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#52 Jun 19 2004 at 6:01 PM Rating: Good
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No.

Let those who don't have health care pay 5% of their income on insurance or use the emergency room like the rest of the indigents.

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#53 Jun 20 2004 at 4:38 AM Rating: Decent
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or use the emergency room like the rest of the indigents.


Who do you thin is paying for them to do that now?
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#54 Jun 21 2004 at 10:08 AM Rating: Good
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So does the counter-argument boil down to the rich don't want to wait in the same line as the poor people at the doctors office? Thats a pretty ******** argument against a national healthcare plan if you ask me.

The argument that drug and medical procedure development will suffer is also a poor one since a large portion of research is funded by the federal government anyway. The vast majority of money spent on healthcare does not goto funding research. It goes to funding 40 foot yachts and vacation homes in Maui. Not to mention influencing public officials and massive amounts of advertising.

Quote:
Let those who don't have health care pay 5% of their income on insurance or use the emergency room like the rest of the indigents.


Ya that sounds nice, until one of those "indigents" is hit by an out of control BMW driven by the drunken driver who is never caught. A 10 day stay in the hospital requiring any sort of specialized attention can cost upwards of $18,000. Last time I checked this is greater than 5% of the national minimum wage income. Healthcare costs are out of control.

Don't make the assumption that everyone that struggles to afford healthcare is a lazy welfare living wife beating slob. Healthcare Insurance is stupid expensive, and it is wrong. It would have cost me $784 a month to continue Cobra coverage for my wife and I from my last job. That is significantly more than 5% of my income. There is nothing that my wife and I require in healthcare that should be valued at $9408 a year. It is highly unlikely that either my wife or I will recieve treatments that should be valued at $470,400 in our lifetimes.

I would support a national healthcare plan for the betterment of society. I would argue that the prices it pays for services are strictly regulated. Covered and Non Covered services are strictly regulated. In turn it should provide liability caps on lawsuits filed by participants in the plan.
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#55 Jun 21 2004 at 10:14 AM Rating: Decent
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The counterargument is generally this:

"I can afford health insurance, it's not a burden for me personally. I get the best level of care possible right now, it's irrelevant to me if other people die because of lack of health coverage. I'm terrified that my level of care might go down if there is a change made"

That's about it.
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#56 Jun 21 2004 at 12:37 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo,

Why don't ou stop beating around this bush, and Run for somthing?
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#57 Jun 21 2004 at 12:59 PM Rating: Decent
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Would you pay 5 percent higher taxes for national healthcare for all Americans?


Yep.


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The Cato Institute is a known entity, you are not.


Yep, and the KKK is known and I'm not.

Eb

#58 Jun 21 2004 at 3:24 PM Rating: Good
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xythex wrote:
The argument that drug and medical procedure development will suffer is also a poor one since a large portion of research is funded by the federal government anyway. The vast majority of money spent on healthcare does not goto funding research. It goes to funding 40 foot yachts and vacation homes in Maui. Not to mention influencing public officials and massive amounts of advertising.


Spoken like someone who's knows nothing of the way said companies work, but is willing to toss his opinion out there anyway.

How can they both be "funded by the government" and have "massive amount of advertising"? Right there is the first clue that your concept of these companies is flawed.

They are businesses. They spend *Billions* of dollars developing new medicines and equipment. They then expect to make that money back somehow. This is money that would simply not exist in a goverment funded health care system. Government grants for research don't scratch the surface of the costs involved (and still wouldn't even if you doubled that hypothetical %5 tax Smash is talking about).

The costs for the salaries for those guys buying boats and homes is an incredibly minor percentage of the whole. It amazes me how many people think of money in terms of 1 dollar, 100 dollars, and *lots* of dollars. When you've got a company that handles billions of dollars in investments and sales of medical technology, pulling in a 500k salary so you can afford a nice home and a boat and maybe a vacation now and then is simply insignificant. No matter how much that seems "big" to you.
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#59 Jun 21 2004 at 5:39 PM Rating: Decent
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They are businesses. They spend *Billions* of dollars developing new medicines and equipment. They then expect to make that money back somehow. This is money that would simply not exist in a goverment funded health care system. Government grants for research don't scratch the surface of the costs involved (and still wouldn't even if you doubled that hypothetical %5 tax Smash is talking about).


That's not based n any sort of fact, whatsoever, by the way. The idea that government being the main provider for R&D has really crippled the defense industry. I mean we're light years behind with military technology.
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#60 Jun 21 2004 at 7:10 PM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
Quote:

They are businesses. They spend *Billions* of dollars developing new medicines and equipment. They then expect to make that money back somehow. This is money that would simply not exist in a goverment funded health care system. Government grants for research don't scratch the surface of the costs involved (and still wouldn't even if you doubled that hypothetical %5 tax Smash is talking about).


That's not based n any sort of fact, whatsoever, by the way. The idea that government being the main provider for R&D has really crippled the defense industry. I mean we're light years behind with military technology.



Sure. And we get enough criticism of the cost of those programs as well. There's also another key difference. The "customer" for the defense industry is the government. The customer for a national health plan would be the average joe. The government is very good at shelling out cash to buy a product that only it will use. It's markedly poor at providing a product to the public efficiently.


I suppose that the government could take on the role of buying the health care (products, new tech, whatever) and then turn around and provide that "free" to the public, but it's still then taking on the role of handing out that "free" healthcare.


