Pete Buttigieg  

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(@laura-f)
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01/16/2020 5:53 pm  
Posted by: @elaineg

Why don't people consider Tom Steyer? He's doing better than several people at 4%.

Because Steyer is just another billionaire who doesn't know wtf he's talking about. I think we can safely say enough of actors and businessmen and dynasty offspring. We need people in the executive branch who have some experience in government, preferably in an executive capacity.

 


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(@yofisofi)
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01/16/2020 5:53 pm  

@laura-f

I agree, especially with regards to businesspeople. Business is naturally a selfish, dictatorial pursuit that is antithetical to human rights and freedoms. Part of the role of government is to make sure that there are laws in place that keep this autocratic nature of business in check. In a democracy, government should NOT be run like a business.

 


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(@jeanne-mayell)
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01/16/2020 5:53 pm  

Thanks for laying Pete’s health care plan out for us.  It helped us to see what the candidates are proposing. It’s a gamble between Pete’s ideas and Warren/Sanders.  There is no right answer because both have uncertainties and a lot of assumptions. 

In my humble opinion:

Pete's plan is too close to what we have now. It's time we catch up to the system offered by every other developed country -  free universal health care which is Medicare for All.

Americans are ready for bigger, more systemic change.  The healthcare corporations will put up a big fight, but we don't need to capitulate to them.  AOC, Sanders, and Warren are willing to break out of business as usual. I'm with them. Pete is likely to get more support with his middle-of-the-road proposal.  I respect that Pete wants to offer what he feels he can deliver. I think we can do better.

During the passage of Pete's plan, it will get watered down, as all plans do. In the end, there's a likelihood it might not change much of anything. Of course, Pete will argue that the Medicare for All plan won't pass at all and his is more likely to pass.  It's a risk either way -- a risk that you set your bar too low or that you aim too high and get nothing. I want to aim higher and feel the public wants that too. 

Pete's plan runs the risk of failing to give us real change because it keeps the same structure that we have now. If he turns out to be right that he can incremental change to more affordable healthcare for all, then awesome. Obamacare has done a lot of good and it keeps the same system.

But many other developed countries already have Medicare for All. So why not the U.S. especially since this country has so much wealth. 

In Medicare for All, rates will decrease because the government will become the sole buyer of health care. When you are the sole buyer of healthcare, you have leverage over the costs you pay. When you let market forces determine costs, as Pete would do, albeit with modifications, the supplier keeps the advantage. Pete is hoping that most people will choose the government coverage because it will be cheaper for people, but it is not clear he can count on that.  The healthcare industry will instill fear that people already have about the government coverage being inferior. 

Net healthcare costs to Americans will decrease under Liz's plan even if taxes increase. Pete criticized Liz Warren because she wouldn't talk about raising taxes to pay for her system. She is correct that net costs will decrease because most of the costs of healthcare are hidden from us in lower wages, employer plans, and insurance plans.  In America, people have to take low paying jobs to get health care. Those lowered wages are one hidden way we pay for health care. She had said in the past that net costs to Americans would decrease.  She is probably right that the net cost will decrease even though taxes will rise. But the press attacked her. WAPO even called her a liar.


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(@jholmes)
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01/16/2020 5:53 pm  

@jeanne-mayell

Hi, Jeanne. Thank you for this discussion. It's very interesting!

I'm not an expert on healthcare, so I can't respond to your points. However, I will point out that many countries with M4A still ALSO have private insurance for those who want extra or better coverage. The UK, for example. Pete's plan is not against an eventual single-payer system. It just is more of a "glide path" to get there. I agree that it would be nice to see true experts to a breakdown analysis of the two plans. Surely someone will do that soon. I found this breakdown of the cost of Warrens plans altogether, here ( https://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-staggering-cost-of-elizabeth-warrens-plans-42-trillion-per-year-161552386.html?.tsrc=fauxdal).  But not a direct comparison of Pete vs Sanders plans in both cost and substance. 

Keep in mind how difficult it was just to enact the ACA. The healthcare industry is ginormous with billions of dollars interwoven into the economy and tens of thousands of employees. I think a step-by-step approach, rather than wiping out a ton of companies and jobs overnight, is more practical.

I think we can both agree that even Pete's plan of opening up Medicare to anyone who wants to buy it, and making sure that your premiums never exceed 8.5% of your income, is a huge change and a huge benefit to consumers.

Of course, either plan is contingent on getting it through Congress, which is a whole other matter.

As for Americans being ready for bigger, more systemic change. I agree. But it's not just about healthcare. 

In many areas, Pete's policy plans are the most aggressive proposed changes of any candidate. 

