Bill Maher: New Rule: Not Everything in America Has to Make a Profit

Dandelion Salad

July 24, 2009

HBO Real Time With Bill Maher


How about this for a New Rule: Not everything in America has to make a profit. It used to be that there were some services and institutions so vital to our nation that they were exempt from market pressures. Some things we just didn’t do for money. The United States always defined capitalism, but it didn’t used to define us. But now it’s becoming all that we are.


via Bill Maher: New Rule: Not Everything in America Has to Make a Profit


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21 thoughts on “Bill Maher: New Rule: Not Everything in America Has to Make a Profit

  1. Pingback: Kucinich on Fox: Single Payer System! « Dandelion Salad

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  3. TD, you’re so radical against Socialized Medicine, yet were you this dogmatic about Socialized Bailouts?

    Need I remind you that your ‘free-market uber alles’ just doled out $12.8 Trillion (90% of GDP!) of federal government money to bail out the titans of free-market capitalism.

    Those who tow the dogma of free-market purism, who failed to dissent the TARP are obvious hypocrites. Were you perchance one of those?

    Clearly the market does NOT police itself even where the banks themselves are involved. Why then entrust something as important as healthcare to the free market ?

    If you want to entrust our mutual financial well-being to free-market capitalism based in irrelevant notions of supply & demand commerce, that’s your distortion to deal with.

    But if you also let socialized bailouts re-fund Finance Capitalism when it bet its collective financial future on cooked-books & fraud, I suggest you’re on the wrong side of history in light of current events, and certainly no free-market purist.

    If you’re further willing to entrust healthcare to this same sort of greed-based corporate corruption, then I would suggest you’re following free-market dogma off a cliff.

    You can go ahead and pay Blue Cross usurious thousands only to spend months on hold with their claims dept. in India after any claim fighting the corporation over what they will or will not cover, but doctors will still be paid under a fair system that guarantees coverage without Blue Cross siphoning off multiples of the actual cost.

    If you want to let insurance companies control coverage for your yacht (surely you have one, mr. capitalist?), fine, but leave them out of health-care!

    • My opposition to socialized medicine “radical”? This has not been our nationwide system for any of this country’s 235 years, therefore only changing the system to socialized medicine would be defined as radical.

      Again, free marketers did not dole out trillions in bailouts. The State did. I again wonder if you know what Congress does. Bailing out failing corporations, mortgage holders, and institutions is an egregious assault on the free market.

      Individuals within the market can certainly be corrupt – like you and I – and the market would have dealt with it fully except the State interfered by stepping in with money that doesn’t belong to it. Any uncorrupted supporter of free markets would be against what the State – not the free market – did, including myself.

      You now want to cede another 1/6th of the economy to those that doled out those trillions and I do not.

      How did you know I employ Blue Cross?!

      • Not all taxes are state-mandated. Corporate health insurance is a vast tax on the consumer, one extracted by corporate industrial capitalism, not government, and not honest commerce. Healthcare is not a consumer product, it’s a public necessity. Marking up a public health necessity is not profiteering, its racketeering.

        Those profits eaten up by big private insurers are not fed downstream in ‘trickle-down’ enhanced prosperity, they are fed up to wealthy shareholders and executives at the expense of public health and well-being. That is a crime of capitalism, where the public suffers as a result, and therefore a public health hazard.

        You cut out the corporations marking up health-care costs, and you put more money in the pockets of citizens, everyone is covered, and the economy blooms, and your 1/6th public outlay ends up in the hands of the citizen where it belongs.

        In the case of health insurance, the free market has been allowed to step in and profit where profit should not be had. You cut out the insurance companies, let them insure homes and boats and be small or fail, and the healthcare costs go way down while quality remains the same.

        The reason free-marketers are against making health insurance a public service are ideological, not fiscal. They are afraid of the ‘socialized’ part because of the word, not the result. Misplaced dogma has clouded your collective judgment.

        There are circumstances where free-marketers are wrong, an obvious one being de-regulating the financial industry. Another obvious one is allowing private, profit-driven health insurance to be the only option to our national public detriment.

        Pay the doctors what they still get, but put the private health insurance industry out of business. They are profiting at the expense of our national and personal health, which is a tentacle the free market must not be allowed to have.