Look. I'd love for it to work. I'd love for the government to be able to increase taxes by a small amount, take that money, and use it to pay for medical care for the public. The problem is that it *never* works that way. When something costs you something to get, you value it. You only pay for it when you need it. If it's "free", you abuse it.

The problem with "free" anything is that it goes counter to the natural impulse of humans. We are innately greedy. We want more then we have. Always. People will never just take what they need. They'll take more then they need. Heck. They'll take when they don't need just because they see other's getting something they don't have. Even when it makes no sense for them to do so, they'll take. We can either have a system that uses that, or one that tries to pretend it doesn't exist. Socialized medicine is the latter process. Heck. Socialized anything is.

The programs always start out small. They look at how much it costs right now to provide some service. They point out the cost savings and reduction of administrative overhead to socialize it. It all looks really good on paper. But then they implement it, and suddenly everyone shows up to get the "free" service, even if they don't really need it. Costs spiral upwards. Then, even more greedy people try to use fraud to take advantage of the "free" service, so suddenly the administrative costs rise as well. In the end, you end up with a system that costs 10 times what you thought it would, and that isn't really any better then what you had before. You end up with whole goverment agencies that do nothing but track down fraud within the system rather then making the service available. It's happened with every other socialized program we've attempted. Why think it wouldn't happen here as well?


The system today is hardly flawless. However, it provides service based on wealth. Wealth is a measure of the value of your services to the economy at large. Another way of looking at it is that health care is an incentive to develop skills that are valuable to the society. You can look at it as a form of darwinism if you want, but in a very basic way, our system rewards those who work productively within it. Is that harsh? Yeah. Maybe. But it's also ultimately "fair" as well.


I have the same problem with socialized medicine that I have with most wellfare programs as well. They discourage productivity instead of encourage it. There's a percentage of any population that would simply sit on their butts doing nothing if they wouldn't starve doing it. Socialized medicine is a subset of that idea. Ok. So you still have to work to have a place to live and food on your table, but you don't have to do anything beyond that. Substistence is fine and gets you just as good medical care as anyone else. I'm sorry. I don't think that a guy working a gas pump somewhere *should* recieve the same medical care as someone who worked hard to get into a career type job. If he's concerned about how he's going to pay for his kids medical expenses on his gas-pumpers salary, maybe he should have thought about getting a better job *beforehand*. And maybe that's a great incentive to work towards getting a better job *now* and maybe make a better life for himself and his kids. If we make it so that joe-bob citizen can work a minimum wage job and still support a family on it, then many joe-bobs *will*. Guess what? Those jobs pay little money because they are of little value to society. We should be discouraging people from making those kinds of jobs their lifelong careers.


I just see it as a whole slippery slope. At what point do we stop? After all, if we've decided that someone who is still working a high school kid's job at age 30 should get full medical care while doin it, what's next? Higher minimum wage so that he can afford a better/bigger house for his family? Heck. Let's pay for his kids to go to college while we're at it...


I don't think that rewarding people for not striving to succeed is a good goal. Doing that on an institutional scale is just nuts. But that's just my opinion...
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#61 Jun 22 2004 at 12:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:

The system today is hardly flawless. However, it provides service based on wealth. Wealth is a measure of the value of your services to the economy at large. Another way of looking at it is that health care is an incentive to develop skills that are valuable to the society. You can look at it as a form of darwinism if you want, but in a very basic way, our system rewards those who work productively within it. Is that harsh? Yeah. Maybe. But it's also ultimately "fair" as well.


No. It'd be fair if everyone was born into the exact same socio-economic circumstances in a world with no rasicsm or classism. Health care is a human right. Your argument is fallacious and you know it. One could easily make the same argument for education, public safety, infrastructure, whatever you want. IF the only roads the government built had $90 tolls on them, well that sure would be an incentive for the people driving through feilds to be more sucessfull.

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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a *****. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#62 Jun 22 2004 at 12:30 PM Rating: Good
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I have allot of respect for you Gbaji but this is probably one of the most assed up backwards bullheaded ignorant statements I have ever read:
Quote:
Wealth is a measure of the value of your services to the economy at large.


So someone who wins a $14,000,000 lawsuit because they have lung cancer from smoking 3 packs of ciggerates a day and claims that they didn't know inhaling smoke all day long until you hacked your guts out was bad for you adds more value to the economy than a high school teacher? Or the dingbag that wins the lotto?Or how about the yuppie that inherits daddy's fortune? How about his children, grandchildren or great grandchildren that get to goto Ivy league colleges and don't have to worry about a thing?

Are they much better than someone barely able to make ends meet while working fulltime and taking community college at night, only so they can end up in a so-so career and achieve lower middleclass status?

Look at the current state of IT for example, everyone that worked their *** off to become highly specialized in their technological fields, suddenly being replaced by outsourced, offshored, or H1-B contracters that will work for no or substandard benifits. Do those people and their families deserve to have no healthcare? They did think ahead, they did goto college. Now they are SOL. They have families that need healthcare and they have to pump gas to feed them. They don't have time or money to just goto college again and learn a new career. They are not bad people, and they deserve to be healthy enough to rebuild their life just as much as everyone else.

