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  1. #41
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I only have time to respond to some of these points.




    Who's the monopoly? Is there one health care company in the United States? Did I miss something? Also, even real monopolies don't necessarily hurt the consumer (although they obviously are bad for competitors). The price of gasoline fell about 90% during Standard Oil's period as a near-monopoly in the late-1800s.
    We currently have an oligopoly of insurance companies (though a much thinner one), health care providers, medical suppliers and pharmaceutical companies. Oligopolies lead to collusion, every time. The only reason we have this oligopoly is because our anti-trust laws prevent the formation of a monopoly in this sector currently. A fully free market would not have those anti-trust laws, and due to economies of scale and the profit motive, a monopoly would naturally form.

    Oil production also increased exponentially during Standard Oil's reign. Petroleum use also increased its profit potential, since the development of technology based on petroleum would drive up the demand for petroleum. There were still many rival goods for petroleum then, such as spermaceti. It wasn't until petroleum became indispensable for the US economy that anti-trust procedures began, because SO could charge what it wanted to at that point. If it screwed itself over and collapsed, the US is screwed over and collapses. Health care is indispensable for this country.

    National defense and property defense ARE rights. Those are the most basic things that a government must do. Roads technically are not rights, but the right to freedom of movement (except across private property) is. All of these are clearly enumerated or based upon common law. Health care is not.
    You don't have a right to use the public roads, that's a privilege. Didn't you take drivers' ed? National defense isn't a right, either - it's certainly a public good, but you have no right to protection from foreign aggression. We give the government the power to manage national defense through the Constitution. The Articles of Confederation didn't allow a standing army or navy; everything was to be settled through state militias. Even if you want to argue that national defense is a right, federal control of national defense isn't necessarily one, is it?

    The development of public fire departments is a fairly recent one, dating only to the early 20th Century. Private fire departments were the norm before that, and they'd sabotage competing departments in order to receive most of the insurance money. If a property owner didn't have insurance, the department would just let the property burn - of course, setting neighboring properties ablaze in the process. That's called a market failure.


    These are all rights that would be required even if they were economically not sound. How is an individual's health care a collective good? Roads and national defense are collective inherently. Paying for my medical care is not.
    No they aren't. They're things that we as a society agreed upon would be good ideas to have paid for by the collective whole. A healthy workforce benefits us all, increasing our economic performance as fewer hours are lost to injury or illness. That was the original logic behind employer-provided health care - that employers would want healthier workers because that would lead to more productivity and greater profits. They never figured that at some point, some actuary would point out that the productivity hit from a less-healthy workforce would be outweighed by the decrease in costs that would come from not paying for health insurance.

    I would absolutely benefit more from no government health care (and coordinately lower taxes) than I would from everyone being covered. I am 26 years old and in good health. I have a job at another hospital pretty much in the bag, and I will have excellent health insurance as part of my health benefits for the next year or so. After that, I will be in grad school and I will have good health insurance there. And after that, I should be making somewhere in the range of $100K per year in my early-30s, and more as I continue my career. I will have health insurance from those jobs, and I would be able to afford excellent private health insurance even if I didn't have a plan through work. How would I benefit from a single-payer system?
    Quit being selfish. Do you know how health insurance works? The system as a whole benefits by people who are healthy contributing to the pool, since it's their money that goes toward paying the sick's bills. Why do we do this? So that the same happens for us when we're in that position. Like it or not, we're all going to be sick and die. Won't you wish then that some healthy 26-year-old contributed to the pool so you had some inheritance to give to your kids, rather than it being consumed through medical bills? You're already paying two times as much per capita via taxes for covering emergency-room bankruptcies than you would through a national single payer system, and you're not receiving better care than any country in the world by every major indicator. Why?

    You benefit from single payer because it has the power to suppress costs. Insurance can't suppress costs - there are too many actors compared to the tighter oligopoly of health care providers, and subsequently, they cannot individually negotiate prices downward. A single payer can - it says "we'll pay this, or we won't pay at all". Given that refusing treatment on ability to pay is malpractice, they have no recourse but to negotiate the price further. That places further pressure down the supply stream to cut costs as well. Profits in health care are enormous - ranging from 10% in the hospitals to 17% for the pharmaceutical industry, the highest for any sector, period. There is plenty of room to pare down costs. You directly benefit from that.

