US Presidential Primaries - discussion

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Who would you vote for?

Barack Obama
94
54%
Hillary Clinton
3
2%
John Edwards
7
4%
Mike Huckabee
3
2%
Rudy Guiliani
2
1%
Mitt Romney
5
3%
the Ronpaul
14
8%
John McCain
8
5%
I am a whiny person and vote for Bill Richardson
4
2%
Thompson, Fred Thompson
1
1%
other
7
4%
otter
25
14%
 
Total votes: 173

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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Belial » Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:36 pm UTC

williamager wrote:
I'm not arguing for nobility. I'm arguing against any sort of hereditary upper class. Universal education and industry regulation is necessary to allow the existence of a middle class and class mobility.

I apologize for straying off the topic (though that appears to have happened already), but what is wrong with having a hereditary upper class?


It flies in the face of an egalitarian society? Because for someone to coast along at the top without doing anything, people have to toil away at the bottom to keep them up there?
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Antimatter Spork » Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:38 pm UTC

williamager wrote:
I'm not saying that all capitalists are assholes, but the ones who aren't won't be bothered by regulation, since they'd do all of those nice things anyway.

The ones who aren't can certainly be bothered by regulation, as the regulation isn't ideal, and fear of the consequences of violation can frighten companies into implementing absurd practices, a problem exacerbated by the fact that regulation can often be very unclear, and employees and employers can abuse this fear and lack of clarity. For example, we once had an employee who used a breast pump, and who decided that the only suitably comfortable location in the building for using the device was our President's office. As it was obviously feared that we would be sued if we didn't comply, and we weren't able to have a well-funded legal staff to help us understand these matters, our President was deprived of the use of his office for a half an hour each day. Unfortunately, there were some female employees who faced discrimination in the company, and regulation didn't protect them. And of course, there is also the case where I worked without pay for a year because OSHA regulations prohibited me from being employed due to my age.

I wouldn't say that our system of regulation is perfect or even ideal, but removing it will make the problem worse, not better. There is, however, certainly room for reform.

I'm not arguing for nobility. I'm arguing against any sort of hereditary upper class. Universal education and industry regulation is necessary to allow the existence of a middle class and class mobility.

I apologize for straying off the topic (though that appears to have happened already), but what is wrong with having a hereditary upper class?

The current President of the US.

Serious answer: I think people should succeed based on their own abilities, not based on who their parents were. Also what Belial said.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Belial » Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:39 pm UTC

As an ancillary reason: Because the hereditary upper class tend to turn into a bunch of poncy, useless prats who are too arrogant and self-important to recognize how utterly and completely worthless and devoid of merit they are. Who wants more of those in their society than absolutely necessary?
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Vaniver » Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:40 pm UTC

williamager wrote:I apologize for straying off the topic (though that appears to have happened already), but what is wrong with having a hereditary upper class?
Quickly put- there is no way someone can affect their own heredity. There are ways people can affect their merit and productivity. If the upper class is comprised of those who have merit (we'll include inheritance and assume its impact is minimal) or are very productive (in results, not in work), then that will incentivise merit and productivity more than not having that additional benefit. As well, whenever the upper class manages a society, it's better to have managers selected by managerial talent than by birthright.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby neon » Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:58 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:You also seem to be blissfully unaware that there are people in the world who want unbridled power.
Not really; my worldview depends on them. The genius in capitalism is that it harnesses ambition positively.


This is what I mean, you believe in magical fairytails. The "invisible hand" of the matketplace. Milton Friedman's and Alan Greenspan's delusions that the market is "self correcting". It is a fantasy.

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:Public schools worked just fine in this country for a long time.
I don't see "just fine" as good enough when there's a chance for improvement.


"In order to save public education we had to destroy it" huh? Because every libertarian that I've heard of wants to privatize education. This would destroy it and create an underclass, further corroding our democracy. Not that there is much left these days.

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:I wasn't talking about the GDP. You have an amazing ability to lose yourself in numbers and irrelevant detail while completely missing the larger point.
It's because numbers are easier to talk about. If you want a more qualitative comparison, look at, say, the role of the federal government from around 1850 to around 1870. Another jump is from around 1900 to around 1950. There was a point when the government didn't even have an income tax!


Do you even remembber what this was about? I do, without even scrolling back. You were waxing poetic about a past where men were manly men, rugged individualists livin' large, arggggg matey! I said that America never existed, it's a fantasy. You completely missed the point and spewed out irrelevant junk about the GDP.

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:Think of it like a basketball game.
This is a bad analogy. Basketball is zero-sum- if I win, you lose. The economy is not- a trade between us can cause both of us to 'win.'

And, beyond that, there aren't anything like the teams of the basketball game in an economy (at least, in the sense I think you want to use the word team). Politically, groups of similar individuals tend to cooperate (most people in the top income bracket probably want the tax rate on that bracket to decline), but economically they compete. There's not a billionaire's club where the rich get together to plan the economy; every billionaire is trying to play the market better than every other billionaire.


Economics isn't a zero sum game!? That will be news to the children working in sweatshops for 50 cents a week so that you can have your sneakers or your jeans. That will be news to every slave, past and present, whipped until their flesh fell from their bodies or burned alive because all the exits to their building were sealed shut. That will be news to the fishermen in Mexico who are given nothing but the entrails of the fish they once freely subsisted on to eat. Economics is not a game, it is a matter of life and death. We need government regulation to control such "excesses".

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:What libertarians want to do is to remove the referees from the game. They don't want to pay for them.
Some libertarians, sure. They tend to call themselves anarcho-capitalists and I think they're impractical. What most minarchists (like myself) want is for government to just be a referee, and not a player as well. You don't need a third of GDP to referee.


Currently the government doesn't even do that. Oversight is virtually non existent. Regulations and inspections perverted or removed entirely. As a result people have tragically died. Arsenic, lead and mercury concentrations in the environment have deliberately allowed to rise. There is shit in your hamburger, ground plastic in your pet's food, lead on your child's toys and god only knows what else.

I expect that you will support the legislation required and any taxes needed? Because it is abundantly clear that business cannot be trusted to police themselves.

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:But you're not dispassionate Vaniver. You are deeply partisan and putting forward an extremist position.
Deeply partisan? That's news to me. Putting forward an extremist position I might agree with (and lament that it's considered extremist).

