What does ‘radical’ really mean?
I was amused to read that the USC College Republicans’ “teach-in” was entitled “…to Oppose Obama’s Radical Transformation of America.” It seems like USC’s Republicans have a very different idea of “radical” from most of us. President Barack Obama’s health insurance reforms were partially inspired by the policy advocates who inspired Gov. Mitt Romney’s own plan in Massachusetts.
Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist who advised both Obama and Romney on health insurance programs, told the Boston Globe that Romney’s health care reform effort as governor paved the way for national reform.
“[Romney] is in many ways the intellectual father of national health reform,” he said.
Obama’s plan also bears a more than passing resemblance to President Richard Nixon’s reform plan. Add in the fact that Obama took many ideas from a bipartisan Brookings Institution paper on “Bending the Curve” as well as incorporating many GOP ideas from within Congress (even if they didn’t vote for it), and you have to wonder if the term “radical” has lost all meaning.
Notwithstanding the demagoguery of Obama’s desperately needed reform of a broken health insurance system, it seems that Republicans are as “radical” as ever when it comes to their own policy ideas.
When will they realize that cutting taxes only makes deficits worse? And when will they say which entitlements — the bulk of federal spending — they would do away with to balance the budget? Social Security? Medicare?
Americans must either pay for the highways, education, health care and research needed to keep up with a rising China or risk running huge deficits indefinitely. It’s not surprising that Obama has had to spend when the private sector refuses to, but it is also no surprise that the only two presidents to have run surpluses since the World War II have been Democrats.
Unfunded tax cuts to the richest, opposing reforming a broken health insurance system, a mess of a foreign policy and bought and paid for by Wall Street; it wouldn’t be so bad if they were not the ones calling others “radical.”
Graduate student, politics and international relations
Nothing out of the ordinary about search process
Laura Cueva’s article “Controversy Growing at USC Hospital” casts the efforts of USC University Hospital administrators to collaborate with hospital employees in a very peculiar and pejorative light.
Hiring a consulting firm to try and determine whether it is possible and how to make work conditions sufficiently attractive to employees so that the employees might voluntarily choose to forego a union is not union-busting. It is called providing people with a good place to work. Asking employees about the quality of their work experience with an eye toward a good work environment is just responsible management.
It is nothing nefarious.
Professor and Chair
Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering