I’m For Carson. V.P. is open…

The more I’ve looked at the candidates, the more I like Carson.

The turning point for me was a show, clearly filmed long before any presidential ambitions, documenting his successful separation of twins conjoined at the head. You get to see the man “doing what he does” and discussion of why he does it.

He flew to Africa (after some persuasion) to do the operation. It ran for something like 20 hours. At one point, they had a ‘pause’ when they ran into an issue of shared blood supply and how to partition it between two open brains… A lunch break, A prayer to God, and several hours later, it was a success. A rather touching scene of nurses doing a typically African Oh Yeah! dance down the hospital corridor. The humility of Dr. Carson saying ~’it was up to God to direct me’ and the triumph of something NEVER done ‘in the west’ or ‘by white doctors’ was palpable even if never voiced in the video. To some extent, the fact that it WAS done in Africa, and by a substantially black surgical team (the anesthesiologist was an Italian surname IIRC) yet that was NEVER brought up at all in the ‘show’ was in many ways refreshing. Here was a very modest hero simply saying that it isn’t about me…

Frankly, given that I’d be willing to trust my kids brains to this man, how can I not trust a bit of surgery on Washington D.C. to him?

The Other Point

Dr. Carson is soft spoken. So am I. I pains me a bit to say this as it is also true of me. Many times folks mistake polite and soft spoken for weak. I “had my doubts” that he was “up to the task” of being in the grill of a Putin or Soros.

Turns out that in an earlier phase of life, at about 14 years old, IIRC, he had been pissed off by “a friend” and pulled a knife and stabbed the guy.

Now two things. First off, I have a similar story (but I will never share it as there is no statute of limitations on it). It is a Very Grave Mistake to mistake polite and quite for weak. Yet I fell into that trap. His story let me see that.

Second, he stated it clearly, openly, without reservation. I’m quite certain he will NOT be going on an “Apology Tour” about it. He clearly understands the importance of honesty and the power of truth.

BTW, his knife broke on the guy’s very large belt buckle which is why nothing ever came of it. I doubt it is in any police record or that he had any ‘requirement’ to cop to it. It was just a truth. And the truth just is.

What it said to me was pretty simple. This guy is honest to a fault and not a wimp. Do not mistake educated, smart, and polite / quiet for wimp. Strange that of all people I would have to be reminded of that… I’m almost always on the other side of that issue…

I’d be happy to stand back to back with him in any dark alley against any comers. I’d be equally happy to be in a ‘discussion on our exit’ from any ‘Aw Shit’ country / circumstance as I think his negotiations and ‘talk talk’ are as good as his knife skills.

In short, I fundamentally and without reservation trust the man.

The Others

I like Rubio. A bit impulsive and not fully seasoned. Has a Kennedy aura around him. I’d be happy with him as president.

But in that dark alley, I suspect he would be much more focused on “how did I end up here?” than on ‘thrust and parry’…

I like Jeb Bush. But he is Establishment. A great governor, but in the alley he would not have a clue. If you think the world is not one giant F-off And Die alley, do a web search on The Great Game

I like Cruz, in a sort of overly polished trying too hard to be President way.

I like Carly, largely as I would love to watch the Carly / Hillary cat fight ;-) Hey, a fella can dream ;-)

I really like Mike Huckabee – in a nice guy Uncle kind of way.

The list goes on. The Republicans have deep bench and I’d be OK with just about any of them. Rand Paul the champion of Libertarian Ideals. Jindal for being a clear thinker with a clue. Ted Cruz for being very competent and methodical. Right down the line not one of them is bad.

Compare Shrill Hillary of the “I have a vagina elect me! even if I lie a lot” vs the Socialist. And not much else on their bench…

FWIW, as a staunch Independent who only really wants government out of all our lives ( I really don’t want them telling me what to do with my body parts, what plants I can use, what to do with my money, archiving all my email and web searches, or to BOHICA to big businesses… ) it really pains me to be endorsing Carson instead of Paul… but, well, I like the man.

(Sidebar: If you do not know, BOHICA stands for Bend Over Here It Comes Again. I’d seen it for years before finding a translation. Then again, that was marginally pre-internet…)

In Conclusion

That’s basically it. I don’t really care if it is:

Carson / Carly – let the two ladies have a cat fight

Carson / Cruz – let the Cubano bring Hispanics and inside the beltway understanding

Carson / Rubio – let the Cubano bring some spice to the whole process and some clue on policy direction while being very fresh in a cultural way

Carson / Bush – Hey, the King Makers want their guy on deck just in case

Carson / whatever – you have 10 scenarios to work through…

What I want in a President is competence, courage, honesty, and humanity. Dr. Carson has all of those. And, I can trust him.

Feel free to advocate for your POV. Lord knows I’m not perfect in these things…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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63 Responses to I’m For Carson. V.P. is open…

  1. p.g.sharrow says:

    Interesting that you had nothing to say about the loud mouth bully;-) …pg

  2. Larry Ledwick says:

    I agree for much the same reasons, we need someone who is not afraid to speak his mind and to try to snuff out PC.

    I would welcome a Carson / Carly ticket both are good on their feet and can communicate clearly. They largely diffuse many of the PC clubs that the current administration and their followers use, and would do great things for conservatives in general regardless of the out come of the election just by running, as they would seriously wound the whole meme so often used to claim that Republicans and conservatives in general are engaged in a war on women and their opposition to Obama is just due to racism.

    I think more importantly Carson is smart enough (and so is Carley) to get good supporting players for all the critical positions that make a presidency work, such as attorney general, defense, state dept etc. Throw in Christy as a special prosecutor for a few issues that need special attention and you have a win, win , win.

    Opinion might change as the election cycle moves on but I think that would be the strongest ticket that would also blunt most of the Democratic tactics most effectively.

  3. BobN says:

    Rubio’s immigration stance is unacceptable to me, so he is not being considered.
    Carly is a RINO and just a recent conservative. She would govern as another RINO.
    Carson a smart man, but is holding meetings with Louis Farakan and has started talking about a lot of Black issues an is starting to sound Obama like. He didn’t have a clue on Foreign issues in an interview I saw.
    Trump and Cruz are the only conservatives in my opinion.

  4. Terry Jay says:

    A fair point on trust, but there is also respect, and I respect Trump’s offensive (in all senses of the word) approach. It is a no-apology approach, and it clearly resonates with a large segment of voters, and repels others. Immigration by invasion is not an act of love, it is aggression in its rawest form. World apology tours have no place in his world view. The Reagan Democrat and a lot of others are in awe that Trump can speak what to them is common sense real world observations, be pilloried in the media for his horrible error, and tell the media to pound sand. The only current candidate I can see who could pull this off is Cruz, with a possibility Fiorina or Rubio. I can and do respect Dr Carson and others, but doubt they can raise the emotional level of support that Trump is producing from calling a spade a cotton picking shovel.

    Trust is another matter of concern where both Carson and Trump rank high, the others less so. Cruz would be near the top of the list, Jeb! and Kasich near the bottom. Rubio’s “lets make a deal’ dance with Shumer on the Gang of 8 immigration fiasco puts him near the bottom.

    There is a lot of time between now and decision date in the primary, and some may not appear on your ballot, and most of us accept that the choice is limited to one name among many. There are issues to be defined, and attitudinal biases and preferences to be fleshed out.

    On issues, Trump has centered on immigration, and I suspect it will stay an issue irrespective of his fate. The budget and deficit will also be an issue.

    I see this primary on the Republican side as a contest between the Tea Party – Libertarian – Constitutionalist – Small Government factions on one side and the UniParty Republicans on the other. The UniParty is in control of the process and has the money and influence on its side, but may not have the voters.

    There are a number of the current candidates I will support and vote for, and a number where I will do neither. Looks like we are indeed living in interesting times.