* the Douglass Plan - the most ambitious plan for restoring Black America, with everything from the Homestead Act, which provides low-income housing and prevents gentrification to support of HBCUs, to criminal justice reform, to training and supporting minority entrepreneurs. He commits to redirecting 25% of all federal spending to minority-owned businesses. That's a huge amount of money and boost to the minority business sector. 

* his plan for women - closing the pay gap by reguiring companies to be transparent about their pay, many measures to stop domestic violence and sexual harrassment, and he commits to having at least 50% women on his cabinet and in his judicial appointments. No candidate has ever done that.

* democratic reform - his number one priority - voter rights acts, automatic voter registration, ending gerrymandering, abolishing the electoral college, reforming and depoliticizing the Supreme Court, making DC and Puerto Rico states with Congress representation, securing our elections. As I've said, this is my #1 issue and no other candidate has addressed it as directly or boldly.

* climate change - like the other Dem candidates, Pete has similar goals for carbon emmissions, rejoining the Paris accords, etc. But a few distinctions that I like - he talks about climate change as a national project like the moon landing, that we can rally American around. Engaging rural America by investing in and subsidizing zero-emission farms, which helps farmers AND the world at the same time, setting up a national service "climate corp" of paid young people who work at disaster areas and with communities to become more carbon-neutral and resilient. I like that he approaches it as something we can all rally around in a "can do" way instead of just being doom and gloom.

* criminal justice - committed to ending incarceration for drug possession and freeing inmates who are in jail for drug possession, police reform with real justice for police brutality and nation-wide efforts to recruit minority officers, federal support for rehabilitation programs and more.

There are many more. My point is, Buttigieg is not at all mild, moderate, or centrist in most of his positions or his policies. If he were elected, he could enact more substantial change than this country has ever seen. 

His policy plans are here: https://peteforamerica.com/#

I don't think we will come to an agreement, and that's fine. Everyone should be passionate about their candidate. I just wanted to correct some misperceptions and I hope have a good conversation.


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(@jeanne-mayell)
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01/16/2020 5:53 pm  

Thanks for all the info. I like the environmental stuff and other national work projects.

I want a candidate who will also take on the banks (as Liz will do and knows how to do) and break up the monopolies like Amazon and Facebook (as Liz will do and knows how to do). These large corporations will continue sucking up everyone else unless they are stopped.

One correction: The cost estimate you linked - $4.2 T per year, originated with a libertarian group. They have dominated the airways on this. They simply took what everyone spends now on healthcare and shifted that to the government. But it's wrong and they are successfully scaring everyone.  The corporate media that also dislikes moves to nationalize any sector is also using these figures although I've seen lower figures too.

Those figures do not take into account that per capita health care costs will decline with Medicare for all. Other countries that offer this type of system pay half what the U.S. pays (per capita). There's no secret about why the U.S. pays such an astronomical amount -- it's vulture capitalism. That money is coming out of the pockets of the American people and into the pockets of the wealthy.  If we switch to single payer health care, vulture capitalism will end as it should for the healthcare sector of our economy. 


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(@coyote)
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01/16/2020 5:53 pm  

@jeanne-mayell

That map is a bit misleading. While all of the the countries shaded in dark green do in fact guarantee free health care on  paper, in practice, quite a few of those countries have extremely unequal health systems that require substantial out-of-pocket costs from the have-nots. The lists I've seen of countries with genuine universal health care are limited to Western Europe, a handful of Eastern European countries, Canada, Australia, NZ, the Persian Gulf states, the advanced economies of East Asia (but not China), Israel, and Cuba. And not all of those countries have single payer. Some have two-tiered public-private systems, some have insurance mandates backed by government-funded subsidies. 

But even within that narrowed down list of countries, health outcomes are declining or static, just as they are in the United States, and the issue isn't which particular system is being employed. The real issue, as I alluded to in the South America thread, is our sputtering global economic system and energy infrastructure and the top-heavy, hierarchical institutions that rely on those systems. This predicament has profound implications for all of the institutions we associate with modern life, but focusing just on healthcare, I think it's just as important, if not more so, to probe our mechanistic culture's assumptions about health and healing so that we can transform the idea of healthcare from the inside out. No single politician is up to this task, which is why I'm studiously neutral with regards to the proposals being pitched by the Democratic frontrunners.    