The amazing thing about humans is not that they are greedy, you can find that in almost any species. The amazing thing is how quickly they forget about those around them when they suddenly become a little more fortunate. They sit there and make up excuses too close the same doors that they used to get to where they are so that they don't become status quo again when everyone catches up.

It's a thirst for power, a need to be better than the next guy. For some reason the most important thing in the world is to feel that we are somehow superior to the guy who pumps gas, and we deserve better than him. We don't care about his situation or how he got there. It makes us feel better to assume that he pumps gas for 3 hours a day and then goes home to his trailer to drink, kick his dog, and beat his wife until he passes out.

Maybe we shouldn't pay him at all, he should really just work for us for free, after all we are allot better than him. It's almost like that degree makes us a different species. Besides standing out in the sun all day has made his skin a little bit browner than ours...
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#63 Jun 22 2004 at 4:02 PM Rating: Good
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xythex wrote:
I have allot of respect for you Gbaji but this is probably one of the most assed up backwards bullheaded ignorant statements I have ever read:
Quote:
Wealth is a measure of the value of your services to the economy at large.


So someone who wins a $14,000,000 lawsuit because they have lung cancer from smoking 3 packs of ciggerates a day and claims that they didn't know inhaling smoke all day long until you hacked your guts out was bad for you adds more value to the economy than a high school teacher? Or the dingbag that wins the lotto?Or how about the yuppie that inherits daddy's fortune? How about his children, grandchildren or great grandchildren that get to goto Ivy league colleges and don't have to worry about a thing?


I stand by my statement. That guy won a 14M award because for some screwed up reason, our society has decided that his loss merited that award. Blame the lawyers, blame the legal system. Blame whomever you want, but obviously, somewhere along the line we (that's a collective "we") decided that guy deserved 14M dollars. Presumably the "value" that society gains by giving that money to him is in punishing the companies that produce and sell tobacco products (that is the whole point of punative damages right?). Think it through...

That's also a super rare exception anyway. For most people, the connection is very straightforward. You perform a task. That task generates some amount of value. No matter what it is, presumably the act of "work" adds in some way. This is the same basic concept whether your work is digging a ditch so that someone else can lay a pipe (which presumably is of value to someone), or whether you simply choose to invest money which then is used to generate jobs and new products. All have a value. Your "pay" is equal to the value you added. That's the beauty of a free market system. The money you get *must* be equal to the value of what you do over time. If it's too high, people will not pay it. If it's too low, you'll go elsewhere and get more.

That's why it boggles my mind when people look at the fact that people make different amounts of money and proclaim it "unfair". Um... It's completely fair. It *has* to be fair. Unfair is trying to force the result of the system to be "equitable", when the values people generate are not. In a free market system, if that guy is making 10M a year, it's because he does something that is worth 10M to the economy as a whole. If he didn't, he wouldn't make the money. It's really that simple. It's only when people (like Smash) try to change the result to be "fair" do we encounter situations where people get something that they didn't earn. Yet somehow this system is "unfair"? bizaare...



Quote:
Look at the current state of IT for example, everyone that worked their *** off to become highly specialized in their technological fields, suddenly being replaced by outsourced, offshored, or H1-B contracters that will work for no or substandard benifits. Do those people and their families deserve to have no healthcare? They did think ahead, they did goto college. Now they are SOL. They have families that need healthcare and they have to pump gas to feed them. They don't have time or money to just goto college again and learn a new career. They are not bad people, and they deserve to be healthy enough to rebuild their life just as much as everyone else.


Ah. Yes. So highly trained and specialized that someone in India with the equivalent of a 6th grade education can do the same job. Got it.


Look. I work in IT. I've seen the whole process. There's one thing I can say about IT. There are a lot (and I mean a *whole lot*) of people with IT credentials and certificates and training that aren't worth the paper their stuff is printed on. There are a ton of people who got into IT with big dollar signs in their eyes and dreams of "easy money". There are tons of people in IT who signed up for those 2 month training programs they saw on TV with promises to "double your salary in 6 months". And it never occured to them that if they could take a 2 month program to learn that job that maybe *anyone else* could as well?

Again. Your earnings are going to be related to the value of your service. If your job can be done by a guy making 1/3rd what you are asking, then the actual value of your service is 1/3rd what you are asking. That's "real" economics. Everything else is an attempt to uneven the playing field in your favor. That's a house of cards folks. Passing laws to "keep american jobs safe" is ludicrous. What needs to happpen is for american workers to be competitive. Given that our relative cost of living is so much higher then the rest of the world, that means either making sure you've got skills that can't easily be duplicated, or that you are doing a job that can't easily be outsourced. That's the way real economics works.

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#64 Jun 22 2004 at 4:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Ah. Yes. So highly trained and specialized that someone in India with the equivalent of a 6th grade education can do the same job. Got it.


Look. I work in IT. I've seen the whole process. There's one thing I can say about IT. There are a lot (and I mean a *whole lot*) of people with IT credentials and certificates and training that aren't worth the paper their stuff is printed on. There are a ton of people who got into IT with big dollar signs in their eyes and dreams of "easy money". There are tons of people in IT who signed up for those 2 month training programs they saw on TV with promises to "double your salary in 6 months". And it never occured to them that if they could take a 2 month program to learn that job that maybe *anyone else* could as well?


I don't know where in "IT" you work, but most of the people that I've worked with have been doing it since the birth of Silicon Valley. And yes, they are being replaced by well-trained Indians.

