Friday, October 14, 2011

Reverse Brain Drain: U.S. Workers Head to Canada


GLOBE AND MAIL -- "Canada’s stronger economy is becoming a magnet for Americans hunting for work. In a reversal of historical flows, immigration lawyers report a surge of calls from Americans who want to move north. Statistics bear out their observations: A record number of Americans applied for temporary work visas last year, Immigration Canada statistics show, spurred largely by the contrasting health of the two countries’ labor markets.

The U.S. jobless rate is 9.1 per cent while Canada’s comparable rate – adjusted to U.S. concepts – is just 6.3 per cent (see chart above).

“It’s reverse brain drain,” says Toronto-based immigration lawyer Sergio Karas. “There are a lot of disgruntled people who say ‘America is letting me down.’”

MP: And Canada is not just attracting out-of-work Americans, it's also attracting wealthy Americans concerned about high and rising taxes in the U.S.: 

"Windsor, Ont.-based immigration lawyer Drew Porter is also seeing history reverse itself. He is fielding more calls from high-net-worth Americans who are worried their taxes are set to rise. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years now, and always the calls were from people that did well in Canada and wanted to move to the U.S. to increase their standard of living and minimize their income taxes,” he says. “It’s quite noteworthy to me that now I’m getting calls from the U.S. interested in Canada for the same reasons.”"

173 Comments:

At 10/14/2011 9:26 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

the immigration trend is very real.

capital is more mobile than at any time in history, and most countries do not tax your global income, so you can move to canada (or nearly anywhere else), keep a US business and investment portfolio, and not pay taxes on it.

it's a very attractive option.

the rich will just leave.

then where will all the would be class warriors be?

the budget hole that 50-100k of the top 1% leaving would create is pretty staggering.

 
At 10/14/2011 9:43 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Taxes as a percentage of GDP; Canada 32.2%, United States 26.9%. Canada has universal health care.

http://www.heritage.org/index/Ranking.aspx

 
At 10/14/2011 9:57 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Such patriotism. It is inspiring, no?

And really, Canada, home of national health insurance, is that attractive?

 
At 10/14/2011 10:01 AM, Blogger AdmiralBS said...

They got it all wrong! You're not actually supposed to move there, just threaten to! http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/02/24/75-threatening-to-move-to-canada/

 
At 10/14/2011 10:14 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

When I was disabled and could not get health insurance my disability counselor suggested I move to Canada.

 
At 10/14/2011 10:23 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

People hunting for work are probably not the top 1% trying to minimize taxes.

The possibility of a job and higher taxes beats the prospect of no job and no taxes.

 
At 10/14/2011 10:28 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

then where will all the would be class warriors be?

Morganovich,

Unfortunately, right where we leave them - sucking on a dry corpse.

If the average lives on $1/day, they will gather an army to commit violence against anyone living on $1.50.

Benji, the wealthy can afford paying out of pocket for health care. It's you class warriors who can't. And, um...I'm wholly unmoved by your patriotism "argument".

I got an earful of that crap when my family filed for permission to leave the Soviet Union. Blah blah blah, enemy of the people and all that rubbish.

 
At 10/14/2011 10:32 AM, Blogger Colin said...

And workers are headed to Mexico too!

 
At 10/14/2011 11:08 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Canadians pay a higher % of their GDP in taxes, but because their GDP is lower they collect a smaller amount of tax revenue per capita. Despite that they have universal health care and they run a surplus.

Pretty incredible how bad it is in the US. That's the price of crony capitalist health care and a crony capitalist war machine.

 
At 10/14/2011 11:15 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

jon, benjamin, and zachriel,

The U.S. health care industry provides health services for everyone in the U.S. Some pay for it. Some do not.

 
At 10/14/2011 11:31 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

bunny-

way to try to wrap mooching off of others as patriotism.

that's pretty weak jingoism.

somehow i doubt the expression "as american as letting everyone else live off your hard work" is going to replace apple pie anytime soon.

 
At 10/14/2011 11:33 AM, Blogger AIG said...

I still didn't see the "brain" part of the "brain drain". All it says is "workers".

 
At 10/14/2011 11:34 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

bunny-

regarding canada-

i could live there and never pay income tax again. all my income would be from the US. sure, i don't like their health system, but i could always nip over the border to the US if i needed to, and, as i wouldn't be paying for the canadian system, they can do whatever they want.

yeah, that's attractive.

i'd save more in income taxes my first year than i'd likely ever pay in healthcare for the rest of my life.

 
At 10/14/2011 11:37 AM, Blogger A blog about... said...

Ever see the movie "Blue State"? Canada can be romanticized but when you get there most Americans just want to come home.

 
At 10/14/2011 11:38 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

methinks-

"Unfortunately, right where we leave them - sucking on a dry corpse.

If the average lives on $1/day, they will gather an army to commit violence against anyone living on $1.50."

yup.

if 10% of the 1% paying 40% leave, the fight over who has to pay will be ruinous. the jackals will turn on each other when the antelope carcass gets taken away.

this, of course, will cause more of the wealthy to leave.

lather. rinse. repeat.

 
At 10/14/2011 11:41 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

zach-

that link is to freedom ranking, not tax data.

 
At 10/14/2011 12:25 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I still didn't see the "brain" part of the "brain drain". All it says is "workers".

It's implied. The brainless usually can't find jobs.

Instead, they find their way to Zucotti Park.

 
At 10/14/2011 12:49 PM, Blogger Moniker said...

Morganovich-
Ron needs your help on the Cain vs. Perry post.

 
At 10/14/2011 1:55 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Jet Beagle: The U.S. health care industry provides health services for everyone in the U.S. Some pay for it. Some do not.

Many Americans do not have access to regular health care, and will postpone visits to the doctor until they are seriously ill.

morganovich: that link is to freedom ranking, not tax data.

Tax burden as a percentage of GDP is a component of the rankings. Here is a more precise link:
http://www.heritage.org/Index/Explore.aspx?view=by-variables

 
At 10/14/2011 1:55 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Jet Beagle: The U.S. health care industry provides health services for everyone in the U.S. Some pay for it. Some do not.

Many Americans do not have access to regular health care, and will postpone visits to the doctor until they are seriously ill.

morganovich: that link is to freedom ranking, not tax data.

Tax burden as a percentage of GDP is a component of the rankings. Here is a more precise link:
http://www.heritage.org/Index/Explore.aspx?view=by-variables

 
At 10/14/2011 2:10 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

"Brain drain" : it was an expression widely used in Canada for years and years to describe workers, mostly skilled and/or well educated, that moved to the US every year seeking greater oppotunities/rewards...and better climate maybe.

It is worth noting that unemployment in Canada has ALWAYS been higher than in the US....until recently. It was always a couple of points higher and was considered "normal" for a variery of reasons/excuses.

TAXES: Canada... personal income tax higher, corporate income tax lower.

And about that "not paying for healthcare" because you would not be paying taxes....think again...if you consume alcohol,buy tobacco or walk into a casino/buy a lottery ticket in Canada.....you're paying for healthcare. TIA;):):)

 
At 10/14/2011 2:32 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Here is a more precise link:
http://www.heritage.org/Index/Explore.aspx?view=by-variables"

ha ha ha.. you're such a KIDDER Morg!

how about a CREDIBLE reference?

 
At 10/14/2011 2:33 PM, Blogger Magnafan said...

I'm one of those Americans living in Canada. Emergency healthcare is as good as anything in The U.S. You usually have longer wait times for electives.
Forget about equalized self-defense up here. If you are attacked and emerge the winner, you will be charged. Use a gun in self-defense? The police will charge you regardless of the circumstances.However, the federal government is reportedly rewriting the self-defense laws to favor the victim instead of the criminal.
Toronto is remarkably safe: about 70 homicides--almost all gang related-- in a population of over two million.
Canada has a conservative federal majority government, but populous Ontario has a liberal nanny government.
The suburbs and rural areas are conservative.
It is a different culture. For example, on the job, conflict is to be avoided, even at the expense of problem solving. No yelling, screaming, table-pounding and going out for a beer later.
As a joke, I offered lodging to the first American refugee family with an up-to-date NRA cards. I'm not sure it's a joke any more.

 
At 10/14/2011 2:47 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

i think you are talking to the wrong guy.

that's not my link.

zach-

i'm still not sure what you are driving at.

canada has very high taxes. so? are we supposed to want to emulate that?

they also have per capita GDP 20% lower than ours and are utterly tied to commodity prices economically.

i'm not sure what your point is.

are you calling canada high tax or the US low tax?

regarding brain drain, i think the majority of jobs being chased in canada are in oil and gas and mining.

that's not quite the same as a brain brain, more of a brawn drain, no?

 
At 10/14/2011 2:53 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: brain vs brawn drain

well.. Mr. Perry put it out there, eh?

but Z's point was in response to those (Mr. Perry?) who implied that those worried about higher taxes were thinking about going to Canada (which is hilarious IMHO).

Canada is not only not cheap but with UHC, it's the very nanny state that many in CP decry as "socialism".

it's a very odd perspective, no?

 
At 10/14/2011 2:58 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

morganovich: i'm still not sure what you are driving at. canada has very high taxes. so? are we supposed to want to emulate that?

It's in reference to the original post.

MP: And Canada is not just attracting out-of-work Americans, it's also attracting wealthy Americans concerned about high and rising taxes in the U.S.

Overall taxes are higher in Canada.

 
At 10/14/2011 3:52 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Zach...."Overall taxes are higher in Canada." While I would tend to agree with that.... it's a very complex calculation/comparison...

I found one source that dives into it...if you think it's "credible" (every time a link is posted around here that people don't agree with they seem to flame the source instead of talking about the content....but whatever...)

Scroll down the page to "Taxes"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Canadian_and_American_economies

Anecdotally there are some things that are hard to include/quantify...like cheaper university tuition fees (for canadians) compared to the US and how about a real "nanny state" universal benefit like 52 week maternity leave paid at 2/3 previous salary (paid through (un)employment insurance,tax free)....LOL...I can just about hear the howling from here...LOL...For the record I never had kids...but that is one goverment benefit I totally support....go figure(?)...Regards, TC

 
At 10/14/2011 3:56 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...



if 10% of the 1% paying 40% leave, the fight over who has to pay will be ruinous. the jackals will turn on each other when the antelope carcass gets taken away.

this, of course, will cause more of the wealthy to leave.

lather. rinse. repeat.

The problem is that the US has the military capability to negate any advantages of flight. Whereever you try to go, the US government will be, waiting for you at the outside door of whatever transport you took outside of the US.

This has been proven with the US's antiterrorism efforts time and again. Unlike other countries, the US has little issue walking into any country's backyard.

 
At 10/14/2011 3:57 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Rats!!!! my link didn't work....sorry Zach....I'll keep lookin'

 
At 10/14/2011 4:01 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Oh Zach....try this and scroll down to "taxation"



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Canadian_and_American_economies

 
At 10/14/2011 4:04 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

arrrrrgh...again????

don't know why it's not printing the whole address....I'll split it up maybe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Canadian_

and_American_economies

 
At 10/14/2011 4:04 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

your link did work:

" In Canada total tax and non-tax revenue for every level of government equals about 38.4% of GDP,[1] compared to the U.S. rate of 28.2%.[2]
...
In addition, caution must be used when comparing taxes across countries, due to the different services each offers. Whereas the Canadian healthcare system is 70% government-funded, the US system is just under 50% government-funded (mostly via Medicare and Medicaid); adding the additional healthcare-spending burden to the above figures to obtain comparable numbers (+3% for Canada, +7% for the US) gives adjusted expenditures of 38–39% of GDP for each of the two nations.

The taxes are applied the same as well. Canada's income tax system is more heavily biased against the highest income earners, thus while Canada's income tax rate is higher on average, the bottom fifty percent of the population is roughly taxed the same on income as in the United States.

...

In addition to the 5% GST levied on most purchases, some Canadians also pay a provincial sales tax at a rate that varies by province and can be as high as 10%. In Ontario, for example, where the provincial sales tax (PST) is 8%, consumers must pay a total of 13% sales tax on top of the purchase price."

I don't have a problem with Heritage as long as they show the source data and provide the level of context that Wiki and other credible orgs provide.

any site that cherry-picks out of context and does not cite specific sources - whether they are right or left or purple or polka-dot are suspect IMHO.

 
At 10/14/2011 4:33 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

The problem is that the US has the military capability to negate any advantages of flight. Whereever you try to go, the US government will be, waiting for you at the outside door of whatever transport you took outside of the US.