As for dispassionate, I must claim that I am. I'm a numbers man (as you pointed out)- not an emotional one. You can claim my numbers are biased (hopefully with a better set in hand), but claims of me being passionately partisan are relatively unsubstantiated at this point.


The retreat into abstraction is an emotional reaction. Common among academic types, it is an excellent way to avoid messy reality. Rather than lamenting, a less emotional response would be to find out why libertarianism is scoffed at. I have little doubt that libertarians are able to construct a self-consistent theory, but what are the assumptions it is based on? Maybe the reason everyone else is criticizing it is because those assumptions have little or no basis in the real world? I know, but stranger things have happened.

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:You are also isolated and have little sense of how people live in the real world.
I have about as much sense of the entirety as one person can be expected to have. My world is no more imaginary than yours; they just might not intersect all that much.


Of that I am certain. I try not to get too emotional but I do. And I think that some of my beliefs are less realistic and more imaginary than others. I am an imperfect human being stumbling around in the dark just like anyone else.

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:You seem to be completely ignorant of anything outside of Libertarianism.
Because I don't mention it, or because I don't promote it?


I always qualify my statements when I am not sure. Yeah, I don't get the sense that you are aware that there are other ideas out there. What I get is your cocksureness that you are right. That is a red flag to me, it means to me that you are most likely wrong. The odds favor me on that.

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:You strike me as more like some global warming denialists that I've run into who go on and on about what great geniuses they are and what idiots real scientists are who believe in "AGW Mumbojumbo".
I'm not sure what about me would make you believe that, except for my position. I'm refrained (with a few slips) from making personal attacks, and have generally make fact or logic-based claims, which you have generally rebutted with claims based on neither fact nor logic. When I'm making the logos arguments and you're making the ethos arguments, I'm not sure why I'm the one that gets lambasted for calling myself a great genius and everyone else idiotic. I think you may want to seriously consider your role in an economics debate, and whether you're the one bringing facts or rhetoric.


I bring a lifetime of real world experience. It is true that I don't have any hard numbers and that I sometimes get emotional. What I have been doing is to try to challenge assumptions. The problem with your "logic-based claims" is that logic works on junk information as well as it does on information grounded in reality.

And no, I don't think you have called yourself a genius, that was a cheap shot and I apologize.

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:Again Vaniver, you are utterly ignorant, parsing details and missing the bigger picture. Healthcare in this country is seriously broken and suggesting that people should make use of emergency rooms and free clinics is as stupefyingly idiotic as Marie-Antoinette's "Let them eat cake". And you know what happened to her, best pay attention hun.
We can argue about what you mean by broken, but I'll agree it could use improvement.

What about my "go to a free clinic" suggestion is idiotic?

And, you know that there's no proof that Marie Antoinette ever said "let them eat cake," right?


Wow, I mean just wow. In a reply to me saying that you sometimes miss the overall point and get caught up in the details you... miss the point and get caught up in irrelevant details. Yeah I know that Marie Antoinette didn't mouth those exact words, that wasn't the point. I was making a comparison of our times to another time in the past when an elite aristocratic class became so isolated from reality that they ummm.... lost their heads over it, so to speak. Trust me, I hear torches being readied and pitchforks sharpened over healthcare almost everyday. People are suffering and some are dying because insurance companies deny them treatment that would save lives. Telling these people to go to emergency rooms or to visit free clinics is every bit as cruel, heartless and fatally out of touch as Marie Antoinette was.

I get upset about this because I live this horror every day of my life. I don't have to consult any statistics to know there is a hurricane destroying the lives of people I care about. And when internet jerk-offs tell me that this is the best of all worlds, that the magical marketplace will provide manna from heaven and I should just be happy and eat my cake I tend to get pissed off.

Vaniver wrote:
neon wrote:They would make a little less money that's all.
Ok. How much do you think pharamceutical research costs, how many lives do you think it saves, and where do you think the money comes from?


Multinational, multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies are just honest chaps just like the oil giants are. You can trust their numbers and their PR statements because even though their very existence might depend on them lying they would never do such a thing because they care so very much for each and every one of us.

Most research is done in Universities so the money comes from us. The pharmaceuticals then take those results of publicly funded basic research and try to patent it. If they can they then buy off a congressman, oh, sorry, they diligently spend millions to make sure that their studies are structured to hide any side effects, no, wait, so that there are no side effects and if their product does accidentally kill people then they buy off a congressman. Oops, then they say "Oh well, better luck next time" and then they fawn it off on a third world country that has no government protections , oh, sorry again, they give up and try again, goshed darn it.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby btilly » Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:11 pm UTC

williamager wrote:
I'm not arguing for nobility. I'm arguing against any sort of hereditary upper class. Universal education and industry regulation is necessary to allow the existence of a middle class and class mobility.

I apologize for straying off the topic (though that appears to have happened already), but what is wrong with having a hereditary upper class?

Think of everything that is bad about nepotism. Now institutionalize it.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby fjafjan » Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:48 pm UTC

Huckabee on the Colbert Report, and Colbert is awesome as always.

Leenk pleez
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Vaniver » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:12 pm UTC

neon wrote:"In order to save public education we had to destroy it" huh? Because every libertarian that I've heard of wants to privatize education. This would destroy it and create an underclass, further corroding our democracy. Not that there is much left these days.
Destroying public education to save the education of the public strikes me as worthwhile.

Let's think through this scenario. There are currently a large number of public schools, a small number of parochial schools, and a small number of private schools.

The government says, "ok, let's hand out school vouchers to parents, who can spend them at the school of their choice." The snooty private schools immediately raise their tuition by the amount of the voucher, giving them quite a bit more profit and keeping them socially selective. A bunch of new private schools spring up because they believe they can educate a child for the voucher's amount. Parochial schools expand or new ones are built because of the possibility of new revenue.

What happens to the county-run public schools? They're still the same, except now their revenue comes from the bottom, instead of the top.

Now, there are a few possibilities (per region; this won't be true for the entire country). One is that county-run schools offer a better product than these private schools. Parents will be able to figure this out and will keep their kids in the county-run schools. No loss for the county. (This also covers the possibility of the competition making the county schools shape up and be better)

The other possibility is that county-run schools offer a worse product than their competitors. Parents will pull their kids out; the schools will shrink and then close. A crushing defeat for the county, sure, but only because overall education improved.

neon wrote:Economics isn't a zero sum game!? That will be news to the children working in sweatshops for 50 cents a week so that you can have your sneakers or your jeans.
No, it won't be news. Their other option is working for 25 cents a week on the family farm.

