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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Liberals have their own brand of inconsistency, championing individual liberties, but then supporting all manner of regulation designed to protect the average person from his/her own stupidity. They should just acknowledge the futility of this goal, and accept that there will be more candidates for the Darwin award. We don't all need to be reduced to some lowest common denominator.
    That's not my reason for supporting high (when compared to American conservatives) levels of regulation. I consider regulations important in areas where knowledge/power levels between parties are necessarily unequal, and when natural market forces result in negative externalities. Informed consent laws protect patients from the knowledge imbalance between medical staff and patients, and laws requiring minimum levels of training for doctors limit the negative externalities that arise from a bunch of untrained idiots performing surgery (higher mortality rate, lower participation the workforce, loss of trust in the medical profession, etc). Regulations, when implemented properly, impair the race to the bottom rather than contributing to it.

  2. #12
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dala View Post
    That's not my reason for supporting high (when compared to American conservatives) levels of regulation. I consider regulations important in areas where knowledge/power levels between parties are necessarily unequal, and when natural market forces result in negative externalities. Informed consent laws protect patients from the knowledge imbalance between medical staff and patients, and laws requiring minimum levels of training for doctors limit the negative externalities that arise from a bunch of untrained idiots performing surgery (higher mortality rate, lower participation the workforce, loss of trust in the medical profession, etc). Regulations, when implemented properly, impair the race to the bottom rather than contributing to it.
    Indeedy. It's the same reason why I, as a real estate person, have to disclose all material facts pertaining to the value of the property. It helps the person receiveing the goods and/or services make an informed decision and that's always a good thing in my opinion.

    Not to mention, if these "therapies" could potentially harm the person they are intended to treat, it would seem to me the it would be in the doctors best interest to disclose that upfront in order to avoid a malpractice lawsuit in the future.
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

  3. #13
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dala View Post
    That's not my reason for supporting high (when compared to American conservatives) levels of regulation. I consider regulations important in areas where knowledge/power levels between parties are necessarily unequal, and when natural market forces result in negative externalities. Informed consent laws protect patients from the knowledge imbalance between medical staff and patients,
    There is critical distinction, however, between requiring that people be informed and compelling their decisions. "Truth in advertising" laws are a good example of the former. Market forces can't separate the wheat from the chaff in the marketplace if consumers do not have accurate information about products and services. We stop short, however, of telling people what to buy.

    To serve this purpose, the information must be objective, accurate, and delivered in an accessible manner. Fine-print legalese is a poor response, as is abortion "information" that is little more than propaganda designed to prey upon the emotions of someone in a tough situation, with a mandatory delay built in to boot. The objective here is clearly quite different from making sure the patient has all the information to make and implement a rational decision.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  4. #14
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    As long as they survive a thorough run through a cost benefit analysis, reg.s are OK with me.

    But all to frequently laws are passed that no one reads entirely, or that no one has taken the time to figure out the costs.

    To illustrate my point, I'll use the Durbin Amendment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

    Keep in mind that that says consumer protection act before reading further.

    I lobbied against the Durbin Amendment at Bonner & Associates last summer. Unfortunately, the Amendment passed, and the firm let about 30 of us go.

    The Durbin amendment proposed to limit the amount of money banks can charge retailers per swipe of a debit card (known as a debit swipe, or interchange fee).

    Everyone uses debit cards. They have become the payment method of choice for most of the civilized world, and as such banks have come to rely on these fees as one of their main revenue streams.

    The thought process was, that retailers would pass on the savings from the limited fees to consumers by lowering their prices. That's a pipe dream if I've ever seen one.

    As we all know, retail prices never shifted to pass retailer savings onto the consumer, but the banks lost $100's of billions of dollars on this per year. The banks had to mitigate that loss.

    So what happened? Checking rewards programs were ended, overdraft fees came back, increases in monthly minimum balances, and other associated fees returned.

    The consumer has born the entire burden of the savings gained by retailers under the amendment. An amendment to a bill who's sole purpose was to PROTECT CONSUMERS.

    Here is an article from Forbes that explains it fairly succinctly:

    Cap On Debit Swipe Fees Will Hurt Consumers

    The nation’s retailers scored a big victory against the nation’s largest banks yesterday when the Senate voted to move forward with a rule to cap debit card swipe fees.

    The so-called Durbin amendment puts a limit on fees banks charge retailers, like Wal-Mart for instance, every time consumers like you and I use our debit cards there.

    The rule spawned a fierce battle between two very powerful industries: banks who said the fees are important and used to protect customers from fraud and retailers who said the fees are so exuberant that they’re forced to increase the price of the goods they sell to consumers.

    In the end, retailers got their way and sometime next month the Federal Reserve will implement the rule which will drastically cut the amount banks can charge retailers each time you and I swipe our debit cards. But that translates into lost revenue for banks and that will translate into banks looking for ways to make up for lost revenue.

    A report from RBC Capital Markets estimates banks will take an 80% hit to the fees they once collected from retailers. For a bank like JPMorgan Chase, which RBC says generated $537 million in fees from retailers in the 1Q 2011, that translates into a quarterly revenue loss of $430 million.

    Bank of America would face similar losses per quarter but it would represent a greater percentage of its annual net income since it likely does more debit card business than its rival JPMorgan.

    The lost money could translate into over one billion a year for a major bank, according to RBC.

    (For banking industry investors, RBC says the revenue hit has already been baked into the share prices. “Even the most optimistic analyst EPS estimates already incorporated some assumption for a fee revenue hit as a result of Durbin, in our opinion.)

    So what’s a money hungry bank to do now?

    Enter innocent consumers who love the convienance of swiping their debit card for everything from a cups of coffee in the morning to bottles of beer at happy hour. Yes, your bank will shift its focus from retailers to you so it can make up for the lost money.

    The fancy term for finding a way to make up for lost money is loss mitigation. In this situation, banks’ loss mitigation strategies “will lead consumers to face higher monthly account fees, minimum balances, per swipe fees, and other
    fees as a result of Durbin,” RBC notes.

    What I find completely ironic (and enraging) is that this amendment came out of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. You know, that crazy book of rules full of ways to overhaul and fix the financial industry and protect consumers.

    So why is it that the one of the only Dodd-Frank rules to move along so quickly is one that will likely cost the consumer money?

    Sure, the retailers have been saying that those swipe fees they were facing for years forced them to up the costs of goods and that the new rule will “allow retailers to hold down prices for consumers.” Does anyone really think that these retailers will mark down prices now or keep them as is simply because this cap has been implemented?

    Let’s be real here, the National Retail Federation didn’t spend all their money, time and effort lobbying for the Durbin amendment in order to save consumers money.

    So brace yourself: the price of retailers goods won’t drop as result of the cap on swipe fees, and on top of that banks are readying to nickle and dime you for basic banking services.

    Thanks, Dodd-Frank.
    Thanks indeed.

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