After Criticizing Capitalism For Using Advertising to Trick Consumers into Bad Deals, Progressives Try to Use the Same Tactic for Obamacare
Chait stresses the youth aspect:
Fortunately for Obama, this field of battle favors his side. To pass the law, he needed to win over skeptical senators. To defend it in court, he needed conservative jurists. But identifying and persuading young people is a battle Obama does not expect to lose to Republicans, and in place of the federal outreach funds, the administration is deploying a campaignlike array of weapons: microtargeting, including door-to-door outreach, and all forms of media. (A few weeks ago, Katy Perry tweeted out a link informing her 42 million followers that health care was available beginning October 1.)
Yep, when it comes to reaching hipsters, or young people in general — I know, Katy Perry — Dems have big advantages; all that coastal cultural elite hatred suddenly turns into a big disadvantage for the right.
A couple of thoughts:
- Katy Perry is part of the cultural elite? We have sure dumbed down that concept.
- As to Ms. Perry, whose music is actually a guilty pleasure of mine, health care has been available to your twitter followers all their lives, not just beginning October 1. A better way to put this is that, as of October 1 you will be forced to buy some amount of health care whether you want it or not.
- The whole campaign aimed at young people is simply obscene. I understand that folks like Ms. Perry honestly believe that young people are getting a better deal, and that she is doing them a service. Fine, millionaires can be low information voters too. But people in the Administration have a much more cynical purpose, which explains the magnitude of the campaign described by Chait: For Obamacare to work and not be a fiscal disaster, it depends on young people overpaying for health insurance. The Administration knows that young people are overpaying -- the whole system depends on it -- and yet they are telling them it is in their interest to sign up. A private company that did this would be in jail.
- I think this whole campaign is going to fail due to a basic fallacy of Progressive thinking. Progressives are convinced that consumers are helpless dupes of advertising. They in fact criticized health care advertising expenses in the private world for years for this reason, making this whole campaign incredibly ironic. Obama and company are convinced that with enough advertising, average consumers will buy anything, even if it is a bad deal, because they are convinced that this is how consumer capitalism works (it got him elected, didn't it?) I think they are going to be disappointed.