You do realize that it's legal to leave the United States, don't you? Or are you just a dumb, violent little thug who thinks he live in the Soviet Union?

 
At 10/14/2011 5:10 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Zachriel: "Many Americans do not have access to regular health care"

Where are these people? Do you just make this up?

Non-profit hospitals and clinics exist in every state and every large city. These non-profits are required by law to provide care to low-income Americans. And they do provide such care. My wife has provided such care to low-income persons in large cities in five different states over the past 34 years.

Now, we may disagree about what is meant by "regular health care". You may desire that everyone receive cadillac health care, regardless of how much each person pays for such care. That doesn't happen in America. But low-income persons do have regular access to health care. Many choose not to take advantage of that access, and there's not a damned thing we can do about that.

 
At 10/14/2011 5:31 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

You may desire that everyone receive cadillac health care, regardless of how much each person pays for such care. That doesn't happen in America.

That doesn't happen anywhere.

 
At 10/14/2011 5:47 PM, Blogger pashley said...

hmm, just speaking about this yesterday with my sister, we were both born in New Brunswick.

 
At 10/14/2011 7:07 PM, Blogger mike k said...

The possibility of a job and higher taxes beats the prospect of no job and no taxes.-Hydra

For who?

Too many are better off with the latter, or at least they believe they are. Why would a person who collects Unemployment, WIC, Section 8, AFDC, Medicare/Medicaid, SS Disability, Food stamps and recieves free education and emergency health care even begin to think about taking a job at entry level wages?

 
At 10/14/2011 7:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"" Here is a more precise link:
http://www.heritage.org/Index/Explore.aspx?view=by-variables"

ha ha ha.. you're such a KIDDER Morg!

how about a CREDIBLE reference?
"

Do you realize that the link you find laughable is one provided by Zachriel, not morganovich?

Apparently Z also prefers those right-wing blather butt sites.

LOL

You are such a moron!

 
At 10/14/2011 7:33 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

moron? are you kidding Ron?

coming from you?

lord!

your mama is not proud of you

 
At 10/14/2011 9:08 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Morganovich:

What is keeping you here, then?

Incidentally, some of my best investments are in Canada. If I move there do I pay tax on my Canadian income, since it is held in a us account?

 
At 10/14/2011 9:13 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

US health care provides for all, some pay and some don't.


Sounds like a health lottery. Good system. Let us never try to improve it.

 
At 10/14/2011 9:31 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

here's the part about the comparison between Canada and the US that should impress:

" In addition, caution must be used when comparing taxes across countries, due to the different services each offers. Whereas the Canadian healthcare system is 70% government-funded, the US system is just under 50% government-funded (mostly via Medicare and Medicaid); adding the additional healthcare-spending burden to the above figures to obtain comparable numbers (+3% for Canada, +7% for the US) gives adjusted expenditures of 38–39% of GDP for each of the two nations."

remember - they cover all their folks and we have millions who do not have anything other than minimal health care - very expensive healthcare - paid for by others. In Canada, everyone pays for healthcare equally.

 
At 10/14/2011 9:37 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Mike k.

I read your post as saying entry level wages are not enough to live on. As long as that is the case there is no point in taking the job under any circumstances. Social benefits or not.

Your suggestion that people, as a rule, won't woodland if they are better off on welfare is bogus. They don't work because there are no jobs, or because they are unemployable. Are there slackers? Sure, but they do not dominate the system.

 
At 10/14/2011 10:21 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I read your post as saying entry level wages are not enough to live on. As long as that is the case there is no point in taking the job under any circumstances. Social benefits or not."

That's not what he said. He said that compared to an entry level job, the benefits a person can collect without working may make working uneconomic.

"Your suggestion that people, as a rule, won't woodland if they are better off on welfare is bogus."

Does that mean you think people prefer woodlanding to not woodlanding for the same or higher income and benefits?

"They don't work because there are no jobs, or because they are unemployable."

But there are jobs, and anyone who can dress themselves is employable. Many are not legally allowed to work for value of their work.

"Are there slackers? Sure, but they do not dominate the system."

And you can support that statement how?

 
At 10/14/2011 10:34 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Like Larry said, the real comparison is govt spending and the US and Canada are about the same in that regard, with Canada cutting over the years and our govt unfortunately spending like a drunken sailor to meet them. The Heritage ranking cuts 15 points off Canada's monetary freedom score because of their crazy single-payer medical system, then cuts 15 points off the US monetary score because of price subsidies and all the recent market interventions. I think Canada's score should take a much bigger cut for how they restrict such an important market like medicine.

 
At 10/14/2011 11:09 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"how about a CREDIBLE reference?"...

There must be a more credible wiki reference, right larry?

LMAO!

 
At 10/14/2011 11:36 PM, Blogger Dave said...

"The last time I looked at the stats, Canadians migrated to the US at ten times the rate Yankees moved to Canada. Adjust for the population, and the ration was more like 100 to 1. So although I’m sure there are more Americans than ever coming north, I doubt very seriously the historical flows have reversed.

Also, I cannot help but notice that although a tremendous amount of media attention was given to Americans who swore after the re-election of George W. Bush that they were going to come pouring over the border, it wasn’t until Democrats controlled the White House that it actually happened."

http://www.libertarianbookclub.com/2011/10/14/voting-with-their-feet/

 
At 10/14/2011 11:46 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Juandos....as I said no reference is good enough for you if it does not support your illusions....the CIA wasn't good enough even!!!!! I give up

and Sprewell....
"I think Canada's score should take a much bigger cut for how they restrict such an important market like medicine." (????????)

a) Sorry, we don't have one of those...medecine is not a market, not here anyway... just as education is not a market in the US....get it now?

b) "restrict such an important market"??? Oh, you bet bubba, and we do more than that... we do everything we can to make sure it never becomes a "market"...we used have one...got rid of it fifty years ago

 
At 10/15/2011 12:00 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

actually any reference that actually generates source data -like OMB or CBO or any number of other sites that show where they got their source data - like NationMaster and OCED, etc.

but not sites like Heritage which usually do not.. and more often than not makes up data.

the "freedom" rankings are a good example.

they have 10 categories and each category has criteria but they stop there and just cite four or five different generalized sources without specifying page numbers or appendices. They don't support their data with verifiable references.

much of Heritage "works" are done this way but they are sneaky about it. I've see enough of what they do to not put much stock in what they are "reporting".

fool me once - shame on you
fool me twice -shame on me

I don't rely on Wiki alone - I check the references to the original source data that they DO provide. Wiki is certainly not bulletproof but at least they provide the references that allow one to look at the source data that they use.

Any legitimate provider of information shows exactly where it got it. Heritage, not so much.

Heritage seldom provides the specifics of the data sources, so there is no real way to verify what they are asserting... and more often than not what they assert is just flat wrong anyhow or worse a blatant misrepresentation.

The data and conclusions are often unique to Heritage without any real way of verifying what they are asserting.

Heritage would never pass the Ronald Reagan test: trust but verify.

 
At 10/15/2011 12:22 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

the wiki article comparing the US and Canadian economies has 41 distinct footnotes .. a warning header that the data may not be current and as well, at the bottom a place for readers to rate the content on four factors: Trustworthy, Objective,Complete, Well-written as well as the number of people rating.

it's not perfect. there is room for bias and in the case of this article - only 7/8 raters.

there is nothing even close to that on the Heritage site.

they do not entertain alternate views as wiki does and they do not outline the opposing positions - as wiki often does with separate paragraphs showing the pro and con positions.

Wiki clearly warns the reader if the content is in dispute. Heritage - never. Hell, Heritage does not even provide a way to dispute their material.

It's very clear that Heritage has an agenda but they promote themselves as an honest provider of factual, unbiased information, whereas, in fact, much of what they do is biased and subjective with big dollops of literary "license".

It often takes a close reading of Heritage stuff to separate out what are facts - and what are clever misrepresentations.

They are perfect for the right wing echo chamber but not ready for prime time in the world of honest brokers of information.

that's a personal opinion.

 
At 10/15/2011 12:34 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Juandos....as I said no reference is good enough for you if it does not support your illusions....the CIA wasn't good enough even!!!!! I give up"...

Sadly for you you think each reference is a point only to itself but you disregard the track record of where you grab this alledged reference from...

 
At 10/15/2011 12:57 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"actually any reference that actually generates source data -like OMB or CBO or any number of other sites that show where they got their source data - like NationMaster and OCED, etc"...

Well larry old son when you continually go to government bureaucracies for flawed but politically driven data is it any suprise I find you lame attempts at propping up your leftist agenda so lacking?

BTW you've forgotten that you have also have attempted on a couple of occassions to use data from various UN outfits also...

 
At 10/15/2011 1:17 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"but not sites like Heritage which usually do not.. and more often than not makes up data."

But your buddy Zach is citing Heritage. Don't you think you should educate him to the fact that they make up data??

 
At 10/15/2011 1:43 AM, OpenID Sprewell said...

truthorcon, almost everything is a market, particularly medicine, all you've done is drive the market underground in Canada, with all the corruption and disregard/disgust for govt that implies. As for education in the US, it is a mixed system, just like medicine, so there are private providers for most education services here. And you haven't succeeded in turning Canadian healthcare into something other than a market, all you've done is driven patients to the black market or out of the country. Congratulations, you took the most vulnerable in your society, the sick, and gave them shitty to no care or drove them out of the country, all because you are economically ignorant enough to believe govt bureaucrats can solve all those problems. Enjoy your shitty medical system, great job!

 
At 10/15/2011 6:17 AM, Blogger H.A. Black said...

Just wait until they experience the Canadian health care system - especially if they live in rural Canada. Then they'll be back.

 
At 10/15/2011 7:07 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: vetting info / politically-driven and otherwise.

no source can or should be trusted 100% without some verification/validation especially if there is controversy.

Mr. Z did reference Heritage - but he also referenced Congressional Testimony for the housing meltdown on another recent thread.

He demonstrates a willingness to get the facts and while it's true again that no source is 100% reliable there are those who have developed reputations and I'll take OMB or Wiki or nationmaster any day of the week over a Heritage jack job.

 
At 10/15/2011 7:39 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

That's not what he said. He said that compared to an entry level job, the benefits a person can collect without working may make working unecenomic

++++++++++
And those benefits are basically subsistence level. If they are better off not working, as you argue, then the wages are not enough to live on. If they are not enough to live on, there is no point in working for them, whether there are benefits in the wings or not.

I agree some people milk the system, but that is not what is causing what some call confiscatory taxes that some think are wrecking the economy.

 
At 10/15/2011 7:44 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Sprewell: let me know when some other country with mandatory or universal health coverage decides to copy the American system so they can spend twice as much and get no better care.

 
At 10/15/2011 7:54 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Leaving aside those who are unable to work or who cannot or will not find work that pays more than the minimum social safety net provides, for those willing and able to work, the prospect of a job and higher taxes in Canada beats the prospect of no nob in the US.

In other words, this article shows that higher taxes are not a disincentive to work, nor do they ruin the economy.

If Canada is such a nanny state, why are not our unemployed flocking there for better benefits?

 
At 10/15/2011 8:01 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Larry is right. Heritage publishes opinion pieces backed up with vague or cherry picked references.

 
At 10/15/2011 8:02 AM, Blogger Rick Parker said...

Jet Beagle

"Many choose not to take advantage of that access"

So true. One of my employees' wife worked for a company that provided health insurance at a very affordable price. Since neither he, his wife nor their son had been a to a doctor for years the policy was just what they needed. Both adults had numerous health problems and the wife used the insurance for several surgeries. They had the policy for about 6 years during which time neither the father or son ever went to a doctor for anything. The son is now 17 and hasn't seen a doctor or dentist since he was 6.

The father has had gum disease for years now and in spite of knowing all the other health problems that can come from it has never even called the local free dental clinic.

What more can the rest of us do other than force medical care on them at gunpoint?

 
At 10/15/2011 9:23 AM, Blogger mike k said...

They don't work because there are no jobs, or because they are unemployable. Are there slackers? Sure, but they do not dominate the system.-Hydra

Since this would be impossible to verify, I'll rely on many years of personal real world experience, first as a landlord and second as the spouse of a physician. The slackers far outnumber the sincere in my experience.

 
At 10/15/2011 9:38 AM, Blogger Paul said...

