Vladimir Putin Op-Ed: Habitual U.S. Military Interventions Alarming

Yesterday, Vladimir Putin contributed an Op-Ed to the New York Times in order to speak directly to the American people regarding the potential U.S. intervention in the Syrian conflict. While I don’t share his support of the UN, we should all reflect on this: “It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States…Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us”…No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect…It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.” Why is this coming from Putin and not Obama?

Paul Krugman: Singapore is the new Chile

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Image courtesy of noppasinw / freedigitalphotos.net

Paul Krugman’s blog post today talked about how Singapore’s relatively privatized health-care system was being reformed to look more like Obamacare. With great pride he points out how George W. Bush and other Republicans consistently pointed to Chile as a ideal model of a working privatized Social Security system, but in 2008 drastically reformed the system to turn control over it to the government and turn it into another Social Security. And now, with Singapore’s formerly decentralized health-care system going over to the dark side and resembling Obamacare, Republicans no longer will have Singapore as the poster-child of working privatized health care.

Notice in the piece he makes no attempt to show the systems weren’t working; the only thing he did is bring up that they are being “reformed” and let’s us assume that they are being reformed because they aren’t working. It’s an easy way for him to be dishonest about the issue of privatization versus government handling of these issues while being able to wag his finger at capitalism and jump for joy more systems are on their way to becoming failures like Social Security and the soon-to-be colossal failure of Obamacare. Frankly, I’m not very familiar with either of these cases, but I could venture to guess that any reforming on these issues has little to do with failure on the hands of private businesses or private decisions-makers, and more to do with self-interested politicians doing their part to appeal to the Democratic masses and promise them an ever greater supply of free goods out of the taxpayer’s dole (while at the same time being responsible for any failure occurring in the system).