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    Do you have a link for those behaviours of Carson? I did a search on Ben Carson and Farrakan and other than some other Carson, could not find Ben meeting with him. Did find an article about one of his advisers:


    Personally, I can’t “slam” someone for meeting with people. While my Amish ancestors were big on Shunning, I’m more from the ‘hear them all’ school. How can I know someone enough to understand them and predict them if I never listen to them? I frequently watch film of folks like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and others of their ilk for the express purpose of getting to understand what they look like. Does that make me a bad person? I would be happy to meet with a Farrakahn and just quietly ask their opinion then shut up and listen, entirely as an intelligence gathering operation. Similarly, I’d be happy to visit both the KKK and Black LIves Matter on the same day. Now I know that is politically stupid as The PC Press would have a field day with it, stirring up all sides against me (for reasons I really don’t ken… just why is it wrong to let other people speak and just listen…) Listening is not endorsement.

    Oh Well…


    I didn’t say anything about Trump for a couple of reasons. First off, I don’t think he’d settle for second place, so a Carson / Trump ticket is not in the ‘list of possibles’ IMHO. Then I’d already done an article on him, so have stated my position. His comment about Carly’s face has deeply offended many women, even some very conservative one’s I’ve talked with. Not a good move when the likely opposition is pushing a gender card. Finally, he is seen as very alienating to a huge swath of ‘independents’ (of the ‘progressive’ bent) and would drive the 1/2 of the Democrats who are voting in poles for The Socialist straight into Hillary’s waiting arms…

    Do the math and add them up. He can’t get over about 40% in the general election due to those ‘driving away’ behaviours. My opinion on the numbers, so I’m open to polling data showing otherwise, but he’s not gone over about 28% of Republicans…

    Basically the flip side of Larry’s POV. The Carson / Carly pulls in more varieties of voter (as would a Carson / Cruz or Cruz / Carly or..) where a Trump / {any} will drive away whole groups.

    It doesn’t help to have all the right ideas if you are not elected. A general principle…

    @Terry Jay:

    Yes. The Establishment Republicans have been so driven by that same “electability” issue that they have become Democrat Lite door mats. There’s a whole generation that has grown up with Libertarian beliefs and seen zero from them. Those folks are giving One Last Try at getting the Republicans to be something other than The Big Business & Donor party with Democrat Lite on things non-business. So there is a bit of a tug of war between those two poles.

    Frankly, I’m coming to appreciate the merit of a Parliamentary system where it isn’t prone to devolution into a 2 party system of oligopoly. In that context, we’d have about a 20% Socialists, 20% Real Conservatives, 40% Centrist Democrats, 40% Centrist Republicans. (modulo a few stray special interest candidates like Greens and some Libertarians). Folks would get heard better and minority POV would have some chance of influence. The 80% in the middle would have an easier time of it internally too. Small POV parties can over time make their position known and sometimes grow to size. As it is in our system, we ossify and that’s it.

    We’ll see if the Republican Establishment can catch a clue out of this or not. We’ll also see if the Democrats are ready to rename their party the Social Democrats…

  6. philjourdan says:

    I have contributed to 2 political campaigns in my life. The first was Dave Brat (you might recognize the name).

    The other is Ben Carson. I like Cruz more, but Ben was the man who took up the PP issue when no one else seems to want to touch it. And I have no problem throwing my support to him in full.

  7. E.M.Smith says:


    “PP issue”? Sounds like a personal problem to me ;-)

  8. philjourdan says:

    That is what the left wants to make it. ;-)

    I posted my comment before reading anyone else’s. But mine would not change now that I have. I made the observation a couple of months ago, that the “party of diversity” is running all “old white men”, while the other party is running Blacks, Hispanics, and Women. But I guess that is not diverse enough for the Party of the KKK.

    As for Carson, I am not alone. A house down the street, that I have NEVER seen a political sign in front of (I have lived in the neighborhood for 15 years) has a Ben Carson sign on his lawn. I do not know the family, but I like their choice.

    As for Trump, I agree with your assessment. My mother went off on me about him, and I calmly told her that while I am in no way supporting him, I welcome him into the fray as he was the first (but not the last) to basically call the MSM stupid. And not apologize for THEIR stupidity. The longer he talks, the more support he will lose, but many jumped on his bandwagon because he did tell the left and the MSM (but then I repeat myself) to shove it where the sun don’t shine.

    I tend to agree with BobN that Carly is a RINO (at least in what he meant – I do not believe in the term – not all Republicans are conservatives), but she also is a quick study and picked up on the best tactics of both Carson and Trump. I do not think she will make it out of Super Tuesday, but she would be a good #2. And unlike Trump, I think she would take the job and see it as a stepping stone to #1.

    As you said, I can support any of them, and I think last night showed us that the democrats are in real trouble. They think the toleration of Obama is a toleration of their far left ideas. They do not realize that it is just the cowardice of the American Electorate too afraid to be called Racist for opposing an incompetent socialist running the country.

  9. gallopingcamel says:

    I was expecting that the 2016 choice would be Hillary or Jeb in which case it would be my third time in a row for casting a vote in favor of Boris Johnson for US president.

    Conventional wisdom says that Presidents are elected from among the political elite with the exception of military leaders such as George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor and Dwight Eisenhower.

    Even so, 2016 may provide a real opportunity to break with conventional wisdom given the strong showing of Carson, Trump and Fiorina. Most of us here would support at least one of these candidates so what are the odds that one of them will be our next president?

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    There are other voting systems than the winner take all system we typically use in primary candidate selection that work better for large ballot lists. A variation of the ranked list, such as the single voter list would be more likely to result in a final candidate for president that is acceptable to the largest cohort of voters and thus more likely to actually be elected in the final presidential election.

    In ranked voting systems, instead of voting for only one candidate you choose a ranked list, saying for example if you were choosing between 7 candidates, you would put the rank 1-7 next to each name, the candidate that got the highest net average in ranking would be the winner because they have the largest pool of voters who find them acceptable candidates.

    This avoids problems such as Trump who are overwhelmingly popular with one relatively large plurality fraction of the electorate but strongly opposed as in “never vote for this guy ever” by another larger cohort of voters from multiple different smaller pluralities who each would prefer one of the other 7 candidates as a second choice. In a typical election the other 6 candidates would split the plurality votes remaining and the one candidate most hated by the majority of voters would win, the primary. This is also the candidate also least likely to win a general head to head election ballot against the opposing party because in the larger pool of voters in the general election that undesirable ranking overwhelms the small cohort of adamant supporters one party.

    On the other hand everyone might find candidate #3 (lets call this candidate Carson) a next best choice at rank 2 or 3 on all their ballots while they each in small cohorts like one other niche candidate better.

    Over the whole pool of candidates this #3 candidate is most acceptable to the majority of voters and would alienate the fewest voters who have other first choices. The net result is this is the candidate which would garner the most support and least opposition as the final candidate and be the most likely person to actually win the final ballot.

    I think with the large field of Republicans they should be thinking in those terms, and that is why I favor a Carson / Carley ticket, I think that candidate pair would have the highest over all acceptability in the general election and would swing more votes away from the most probable Democratic candidate while having the lowest “not in a million years” undesirable ratings among all candidates. Carson would steal black and other minority votes while being acceptable to a large fraction of women voters, and Carley would steal a larger fraction of the majority women voters away from Hillary (face it, women are the largest single voting block). In today’s culture you cannot win the Presidency unless you get a reasonable fraction of the women who vote on your side.

    In this election I think the priority is that regardless of all other considerations, neither Hillary or Sanders should ever under any circumstances get anywhere near the white house, they would both do irreparable damage to our country in my view.

    I see this presidential election as a last best chance election. If we get an Obama light or worse as the next president, our goose is cooked, and there will be no desirable method of recovery possible. Republicans absolutely must nominate a ticket that can win the final Presidential election, all other questions are secondary to that goal in my calculus.

