2016 US Presidential Election

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CorruptUser
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:37 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Do you actually have a no deductible healthcare plan? Those kinds of plans are bad because the metaphorical buffets encourage more usage than per service. So it's great for the few who have such plans, it's terrible for everyone else who have to suffer longer waits and host process because of them.


Eh, depends on the service. Dental services, even free, see only like 50% utilization. That is, if every dentist office was free for everyone, only half of people would ever show up. There are people who would never show up even if all other medical services were free.

The real problem is the cost. By the very nature of insurance, you have to pay the sales team, the administration, and yes, profit. The individual market is mandated a minimum of 80% MLR (medical loss ratio) and large business at 85% MLR, meaning that each dollar in premium will pay out 80 or 85 cents in claims or quality*. So if you have an individual insurance policy, having insurance raises the total cost by 25%. However, the insurance company provides services such as negotiation which prevents overcharging and so many unnecessary procedures that would otherwise be added on; imagine hiring a professional to go with you to buy a used car, who knows what it should cost, which warranties are bullshit, etc. So obviously, it's complicated. Where this becomes a problem is the routine stuff which necessarily has increased price, and requires so much paperwork and so forth thanks to insurance. Whether a claim is $5 or $50,000, you still need the same amount of work to file it. Ideally, you would get catastrophic insurance (very high deductible); you buy car insurance for the rare event you wrapped your car around a telephone pole and have $200,000 in damages, not for $20 oil changes. All those stories about people forced into bankruptcy due to a $90,000 heart attack? That's exactly what insurance is for. But these are only legally available for 5 years** of your life so, yeah, thanks Obama.


*Benefits that aren't exactly claims but things that are expected to help out anyway, like taxi service to hospitals or in home personal trainers for the elderly.
**You can only purchase catastrophic plans through age 30, but since you can be on your parent's insurance until age 26, it's almost entirely 26-30.
Last edited by CorruptUser on Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:58 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:50 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
sardia wrote:Do you actually have a no deductible healthcare plan? Those kinds of plans are bad because the metaphorical buffets encourage more usage than per service. So it's great for the few who have such plans, it's terrible for everyone else who have to suffer longer waits and host process because of them.


Eh, depends on the service. Dental services, even free, see only like 50% utilization. That is, if every dentist office was free for everyone, only half of people would ever show up. There are people who would never show up even if all other medical services were free.


That's fair. I hit the dentist roughly every three years. They chide me, tell me to floss, show up more often, and I nod along, but we both know how this is going to go.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:07 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
sardia wrote:Do you actually have a no deductible healthcare plan? Those kinds of plans are bad because the metaphorical buffets encourage more usage than per service. So it's great for the few who have such plans, it's terrible for everyone else who have to suffer longer waits and host process because of them.


Eh, depends on the service. Dental services, even free, see only like 50% utilization. That is, if every dentist office was free for everyone, only half of people would ever show up. There are people who would never show up even if all other medical services were free.

The real problem is the cost. By the very nature of insurance, you have to pay the sales team, the administration, and yes, profit. The individual market is mandated a minimum of 80% MLR (medical loss ratio) and large business at 85% MLR, meaning that each dollar in premium will pay out 80 or 85 cents in claims or quality*. So if you have an individual insurance policy, having insurance raises the total cost by 25%. However, the insurance company provides services such as negotiation which prevents overcharging and so many unnecessary procedures that would otherwise be added on; imagine hiring a professional to go with you to buy a used car, who knows what it should cost, which warranties are bullshit, etc. So obviously, it's complicated. Where this becomes a problem is the routine stuff which necessarily has increased price, and requires so much paperwork and so forth thanks to insurance. Whether a claim is $5 or $50,000, you still need the same amount of work to file it. Ideally, you would get catastrophic insurance (very high deductible); you buy car insurance for the rare event you wrapped your car around a telephone pole and have $200,000 in damages, not for $20 oil changes. All those stories about people forced into bankruptcy due to a $90,000 heart attack? That's exactly what insurance is for. But these are only legally available for 5 years** of your life so, yeah, thanks Obama.