I'm Canadian. The difference is that Canada has a broader tax base. Everyone pays except the poorest, and there are consumption taxes. Corporate taxes are low and set to drop even more. We have a drill baby drill policy and are crushing it. As well our strict banking regs saved us from the financial crisis. The most indebted regions with high unemployment are all more leftist. Americans need to broaden their tax base as way to many freeload.

 
At 10/15/2011 10:07 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Zachriel: Many Americans do not have access to regular health care

Jet Beagle: Where are these people?

You really don't think people postpone medical care, avoid paying for drugs, or don't have regular checkups due to cost?

More than half (52 percent) of uninsured Americans have no regular source of health
care. —The Robert Graham Center
Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care.

A total of 20 percent of U.S. households postponed or cancelled care in the past year, a sharp increase from 2006. Among those who postponed or cancelled care, 24.1 percent of households cited cost as the primary reason. — Thomson Reuters.

Jet Beagle: Many choose not to take advantage of that access,

Yes, often due to financial difficulties. Insurance is often tied to employment in the U.S. Get sick and can't work, lose your insurance. Get laid off, lose your insurance.

 
At 10/15/2011 10:15 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Sprewell: the real comparison is govt spending and the US and Canada are about the same in that regard, with Canada cutting over the years and our govt unfortunately spending like a drunken sailor to meet them.

From your own citation, Canada spends more. The dramatic recent increase in U.S. spending *as a percentage of GDP* is largely a factor of the recession.

 
At 10/15/2011 11:07 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"And those benefits are basically subsistence level. If they are better off not working, as you argue, then the wages are not enough to live on. "

I see the problem here: You don't understand what the word "subsistence" means. educate yourself and try again.

 
At 10/15/2011 11:27 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"If they are not enough to live on, there is no point in working for them, whether there are benefits in the wings or not. "

Is that your advice to teens, recent high school graduates, and immigrants?

You haven't addressed my other points.

 
At 10/15/2011 12:05 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Hey Zach.....you say:

"The dramatic recent increase in U.S. spending *as a percentage of GDP* is largely a factor of the recession."

all the graphs I've ever seen about US deficits/gov. debt always show a "jump" in the eighties and another "step up" starting in 2000-2001 or there abouts....were they wrong?

 
At 10/15/2011 12:18 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Zach...you can try this on the subject... (I've split up the link...just in case it won't copy all of it in one go...copy/paste)

http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_

initi/2011/04/americas-dangerous-debt-.html

 
At 10/15/2011 2:37 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

truth or consequences: all the graphs I've ever seen about US deficits/gov. debt always show a "jump" in the eighties and another "step up" starting in 2000-2001 or there abouts....were they wrong?

Deficits in constant dollars certainly did increase in the Reagan and Bush years, then decreased under Clinton, increased again under Bush II, then jumped up with the recession. There are far lower tax receipts along with some increased spending directly related to the recession. There's also the stimulus, but that was a one-time expenditure and can't explain the continuing deficits.

Bush's last budget proposal was $3.1 trillion. It's increased somewhat, but not nearly enough to explain the deficits. That's primarily due to decreased tax receipts. Deficits will decline naturally as the economy recovers, but will still be in the $600 billion range if the Bush tax cuts are extended.

Not sure the point you are making.

 
At 10/15/2011 3:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "You really don't think people postpone medical care, avoid paying for drugs, or don't have regular checkups due to cost?"

Of course they do, just as they defer regular maintenance and minor repairs on their cars, until the problems becomes serious, or the car becomes inoperable. However, no one is crying for universal, mandatory car care insurance as a solution.

Perhaps such coverage would protect the rest of us from the productivity lost because of people being unable to get to work, or even losing their jobs, due to car trouble making them unreliable.

But in any case, no one lacks "access" to auto repair, or to medical care. Perhaps you meant to use a different word.

"More than half (52 percent) of uninsured Americans have no regular source of health
care. —The Robert Graham Center
Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care.
"

That sounds like a choice. we suspect a similar percentage have no regular auto mechanic.

"A total of 20 percent of U.S. households postponed or cancelled care in the past year, a sharp increase from 2006. Among those who postponed or cancelled care, 24.1 percent of households cited cost as the primary reason. — Thomson Reuters."

Not at all surprising. Times have been difficult. We can't help but wonder what the statistics would show for cancelled or deferred auto maintenance durimg the same time period.

Jet Beagle: "Many choose not to take advantage of that access,"

Z: "Yes, often due to financial difficulties."

Either you didn't read Jet's comment carefully, or you are choosing to misinterpret it. Did you skip over the part about providing health care to low income people, indicating that they do, in fact, have access?

Z: "Insurance is often tied to employment in the U.S. Get sick and can't work, lose your insurance. Get laid off, lose your insurance."

Yes, and that's an excellent reason to eliminate the tax free status of such benefits.

Employment and the resulting income, is often tied to one's access to transportation also. at least the ability to operate and maintain one's own car.

Perhaps you should reconsider your use of the words "access" and "insurance" in this context, as you don't seem to be using them correctly.

 
At 10/15/2011 3:26 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

no point really....just more info/thought on the topic....

this started as a US/Canada thing...it might be worth noting, as was expressed in the link, that Canada was in a much more dire circimstances at the beginning of the nineties....what it took to turn things around was higher taxes and reduced spending...and this ONLY when the population at large became on side (this might be a real challenge in the US)....things did turn around and now taxes are going down but mostly on the corporate side (sadly)...but as long as unemployment stays around these levels nobody's gonna complain I guess....

In hindsight, Canada was REAL lucky that the rest of the world was operating sorta "normally" when it decided to tackle it's problem...unfortunately the US's timing, if it comes to pass, will not be as good.....so I would guess that it will take longer, than it did Canada, to fix. Too bad...that's not good news for Canada either....as we are "tied at the hip" economomically to a large extent. Regards, TC

 
At 10/15/2011 4:31 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Hydra, let me know when those same countries with the single-payer systems that you prefer can even reach 80% of US production. Of course they spend less, they have to because they're poorer and they are happy to free ride off our capitalist system, like all socialists. As for better care, it is undoubtedly better in many regards here, but it is much more expensive than it should be because we don't have a real market in payments, with third-party payers, public or private, paying for 90% of medical services. We could remedy that by moving to health savings accounts and real insurance, ie catastrophic coverage only, and get the cost benefits like Singapore has, but most US voters appear too economically ignorant to understand that.

Zach, I know you'd love for your canard to be true that govt spending only "looks" worse because GDP has gone down, but it actually looks even worse if you look at the raw numbers, going up 15% during Obama's term, when GDP is only expected to go up 10%.

 
At 10/15/2011 8:09 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Like I said. If our system is so much better, let me know when some other country adopts our system, and I will gladly concede the point.

Until then, we face the situation in which most other advanced countries once had a system more like ours, but moved away from it.

Your argument attempts to change the topic, and avoids the issue at hand: we are the only country with the system we have, and no countries have the system you think we should have but don't.

 
At 10/15/2011 8:19 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Yes, and that's an excellent reason to eliminate the tax free status of such benefits..

/+++++++++++

How does changing the tax status change the fact that you get sick, can't work, can't pay your premiums, can't get well, and can't buy new " insurance" if you do get well because now you have a pre existing?

How does tax exemption change that?

Why don't we have health insurance that works like disability insurance? As long as you are collecting, no premiums are due.

Then the insurance company has incentive to get you well and keep you well.

Why does health insurance stop/ cancel when you need it most?

 
At 10/15/2011 8:27 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Sprewell: when I was working in England it seemed they don't work as hard or as long as Americans.

What do you suppose their productivity has to do with their health care system?

Why would anyone prefer a system where they work 20% harder and still don't get guaranteed health care? Why is that a better system, just because it produces more gdp?

 
At 10/15/2011 8:50 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I am a landlord, too.

My experience is different from yours. Most of the people I know of who are on assistance get it for good reason. They are people I would not want working for me or anyone I do business with. At best they would lower productivity and at worst they are a hazard.

People I have known who got assistance a did not meet those conditions did not stay on assistance long: as soon as they could find a situation that made them better off, they took it.

But even they were not crazy enough to take a job that made them worse off.

 
At 10/15/2011 9:15 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: Of course they do, just as they defer regular maintenance and minor repairs on their cars, until the problems becomes serious, or the car becomes inoperable. However, no one is crying for universal, mandatory car care insurance as a solution.

The difference, of course, is that postponing medical care due to financial difficulties, such as for diabetes, heart disease or cancer, can result crippling illness or death.

Ron H: That sounds like a choice.

If you consider not having enough money to pay for medical care a choice.

truth or consequences: In hindsight, Canada was REAL lucky that the rest of the world was operating sorta "normally" when it decided to tackle it's problem...unfortunately the US's timing, if it comes to pass, will not be as good.....so I would guess that it will take longer, than it did Canada, to fix.

Yes, very unfortunate. The U.S. should have worked down its debt during the 2000's. It would have been far better positioned economically when the recession hit.

Sprewell: I know you'd love for your canard to be true that govt spending only "looks" worse because GDP has gone down, but it actually looks even worse if you look at the raw numbers, going up 15% during Obama's term, when GDP is only expected to go up 10%.

Total Federal spending is ≈$3.7 trillion, but the chart shows more than $5 trillion. That's because it includes state and local government. Nor have you accounted for population or inflation. A better measure would be in constant dollars per capita. Also, keep in mind that 2009 was Bush's final budget in which he proposed more than $3 trillion in spending.

Two-thirds of the increase from 2008 to 2011 was due to mandatory spending, such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and veterans care. Some of the increase was due to the stimulus, but that was a one-time expenditure. The U.S. has to address the structural causes of the deficits if they want to return to fiscal stability.

 
At 10/15/2011 9:19 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H,

If someone doesn't want to stop at a red light because he says it's tyranny and intrusive, is it just that he be punished? What gives a democratic government the right to determine the rules for stopping and going for someone who hasn't agreed to it?

 
At 10/15/2011 9:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"How does changing the tax status change the fact that you get sick, can't work, can't pay your premiums, can't get well, and can't buy new " insurance" if you do get well because now you have a pre existing?"

There's COBRA, HIPAA, and Medicaid. Losing a job doesn't mean automatic loss of health coverage. There is disability insurance to provide you with income when you are unable to work, and there is income insurance to pay you when you can't work.

Your repeated complaint about loss of job = loss of health care coverage is bogus.

And, no one wants to hear your personal story of misfortune another time.

">How does tax exemption change that?"

Eliminating the tax exempt status of income in the form of health coverage benefits would help "level the playing field", as you socialists are fond of saying, between employer provided health plans and individual private plans.

"Why don't we have health insurance that works like disability insurance? As long as you are collecting, no premiums are due."

You will have to ask your insurance agent that question.

"Then the insurance company has incentive to get you well and keep you well."

Do you really believe the amount of your premiums makes that much difference?

"Why does health insurance stop/ cancel when you need it most?"

It doesn't for people who plan their futures a little bit.

 
At 10/15/2011 9:51 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "The difference, of course, is that postponing medical care due to financial difficulties, such as for diabetes, heart disease or cancer, can result crippling illness or death."

It seems that postponing auto repairs of critical safety items could cause crippling injury or death not only for one's self, but for others as well. What difference are you talking about?

Ron H: "That sounds like a choice.

Z: "If you consider not having enough money to pay for medical care a choice. "

It is a choice. Initial visits and screenings are readily available these days with clinics in retail settings becoming more common, and inexpensive testing available to anyone.

For those with no means of paying, there are free clinics. In fact it's easier to get medical care than it is to get your car fixed.

 
At 10/15/2011 11:20 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

LOL....Big Pharma has done a real good number on Sprewell... yeah, the reason prescription drugs are more expensive in the US is because drugs are cheaper in other countries...LOL

Fact is drug companies spend more on marketing in the states than on actual research there....you got your wish and it's a "market" alright and the drug comapanies have done a great job of growing it...in the absence of regulation they charge whatever the market will bear...and in the states, one of the few places where direct to consumer advertizing is allowed, the market will bear A LOT!

I get a laugh when I watch american TV and see all the drug ads for real and "lifestyle" ailments (depressed, tired, etc..."ask your doctor..."...followed by all the ads for lawyers recruiting customers for lawsuits that have taken such and such a drug.....some nites it seems that's all the ads that are on TV!!!!

Sprewell you are being PLAYED....very well I might add.