  11. p.g.sharrow says:

    I do not fear Hillary Clinton becoming president as she blew up a sure thing election in 2008 and lost to Barack, a no one from nowhere. Her minuses are even more apparent today. Her lock on the nomination appears to be “in the bag” as the top 5 people in the DNC are women libber fanatics that have dictated Hillary’s ascendance. They will destroy their party to that end, as a majority feel ABC’ Anybody But Clinton, and will stay home for the general election. After the election the log dam of criminal actions in the Justice Department will break. The pendulum of American politics is strongly swinging right after the Liberal Progressives pushed it hard to the left.
    The problem is in selection of the direction the RNC takes. Will the RINOs waste the opportunity to repair American government structure as was done under the 2 Bushes. Or will they take the path of renewal of the Constitutional Republic. This time they will have control of ALL of the levers of government power. Their last chance to avoid real Chaos.

    The “Donald” is a wonderful Stalking Horse for the rest of the field as he takes on the MSM brush beaters of the social democrats and is generating back bones in the rest as they watch a professional media manipulator at work. The right man doing the right job at the right time. But not the right man to repair the Republic. Might herd sheep but not hogs.

    Carson? unknown to most everyone. Can he herd hogs? I don’t know. Does he understand the need to restore the balance of powers in the Republic? I haven’t seen it yet. At present he seems to be riding a ground swell of popular support. Maybe a flash in the pan. Seems to be a good lead-man or team player. But don’t see him as a herder.

    Rubio and Jeb Bush are more of the same old RINOs. We don’t need a return to Big Government Republicans. We have seen that show too often already.

    Cruz is the darling of the “Tea Party” and is a strict constructionist that understands the intent and letter of the Constitution. He will be important to the future of the Republic but that might be on the Supreme Court rather then in the White House. Em…………maybe both? He seems to be riding Trumps coattails at present. A wise tactic. He is a student of national political power and has been in this for the long haul. A professional. Might even be able to herd hogs;-)

    Carly Fiorina seems to be a quick study of Trump’s lead and trumps Hillary’s claim to “It’s a woman’s turn”. I see Carly as another RINO. A Republican version of Hillary Clinton. Not a long term positive thing for the Republic. With a good horse might be able to herd cattle.

    The rest don’t seem to be able to get traction, too bad. I happen to like Huckabee and he has proved to be able to herd hogs. Even he is a Baptist preacher.

    For what it’s worth, I am a life long, conservative, Democrat, a dieing breed in California. The Last time I voted for a Democrat president was Carter, OMG what a disappointment HE was! Can’t bring myself to become a republican, yuck! So far Republicans have always been for Strong Central Government. Sovereign over the states and citizens. Not something I can support…pg

  12. Pouncer says:

    Larry sez: “In this election I think the priority is that regardless of all other considerations, neither Hillary or Sanders should ever under any circumstances get anywhere near the white house, ”

    May I add Jeb? When it comes to dynasty, I’m agin’ it. Nor Adams nor Harrison nor Roosevelt historic families having been sufficiently successful as to change my mind. No more Clintons, no more Bushes, no Romneys nor Kassebaums nor Landons, nor Cuomos, no more Elizabeth Doles for Transportation nor Michael Powells for the FCC…

    There are literally hundreds of millions of people in the United States unrelated to any other current government power-holder. If only one-in-a-million is competent to run a military brigade or aircraft carrier or Fortune 500 company or multi-national NGO, that still leaves a few hundred I’d rather see in the White House than a Bush, Clinton, Romney, etc.

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    You could always do what I did. Change to an independent or Libertarian. California still lets you vote in some of the primaries (the Democrat one last time I voted here). That way it is very comfortable having a “Pox on all their houses” feeling toward the offerings ;-)


    About the same as my ‘calculus’…


    I’m not fond of dynasties either. But a ‘term limit to one term’ just means they feel free to be ‘off leash’ from day one… Don’t know of a good solution.


    Maybe Carly is a RINO, but as V.P. she would be a RINO who doesn’t go much ;-)


    My thesis is that when a populist wins the primary, they get stuck with an ‘inside guy’ as V.P. in case The Powers want to do another “Kennedy Solution”… So watch for a Trump/ Bush ticket or maybe even a Carson / Carly (if she really is that connected)… I don’t see a chance in hell of a Carson / Cruz or Trump / Rubio as TPTB would be locked out…

    So keep an eye on who gets the V.P. slot…

  14. J Martin says:

    It’d be interesting to see Carson as the Republican candidate because iirc correctly the black vote was nearly 100% for Obama a Democrat. If the black vote then went 100% for a Republican who just happened to be the only black candidate the next time…

  15. J Martin says:

    Why would Sanders break the US ? Apart from him being brainwashed by the Greens on co2 he might have some positive effects on the economy if he tackles the ever widening rift between the uber riche and the middle class balancing next to the precipice of the poor. Then there’s the ability of the financial sector to conjure up a needless recession all due to inadequate controls such as no Glass Steagal.

    I’m English, and live in the UK, but if I were American I’d be a floating voter, with a tendency towards being Republican, but in this election more likely to vote Sanders.

    How about a cross party ticket, say Sanders as president and Trump as vice president., or the other way round.

  16. J Martin says:

    Boris Johnson should give up UK politics and move to the country of his birth and run for president unless it’s too late and he has given up his US passport because the US tax system was chasing him. But then I guess he’s got his eyes on becoming UK prime minister one day.

  17. Larry Ledwick says:

    In the US a cross party ticket is impossible, as the winner of the primaries chooses their running mate. In the past that was not the case and you ended up with totally dysfunctional pairings where one worked to oppose the the other’s agenda.

    The magic fairy dust give aways Bernie is advocating would push us over the edge into catastrophic financial collapse. We are already on that path and we need someone who can stop that run away train not push the throttle to the firewall.

  18. Bill S says:

    I am a bit behind. What type of monitor do you have in your garbage can?
    I was weakening about a raspberry until you did the red hat thing.

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    @Bill S:

    Um, come again? I don’t have a monitor in my garbage can… (Or do you mean the EMP storage? ;-) “ViewSonic” LCD about 17 inch older more square format. Likely to be exchanged for a 10.1 inch tablet screen Real Soon Now… (less power needed and up close, looks just as good).

    I’m quite happy with Debian and I think Red Hat can be fairly easily ‘fixed’ to not auto-update. (That is done to it to turn Fedora into RHEL anyway and also for CentOS, so isn’t too hard). I’ll eventually get back to it and I’ve not nuked my Red Hat chip. Just not going to use it for the ‘Incognito” platform. For any system that will be up for a day or two it’s not that much of an issue to take an update of 30 MB to 50 MB at the start…

    Though really this discussion belongs on the Raspberry Pi thread…

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    @J Martin:

    Sanders wants to take ANOTHER $18 Trillion and spend it on goodies. We are already underwater about $1 Trillion / year (especially if you include the ‘off budget’ military and such) and have about $19 Trillion of recognized debt. Debt / GDP ratio is about 1:1 that is barely tolerable. Double that and we’re in Greece Land. I.e. riots in the street, companies abandoning the USA (faster than already…), unable to pay obligations, interest rate rising fast.

    At that point, the GDP is dropping and debt is exponential so Debt / GDP ratio explodes and you are rapidly bankrupt. See the very very long list of countries that have done exactly that. Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Mexico (I remember when they had a silver peso and sound money), a few other Latin American ones with Venezuela about to go under despite more oil money than God , Russia (bankrupted on mix of social and military spending), The Pigs teetering on the edge now (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain) with Greece already over the edge but Ireland might manage to pull back, the UK just pre-Maggie, I think Egypt did it once and then there’s the Asians. Cambodia (with 3 million murders to boot), etc. etc.

