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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    If only they could convert Dick Cheney into a Democrat.
    Then maybe they'd get some shit done!
    I've thought that about the left here too, although perhaps everyone who supports one side or the other expects more than is delivered.

  2. #32
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I've thought that about the left here too, although perhaps everyone who supports one side or the other expects more than is delivered.
    You are correct, Lark:

    "The people of the world have more in common with each other than their own government. The governments of the world have more in common with each other than their own people."

    Both parties want the right to spend the people's money more than anything, that is something all voters should keep in mind during every election.

    It would be nice if the U.S. had a system that allowed voting on issues, and not party platforms.
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  3. #33
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    My (quite obvious) point is that public health care entitlements are unsustainable in countries with more elderly dependents than economically productive members of the population, and said economically productive tax-payers will decide that public health-care is not a right, but rather a luxury they cannot afford. Unfortunately for them, the dependents will have more voting power, leading to prolonged political as well as economic crisis.

    Do you have any specific reasons why this is an erroneous forecast, or did you just wish to attempt to pretend you don't understand my point so that you could dismiss and stigmatize my post as "patriotic swagger" in an effort to avoid contemplating or debating the sustainability of public health-care in light of the sub-replacement fertility rate within most European countries?
    Well, actuarial calculations have to take into account the likely evolution of the age-distribution, as well as (this is a quite difficult part) the likely average time of retrirement. The latter term is what makes sustainability possible. Better health care and work which is not as hard on the body as before will likely lead to an upwards shift in time of retirement. In Japan, firms have started to create experimental divisions made only of people >=50, to understand better how to deal with the "problem" in the near future.
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  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    You are correct, Lark:

    "The people of the world have more in common with each other than their own government. The governments of the world have more in common with each other than their own people."

    Both parties want the right to spend the people's money more than anything, that is something all voters should keep in mind during every election.

    It would be nice if the U.S. had a system that allowed voting on issues, and not party platforms.
    I've been interested in that idea for a long time, from itemised tax bills to iteration boards and spending priority rather than party votes, I've not found a satisfactory answer yet.

  5. #35
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I've been interested in that idea for a long time, from itemised tax bills to iteration boards and spending priority rather than party votes, I've not found a satisfactory answer yet.
    Nor have I. The reason I am using as a placeholder for now is that any system, no matter how good, will have its boondoggles, its flaws. Once something is decided on it is immediately analyzed by those who wish to manipulate things and systematically picked apart until much of the original design has been rendered useless, and is vestigial in function.

    The only system that could not be gamed is one that changes randomly and whose newly ratified details were not announced in advance. With a scenario like that, good luck keeping things fair. The concept of a "benevolent dictator" is also an illusion, great in theory, impossible to achieve in practice, as absolute power corrupts absolutely.
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  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Nor have I. The reason I am using as a placeholder for now is that any system, no matter how good, will have its boondoggles, its flaws. Once something is decided on it is immediately analyzed by those who wish to manipulate things and systematically picked apart until much of the original design has been rendered useless, and is vestigial in function.

    The only system that could not be gamed is one that changes randomly and whose newly ratified details were not announced in advance. With a scenario like that, good luck keeping things fair. The concept of a "benevolent dictator" is also an illusion, great in theory, impossible to achieve in practice, as absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    Well, I'm not averse to the idea of imperfect systems and suboptimal allocative efficiency, life isnt like that and I tend to think as I get older that's a good thing.

    None of the visions will be realised perfectly and the perfectionism, while its shared by both left and right, tends to be parodyed or lampooned as a left wing pass time, which is patently not the case at all.

    Benevolent dictators are just the same as the wishing and praying for a good king which characterised life before parliaments, democracy or modernity. I'm not sure a constant flux would suffice to protect a system from being gamed (nice turn of phrase there BTW). I guess it matters whether you think its inevitable an elite with emerge and how quickly that'll exploit the available information about the system.