It's no surprise that Euro drug companies have been buying up US drug firms the last few years...it ain't about breakthroughs and innovation Sprew, it's about MONEY!


http://www.haiweb.org/

campaign/DTCA/BMintzes_en.pdf


BTW....Viagra ain't no insulin Sprew

 
At 10/16/2011 2:34 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


You do realize that it's legal to leave the United States, don't you?

Yes. However, it is not legal to harm the US Government or its citizens.




Or are you just a dumb, violent little thug who thinks he lives in the Soviet Union?

I happen to take pride in being a US citizen, unlike various interests in the private sector that think my citizenship is a liability.

I also understand that the US government has plenty of ways of negating any legal advantages of leaving the country. One's best bet is not to give the government any reason to pursue - there will be plenty of people willing to help when government feels that pain.

Moving to another jurisdiction might have worked in the 20th century, but it doesn't in the 21st.

 
At 10/16/2011 5:15 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: delayed health care

It's very true that people receive govt-taxpayer-provided health care but it's also true that they do not get early screening and proactive treatment for emerging chronic conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity (which is ironic if they are "poor").

by not seeing a regular doctor on a regular basis - these conditions do significant - and costly damage.

For instance, undetected/untreated diabetes often results in cardiovascular damage, strokes and amputations - conditions that will put you on permanent disability with entitlements and very expensive end-stage medical care - all -courtesy of taxpayers.

If people are going to receive taxpayer-provided health care - then shouldn't it be minimized to the most cost-effective kind?

giving people niggardly charity care early on - and allowing diseases to progress and do costly damage that still has to be paid for seems not very smart.

perhaps this is the reason why all other industrialized countries - including that nasty Canadian and UK health care - pay 1/2 what we do and live longer?

the big argument here against Universal health care is that we should not "give" it to people who do not "deserve" it but that policy totally ignores what the taxpayers who pay for that health care deserve?

don't they deserve to pay LESS than they are right now?

Isn't that the case in places that have UHC and pay 1/2 what we do?

 
At 10/16/2011 8:40 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: There's COBRA, HIPAA, and Medicaid. Losing a job doesn't mean automatic loss of health coverage.

When someone is laid off, they can rarely afford COBRA as it is often higher than they were paying when they were employed.

Ron H: Your repeated complaint about loss of job = loss of health care coverage is bogus.

Nine million people lost their health insurance when they lost their jobs in 2010.

Collins et al., The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey of 2010.

Ron H: It seems that postponing auto repairs of critical safety items could cause crippling injury or death not only for one's self, but for others as well.

Which is why cars are subject to periodic and spot safety inspections.

Ron H: For those with no means of paying, there are free clinics.

Let them eat cake.

People without health insurance are more likely to go without medical care, or needed prescriptions. The poor are less likely to have a source of medical care.

Kaiser Commission, The Uninsured and their Access to Health Care, 2003.

Fryer, Dovey & Green, The Importance of Having a Usual Source of Health Care, American Academy of Family Physicians 2000.

Collins, Hall & Neuhaus, U.S. Minority Health: A Chartbook, The Commonwealth Fund 1999.

Ron H,

This question is relevant, because it gets to the heart of what you consider to be the purpose of government.

If someone doesn't want to stop at a red light because he says it's tyranny and intrusive, is it just that he be punished? What gives a democratic government the right to determine the rules for stopping and going for someone who hasn't agreed to it?

 
At 10/16/2011 1:59 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


When someone is laid off, they can rarely afford COBRA as it is often higher than they were paying when they were employed.

That's due to COBRA being designed to allow you to continue an employer plan, not continue to make it affordable.


It is a choice. Initial visits and screenings are readily available these days with clinics in retail settings becoming more common, and inexpensive testing available to anyone.

Only if you want less competent people practicing on you, and having your medical information about you, sent to places that do not have robust legal protections against its disclosure.

 
At 10/16/2011 2:48 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I happen to take pride in being a US citizen, unlike various interests in the private sector that think my citizenship is a liability.

I also understand that the US government has plenty of ways of negating any legal advantages of leaving the country. One's best bet is not to give the government any reason to pursue - there will be plenty of people willing to help when government feels that pain.

Moving to another jurisdiction might have worked in the 20th century, but it doesn't in the 21st.


Ha ha ha!! USSA Uber Alles, eh? You're a typical dirty little Bolshevik.

 
At 10/16/2011 3:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "When someone is laid off, they can rarely afford COBRA as it is often higher than they were paying when they were employed."

Of course it is. Many receive part of their income as medical coverage. Everything else is higher also, as loss of employment usually includes loss of cash subsidies for rent, food, transportation, etc. generally known as Paycheck. What is your point?

Many people prepare for such possible expenses just as they plan for vacation, college, or any other future event. Those who don't will suffer more than those who do, but to say they have no access to medical treatment is incorrect.

Ron H: "Your repeated complaint about loss of job = loss of health care coverage is bogus."

Z: "Nine million people lost their health insurance when they lost their jobs in 2010."

And the answer is...Obamacare!

Did you mean to say an *estimated* 9 million? How many remained uninsured, and for how long?

It's pretty hard to take seriously a telephone survey by an organization that already has a solution to the problem they are investigating.

Perhaps a better wording of our previous comment would have read " job loss = loss of access to medical treatment is bogus", as health insurance isn't the same thing as medical treatment.

Ron H: "It seems that postponing auto repairs of critical safety items could cause crippling injury or death not only for one's self, but for others as well."

Z: "Which is why cars are subject to periodic and spot safety inspections."

But they aren't.

Would you recommend similar periodic and spot medical inspections of people?

You need a better response.

Ron H: "For those with no means of paying, there are free clinics."

Z: "Let them eat cake."

Your claim that people have no access or cannot get medical care is false. That they may choose not to get it, or would prefer something else, doesn't mean nothing is available to them.

Z: "People without health insurance are more likely to go without medical care, or needed prescriptions."

That's correct.

" The poor are less likely to have a source of medical care."

No, they are less likely to take advantage of medical care available to them.

Z: "Ron H,

This question is relevant, because it gets to the heart of what you consider to be the purpose of government.

If someone doesn't want to stop at a red light because he says it's tyranny and intrusive, is it just that he be punished? What gives a democratic government the right to determine the rules for stopping and going for someone who hasn't agreed to it?
"

Not only is there no such right, it's entirely unnecessary. Rational human beings organize themselves and cooperate voluntarily without the need for government. It is not government, but people that build a civilized society. All government can do is destroy civilized behavior through its violent coercion.

Spontaneous order serves better than arbitrary control devices in any case. If that were not so, pedestrian traffic and skating rinks would require such devices, and clearly they don't.

 
At 10/16/2011 3:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Only if you want less competent people practicing on you, and having your medical information about you, sent to places that do not have robust legal protections against its disclosure."

Well, that would be something you could decide for yourself, then, wouldn't it?

You can decide what level of medical care you want, based on price. No one owes you any particular level of care, any more than they owe you a Cadillac instead of that old GM shitbox you choose to drive.

Get a job, sethstorm. Pay your own way. Quit leeching off your mommy and the neighbors who actually do work, and pay taxes to support you.

 
At 10/16/2011 4:46 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Well, that would be something you could decide for yourself, then, wouldn't it?

That presumes that a provider will allow you to do so, with an agreement that extends to any subcontractors.




You can decide what level of medical care you want, based on price.

That presumes an alternative provider exists at a given price level. Choice is largely irrelevant when all the choices are all equally bad.




No one owes you any particular level of care, any more than they owe you a Cadillac instead of that old GM shitbox you choose to drive.

Laughable, since my car is an upper-tier Oldsmobile. Plenty of Michigan-made Cadillac parts in it. Despite being 10 years old, it is in very good condition.





[some rant about work]

If employers weren't so contemptuous about US citizens(and started hiring them), that problem would not exist. That excuse you have only works in a good economy.

 
At 10/16/2011 4:50 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Methinks said...
No, but continue to try mistaking my patriotism and defense of country.

 
At 10/16/2011 5:16 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"That presumes that a provider will allow you to do so, with an agreement that extends to any subcontractors."

Like so many others who feel entitled, you confuse healthcare coverage with medical treatment.

"That presumes an alternative provider exists at a given price level. Choice is largely irrelevant when all the choices are all equally bad."

You can decide for yourself what level of care you want to pay for. Just don't ask me to pay itr for you.

"Laughable, since my car is an upper-tier Oldsmobile. Plenty of Michigan-made Cadillac parts in it. Despite being 10 years old, it is in very good condition."

I don't doubt it. It probably has very low miles, as it isn't used to commute to work.

"Methinks said...
No, but continue to try mistaking my patriotism and defense of country.
"

What do you mean? Dirty little bolsheviks are VERY patriotic.

 
At 10/16/2011 5:20 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I love it when Ron talks dirty but I bet his mama doesn't.

 
At 10/16/2011 7:08 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


You can decide for yourself what level of care you want to pay for.

Unfortunately there wasn't the option of "records absolutely do not depart the US from any US controlled/financed entity, including subcontractors" on any insurance I've ever applied to get.


However, I am quite thankful that I have good medical care - practiced by people that don't try to inject politics into the payment process.




I don't doubt it. It probably has very low miles, as it isn't used to commute to work.

112k, does plenty of high-mileage travel to make up for it. All electronic systems work save for emissions. Looks even more American than the Opel-body Buicks, inside and out.


If you're looking for a nitpick, I'm hard-pressed to find one. I can thank all the people that irrationally hate General Motors for making a good car affordable.




What do you mean?

Wrong country.

 
At 10/16/2011 9:45 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Hydra, I linked you to a country that is even more free market than ours in many respects, Singapore, and info on how they get even better outcomes. The countries you prefer aren't "advanced:" you can't be advanced when you are perpetually about as poor as Mississippi, the poorest US state. I didn't change the topic: I clearly pointed out that when you're poor, you're probably going to adopt a cheaper system that is lower quality, particularly when you can free ride off a richer capitalist system (even the Singapore system is much cheaper, though it is more free market in many regards). If you knew how to read, you'd know that I gave another example in Singapore that already has HSAs and catastrophic insurance, the two free market measures that I said we most need. The reason Americans work 20% harder is so we actually get medicine that works, as I pointed out with the link to the higher cancer survival rates here.

Zach, of course I'm including state and local, as that's what the first Canada/US comparison used also. I don't have to account for population or inflation when I compare the growth rate of govt to GDP, those two factors cancel out. If you blame Bush for 2009, then Obama gets the blame for the much bigger budget estimated for 2013, take your pick. ;) Lengthening unemployment benefits to 99 weeks was not "mandatory," that was a choice voted on by Congress, same for much of the other hikes. The pork-laden "stimulus" was a horrible mistake, but it wasn't even the biggest mistake. The deficits were not "structural," they were caused by not cutting to match revenues, like every other business has to.

 
At 10/16/2011 9:47 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

truthorcon, who was done a real number on: you, who flatly asserts that "Big Pharma" is evil and that other countries not paying their share magically doesn't affect drug prices here, or me, who links you to actual research showing this? That's an easy decision to make. :) Yes, drug marketing is a big cost, but if the pharma companies think it's worth it, who are you to say otherwise? I would guess they are overspending, but they are the ones who get to make that decision, since you and I haven't come up with any new drugs. A much bigger waste are the onerous FDA regulations that make the average drug cost $1 billion to develop, when there are much better ways of getting early access to patients while keeping track of safety. Yes, the market does pay a lot for our drugs here, unlike the freeloaders in other countries.

I actually agree that Americans probably overuse these drugs and that the ads are a joke, but who cares, advertising is about to be dead, killed off by the internet. :) The only one I see being played here is you, and apparently pretty easily, since you can't bring any actual data to the discussion. ;) Why do you think there's money for drug companies here? New drugs equal more money! :) How is insulin any better than Viagra? Simply replacing a deficient natural hormone like insulin with a synthetic supply, a fat revenue stream for the pharmas I'm sure, is no cure, it's just making sure there's no damage. Viagra, on the other hand, ;) well, there's a reason why guys like you never look at quality of life, because for all the crap drugs out there, there's plenty of new drugs that actually do make a big difference.

 
At 10/17/2011 9:30 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Zachriel: "People without health insurance are more likely to go without medical care, or needed prescriptions. The poor are less likely to have a source of medical care. "

What conclusion would one expect from either a commission funded by a hospital chain or an organization of health acre professionals? Those are exactly the people who will benefit from either universal health care or from mandated non-voluntary insurance. Of course they are going to emphasize that "the poor" are go without health care and they are going to neglect to point out this is due to personal choices.