    So yeah, a $Trillion here, a $Trillion there, pretty soon you are talking Deep Debt Doo…

    And that is without even counting the $200 Trillion or so estimated unfunded obligations (read Government Pension and Social Security that presently hits a hard wall about 2030 due to unchangeable demographics and maybe as soon as 2025…) So to ‘fix that’ Sanders wants to spend even more on programs already bankrupt…

    Oh, and stir in a pot of Medical Care that is already having exchanges go bust and ‘co-ops’ going out of existence at a nice clip with deductibles so high the insurance is useless… and Sanders wants to pay for ALL of that, too, with Single Payer. Layer on a few more $Trillion…

    We already have the lowest worker participation rate in living memory… his push to a $15/hr minimum wage would drive that even more to the wall as unemployment turned to long term ‘no longer working’ and even lower ‘participation rate’. See Greece and Spain where 50% youth unemployment is rampant and where lots of small businesses go bust…

    That’s all I can think of off the top of my head… Probably about 1/3 of the actuals…

  21. Larry Ledwick says:

    Very interesting video just came out on Chris Christy, I have to give him credit this is the most eloquent defense of fair compassionate treatment for drug addicts I have ever heard. Easy to see why he was successful in the court room.

    By passes lots of crap and cuts to the real issues of caring for others in need, and the realities of addiction. I still have no love for pushers and dealers but he makes a beautiful argument for humane treatment of those who have stumbled and run afoul of addictive substances.

    I have not been much of a fan of his but this does give me a view of his humanity.

  22. philjourdan says:

    @J Martin – actually it was 102% for Obama. ;-)

  23. philjourdan says:

    Why would Sanders break the US ?

    Sanders is probably the closest thing to an honest democrat that you will ever see. He says he is a socialist and his policies are as well. That being said, his policies will not work. period. Especially in the way you want them to – the “rich gap”.

    First, ask yourself a question, then do some research. In what socialist country has there ever been a “narrowing” of actual wealth between rich and poor? You can use any “communist” country for your research, since the only difference between such a place and a “Western Socialist Country” is in the number of candidates on the ballot.

    Second, what is the purpose of eliminating the gap? Third, when has it ever been done? And finally, fourth, what impact does it have on the middle class to whine about the gap between the top and the bottom?

    The answers may startle you. Honest answers will definitely cause you to pause and think. The key difference between a prosperous country and an impoverished one is not how much the top people have in the way of wealth, or how little the bottom have. It is the number in the middle. And that is the anathema to socialists. TO create their “utopia” they first must destroy the middle class. Notice that the rich remain (the faces may change based upon cronyism), as do the poor in every society. But the middle class no longer exist (to any appreciable degree) in places such as Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Cuba, North Korea, etc.

    Just as all liberal policies, the destruction is always greatest on the proclaimed target of the help.

  24. philjourdan says:

    Boris Johnson moved to the UK because of US taxes? Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire. LOL

  25. Adrian Ashfield says:


    Something will have to be done about the income gap. It is getting worse, it starves the rest from partaking in the economy, and history shows when the gap gets too big there is always a revolution.

    You ask what country has managed to narrow the gap. Sweden and Denmark come to mind. Both are rated highly as good places to live.

    As Soros points out, it is ludicrous that the finacial sector makes 35% of GDP (both here and in the UK)

    I don’t think Socialism is the best answer and prefer UBI (universal basic income) but something has to be down to improve the economic situation here and stop AMerican adventurism.

  26. Larry Ledwick says:

    Regarding income distribution, it typically follows Zipf’s law as do many other similar processes.

    See slide #3 — what changed in 1986?

    Click to access aokislides.pdf

    A case could be made that we are returning to the historical trends in income divergence that existed prior to WWII, and that the low plateau from 1945 – 1986 was the anomaly. Note that the great depression in 1929-1933 hardly made a dent in the income spread.

    That low plateau area coincidences with the boom in the middle class that followed WWII, I believe the issue here is really that incomes for the middle class are the problem. The 1% are not earning too much but the highly productive middle class has flat wages for 30 years in real income terms.
    That low area matches up with a period when enterprising individuals had unlimited opportunity and thousands and thousands of average folks were able to find a market niche with low regulation costs that allowed them to prosper in the middle income ranges. This is the generation that fueled the suburban boom days of our economy from the 1950’s to the late 1970’s when the economy began its slide into a tangled mess of regulatory jumble that made it very difficult for someone without significant backing to get a business started. This was the end of the days where companies like HP, and Sun Micro Systems came out or suburban garages or Bill Gates quit school and wrote code with Paul Allen in a motel in New Mexico.


  27. philjourdan says:

    @Adrian – Sorry, that is a false premise. Your premise relies on a set size to a pie. IN a purely socialist society, that probably is true (just look at the ones around today). But the money that Bill Gates has in no way impacts the money you or I have or can earn. I do not care how much he has as none of it has come at my expense (my purchases made freely, yes).

    Your premise is that if the rich have more, everyone else has less. And that is patently false. Wealth is not a pie to be divied up by some autocratic bureaucrat. It must be created. And the one that creates more, gets more wealth. There is no limit to how much can be created, so what someone else has, does not impact me in the least.

    You are looking for a solution where no problem exists. The problem is when the government gets the same attitude. Then you get Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

  28. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Larry Ledwick; You have put your finger exactly on the problem. Over Regulation from local up to federal are all road blocking upward mobility and wealth creation in the middle class. Taxes on the rich are not really the problem. They are well versed in side stepping that bite. The middle class are taxed to death through taxes on everything that they can not avoid, and regulation that strait jackets them from advancing. Planning and zoning departments that control private activities are a communist creation to control the population to the benefit of the wealthy at the expense of the middle class that are being subjugated into rent payers to the wealthy for every need.
    Our STUPID Supreme Court has erased the concept that people can own and control property. The Very foundation of the American middle class Success. Now you must pay property taxes to the state and locals that then insist that they have control over every use the “owners” might wish for “their” property. Even the Feds insist they have have the First Word as to land use. This is the concept that locks 3rd world countries into poverty…pg

  29. E.M.Smith says:

    The present spread of income inequality is largely due to The Fed (and other global central banks) blowing massive amounts of funny money into paper assets. That inflates the nominal value of things like stock certificates and deeds. WHEN, and it is a when, that bubble bursts, those folks also will lose the most.

    I’d not fret over Rich People being the ones who will be most hurt during a bubble burst…

    One example: My home was worth X when I bought it. It rose to about 5 X during the “housing bubble”, then ‘collapsed’ to about 4 X during the ‘collapse’. It is now about 7 X thanks to The Fed and zero% money. I think it will make it to about 10 X before the next collapse. During all that time it is still the same house. Though now it needs paint, a new roof, and the bathroom re-done.

    In reality, I’d make it “worth” about 80% of the original purchase based on the deferred maintenance and reduced local economy.

    So which is true:

    1) I have had a great wealth disparity vs the poor as I got 6 X the money / value?

    2) I have a 20% loss to fill (but did get to live in my asset)?

    3) I am most at risk from the next housing bubble collapse?

    4) Nothing has really changed as a house is still a house?

    If you can’t prove which of those is true, please don’t ask The Government to “fix it”…

    (IMHO, they are all true to some degree, but fixing one breaks the others worse…)

    Second Example:

    I bought one share of Birkshire Hathaway for $2800 or so in 1987. It is now my retirement plan. During the “stock market crash” it dropped to about $125,000.
    Since then it has risen to $230,000.
    The last couple of months it has dropped to $206,000.

    So which is true:

    1) I have a great wealth disparity vs the poor as I put my money at risk for 30 years?
    a) I was a wise investor who didn’t spend it and ought to keep my compound gain?
    b) It is unfair that I get all that money for nothing when I no longer can work?

    2) I unfairly gained all that value from $125,000 to $230,000 due to The Fed easy money?

    3) I had the courage to ride things out and ought to be rewarded for my lack of panic?

    4) I’ve lost $24,000 this year and The Government needs to send me a check?

    5) It is in an IRA and I’ll pay ordinary income tax when I pull that money out:
    a) Great, I deserve to not get long term capital gains treatment, tax is good.
    b) Bad planning on my part, but that’s the law and I accepted the rules then.
    c) The Government ought to fix this tax code injustice.

    6) Nothing has really changed. I owned one share of stock in the same company for 30 years.