        Some businesses are not allowed even in a capitalist country, such as importing heroin and cocaine for public consumption (ok so we leave it to the CIA to do that for us!), hit-squads for hire, or selling stinger missiles to the public for self defense.

        Health insurance should be one of those.

        And if we’re not at the same time demanding that military expenditures be dramatically cut, then the public is missing the biggest part of the entire fiscal budgetary debate. It is no accident that those who are most vocal about stigmatizing state healthcare as communist are also those behind america’s perpetual wars.

        Conservatives are not interested in cutting costs, they support corporate greed and graft at the expense of everyone and everything else, with no regulation and no control. This is an extremist ideology, and not a good one for the majority of society.

        The costs to the environment alone of unregulated industrial capitalism in terms of pollution from manufacturing is already a vast public bailout of the free-market in terms of environmental abuse. For example, your ideology wants to let GM dump PCB’s into the Hudson decades after the hazards were known, yet fails to figure out that the cancers caused already are far greater than the cost to try to clean them up. Your side wanted to allow big tobacco to proceed unfettered long after it was known how dangerous it was, yet the cost to health and life have been incalculable.

        Beware of the true costs of unfettered free market capitalism. In the industrial corporate age, free-market purism is obsolete and extreme.

        • Isn’t this post-partisan world wonderful?

          You seem to be awfully invested in placing me on a “Side” selected by you to which you can attach everything that fills you with hate, regardless of my stated or unstated view of this laundry list of things you wish to pin on others.

          Should I read your previous derision toward insurance company clients and toward “yacht owners” to mean you are not a purchaser of health insurance and are of modest means? If this is the case then don’t fret, angry man. I am likely already paying your way.

          You are welcome.

        • “Derision toward insurance company clients” ?

          Advocating for the elimination of corporate insurance mark-ups is hardly derision toward their clients, if by “client” you mean purchasers of healthcare.

          Were I not a purchaser of health insurance and of modest means, how would you be “paying” my way? I’m not taxing you, I’m cutting costs.

          Shall I read your avoidance of the point to mean that you are heavily vested in the healthcare industry?

          If so, you’d not be welcome, you’d be profiteering at the expense of public health, and that’s wrong.

  4. Have a little Republican Issue do we?

    I get this pouting child’s point very well – it is the same one his ilk always has and that is…More. More government. More government control. More money for government from those that actually produce something.

    The issues have continually changed in my lifetime; What has remained constant is the “More” with the issue of the day only the tool of extraction.

    Maturity comes when an individual realizes that one can never reach contentment by ceding More and More control and responsibility to others – much less institutions that have proved their abilities with Medicare and the Veterans’ Administration.

    I get it. Life can be tough, people struggle, their is conflict, and mortality isn’t much of a reward. It can make some frightened and it can be enough for some to give up. None of these things can be changed by ceding another 1/6th of our entire economy to the State.

    • You failed to reply to the point.

      Free-market purists (fanatics?) have been fighting against socialized medicine saying it will corrupt the profit motive and lead us down the slippery slope of Stalinism for decades.

      Yet its the same free-market fanatics who ceded over 1/2 of our revenue net of social security to the military industrial mania, and who ceded billions in corporate-welfare graft to industry at taxpayer expense. The free-market fanatics are therefore hypocrites, yet never do you hear Limbaugh indicting the economy’s military industrial addiction.

      I don’t think we need to cede “more” to the government, instead I think we need to decide “which” we cede to the government.

      The free market may be applicable to commerce, but it’s not applicable to basic health insurance, just as its not applicable to the fire department. There are certain places for publically-funded public service where capitalism simply is inappropriate, as I explained and to which you failed to respond.

      Obama’s plan is hardly socialized medicine. Single-payer Medicare for all would be, and that would be a start.

      Try cutting the military budget in half and stop funding these gratuitous illegal wars which the Limbaugh-type ‘conservatives keep selling to their flock, insisting we pursue for their ‘american exceptionalism’ to our vast national detriment, and there would be enough money to guarantee health-care and college education to all who needed it.

      Nobody in their right mind wants to give the federal government yet more money to waste, but what money is taken by the feds out of our pockets should be put to proper use on our behalf, and that’s hardly been the case, as I’ve shown in the last post.

      Let’s have honest analysis instead of extremist limbaugh propagandistic talking-points and paranoia about socialism, when that’s hardly applicable to the point. Stick to the point.