Again, as I stated before, free health clinics and charity/non-profit hospitals are available coast-to-coast in the U.S. When "the poor" choose not to take advantage of these resources funded by the rest of us, it is simply their choice.

 
At 10/17/2011 9:40 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: charity/free clinics

unfortunately that's not the case for many who would not get routine regular care at these clinics where are dealing with acute and chronic care.

and we should not fool ourselves here - MedicAid is what pays for many uninsured people's health care needs and those needs are usually more serious and more advanced diseases because they were not caught early by routine care.

MedicAid - costs twice as much as Medicare in the Federal budget and that is just 1/2 the total costs as the states are picking up the other 1/2.

All told - more than a trillion dollars a year is taken from you in taxes and given to people who do not have health insurance for their health are.

the costs per capita are twice what they are in all other industrialized countries.

The question for taxpayers like you and me and others is - "if you are going to be taxed to pay for others health care - shouldn't you want a system that minimizes the taxes taken from you?"

if you can answer that question truthfully - you'd want a system that minimizes costs to you.

and the only countries that meet that standard are those with universal health care.

 
At 10/17/2011 10:40 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Zachriel: When someone is laid off, they can rarely afford COBRA as it is often higher than they were paying when they were employed.

Ron H: Of course it is. Many receive part of their income as medical coverage. Everything else is higher also, as loss of employment usually includes loss of cash subsidies for rent, food, transportation, etc. generally known as Paycheck. What is your point?

More than half the people who lost their jobs in the recession also lost their insurance. People without health insurance have poorer access to medical care—contrary to your previous assertion above.

Markets do not always allocate in the most efficient manner *in terms of providing care*. Markets allocate to where the money is concentrated. Even people with health insurance don't always have equal acccess to health care, especially in rural communities.

Ron H: job loss = loss of access to medical treatment is bogus

Handwaving. We've provided multiple citations to support the claim.

Zachriel: Which is why cars are subject to periodic and spot safety inspections.

Ron H: But they aren't.

? Sure they are.

Ron H: Would you recommend similar periodic and spot medical inspections of people?

Yes! Of course! It's highly recommended. That's the whole point. Regular checkups and immediate treatment of treatable diseases.

Zachriel: If someone doesn't want to stop at a red light because he says it's tyranny and intrusive, is it just that he be punished? What gives a democratic government the right to determine the rules for stopping and going for someone who hasn't agreed to it?

Ron H: Not only is there no such right, it's entirely unnecessary. Rational human beings organize themselves and cooperate voluntarily without the need for government.

Anyone knows that some people will run lights or ignore other traffic courtesies if there were no laws. It's a tragedy of the commons. A single cheater will create chaos at a busy intersection.

In any case, you clearly reject nearly all forms of government, including democratic forms of government that most people consider essential to preserving freedom. This can be an internally consistent position, but one that is detached from the concerns of real people who have to actually navigate in traffic and know better than to think that anything but chaos would ensue without laws.

Ron H: Spontaneous order serves better than arbitrary control devices in any case.

In humans, spontaneous order includes organzations at many levels, including governments. There will be some sort of government, the question is whether it will be a government of the people.

 
At 10/17/2011 10:44 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Jet Beagle: What conclusion would one expect from either a commission funded by a hospital chain or an organization of health acre professionals?

Well, funny thing about that. It turns out that most studies about health care are done by people who study health care.

 
At 10/17/2011 11:42 AM, Blogger Simeon (Sam) George Drakich said...

I have a buddy who claimed months ago he was getting flooded with Americans wanting to work and live in Canada
They all claimed that the polarization of the nation has made it a very uneasy place to be. They fear the overgrowing police state and the increased attacks on whites.

 
At 10/17/2011 1:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Many Americans do not have access" to regular health care, and will postpone visits to the doctor until they are seriously ill."

Z: "More than half the people who lost their jobs in the recession also lost their insurance. People without health insurance have poorer access" to medical care—contrary to your previous assertion above."

This is a step in the right direction, but we see that you are still struggling with the word "access" as it applies to medical care.

"Markets do not always allocate in the most efficient manner *in terms of providing care*. Markets allocate to where the money is concentrated. Even people with health insurance don't always have equal acccess to health care, especially in rural communities."

We aren't sure what point you are trying to make here. There has been no discussion of market efficiency, but surely you can't be suggesting that UHC would change the availability of medical care in rural areas, can you?

Ron H.: But they aren't."

Z: ? Sure they are."

You need to qualify that statement. Your local experience may be that cars require mandatory, periodic safety inspections, but that is not true for everyone.

Ron H: "Would you recommend similar periodic and spot medical inspections of people?"

Z: "Yes! Of course! It's highly recommended. That's the whole point. Regular checkups and immediate treatment of treatable diseases."

Your approval of the use of force as legitimate, if the majority approves, has allowed you to misunderstand our question. We were asking if you were OK with mandatory health inspections, and surprise spot checks of people, as you erroneously believe happens universally with cars.

Ron H.: "Ron H: job loss = loss of access to medical treatment is bogus"

Z: "Handwaving. We've provided multiple citations to support the claim."

Still that problem with the word "access", and still ignoring choice.

Blogger Zachriel said...

Jet Beagle: "What conclusion would one expect from either a commission funded by a hospital chain or an organization of health acre professionals?"

Z: "Well, funny thing about that. It turns out that most studies about health care are done by people who study health care."

Hand waving.

Z: "Anyone knows that some people will run lights or ignore other traffic courtesies if there were no laws. It's a tragedy of the commons. A single cheater will create chaos at a busy intersection."

That is true with or without traffic control devices, and laws governing them. There are laws against harming others, and even most cheaters value their own life & limbs enough to use some amount of caution when negotiating traffic.

 
At 10/17/2011 1:27 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "In any case, you clearly reject nearly all forms of government, including democratic forms of government that most people consider essential to preserving freedom."

Freedom is preserved by initiating force against others? What an odd concept.

Z: "...This can be an internally consistent position, but one that is detached from the concerns of real people who have to actually navigate in traffic and know better than to think that anything but chaos would ensue without laws."

But we provided you with a reference demonstrating just the opposite. There are many others. Consider a skating rink, for example, where numerous people negotiate without laws or control devices. Or consider pedestrian traffic on busy sidewalks.

Ron H: "Spontaneous order serves better than arbitrary control devices in any case."

Z: "In humans, spontaneous order includes organzations at many levels, including governments."

Yet another word, *spontaneous*, that you have trouble with. It means "unplanned".

"There will be some sort of government, the question is whether it will be a government of the people."

And to those against whom force is used, it matters not at all whether it is a single tyrant or a majority.

 
At 10/17/2011 1:37 PM, Blogger M said...

Ok gentlemen as far as I understand it, if you are an American citizen the IRS will chase you down ANYWHERE in the world (Canada included) to file a US return no matter where in the world you live.
You get universal health care in Canada only if you are a Canadian citizen or some kind of pathetic refugee and it takes 5 years IF you are accepted to apply to become a citizen in the first place.
Unemployed, disgruntled, former big mouth Americans looking steal something for nothing need not apply.

 
At 10/17/2011 2:00 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: This is a step in the right direction, but we see that you are still struggling with the word "access" as it applies to medical care.

Splitting hairs. We're talking about access to quality and appropriate medical care.

Ron H: There has been no discussion of market efficiency, but surely you can't be suggesting that UHC would change the availability of medical care in rural areas, can you?

Most health professionals understand that providing uniform access to high-quality health care is a valid public health goal. And yes, this is an important goal of medical reformers as noted in the citations above.

We understand that you think people should fend for themselves, and you might, if you feel like it, chip a few pennies into the hat for the poor.

Ron H: Your local experience may be that cars require mandatory, periodic safety inspections, but that is not true for everyone.

Yes, standards do vary from country to country. So do health care standards.

Ron H: Your approval of the use of force as legitimate, if the majority approves, has allowed you to misunderstand our question.

You used the word "recommend". Yes, it is recommended by professionals that everyone have regular physicals, as well as appropriate treatment for health problems.

Jet Beagle: What conclusion would one expect from either a commission funded by a hospital chain or an organization of health acre professionals?

Zachriel: Well, funny thing about that. It turns out that most studies about health care are done by people who study health care.

Ron H: Hand waving.

It was exactly to the point.

Ron H: That is true with or without traffic control devices, and laws governing them.

We are quite sure that the vast majority of readers appreciate the need for traffic laws. You are making an argument based on premises that are shared by almost no one. Your position may be consistent, but it has no relevance to the world most others live in. Good luck with that.

Ron H: Freedom is preserved by initiating force against others? What an odd concept.

Yes. You can read the details about "governments instituted among men" in the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

Ron H: Yet another word, *spontaneous*, that you have trouble with. It means "unplanned".

It can mean without human planning, but it more generally means something that arises from natural impulses, in this case, impulses within modern human society. You will have government. It's only a question of whether it will be government of the people.

But ultimately, argument will not change fundamental values. Your values reject any accommodation to what everyone else considers essential for the protection of life, liberty and property. It's a cold and indifferent philosophy, but to each their own.

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as a manor of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

 
At 10/17/2011 2:38 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Zachriel: Well, funny thing about that. It turns out that most studies about health care are done by people who study health care.

Not all health studies are done by people who stand to gain by increasing the demand for health care. But the two you cited were done by exactly such people.

On the other hand, John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, will gain nothing by arguing for or against expanding insurance coverage. Here's the conclusion from one of his many studies:

"Access to health care in single-payer systems is far from equitable; in fact, it often correlates with income—with rich and well-connected citizens jumping the queue for treatment. Democratic political pressures (i.e., the need for votes) dictate the redistribution of health care dollars from the few to the many. In particular, the elderly, racial minorities, and those in rural areas are discriminated against when it comes to expensive treatments. And patients in countries with national health insurance usually have less access to critical medical procedures, modern medical technology, and lifesaving drugs than patients in the United States."

 
At 10/17/2011 2:42 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is a non-profit American conservative think tank[1] whose goals are to develop and promote private alternatives to government regulation and control. "

oops... hardly sounds like an objective source, eh?

 
At 10/17/2011 3:10 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Jet Beagle: Not all health studies are done by people who stand to gain by increasing the demand for health care. But the two you cited were done by exactly such people.

Actually, we cited three studies; the Kaiser Foundation, the American Academy of Family Physicians and The Commonwealth Fund. All are highly respected, but yes, they are biased towards public health.

You might show where the methodology was flawed, or studies that reach contrary results.

Jet Beagle: On the other hand, John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, will gain nothing by arguing for or against expanding insurance coverage.

On the other hand, the National Center for Policy Analysis is avowedly biased towards free market solutions. By the way, the citation is to a "policy analysis" not a study, and has a number of methodological problems, such as repeating flawed cancer statistics.

Goodman, Health Care in a Free Society Rebutting the Myths of National Health Insurance, CATO Institute 2009.

 
At 10/17/2011 4:39 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

just keeping the honest here,..

there are advocacy groups on both sides of the issue.

but neither side should, with a straight face, cite an obviously biased source as "proof" of a position.

there are plenty of unbiased studies to show that a lack of access to regular health care results in disease not caught in the earlier stages.

It's commonly promoted that early detection is how to survive but to be able to more efficiently and more cost effectively treat it.

People who do not get regular checkups and regular screenings invariably end up with more advanced diseases that are harder to survive and more expensive to treat.

The usage of ERs for the later stages of diseases in well documented for the uninsured - as well as their subsequent bills subject to EMTALA - and MedicAid.

Since we all pay for EMTALA and MedicAid -we all are paying for later stage disease treatment - more expensive.. more heroic and often not successful.

the question is - if we are going to pay for health care for the uninsured anyhow - and we are despite the protestations of many in CD - then shouldn't we want to do it in the most cost-effective, least taxing way?

 
At 10/17/2011 5:24 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Jet... I can agree and disagree with that quote of yours....

"Access to health care in single-payer systems is far from equitable;"...as compared to WHAT?? like access is equitable in the US???

"in fact, it often correlates with income—with rich and well-connected citizens jumping the queue for treatment."... it is impossible to positively refute the above simply because it MAY happen for some reason or other...so what? just because the system, any system, is not 100% perfect 100% of the time, is that a reason to throw it. And if you did throw it out what would you replace it with????? In Canada if an american style system was proposed there would be "blood in the streets" in a minute, I'll tell you that. And BTW I find it just a little humorous that the writer suggests that sometimes being rich could get you better treatment....and THAT'S a real problem for him???? LOL...given where he's coming from????? It's the world upside down or what???