    If you can’t prove which of those is true, please don’t ask The Government to “fix it”…

    (IMHO most of them are true. Life isn’t fair and attempts to enforce fairness are themselves unfair. I had a lot of ‘forgone immediate pleasure’ from not snorting my income up my nose, those who did have no right to my ‘gain from pain’. At the same time, I have a great gift from that one good investment. Hopefully enough to add to Social Security and get me to the grave reasonably comfortably. I’d rather not have to sell the house… though I may need to sell the stock to fix the roof…)

    The point is pretty simple. The whole “income disparity” and “wealth inequality” wet dream of the Progressive Left is based on phoney numbers (golly, a trend?…)

    I bought a house and one share of stock about 30ish years ago. I still own a house and one share of stock. I’ve also made 30 years of mortgage payments and taxes. How am I responsible for other people who didn’t? How is Bill Gates responsible for me not buying 2 shares of BRKA when I had the money and opportunity? How is Buffett responsible for me buying it in my IRA instead of outside it?


    The Government can not change that immutable fact, but it can make it less fair by trying.

    I probably ought to add:

    1) Am I poor because I have no money in the bank and no income or job?

    2) Am I rich because on paper I have more than most of the folks in the USA?

    3) Ought the government sell my share of stock and confiscate my home to “help the poor”?

    4) Will I be treated as “poor” after #3 is done?

    5) Which of those choices is most “fair” and how will they increase “fairness”?

  30. Adrian Ashfield says:

    “Your premise is that if the rich have more, everyone else has less.”

    No. The problem is society has changed to winner takes all.
    What we have seen in the recent past is winner takes all. The average production worker earned 13% less in 2013 than in 1979, while productivity increased by 103%. Productivity increases that used to go to workers pockets now goes entirely to the business and investors.

  31. Adrian Ashfield says:

    There is little incentive for an employer to pay more while there are millions unemployed. Unless they are the exception like Henry Ford who decided to pay his workers more so they could afford to buy his cars.

  32. philjourdan says:

    @Adrian – then why has the ROI not gone up? No, the money has gone into the tools that allowed the workers to produce more (automation).

    But nothing is stopping you from starting your own business and reaping all the profits. Just remember the first rule of entrepreneur is – he is paid last.

  33. philjourdan says:

    There is little incentive for an employer to pay more while there are millions unemployed.

    That goes to the ultimate law of Economics – Supply and Demand. And we have a supposed “Champion of the worker” in the whitehouse now. How has that helped the unemployed?

    Government does not fix things, they only make it worse. But while many occupations have been stagnant, 2 have not been – IT and healthcare. And that is because those “millions” are not qualified to do those jobs.

  34. E.M.Smith says:

    FWIW, from the head of Exxon on a financial interview program: If you subtract all the job growth from fracking and the oil boom during the Obama years (he used a number, I’m putting a label on it) there was zero job growth. Now that oil is rolled over and folks are shutting down exploration and development, jobs are going to…

    Also note that the basic point here is simple, but sometimes hard to see:

    The Fed can NOT create real jobs in a real economy, but they CAN inflate paper assets with paper money. The reason “the wealthy take it all’ has happened for the last 7 years or so is entirely that they own paper assets and The Fed set out to reflate them with free money.

    It has NOTHING to do with capitalism vs socialism vs anyotherism.

    You can’t fix it via government policy. It is an action of The Fed.

  35. Adrian Ashfield says:

    The American medical system costs two to eight times as much as other Western countries, with statistically rather less than the best results. Despite the GOP insistence that it is a free market, it isn’t. Should you get a heart attack you are not going to phone around for the best price. Some of the costs are obscene: the head of a not-for-profit hospital getting a $4 million/yr salary etc. $1000 per pill for hepatitis C with $84,000 for the full treatment, It is one of the few things that should be run by the government.

    In general I am not in favor of the government doing very much. That is one reason I like UBI as it would end 30 or so government departments. It is affordable as a replacement for social services, particularly if medicine were run by a single server, together with a reduction in the military expenses.
    You do not appear to have done your homework and don’t recognize that the game is changing due to AI and automation, such that we will end up with >40% permanently unemployed. You would propose they simply get a job?

  36. Larry Ledwick says:

    Even worse the number of new jobs created, is smaller than the number of emigrants over the same time period, so in well paying jobs, the H1B visa emigrants have basically gobbled up all job growth in the non-oil sector, leaving zero job growth for US citizens since 2008.

  37. philjourdan says:

    @ Adrian – Re: Medical system. Apples and oranges. And also a non-sequitur. You are not comparing like to like (just one example, the other countries do not count elective surgery, the US does). And how much it costs is irrelevant to the jobs figures.

    And unfortunately the cost has only skyrocketed SINCE the government got involved AGAIN (Ted Kennedy was the author of the HMO/PPO). You want the government to do more damage? Give us a break! Seriously!

    My proposal is simple. The less government does, the better the country does. That is historical fact. Not government promises.

  38. Adrian Ashfield says:

    You mentioned health as one area of growth. That was why I replied. Small wonder as it is a sure fire way of milking the public. I read the insurance companies are planning to boost fees by 30 – 40% next year. Care to explain why that is Obama’s fault?

    There are 93 million adult Americans not working. Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon combined have about a $trillion in capitalization yet employ only 280,000 people. That is similar to the number of new entrants to the job market each month.
    I don’t see Boobus Americanus starting many new jobs without money to live on while they try.

  39. E.M.Smith says:


    It is clearly Obama’s fault as it was his health care law that forced (yes, forced) the coverage of all sorts of excluded things (and people) to be covered by forced (yes forced) purchase of insurance at ever less coverage for ever more costs. That was (and is) the only way to grab the money from those paying; to use it for those who are now taking but were not before, and who are NOT paying the cost of their actual coverage or care. They were excluded for the simple reason that insurance is not welfare. They had a known, pre-existing, very large cost (consumption) and it is not insurance to pay for that at below cost, it is welfare. As a direct consequence, insurance companies MUST increase revenues to cover these forced (yes, forced) expenditures by law, a law promoted and crafted by Obama.

    If you can’t see that there is little hope of constructive discussion.

    Note that NONE of this says if that result is a good thing or a bad thing. It is just recognizing the simple facts. Excluded large costs were forced onto insurance rolls with the intent of “redistribution” on to others. That was the design goal. It is working exactly as planned, and the costs are being redistributed from the “takers” to the “makers” who pay the premiums. By Design.

    This is the same closet welfare process that has private insurance picking up the tab for Medicare and MediCal and MediCaid via their very low payment schedules and forcing the costs onto escalated payments from private payers. ( I worked in Patient Accounting for a while and got to see all this close up. It is NOT a hypothetical.)

    As soon as the Neo-Progressives figured out how to treat insurance law like Socialist Redistribution they broke private medical insurance in the USA. This is just the final death throws on the way to Single Payer Full Socialist Medicine. This behaviour is by design.

  40. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @Larry Ledwick,
    It is much worse than that. The number of HiB visas is small compared to the tech jobs done by telecommuting them offshore.

  41. Adrian Ashfield says:

    “If you can’t see that there is little hope of constructive discussion.”

    I think you are right abut that.
    How come everyone is covered in every other developed nation for costs that are 2 – 8 times less than ours?

  42. E.M.Smith says:


    I suspect your numbers are bogus. From both sides of the equation. How come it costs 1/10th as much for a bicycle in Asia? How come we chuck someone into a CAT scan here just to get a better look but in Canada and the UK there was a long waiting list? (When wife was given one ‘just in case’ they found a kidney stone that did not show up on X-ray and drastically improved her outcome. Added cost to us? Zero… better insurance.) Why did I NEVER get any decent treatment for a trivial to fix issue (sty on eyelid. I can call it trivial as my Dad fixed one on me once using a needle and gauze…) in the UK system despite a week of trying? But hey, it was ‘free’ and I got to pay $100 bucks in the USA for antibiotics to fix the same thing since litigation had caused the doctor to be afraid to just lance the damn thing.