Also, to your point about value for services. Let's say your analysis IS correct. What if some group or someone was controlling the value? What if having more money meant you could influence the value of these services to YOUR advantage?

Just sayin'.

Eb
#65 Jun 22 2004 at 5:24 PM Rating: Good
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pickleprince wrote:

I don't know where in "IT" you work, but most of the people that I've worked with have been doing it since the birth of Silicon Valley. And yes, they are being replaced by well-trained Indians.

Also, to your point about value for services. Let's say your analysis IS correct. What if some group or someone was controlling the value? What if having more money meant you could influence the value of these services to YOUR advantage?

Just sayin'.

Eb


Ok. That's a valid question. But lets look at the alternatives here:

1. You've got someone (presumably a group of someones who are also presumably wealthy). That person is manipulating the value of your service to his advantage. But ultimately, his goal is to make money, right? At some point, the result of his labor and the labor of everyone he's manipulating, must be of value to someone else, or he wont make any money.

If he makes 10M a year while underpaying his employees, someone else will look at that and think: "Hey. I'd be happy to make 9M a year, so I'll pay people 10% more for the same job and take his skilled people away from him for *my* profit". Feel free to add in evil cackling and such if you want...

That's how the free market works. With some exceptions (which are generally covered in anti-trust laws), it really does work that way. Competition for resources (which includes labor) ensures that the relative value of everything will end up being appropriate to the "real" value of that good or service within the context of the market.


2. Instead, you have the government arbitrarily decide that "they" (the manipulators above) are being "unfair". So they put in price controls and wage controls. Um... But now you are just having the government decide what something is worth. Which I suppose would work fine except that the value of things does not stay constant. I'm relatively sure that the wagon wheel making industry is not nearly as profitable today as it was 100 years ago. Presumably also, a guy who was really good at making wagon wheel's skills s not as valuable. But if the government had already placed wage controls prior to that change, we'd still be forced to pay that guy as though his labor really was valuable.

There is simply no way for a government to correctly reflect real values of things in a market. It's been tried before. It always fails. There are many things that the free market really does best, and setting relative "real" values on things is one of them that it does amazingly well. Why legistlate something when it doesn't need it?



As to being "unfair"? That's really dependant on your point of view. To me, making someone pay more for something then it's really worth is "unfair". Ultimately, that is what you are arguing for. You are arguing that the employers should have to pay more for labor then that labor benefits them. That's a recipie for economic disaster. In relation to health care, it's still the same thing. People are recieving a service (medical care), that they did not provide enough value back to earn (equivalent to getting pay that is in excess of the value of their work). Sure. You can look at medicine as a humanitarian issue, and there is certainly some merit to that. However, it also does cost money. Real money. Someone's going to have to pay for it. In our current model, you get back what you put in. The more valueable your labor, the better your health care. It's really very straightforward in that respect. Any kind of national (socialized) health care system would require that the result you recieve will *not* be in proportion to the value of your labor. That, while you (and I to a point) may see it as "better", is by definition also "unfair". Anytime you have people paying different amounts for the same thing, it is unfair.


I'm not saying that there's no value to it though. Heck. Like I said earlier. I'd love for there to be a working system in place. However, I'm not naive enough to think that it would require just a minor increase in taxes. I'm also not naive enough to think that it would have no impact on the overall quality of care, or that there would be no increase in costs down the line far in excess of those originally estimated. I would be much more willing to see if our government could find ways to ensure that more people could afford the care that's available, then just blanketly paying for the care. Yeah. It's a semantic difference, but it's critical. IMO, the most important part about any good is that you pay for it directly. You take money out of your wallet that you earned and you pay for the service. That's the only way to balance the system out.


Look at it another way. You "vote" with your dollars when dealing with an industry. A business has the goal of making money. The easiest way to do that is to make a product that people will want and can afford to buy. If you socialize medicine, you take that vote away from the people. We already see reductions in quality of care with HMO systems. You know why? Because once you take the money transaction out of the hands of the consumer, they lose the power to chose. With a fully socialized system, you have *no* power as a consumer. You can't chose to go to a different doctor if you don't like the one you've got. You can't choose a different insurance handler if you don't like the one you are using. Free is another world for "something you have no power over". In this case, you are giving that power to the government. They will decide what the priorities are in medicine. Not you. Not the bulk of the consumers. Once again. Why would you think that the government would do a better job of making sure that the medical field was providing a good range of "products" for their consumers (patients) then a free market medicine system would? There's no reason to expect that result. While you can force it to happen, you lose a ton of efficiency and costs will rise. They always do...
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#66 Jun 22 2004 at 5:28 PM Rating: Decent
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I have allot of respect for you Gbaji


Give it another week or so. Start actually reading the posts instead of skimming them and you'll come to realize that it's 99 percent filler and 1 percent illogical nonsensical argument. You happened to find the argument in the one you noticed. They're all like that.
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a *****. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#67 Jun 22 2004 at 5:31 PM Rating: Decent
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That's how the free market works. With some exceptions (which are generally covered in anti-trust laws), it really does work that way. Competition for resources (which includes labor) ensures that the relative value of everything will end up being appropriate to the "real" value of that good or service within the context of the market.


Ya see, that's the problem. There is such a thing as voting with your money. And the more money you have the larger the weight of that vote. There are PACs and all kinds of underhanding smoke-filled room dealings that control the government and ultimately the economy.