"Democratic political pressures (i.e., the need for votes) dictate the redistribution of health care dollars from the few to the many.".... Ah, yeah that's the plan brother...take care of the many. That's what we do. If the writer has a problem with that statement, he must be "one of the few"...I guess.

"In particular, the elderly, racial minorities, and those in rural areas are discriminated against when it comes to expensive treatments.".... not in my experience, in fact from my obvservation the reverse is true. An elderly buddy of mine was kept alive WAY too long IMO (no expense was spared) and he would have probably agreed with me (he suffered/lasted more than I'm sure he would have wanted)

"And patients in countries with national health insurance usually have less access to critical medical procedures".... Well if there's only four guys in the world that can perform some new procedure...chances are they will be in the states...that's what YOU get for spending so much money. Bully for you but we can't afford it. Over time procedures go around the globe and become routine. This has happened hundreds of times and will continue to happen.

"less access to modern medical technology"...no doubt. An MRI machine costs one to two million dollars. Right now, right here, wait time for one is about two weeks (although with the usual caveat that "urgency trumps the line"). If you can get an MRI in the same day where you live it suggests to me that your machine is not as heavily/efficiently used as mine and therfore yours costs more per MRI than mine....again bully for you but we can only afford so much. If we want more and want to pay more we'll let our politicians know.

"less access to lifesaving drugs than patients in the United States.".... great writing, throwing "lifesaving" in there sure adds drama don't it?...LOL...Like you're gonna die cause you didn't get THAT pill!!! I'll call "Hogwash" on that one....probably just thrown in there to perpetrate the myth that Big Pharma is all benevolent and keep people blind to the fact that they are being taken to the cleaners.

 
At 10/17/2011 5:36 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Splitting hairs. We're talking about access to quality and appropriate medical care. "

So are we.

"Most health professionals understand that providing uniform access to high-quality health care is a valid public health goal. And yes, this is an important goal of medical reformers as noted in the citations above."

Then you must believe that medical professionals would rush from urban to rural areas as soon as UHC was implemented. We can't imagine why they would do that, but any thing is possible. If medical treatment is scarce in rural areas now, we would expect it to remain so.

"We understand that you think people should fend for themselves, and you might, if you feel like it, chip a few pennies into the hat for the poor."

A typical socialist response to the notions of personal liberty, personal responsibility, and free markets. As you don't know us, you have no idea what we are inclined to do to help those in need.

What you do know, is that we reject the use of force to redistribute income from those who earn it, to those who don't.

Ron H: "Your local experience may be that cars require mandatory, periodic safety inspections, but that is not true for everyone."

Z: "Yes, standards do vary from country to country. So do health care standards. "

Yes, standards do vary from state to state within the US, with 18 requiring periodic safety inspections. Our comparison of medical care to auto repair is valid.

Z: "You used the word "recommend". Yes, it is recommended by professionals that everyone have regular physicals, as well as appropriate treatment for health problems. "

Yes. We did use the word recommend. So, do you recommend that people be forced to get periodic medical inspections as some are forced to do with their cars? We're sure auto mechanics are in favor of the extra income generated by inspections, but we're not sure medical professionals feel the same way about people. Some might find the use of force in that context to be repulsive, just as they might find forcing other people to pay for such inspections repulsive.

"...And yes, this is an important goal of medical reformers as noted in the citations above. "

Do you mean medical reformers or political reformers?

 
At 10/17/2011 6:11 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Ron H: "Hand waving."

Z: "It was exactly to the point."

The point was that those who stand to benefit from a particular finding might be inclined toward that finding.

"We are quite sure that the vast majority of readers appreciate the need for traffic laws."

But you can't know who a vast majority of our readers are, let alone what they appreciate. Claiming that your position is popular doesn't make it so. We had this discussion about the fallacy before.

"You are making an argument based on premises that are shared by almost no one."

Again, you can't know that. You are making stuff up again.

Ron H: Freedom is preserved by initiating force against others? What an odd concept.

Yes. You can read the details about "governments instituted among men" in the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

Ron H: "Yet another word, *spontaneous*, that you have trouble with. It means "unplanned"."

Z: "It can mean without human planning, but it more generally means something that arises from natural impulses, in this case, impulses within modern human society."

Exactly! People are by nature generous and genuinely concerned about others. They will most often give of what they have, to help those in need. Your view of human nature is much less hopeful than ours, so you think that you, and others who know what's best for everyone can legitimately use force against those who believe differently. That's pathetic.

 
At 10/17/2011 7:54 PM, Blogger mike k said...

"Most health professionals understand that providing uniform access to high-quality health care is a valid public health goal."-Zachriel

Which health professionals are you referring to?

 
At 10/17/2011 7:55 PM, Blogger mike k said...

What does "uniform access mean"?

Should a 40 year smoker have access to every experimental cancer treatment at public expense?

 
At 10/17/2011 8:04 PM, Blogger mike k said...

"less access to lifesaving drugs than patients in the United States.".... great writing, throwing "lifesaving" in there sure adds drama don't it?...LOL...Like you're gonna die cause you didn't get THAT pill!!! I'll call "Hogwash" on that one....probably just thrown in there to perpetrate the myth that Big Pharma is all benevolent and keep people blind to the fact that they are being taken to the cleaners.

Yep those state of the art drugs being developed in the rest of the world are doing wonders. Even those few being developed outside the US are targeting US consumers who pay top dollar while subsidizing those in countries with price controls.

 
At 10/17/2011 8:46 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: A typical socialist response to the notions of personal liberty, personal responsibility, and free markets.

Nope. Not a socialist.

Ron H: What you do know, is that we reject the use of force to redistribute income from those who earn it, to those who don't.

Yes, you don't think a democratic government should build roads because it may mean taking money from one person to build a road across town for another.

Ron H: So, do you recommend that people be forced to get periodic medical inspections as some are forced to do with their cars?

Straw man, as you well know.

Ron H: But you can't know who a vast majority of our readers are, let alone what they appreciate.

We are quite sure that the vast majority of people, and the majority of our readers, understand that some laws are necessary, such as traffic laws.

Ron H: Claiming that your position is popular doesn't make it so. We had this discussion about the fallacy before.

It's not a fallacy. You might consider it an unsupported claim, though in fact it is meant as a direct appeal to the reader. You may ignore the statement as not directed towards yourself.

Ron H: People are by nature generous and genuinely concerned about others.

Not quite. People like to thought well-of by people in their in-group, but will often take advantage of those in the out-group.

Ron H: They will most often give of what they have, to help those in need.

Only sometimes and only under certain circumstances.

Ron H: Your view of human nature is much less hopeful than ours, so you think that you, and others who know what's best for everyone can legitimately use force against those who believe differently.

Ours is the more conservative view that finds that humans act best when working within traditional ways and institutions, that such traditions should only be changed with forethought and with care.

 
At 10/17/2011 8:50 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

mike k: Which health professionals are you referring to?

Hippocratic Oath: "I will remember that I remain a member of society with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm."

mike k: Should a 40 year smoker have access to every experimental cancer treatment at public expense?

Of course not. Experimental means limited trials, by definition.

 
At 10/18/2011 12:26 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Ron H: "Freedom is preserved by initiating force against others? What an odd concept."

Z: "Yes. You can read the details about "governments instituted among men" in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. "

Yes, we are very familiar with that document. If we continue from your quote, we find Mr. Jefferson writing about the "consent of the governed", and "that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it...etc." - and "that's exactly why We The People are writing to you today:", he explains to George.

Elsewhere, he writes that: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants."

You should probably pick someone else to quote, as Tom just doesn't seem to be your man. He has too much respect for individual liberty, and not as much of a team spirit as you would like. In fact he seems to be diametrically opposed to the type of intrusive, tyrannical government you seem to prefer.

Z: "But ultimately, argument will not change fundamental values. "

It's good to know that you recognize that there are such values, and inalienable rights that we all have, because of our humanity.

These include the right of peaceful people to be left alone.

"Your values reject any accommodation to what everyone else considers essential for the protection of life, liberty and property. It's a cold and indifferent philosophy, but to each their own. "

Far from it. We recognize the dignity of the individual, and their right to self determination, without interference from busy-body statists like you who don't think they are capable of managing their own lives.

A vast majority of our readers understand that.

"Straw man, as you well know."

Perhaps, it's sometimes hard to know what the statist mind really considers reasonable. Forcing people to get medical exams doesn't seem outside the pale. After all, we are all now subject to sexual assault at airports, so government cretins can supposedly determine that we aren't terrorists, even though thay have no reason to believe we are.

Ron H: "People are by nature generous and genuinely concerned about others."

Z: "Not quite. People like to thought well-of by people in their in-group, but will often take advantage of those in the out-group."

Ron H: "They will most often give of what they have, to help those in need."

"Only sometimes and only under certain circumstances. "

While you are correct, that distinction between in and out is much more pronounced among people who must struggle to survive each day, where any outsider is a potential rival for resources, and could mean the difference between life and death.

In the US, where almost everyone is relatively well off and reasonably comfortable, our compassion for others is not so sharply circumscribed.

 
At 10/18/2011 6:59 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: If we continue from your quote, we find Mr. Jefferson writing about the "consent of the governed", and "that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it...etc."

That's right. Good. Now, do you think they believed it required unanimity in order to form a government? Did Washington, for instance, think that whiskey makers could opt out of the whiskey tax? Did Jefferson think the government could use taxes to fund an expedition to explore the western frontier? Or impose taxes at all?

 
At 10/18/2011 7:02 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

careful there Z.... you're pushing Ron to stumble to the truth...

;-)

 
At 10/18/2011 12:52 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "That's right. Good. Now, do you think they believed it required unanimity in order to form a government? Did Washington, for instance, think that whiskey makers could opt out of the whiskey tax? Did Jefferson think the government could use taxes to fund an expedition to explore the western frontier? Or impose taxes at all?"

No, obviously they did not. It is important to note that they were men, not saints. They also both owned slaves.

We can admire them without believing them to be more than human, or men of their time. If we had wished to illuminate someone without compromised principles, we would have chosen someone like Lysander Spooner.

Although it's hard to know what Washington's personal feelings were on the Whiskey Tax, it's important to note that as President, he took his oath of office seriously, unlike most elected officials do today, and acted to suppress an armed protest of an unpopular tax, in his constitutionally authorized role as Commander In Chief.

It is of note that this tax was the brainchild of A. Hamilton, one of the earliest big government enthusiasts, and his Federalist party, as part of a plan to consolidate all federal and state debt at the federal level.

In the future, you might consider quoting him, rather than Jefferson, as he more accurately represents your statist position.

It is also of note, that the Whiskey Tax was never successfully collected anywhere in the US back country, not just western Pennsylvania, and was repealed by Jefferson and his Republican party when it came to power in the "Jefferson Revolution" of 1800.

As to the Lewis and Clark expedition, in a prime example of Lord Acton's later expression of a belief that power corrupts, Jefferson temporarily stifled his distaste for an abuse of executive privilege to achieve a strategic goal.

So, in just this short space we have an atta-boy and an aw-shit for Jefferson. Are we keeping count?

In any case, what was your point?

 
At 10/18/2011 1:05 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

For more enlightenment on the Whiskey Rebellion, We highly recomment these two books.

 
At 10/18/2011 2:09 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: No, obviously they did not. It is important to note that they were men, not saints.

That's right. You had earlier suggested that the Founders didn't think the government should have the power to enforce laws or to tax. In fact, they created a strong central government to replace the much weaker Confederation, a democratic republic with the power to tax and to enforce laws.

Yes, it's the worst of all political systems—except for all the rest.

 
At 10/18/2011 2:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "That's right. You had earlier suggested that the Founders didn't think the government should have the power to enforce laws or to tax."

We don't recall suggesting such a thing, as it isn't our belief. We won't be rereading previous comments to find an example, so you may want to provide one. Otherwise, we will accept that we may not have been entirely clear on some point in a past comment, and apologize. It's not our intent to confuse you.

If we currently had the level of government the Founders envisioned for us, we would be much happier. While not ideal, it was closer than anything before or since. As Jefferson pointed out in that same oft referenced document, there is some level of abuse that can be tolerated, without active rebellion.

