Generational differences in the threat/safety of the public vs private sector

An ad campaign started recently showing an Uncle Sam character performing a gynecological exam and a prostate exam, and the message was ‘keep government out of health care’. The ads are supposed to be directed at young people, encouraging them to opt out of health insurance. The goal is w/o young people subsidizing care the insurance industry will collapse (like it did in NY when they did guaranteed coverage, young people opted out). Too few young people will cause rates to hike for older folks, and cause Obamacare to collapse. That is the goal from what I can tell.

Aside from the obvious fact that people under 26 will still be covered by their parents (as well as the moral issues about a couple of billionaires like the Koch brothers telling young people to opt out of health insurance in the hopes it’ll collapse the health care system because their ideology is more valuable), this ad campaign really hits me about how there is a massive generational difference in how people view the public and private sector depending on their age.

For people 40+ who grew up under the threat of communism, who watched stagnation and high crime in the 70s, who watched the cultural revolution in the 60s and 70, and who watched the economy go up under Reagan I can see how they would have opinions that the public sector is bad (since they associate it with Carter and communism) and the private sector is good (since they associate it with the Reagan boom).

But for people under 35, communism was never a threat. The USSR fell in 1991, most people under 35 were too young to notice or care, if they were even alive.

Not only that but the biggest domestic threats facing young people come from the private sector. Energy companies contribute to climate change, then buy off media outlets and politicians to cover that up. A deregulated financial industry collapsed the economy, got off scot free and is now unregulated enough that they can (and probably will) do it again. Health care is poorly run and inhuman in the US. broadband companies have agreed not to compete, as a result broadband in the US is more expensive and lower quality than what is found in most of the wealthy world. Permatemping, part time low wage service sector work and unpaid internships have replaced reliable jobs with living wages and benefits. Rent a center and cash checking places prey on the desperate. After driving people into poverty, the laws were changed to prevent people from discharging student loans or making declaring bankruptcy harder. Companies move overseas where they can avoid environmental and labor standards if the opportunity presents itself, creating a race to the bottom with labor and environmental standards.

So there are all these cultural issues creating a generation that has learned the private sector is dangerous when unregulated and unrestrainted, and we need a public sector to protect people from it.

But the public sector is pretty inept anymore. So will people demand more government seeing how this is the same federal government that can’t really accomplish anything anymore?

I don’t really know what my debate is, but that ad campaign seems stupid. That is like teenagers trying to bribe the tea party with Justin Beiber tickets. Dale Carnegie wrote a long time ago that in order to influence someone, you have to think about what they want, not what you want.

The ad campaign is stupid. You’re right, young people don’t fear government as a bogeyman. Heck, I don’t think anyone does, even Tea Partiers.

One thing that does interest me though is this idea that ACA will collapse if young people don’t subsidize the old. Supporters of ACA vehemently deny that young people will be paying higher rates so that older people can pay lower rates. If this is true, then it won’t matter if young people opt out.

This is untrue. Broadband is poor in the USA because its running on wiring that was laid down in the 40s/50s/60s. Because we were first, we now have to deal with a lower-quality broadband infrastructure than the rest of the world, which began to lay their cable in the 70s/80s/90s.

No its not. That is why Google set up google fiber, to shame broadband companies into doing better. Some people pay $40-70/month for 5Mbps, in places with google fiber you can get 5Mbps for a one time fee of $300, or you can get 1Gbps for $70/month.

That’s not what I meant and you know it. I meant that the “reason” behind this country’s slow broadband speeds versus the rest of the world are because of the age of the equipment. There’s nothing political about that part of the equation.

What you said was our broadband sucks because our infrastructure sucks. I’m saying it sucks because companies have decided not to compete. Because they don’t have to compete there is no incentive for them to improve the infrastructure.

But you can’t handwave away the fact that our infrastructure sucked decades before broadband became a viable standard and pretend its all politics.

What evidence do you have that our broadband sucks because of that?