Sweatshop jobs tend to pay roughly double the average income for the region that they're in, and tend to be somewhat softer on the body (although they're still pretty brutal) than the other jobs in the region. It's not good, but it's an improvement (if it wasn't an improvement, they wouldn't be working there- in a free market, at least).

neon wrote:That will be news to every slave, past and present, whipped until their flesh fell from their bodies or burned alive because all the exits to their building were sealed shut. That will be news to the fishermen in Mexico who are given nothing but the entrails of the fish they once freely subsisted on to eat. Economics is not a game, it is a matter of life and death. We need government regulation to control such "excesses".
...
As a result people have tragically died.
Am I being too dispassionate for you?

neon wrote:Because it is abundantly clear that business cannot be trusted to police themselves.
It depends on the business. When there's a visible brand associated with it, businesses do police themselves because a lot of the valuation in those corporations is tied up in their name. If Starbucks serves poisonous coffee, the cost of losing its good name will dwarf other financial costs (like having to compensate the victims). Many prominent companies greatly exceed environmental regulations, because their consumers push them harder than the government does.

For businesses that aren't visible (how much copper is in your car, and what mine did it come from?), you can't trust the consumers (and thus the business) to be the regulators, and government regulation is obviously necessary.

neon wrote:The retreat into abstraction is an emotional reaction.
This strikes me as a contradiction, but I may be looking at it the wrong way. Certainly, thinking something like "they oppose me, thus they oppose FREEDOM!" would be emotional, and you may mean it in that sense. But what I'm doing is stripping away the emotional attachments; replacing misery with a number to be minimized instead of pain to be felt.

And if the concept of replacing misery with a number seems beyond the pale, I'm sorry, but that's the only way to do an objective calculation (and thus actually minimize it).

neon wrote:I have little doubt that libertarians are able to construct a self-consistent theory, but what are the assumptions it is based on? Maybe the reason everyone else is criticizing it is because those assumptions have little or no basis in the real world?
The Austrian school of thought rejects empiricism and is rightly criticized for doing so, but not all libertarians (and certainly not this one) are followers of that school (going back to the topic of presidential primaries, Paul is generally an Austrian when it comes to economics).

As for the assumptions, it depends on the particular brand of libertarianism or market liberalism you're dealing with (and a bunch of them are kooky, impractical, or wrong). I think it's not really in the purview of this thread to go on about mine.

neon wrote:Yeah, I don't get the sense that you are aware that there are other ideas out there.
Ok. I have a working knowledge of Marxism (and even brought it up earlier), at least some familiarity with Keynesianism, and at least a cursory knowledge of the majority of other economic theories. I tend not to bring up concepts from things I disagree with/think are wrong except to point out why I disagree with them (like the Marxist reference).

neon wrote:What I get is your cocksureness that you are right.
How do I present myself as cocksure? I do my best to point out caveats, explain limitations, and accept criticism. If I have any confidence in my ideas, it is because they have survived attack for some time.

neon wrote:The problem with your "logic-based claims" is that logic works on junk information as well as it does on information grounded in reality.
I'll certainly agree with GIGO; but I'll point out that one of the reasons I care about things like GDPs and studies is because those things are useful at catching when your assumptions disagree with reality (like, also in this thread, btilly questioning my data on the efficacy of public and private schools).

neon wrote:And no, I don't think you have called yourself a genius, that was a cheap shot and I apologize.
Apology accepted.

neon wrote:People are suffering and some are dying because insurance companies deny them treatment that would save lives. Telling these people to go to emergency rooms or to visit free clinics is every bit as cruel, heartless and fatally out of touch as Marie Antoinette was.
Insurance companies aren't charities. Free clinics are. It's analogous to responding to "this restaurant won't feed people who can't pay" with "aren't there soup kitchens?" It's certainly not the most compassionate response imaginable, but it's better than just shrugging or forcing restaurants to feed anyone that asked them for food.

neon wrote:Multinational, multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies are just honest chaps just like the oil giants are. You can trust their numbers and their PR statements because even though their very existence might depend on them lying they would never do such a thing because they care so very much for each and every one of us.

Most research is done in Universities so the money comes from us. The pharmaceuticals then take those results of publicly funded basic research and try to patent it. If they can they then buy off a congressman, oh, sorry, they diligently spend millions to make sure that their studies are structured to hide any side effects, no, wait, so that there are no side effects and if their product does accidentally kill people then they buy off a congressman. Oops, then they say "Oh well, better luck next time" and then they fawn it off on a third world country that has no government protections , oh, sorry again, they give up and try again, goshed darn it.
The biochemistry PhDs I know working on drugs don't see their industry that way, and I find their view a bit more realistic than yours. Yes, they're corporations out for a profit- but because of that, quite a bit of research gets funded that wouldn't get funded otherwise.

Basic research (you may mean this differently than I do; there's a wide divide between basic research, which is a shot in the dark, and applied research, which is figuring out the practical details of something) is generally done in universities, but that's only a portion of the research costs for any particular drug. Someone's got to figure out the chemical that might work, and then conduct years of tests to see how it performs in actual bodies before there's even a chance at getting revenue out of it.

Now, I'm not making the claim that profit is the primary motivator of research; I'm just claiming that when you allow greed to fund research, you get more research than if you don't allow greed to fund research.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Akula » Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:58 am UTC

On health care, I'd like to point out one important detail...

The US does infact have the top healthcare in the world. Now before Neon goes and prattles on about how the WHO said we're 37 alongside slovenia, I'd point out something. The WHO ranks the US at or near the top in availabilty, quality, and speediness of care, in other words, the shit that actually matters. What pulls us down is that we are ranked near the bottom in a category dedicated to the "fairness" of funding for healthcare. The WHO basically comes right out and says that anything short of a fully socialist system is unacceptable, regardless of how well your healthcare system actually frigging works. We are penalized based on something as subjective as "fairness" despite the fact that we deliver the most high quality care to the most amount of people in the shortest amount of time.

Also, our infant mortality rates are higher because we have the highest standard of reporting infant mortalities. Most nations do not count still-births, miscarriages, pre-mature births, etc. We do.

One last thing to add to what is a hastily constructed tirade...
Universal, government run health care on a federal level will NEVER work in the US and would in fact be disastrous. This is why: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diseconomies_of_scale
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Kag » Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:39 am UTC

Akula wrote:On health care, I'd like to point out one important detail...

