NY to Poor People: We Own You

NY to Poor People: We Own You December 2, 2014

New York State Stops Non-Profit from Giving Free Dental Care to Poor People

Because turf, power, and control are more important than human need.

Dear New York: The law was made for man, not man for the law.

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  • MarylandBill

    Nothing short of facism.

    • chezami

      Um, no. Nothing short of bureaucracy. Still inhuman, but not fascism.

      • Probably both of you would profit from laying out your definition of fascism. It has a technical definition, much abused, and a popular definition. I would be interested to read what both of you think when that word is used.

        • petey

          Do you know it yourself?

          • Yes.

            • petey

              i have reason to doubt that, based on your previous demonstrations of “knowledge” here.

              • Meow

                • petey

                  go on, then. show us.

                  • Fascism is a totalitarian system consisting of distinct modes of political, economic, and social organization. Politically, it is dictatorial with strong strains of repression. It relies on nationalism to appeal to the people that is at the center of the fascist project in a particular country, however fascism is generally pragmatic enough to make common cause with other fascists organized around other nationalities. If there is one thing that makes it difficult to speak about typical fascism, it is the pragmatism that supplies the glue to keep the enterprise together for any appreciable length of time.

                    Economically it tends to maintain the forms of private property without the substance of the free market, which it strongly opposes as cosmopolitan and plutocratic. It is a national socialist undertaking which, like many relationships, is most brutal against those it is closest to. It tends to be virulently against international socialism, aka communism.

                    Socially it tends to center around charismatic individuals, though the Japanese variant of the WW II era seems to be the exception that proves the rule. There is a trend towards hero worship, raising up archetypes of the perfect specimens of the nation to be admired. In Germany everything must be made german. In Italy everything must be made italian, etc. Order is prized but also a sort of ecstatic commitment to the great leader and to the people.

                    • Joseph

                      Hahaha…. I knew it was just a matter of time. I was just waiting for you to impress us. You’re so predictable. LOL. The way you posed the question to Mark and the other commenter made it obvious that you were just itching to teach everyone. You have to get rid of that arrogant, ‘I bet you don’t know as much as me… tell me what you know so I can correct you like a good teacher’ attitude, man.

                    • Did I make an error in the definition? Was I wrong that people have widely divergent definitions and often talk past each other when they speak of fascism?

                      I have a particular idea of what fascism is. I didn’t want to point fingers or accuse anybody of misinterpretation because it wasn’t clear what definition each had been using. It could be that they had the same definition but they disagreed on the facts. It could be that they had different definitions but agreed on the facts. It could be that they disagreed on both. I just couldn’t tell so I asked and gave a rationale why it was a potentially important point.

                      Petey asked for my definition of fascism and suggested that I was ignorant. I am curious. How do you think I should have responded?

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Did you not just read him being baited, repeatedly, into posting that definition?

                      Maybe tossing the arrogant “I’m ok in my basic ignorance” would be better.

                      Me and TMLutas agree on almost nothing, except maybe the deposit of Faith. But you go too far, and in so doing,share more about yourself than you ought.

                    • Allan B

                      You know, Joseph and petey, rather than posting petty and childish comments, if you don’t particularly enjoy interacting with TMLucas, you’re free not to. But on an ostensibly Christian site, those posts by the two of were nothing more than schoolyard name-calling. If you disagree with what said, by all means, show us where he’s wrong. If you’re not interested, ignore his post. Drive-by insults certainly don’t make either of you look good. But hey, Merry Christmas to you too.

                    • petey

                      “those posts by the two of were nothing more than schoolyard name-calling”

                      no, i have a specific history with Lutas, based on previous posts of his which engaged in rhetorical legerdemain and which i exposed as dishonest. he responded then with deliberate and personal insult, as he himself “boasted” at the time. so if you’re going to point the Christian finger, point it in the right direction. i see that he does understand what fascism is, in general. he could have said more about its specific origins in Italy, but that’s a detail. and in fact, this response of mine is a good deal more Christian than was his to me when i showed my own knowledge. don’t stick your nose in when you don’t know hat you’re talking about Allen.

                    • Allan B

                      Ah, the old “he started it”. I stand by what I said, and by my choice to “stick my nose in”. Your post simply confirmed what I wrote rather than correcting it. Merry Christmas, good Christian gentleman. I can only hope there aren’t too many non-Christians your posts, or TMLucas’s if he has posted as you say. Perhaps some forgiveness and reconciliation, in honor of the season, would be in order. Or at least a turning of the other cheek.

                    • wineinthewater

                      Your history is irrelevant. Those posts were little more than schoolyard name-calling. Making some appeal to him “deserving” them in some way does not change that basic fact. They are below the basic call to Christian charity.

        • Jonk

          I had expected a thread of competing definitions of fascism and various appeals to authority. How disappointing.

          I like “Government control of the privately-owned means of production” for a definition, personally.

          • Catholic pilgrim

            I like “a state where everything, including human life & culture, is put to the service of a nationalistic political party & the advancement of the party’s agenda”. It fits for both German Nazism & Mussolini’s Fascism. How does it differ from Communism? Communism (in theory) tends to have a Party that is less nationalistic & more universal in focus. Fascists want a national homeland as a paradise & Communists want a universal/International Workers’ paradise as theirs. Both agree that the means justify the ends, both are revolutionary & violent in practice. Both are as oppressive & end up looking the same. Both hate humanity & God.
            St. John Paul II, who endured both German Nazism & Russian/Soviet Communism in his native Poland, said (paraphrased): Fascism seeks to destroy your body (boots on your skull), Communism seeks to destroy your soul/psyche (which is even worse).