    So we have a horrid litigation load layered on top of the medicine, do a lot more good fast treatment (i.e. different product), and then there is the load of ‘defensive medicine’ caused by the litigation. Now cover the whole thing with a deep frosting layer or hidden socialist ‘redistribution’ and the US “costs” will look horrific. Unfortunately, most of it isn’t medicine… it’s litigation and hidden redistribution.

    On the UK side, my Uncle dying from a botched ‘ordinary surgery’ doesn’t show up as a cost. It shows up as a ‘savings’. My Aunt had a bum knee. Instead of a replacement artificial joint, they were going to replace her GOOD ONE on the theory that it was taking more stress from the bum one. (Sister, here, has one for her bad knee hurt in sports accident. She runs around fine, thanks) but that UK stupidity never got done as they had her wait so long she had a stroke and went into a bed to die. No, no fast rush to the best treatment to fix the blood issue. No special brain surgery to restore blood supply nor the “expensive” drug that prevents the clot sticking. Just “there’s your low cost bed”… So they “saved money twice”. Once by having her suffer for a year or three before even considering the artificial knee, once by screwing around so long once they decided to do it that she had a stroke (after a fall… order of issues is a bit unclear…) and they could “save all that money”. Finally, by not doing “excessive life saving efforts” to keep an old lady with a stroke alive, they saved even more money on ALL her long term medical costs.

    So you can’t do a $ : £ comparison as they are very different products.

    And note that the statistics are more illusion than truth. “Far better outcomes” is easy if you have a lot of sick people die off and take their problems with them, or don’t do any procedure in the first place. Just don’t try the hard cases, let them die. MUCH better stats that way.

  43. Adrian Ashfield says:

    U.S. Healthcare Ranked Dead Last Compared To 10 Other Countries

    Once again, U.S. has most expensive, least effective health care system in survey

    Remember that everyone is not covered here and this was largely before Obamacare kicked in.

    From what I’ve read, litigation is a very small factor in the costs.

    American health care is simply too expensive for those at the bottom to afford. Note too it is going up by 30 -40% next year. When the measured outcomes are better in other countries it is an illusion to say it it better here, despite your anecdotal evidence.

  44. Adrian Ashfield says:

    U.S. Healthcare Ranked Dead Last Compared To 10 Other Countries

    Once again, U.S. has most expensive, least effective health care system in survey

    Remember that everyone is not covered here and this was largely before Obamacare kicked in.

    From what I’ve read, litigation is a very small factor in the costs.

    American health care is simply too expensive for those at the bottom to afford. Note too is is going up by 30 -40% next year.

    [Reply: No idea why these went to the SPAM queue. WordPress works in mysterious ways some times. I fished them out. -E.M.Smith ]

  45. Terry Jay says:

    Note that the Arab Royalty go to the Cleveland Clinic, not Britain or Cuba or Canada.

    Were my Homeowners, Liability and Motor Vehicle treated the same way we treat Health insurance, I could afford none of them.

    Need an oil change? The UCR (Usual, Customary, and Reasonable) today is around $30, and I pay the provider direct. Under ObamaCar it would be $30 to the shop, plus $30 for processing the claim to pay for the software, the training in code application, the hardware and the paperwork and filing needed to survive the audit, plus $30 to the reimbursement center for overhead and expenses, and I would be out a $6 co-payment. I actually saw this some years back setting up a Big Oil contract to administer the self-insured Medical Plan. At the time a $40 office call was an added $25 to process in the claims center. Costs are clearly higher now.

    Washington State tried the Progressive approach to health insurance around 1990, anyone could sigh up at any time with any condition and the premium was the same for all. The response was to avoid buying the insurance until you were injured or pregnant or sick and then sign up and pay until cured, then drop out. That program was scrapped quickly. Unintended consequences, or blind oblivion?

    I had a nerve issue in the hand and wrist (no, not carpal tunnel) and needed a brace (self diagnosis). The ones in the pharmacy were close, but not what I needed, so I called a specialty provider and was told that I needed to go see my Dr and get a referral and come in for a fitting, and no, they could not just sell me the brace, it was classed as prescription only. I finally got the brace, The fitting was a slight bend in the brace and removing excess strapping, but the process turned a $35 item into a $500 hit on the system, and I ended up paying nothing, as I recall.

    Rebuttable presumption, evidence required, is the US medical device and technology and pharmacology leads and supports the rest of the world, who avoid the development costs and reap the benefits. Dr Carson may have performed in Africa, but I bet the surgical staff had a healthy dose of US training.

  46. philjourdan says:

    @Adrian – Why is it Obama’s fault? LOL! Think man! Seriously. The reasons are all around you and too many to list here. But just to give you a few.

    #1 – requiring more services for EVERYONE regardless of if they want them or not! Before Obamacare, you (the consumer) decided what you wanted covered. Now you have NO CHOICE. Abortion coverage for The Little Sisters of the Poor? Get serious. NOTHING is free. Doctors do not work for free. Nurses do not work for free. Hospitals are not run free of cost. Abortion clinics are not run free of costs. It all costs. Insurance companies merely group the costs and pass them along to the consumer.
    #2 – Captive Audience – Before, you as a consumer, had a choice. You could get health insurance, or you could skip it. That again is no longer an option. You HAVE to have insurance. One of the reasons given for passing the abortion of a bill was the “45 million” that were not covered previously. Numerous studies showed they were not a monolithic group. They comprised 3 main groups. A. – Those between jobs whose new insurance had not kicked in. B. – Those who did not want insurance (young and healthy who sought to maximize their income and defer something they did not think they needed) and C. – Those who really wanted it but could not afford it.

    So how did it work? Of those 45m, less than 1/3 are now covered. And here is the dirty little secret (to all those not wishing to read the news). That was all Obamacare was SUPPOSED to cover. It was never intended to get all 45m. Yet to insure 15 million people, the US is (by the latest CBO estimate) spending $2.7 TRILLION over 10 years. That works out to about $18,667 per person per year. According to the law, a “Cadillac” plan is defined as a plan that costs over $10,500 per year. So the government is subsidizing poorer coverage at an 80% premium!

    Not Obamacare’s fault? How is it not? You have forced purchasing of a product from a private company (not the government), subsidized for the poor (who always had it based upon Medicaid – but that went straight to the providers) going to private companies, at a cost twice what it cost before. And that is just scratching the surface.

    And it still has NOTHING to do with the fact that the health care industry has been one of the fastest growing sectors for the past 20+ years! Long before Obamacare. And that is the subject of the thread.

    Please, you seem to be an intelligent person. You can disagree with me, but do some homework first!

  47. philjourdan says:


    is small compared to the tech jobs done by telecommuting them offshore.

    Let me ask you a question. Do you watch TV? Do you look for a new TV, and pay the highest price you find? If not, why not? Why do you buy the cheaper priced TV (identical models, different retailers)?

    Answer that question and you have just answered your own question.

  48. philjourdan says:

    How come everyone is covered in every other developed nation for costs that are 2 – 8 times less than ours?

    Already answered. Apples and oranges. And they do not have Obamacare. And they have shortages and long waits since their care is rationed.

    So far, that is the only thing in the US Obamacare has not done. You can still get the tummy tuck when you want to. But as EM said, that is coming to a halt as the democrats demand to “fix” their abortion of a law.

    Ask yourself another question. Why did Danny Williams come to the US for medical care? (besides the fact it was before Obamacare).

  49. E.M.Smith says:

    Carson and the West Point story.

    In the news today is a “hit piece” on Dr. Carson claiming he lied about turning down a scholarship to West Point.

    At first I thought “Oh no! He LIED?!”. Looking into it, not so fast.

    In this case I’m reaching to that bastion of Left Wing Talking Points, the New York Times:


    Ben Carson Admits He Was Never Accepted to West Point

    A report on Friday said Ben Carson has acknowledged never having applied to the prestigious military academy at West Point, raising questions about his repeated assertions that he had turned down a scholarship to attend.