      • My God, you’re all over the map, son.

        Yes, free marketers are opposed to socialism. And?

        No, free marketers didn’t cede 1/2 of national revenue to the State military. First, even conveniently free of Social Security your number is a false number propagated by those with an agenda that, frankly, I wish they would pursue successfully with the real numbers. Second, free marketers are not the culprits here nor in corporate welfare – again it’s the State that did this. You do understand what Congress does, right?

        No, you didn’t explain that Capitalism is an inappropriate system to handle health insurance. You claimed it. Fire departments again? If they actually were run federally they would likely perform as well as Medicare.

        Yes, nobody in their right mind would give the State more money to waste. State health insurance will not reduce the defense budget by one dollar so get back in your right mind and resist what only those not in their right mind would do.

        As for your Triple Limbaugh Rant, your issues with some talk show host are your own immaterial to the issue of handing over More to the State and are clouding your honest analysis.

        • TD:
          $965 Billion on the military, or 54% of our revenue:

          Read ’em & weep.
          You have a problem with those numbers, analyze the analysis at the link above, and refute them specifically.

          As to whether Corporate Industry controls Federal military allocations, I offer a few crumbs from the military industrial complex for thought:


          Fire departments are locally funded (if a locality can afford one), since they are locally deployed. Corporate Insurance and medical industries are national, therefore socialized medicine needs to be Federal.

        • Yes, That’s the group that falsifies their numbers rather than dealing with the real numbers which, as I stated, I would prefer they argue successfully against..

  5. indeed. my husband and i talk about capitalism versus socialism quite a bit these days. we both agree that a blend works best for citizens’ quality of life. if you look to the nations in the world with the highest standard of living- the scandinavian countries consistently finish in the top 5- they blend socialism with capitalism throughout their culture. of course, they also do not have a two party system of governing.

  6. It’s a shame that Bill Maher can’t seem to connect the dots between capitalism, imperialism, the Iraq war, 9/11 and WTC building 7, eye witness testimonies from first responders and people who worked inside the building, I don’t expect him to understand Newton’s laws of motion ( which is considered general level Physics, y’know, stuff that you learn at age 14-16 in the UK ):'s_laws_of_motion

    In order to collapse a building symmetrically, you need to apply forces on the four faces and let gravity do the rest. It took me about 3 seconds to figure out from the original footage, on the day of 9/11, that it was a demolition.

    An engineering graduate can point out that jet fuel doesn’t melt steel, that’s why we use it to build skyscrapers.

    When the first responders and general public start dying from the asbestos and pulverized concrete in their lungs, maybe there will be a new inquiry into 9/11 or maybe there will be a new 9/11 ( yet another inside job ).

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  8. How more out of touch can this talking head be?

    More things need to make a profit in America, you twit!

    Not all of your neighbors work for Air America or an Agency of the State where their jobs are propped up regardless of how much money it loses.

    Most Americans must Produce Something Of Value – good or service – such that its demand can at least cover its cost including their pay that provides for their families.

    Just another spoiled, self-absorbed juvenile that not only thinks he knows better how to spend others’ money but also believes his opinion should be seen as special by others.

    • TD, So when a republican hawk ‘conservative’ government procures 50% of your tax dollars for military expenditures, propping up entire vast industries at taxpayer expense, that would also be an ‘agency of the state’ propping up jobs no matter the vast loss and waste, right?

      When a republican-controlled ‘conservative’ government hands out corporate welfare in factory farm subsidies and agri-business like ADM, and spends $92 Billion propping up Boeing, Xerox, IBM, Motorola, Dow Chemical, and General Electric, that too is considered government ‘spending someone else’s money’ regardless of the loss, right??

      I think you miss Maher’s point. You speak of ‘Demand’, which is appropriate to the concept of commerce, but big-businesses manufacture demand through lobbying, advertizing and planned obsolescence, perverting the law of supply and demand. Certain ‘industries’, like healthcare and war, should not be manufacturing demand.

      If, for example, it’s more profitable for big pharma to sell chemotherapy drugs than to actually cure cancer, then the where is the profit motive in curing cancer? If the fire department were privatized, and paid per fire they put out, imagine the arson problem that scenario would create.

      Healthcare is a similar public service and should be similarly managed as such.

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