    You also benefit from the ability of your co-workers to not have to miss work from chronic health concerns, as primary care, the least expensive form of care, would be the norm for lower-income people, as opposed to ER care, the most expensive. Those screenings would likely stave off many expensive future conditions, and improve their ability to work. Just imagine the increased productivity of your employees if you start a business.

    Unless you think lower-income people would just not go to the doctor because they're lazy. Which at that point, there's no point in continuing this conversation.

    It's not the state's business to decide what adults do with their own bodies, nor it is the business of the state make sure all those bodies are healthy. Relying on the state for personal moral guidance is idiotic.
    How is this a moral issue? It's a policy issue. Who appointed you the arbiter of the state's role in regulation? It may be your personal belief that the state shouldn't intervene, but that doesn't make it true. Is it so crazy for me to think that the state should heavily regulate tobacco, because when lower-income tobacco users get lung cancer and emphysema, it ends up costing me money?

    It's an interpretation issue on the part of individuals, not any specific policy. As idiotic as you may think that is, there are people who do rely on the law as to moral guidance. You have to account for those people; you can't just wish them away.

    Because there is a GIGANTIC difference between "I disagree with this" and "This should be illegal." As soon as those become the same thing, precious liberties are lost, sometimes forever.
    For a lot of people, they are the same. They're called SJs .

    Like it or not, there are people for whom security will ALWAYS outweigh personal freedom. In a democratic society, they have a voice. Not only that, but going back to your point of the most basic things a society does, the absolute most basic thing a society does is ensure the security of its members.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    We currently have an oligopoly of insurance companies (though a much thinner one), health care providers, medical suppliers and pharmaceutical companies. Oligopolies lead to collusion, every time. The only reason we have this oligopoly is because our anti-trust laws prevent the formation of a monopoly in this sector currently. A fully free market would not have those anti-trust laws, and due to economies of scale and the profit motive, a monopoly would naturally form.
    I really do not believe that. There is no incentive for a monopoly to form in this situation. People are already making tons of money exploiting the system. I honestly think that you have this sector misjudged.


    Oil production also increased exponentially during Standard Oil's reign. Petroleum use also increased its profit potential, since the development of technology based on petroleum would drive up the demand for petroleum. There were still many rival goods for petroleum then, such as spermaceti. It wasn't until petroleum became indispensable for the US economy that anti-trust procedures began, because SO could charge what it wanted to at that point. If it screwed itself over and collapsed, the US is screwed over and collapses. Health care is indispensable for this country.
    They could have charged whatever they wanted before that. You way overrate the "inelasticity" of demand.


    You don't have a right to use the public roads, that's a privilege. Didn't you take drivers' ed? National defense isn't a right, either - it's certainly a public good, but you have no right to protection from foreign aggression. We give the government the power to manage national defense through the Constitution. The Articles of Confederation didn't allow a standing army or navy; everything was to be settled through state militias. Even if you want to argue that national defense is a right, federal control of national defense isn't necessarily one, is it?
    I'd have a right to walk down the street as long as I weren't preventing others from using the road safely. The road per se isn't a right, but my right to walk down it if it's there is. This is off-topic, though.

    I would argue that federal control of national defense is necessary, since there is no way to provide for "national" defense at a lower level than federal. Different states may have different defense rules (and they do have different laws and their governors have the prerogative send in their militias or not). By definition, everyone has to get the same national defense. This certainly is not the case with health care.


    The development of public fire departments is a fairly recent one, dating only to the early 20th Century. Private fire departments were the norm before that, and they'd sabotage competing departments in order to receive most of the insurance money. If a property owner didn't have insurance, the department would just let the property burn - of course, setting neighboring properties ablaze in the process. That's called a market failure.
    Or they'd be volunteer fire companies like the one Benjamin Franklin started in Philadelphia in 1736, that saved countless lives. Also, wouldn't the fact that people wouldn't get their house saved if they didn't buy insurance STRONGLY encourage these people to get covered? That's called the market working.