    According to the report, in Politico, West Point had no record of Mr. Carson having applied to the academy. When Politico approached Mr. Carson’s campaign with the information, his campaign manager, Barry Bennett, in a statement, explained Mr. Carson had considered an offer to receive help with an appointment to the academy, but he did not ever apply.

    In repeated references to West Point over the years, Mr. Carson has strongly implied that he had a standing offer to attend.

    In his statement, Mr. Bennett said, “Dr. Carson was the top R.O.T.C. student in the City of Detroit.”

    Referring to Gen. William C. Westmoreland, the Army chief of staff at the time, Mr. Bennett added: “In that role he was invited to meet General Westmoreland. He believes it was at a banquet. He can’t remember with specificity their brief conversation but it centered around Dr. Carson’s performance as R.O.T.C. city executive officer.”

    “He was introduced to folks from West Point by his R.O.T.C. supervisors,” Mr. Bennett said. “They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in R.O.T.C. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission.”

    Mr. Carson recounted the episode of being offered a scholarship at various points in telling his triumphant personal story. (Technically, West Point does not offer scholarships; it is free to attend.)

    In his recent book, “You Have a Brain,” Mr. Carson described how he decided which college to attend: “I still had the scholarship offer from West Point as a result of my R.O.T.C. achievements.”

    More recently, in a Facebook post in August responding to a question, he addressed a question about whether he was offered a slot at West Point, writing that he was “thrilled to get an offer from West Point.”

    “But I knew medicine is what I wanted to do. So I applied to only one school. (it was all the money I had). I applied to Yale and thank God they accepted me. I often wonder what might have happened had they said no.”

    So he WAS top of the list for West Point. He DID meet with some mucky-mucks. They DID try to woo him. It IS “free to attend” so there’s a kind of scholarship aspect to it.

    So what this all comes down to is a high school kid being a bit unclear on “you qualify for free” vs “we pay for you”… and exactly what IS the difference?

    Now I’m biased in all this in that I have a similar story. I was working at the time, but thought maybe an MBA would be a nice next step. I took the GMAT.

    My scores were, er, a bit excessively high… a fellow workmate who was not at all slow had also taken the GRE. She asked to compare scores (on a ‘me first’ basis to me…) and I agree. I told her mine, then she absolutely refused to share hers. Now she had perfectly fine scores, and went into an MBA program. So they were not weak. Only later did I find out what my number really meant.

    I was solicited by Wharton School of Business. They sent a letter saying basically, we want you and don’t worry about the money, there are ways to take care of that (and listed several things from scholarships to guaranteed loans). For anyone who doesn’t know, Wharton is a Name School.

    But I was making what for me, then, was “big bucks”. I had just ‘met a girl’ (now my wife). It was a $50,000 / year ticket to ride their bus, and a couple of years. So we’re talking cashing out of about $160,000 of income and taking on $100,000 of expenditures AND living expenses (you don’t get through Wharton working 40 hrs / week on the side) and blowing off a promising love.

    In theory, I’d make back the money side in about 4 to 5 years out of Wharton as they make big bucks. But the kicker for me was the “dump everything and everyone and move to the other side of the country”. So I declined.

    Now, were I to write a book I’d likely put in it that I was invited to Wharton and offered financial aid to do it. But decided no.

    You will NOT find an application from me to Wharton. (Though I do think I have the offer letter saved in some old box of mementos in the garage… somewhere).

    You will NOT find an offer of financial aid from them (as we didn’t reach the acceptance step).

    You will NOT find anyone who remembers this but me.

    How is this any different from Dr. Carson’s circumstance?

    Basically, when you score high enough, you take a special inside track that has far less formality required in the early stages. SOLICITATION, sometimes in person, and only once you say yes, do they bother with the formal application…

    So what is In The News as a “He LIED!!!” story looks a whole lot more to me like a “He was solicited and maybe a kid from the poor side of town didn’t understand all the fine points” story. Confounding a “solicitation and offer of no cost” with a “standing offer and scholarship”.

    Sure sounds more like splitting hairs to me.

  50. philjourdan says:

    Sounds like another hit piece from the MSM. Thanks for the explanation as well. I have only heard about the story but have been too busy to dig into it.

  51. Pingback: Carson and the West Point Story | Musings from the Chiefio

  52. E.M.Smith says:

    I probably ought to also point out that my son, based on his Honors grades in High School and his SAT scores got a solicitation from a school to which he had not applied. It was for a full ride scholarship to a UC campus. In his case, he accepted it (much to my debt relief ;-) and now has a degree from them. So there is at least one ‘existence proof’ of this process where I CAN show the existence of the process. First he was solicited with the offer, THEN he “applied”, and was “accepted” pro-forma along with handed free tuition room and board as the scholarship was “granted”. (Then he got to work his butt off for 4 years… graduating with honors… and a business degree).

    All I had to do was fill out the paperwork each year showing I wasn’t making much money. Which I wasn’t as it was during a bit of a ‘bust’ period in the valley. I was ready to sell my BRKA share to fund his education, but didn’t have to go that route. (IRA / retirement money, doesn’t ‘count’ when figuring your ability to pay and income for a scholarship.) In any case, I was not going let him be saddled with debt right out of school. The daughter, also graduated with honors debt free, but we paid for her choice of school which was local and lower cost. In some ways that one scholarship let them both get what they wanted.

  53. p.g.sharrow says:

    I have no problem with Carson turning down a chance to attend West Point. While I was in boot camp at San Diego the base commander called Me in and because of my test scores, offered me the chance to attend Annapolis. The Navy is allowed to include 6 in a years class. The thing was it would require at least 10 years in the military, this was a commitment to a career aimed at becoming an Admiral. I said thank you for the offer but I had no intention of becoming an Admiral. He thanked me for my honesty and sent me back to my company. The Drill instructor thought I was dumber then Gomer Pile ;-)…pg

  54. E.M.Smith says:


    Isn’t it strange how those invested in the Myth can not understand those not so invested when we say “and just what is the shortest path to the exit door?”….

    Somehow “I wish to enjoy this life rather than serve your structure. It is the only life I have…” seems to escape “them”….

  55. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; I have walked many paths. 4 years in the Navy was one of the longest, or at least it seemed that way… My father said that his service was a most valuable experience, you could not pay his enough to do it again. I concur! Every citizen owes service of some kind for the betterment of his society. Far too many shout that “They are due their rights!!” damn few are willing to earn them. Some even claim that their grandfather or their aunts first husband was in the military therefore that was their families contribution to earn their rights. 8-o
    There are some that really like military life and prefer the regimentation to “Freedom” of choice and responsibility for your every move. Quite a few are lost, when put out in the real world. As long as you are in and do as directed they take care of you and direct your every move, until they don’t need you… for those that were in for the long haul that can be devastating. It is a real jolt to go from military regimentation to a civilian life of freedom…pg

  56. Larry Ledwick says:

    I agree with your father, 4 years in the Navy followed by 2 enlistments in the Army National Guard was enough fun. I had some good experiences I could not have gotten any other way, but also gave away years of seniority in the private sector to my peers that I never could recover. There is a price to military service even if you have only non-conflict service. One of the reasons I have little love for the radical left is my post Vietnam experience after returning stateside and their complete contempt for those who served.

  57. philjourdan says:

    Yea, but Danny Williams disagrees with you – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/its-my-health-its-my-choice-danny-williams-says/article4311853/

    Again, Apples and Oranges. Did you just read the headlines or actually dig into the “study”. From your talking points it does not appear you did much digging.

  58. philjourdan says:

    The above was in response to Adrian.

  59. E.M.Smith says:

    WordPress does strange things some times. For unknown reasons, a couple of Adrian’s comments went to the SPAM queue and I didn’t find them until now, so up thread here:

    Largely says US healthcare is lousy via a Forbes poll of some sort ( “Dead Last” is the quote) and also links to some Washington Post (very left wing editorial bias, IMHO) article that says it is the most expensive and delivers the least.