The fatal flaw with your arguement is that this free-market is not free at all. It only SEEMS to be free, and while people like you are being fooled into thinking that it's the poor who are taking money out of your pockets. It's actually the rich. And with every dollar they steal from you and me their ability to steal becomes greater.

Eb
#68 Jun 22 2004 at 5:47 PM Rating: Decent
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That's how the free market works. With some exceptions (which are generally covered in anti-trust laws), it really does work that way. Competition for resources (which includes labor) ensures that the relative value of everything will end up being appropriate to the "real" value of that good or service within the context of the market.


How it really does work is you and I are CEO's. I'm on the board of directors for your company. I approve a pay raise for you. You're on my board of directors, surprise surprise, you approve a pay raise for me.

That's probably not enough money for either of our lavish lifestyles so we simply steal money directly from the company, too. Eceptionally rarely one of us will get caught stealing and have to hire a lawyer. Ussually we won't be signfigantly punished because of it and we'll never have to give back the money we stole.

Because of our previous kindness to our freinds, either of us can literaly run a company into bankruptcy and have no trouble finding a new job.

How did we get the job to begin with you might ask? We knew someone. Someone we went to prep with or a family who lived near where summered or whatever.

The US version of Capitialism isn't a meritocracy, it's an old boys and girls network.
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a *****. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#69 Jun 22 2004 at 5:56 PM Rating: Good
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pickleprince wrote:

Ya see, that's the problem. There is such a thing as voting with your money. And the more money you have the larger the weight of that vote. There are PACs and all kinds of underhanding smoke-filled room dealings that control the government and ultimately the economy.


Hmmm... This ties more into the other thread, but we seem to have spilled into both. Hehe. Gotta love forums like this!

You're missing a key point. The distinction between consumption spending and investment spending. Those uber-wealthy people who "get richer" due to loopholes in tax laws, and super low capital gains taxes, only do that because the vast majority of their money is tied up in investments. Investment is *not* consumption. Investment is (kinda) at the supply side of the equation.

Consumers vote with their consumer dollars. You decide what products and services you wish to pay for. Investors technically vote as well, but they do so in a wishful thinking kind of way. They don't spend their money and generate profits for someone (not usually anyway). They spend their money and then hope that the result of the money will be something that other people (consumers) will want. And then they hope that they want it enough to pay back the money they invested and make a profit for them.

I can invest in a company that makes left handed smoke generators all I want. Heck. I could sink millions into it. But if no one in interested in buying them, then I wont make any money. No amount of me spending my millions will make me more money if ultimately someone else doesn't desire a product or service that I generated. So no. The "rich" don't have huge votes with their money. They are the ones that consumers influence, not the other way around. If lots of people want something, that's what the investors will put their money into. They follow the will of the consumers. If they don't, they wont make money.

You are making a huge mistake in thinking that all money is the same. More of it is just more, right? Wrong. And until you understand the difference between what the wealthy do with their money and what everyone else does with theirs, you'll never understand what I'm talking about.


Quote:

The fatal flaw with your arguement is that this free-market is not free at all. It only SEEMS to be free, and while people like you are being fooled into thinking that it's the poor who are taking money out of your pockets. It's actually the rich. And with every dollar they steal from you and me their ability to steal becomes greater.

Eb



Yes. Those darn rich people (insert life of Brian backround). So what have they ever done for us? Nothing, right?

Who spent the money to design the TV you watch at night? Who built your house? Who designed and built your car? How about that DVD player you have? The CD in your stereo system? The computer you are typing on right now? The monitor you are looking at? Heck. The keyboard? The chair you are sitting on? The desk your computer is sitting on? You have AC? Who designed that? Look around the room you are in right now. Look at how many items there are. Now start looking at the backs and bottoms of those items. Odds are just about every single one has some corporate name stamped on it. Many may have patents listed as well. Every single one of those represents some company that spent upwards of billion of dollars researching, developing, designing, producing, and then selling each of those items.


Now. Tell me again that they didn't do anything to earn their money? Would you rather those companies didn't exist? Do you really think all that stuff would exist if they didnt?
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#70 Jun 22 2004 at 6:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:

No amount of me spending my millions will make me more money if ultimately someone else doesn't desire a product or service that I generated.


You're so right. That's why two of the largest companines on the earth sell carbonated sugar water.

It's called marketing. Ron Popiel made hundreds of millions selling people **** they took out of the box once and then threw in a closet.
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#71 Jun 22 2004 at 6:07 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Now. Tell me again that they didn't do anything to earn their money? Would you rather those companies didn't exist? Do you really think all that stuff would exist if they didnt?


Why do you always try to put word in people's mouths? It's like you have a preconceived notion about who or what I am.

I am not saying that nothing a corporation or company has done has any worth. What I am saying is that the corporate structure of the U.S. lends itself to corruption.

This notion you have of consumption spending and investment spending is a semantic argument. It doesn't matter what form the money takes. The power behind the money is there. More smoke.

Eb

#72 Jun 22 2004 at 6:23 PM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:

How did we get the job to begin with you might ask? We knew someone. Someone we went to prep with or a family who lived near where summered or whatever.

The US version of Capitialism isn't a meritocracy, it's an old boys and girls network.