And, as you pointed out with your previous examples, it doesn't take long for government to overstep its bounds, even when it involves people who had previously spoken against such abuse.

 
At 10/18/2011 2:54 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

apparently Jefferson supported a mandatory payroll tax for health care....

 
At 10/18/2011 4:05 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: If we currently had the level of government the Founders envisioned for us, we would be much happier.

The point is that you advocate a system that is far different from what the Founders proposed, one where majorities can't make laws or enact taxes.

The entire U.S. Constitution, indeed, all democratic systems are based on majority rule with institutional checks and balances to protect minorities. You reject any such system of government as tyrannical because they might impose a tax on you or force you to stop when the light is red.

 
At 10/18/2011 6:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "The point is that you advocate a system that is far different from what the Founders proposed, one where majorities can't make laws or enact taxes. "

That's correct. That government is best which governs least, and best of all, is no government at all.

"The entire U.S. Constitution, indeed, all democratic systems are based on majority rule with institutional checks and balances to protect minorities."

That's correct - or at least close enough.

"You reject any such system of government as tyrannical because they might impose a tax on you or force you to stop when the light is red."

Correct once again. A vast majority of our readers agree that there can be no justification for initiating violence against peaceful individuals.

You, on the other hand, must explain why it's better to use force against a peaceful individual, than it is to leave them alone.

 
At 10/19/2011 12:41 AM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Zach, actually there's good evidence that we'd be better off without traffic lights and the associated "laws", so you're wrong even about that. :)

 
At 10/19/2011 6:33 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

yup... it works like a charm in a power outage.....

:-)

Actually roundabouts are better than both.

what Stossell is talking about .... also involves thousands of purple martins flying to their deaths on bridges, dozens/hundreds of Caribou swimming rivers and washing over waterfalls.... etc.

In humans... look at how interstate traffic flows work with more than a few blocking the left lane on purpose while others weave in and out at 80 mpg.

People do the same thing when it comes to buying health insurance and saving for retirement.

Some will and some won't and the ones that won't will come back when they are sick and expect others to pay much like the folks who will drive recklessly and then expect 911 to be johhny on the spot when they wreck.

 
At 10/19/2011 7:12 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: That government is best which governs least, and best of all, is no government at all.

Ah, the latter is the distinction. The Founders, certainly, did not agree with you. They created a system for making laws, raising taxes, and enforcing those laws and taxes. Most people, certainly nearly all scholars of political theory, understand that governments are not only necessary, but inevitable; that if the people don't govern, then the vacuum will be filled by other powers; and that the only way the people can maintain power is to establish strong democratic institutions, including an elected legislature and an independent judiciary.

Ron H: A vast majority of our readers agree that there can be no justification for initiating violence against peaceful individuals.

Laws mean enforcement, and that requires taxes. Generations of people have voted for laws and taxes. People understand that if they enact a law that fines someone for running a red light, that it entails enforcement, including possible jail time.

Again, you are welcome to your opinion about the proper role of government. Fundamental values can't be argued. However, the fact is that anarchy has no credibility among the vast majority of people. It's a vacuous position that is detached from the concerns of people who have to live their lives and raise their children in the real world.

Sprewell: actually there's good evidence that we'd be better off without traffic lights and the associated "laws", so you're wrong even about that. :)

Nope. There are no traffic lights on superhighways, but there are still laws that govern traffic.

You misunderstand the discussion. How and when to build and regulate public roads is something for people to decide through their elected representatives. If there is a better way to do that, then you have to convince your fellow citizens, then implement the solution. That's not anarchy. That's democracy.

 
At 10/19/2011 7:18 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10/19/2011 7:19 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Heh.

Just browsed the Fox Business video. "Governments hire" the guy who redesigns intersections, which probably entails a lot of restructuring of the roadway paid for by the public.

(The video doesn't provide the detail necessary to evaluate the process, but it's not directly relevant to the discussion.)

 
At 10/19/2011 1:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: ...that if the people don't govern, then the vacuum will be filled by other powers; and that the only way the people can maintain power is to establish strong democratic institutions, including an elected legislature and an independent judiciary. "

So, the way to maintain power - or liberty, for that matter - is to give it up?

Your obsession with the democratic process forces you to view people as a collective, rather than as sovereign individuals, capable of managing their own lives, and cooperating voluntarily where they see an advantage to common action.

As for the Founders, we do not claim that they created a perfect system, only that it was far better than anything before it, and far better than anything we have seen since.

R. Holcome supports your view on inevitability, while W. Block explains the problems with that view.

"However, the fact is that anarchy has no credibility among the vast majority of people. It's a vacuous position that is detached from the concerns of people who have to live their lives and raise their children in the real world."

Actually, a more accurate assessment might be that a vast majority of people desire anarchy for themselves, but laws and rules for everyone else.

You haven't explained why it is better to use force against a peaceful person, rather than leaving them alone.

 
At 10/19/2011 1:18 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Your obsession with the democratic process forces you to view people as a collective, rather than as sovereign individuals, capable of managing their own lives, and cooperating voluntarily where they see an advantage to common action. "

doesn't that perfectly describe the philosophy of the founding fathers also?

 
At 10/19/2011 3:33 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: So, the way to maintain power - or liberty, for that matter - is to give it up?

Democracy is the worst of all systems, except for all the rest.

Ron H: Your obsession with the democratic process ...

That's funny.

Ron H: ... forces you to view people as a collective, rather than as sovereign individuals, capable of managing their own lives, and cooperating voluntarily where they see an advantage to common action.

Well, no. Humans have individual rights, but those rights are not unlimited. And governments are instituted by people to protect those rights. Yes, you have to stop at the red light.

Again, you can't argue your way out of fundamental principles, but we can point out that your position has little relevance to the real world.

 
At 10/19/2011 4:52 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Larry, not sure how you brought traffic back to medical care, but as you yourself admit, many weave in and out of traffic already. What exactly you are claiming would be different about wrecks in a highway without "laws," who knows. As for those who get sick and expect others to pay because they didn't save, there are a couple outlets for them. They can get a private loan that they pay back from their future work or they can depend on private charity. If neither works out, yes, let them die. Considering your favored UHC systems usually won't even let them get private loans or charity and will also let them die most of the time anyway, since they're likely to cost too much, I see no reason to lower the quality of medical care for everyone through UHC for little to no benefit.

Zach, it is in fact your "democratic majority" arguments that are vacuous, because you ignore the vast evidence of how a free market provides for "the concerns of people who have to live their lives and raise their children in the real world" far better than the bureaucratic systems you prefer. I point out that traffic lights are unnecessary at intersections, a point you have kept droning on about, and you say there are no traffic lights on highways, huh? Nobody misunderstood the discussion, you are just changing the subject since you have been shown to be wrong. You kept claiming traffic lights as the paradigmatic example of how the govt must "plan" for the "chaotic" actions of the people. Well, you were shown evidence that such "planning" only gets in the way. You can't handle this, so you retreat into claims that the govt is still paying someone to remove the traffic lights or platitudes about how a democracy is not anarchy. Since I'm an anarcho-capitalist, I'd prefer the latter. :)

 
At 10/19/2011 5:33 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: lowering health care for all.

Medicare is not gold-plated health care. A 100K operation will still cost you 20K.

UHC does not provide gold-plated care to everyone nor does it provide ONLY minimal care to everyone as the only option.

Just as with Medicare and private insurance - you get "floor" coverage but can buy your way up to premium care if you can afford to.

UHC provides basic health care in exchange for lifelong mandatory payroll taxes.

It will not provide you with any operation/therapy that is available unless you want to go elsewhere and pay more.

what UHC essentially does is not let the indigent offload the costs to others since they have to prepay payroll taxes for their care.

In our system, people don't pay for insurance... get sick - and the have us pay for it

and because they delay treatment until the disease becomes advanced , it actually costs us more, than if we pay for basic care with screening and regular visits.

the question is - if you are going to pay for their care anyhow - shouldn't you want to minimize how much you pay?

 
At 10/19/2011 6:03 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Larry, I've got a simple solution for that: don't pay for their care. If some grandma didn't save any money and now wants me to pay a million dollars for her dialysis for the next 10 years until she inevitably passes away anyway, I refuse to pay for her irresponsibility. We can now keep almost anyone alive, even brain-dead people like Schiavo, at enormous cost. Those who don't save for that cost have no right to force others to pay for their irresponsibility.

 
At 10/19/2011 6:04 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Sprewell: Zach{riel}, it is in fact your "democratic majority" arguments that are vacuous, because you ignore the vast evidence of how a free market provides for "the concerns of people who have to live their lives and raise their children in the real world" far better than the bureaucratic systems you prefer.

Actually, we prefer a market-based system wherever practical.

Sprewell: I point out that traffic lights are unnecessary at intersections, a point you have kept droning on about, and you say there are no traffic lights on highways, huh?

Superhighways are designed so that no one ever has to stop, even to change highways. That doesn't mean there are no laws or rules for driving on superhighways, or that people can't or shouldn't pass such laws or rules through their representatives.

Most any reader understands the example of a traffic light, but if you prefer, speed limits on neighborhood streets, and laws against drunk driving.

Sprewell: Well, you were shown evidence that such "planning" only gets in the way.

Turns out that government planning is involved in creating intersections without traffic lights as we saw in the video above.

In any case, communities can try various solutions, but that is also done through the democratic process. Feel free to have your own intersections on your own property, but everyone else uses public roads and think that young adults shouldn't be allowed to race their cars down the street.

Sprewell: Since I'm an anarcho-capitalist, I'd prefer the latter.

Understood, and as we noted above, your fundamental beliefs are probably not subject to argumentation. However, the vast majority of people understand the need for taxes and laws, even if you don't. That doesn't necessarily undermine any and all points you might make about taxes or law, but it certainly colors them.

 
At 10/19/2011 6:09 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Sprewell: Those who don't save for that cost have no right to force others to pay for their irresponsibility.

Sometimes, it's not a matter of irresponsibility. Sometimes it's bad luck, or a bad decision by an otherwise responsible person, or a natural disaster. And it turns out that many diseases are infectious, and everyone has a stake in the general health of their neighbors.

 
At 10/19/2011 6:27 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Zach, glad to hear you prefer the market "where practical," but I suspect that exception is as large as a mack truck, the way you define it. ;) Precisely what law or rule do you have in mind for "superhighways," that couldn't be done privately? People chose to drove on one side of the road long before there was a law mandating it. In the absence of govt laws, people follow conventions anyway, and just like the intersections without traffic lights, the point is that those conventions work better. If you had private roads under an anarcho-capitalist system, you could still have speed limits under private contract or private penalties for driving drunk. But the point is that some private roads might choose to have no speed limit, like the German autobahns, which they can't do under the one-size-fits-all laws we have now.

Haha, I point out how traffic lights are unnecessary, and now you fall back to "planning" is still required to decide that. That's why we should have private roads and get rid of such central "planning" altogether. Yes, some communities can use the democratic process to get rid of the "planning" you prefer, and others can opt for more. But that doesn't change the fact that those who choose less planning generally do better.

Actually, my fundamental beliefs are subject to argumentation and above all, to reason and evidence. For example, I used to call myself a libertarian but I just couldn't get behind loosened gun control, perhaps because I've never even seen a gun in person. Then, I was presented evidence like this and now support concealed carry and other laws for small firearms. I'm still personally squeamish about guns and probably will never handle one, but I certainly don't deign to impose my preference on anyone else anymore. Since I'm not one of the "natural rights" crowd and argue for anarcho-capitalism based on results, all my views are subject to reason and evidence. That is why I'm fine with Massachusetts opting to put in Romneycare or Europe choosing a more socialist path, as that's their choice for their view of what's a better life. I just won't live in those places, but the fact remains that the results in those systems have been subpar, even according to their own goals. The vast majority don't understand this because they argue from emotion ("Yes, the poor get worse care in Cuba than the US, but they're covered!" as though saying someone is "covered" magically means something) and not results, which is precisely why most shouldn't be allowed to vote and all democracies fail. So the points I make aren't really "colored" by my worldview because my worldview is based on actual reasoning, not emotion and the resulting blindness to results.

 
At 10/19/2011 8:46 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Larry, I've got a simple solution for that: don't pay for their care. "

how are you going to make that happen Sprewell?

you'd have to convince a ton of others to make it happen and I just don't see that happening.

the next best solution is to collect payroll taxes from them when they are young workers and at least have them pay for their own care from their own savings.