    No they aren't. They're things that we as a society agreed upon would be good ideas to have paid for by the collective whole. A healthy workforce benefits us all, increasing our economic performance as fewer hours are lost to injury or illness. That was the original logic behind employer-provided health care - that employers would want healthier workers because that would lead to more productivity and greater profits. They never figured that at some point, some actuary would point out that the productivity hit from a less-healthy workforce would be outweighed by the decrease in costs that would come from not paying for health insurance.
    I've never agreed to that, and many other people I know haven't, either. This is not a question of economic performance for me. This is a question of making something a right that never was a right, and running up insane deficits because of it. Look at Bush's prescription drug benefit. An unmitigated failure. I'd really prefer the government to begin moving OUT of health care as opposed to into it.


    Quit being selfish. Do you know how health insurance works? The system as a whole benefits by people who are healthy contributing to the pool, since it's their money that goes toward paying the sick's bills. Why do we do this? So that the same happens for us when we're in that position. Like it or not, we're all going to be sick and die. Won't you wish then that some healthy 26-year-old contributed to the pool so you had some inheritance to give to your kids, rather than it being consumed through medical bills? You're already paying two times as much per capita via taxes for covering emergency-room bankruptcies than you would through a national single payer system, and you're not receiving better care than any country in the world by every major indicator. Why?
    No, I will not wish that a healthy 26-year-old contributed. I would want him to take care of himself, as I would take care of myself. By the same token, everyone in America should be able to opt out of Social Security if they choose. I would do it in a second, and so would anyone else who had enough sense to know how to save money.

    BTW, I wouldn't trade the health care I've had since I was a child for that of any other country in the world.


    You benefit from single payer because it has the power to suppress costs. Insurance can't suppress costs - there are too many actors compared to the tighter oligopoly of health care providers, and subsequently, they cannot individually negotiate prices downward. A single payer can - it says "we'll pay this, or we won't pay at all". Given that refusing treatment on ability to pay is malpractice, they have no recourse but to negotiate the price further. That places further pressure down the supply stream to cut costs as well. Profits in health care are enormous - ranging from 10% in the hospitals to 17% for the pharmaceutical industry, the highest for any sector, period. There is plenty of room to pare down costs. You directly benefit from that.
    I know some restaurants that have higher profit margins than that, but I will take your word for it on the margins there. That is a lot, no question, but I think there is more room to cut costs than simply shrinking profits. Profits are good things.


    You also benefit from the ability of your co-workers to not have to miss work from chronic health concerns, as primary care, the least expensive form of care, would be the norm for lower-income people, as opposed to ER care, the most expensive. Those screenings would likely stave off many expensive future conditions, and improve their ability to work. Just imagine the increased productivity of your employees if you start a business.
    I will be going into the creative side of entertainment/media corporations, so these decisions will not be made by me. If I were ever to start my own production company, I would investigate these matters further. Low-level employees tend not to get coverage, and higher-level ones are making six figures. You cannot say with certainty whether I'd benefit from this system as an entrepreneur.


    Unless you think lower-income people would just not go to the doctor because they're lazy. Which at that point, there's no point in continuing this conversation.
    I don't presume to speak for anyone but myself here, but plenty of people (lower- and middle-income) I dealt with at the hospital miss their appointments and their payments. The people who were consistently on the ball were the richies who paid their own way or who had private coverage. They tended to the other extreme: health-obsessed and calling millions of times before and after appointments. I know as a young person that getting to the doctor or the dentist is pretty low on the agenda, but I am also smart enough to take care of it when I do have coverage. I also eat a good diet, have quit smoking, brush my teeth everyday, floss, and so on. The #1 cause of poor health in non-elderly Americans is not lack of medical coverage. It's lifestyle choice.