*Benefits that aren't exactly claims but things that are expected to help out anyway, like taxi service to hospitals or in home personal trainers for the elderly.
**You can only purchase catastrophic plans through age 30, but since you can be on your parent's insurance until age 26, it's almost entirely 26-30.

What does this general statement that insurance has overhead costs have to do with "this cadalac tax on high end health insurance saves everyone in the country money." ?
https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44160.pdf
It saves us $40,000,000,000 a year in less healthcare spending. Or is this just you soapboxing on your favorite health insurance plans? Btw, I agree that high deductible health insurance is the way to go, but why are you so upset the deductibles aren't higher? It's not $7k a year per family member is petty change.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:55 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:The real problem is the cost. By the very nature of insurance, you have to pay the sales team, the administration, and yes, profit. The individual market is mandated a minimum of 80% MLR (medical loss ratio) and large business at 85% MLR, meaning that each dollar in premium will pay out 80 or 85 cents in claims or quality*. So if you have an individual insurance policy, having insurance raises the total cost by 25%. However, the insurance company provides services such as negotiation which prevents overcharging and so many unnecessary procedures that would otherwise be added on; imagine hiring a professional to go with you to buy a used car, who knows what it should cost, which warranties are bullshit, etc. So obviously, it's complicated. Where this becomes a problem is the routine stuff which necessarily has increased price, and requires so much paperwork and so forth thanks to insurance. Whether a claim is $5 or $50,000, you still need the same amount of work to file it. Ideally, you would get catastrophic insurance (very high deductible); you buy car insurance for the rare event you wrapped your car around a telephone pole and have $200,000 in damages, not for $20 oil changes. All those stories about people forced into bankruptcy due to a $90,000 heart attack? That's exactly what insurance is for. But these are only legally available for 5 years** of your life so, yeah, thanks Obama.


Dear United States of America,

Please get socialized medicine. Your system sounds stupid and terrible and makes us feel bad when you talk about it.

Sincerely,

The rest of the developed world.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:00 pm UTC

It's really just a cobbled together mess of various systems.

I mean, if you're worried about the added overhead of medical insurance, then making everyone pay insurance companies for insurance is kind of a terrible solution. It *is* really good at guaranteeing profits for insurance companies, though, and thus got them on board with the plan. The realities of politics are not necessarily the same as designing an efficient solution.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:04 pm UTC

You guys make our sound like the insurance industry want making a profit until the aca act was passed. Hint, it was making a profit, but by scummy means like denying sick people access.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:10 pm UTC

sardia wrote:You guys make our sound like the insurance industry want making a profit until the aca act was passed. Hint, it was making a profit, but by scummy means like denying sick people access.


Of course they were making a profit. They were a major industry. Profit can pretty much be assumed, as that's the goal, right?

But locking the population into guaranteed consumption is indeed a change. There's *some* precedence, also in the insurance industry, but it's a really wierd thing in the US for any other industry. Imagine if auto producers could convince the government to mandate that people buy US made cars.

Actually, nobody suggest that to anyone.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:16 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:But locking the population into guaranteed consumption is indeed a change. There's *some* precedence, also in the insurance industry, but it's a really wierd thing in the US for any other industry. Imagine if auto producers could convince the government to mandate that people buy US made cars.


It was the fundamental problem of preexisting conditions. The Affordable Care Act made the "preexisting conditions" excuse illegal. Once preexisting conditions were removed... individual consumers would simply buy insurance after they developed a condition. Forcing everyone to buy insurance prevents this latter problem.

The other solutions were to keep "preexisting conditions" as a valid excuse to be denied health care. Romney proposed an intriguing "inheritance" system where careful consumers can chain their insurance forward as long as they continued to buy insurance continuously. But if you lost your job or got into some other financial difficulty and "broke the chain" so to speak, then you'd break the "inheritance" system and be denied health care coverage as per the preexisting conditions issue. I think I'd rather have this latter system despite its risks from a "freedom" point of view... but I don't necessarily think the Individual Mandate system is awful either.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Newt » Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:02 pm UTC

sardia wrote: Hint, it was making a profit, but by scummy means like denying sick people access.