The US does infact have the top healthcare in the world.


You're less likely to die in Canada (unless it's cancer).

I would venture that this is because people in the US who have crappy or no insurance can't pay, so they die regardless of the actual quality of the care that would've been provided, but I don't have anything to back that hypothesis up. I'll keep looking, though.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby neon » Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:19 am UTC

Akula wrote:On health care, I'd like to point out one important detail...

The US does infact have the top healthcare in the world. Now before Neon goes and prattles on about how the WHO said we're 37 alongside slovenia, I'd point out something. The WHO ranks the US at or near the top in availabilty, quality, and speediness of care, in other words, the shit that actually matters. What pulls us down is that we are ranked near the bottom in a category dedicated to the "fairness" of funding for healthcare. The WHO basically comes right out and says that anything short of a fully socialist system is unacceptable, regardless of how well your healthcare system actually frigging works. We are penalized based on something as subjective as "fairness" despite the fact that we deliver the most high quality care to the most amount of people in the shortest amount of time.
(my emphasis)

Some people think fairness is important. Indeed, how you treat the most disadvantaged in your society is one measure of civilization. By that measure we fall dismally short. That we now gleefully torture goat herders doesn't help much. Much of the world looks at us with disgust now, they see us as little more than brutish thugs. Kind of hard to argue with that.

And again, people are dying because insurance companies are denying them care. How can the fail to do otherwise? They are a for-profit business and the only way for them to reduce costs is by denying care. You are probably quite young and have no clue what it is really like. Healthcare is probably the single biggest issue out there next to ending the war.

Akula wrote:Also, our infant mortality rates are higher because we have the highest standard of reporting infant mortalities. Most nations do not count still-births, miscarriages, pre-mature births, etc. We do.

One last thing to add to what is a hastily constructed tirade...
Universal, government run health care on a federal level will NEVER work in the US and would in fact be disastrous. This is why: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diseconomies_of_scale


The government is not a corporation and is not run like one.
From the wiki page you linked to:
"This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims."

Which gives one pause. Still, government run universal healthcare, like public schools, easily out performs the market place. The GOP has run for years on the platform that government programs cannot function, except for the military, and so when they are in power it is in their interest to make sure they don't. They have been good at sabotaging any program that ever did any good and then disseminating lies and propaganda to convince people that black is white and up is down.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby neon » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:03 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:Destroying public education to save the education of the public strikes me as worthwhile.


If I believed that was what is happening I would agree with you. I don't think that is the case at all. What I see is a sort of apartheid system being put into place where the urban poor, who are mostly black or minorities, are increasingly disadvantaged. This should come as no surprise given that our country is deeply racist and that many of the same advocates for increased unfairness are themselves racists, former Klans men and in the case of the Ronpaul openly courting the white supremacists' vote. Their bullshit theories simply serve to rationalize their hate, nothing more.

Vaniver wrote:Am I being too dispassionate for you?


No, I think we just have different priorities.

Vaniver wrote:It depends on the business. When there's a visible brand associated with it, businesses do police themselves because a lot of the valuation in those corporations is tied up in their name. If Starbucks serves poisonous coffee, the cost of losing its good name will dwarf other financial costs (like having to compensate the victims). Many prominent companies greatly exceed environmental regulations, because their consumers push them harder than the government does.


Unless you can play the system and have say a bureaucrat look the other way while you give a hefty donation the their favorite PAC. Many of the so-called green companies are green in name only. It's good PR.

Ya know, this is really astoundingly callous:
"Starbucks serves poisonous coffee, the cost of losing its good name will dwarf other financial costs"

Ummm.. yeah but WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO DIE in the meantime? My God did you just say that it is ok for Starbucks to serve poison because in the end their image will suffer? Jesus fucking christ on a cracker you're a heartless bastard. This is what I mean when I say that you have your head buried in numbers but can't see the big picture. Frankly, I think you have it buried elsewhere.

Vaniver wrote:...what I'm doing is stripping away the emotional attachments; replacing misery with a number to be minimized instead of pain to be felt. And if the concept of replacing misery with a number seems beyond the pale, I'm sorry, but that's the only way to do an objective calculation (and thus actually minimize it).


It's also a great way to never feel any attachment to another human being, to never really understand the consequences of the bullshit that you spew out or how it might affect the lives of real living human beings. In that it is a lot like heroin or opium because it detaches you completely from reality. See above.

Vaniver wrote:Insurance companies aren't charities. Free clinics are. It's analogous to responding to "this restaurant won't feed people who can't pay" with "aren't there soup kitchens?" It's certainly not the most compassionate response imaginable, but it's better than just shrugging or forcing restaurants to feed anyone that asked them for food.


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Portly Gentleman: Many can't go there; and many would rather die.
Ebenezer: If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population


Vaniver wrote:Basic research (you may mean this differently than I do; there's a wide divide between basic research, which is a shot in the dark, and applied research, which is figuring out the practical details of something) is generally done in universities, but that's only a portion of the research costs for any particular drug.


Didn't I just say that? Why... I guess I did:
neon wrote:Most research is done in Universities so the money comes from us. The pharmaceuticals then take those results of publicly funded basic research and try to patent it.


And wouldn't trying to patent something be "figuring out the practical details of something"? I think it would.

Vaniver wrote:I'm just claiming that when you allow greed to fund research, you get more research than if you don't allow greed to fund research.


Except that you showed the exact opposite.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby fjafjan » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:01 am UTC

Akula wrote:On health care, I'd like to point out one important detail...

The US does infact have the top healthcare in the world. Now before Neon goes and prattles on about how the WHO said we're 37 alongside slovenia, I'd point out something. The WHO ranks the US at or near the top in availabilty, quality, and speediness of care, in other words, the shit that actually matters. What pulls us down is that we are ranked near the bottom in a category dedicated to the "fairness" of funding for healthcare. The WHO basically comes right out and says that anything short of a fully socialist system is unacceptable, regardless of how well your healthcare system actually frigging works. We are penalized based on something as subjective as "fairness" despite the fact that we deliver the most high quality care to the most amount of people in the shortest amount of time.

Also, our infant mortality rates are higher because we have the highest standard of reporting infant mortalities. Most nations do not count still-births, miscarriages, pre-mature births, etc. We do.