    How is this a moral issue? It's a policy issue. Who appointed you the arbiter of the state's role in regulation? It may be your personal belief that the state shouldn't intervene, but that doesn't make it true. Is it so crazy for me to think that the state should heavily regulate tobacco, because when lower-income tobacco users get lung cancer and emphysema, it ends up costing me money?
    Because we have certain rights, and you can't just make some up out of thin air? And yes, it is so crazy for you to think that the state should heavily regulate tobacco when you could be arguing that "I shouldn't have to pay for these people to kill themselves."


    It's an interpretation issue on the part of individuals, not any specific policy. As idiotic as you may think that is, there are people who do rely on the law as to moral guidance. You have to account for those people; you can't just wish them away.
    Actually, you can just ignore them and let them figure it out on their own. I did it. If they can't, too bad. This is the United States of America. If you have to rely on the government to let you know what is good or bad, I have no sympathy for you.


    For a lot of people, they are the same. They're called SJs .
    Not this SJ, my friend.


    Like it or not, there are people for whom security will ALWAYS outweigh personal freedom. In a democratic society, they have a voice. Not only that, but going back to your point of the most basic things a society does, the absolute most basic thing a society does is ensure the security of its members.
    They should not have a voice to take freedom away from me. This is not a democracy. This is a republic. We have democratic elections, but it doesn't matter if 99% of the people want something. If it's unconstitutional, they do not and should not get it under our system. That's one of the reasons why this country is great. Or used to be, anyway.
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  3. #43
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I would absolutely benefit more from no government health care (and coordinately lower taxes) than I would from everyone being covered. I am 26 years old and in good health. I have a job at another hospital pretty much in the bag, and I will have excellent health insurance as part of my health benefits for the next year or so. After that, I will be in grad school and I will have good health insurance there. And after that, I should be making somewhere in the range of $100K per year in my early-30s, and more as I continue my career. I will have health insurance from those jobs, and I would be able to afford excellent private health insurance even if I didn't have a plan through work. How would I benefit from a single-payer system?
    I'm glad that you are so fortunate but you cannot foresee what might happen to that job or your health in the future. The economy has periods of downturn (now) just as a person's health can change. Hopefully, your job security continues as well as your coverage continues (as you mentioned in your post these are things that are happening in the future).

    I think it is a rather selfish, egotistical attitude of a person to only consider their own self-interest, rather than what happens to the whole of society. I also believe health care is a right, not a privilege. If that is your belief, than I certainly hope for your sake you are always employed and never suffer a major illness or accident...as they say, shit happens.

    By the way, I think it would be helpful to reread onemoretime's explanation about the pool of insured in regard to single-payer; it makes more economic sense and would be a huge step in getting the country out of this never-ending cycle of rising exorbitant health costs.
    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all

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    Quote Originally Posted by statuesquechica View Post
    I'm glad that you are so fortunate but you cannot foresee what might happen to that job or your health in the future. The economy has periods of downturn (now) just as a person's health can change. Hopefully, your job security continues as well as your coverage continues (as you mentioned in your post these are things that are happening in the future).
    I hope so. Starting salary is more important to methan the extensiveness of bennies, though. Health insurance will become much more important as I get older and have a family. My children would be the ones for whom I would be concerned, rather than myself.


    I think it is a rather selfish, egotistical attitude of a person to only consider their own self-interest, rather than what happens to the whole of society. I also believe health care is a right, not a privilege. If that is your belief, than I certainly hope for your sake you are always employed and never suffer a major illness or accident...as they say, shit happens.
    I actually believe the whole of society would be better off if everyone were addressing his or her own affairs, rather than hoping the government can take care of them for them. The government in my state of California can't pave roads or pay teachers right now. I certainly would not rely on it to take care of my health.

    If you believe health care is a right, then you obviously won't be interested in my argument. That being said, I thank you for your well wishes re: my health and employment. If something bad does happen, I certainly will not try to get people I don't know to pay for me.


    By the way, I think it would be helpful to reread onemoretime's explanation about the pool of insured in regard to single-payer; it makes more economic sense and would be a huge step in getting the country out of this never-ending cycle of rising exorbitant health costs.
    If my employer didn't cover me, I'd really prefer to buy my own health insurance (no matter the cost) rather than have a single-payer system imposed on me.
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    I think I need to sit down. All this enthusiasm for collectivization is making my head spin.