You mean they were a company providing insurance, not a company that you pay 200 dollars a month to pay for thousands in medical bills once you're already sick?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:43 pm UTC

I thought there was already a healthcare thread? Does anyone think it is worth the effort to attempt to help Trump get the nod rather than Carson? If the Republicans are going to melt down my personal feeling is anybody but Carson.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:06 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:I thought there was already a healthcare thread? Does anyone think it is worth the effort to attempt to help Trump get the nod rather than Carson? If the Republicans are going to melt down my personal feeling is anybody but Carson.


....help Trump...

I'm gonna just gonna be over here, drinking heavily.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:17 pm UTC

Save me a chair. But, I mean Carson's xxxxxxxxx :lol: , whereas Trump is merely a buffoon? Anyway it's an idle thought to this point, but no harm in talking about helping the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:25 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Save me a chair. But, I mean Carson's xxxxxxxxx :lol: , whereas Trump is merely a buffoon? Anyway it's an idle thought to this point, but no harm in talking about helping the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot.


Oh, Trump's dangerous. Describing him as merely a buffoon is...not quite right. He is, in a strategic sense, not doing badly at this. I believe he *would* be a bad leader, but he's not merely a harmless idiot. Having terrible goals is not the same as being ineffective in everything.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:29 pm UTC

Moreover, as is obvious by looking at his career, he's actually quite effective at suckering people into investing in whatever bad deal he's hawking. I don't think he's actually going to get the nomination, but it's unnervingly close to possible.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:44 pm UTC

Maybe or maybe not. Of course if the Republicans actually have someone in the game worth pushing I'm all in for that to. However consider if the it comes down to the two of them.........

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Dauric » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:59 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Moreover, as is obvious by looking at his career, he's actually quite effective at suckering people into investing in whatever bad deal he's hawking. I don't think he's actually going to get the nomination, but it's unnervingly close to possible.


I think he might get the nomination actually, it may be close but everyone else in the running seems to melt down faster than him, and Trump is no stranger to staying on top even during public scandals. He's been scandal fodder since the late 80's and those don't seem to be bogging him down in the least. The other Republican candidates are by-in-large newcomers and have yet to face public scrutiny for past mistakes. Combined with an apparent Republican disgust with 'establishment' party candidates and Trump's outsider status and his distinctly 'not establishment' behavior it might just be enough to push him over the top.

So Trump becomes the Republican candidate, so the Republican ticket melts down in the general, right?

..ehhhh... possibly not.

The Democratic party hasn't really got a clear and inspiring candidate this time around. Obama may have been a fairly typical president, but as a candidate for president he had a lock on being the guy that looked like he had a plan. Unfortunately Democrats tend to suffer from 'voter apathy' (ie: "There's nobody I really want to vote -for-, and the guy I don't want in the office can't possibly win, and it's such a chore to get to the ballot....") in greater quantities than Republican voters, and unless a Democratic candidate can pull out the public speaking chops to really convince people they are a positive choice the Democratic ticket may fail short of votes due to a lack of turnout in the general.

This may or may not be 'worst case' but I think it falls in to the realm of 'plausible' outcomes.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:08 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Of course they were making a profit. They were a major industry. Profit can pretty much be assumed, as that's the goal, right?

But locking the population into guaranteed consumption is indeed a change. There's *some* precedence, also in the insurance industry, but it's a really wierd thing in the US for any other industry. Imagine if auto producers could convince the government to mandate that people buy US made cars.

Actually, nobody suggest that to anyone.

Depends on what the need was. Are there millions and millions of people living under the threat of catastrophic losses due to an emergency? Or what if the government mandated the fuel efficiency so much that your beloved car is banished? Oh wait, they already do that. Look, you should realize that government is there to promote the social welfare. That's why we mandate we have an army, and not let a bunch of rednecks with rifles do it alone. So in answer to your question, is there a pressing need for said regulation that's worth the cost? No? Question answered.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:41 am UTC

Wait, doesn't government already mandate we buy US made cars via the military and arguably the police?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:55 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Wait, doesn't government already mandate we buy US made cars via the military and arguably the police?