Wow, what a load of crap.
The best healthcare in the world, yet 16% of the population have NO insurance policy, meaning that unless they happen to be incredibly wealthy, would never afford to actually pay for treatment of any more serious injury. Not to mention the fact that insurance companies are fairly skilled at not paying people for their insurances, so that means another fairly large group of people also have poor access to affordable health care since when they find out they need it, woops.
Or if you think infant mortality rates are so totally unfair, what about Average life expectancy, 45th in the world. Or is that because all those other nations pretend like people aren't dying?
Basically the health care is very good for the rather small part of the population, while it is pretty shitty for another part of the population. As for fairness I think it is a legitimate concern that a large portion of the population, if they get ill, also get bankrupt.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Akula » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:05 pm UTC

fjafjan wrote:yet 16% of the population have NO insurance policy, meaning that unless they happen to be incredibly wealthy

Unfortunately for the people who cite this statistic, most of that 16% is either wealthy, or at least makes more than enough money to buy insurance. About 3/4 of this group makes above the average income of $46,000, according to the US Census Bureau. Simply being uninsured often has nothing to do with being poor.

There are certainly drawbacks to our system, and we should look at ways to improve it. That does not, and should not, mean switching to a socialist single payer scheme run by the federal government. Socialized medicine isn't everything it's cracked up to be, and while it works well in some countries, those countries have relatively small populations. In a nation of 300 million it would open a whole new can of worms.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Belial » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:42 pm UTC

Akula, are both your slash and backslash keys broken?

Anyway, can you cite a source for that statistic about most people lacking insurance being wealthy?
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby neon » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:45 pm UTC

Measuring the Health of Nations

In "Measuring the Health of Nations: Updating an Earlier Analysis" (Health Affairs, Jan./Feb. 2008), Ellen Nolte, Ph.D., and C. Martin McKee, M.D., D.Sc., both of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, compared international rates of "amenable mortality"—that is, deaths from certain causes before age 75 that are potentially preventable with timely and effective health care. In addition to the U.S., the study included 14 Western European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. According to the authors, if the U.S. had been able reduce amenable mortality to the average rate achieved by the three top-performing countries, there would have been 101,000 fewer deaths annually by the end of the study period.


That's 100,000 real living breathing people who died needlessly. What? Are there no emergency rooms? Are there no free clinics?

Between 1997–98 and 2002–03, amenable mortality fell by an average of 16 percent in all countries except the U.S., where the decline was only 4 percent. In 1997–98, the U.S. ranked 15th out of the 19 countries on this measure—ahead of only Finland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Ireland—with a rate of 114.7 deaths per 100,000 people. By 2002–03, the U.S. fell to last place, with 109.7 per 100,000. In the leading countries, mortality rates per 100,000 people were 64.8 in France, 71.2 in Japan, and 71.3 in Australia.


Go to the link and you'll see in the charts provided that the US ranks dead last. Pun intended.

The researchers estimated the number of lives that could have been saved in 2002 if the U.S. had achieved either the average of all countries analyzed (except the U.S.) or the average of the three top-performing countries. Using this formula, the authors estimated that approximately 75,000 to 101,00 preventable deaths could be averted in the U.S.

...

The rate of amenable mortality is a valuable indicator of health care performance, say the authors—one that can point to potential weaknesses in a nation's health system that require attention. "[T]he findings presented here are consistent with other cross-national analyses, demonstrating the relative underperformance of the U.S. health care system in several key indicators compared with other industrialized countries,"
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Akula » Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:09 pm UTC

neon wrote:Measuring the Health of Nations

In "Measuring the Health of Nations: Updating an Earlier Analysis" (Health Affairs, Jan./Feb. 2008), Ellen Nolte, Ph.D., and C. Martin McKee, M.D., D.Sc., both of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, compared international rates of "amenable mortality"—that is, deaths from certain causes before age 75 that are potentially preventable with timely and effective health care. In addition to the U.S., the study included 14 Western European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. According to the authors, if the U.S. had been able reduce amenable mortality to the average rate achieved by the three top-performing countries, there would have been 101,000 fewer deaths annually by the end of the study period.


That\'s 100,000 real living breathing people who died needlessly. What? Are there no emergency rooms? Are there no free clinics?

Between 1997–98 and 2002–03, amenable mortality fell by an average of 16 percent in all countries except the U.S., where the decline was only 4 percent. In 1997–98, the U.S. ranked 15th out of the 19 countries on this measure—ahead of only Finland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Ireland—with a rate of 114.7 deaths per 100,000 people. By 2002–03, the U.S. fell to last place, with 109.7 per 100,000. In the leading countries, mortality rates per 100,000 people were 64.8 in France, 71.2 in Japan, and 71.3 in Australia.


Go to the link and you\'ll see in the charts provided that the US ranks dead last. Pun intended.

The researchers estimated the number of lives that could have been saved in 2002 if the U.S. had achieved either the average of all countries analyzed (except the U.S.) or the average of the three top-performing countries. Using this formula, the authors estimated that approximately 75,000 to 101,00 preventable deaths could be averted in the U.S.

...

The rate of amenable mortality is a valuable indicator of health care performance, say the authors—one that can point to potential weaknesses in a nation\'s health system that require attention. "[T]he findings presented here are consistent with other cross-national analyses, demonstrating the relative underperformance of the U.S. health care system in several key indicators compared with other industrialized countries,"


The thing is, this can be more an indicator of general health than just health care. The US has higher rates of heart disease and cancer as it is, and a lot of it has more to do with lifestyle than health. It\'s not about people being denied care, it\'s about a population that is more likely to develop health problems because of a decadent lifestyle.

This is not the only measurement either. Just off the top of my head, I know the US performs more lifesaving organ transplants per capita than any country. Can we take this as an indication that the US is more efficient with catastrophic care?

Also, can we dispell the notion that you won\'t even be given emergency care in the US without insurance? That\'s absurd. You won\'t ever be denied care. You might be put into bad financial shape, but you won\'t be denied care.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Belial » Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:13 pm UTC

Also, can we dispell the notion that you won\'t even be given emergency care in the US without insurance? That\'s absurd. You won\'t ever be denied care. You might be put into bad financial shape, but you won\'t be denied care.


Seriously, what is up with all the slashes? All of your quote tags are broken by them, too.