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    I predict you will all, like mindless idiotic sheep, start railing against the big bad evil insurance companies once Washington and the media (they've just started actually) starts using them as scapegoats to sell the healthcare agenda. Go ahead, prove me right, AGAIN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I really do not believe that. There is no incentive for a monopoly to form in this situation. People are already making tons of money exploiting the system. I honestly think that you have this sector misjudged.
    In the absence of anti-trust regulation, there is no reason for a monopoly not to form. Considering modern technology, it would make the most sense for all actors to consolidate. Why would you compete, when the bigger company could just buy you out for millions if not billions in your pocket, and offer you a position to do what you wanted to within the company?

    "Believe" what you want to, economics is economics. Consolidation is only limited by supply constraints, distribution limitations and government regulation. Technology has eliminated most of the first two.

    They could have charged whatever they wanted before that. You way overrate the "inelasticity" of demand.
    Umm, no? Petroleum wasn't price inelastic nor non-rival at that point. You could just buy whale oil or coal gas for what you'd use petroleum for in 1885. He had competition then. By 1905, that wasn't the case anymore - John D. Rockefeller was one of the most powerful men in the world at that point. Practically all developing technologies at that point were petroleum-based. The whaling and coal gas industries had collapsed.


    I'd have a right to walk down the street as long as I weren't preventing others from using the road safely. The road per se isn't a right, but my right to walk down it if it's there is. This is off-topic, though.
    Not really - it's fundamental to the argument.

    I would argue that federal control of national defense is necessary, since there is no way to provide for "national" defense at a lower level than federal. Different states may have different defense rules (and they do have different laws and their governors have the prerogative send in their militias or not). By definition, everyone has to get the same national defense. This certainly is not the case with health care.
    Not necessarily - you could say that certain cities did not fall under the umbrella of US national defense. National defense is a true public good, that much you do have correct. Health care has aspects that are public goods, though, which I think you're failing to recognize.


    Or they'd be volunteer fire companies like the one Benjamin Franklin started in Philadelphia in 1736, that saved countless lives. Also, wouldn't the fact that people wouldn't get their house saved if they didn't buy insurance STRONGLY encourage these people to get covered? That's called the market working.
    Sometimes you can't afford it. That's also called the market working. Not being able to afford it, and causing a major city fire is a huge public concern. That's called a market failure.

    I've never agreed to that, and many other people I know haven't, either. This is not a question of economic performance for me. This is a question of making something a right that never was a right, and running up insane deficits because of it. Look at Bush's prescription drug benefit. An unmitigated failure. I'd really prefer the government to begin moving OUT of health care as opposed to into it.
    Yes you did. It's called the social contract. It's what you agree to when you live in this society. If you don't like it, try to change it or leave. But you can't neglect it, nor can you neglect your responsibilities toward society. That's the fundamental problem with libertarianism - it's a 14 year old screaming "you can't make me do anything! I can do whatever I want!"... when the reality is that as social creatures, humans are all in this together.

    Really? The prescription drug benefit completely eliminated the overseas market for prescription drugs for seniors. Money's staying within the US instead of going to Canadian tax revenues. And that's a bad thing?

    No, I will not wish that a healthy 26-year-old contributed. I would want him to take care of himself, as I would take care of myself. By the same token, everyone in America should be able to opt out of Social Security if they choose. I would do it in a second, and so would anyone else who had enough sense to know how to save money.
    Why? What would the non-ideological benefit be? You notice how these ideas are completely impractical? Honestly, explain the benefits, with evidence, and don't give me normative arguments. I deal in the positive.

    No one, and I mean NO ONE, takes care of themselves entirely. Period. We're in this together. If everyone could just "take care" of themselves, then why would health insurance even arise in the first place? Wouldn't it have already been settled on the market?