  • Andy

    It doesn’t seem to matter – liberal (blue) states screwing the poor, conservative (red) states screwing the poor – yet we continue to claim we are a Christian nation.

    • Alma Peregrina


    • Dave G.

      Who claims that anymore?

      • Andy

        On different blogs I read all of the time America is a Christian country. I have several friends who claim it as well. It is a myth that doesn’t go away.

        • Dave G.

          The overwhelming majority seems to think it isn’t, and certainly the dominate academic view is that it never was. Can’t have it both ways. Personally, I think it’s a bogus viewpoint. It certainly isn’t now. If it was, it would have been as people then understood the idea, not today. But it isn’t now, so what is done is done.

          • Andy

            I am not sure that an overwhelming majority think that it isn’t. I do agree that the USF is not a Christian nation, nor do I think it ever was. Unfortunately I think that many Americans have this skewed view of America – American exceptional ism and tied up with that is the Christian America. Have a good evening.

      • Joseph

        FoxNews and the 700 Club.

  • BHG

    Silly and bureaucratic but not without merits. The poor deserve quality care and we have chose this wan to keep dangerous practitioners from working on unsuspecting folks. Could it be done better? Yes. It is sometimes cumbersome and overreaching? Yes. Does it in fact protect the public? Yes, more often than not. I can think of a number of ways this could have been accommodated within the spirit of state law (like simply requiring all those volunteers to be licensed in the state and in good standing). Do I think the state was wrong to not work very hard to make this happen? Yes. But is it as awful as you make it sound? Probably not.

    • It’s $377 per volunteer to get licensed via endorsement in the state of NY. The denial of permission is all about the cash flow. NYS could have just required the volunteers to show up with their state licenses, did a license lookup on the spot, and allowed everybody attending the dental conference who had a valid license elsewhere to offer free dental services at the conference.

      NYS made the patently untrue claim that free dental services are not needed in NYC. Why would they do that in good faith?

      • BHG

        Because they see the situation differently than you do. They may be looking at available services from a coverage model perspective, you are looking at it from a Christian service model. I am not familiar with their statistics so I am not sure who’s right, though I tend to agree there is not an overabundance of dental care for the working poor especially.

        I agree that it is about licensing but not necessarily about money itself, it is also and sincerely about the ability to regulate and discipline those who practice in the state. And it is about establishing exceptions that might be unwanted in other but related situations but hard to avoid because of precedent.

        And there really is some concern about quality of care (I think this concern can be met by showing valid licensure in another state, for example, and certainly if endorsed). Suppose for example, a volunteer turned out to be incompetent and caused serious damage to the individual he treated (it happens). Would you then fault the state for permitting this person to practice on the poor when they would never be permitted to do so on the rich?(somehow I can hear that …) I’m just saying there are so very many dimensions to this issue that simplistic arguments do more harm than good. Instead of simply feeding outrage–which is what this post does– why not provide a real discussion of issues from which a suggestion or platform for solving the problem the next time might come?

        • It starts off with the regulatory capture of the Dental Board. In medicine that goes back a century ago. The cartelization of medicine and dentistry leads to higher income and fewer market participants. This is just one more example.

          We need to open more residency slots, stop threatening medical school accreditation if they graduate too many students. The market can take care of the rest.

          • BHG

            Market control is one aspect of licensure but it’s more complex than that–and one legitimate role of government is to protect those not in a position to protect themselves. More slots for training is great idea and in process but funding those slots (they do cost money) is harder and harder in a market of decreasing reimbursement and increasing costs. As for the market taking care of the rest, probably not. The market didn’t take care of Kermit Gosnell, or of the physician in our community who operated drunk and had cats in his OR–his patients loved him and would not file complaints and because he was not on a hospital staff there was no way for the state to come in and inspect his premises. There is a legitimate reason to exert controls on quality of care and ensure that, if something bad happens, there is a way to get recompense. That’s the role of these state laws. Do we over do it? Sure, this is America, home of the 1 lb hamburger–anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Personally, I think proof of licensure and insurance in another state and a small fee would permit a limited endorsement (the few days the mission would happen) and cover all bases. What I object to in this post (and increasingly in Mark’s posts of this nature) is his assumption that the state is simply being evil and controlling and using the poor for its own ends. All that results is outrage and that’s not helpful. I reiterate my question: what would your response be (and Mark’s) if as a result of letting doctors in willly-nilly to serve the poor they were badly injured? (This recently happened in India–somewhere between 20 and 60 out of about 200 people were blinded by free cataract surgery) I expect the outrage would then be “the state cares so little for the poor they’ll let just anyone practice on them!”

            • You are absolutely right that it’s more complicated than I wrote. To write up the full story of how this reform would work is beyond what I would be willing to do for free in a blog comment thread.

              I just looked up the dental licensing process in NY. It takes about 5 weeks and requires the passage of a child abuse prevention class. So you have to ride herd on paperwork for several weeks, pay $377, go take a class that you have to pay for, to fix a few teeth amongst the poor of NYC.

              The limited license you suggest should be granted simply doesn’t exist in NY law. To create such a license out of whole cloth would provoke a constitutional crisis in NY (separation of powers problem), much bigger trouble than losing the free services of some dentists.

  • George Lower

    In my little neck of the woods there was a brief ray of sanity. It was reported on the news tonight that a local judge put the Ft. Lauderdale ordinance against feeding the homeless on hold. It looks like city lawyers are going to appeal the decision but I really hope that sanity prevails and Mr. Abbott has all charges dismissed. However, the mayor still refuses to resign…no matter how many times I’ve asked him to. I was polite…but he needs to go. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/2/judge-suspends-ft-lauderdale-homeless-feeding-ban/