Sure. If your experience with "business" is from going to harvard and living on the east coast you might think that's how it works everywhere. You just happen to have been in the den of the most corrupt part of the entire US Smash.

And even those guys have to at some point make a profit somewhere. Sure. You can point to the wealthy son who failed several businesses and generally screwed things up. But his failures come with a cost. If his buddy is helping him out, it's costing him. Also, for every guy like that, there are a hundred who really do good work. Picking out the extreme bad example is misleading. If we're talking about Capitalism in general, clearly a profit has to be made or they'd all have lost all their money. It's not magic Smash. If they're still rich, it's because something they spent their money on made more money back then they've been spending. And that money is made because the businesses that they run or invest in sold a product that consumers wanted to buy and they made a profit.

If that wasn't the case, then every business would be bankrupt, and the stock market would read somewhere around *zero*. Somewhere, a lot of people are actually making products that people want and making money, not just for themselves, but for their stockholders.
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#73 Jun 22 2004 at 6:39 PM Rating: Good
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pickleprince wrote:
Quote:
Now. Tell me again that they didn't do anything to earn their money? Would you rather those companies didn't exist? Do you really think all that stuff would exist if they didnt?


Why do you always try to put word in people's mouths? It's like you have a preconceived notion about who or what I am.

I am not saying that nothing a corporation or company has done has any worth. What I am saying is that the corporate structure of the U.S. lends itself to corruption.


Everything "lends itself to corruption" Pickle. Until you present me with an alternative that will have less corruption and more benefit to the people, then I'm not sure what exactly you are arguing for.

You argued that it's ok to tax the "rich" more for a national health care system then the "poor". After all, 5% of a rich persons income is probably far more 5% of a poor person's, yet they'd recieve the exact same benefit from the national health system, rigth?


Your apparent justification for this (please correct me if I'm wrong, but this is what I gathered from your arguments) is that it's ok to make the rich pay more for the same service because they have more, and it's unfair that they have more (ok. I'm pretty sure Smash actually argued this and you just agreed with him, but again if you have a different point to make then make it). We then argued about why it's unfair, and you still have given me no good reason why that is the case. So far, nothing you have said (in either thread) has even come close to supporting the notion that a wealthy person should pay more for the same service just because he has more money.

And if you're trying to say something else, then please explain it clearer. I have to guess what you're trying to say because instead of coming out and saying it, you just argue using innuendo about how wealthy people have more power and well... more money. And that's a bad thing... Or somehing...



Quote:
This notion you have of consumption spending and investment spending is a semantic argument. It doesn't matter what form the money takes. The power behind the money is there. More smoke.

Eb



What power? Again with the innuendo. Of course, there's more "power" in an absolute sense. That's what money is. It's a representation of influence in the economy. It's a placeholder for goods and services. Obviously, someone with 100 dollars has more power then someone with 5. I'll ask again: Why is that a problem?


Which is worse? Someone having power because he's intricately tied into the economy of the counry and has multiple investments in successful businesses that earn him a good amount of power, or someone who has power because he's got a bunch of goons with guns who will shoot anyone who doesn't agree with them?


Pick one. Then suport your choice. Heck. Write in another one if you think it's applicable. But ulitmately, your choice between government power and free enterprise power is a choice between dollars and bullets. Everthing is a combination of the two.
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#74 Jun 22 2004 at 6:55 PM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
Quote:

No amount of me spending my millions will make me more money if ultimately someone else doesn't desire a product or service that I generated.


You're so right. That's why two of the largest companines on the earth sell carbonated sugar water.

It's called marketing. Ron Popiel made hundreds of millions selling people **** they took out of the box once and then threw in a closet.


So what are you suggesting Smash? The government should swoop in and prevent companies from selling stuff that people don't really need? And also swoop in and stop people from buying stuff they don't need?

There's two ways to do that. You call the item a "luxury" and you tax it. Ever notice that bottled "mineral water" is taxed but normal plain old water is not? That's one way to deal with it. And if people are still willing to buy the stuff, then who are you or I to stop them?

The only other thing to do is to simply step in and stop it. Make it illegal. Um... How is that helping? You're advocating that the government tell industry what to produce and consumers what to consume. And you wonder why I call socialism in the US "authoritarian"?


You are arguing against things that can only be prevented by draconian use of government power. How far exactly would you go to prevent those companies from making money selling sugar water? I'd argue that that's an abuse of power. Far more abusive then some company who can manage to convince people to buy a product that they don't need. Ultimately, the people can choose not to buy that product. You can't just choose not to follow the laws of the government Smash.

Free enterprise is not the threat. Those who want to use the government to curtail it are. That's just the way I see it.
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#75 Jun 22 2004 at 7:26 PM Rating: Decent
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/yawn.

I'm not arguing against anything, dumbass, I was merely pointing out where your argument came screaming off the tracks as usual.

I have no problem with people haing things they don't need, I'd just like to make sure that they have the things the DO need first.

The level of Scoialism I advocate has little if nothing to do with what you're talking about when you use the term which is whacko insane totalitarian Socialism.

I'd like every citizen to have food, shelter, access to medical care, education, and equal opportunity to succeed.

That's all. I don't want to nationalize Coca Cola. I want to tax them at a sufficent level that the poor can reap the benefits of their own exploitation to a tiny degree.
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#76 Jun 22 2004 at 8:03 PM Rating: Good
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Do you not feel that the rich have more of an obligation to the betterment of society because of their abundance?