    Do you know what Social Security does? It's not so we can make old people comfortable in their old age - New Deal Progressives did not institute policy because it made people "feel better", so you'd do well to dispel that myth from your reasoning. It was because older workers in the Depression kept working at lower wages, which lead to high levels of unemployment in the young. Young, angry, unemployed people with no prospects leads to civil unrest. Unrest that could have destroyed the American experiment and replaced it with a communist or fascist state. That's what the stakes were in the 1930s. That's why old-age insurance is necessary - because young people need jobs and to not be out in the streets starting shit up!

    You're on a typology website, one whose point is to demonstrate that people don't think the same way and aren't going to do the same things, and there's nothing you can do to change that, and yet you're going to claim that somehow if only people met your standard of perfection, everything would work? Newsflash: that's NEVER going to happen, and you've still got to deal with these people. That's why we have SOCIETY - so everyone can play to their strengths.

    BTW, I wouldn't trade the health care I've had since I was a child for that of any other country in the world.
    Really? I'm glad your parents are well-0ff enough to where you had a decent insurance plan. I hope you don't think you're the norm, however. Remember, if your household takes in over $100k/year, you're in the top 15% of incomes in the country.

    I know some restaurants that have higher profit margins than that, but I will take your word for it on the margins there. That is a lot, no question, but I think there is more room to cut costs than simply shrinking profits. Profits are good things.
    One anecdotal restaurant != an entire sector.

    Not when the sector isn't well-served by profit-seeking. Cutting costs means that supply companies and pharma companies become less profitable. You wouldn't want to do that now, would you? What about all those paper companies who would lose their sales if we consolidated paperwork? Wouldn't want to cut into their profit margins. So on and so forth.

    Profit is the problem here. There's no impulse to keep costs down when so many are profiting so heavily.

    I will be going into the creative side of entertainment/media corporations, so these decisions will not be made by me. If I were ever to start my own production company, I would investigate these matters further. Low-level employees tend not to get coverage, and higher-level ones are making six figures. You cannot say with certainty whether I'd benefit from this system as an entrepreneur.
    Yes I can. If not, why is Walmart one of the biggest supporters of a government option? BTW, you can't afford health care even if you're making six figures. You've got to have at least half a million in spare cash in case of disaster. Why do you think most professionals demand health insurance as part of their benefit packages?

    I don't presume to speak for anyone but myself here, but plenty of people (lower- and middle-income) I dealt with at the hospital miss their appointments and their payments. The people who were consistently on the ball were the richies who paid their own way or who had private coverage. They tended to the other extreme: health-obsessed and calling millions of times before and after appointments. I know as a young person that getting to the doctor or the dentist is pretty low on the agenda, but I am also smart enough to take care of it when I do have coverage. I also eat a good diet, have quit smoking, brush my teeth everyday, floss, and so on. The #1 cause of poor health in non-elderly Americans is not lack of medical coverage. It's lifestyle choice.
    And we're done. There's no point in continuing this conversation. Apparently, everyone, regardless of income, has exactly the same constraints and exactly the same stressors, and it's just a personal moral failing that all but the most wealthy can't consistently make their appointments.

    I hope your feeling of moral superiority comforts you. It's no way to run a society, however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    In the absence of anti-trust regulation, there is no reason for a monopoly not to form. Considering modern technology, it would make the most sense for all actors to consolidate. Why would you compete, when the bigger company could just buy you out for millions if not billions in your pocket, and offer you a position to do what you wanted to within the company?

    "Believe" what you want to, economics is economics. Consolidation is only limited by supply constraints, distribution limitations and government regulation. Technology has eliminated most of the first two.
    False. I will give you a clear-cut example. In my chosen industry, AOL and Time Warner merged in order to take advantage of economies of scale. This was allowed to happen by the government. Guess what happened? It didn't work. Consolidation and vertical integration turned out to be a negative for them. Now, those companies are in multiple sectors of the economy, but consolidation had a negative effect here. Not on consumers, but on the businesses. You honestly think there is NO incentive not to consolidate into a monopoly? Mergers in Hollywood have been scotched because one guy slept with another guy's wife.