And yeah, you won't be denied care, you'll just be put so far into debt that you can't afford preventative care, can't afford to live or eat well, and are generally far more likely to develop something that can't be fixed by emergency care.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Dream » Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:14 pm UTC

Akula wrote:There are certainly drawbacks to our system, and we should look at ways to improve it. That does not, and should not, mean switching to a socialist single payer scheme run by the federal government. Socialized medicine isn\'t everything it\'s cracked up to be, and while it works well in some countries, those countries have relatively small populations. In a nation of 300 million it would open a whole new can of worms.


So do it state by state, and subsidise the ones that are too small to support it. I'm in the middle of NHS care at the moment, and it's been an overall good experience. I could never afford private care, but I am insured. There are no problems whatsoever with my care that would make me claim and go private.

Also, can we dispell the notion that you won\'t even be given emergency care in the US without insurance? That\'s absurd. You won\'t ever be denied care. You might be put into bad financial shape, but you won\'t be denied care.


I had a friend who had a snowboarding accident, and was charged €300 to be carried down the mountain. That kind of overcharging is encouraged in a system where the only people who cn pay are either wealthy or insured. Millions of poor people are priced out of the system because it's set up to serve those who can afford to pay through the nose.

Jesus christ, fix your bloody quotes.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Akula » Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:17 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Akula, are both your slash and backslash keys broken?

Anyway, can you cite a source for that statistic about most people lacking insurance being wealthy?


I have no idea. I think it may have something to do with me posting from work, as I'm, pretty sure that's the only time it's happened.

I'll see if I can find a link when I'm off work and can actually dig around for it again. It's buried somewhere on the US Census Bureau's webstie.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Belial » Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:25 pm UTC

Seriously, check your posts over for unnecessary slashes before you post them
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Akula » Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:27 pm UTC

Dream wrote:
Akula wrote:There are certainly drawbacks to our system, and we should look at ways to improve it. That does not, and should not, mean switching to a socialist single payer scheme run by the federal government. Socialized medicine isn't everything it's cracked up to be, and while it works well in some countries, those countries have relatively small populations. In a nation of 300 million it would open a whole new can of worms.


So do it state by state, and subsidise the ones that are too small to support it. I'm in the middle of NHS care at the moment, and it's been an overall good experience. I could never afford private care, but I am insured. There are no problems whatsoever with my care that would make me claim and go private.

Also, can we dispell the notion that you won't even be given emergency care in the US without insurance? That's absurd. You won't ever be denied care. You might be put into bad financial shape, but you won't be denied care.


I had a friend who had a snowboarding accident, and was charged €300 to be carried down the mountain. That kind of overcharging is encouraged in a system where the only people who cn pay are either wealthy or insured. Millions of poor people are priced out of the system because it's set up to serve those who can afford to pay through the nose.

Jesus christ, fix your bloody quotes.


I have no problem with letting states run themselves. That's the way our country was meant to be run anyway. Instead of a bloated one-size fits all program that's next to impossible to ever change or get rid of, we get 50 different ideas to try out. We see which ones work and which ones don't; even better, they can be tailored to each states needs.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Akula » Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:28 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Seriously, check your posts over for unnecessary slashes before you post them


They aren't there when I hit post. They automatically get put in. If I try to edit it, they still don't go away. It's a little absurd.

edit- I think I see now. It happens with quotation marks and apostrophes... i will try to avoid using them
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Dream » Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:04 am UTC

Akula wrote:I have no problem with letting states run themselves. That's the way our country was meant to be run anyway. Instead of a bloated one-size fits all program that's next to impossible to ever change or get rid of, we get 50 different ideas to try out. We see which ones work and which ones don't; even better, they can be tailored to each states needs.


Ok then. Why not do it that way?
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby neon » Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:18 am UTC

Akula wrote:The thing is, this can be more an indicator of general health than just health care. The US has higher rates of heart disease and cancer as it is, and a lot of it has more to do with lifestyle than health. It's not about people being denied care, it's about a population that is more likely to develop health problems because of a decadent lifestyle.


So it's all our fault huh? Wow. When all else fails blame the patient for getting sick. But I guess it's good the know that the French and the rest of Europe don't have a "decadent lifestyle". And yes, it is about people being denied care.

Akula wrote:This is not the only measurement either. Just off the top of my head, I know the US performs more lifesaving organ transplants per capita than any country. Can we take this as an indication that the US is more efficient with catastrophic care?


No, I don't see how doing more numerically indicates some sort of magic efficiency. Just as triple bypass surgery was really never more than a heart surgeon's retirement plan.

Akula wrote:Also, can we dispell the notion that you won't even be given emergency care in the US without insurance? That's absurd. You won't ever be denied care. You might be put into bad financial shape, but you won't be denied care.


Yes, people are being denied care and yes, people have died because an insurance company denied an MD's order for a medically necessary treatment.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby MuseSik » Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:48 am UTC

Last night I went to a local high school to see Barak Obama speak. We were there for about four and a half hours. Almost three hours of that was spent waiting in line. All that aside, I'm glad we went. I already plan on caucusing for him next week, but I still wanted the chance to see him give a speech. He is an awesome orator. The senator talked about a wide assortment of issues, and even said a few things I've never heard before.

One new program he wants to start is to give a $4000 credit to college students. To receive the money though, the student would have to commit to a set amount of community service hours.

He would have his attorney general investigate all legislation passed by the Bush administration and determine if anything conflicts with the constitution.

He talks a lot about alternative energy. Which is less than remarkable for any candidate, but he says that when while we makes changes, energy prices will go up. He will openly talk about the sacrifices people will need to make to fix problems.

When he meets to discuss health care, he will air the proceeding on CSPAN. He wants to set up programs that will greatly increase the transparency of government.


I'm am now officially excited about a candidate.

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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Akula » Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:29 am UTC

Dream wrote:
Akula wrote:I have no problem with letting states run themselves. That's the way our country was meant to be run anyway. Instead of a bloated one-size fits all program that's next to impossible to ever change or get rid of, we get 50 different ideas to try out. We see which ones work and which ones don't; even better, they can be tailored to each states needs.


Ok then. Why not do it that way?


Because the people in Washington ain't as smart as you and me???

I dunno.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Akula » Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:38 am UTC

neon wrote:So it's all our fault huh? Wow. When all else fails blame the patient for getting sick. But I guess it's good the know that the French and the rest of Europe don't have a "decadent lifestyle". And yes, it is about people being denied care.

Yes, if you eat poorly your entire life, it is your fault for developing heart disease. If you smoke your entire life it is your fault for getting lung cancer. If you drink heavily, it is your fault for having a failing liver. I guess cause and effect just isn't fair!


neon wrote:No, I don't see how doing more numerically indicates some sort of magic efficiency. Just as triple bypass surgery was really never more than a heart surgeon's retirement plan.