The government does tend to buy US made cars, but that's different than requiring we buy them for personal use. Sure, we contribute to the government via taxes, but there's an important distinction there.

sardia wrote:Depends on what the need was. Are there millions and millions of people living under the threat of catastrophic losses due to an emergency? Or what if the government mandated the fuel efficiency so much that your beloved car is banished? Oh wait, they already do that. Look, you should realize that government is there to promote the social welfare. That's why we mandate we have an army, and not let a bunch of rednecks with rifles do it alone. So in answer to your question, is there a pressing need for said regulation that's worth the cost? No? Question answered.


See, "promote social welfare" is both broad and subjective as hell. I dislike such loose, vague purposes that could justify literally anything, depending on who is using the justification.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:58 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:The Democratic party hasn't really got a clear and inspiring candidate this time around.


Sanders is clear and inspiring. He's also too left for me to imagine this country voting for him.

I dunno why Clinton and Sanders are the only real candidates on the Democrats side. Biden might be the democrat's best hope... and he isn't even officially running yet.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:12 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Dauric wrote:The Democratic party hasn't really got a clear and inspiring candidate this time around.


Sanders is clear and inspiring. He's also too left for me to imagine this country voting for him.

I dunno why Clinton and Sanders are the only real candidates on the Democrats side. Biden might be the democrat's best hope... and he isn't even officially running yet.


Actually, completely agree.

Sanders is clear as to what he wants, I just don't want the same thing, and the same is true of much of the country. Reasonably well spoken as well. Biden is more centrist, and he comes across as vastly more clear/honest than hillary. He's definitely the best bet of the party. Which, as mentioned before, is a little bit depressing.

Looking at the field of republicans and democrats, one can't help but wonder at the premise that these are the best representatives of the country. In theory, the parties should be doing some selecting for viable, good candidates, but very little of that actually happens. Prior experience seems to be a very soft requirement, so it's not much of a filter. Granted, we have the primaries, but...my confidence in that is fairly low as well.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby dg61 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:56 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
Dauric wrote:The Democratic party hasn't really got a clear and inspiring candidate this time around.


Sanders is clear and inspiring. He's also too left for me to imagine this country voting for him.

I dunno why Clinton and Sanders are the only real candidates on the Democrats side. Biden might be the democrat's best hope... and he isn't even officially running yet.


Actually, completely agree.

Sanders is clear as to what he wants, I just don't want the same thing, and the same is true of much of the country. Reasonably well spoken as well. Biden is more centrist, and he comes across as vastly more clear/honest than hillary. He's definitely the best bet of the party. Which, as mentioned before, is a little bit depressing.

Looking at the field of republicans and democrats, one can't help but wonder at the premise that these are the best representatives of the country. In theory, the parties should be doing some selecting for viable, good candidates, but very little of that actually happens. Prior experience seems to be a very soft requirement, so it's not much of a filter. Granted, we have the primaries, but...my confidence in that is fairly low as well.


Conspiracy theory-everyone thinks there's going to be a double-dip recession or at least another economic downturn in the next few years and is sitting out this election for 2020 because they think it'll be a poison pill.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:26 pm UTC

So if you've been paying attention, Carson has been talking about how he would go all Bruce Wayne meets Neo on the ass of whoever pointed a gun at him. Now he's told his story of what actually happened to him:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/08/politics/ ... p-popeyes/

Guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs. And I just said, 'I believe that you want the guy behind the counter


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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:44 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
Dauric wrote:The Democratic party hasn't really got a clear and inspiring candidate this time around.


Sanders is clear and inspiring. He's also too left for me to imagine this country voting for him.

I dunno why Clinton and Sanders are the only real candidates on the Democrats side. Biden might be the democrat's best hope... and he isn't even officially running yet.


Actually, completely agree.

Sanders is clear as to what he wants, I just don't want the same thing, and the same is true of much of the country. Reasonably well spoken as well. Biden is more centrist, and he comes across as vastly more clear/honest than hillary. He's definitely the best bet of the party. Which, as mentioned before, is a little bit depressing.

Looking at the field of republicans and democrats, one can't help but wonder at the premise that these are the best representatives of the country. In theory, the parties should be doing some selecting for viable, good candidates, but very little of that actually happens. Prior experience seems to be a very soft requirement, so it's not much of a filter. Granted, we have the primaries, but...my confidence in that is fairly low as well.

