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Thread: Healthcare

  1. #441

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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I said that Chomsky should stick with linguistics, and I stand by that sentiment. I've read/listened to a bunch of his stuff, and he gets many things massively wrong.
    I agree that some of his solutions or policy prescriptions are a bit wacky. His bizarre anarcho-syndicalism philosophy is pretty bonkers. For me, he's like Ron Paul; they're both sincere and honest, and see the issues for the most part, but have extreme and unrealistic solutions...

    But.... The basic history that Chomsky discusses in his books are accurate. I respect his political work, from the perspective of journalism.

    He has been a tireless collector of government abuse of power throughout his career and has collected more documentation than most historians on every aspect of US Foreign policy since WWII. He was first published, predicting the rise of fascism in Europe - during the 1930's (when he was 12 yrs old).

    The historical facts he tends to harp on may make him seem like some a conspiracy theorist (to someone who isn't aware of US Foreign Policy); but I assure you he is not - and rarely makes errors of fact.

    What things do you think he gets wrong, specifically?

  2. #442
    Senior Member avolkiteshvara's Avatar
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    Yeah Chompsky does use Econ, Polysci, Psych 101s to try to neatly architecturalize the world. Its not as simplistic or neat as he tries to present.

    He is very diligent though about digging up very facts and connections.

  3. #443
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    No one disputes that the $2.3 trillion we devote to the health care industry is often spent unwisely, but the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person as most European countries on health care can be substantially explained, as a study released last month says, by our being fatter. Even the most efficient health care system that the administration could hope to devise would still confront a rising tide of chronic disease linked to diet.

    That’s why our success in bringing health care costs under control ultimately depends on whether Washington can summon the political will to take on and reform a second, even more powerful industry: the food industry.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three-quarters of health care spending now goes to treat “preventable chronic diseases.” Not all of these diseases are linked to diet — there’s smoking, for instance — but many, if not most, of them are.

    We’re spending $147 billion to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat diabetes, and hundreds of billions more to treat cardiovascular disease and the many types of cancer that have been linked to the so-called Western diet. One recent study estimated that 30 percent of the increase in health care spending over the past 20 years could be attributed to the soaring rate of obesity, a condition that now accounts for nearly a tenth of all spending on health care.

    The American way of eating has become the elephant in the room in the debate over health care.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/op...llan.html?_r=1

  4. #444
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Things like that are a huge reason I'm opposed to government-run healthcare, public good or no (I'm still undecided on that last point); there is huge opportunity/plausible incentive for any government program to become an uncontained monster that increasingly inhibits liberties or injects itself into the private lives of citizens.

  5. #445
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    ^ Good point; we'd better abolish government entirely, because anarchy is clearly the superior option.

    We can't go around risking that a government program become too big! My God, what might happen then?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  6. #446
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    ^ Good point; we'd better abolish government entirely, because anarchy is clearly the superior option.

    We can't go around risking that a government program become too big! My God, what might happen then?


    Some government programs/powers contain inherently less danger than others, just as some are more necessary than others. It is MUCH easier to create new programs or expand old ones than it is to reform or limit pre-existing programs.

  7. #447
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Right, my point is just that "It could potentially waste a lot of money" is not really a reason to automatically turn down a possible government program because that's always the case, and I feel that many economic conservatives/libertarians focus on "omg it could waste money!" to the exclusion of many other far more important factors.

    Like people having health care--I just don't understand why people think structuring the HEALTH CARE industry with maximum profits for producers as the #1 priority is any kind of good idea.

    Obviously it's working--for the producers. They're making money hand over fist on the outrageous increases in health care costs every year--problem is we've taken an industry based fundamentally on human compassion/kindness and decided it should be run based purely on profit margin, and I can't get behind that.

    It's obviously NOT working for the people it's there for--the common working class citizen. Health care costs are outrageously high because the health care and insurance industries engage in constant and totally blatant illegal collusion, and yet government does nothing to break this oligopoly or attempt to restore healthy competition to the market.

    Am I the only one that sees a problem with, "If you can't afford our arbitrary and exorbitant insurance rates, you don't get health care"? I mean, seriously guys? That's a great policy for Cadillacs or Cuban cigars or other luxury goods that people can get by just fine without, but this kind of blatantly illegal price fixing due to total lack of reasonable government oversight is totally inappropriate in an industry founded on bringing people a basic life necessity. This should not just be a profit deal.

    If all food producers in the nation arbitrarily decided to triple the cost of all food just because they can, the government would not sit by and let people starve to death because "the invisible hand will work it out." They'd fucking do something about it--so why shouldn't government do something to fix the totally broken health care industry?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  8. #448
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Right, my point is just that "It could potentially waste a lot of money" is not really a reason to automatically turn down a possible government program because that's always the case, and I feel that many economic conservatives/libertarians focus on "omg it could waste money!" to the exclusion of many other far more important factors.

    Like people having health care--I just don't understand why people think structuring the HEALTH CARE industry with maximum profits for producers as the #1 priority is any kind of good idea.

    Obviously it's working--for the producers. They're making money hand over fist on the outrageous increases in health care costs every year--problem is we've taken an industry based fundamentally on human compassion/kindness and decided it should be run based purely on profit margin, and I can't get behind that.
    Then propose less dangerous/intrusive regulations (alongside the repeal of counter-productive regulations) before effectively advocating an inexorable government take-over of the industry.

    Edit: Also, the relative potential for out-of-control costs and government intrusion is a reason to put a proposed program under "strict scrutiny" and proceed cautiously if it initially seems to pass such a test-few people with libertarian sympathies are as dogmatic as you suggest.
    Last edited by lowtech redneck; 09-16-2009 at 05:39 AM. Reason: self-evident

  9. #449
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Then propose less dangerous/intrusive regulations (alongside the repeal of counter-productive regulations) before effectively advocating an inexorable government take-over of the industry.
    I'm afraid I consider "people needlessly suffering from sickness and injury because the health care industry is bullshit" as a more dangerous scenario than "people having to pay a little more income tax than their arbitrary Libertarian ideals are comfortable with."

    Sorry, but it's clear what the higher priority here is, and you lose.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Edit: Also, the relative potential for out-of-control costs and government intrusion is a reason to put a proposed program under "strict scrutiny" and proceed cautiously if it seems top pass such a test-few people with libertarian sympathies are as dogmatic as you propose.
    I myself have some Libertarian sympathies--it is a good idea in principle; the problem is that actual Libertarians just have no idea that there's any such thing as too much of a good thing. Economic freedom is a great principle; it just doesn't automatically trump every other principle in virtually every situation imaginable, and yet Libertarians seem to think it should.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  10. #450
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I'm afraid I consider "people needlessly suffering from sickness and injury because the health care industry is bullshit" as a more dangerous scenario than "people having to pay a little more income tax than their arbitrary Libertarian ideals are comfortable with."

    Sorry, but it's clear what the higher priority here is, and you lose.
    First of all, that line of reasoning could also be applied to almost anything, such as "the security of the American people is more important than the amount of taxes you are comfortable paying, so tough shit. $700 toilet seats are here to stay!"

    Second, an income tax hike is only the tip of the iceberg, as implied by binary numbers' linked article.

    Health-sector reform is not something many people, libertarian or otherwise, are arguing against; radical measures/massive new entitlements with unknown costs/consequences implemented for the sake of "doing something" is altogether different.

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