A higher per-capita rate of life saving procedures doesn't indicate anything? You aught to have your own newsletter or cable access program or something.



neon wrote:Yes, people are being denied care and yes, people have died because an insurance company denied an MD's order for a medically necessary treatment.

In some extreme cases that does happen. It is certianly not the norm. Just the same as in extreme cases people have died on waiting lists for procedures that would be done the same day as diagnosis in the US, although it wouldn't be fair to call it the norm for those systems either.

The US healthcare system has it's drawbacks to be sure, but you're failing to point out anything that makes socialization of the system appetizing.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Kag » Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:48 am UTC

Akula wrote:Yes, if you eat poorly your entire life, it is your fault for developing heart disease. If you smoke your entire life it is your fault for getting lung cancer. If you drink heavily, it is your fault for having a failing liver. I guess cause and effect just isn't fair!


\"amenable mortality\"—that is, deaths from certain causes before age 75 that are potentially preventable with timely and effective health care.


Explain to me again how what you said applies to this statistic.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby btilly » Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:29 pm UTC

Akula wrote:
Dream wrote:
Akula wrote:I have no problem with letting states run themselves. That's the way our country was meant to be run anyway. Instead of a bloated one-size fits all program that's next to impossible to ever change or get rid of, we get 50 different ideas to try out. We see which ones work and which ones don't; even better, they can be tailored to each states needs.

Ok then. Why not do it that way?

Because the people in Washington ain't as smart as you and me???

I dunno.

The people in Washington are plenty smart. Smart enough to figure out how to get lobbyists to pay them millions of dollars. Which incidentally gives you the answer. The more they try to do at the federal level, the more well-funded parties there are who wish to influence the outcome, and therefore the more money there is for politicians to get a piece of.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Antimatter Spork » Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:10 pm UTC

btilly wrote:
Akula wrote:
Dream wrote:
Akula wrote:I have no problem with letting states run themselves. That's the way our country was meant to be run anyway. Instead of a bloated one-size fits all program that's next to impossible to ever change or get rid of, we get 50 different ideas to try out. We see which ones work and which ones don't; even better, they can be tailored to each states needs.

Ok then. Why not do it that way?

Because the people in Washington ain't as smart as you and me???

I dunno.

The people in Washington are plenty smart. Smart enough to figure out how to get lobbyists to pay them millions of dollars. Which incidentally gives you the answer. The more they try to do at the federal level, the more well-funded parties there are who wish to influence the outcome, and therefore the more money there is for politicians to get a piece of.

Yes, because there is absolutely no corruption in state governments, and stupid people are never elected to state office, only federal office. State governments are shining ideals of freedom and democracy. Oh, and paying a legislator to pass legislation for you is completely legal and done all the time. We totally don't arrest congressmen for, say, having $10,000 in their freezer or anything.

(Obligatory disclaimer (you can skip this if you aren't the sort of person who equates defending the existence of the federal government with approving of each and every thing it does 100%): The federal government is by no means perfect and certainly needs a great deal of reform. Some things really are better done on the federal level. Really.)
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Dream » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:34 pm UTC

Antimatter Spork wrote:
btilly wrote:
Akula wrote:
Dream wrote:
Akula wrote:I have no problem with letting states run themselves. That's the way our country was meant to be run anyway. Instead of a bloated one-size fits all program that's next to impossible to ever change or get rid of, we get 50 different ideas to try out. We see which ones work and which ones don't; even better, they can be tailored to each states needs.

Ok then. Why not do it that way?

Because the people in Washington ain't as smart as you and me???

I dunno.

The people in Washington are plenty smart. Smart enough to figure out how to get lobbyists to pay them millions of dollars. Which incidentally gives you the answer. The more they try to do at the federal level, the more well-funded parties there are who wish to influence the outcome, and therefore the more money there is for politicians to get a piece of.

Yes, because there is absolutely no corruption in state governments, and stupid people are never elected to state office, only federal office. State governments are shining ideals of freedom and democracy. Oh, and paying a legislator to pass legislation for you is completely legal and done all the time. We totally don't arrest congressmen for, say, having $10,000 in their freezer or anything.

(Obligatory disclaimer (you can skip this if you aren't the sort of person who equates defending the existence of the federal government with approving of each and every thing it does 100%): The federal government is by no means perfect and certainly needs a great deal of reform. Some things really are better done on the federal level. Really.)


All I meant was that Akula posited that the scale of the task of providing public healthcare at a federal level in the United States was an important reason to avoid it. He then almost immediately posted a good reason to go with public healthcare at a state level. All the while apparently arguing against the provision of public healthcare at all. I was confused.

I think state level funding and organisation would be both possible and desirable.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby neon » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:47 pm UTC

Akula wrote:
neon wrote:So it's all our fault huh? Wow. When all else fails blame the patient for getting sick. But I guess it's good the know that the French and the rest of Europe don't have a "decadent lifestyle". And yes, it is about people being denied care.

Yes, if you eat poorly your entire life, it is your fault for developing heart disease. If you smoke your entire life it is your fault for getting lung cancer. If you drink heavily, it is your fault for having a failing liver. I guess cause and effect just isn't fair!


This just makes you sound like an ass. So before you run around pointing your finger at everyone else you might want to take some time examining your own shit.

Akula wrote:
neon wrote:No, I don't see how doing more numerically indicates some sort of magic efficiency. Just as triple bypass surgery was really never more than a heart surgeon's retirement plan.

A higher per-capita rate of life saving procedures doesn't indicate anything? You aught to have your own newsletter or cable access program or something.


It shows that we spend a lot of money on emergency care and end of life issues while our overall health ranks at the bottom of all other industrialized nations.

Akula wrote:
neon wrote:Yes, people are being denied care and yes, people have died because an insurance company denied an MD's order for a medically necessary treatment.

In some extreme cases that does happen. It is certianly not the norm. Just the same as in extreme cases people have died on waiting lists for procedures that would be done the same day as diagnosis in the US, although it wouldn't be fair to call it the norm for those systems either.


"...can we dispell the notion that you won't even be given emergency care in the US without insurance? That's absurd." Followed by: "In some extreme cases that does happen. It is certianly not the norm." I'm looking forward to your next flip-flop. Your entertainment value is priceless. Really, is there a comedy club where I can watch your performance or is this it?