... How do you not see the party's hands pulling the strings behind each nomination? Didn't you not notice all the articles about the invisible primary? It's literally the party establishment either guiding or if need be dragging the voters to the correct choice during the primary. How do you think Romney won? He had help from the party when they realized the GOP voters were making a mistake choosing their leader.

Also why are you upset with the idea that the government, who are our representatives, solving unexpected problems deemed serious enough to solve with collective power? I hope you aren't an strict Constitutionalist. If you didn't want to solve a problem, then don't do it. It's not like politicians can't hear their constituents.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:02 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Big damn hero!
:lol: It's easy for him to talk, he's a politician. Myself I'm a rabbit.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:08 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:So if you've been paying attention, Carson has been talking about how he would go all Bruce Wayne meets Neo on the ass of whoever pointed a gun at him. Now he's told his story of what actually happened to him:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/08/politics/ ... p-popeyes/

Guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs. And I just said, 'I believe that you want the guy behind the counter


Big damn hero!


He's hilarious.

And particularly incredible on all gun topics. My read is that as his history isn't overly strong on firearms(he's made some pro-gun control comments before), he's trying to be as extreme as possible to quell all doubts. But...he doesn't seem to actually understand what he's saying, and just comes across as kind of crazy.

He's got a very good speaking manner, but if you look at his words as text, shorn of presentation, they frequently just seem...off.

sardia wrote:... How do you not see the party's hands pulling the strings behind each nomination? Didn't you not notice all the articles about the invisible primary? It's literally the party establishment either guiding or if need be dragging the voters to the correct choice during the primary. How do you think Romney won? He had help from the party when they realized the GOP voters were making a mistake choosing their leader.

Also why are you upset with the idea that the government, who are our representatives, solving unexpected problems deemed serious enough to solve with collective power? I hope you aren't an strict Constitutionalist. If you didn't want to solve a problem, then don't do it. It's not like politicians can't hear their constituents.


...viable, good candidates....

Romney won the primary, sure, but he couldn't win the general. And yeah, he absolutely was the establishment favorite, but he was...kinda lackluster as a candidate. He's not a good case to hold up for the wisdom of the parties.

And frankly, neither is Obama. Hillary was the heir apparent for a goodly while. And sort of is again, despite the voters being wildly unenthused about her.

Both parties are going for a sort of bland inoffensiveness that doesn't actually seem to resonate with anyone. So, you get voter reactions to that, which are...extremely the opposite. Like Trump.

I gotta believe there's someone better than Bush and Trump somewhere on that continuum.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:44 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
Dauric wrote:The Democratic party hasn't really got a clear and inspiring candidate this time around.


Sanders is clear and inspiring. He's also too left for me to imagine this country voting for him.

I dunno why Clinton and Sanders are the only real candidates on the Democrats side. Biden might be the democrat's best hope... and he isn't even officially running yet.


Actually, completely agree.

Sanders is clear as to what he wants, I just don't want the same thing, and the same is true of much of the country.


Actually, most of his proposals are supported by 65-80% of the country.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Diadem » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:54 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:Actually, most of his proposals are supported by 65-80% of the country.

That doesn't proof much. If my platform is "Sunshine, Rainbows and murdering kittens" then most of my proposals will have near universal support, but I'm still not getting elected.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:16 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:Actually, most of his proposals are supported by 65-80% of the country.

That doesn't proof much. If my platform is "Sunshine, Rainbows and murdering kittens" then most of my proposals will have near universal support, but I'm still not getting elected.


I said nothing about elect-ability, merely rebutting his asserting that Americans in general don't want the same thing as what Bernie Sanders is proposing. Most of his proposals enjoy high levels of support.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:24 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
Diadem wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:Actually, most of his proposals are supported by 65-80% of the country.

That doesn't proof much. If my platform is "Sunshine, Rainbows and murdering kittens" then most of my proposals will have near universal support, but I'm still not getting elected.


I said nothing about elect-ability, merely rebutting his asserting that Americans in general don't want the same thing as what Bernie Sanders is proposing. Most of his proposals enjoy high levels of support.


Right. People always want the more shiny things. They may not particularly want to pay for them, or make other tradeoffs.