As far as fairness goes, we do not live in a fair society. Let's say two people have the same idea for a brand new widget. Person one has $200 to his name and a family to feed. He works 2 jobs and barely has time to sleep. His Great Grandfather was killed in war. Person two inherited a gazillion dollars from his Great Grandfather. He graduated from an Ivy League school. He is surounded by influencial wealthy people. Are they on a fair and balanced playing field? Do they both have the same oppurtunity in the widget field. Neither one did anything to deserve their situations in life. They were born into their respective roles in life. Is it enough to just throw our hands in the air and say oh well it sucks to be him.

10% of the people in this country control 90% of the wealth. Some of those people earned their position, most did not. Most started life with advantages over the other 90% of the population. These 10% are not better than the other 90%. They don't work harder. They just drew a better hand in life.

Should we throw all of the money in a pot and tell everyone to draw out the same amount? No. However, we do need to make sure that we level the playing field as much as possible to afford everyone the same chance of advancing. Basic healthcare is a benifit that all of society deserves. A good education is also something that all of society deserves.

I understand your argument. I was a slightly left leaning conservative before this thread :) I feel people should be rewarded for their effort. I also feel that everyone should have the same opportunity to earn that reward. Basic human needs are a responsibility for all of society. The extra must be earned.
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#77 Jun 22 2004 at 8:03 PM Rating: Decent
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Yes

So Gbaji, et all, how would you fix things, so I can go back to working even parttime and paying income taxes again?

Then right now I can't work due to my health. It's certainly not what I planned, as I was working towards going back to school and getting a better job, when I suddenly found myself living in constant pain.

For 4 months after getting ill, I was still cover by my ex's health insurance through his federal job. The HMO doctors we went with due to costs, couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.

It took me losing health insurance and getting Medicaid, for me to see a doctor who knew what was wrong with me, but not able to get me the treatment needed that would let me work again, also under medicaid.

So here I am today with SSI and Medicaid, knowing that if I could work and get health insurance I might be cover for the care that would keep me from missing days and be able to keep a job.

I can't get married, because my medical costs would be far more then any legal benefit I would gain, just on the cost of my medications alone, with my boyfriends health insurance.

I think of becoming self employed, but then once again, I have to worry about my medical bills being far more then what I can expect to make as a fine artist. My being talented doesn't mean I would be good as a graphic artist since I failed or barely passed all my design classes in college. Also any job that requires strong language skills are out due to language processing disorder, or more commonly known as dyslexia. ie. I can read better then 99% of the nation, but only write with 10 grade grammer and 4 grade spelling skills on a good day. Anyone crazy enough to give me a job and pay for my health insurance? You'll never know if I show up or need to go home early due to pain. On plus side I'm female and was disable even before I became ill with Fibromyalgia, so you get tax benefits.

My one worry about a National Healthcare plan is if we let a few doctors with financial interests, control treatment for a illness based on disproven science. I've been following care for ME/CFS in the UK and see how bad it's been there for years now, because of a few doctors. More recent research here in the USA disproves their treatment works and the pain experience "isn't in our heads" like they want to claim.

Elne



Edited, Tue Jun 22 21:08:59 2004 by ElneClare
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#78 Jun 22 2004 at 8:10 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:

10% of the people in this country control 90% of the wealth.


one percent of the people controll 90% of the wealth. Ten would be a massive imrovement from where we are now.
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#79 Jun 22 2004 at 8:10 PM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:

The level of Scoialism I advocate has little if nothing to do with what you're talking about when you use the term which is whacko insane totalitarian Socialism.


The level of Capitalism that I advocate has little if nothing to do with what you're talking about when you use the term, which is whacko insane Robber-Baron Capitalism.

How's that? Just putting things in perspective here.

Quote:
I'd like every citizen to have food, shelter, access to medical care, education, and equal opportunity to succeed.


And didn't you advocate placing a flat, no-exemption, 50% tax to cover all this? Just asking...

Sure. We could do that. And we could even put "equal opportunity to succeed" in there as well. But "equal" in this case would still be "less" then what people have right now. You'd be equally lowering opportunity across the board for everyone Smash.

We'd all have the equal opportunity to almost never make anymore then the subsistence that the government allots us. I guess that's equality, but it's not a system that I want to live in. The money has to come from somewhere Smash.


And that's my biggest problem with your arguments on this. You seem to just be aiming a big shotgun at industry in general, really want to pull the trigger, but don't really have any idea how you're going to make sure just the stuff you want to hit takes the damage. In your haste to make "the rich" suffer for their sins, you've forgotten that it's their businesses that employ us and their products that make our lives better. There is no way to take money from that part of the economy without also taking away the things that we get in return. You will reduce jobs. You will reduce the range of products on shelves. There's no way around it.


It's really a matter of whether you think we are better off in total allowing that industry to provide us with a livelyhood and goods to live on, or whether we should take that job away from them and give it to the government. Even removing the totalitarian aspects from the equation, so far, I've yet to see any sign that government can provide those things more efficiently then private industry. So while we may indeed be able to make sure everyone has those things, the cost will be *very* high. Instead of having a very efficient and robust economy where only 95% of the popuation has those things, we'll have a crappy sluggish economy, but 100% of the people will have those things. I'm not really sure it's worth it.