    Umm, no? Petroleum wasn't price inelastic nor non-rival at that point. You could just buy whale oil or coal gas for what you'd use petroleum for in 1885. He had competition then. By 1905, that wasn't the case anymore - John D. Rockefeller was one of the most powerful men in the world at that point. Practically all developing technologies at that point were petroleum-based. The whaling and coal gas industries had collapsed.
    And what part of that is bad for the consumer per se? Rockefeller should have been one of the most powerful men in the world at that point. Look at what his company did.


    Not really - it's fundamental to the argument.
    Then make one. I delineated what is a right and what is not, as far as I (and the Constitution and English common law and the majority of Western philosophy) am concerned.


    Not necessarily - you could say that certain cities did not fall under the umbrella of US national defense. National defense is a true public good, that much you do have correct. Health care has aspects that are public goods, though, which I think you're failing to recognize.
    I don't see how you could logically argue that certain cities didn't fall under the umbrella of U.S. national defense. That doesn't make any sense. I guess that we will simply disagree about what is a public good and what is not.


    Sometimes you can't afford it. That's also called the market working. Not being able to afford it, and causing a major city fire is a huge public concern. That's called a market failure.
    Did I not provide the example of free volunteer firefighters? That's not a market failure at all. Besides, municipal firefighters are at the lowest level of government there is and could easily be funded through user fees. That is not analogous to a federal health program funded through taxation.


    Yes you did. It's called the social contract. It's what you agree to when you live in this society. If you don't like it, try to change it or leave. But you can't neglect it, nor can you neglect your responsibilities toward society. That's the fundamental problem with libertarianism - it's a 14 year old screaming "you can't make me do anything! I can do whatever I want!"... when the reality is that as social creatures, humans are all in this together.
    This argument is weak. Produce this social contract, Mr. Rousseau.

    Also, libertarianism is a lot more mature than advocating being dependent on the government to provide for you. That is how children behave. We are NOT all in this together. This is the USA. This is the country of "We can all do what we want." You can absolutely positively not give a shit about anyone else if you so choose. Your right to do so ends at my right to do the same.


    Really? The prescription drug benefit completely eliminated the overseas market for prescription drugs for seniors. Money's staying within the US instead of going to Canadian tax revenues. And that's a bad thing?
    Yes. First of all, I do not care one bit whence seniors get their drugs, as long they aren't buying them with my money. If they're cheaper somewhere else, then I HOPE they get them there. Good for them.

    The prescription drug benefit is ungodly expensive (what was it, $600 billion over 10 years?) and Medicare is already a mess. It's expected to have a $5 trillion shortfall by 2030. I don't plan on ever receiving Medicare, and I'd prefer not to have it. I behave economically as if there will be no Social Security or Medicare for me/my generation.


    Why? What would the non-ideological benefit be? You notice how these ideas are completely impractical? Honestly, explain the benefits, with evidence, and don't give me normative arguments. I deal in the positive.

    No one, and I mean NO ONE, takes care of themselves entirely. Period. We're in this together. If everyone could just "take care" of themselves, then why would health insurance even arise in the first place? Wouldn't it have already been settled on the market?
    Buying health insurance is participating in the market. The market created insurance. The government doesn't have to do it, and I believe the economic repercussions will make the cure worse than the disease.


    [QUOE]Do you know what Social Security does? It's not so we can make old people comfortable in their old age - New Deal Progressives did not institute policy because it made people "feel better", so you'd do well to dispel that myth from your reasoning. It was because older workers in the Depression kept working at lower wages, which lead to high levels of unemployment in the young. Young, angry, unemployed people with no prospects leads to civil unrest. Unrest that could have destroyed the American experiment and replaced it with a communist or fascist state. That's what the stakes were in the 1930s. That's why old-age insurance is necessary - because young people need jobs and to not be out in the streets starting shit up![/QUOTE]

    You cannot honestly believe that. You think Social Security lowered unemployment? That is ludicrous. Taking people OUT of the job market is good for employment? The PAYG system steals money out of the pockets of young, productive workers.