"Do you think we should work to reduce crime?" is an easy example. Damned near everyone is going to say yes. It's nice, broad, vague, and something everyone wants. A great deal of the stuff all politicians talk about is of this level of vagueness, precisely because it's an easy way to develop support.

So, "level of support for issues" means jack-all.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby RCT Bob » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:38 pm UTC

I can understand why Sanders gets so much support. I don't think his proposals are that crazy. I just think he'll suffer from Congress blocking everything if he gets elected.

But a nation can function with more social welfare and higher taxes just fine. In the Netherlands we have a nation-wide sales tax on all non-food products of 21%, food products of 6%, and more on alcohol, tobacco, car fuel (around 2/3rd of our unleaded fuel price is tax), and energy bills (energy tax is actually also subject to sales tax, so in practice our tax is also being taxed), people with high wages (above 70k euros per year I think) pay around 50% income tax, lower wages pay progressively less income tax. Around 60% of the governments' budget is spent on social welfare and health care, the social welfare being mainly benefits that people with low wages get. Benefits to pay for child day care, benefits to pay your health insurance, benefits to pay your rent, and so on. Those are separate from unemployment or disability benefits. Our minimum wage is around 1500 euros per month, sufficient to sustain yourself. And yet the Netherlands is still among the wealthiest countries in the entire world.
Last edited by RCT Bob on Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:37 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:03 pm UTC

Depends on what you mean by "just fine". There are tradeoffs. Sure, it doesn't result in an implosion where we're all cannibals hoarding gold, but ya'll have had to nationalize banks and crap. Substantial unemployment and housing issues, sort of like we had.

Additionally, those of us who are skeptical of the more socialist european choices frequently observe that Netherlands, Norway, etc have the benefit of significant petro exports. Happening to have a country atop rich oil reserves is generally a financial boon. After all, UAE happens to be fairly well off financially, but nobody seems to be suggesting we adopt THEIR social policies. Bluntly, a good bit of wealth is due to natural reserves being exploited for export. Location of these reserves isn't a result of social positions.

In short, your economy doesn't seem ALL that different from ours, the same things that hit us hit you. You simply get to spend a little more carelessly because you've got natural gas to sell.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby icanus » Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:07 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Bluntly, a good bit of wealth is due to natural reserves being exploited for export. Location of these reserves isn't a result of social positions.

In short, your economy doesn't seem ALL that different from ours, the same things that hit us hit you. You simply get to spend a little more carelessly because you've got natural gas to sell.

Exactly! It's not as if the US is the largest oil producer in the world or something...

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:07 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Depends on what you mean by "just fine". There are tradeoffs. Sure, it doesn't result in an implosion where we're all cannibals hoarding gold, but ya'll have had to nationalize banks and crap. Substantial unemployment and housing issues, sort of like we had.

Additionally, those of us who are skeptical of the more socialist european choices frequently observe that Netherlands, Norway, etc have the benefit of significant petro exports. Happening to have a country atop rich oil reserves is generally a financial boon. After all, UAE happens to be fairly well off financially, but nobody seems to be suggesting we adopt THEIR social policies. Bluntly, a good bit of wealth is due to natural reserves being exploited for export. Location of these reserves isn't a result of social positions.

In short, your economy doesn't seem ALL that different from ours, the same things that hit us hit you. You simply get to spend a little more carelessly because you've got natural gas to sell.

The US is insanely resource-rich, so don't think that really explains it.

Countries like Norway have simply kept a greater proportion of resource wealth for themselves instead of letting private companies profit from it on the cheap.

(Beaten to the punch, but, yeah)

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Mambrino » Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:10 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Depends on what you mean by "just fine". There are tradeoffs. Sure, it doesn't result in an implosion where we're all cannibals hoarding gold, but ya'll have had to nationalize banks and crap. Substantial unemployment and housing issues, sort of like we had.

Additionally, those of us who are skeptical of the more socialist european choices frequently observe that Netherlands, Norway, etc have the benefit of significant petro exports. Happening to have a country atop rich oil reserves is generally a financial boon. After all, UAE happens to be fairly well off financially, but nobody seems to be suggesting we adopt THEIR social policies. Bluntly, a good bit of wealth is due to natural reserves being exploited for export. Location of these reserves isn't a result of social positions.