But then I'm a real advocate for the idea that you work for and earn what you get. I think that chucking that idea out is more damaging to us in the long run. I've lived on the street. I've survived at minimum wage jobs. It's not great, but it's not that hard either. If you can't earn enough to have food and shelter in the US, you really aren't trying hard enough. I personally, do not feel that I should be made to suffer because other people can't be bothered to work as hard as I have.


Quote:
That's all. I don't want to nationalize Coca Cola. I want to tax them at a sufficent level that the poor can reap the benefits of their own exploitation to a tiny degree.



How much though? Again. This is the shotgun. You tax colas. What do they do? They raise prices on the resulting product. Maybe they move their factories from the US to a third world company so that they can still afford to produce the product at a competitive price. Sure. You'll reduce their profits, and collect some tax revenue, but at the same time, you've now increased the number of people who need the "free" services that you're going to provide with that tax money. I really don't see that as an improvement...
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#80 Jun 22 2004 at 8:43 PM Rating: Decent
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The level of Capitalism that I advocate has little if nothing to do with what you're talking about when you use the term, which is whacko insane Robber-Baron Capitalism.

How's that? Just putting things in perspective here.


Well, perspective would be great, but you DO ADVOCATE Robber-Baron Capitalism. All the time. It's your main arugment. Please tell me how what you advocate differs? Anti-trust law? That about it?


And didn't you advocate placing a flat, no-exemption, 50% tax to cover all this? Just asking...


No, I said I'd happily pay %50 to gurantee basic human rights to every citizen. But, when have you ever argued against what I actually said. I can only assume, that, as ussual the rest of your logically unsound prattling will leap off from this imaginary premise.



Sure. We could do that. And we could even put "equal opportunity to succeed" in there as well. But "equal" in this case would still be "less" then what people have right now. You'd be equally lowering opportunity across the board for everyone Smash.


How? Honestly, how would providing basic human rights to every citizen lower opportunity?



We'd all have the equal opportunity to almost never make anymore then the subsistence that the government allots us. I guess that's equality, but it's not a system that I want to live in. The money has to come from somewhere Smash.


I guess that's why the New Deal crippled us, right?

I mean it did exactly what were talking about here on a larger scale when you consider the amount of services before it and the amount we'd have to add to provide basic human rights.

I guess that's why the economy collapsed under FDR and we had to eliminate all those entitlements.



And that's my biggest problem with your arguments on this. You seem to just be aiming a big shotgun at industry in general, really want to pull the trigger, but don't really have any idea how you're going to make sure just the stuff you want to hit takes the damage. In your haste to make "the rich" suffer for their sins, you've forgotten that it's their businesses that employ us and their products that make our lives better. There is no way to take money from that part of the economy without also taking away the things that we get in return. You will reduce jobs. You will reduce the range of products on shelves. There's no way around it.


Based on what imaginary fact pattern?? There's simply no indication at all that any of that would take place. It never has. Ever. Nowhere in the world has adding basic services for citizens caused the colapse of an economy. Or even the minor degredation of an economy.



It's really a matter of whether you think we are better off in total allowing that industry to provide us with a livelyhood and goods to live on, or whether we should take that job away from them and give it to the government. Even removing the totalitarian aspects from the equation, so far, I've yet to see any sign that government can provide those things more efficiently then private industry. So while we may indeed be able to make sure everyone has those things, the cost will be *very* high. Instead of having a very efficient and robust economy where only 95% of the popuation has those things, we'll have a crappy sluggish economy, but 100% of the people will have those things. I'm not really sure it's worth it.


One, 95% don't have access to those things now. Not even vaugely close to that number.

Two, there is nothing but your imagination to show that economy wouldn't massively improve because of a better educated healthier workforce under less economic stress. We're talking about basic services.



But then I'm a real advocate for the idea that you work for and earn what you get.


Not an example of it though, much as you'd desperately like to be. Hence your clinging to the argument. If it were true you'd have to have earned what you have instead of stumbling into it.


I think that chucking that idea out is more damaging to us in the long run. I've lived on the street.


********* You lived with mommy. Not the same.


I've survived at minimum wage jobs. It's not great, but it's not that hard either.


Yeah? Did you feed your pregnant wife and your kids with the money? Or did you live at home and spend it on comic books?



If you can't earn enough to have food and shelter in the US, you really aren't trying hard enough. I personally, do not feel that I should be made to suffer because other people can't be bothered to work as hard as I have.


How would you suffer? You don't even make enough money to get near the top tax brackets. You'd probably BENEFIT financially.



How much though? Again. This is the shotgun. You tax colas. What do they do? They raise prices on the resulting product. Maybe they move their factories from the US to a third world company so that they can still afford to produce the product at a competitive price.


Companies do all of this now. Price at the highest level the market can bear, pay 2 cents a day for labor in Bangladesh. Then they cut jobs in the US to squeeze out a few more pennies per share.




Sure. You'll reduce their profits, and collect some tax revenue, but at the same time, you've now increased the number of people who need the "free" services that you're going to provide with that tax money. I really don't see that as an improvement...


Raising taxes to provide services has never, not once, caused unemployment to go up. Deficits generated from lowering taxes on the other hand have led to rampant inflation.

Your arguments are based on
ZERO FACTS

Stop wasting my time until you bother with founding them in absolutely any fact at all.
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a *****. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

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