Akula wrote:The US healthcare system has it's drawbacks to be sure, but you're failing to point out anything that makes socialization of the system appetizing.


It's cheaper by far, it's more fair and improves the general health of the nation. It would also free business from having to provide their own plans and therefore make them more competitive, so it would be good for business. It would allow people to take their own healthcare with them and therefore not to have to worry or be unprotected when switching employers. The uninsured would no longer have to rely on emergency room care which is expensive because people wait until their condition worsens before going. Am I going too fast?

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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby fjafjan » Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:17 pm UTC

the Ronpaul fans are pretty scary.

Read the descent into madness
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby btilly » Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:19 pm UTC

Antimatter Spork wrote:
btilly wrote:The people in Washington are plenty smart. Smart enough to figure out how to get lobbyists to pay them millions of dollars. Which incidentally gives you the answer. The more they try to do at the federal level, the more well-funded parties there are who wish to influence the outcome, and therefore the more money there is for politicians to get a piece of.

Yes, because there is absolutely no corruption in state governments, and stupid people are never elected to state office, only federal office. State governments are shining ideals of freedom and democracy. Oh, and paying a legislator to pass legislation for you is completely legal and done all the time. We totally don't arrest congressmen for, say, having $10,000 in their freezer or anything.

I was commenting on why the federal government wants to get involved in everything that it can. And not whether the state governments had similar issues. (They do, of course.)

Secondly paying politicians to pass legislation for you is completely legal as long as you follow the rules. For example you can donate millions to their campaigns. Or you can offer them very plush jobs as soon as they leave office. Or you can arrange speaking engagements where they get paid a lot. Or you can donate to a favorite charity. All of these happen very often and nobody raises an eyebrow.

You can't hand over bags of money, though, because that's corruption and that's a no-no.
Antimatter Spork wrote:(Obligatory disclaimer (you can skip this if you aren't the sort of person who equates defending the existence of the federal government with approving of each and every thing it does 100%): The federal government is by no means perfect and certainly needs a great deal of reform. Some things really are better done on the federal level. Really.)

Did you think that I was criticizing the need for a federal government? I wasn't, and I'm fully aware of why we need one. But the US Constitution reflects the founding spirit that the federal government was a necessary evil, and should be as limited as possible. Which is why there is an explicit list of things that the federal government is supposed to be able to do and it legally should not be able to do anything else! Somewhere along the way (FDR had a lot to do with it) we lost sight of this principle, and the federal government is now involved in a lot of things that it really has no reason to be involved in.

For example take Congress' authority To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes; If you believe Congress, this gives them the right to legislate on an incredible range of issues. For example this is the basis of all of the federal civil rights legislation. But they keep on pushing farther including, in one famous example, rape. (Congress lost that one.)

Ironically I'm not opposed to having a stronger federal government. But I'm very unhappy that it has been achieved through reinterpreting the Constitution in ever more far-fetched ways rather than through achieving political consensus and amending the Constitution.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby TheTankengine » Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:26 am UTC

First of all, STOP DOUBLE POSTING.

fjafjan wrote:the Ronpaul fans are pretty scary.

Read the descent into madness

Wow, overgeneralize much? That's ONE person. Believe me, it is quite easy to find overzealous/just plain crazy people that are vocal about every single subject imaginable.

And I really hate all the websites people are quoting that just put their personal bias on display as plain and simple fact. It's quite disgusting.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby fjafjan » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:04 am UTC

TheTankengine wrote:
fjafjan wrote:the Ronpaul fans are pretty scary.

Read the descent into madness

Wow, overgeneralize much? That's ONE person. Believe me, it is quite easy to find overzealous/just plain crazy people that are vocal about every single subject imaginable.

how the rest compartmentalize it I do not know, but then it would also be quite a boring blog post if you list a couple thousand posts all displaying something like that.
Hell it's not even that he is vocal, I think it pretty well describes how someone becomes a conspiracy theorist and blindly devoted to a cause, no matter what the truth may be.
//Yepp, THE fjafjan (who's THE fjafjan?)
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Akula » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:04 am UTC

neon wrote:This just makes you sound like an ass. So before you run around pointing your finger at everyone else you might want to take some time examining your own shit.
Aww, your right, suggesting someone's condition just might be their fault is mean. I'm sorry for thinking of people as adults.

neon wrote:It shows that we spend a lot of money on emergency care and end of life issues while our overall health ranks at the bottom of all other industrialized nations.
It also shows your more likely to successfully receive a lifesaving procedure in the US.

neon wrote:"...can we dispell the notion that you won't even be given emergency care in the US without insurance? That's absurd." Followed by: "In some extreme cases that does happen. It is certianly not the norm." I'm looking forward to your next flip-flop. Your entertainment value is priceless. Really, is there a comedy club where I can watch your performance or is this it?

My point is that these incidences are not normal, and are not a good indicator of the health system in either case. People have been left to die for financial reasons in the US. People have been left to die on waiting lists in many other countries (which, as it happens, is also a financial reason).

neon wrote:It's cheaper by far, it's more fair and improves the general health of the nation. It would also free business from having to provide their own plans and therefore make them more competitive, so it would be good for business. It would allow people to take their own healthcare with them and therefore not to have to worry or be unprotected when switching employers. The uninsured would no longer have to rely on emergency room care which is expensive because people wait until their condition worsens before going. Am I going too fast?

A nation spanning bureaucracy that eats up 25% or more the nations income is cheaper? Sinking that money into said bureaucracy instead of back into the economy is good for business?
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Akula » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:09 am UTC

Dream wrote:All I meant was that Akula posited that the scale of the task of providing public healthcare at a federal level in the United States was an important reason to avoid it. He then almost immediately posted a good reason to go with public healthcare at a state level. All the while apparently arguing against the provision of public healthcare at all. I was confused.

I think state level funding and organisation would be both possible and desirable.


Basically, I think socialized medicine is generally a bad idea. However, like many socialist policies, they can work when implemented on a smaller scale. Dis-economy of scale and what not. More than this, I'm very much a federalist, so even I think it's a bad idea, I have no problem with different states trying different solutions. Laboratories of democracy.
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Re: US Presidential Primaries - discussion

Postby Alpha Omicron » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:30 am UTC

Akula wrote:Basically, I think socialized medicine is generally a bad idea.

Huzzah for free healthcare!
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