  7. #37
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    My original point was whether or not these debates would in some distant future be considered akin to the debates about universal sufferage...
    And my post was in answer to that original point; the debate "in some distant future" will not be viewed as such, as practical limitations will influence the norms and ideologies of countries which glorify public health-care systems. My post had far less "patriotic swagger" than yours did; I referenced practical realities whose existence (but not necessarily the systemic consequences thereof) are not in dispute, while your post simply implied moral superiority regarding your own country's system. As for your comment about current health-care debates within Europe, I must remind you that we are debating a hypothetical future; the tipping point has simply not arrived yet, so people can still live in denial for awhile.

    Incidentally, demographic trends (assuming they remain relatively constant) within both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom are much better than is the case within virtually all of continental Europe, with the notable exceptions of France and the Nordic countries.

  8. #38
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    The latter term is what makes sustainability possible.
    Given the political problems involved with raising the retirement age just two years within my own country (the effective retirement age for skilled workers is actually lower in many European countries), I'm not optimistic that elderly workers will be so reasonable. Besides, it remains to be seen whether contemporary standards of public health-care (and other entitlements) are even sustainable with a population that has been in equilibrium for generations-demographic inertia has either only recently ended or is still in effect within most developed countries.

  9. #39
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    You framed your post in the form of a "our system beats yours", the minute that happens you may as well be discussing college football with the supporter of a rival team, the conclusions arent reached rationally but they are rationalised. Simple as. I'm not pretending anything. No debating tricks.

    My original point was whether or not these debates would in some distant future be considered akin to the debates about universal sufferage and BTW the argument against universal sufferage was similar to the one you just mentioned about health care.

    You've got no idea of what current debates in health service provision in Europe are if you think that forecast is accurate, the hot topic across Europe is not how young bucks can evade tax extortion from their elders, its about euthenasia, DNRs etc.

    So I really wouldnt worry about the possibility of an electoral dictatorship of "greys" extorting the productive young to pay their health bills, its rank propaganda. You could have points about other forms of tax and spend, there are grossly generous benefits made available through taxation which are unpopular but that's a different question, you cant generalise it to health, and while unpopular those same transfers remain necessary in a modern economy none the less (I also seems a bit stupid and miserable to be envious of the village idiots who choose to live off others handouts too).
    you never answered the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Well, actuarial calculations have to take into account the likely evolution of the age-distribution, as well as (this is a quite difficult part) the likely average time of retrirement. The latter term is what makes sustainability possible. Better health care and work which is not as hard on the body as before will likely lead to an upwards shift in time of retirement. In Japan, firms have started to create experimental divisions made only of people >=50, to understand better how to deal with the "problem" in the near future.
    luckily he did.

    We'll see what happens. My biggest problem with health care is that Nebraksa support was "bought" with extra "pork". I also dont think it makes me an angry old republican to ask for some baby steps (a few smaller bills) rather than a huge 2000 page cluster fuck of a bill. The republicans definitely had some ideas that could be implemented at no cost (tort, cross state competition etc).

    I think people need to remember that America is not europe. Even if healthcare is a right, there might be cultural differences that prevent it from happening right now.
    --European countries are smaller and more homogeneous.
    --The bureaucracy needed might therefore be smaller and easier logistically (i have no idea how economy of scales might play out).

    Think of it this way. The Germans know how to run a bank. Given the Italian and Greek history, would you necessarily trust them to run a German bank as well as the Germans? California (a cluster fuck of a government) should stand as a testament to the fact that American Government is probably not as efficient as European government. If thats the case, who thinks we will be able to run a European entitlement program?