In short, your economy doesn't seem ALL that different from ours, the same things that hit us hit you. You simply get to spend a little more carelessly because you've got natural gas to sell.


Sweden manages without gas. On the other hand, we currently quite don't, but then most countries have wider industrial base than wood-products, mobile telephones and 'cheese' that only we and Russians like to eat.

Don't know that much about the current state of welfare state in Denmark (and even less about Germany, who is probably a special case anyway with mini-jobs and particularly strong economy.)

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:29 am UTC

Erm... so this just happened.

The Democratic presidential candidates were asked to name the enemy that they are proudest to have made during Tuesday night's CNN debate.

<snip>

"I'd have to say the enemy soldier that threw their grenade that wounded me," Webb said. "But he's not around right now to talk to."


Okay, Jim Webb is hilarious. I'm going to have to look up more info on him. Jim Webb's "proudest enemy" is a dude he literally killed. I don't think I was expecting to hear this kind of joke from the Democrat side at all.

I haven't actually watched any of the debates yet. I might get around to watching one of these eventually...
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby RCT Bob » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:37 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Depends on what you mean by "just fine". There are tradeoffs. Sure, it doesn't result in an implosion where we're all cannibals hoarding gold, but ya'll have had to nationalize banks and crap. Substantial unemployment and housing issues, sort of like we had.

Additionally, those of us who are skeptical of the more socialist european choices frequently observe that Netherlands, Norway, etc have the benefit of significant petro exports. Happening to have a country atop rich oil reserves is generally a financial boon. After all, UAE happens to be fairly well off financially, but nobody seems to be suggesting we adopt THEIR social policies. Bluntly, a good bit of wealth is due to natural reserves being exploited for export. Location of these reserves isn't a result of social positions.

In short, your economy doesn't seem ALL that different from ours, the same things that hit us hit you. You simply get to spend a little more carelessly because you've got natural gas to sell.


The Netherlands doesn't have significant natural resources, only natural gas. Our government makes about 5.7 billion euros per year from the natural gas resources, but that's likely to decrease because the area has been suffering from minor earthquakes and there has been public uproar. To compare, the Dutch government will spend 74.6 billion euros per year on health care, 78.1 billion euros per year on social welfare, 34 billion euros per year on education, 9.9 billion on justice and police departments, 7.5 billion on national defense including military. The natural gas is some form of income, but it's fairly minor compared to tax incomes.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:33 am UTC

Last year, dutch gas production was about 28 barrels of oil equivalent per capita. US oil and gas production combined came to 24 per capita. Expectations for this year are higher, probably more than the Dutch levels

That's due to a recent boom in the US, which might not be sustainable. Over the last few decades, US production was lower - about 2/3of current levels while Dutch production was constant. Going back to the 80s the US comes out ahead again, and US production goes back much further in the past. Overall, I'd say both countries have derived a similar level of benefits from oil and gas. Of course, the US has plenty of other natural resources as well, which might break the tie in their advantage.

Tyndmyr mentions an ’etc' in his post, but there is no etc. Norway, the Netherlands and the UK together have nearly all of (non russian) European oil and gas production. The UK had per-capita production similar to the Netherlands for a sbort while, but it's now similar in total production.

Norway on the other hand has 3 times the production of the Netherlands, at less then a third of the population. That's where Tyndmyr's misconceptions about European socialist oil come from. But it's a unique outlier - Norway has about the same production as the entire EU.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:55 am UTC

RCT Bob wrote:To compare, the Dutch government will spend 74.6 billion euros per year on health care, 78.1 billion euros per year on social welfare, 34 billion euros per year on education, 9.9 billion on justice and police departments, 7.5 billion on national defense including military. The natural gas is some form of income, but it's fairly minor compared to tax incomes.

One figure really stood out for me in that list: The Dutch spend 10x more on healthcare than they do on national defence. The US spends 100x more on its military than the Dutch do.

As others have demonstrated, it's not a question of natural resources, the US has plenty of those, it's merely a question of priorities. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost over $4Tn ($4,000,000,000,000)... link

The US prioritizes its tax dollars on those that don't need the help - tax breaks for the rich, corporate welfare and hideously expensive ideological wars; Northern Europe focusses more on the working classes and those that need a helping hand. That's all.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:03 pm UTC

icanus wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Bluntly, a good bit of wealth is due to natural reserves being exploited for export. Location of these reserves isn't a result of social positions.

