• A darn good argument is required

    Everybody is entitled to their opinion. But if one wishes to convince critical and deep thinkers of something, it takes a pretty good argument. For example, if one believes that government should play little to no role in health care, it’d be nice to back it up with something that could convince the distinguished group of 23 economists that signed this letter back in November of 2009.

    Or, if one believes that the ACA ought not to have passed, one would not be in the company of the 80 or so scholars who signed this letter in February of 2010.

    I know full well, one could round up 80 or even 800 scholars to sign opposing letters. My point is this: government is and has been deeply involved in health care for decades. The ACA has passed, which is evidence that the argument for it not only convinced the scholars who signed the letter referenced above, but a majority of the members of Congress (including a super-majority of the Senate) and a president. Clearly a good argument–not one that convinced everyone–but a good one, has been made in favor of health reform.

    What’s the good argument for going undoing it? That we have a looming budget problem is insufficient. We’d have one without health reform. That health care costs are out of control is not itself a reason to undo reforms to health insurance markets. I agree more cost control is needed. That’s the place to start a discussion.

    Any argument that begins, “It costs too much,” should end with, “So we need more reform.” I would be more than happy to begin right there. Put aside “repeal.” That’s clearly politically charged. Just start with, “Let’s move forward with something that helps.” Then I’ll listen. Then you may convince me of your idea. And if you convince me, maybe you can convince one or another of those more distinguished and influential than I am. You know, someone who signs open letters to the President.

    My advice: if you want someone to listen, don’t start arguing. Start with a good argument. Don’t pick fights. Pick up a shovel. Get to work! Build a coalition. Convince people of your good idea. Don’t harangue them about how they are wrong. There is a difference.

    • Couldn’t agree more! Thanks for expressing yourself so appropriately!

      I really believe that most people truly believe you don’t have to work hard to accomplish great things. And that great things take a while to come to fruition. Just because we are seemingly in touch with all corners of the world with microsecond news delivery time doesn’t mean we can make significant news with only microjoules of synaptic energy.

      It roils my gut to think that so many folks out there actually believe that spending time arguing into the wee hours of the morning (night after night, month after month) is more productive than actually trying to move forward, together. We’ve got to learn to honestly appreciate each other’s ideology outside of the work room, but once we enter that work room, there is but one purpose: to work (to find solutions to our problems). It makes absolute zero sense to believe that one ideology will be a better solution than the other. Gotta learn to compromise!

      It is extremely hard to believe that even if Republicans gain control of Congress that they won’ t face the same kind of opposition from the Democrats among them. How many battles must we fight before we realize that it really feels better to actually accomplish things?

      Thanks for the excellent posts you guys create!