 


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(@lodrochuwo)
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01/16/2020 5:53 pm  

This isn’t a policy blog, obviously, but since Jeanne has decided to venture this deeply into the details of the health care debate, I will add my 2 cents.  The hue and cry about how to pay for universal healthcare, or the Green New Deal for that matter, is really a red herring.  The unspoken assumption is that money is some kind of natural resource, which there is some critical shortage of.  This is nonsense.  Money is a social construct.  It has no real existence.  Money is like points in a game.  Points can be added or subtracted at will, and are all the time. Money is created either when the federal government spends it into existence, or when banks (including the Federal Reserve) loan it into existence.  Money is destroyed when the federal government collects taxes, or when loans are retired.  The real purpose of federal taxation is to regulate the money supply, not to fund the government.  If we as a society democratically decide that everyone has a right to healthcare, the actual barriers are things like hiring and training enough healthcare workers and building and staffing facilities in underserved areas.  The money can be magically created, just as we seem to manage whenever we start another pointless war.  This will only create inflation if spending exceeds the real capacity of the physical economy.

This is a complex topic, but the fundamental point is easy to understand and vitally important. Don’t let anyone tell you that we can’t do what’s necessary to meet human needs or answer the existential challenge of the climate crisis because ‘there’s not enough money.’. That’s b.s.  If you are interested in this topic do a search on Modern Monetary Theory.  Take the ‘red pill’, it will open your eyes.


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(@jeanne-mayell)
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01/16/2020 5:53 pm  

@coyote

Thanks for the correction. So if we eliminate some countries from the analysis, there are still substantial countries that provide Medicare for all and it doesn't cost the insane rates it costs here.  

@Lodrochuwo, very interesting!  Thank you for weighing in.  


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(@jeanne-mayell)
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01/16/2020 6:02 pm  

Hi everyone, I opened up a special section just for threads on presidential candidates and then I moved discussions from the U.S. Predictions Thread to this new section.  However, in moving two separate threads on Butti, the application ended out giving today's date to every single post after the first five. That is incorrect.  And it can't be reversed. 

The above posts started on March 19, 2019 and go to October 28, 2019. 


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(@jeanne-mayell)
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01/16/2020 6:13 pm  

I just tried to move about six Butigieg posts from Trump Unraveling to this section because they were about Buttigieg and the application just went haywire and they ended up in Hope For Wildlife topic!?   You can find your posts in the sidebar and rewrite them here.  Sorry, I think the universe is playing with me.  Also the last person who posted is @seaturtle, so maybe the forum application liked your name.  deedo, deedo


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(@lovendures)
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01/16/2020 6:15 pm  

@jeanne-mayell

Wildlife?  Hahahaha!


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(@lovendures)
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01/16/2020 6:21 pm  

@jeanne-mayell

Thanks for making the Election Candidate section.  We really need it so they don't get buried in other threads and can be easily found to have appropriate discussions.  


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(@jeanne-mayell)
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01/16/2020 6:22 pm  

Thank you, @lovendures. I think you are trying to make me feel better about the mess-up and I really appreciate it.  


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 lynn
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01/16/2020 7:46 pm  

Jeanne, you do a magnificent job running this site, with all its numerous categories.  The Hope for Wildlife snafu gave me such a chuckle. Maybe the universe is having a little fun, and reminding us not to take things so seriously. 🙂


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(@molly)
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02/04/2020 9:52 pm  

Yah !!!! Major Pete came out ahead in Iowa. I have seen him at the top for some time now and hope it continues to a victory. I am so tired of people saying things like " we will never elect a gay " or " he's too young with no experience" or " he can't beat Trump" etc.... Well- first of all- Iowa is not a bubble, so if he can get elected there- the sky is the limit.Then, we need a young person with perspective toward the future with serious problems like climate change etc... Yes, he can stand up to Trump 100x more powerful with the truth.  He is so smart, common sense, empathetic and actually cares about people and policies..... with boundless energy needed to tackle all of these HUGE problems made worse by the crazies now.  He has a light surrounding him and I will focus on meditating for him to be victorious ! I see him as a lightworker and pray for his safety and guidance. What a blessing......

 

 


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(@jeanne-mayell)
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02/07/2020 9:01 pm  

I dread posting this post. I have held back my vision of  Pete Buttigieg for two months. I didn’t want to put any progressive candidates down or upset the beautiful people here who like him.  But it’s been bugging me now for weeks and so I have to get this out with love and respect to all the people here who love Pete.  I am going to resist coming back and reading all the push back I expect from the Pete lovers. It's okay if you love him.  Also if he ends out as the nominee, I will support him.

I wouldn't be so troubled by him if we weren't in such difficult times but we need someone extraordinary to get us out of the fix we are in. Our world is broken because of big money interests.  So we need someone who won't use big money interests to get elected.  Pete has shown that he can't make it without big money so they will have power over him.

I liked him in the beginning because he’s kind and peaceful and makes everyone feel good.  He made me cry when I listened to him speak. He seemed to be a gentle soul.  He seemed such a fresh antidote to Donald Trump.  He is not divisive when he speaks.  For those reasons, I liked him. 