In short, your economy doesn't seem ALL that different from ours, the same things that hit us hit you. You simply get to spend a little more carelessly because you've got natural gas to sell.

Exactly! It's not as if the US is the largest oil producer in the world or something...


Absolute numbers are kind of garbage.

The US is about net neutral in terms of oil imports/exports, and petro products make up a fairly small percentage of exports anyway, whereas the Netherlands are a major exporter for supplying all of Europe. There's a major difference there in economic impact.

elasto wrote:The US is insanely resource-rich, so don't think that really explains it.

Countries like Norway have simply kept a greater proportion of resource wealth for themselves instead of letting private companies profit from it on the cheap.

(Beaten to the punch, but, yeah)


What does "insanely resource-rich" mean? Sure, we're not a particularly poor country. Others are way worse off than us. However, we're very heavily into services, manufacturing, stuff like that. Our economy does not center around the extraction of raw materials. Places that do are not wealthy places. A logging town, a mining town, etc generally provide primarily blue color jobs, and the wealthy areas are urban ones focused on knowledge services and so on.

Yeah, in absolute numbers, we have a lot of things compared to far, far smaller countries. But that's seriously apples to oranges if you're not looking at proportion.

Mambrino wrote:Sweden manages without gas. On the other hand, we currently quite don't, but then most countries have wider industrial base than wood-products, mobile telephones and 'cheese' that only we and Russians like to eat.

Don't know that much about the current state of welfare state in Denmark (and even less about Germany, who is probably a special case anyway with mini-jobs and particularly strong economy.)


Germany is usually not held up as a socialist example. Now, granted, they're still left of the US in some regards, but so far as Europe goes, they're not all that exceptional in terms of leftism.

Anyway, petro exports make up about the same percentage of exports for Sweden as they do for the US. However, they are MUCH more export focused than the US. They run a positive trade balance, us a negative. When you consider it in terms of exports/person, it's clear than Sweden is exporting a great deal more petro products than the US.

Granted, petro isn't the only natural research, it simply happens to be a big one because power is huge. But, despite Sweden being not particularly rich in petro chemicals compared to Norway/Netherlands, it doesn't do so bad with them in an economic sense. The level of hydro production probably doesn't hurt.

On the flip side, the US does have a ton of coal. Even when considering the size of the country, we came out ahead there. However, a lotta folks seem to want to not exploit every bit of that. There's some tradeoffs there. This isn't quite the same as saying "the US is poor" or anything. It's mostly that a lot of rankings put the US so high due to size. They act as if we have limitless wealth, when really it's more about different tradeoffs.

elasto wrote:
RCT Bob wrote:To compare, the Dutch government will spend 74.6 billion euros per year on health care, 78.1 billion euros per year on social welfare, 34 billion euros per year on education, 9.9 billion on justice and police departments, 7.5 billion on national defense including military. The natural gas is some form of income, but it's fairly minor compared to tax incomes.

One figure really stood out for me in that list: The Dutch spend 10x more on healthcare than they do on national defence. The US spends 100x more on its military than the Dutch do.


This is another valid tradeoff. Can't maintain the US military on a dutch military budget.

But, I don't think the US, in general, want to go to a dutch military. Even those who would cut generally prefer more modest cuts, because we're playing the rule of superpower, so we have different threats to consider.

KnightExemplar wrote:Erm... so this just happened.

The Democratic presidential candidates were asked to name the enemy that they are proudest to have made during Tuesday night's CNN debate.

<snip>

"I'd have to say the enemy soldier that threw their grenade that wounded me," Webb said. "But he's not around right now to talk to."


Okay, Jim Webb is hilarious. I'm going to have to look up more info on him. Jim Webb's "proudest enemy" is a dude he literally killed. I don't think I was expecting to hear this kind of joke from the Democrat side at all.


Yeah, this amused the hell out of me. Props for at least some divergance from the usual talking points, I suppose. Political debates can be a little...predictable at times, stuff like this livens it up.


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