    You're on a typology website, one whose point is to demonstrate that people don't think the same way and aren't going to do the same things, and there's nothing you can do to change that, and yet you're going to claim that somehow if only people met your standard of perfection, everything would work? Newsflash: that's NEVER going to happen, and you've still got to deal with these people. That's why we have SOCIETY - so everyone can play to their strengths.
    Don't put words in my mouth. I was making the point that a lot of health issues are the direct result of individual behavior and it's completely and totally unfair to force others to foot the bill for your mistakes. Smoking is as bad for SJ's as it is for NT's. I knew it was bad for me but I did it anyway for about seven years, because my utility of enjoying cigarettes (and cigars and pot) was higher than my utility of having more money and breathing better. I recalculated recently and then quit.


    Really? I'm glad your parents are well-0ff enough to where you had a decent insurance plan. I hope you don't think you're the norm, however. Remember, if your household takes in over $100k/year, you're in the top 15% of incomes in the country.
    Neither of my parents went to college, but my mother has worked in the health system of a private university for 35 years and had excellent health insurance. Neither of my parents make close to $100,000 per year. I have the opportunity to make much, MUCH more than that, and I will be responsible enough with my income to make sure things like insurance and health care are non-issues for my family.


    One anecdotal restaurant != an entire sector.
    I didn't say it did, and it wasn't one restaurant, but whatever.


    Not when the sector isn't well-served by profit-seeking. Cutting costs means that supply companies and pharma companies become less profitable. You wouldn't want to do that now, would you? What about all those paper companies who would lose their sales if we consolidated paperwork? Wouldn't want to cut into their profit margins. So on and so forth.
    Profit is the problem here. There's no impulse to keep costs down when so many are profiting so heavily.
    Usually, more competition helps? Not adding monopsony?


    Yes I can. If not, why is Walmart one of the biggest supporters of a government option? BTW, you can't afford health care even if you're making six figures. You've got to have at least half a million in spare cash in case of disaster. Why do you think most professionals demand health insurance as part of their benefit packages?
    There are private health insurance plans available in California for people my age for less than $500 a month. If I were making $100,000 a month, I could easily swing $500 a month.

    And we know why Wal-Mart is a supporter of a government option. Their workers wouldn't agitate for insurance through them. It's the same motive as to why farmers in Montana demand farm subsidies because they "have to compete with farmers in Canada who all government health care." There is an economic term for that: "rent seeking."


    And we're done. There's no point in continuing this conversation. Apparently, everyone, regardless of income, has exactly the same constraints and exactly the same stressors, and it's just a personal moral failing that all but the most wealthy can't consistently make their appointments.

    I hope your feeling of moral superiority comforts you. It's no way to run a society, however.
    And guess what? "Running a society" is not in my vocabulary. You don't "run society." Society runs by the actions of individual people acting alone or in concert with others. Voluntarily.

    And again, stop putting words in my mouth. There is only one person taking a superior tone here, and I am not that person.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  9. #49
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    I predict you will all, like mindless idiotic sheep, start railing against the big bad evil insurance companies once Washington and the media (they've just started actually) starts using them as scapegoats to sell the healthcare agenda. Go ahead, prove me right, AGAIN.
    Your inflammatory language, not mine. I do believe that health care (as the term indicates) is not the goal of insurance companies. They are purely in the business of profits, nothing more. Nixon was the "genius" that instituted the model of HMOS--health care was very different in this country before that change to for-profit care.

    Perhaps one day you will change your views if you ever become unemployed or suffer a major illness...and I wouldn't wish that on anybody, including someone I so vehemently disagree with.
    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all

    Joni Mitchell

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    Quote Originally Posted by statuesquechica View Post
    Your inflammatory language, not mine. I do believe that health care (as the term indicates) is not the goal of insurance companies. They are purely in the business of profits, nothing more. Nixon was the "genius" that instituted the model of HMOS--health care was very different in this country before that change to for-profit care.
    No one got into health care to make money before HMOs?


    Perhaps one day you will change your views if you ever become unemployed or suffer a major illness...and I wouldn't wish that on anybody, including someone I so vehemently disagree with.
    I wouldn't bet on it. Risen is at least as principled (or ideological, depending on your view) as I am.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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