    First off, I don’t get my opinions from opinion polls (and especially not those in newspapers). Aside from “selection bias” they have horrid questions like “Is our health care system the best?” that can be answered “No” for any of many mutually conflicting reasons. I’d not rate it “best” as it is too Socialist compared to the Health Care System we had in about 1970. Doesn’t mean I’d trade it for the UK Model…

    Our system today is a bastard mix of partial (overly regulated too) market with a strong Socialist Overlay where the public portion gets their costs shoved over into the private insurance side. Adrian insists on not recognizing that fact. So be it. Unless and until you factor OUT that “Social Burden” from the private side, you have no clue at all what private medical care really costs.

    He also asserts that litigation is a small part of medical costs. I suggest looking at the cost of malpractice insurance for, say, Anesthesiologists….



    Each year during the study period, 7.4% of all physicians had a malpractice claim, with 1.6% having a claim leading to a payment (i.e., 78% of all claims did not result in payments to claimants). The proportion of physicians facing a claim each year ranged from 19.1% in neurosurgery, 18.9% in thoracic–cardiovascular surgery, and 15.3% in general surgery to 5.2% in family medicine, 3.1% in pediatrics, and 2.6% in psychiatry. The mean indemnity payment was $274,887, and the median was $111,749. Mean payments ranged from $117,832 for dermatology to $520,923 for pediatrics. It was estimated that by the age of 65 years, 75% of physicians in low-risk specialties had faced a malpractice claim, as compared with 99% of physicians in high-risk specialties.


    There is substantial variation in the likelihood of malpractice suits and the size of indemnity payments across specialties. The cumulative risk of facing a malpractice claim is high in all specialties, although most claims do not lead to payments to plaintiffs. (Funded by the RAND Institute for Civil Justice and the National Institute on Aging.)

    So about $ 1/2 Million / year for pediatric indemnity payments. (That’s insurance…) with the mean payment being a bit over $1/4 Million / year / doctor.

    Now think that you could do a whole lot better in medicine if you didn’t have a $274 k / year layer of litigation on top of your Doctor? Oh, and do realize that is JUST the doctor. The nurses and the hospitals have their own insurance costs added in to your bill. As does the ambulance company and the device makers and the drug companies and…

    The cost of indemnity is often more than the salary of the Dr.

  60. EM – also worth noting is that the malpractice insurance needs to be kept up after the doctor retires, since there may be a suit later on. It’s up to the doctor/dentist/etc. to decide at what point the insurance can be dropped as the probability of a suit will gradually decrease.

    Medicine should be practised on a “best efforts” basis. The person receiving the treatment needs to balance the risks of not doing anything to those of getting treatment, and no treatment is risk-free. Since each person has a different biochemistry, nobody knows until afterwards whether a particular chemical treatment is safe. Yep, try and weed out the bad practitioners and the incompetent, but going to the doctor always has been a risk (and they normally bury their mistakes).

    The French health system seems pretty good, though there’s a lot of red tape involved. Maybe I’m lucky where I am, but I rarely go to the doctor anyway. The UK system used to be good, but as far as I can tell has become somewhat patchy – good in some places but creaking at the seams and overloaded in others. Generally efficient emergency cover but often long waits for less-urgent problems – until they do become urgent or unfortunately irrelevant. Maybe things will get better when AI takes over the diagnosis and all the little problems get dealt with automatically.

    When I was a kid half a century ago, I rarely saw the doctor. Our family doctor was a bottle-a-day man (whiskey), and most people going to see him ended up with a bottle of “the medicine, to be taken 3 times a day” which was somewhat green and foul-tasting. When that doctor died, they found a hundredweight bag of Epsom salts and some green dye in the dispensary there, so it seems most of the cure was simply fixing any constipation issues and letting Nature take its course. I’ve seen studies that show that though people may feel more comfortable when taking modern medicines, the illness still lasts around the same time whether treated or not. Maybe the old Doctor wasn’t too far wrong.

  61. E.M.Smith says:


    As Mg deficiency is rampant, it might also have helped for that reason too…

    In some ways not much different from the many doctors today (and for the last few decades) who, knowing full well you had a virus, would prescribe a course of antibiotics as that made people feel like the Dr. did something.

    Once, about 1960, my sister had a series of sore throats (strep perhaps) with red throat and some small blisters. After the third event, and third trip to the family doctor (that only cost $10 then) and the course of antibiotics to ‘cut it short’, my Dad asked ~”This keeps happening. Is there anything we can do to have it NOT come back?” The Old Family Doctor who had been practicing since before penicillin said “Yes, don’t give her any penicillin and just let her get over it naturally.” IIRC he also said to keep the fever down with aspirin and ice water washcloths. In the end, she was miserable for about 4 days longer than with treatment, but never had that bug return ever again.

    When asked, he said he knew that it was the more effective route, but people wanted the discomfort gone faster and didn’t want to be told that “do nothing” was better in the long run. They expected you do ‘do something’ for their money.

    I was a bit precocious and had asked a lot of medical questions on each visit, he liked to indulge me. Folks, then, thought I was going to grow up to be a medical doctor… He also gave me a tour of his “surgery”. All in the downstairs of his 2 story Victorian house in my home town. They lived upstairs. Couple of treatment rooms (prior bedrooms / sitting room) and a decent medical supply closet (large pantry) along with a minor surgical room (old dining room, maybe?) retrofit with a lot more plumbing… Living room was the waiting room. Don’t know what all was upstairs. I think the kitchen was still a kitchen, but it might have doubled as a lab of sorts… A bit hazy on that part.

    In an “emergency” you just showed up and rang the door bell. $10 in hand.

    They were about 1/2 mile to a mile in any direction from the edge of town. Lots of times folks just waked over…

  62. Larry Ledwick says:

    Same situation with back pain, fancy treatment seldom makes a difference in the recovery time and long term prognosis. Strain a muscle in your back, take it easy for a few days and it will usually take care of itself in one to two weeks. Use expensive treatments like trips to chiroprators traction and so on, and in most cases the recovery time is indistinguishable from that of someone who got lots of sleep and relaxed on the couch for a few days to avoid re-injury.

    Back surgery has a bad tendency to make the problems worse from the horror stories I have heard from folks who went in for elective back surgery to fix an annoying issue and a fair percent of time ended up with a life long chronic problem.

    “first do no harm” is a valid treatment choice and often doing nothing other then helping the body naturally deal with the problem is both the lowest cost and most effective solution (ie life long immunity).

    20+ years ago I was having major knee problems (have a missing ACL in one knee) did some reading after investigating knee surgery and found that just doing exercises to strengthen the thigh muscles likely would eliminate the chronic pain. (strong leg muscles stabilize the knee joint), and avoid doing too much stretching which was highly fashionable at the time. Too much stretching actually loosens the joint and reduces stability for people with loose joints that is a bad thing. I am double jointed (naturally have loose joints) it is actually counter productive for me to do more than just simple stretching “after I warm up” never when I my muscles are cold. Basically totally fixed the problem with a little self study and patient application of good bio-mechanics. I learned to walk for about 10 minutes before I stretch lightly then do what every heavy exertion I wanted to do and take an extra 10-15 minutes to slowly cool down while still active when I finished.

    Went from having severe knee pain in one knee even doing simple tasks like stepping off a curb to seldom having any significant issue other than occasional stiffness on that one knee after heavy exercise, just through those simple measures.
    I likewise seldom use pain killers or any other drugs and have only been to a doctor for more than a physical in about 35-40 years.

    One of the guys I went to high school with was just diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver but he never drinks (complete teetotaler ) Turns out he damaged his liver by taking NSAIDS every evening before he went to bed to ease aches and pains for years. (seriously over weight).

    People do not understand that any medication or medical procedure has risks and they need to understand them before making choices. A valid choice is often to do nothing and let our body heal itself with proper support of good nutrition and good sleep.

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