (Paraphrasing) after a person receives accurate knowledge, and purposefully commits continuous sin, there is no longer any sacrifice left for his sin.

    So, in Hebrews it points out, that all of these preachers, have knowledge, more than enough knowledge, to know that they are misleading people. And those who are being misled have an obligation to verify what they are being told. You cannot blame being misled for your sinful behavior, you should be able to take responsibility for your sin. If you don’t, It says that those people are going to have an everlasting cutting off.

    In Philippians a 2nd chapter, this was addressed to the holy ones at Philippi; as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

    And also in Philippians the 1st chapter the apostle Paul (begged those same individuals to not be overly confident and to realize that their final salvation was not yet assured)

    And then Matthew the 24th chapter which states, ” he who endures to the end will be saved.”

    And finally, at James 2nd chapter, it reads; “what does it profit my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.”

    So, the works portion, what is that?

    Christ was with his disciples at this particular time, and said you must love your (fellow) neighbor as yourself.” And love your God with your whole heart. Everything revolves around that command, that law! (Leviticus 19:18 and Matthew 22:39)

    Further on in Matthew, the 40th chapter, Christ says “On these two commandments the whole law hangs and the prophets.”

    So, they might have faith, but they have no works, they have no belief, they are not doing the work that they were commanded to do or conducting themselves the way they were/are supposed to.

    I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his manifestation and his Kingdom: 2 Preach the word; be at it urgently in favorable times and difficult times; reprove, reprimand, exhort, with all patience and art of teaching. 3 For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the wholesome teaching, but according to their own desires, they will surround themselves with teachers to have their ears tickled. 4 They will turn away from listening to the truth and give attention to false stories. 5 You, though, keep your senses in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelizer, fully accomplish your ministry.(2nd Timothy the 4th chapter)

    Anyway, I didn’t mean to go on as long as I have, thanks a lot Marv, that’s a lot of words to explain what’s in my head, but I know you do not go along with businesses as usual,

    Thanks my brother.

  34. A note on revolution – In the late 1960s, I took a sociology course in revolution. It being the ‘60s, the university (University of Detroit – a Jesuit school) even had someone listening in from the hallway, just in case. As it was defined in class, real revolution was about real change, otherwise it was a reform movement. Real revolution was fairly rare, with examples being the French Revolution and the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Both aimed at real change in the entire structure of society – and neither ended well.

    As for today’s comments – Will Rogers never belonged to an organized political party – neither do I, nor evidently many of those posting here – similar to my Facebook buddies. I just hope we don’t follow that other trend prevalent among Democrats. – circular firing squad.

    John Neal – we are hoping for positive transformations, not making targets of Americans and edging us closer to war.

    JoAnn – Right on, but I would place the idea that a fair and reasonable tax structure is wrong to the Reagan era.

    Vernon – Medicare for All isn’t any easier that setting up the website for Obamacare – or Obama’s election day app used by his campaign (it too crashed) – The capacity just isn’t there for an immediate transition. It would take several years. However, your approach is right – have the two systems with a choice and the private side will wither away, and incidentally give the single payer system time for growth in a sustainable fashion.

    Dirk – There is compromise and then there is “compromise”. Some, like Obama, were so timid that they offered 2/3 of the loaf before they began to negotiate. On the other hand, if you truly want to pay $15K for the car, you don’t compromise with what the dealer wants, you compromise with the MSRP – or even the “average price paid” from an online site. I hate “small increments”, but accept “incremental change”. Universal voting rights didn’t happen all at once (OK, we may not be there yet), but it happened in steps – large ones, not baby ones, and the demand for change didn’t stop because of winning one increment.

    I have always called myself an “unrepentant, bleeding-heart liberal, like my mother before me” (that whole thing is the definition). Now I am being accused of being a “moderate” because I think the best road to my goal is on a path with less obstacles and, as an erstwhile chemist, with lower activation energy. I want to reach the place where the road to single-payer is downhill and relatively easy. That, in my estimation, takes a longer path. [At the resort in French Lick, there is a place with stairs, or a wheel-chair friendly ramp that is like a switchback, using three times the distance – that is the easy way when my knees are bothering me.]

    A note on “moderates” and “moderates” (yes, I repeat) – Some “moderates”, like Klobuchar (whom I like otherwise), feel the need to denounce “progressives” – “I am a capitalist and I hate socialist”, said she like at a show trial held by the free market society – Other candidates felt no need to denounce the “evils of socialism”, but may be described as “moderate” to differentiate them from Sanders. For the record, I see Pete as in between – accepting and embracing a mixed economy, but not as liberal as I am.

    Thank you for another excellent blog post, Sheila, and for pointing out that interview.

  35. Hey Marv,
    I’ve got to learn those short quippy comments too.. it makes a lot of sense. Maybe it’s best not to overanalyze, but I find it very hard not to. With mechanics, rigging, and electrical, I always would visualize the issue in my head and come up with the best solution. My brain has never been as quick on the draw as yours, that’s probably what made you an excellent prosecutor.

    Rest-well Marv, tomorrow is going to be a hot one, LOL.

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