But beware of the rebound effect from Donald Trump. Nice, kind, and peaceful is not what we need in the Oval Office. We near fearless, warrior, someone working for the people not big money interests, and someone with experience dealing with these big money interests.  

 I wouldn't have minded that he had some big money donors but then I could hear their talking points coming through him.  If he makes it to president, he will need those big money interests even more to stay in office and get reelected again.

I was looking at AOC today who is much younger than Pete just to show that I am not against Pete's youth. AOC is extraordinarily smart, and her character is solid. She is fearless and acts according to her conscience.  If you go to her campaign page it says:

No corrupt political machines, no big money PACs, and no back-door lobbyists. Running for Congress to create an America that works for all of us.   

Warren and Sanders can say that. In a weird way, Bloomberg can say it since he doesn't need anyone's money. 

 

 


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 lynn
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02/07/2020 9:15 pm  

I was a huge Pete lover when he first came on the scene, but the bloom's been off the rose for awhile. He seemed like a breath of fresh air but he's sounding packaged lately.

Still wondering if he's the "dark horse" that I think you predicted Jeanne.  


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(@jeanne-mayell)
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02/07/2020 9:47 pm  

@lynnventura  That vision was a memorable one for me. We were trying to see the 2025 Inauguration at the time, but it is possible that I was actually seeing the 2021.  I saw a man in a military uniform, dark haired, heading towards the Inaugural Platform on a dark horse. I was nervous about him. He felt like a military leader who was going to take the presidency. Pete isn't a military leader. Later people said the horse symbolized a dark horse candidate which Pete is. I haven't thought it was Pete because I felt the guy in the vision was connected to the conservatives. I even had a military junta feeling about him. 

 


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(@jeanne-mayell)
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02/15/2020 4:26 pm  

Masha Gessen, one of my favorite journalists, just penned an essay about Pete in The New Yorker. As a gay woman, Gessen sees Pete as a conservative, not a progressive. 


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(@vestralux)
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02/15/2020 5:22 pm  
Posted by: @jeanne-mayell
 
Yes, good idea for a thread and speaking of the journalist Masha Gessen, her recent essay on Pete Buttigieg (February 12, New Yorker) is worth a read. It resonates with how I see Pete - that he's a conservative who just happens to be gay.
I agree, Jeanne. He's conservative. And totally untested. That puts him out of the running for me.

I'm a longtime reader of Masha Gessen's work and admire her very much. However, I'm also a queer, who like Pete, happens to "pass" as a fairly standard issue straight person (woman). With strangers, I reap the benefits of that assumption, though as I've said here before, I was cast out by my family after being outed to them as a young person. Like any other non-hetero in America, I've dealt with death threats, workplace harassment, and street abuse for being out, and had to confront a lot of bullying by other PARENTS when it was directed at my daughter (never from other kids, can you imagine?). And I know that Pete experiences his own version of this but amplified, now that he's in the spotlight.

So, on the "not queer enough" argument, I get why that feels itchy to some folks in my community. But as Masha said herself only the day after the 2016 presidential election, we're nosediving into authoritarian rule. Our democracy is getting its ass kicked and hung on the line to dry. So, how much street cred a gay candidate happens to have with our elder drag queens, bull dykes, or Gen Z binary-twisters doesn't feel like priority number one. Again, he's essentially conservative, he's not ready to lead; he isn't inspiring turnout; he isn't connecting with minorities of all types; and even if he does get elected, how in the hell will he reestablish the EPA, much less the rest of our embattled Republic?

That said, he gets the nomination and I'm there. And he certainly has virtues. I respect and admire that Pete speaks American Christian straight from the Gospels and right to the heartland with conviction. Common language is important for building a bridge. And anyway: know your audience. We need to stop alienating the religious, not least because many are also Democrats.

Maybe I'm wrong, but when I look at Pete, I feel a lot of painful internalized homophobia tangled up inside him. His entire body freezes up when his husband goes to hug or kiss him. He turns his face slightly away. His fearful self-consciousness is visible. But in the photograph of the two of them that Masha remarks on in her article as being "heterosexual" somehow? I find that absurd. And consider it a harmful perspective for an LGBTQIA+ person to take against another.

When I look at the same photo, I'm seeing Pete's surface conservatism, yes, but also his desperate need, not only to be accepted by the world (and Democratic voters) for being the gay man that he is, but his underlying terror: that in this America, such as it has become in the hands of Trump, that he and the man he loves may well be killed for it.

And that possibility is the most essential thing we share as LGBTQIA+ people. Full stop. Even if we're conservative. Even if we "pass."  

I recognize this is a derail, but the subject is deeply important to me. My 💗to you and all.


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