  10. #40
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well, I'm not averse to the idea of imperfect systems and suboptimal allocative efficiency, life isnt like that and I tend to think as I get older that's a good thing.
    This is true, nothing is imperfect, nor should it be. BUT - I still have an intolerance for things that are grossly inefficient and/or corrupt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    None of the visions will be realised perfectly and the perfectionism, while its shared by both left and right, tends to be parodyed or lampooned as a left wing pass time, which is patently not the case at all.
    I guess I think that a public health care system shouldn't be constructed from a political perspective. It's already bad enough that the Hippocratic Oath is forced to reconcile with the "bottom line" in modern medicine, especially as delivered by for-profit providers. Health care is an issue with the quality of human life at its core, not who got the big contract because they are on the inside track of a given regime.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Benevolent dictators are just the same as the wishing and praying for a good king which characterised life before parliaments, democracy or modernity.
    Agreed. A philosophical construct at best, never to be realized in the real world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm not sure a constant flux would suffice to protect a system from being gamed (nice turn of phrase there BTW). I guess it matters whether you think its inevitable an elite with emerge and how quickly that'll exploit the available information about the system.
    I think evolution is constantly happening. New traits are expressed as mutations render new and desirable characteristics, and at the same time competing entities are also mutating and one day might overcome them. Or an entirely new entity or hybrid outdoes them both. Who knows?

    The point is, nature does this of an implicit will and accord all its own, and mankind executes the same desire to overcome things but has much more conscious control over the extent he can understand his competitors, and the degree he wishes to subvert their efforts in order to realize his own ambitions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    We'll see what happens. My biggest problem with health care is that Nebraksa support was "bought" with extra "pork". I also dont think it makes me an angry old republican to ask for some baby steps (a few smaller bills) rather than a huge 2000 page cluster fuck of a bill. The republicans definitely had some ideas that could be implemented at no cost (tort, cross state competition etc).
    Agreed. Or better yet, start over. Why do government programs have to be such fucking monoliths that they must be patched together with new mutant growth that is inherently locked to the design and innate inefficiencies of the old behemoth, yet touted as a new solution to a new array of problems? It's bullshit. At some point you have to start over. Betamax gave way to VHS, VHS was outdone by DVDs, will DVDs succumb to Blu-Ray? We shall see... But the point is at some point shit's gotta' change!

    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    I think people need to remember that America is not Europe. Even if healthcare is a right, there might be cultural differences that prevent it from happening right now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    --European countries are smaller and more homogeneous.
    Yes, but also very population dense. Nationally, the U.S. has issues in deciding a standardized array of services because of vast variation in geography, land mass, types of terrain, and population density.

    Florida and Wyoming both have citizens with developmental disabilities. People with developmental disabilities in Wyoming benefit from the same home and community based services that people with developmental disabilities in Florida. But, since Wyoming is so large, and so sparsely populated (people per mile^2) it is impossible to offer the same array of services in each state.

    Not only that, it is impossible to fund the services at statewide rates in Wyoming, and even rates within the same region can vary significantly, because there might not be a provider base to offer 1 or more of the available services. When you have lots of people in a relatively small area of land, you have a big tax base, and a healthy amount of providers resulting in a competitive market. The same is not true of states that have more cattle than people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    --The bureaucracy needed might therefore be smaller and easier logistically (i have no idea how economy of scales might play out).
    Administrative overhead for public heralth care programs in large states is very low, about 3%. Typical for-profit HMOs take 10%-15% off the top of their paid premiums for administration and profit. So, a HMO operating ethically will have loss ratios of about 80%-85%, meaning that for every million dollars of premium paid (and remember , they get it at the beginning of each month) they should be expending about $800,000-$850,000 on services for their enrolled. Look up some plan financials for public health care HMOs, and you will see that at times they have been operating with loss ratios as low as 61%, meaning they were hoarding premiums, and not delivering services. That's bad for the enrollees and bad for the taxpayers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    Think of it this way. The Germans know how to run a bank. Given the Italian and Greek history, would you necessarily trust them to run a German bank as well as the Germans?
    Hell no! And I don't want German fashion designers dressing Italian supermodels either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    California (a cluster fuck of a government) should stand as a testament to the fact that American Government is probably not as efficient as European government. If thats the case, who thinks we will be able to run a European entitlement program?
    Both are corrupt in their own ways. I don't know if many Americans understand how European governments work well enough to be able to identify their inefficiencies. I sure as hell don't.

    All I know is I get sick enough watching our political campaigns because they are run like high school popularity contests, and its the public dowry, and the nations well being that are at stake. It's pathetic.
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