Until I see a Republican Candidate promise that they are going to get rid of EMTALA and MedicAid - and be first in the polls - I'm gonna say the "we don't pay option" is not going to happen.

 
At 10/20/2011 1:22 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Again, you can't argue your way out of fundamental principles, but we can point out that your position has little relevance to the real world."

And why is it better to force a peaceful person than to leave them alone?

 
At 10/20/2011 2:30 AM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Larry, if you don't see a path where we don't pay for the medical services of the irresponsible, then we can still insist that your beloved payroll taxes are put into an HSA and can't be taken out below a certain minimum threshold based on your age, if you're worried they'll just spend it. Then, according to you, we can get rid of EMTALA (sort of irrelevant, as I doubt that law changed anything) and Medicaid. But somehow people like you always demagogue HSAs, like Obama and the Democrats did when Bush or Obama tried to push them. Could it be that the Democrats don't really care about pulling the price of medicine down, but their real priority is having more govt control over medicine and even more income redistribution through medical services? Gee, I wonder if that could be the real reason they never go for HSAs.

 
At 10/20/2011 6:32 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

actually I don't demagogue HSAs - I very much LIKE the Singapore system but it must have mandatory payroll taxes to work.

I'm no Dem on HC. I just believe that we should have a cost-effective system that has the least impacts on those that must pay for others.

 
At 10/20/2011 6:46 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Sprewell: glad to hear you prefer the market "where practical," but I suspect that exception is as large as a mack truck, the way you define it.

Markets are the prime engine of economic growth and technological advancement, but unregulated markets are subject to erratic cycles and to consolidation of power into a few hands. Good governance is essential to healthy markets.

Sprewell: Haha, I point out how traffic lights are unnecessary, and now you fall back to "planning" is still required to decide that.

It's a simple example. Like with much of this discussion, pretending you don't understand it won't make it go away.

Sprewell: Actually, my fundamental beliefs are subject to argumentation and above all, to reason and evidence.

Then they aren't fundamental beliefs.

Sprewell: Since I'm not one of the "natural rights" crowd and argue for anarcho-capitalism based on results, all my views are subject to reason and evidence.

Reason is the slave of passion. Without passion, there is no impetus to action.

Sprewell: That is why I'm fine with Massachusetts opting to put in Romneycare or Europe choosing a more socialist path, as that's their choice for their view of what's a better life.

Well, good. After a long struggle, most of the world now lives in democratic societies.

Sprewell: I just won't live in those places, ...

That's fine. You might try Somalia. We understand that anarchy reigns there.

Anarchy advocated as a social system, whether of the left or the right, is much like libertarianism. The simplicity gives the believer the comfortable feeling that they have figured it all out. In fact, anarchy is inherently unstable. Competing security forces will come into competition, and society will break down into conflict, or power will be consolidated into the hands of a few. It's the Middle Ages, with your right to pass on the road determined, not by laws, by who has the strongest sword.

Ron H: And why is it better to force a peaceful person than to leave them alone?

Democracy is the worst of all systems—except for all the rest. And yes, you do have to stop at red lights.

 
At 10/20/2011 3:24 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Ron H: "And why is it better to force a peaceful person than to leave them alone?"

Z: "Democracy is the worst of all systems—except for all the rest. And yes, you do have to stop at red lights."

Not an answer.

 
At 10/20/2011 6:39 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Larry, while the Singapore system has some very good elements, it also has some bad ones, which is why the US system is still better. Unlike Singapore, we don't have the US govt telling you you can't use certain high-cost procedures just because they're high cost. So as good as their HSAs and catastrophic insurance options are, ie more free market in payments, their govt control in services likely makes their system overall worse than the US.

Zach, "regulated" markets aren't prone to erratic cycles? Not only do they also have cycles and consolidation of power in the politburo, but you also get huge shortages as a result of their price or regulatory controls. The regulatory "solutions" you are pushing are worse than the problems. "Good governance" is irrelevant to healthy markets. Lol, now I don't understand how removing traffic lights still requires "planning?" You might want to try not backtracking into incoherence. :) My fundamental beliefs are even better, they're based on actual observation, as opposed to a priori axioms that are claimed to come from god or some randomly constructed philosophy. As such, saying they're not fundamental simply because I don't use the same moronic, non-evidence-oriented ways that others derive their fundamental beliefs is just dumb.

Action without reason is futile. So reason comes before all else, whether action or the trivial impetus of passion. Democracy isn't good enough, because you've simply replaced despots with mob rule. That's why the US is not a democracy but a constitutional republic, and why debasing the electoral vote so that the electors name their candidates ahead of time was a big mistake. Anarcho-capitalism is the next step forward, better than democracy.

 
At 10/20/2011 6:42 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

As for Somalia, not every anarchy, ie place without a central govt, is the same. It is possible to have no central govt and not be Somalia. I think it is much more evident that statist policies, whether democratically chosen or by a despot, are simplistic and give "the believer the comfortable feeling that they have figured it all out." "The financial market is complex and dynamic and prone to booms and busts, well, we'll just appoint Frank and Dodd to take care of it for us" is how the reasoning goes. A completely free market, on the other hand, understands that these matters are complex so you need a multitude of competing private organizations, whether Consumer Reports or ratings agencies, to deal with the dynamic complexity appropriately. Neither will ever be perfect, but there is plenty of evidence that govt regulators like Frank/Dodd usually only make things worse, while the private orgs work much better.

Anarchy may have been inherently more unstable in our violent past, when warlords and despots would just attack and conquer them, but in our more enlightened and peaceable present, I suspect that they will perform much better. Your outmoded outlook is perfectly exemplified by your anachronistic language about swords, which almost nobody in the US has even seen these days. Three hundred years ago, everyone would have told you that democracy has failed everywhere it has been tried and they would have been right. But the founders still ran their experiment and the US has survived as a democratic republic to this day, with everybody else copying us now. The same will happen with anarcho-capitalist enclaves, because they intrinsically work better and because technology is driving us in that direction. In a world where the govt cannot stop me from gambling on websites based out of Ireland or consulting over webcam with doctors in India, who never passed any licensing in the US, the govt is increasingly irrelevant.

 
At 10/21/2011 6:29 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Sprewell: Action without reason is futile. So reason comes before all else, whether action or the trivial impetus of passion.

There is no action without passion. Reason alone doesn't make you eat. Hunger does.

Sprewell: My fundamental beliefs are even better, they're based on actual observation, as opposed to a priori axioms that are claimed to come from god or some randomly constructed philosophy.

Then they're not fundamental beliefs. Using the U.S. Declaration of Independence as an example, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Those are fundamental values. Many disagreed with these axioms. They believed that duty to your family, your sovereign, your God, was a preeminent value. But for those who accepted the premise, the Declaration was a powerful argument.

We can only surmise your own fundamental values, but most likely it includes placing great worth on individual autonomy. That's fine, but your philosophy will not result in the greatest autonomy for the vast majority of people.

 
At 10/21/2011 6:29 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Sprewell: "regulated" markets aren't prone to erratic cycles?

We said good governance is necessary to healthy markets. For instance, currency issued by a central authority, something that's been around since the Medes.

Sprewell: "Good governance" is irrelevant to healthy markets.

Industrialization led to an increasingly erratic market cycle.

Sprewell: Lol, now I don't understand how removing traffic lights still requires "planning?"

Anyone who drives in traffic certainly can understand the example.

Sprewell: Democracy isn't good enough, because you've simply replaced despots with mob rule.

Modern democratic systems include institutions at all levels of society that act as checks on the mob.

Sprewell: That's why the US is not a democracy but a constitutional republic, and why debasing the electoral vote so that the electors name their candidates ahead of time was a big mistake.

The U.S. is a democracy in any usual sense of the word. It's not a ochlocracy.

Sprewell: Anarcho-capitalism is the next step forward, better than democracy.

Sort of like a right-wing version of communism. The state will wither away.

Sprewell: A completely free market, on the other hand, understands that these matters are complex so you need a multitude of competing private organizations, whether Consumer Reports or ratings agencies, to deal with the dynamic complexity appropriately.

Turns out that completely free markets aren't free. Competition either ends in conflict or in consolidation.

Sprewell: Anarchy may have been inherently more unstable in our violent past, when warlords and despots would just attack and conquer them, but in our more enlightened and peaceable present, I suspect that they will perform much better.

Um, it's generally peaceable because governments maintain that peace. Businesses would be incented to open conflict, but for the larger bully keeping the peace.

Sprewell: Your outmoded outlook is perfectly exemplified by your anachronistic language about swords, which almost nobody in the US has even seen these days.

That's silly. As you know, swords are a metaphor for violent conflict.

Sprewell: Three hundred years ago, everyone would have told you that democracy has failed everywhere it has been tried and they would have been right. But the founders still ran their experiment and the US has survived as a democratic republic to this day, with everybody else copying us now.

You know, that's the only time in this discussion you have actually made a good point, albeit a first baby-step. Yes, it is possible. Now, you have to show that it is plausible—but the evidence is strongly against it.

Sprewell: In a world where the govt cannot stop me from gambling on websites based out of Ireland or consulting over webcam with doctors in India, who never passed any licensing in the US, the govt is increasingly irrelevant.

Um, they have governments in Ireland and even in India. And they are part of larger government organizations on international levels.

 
At 10/21/2011 7:01 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Anarcho-capitalism is the next step forward, better than democracy."

only one small problem. You have to convince enough others to agree with you.

good luck on that!

It's a good thing that our forefathers were smart enough to set up a governance that required consent of the people to change it, eh?

 
At 10/21/2011 8:11 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Zach, for you, there is no action without "passion," whatever that means, most don't need to be passionate about something to do it. Reason tells me not to eat dirt, so if you really want to sate your hunger, you need reason first. Yes, the founders often claimed to derive their fundamental beliefs from god, but I don't know what part of my saying I don't derive my fundamentals in such a moronic way you don't understand. Considering the poor here are richer than the rich in many other less capitalist systems, it has been empirically shown that more capitalist systems provide more collective autonomy, at least in the most important sense of the autonomy that money provides. Of course, we still have dumb govt laws that preclude taking drugs or gambling, but we see that richer people actually tend to avoid voting for such dumb govt restrictions more. You can't even sell your house in Cuba without govt permission.

Your beloved "good governance" is what leads to unhealthy markets. Before the Fed was ever created we had plenty of crashes and panics, but none as bad as the Great Depression, which thanks to the work of Friedman and Schwarz, we know the Fed greatly worsened. Currency issued by private banks has long dominated central authorities, it is only recently that govts took over by outlawing their own notes within the last century. And even our current fractional-reserve banking system has banks de facto issuing electronic currency, which of course you are ignorant about. :)

Market cycles have been around long before industrialization. Natural predator-prey populations are also closely modeled with such cycles, so it is likely that they are intrinsic to our world, which dumb govt bureaucrats promise to try and subvert at our peril. Yeah, it takes someone who drives in traffic to realize that without someone "planning" to remove traffic lights, us drivers wouldn't know what to do. Your fallbacks are hilarious in their incoherence. :) Unfortunately, the Constitution, the best check of them all, has been debased over time into something more resembling mob rule, most of all by that fascist, FDR. The US is not a democracy in the pure sense of the word, ie we all vote on everything, but it has been slouching towards ochlocracy, for example with how I pointed out that the electoral college has been debased into something more resembling a popular vote.

 
At 10/21/2011 8:20 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Haha, anarcho-capitalism is right-wing? I see you are one of those dummies who see the world divided into two teams, right vs left. Must be mind-blowing to try to understand the Nolan chart, or god forbid, other dimensions. Haha, if "competition either ends in conflict or in consolidation," what have you changed with the state? I suppose all the contrary evidence like govts forcing dumb laws on others or killing millions in various world wars can simply be wished away. It's generally peaceable now because most realize the value of peace and because govts have killed so many and become so efficient at killing that mutually assured destruction usually keeps the peace. Businesses are the ones forever trying to stop stupid politicians from molesting others, whether through dumb wars or even more idiotic tariff wars. The larger bully is barely held in check by the more enlightened, largely businessmen.

Of course you used swords as a metaphor, but it is pertinent that your metaphor was anachronistic, just like your thinking. ;) Hey, I made a good point about democracy failing for millenia, now maybe you can try making one. :) I don't have to show anything plausible, there are people already working on doing it. Haha, you have "evidence?" I see none. Yes, they have govts in Ireland and India, but they are irrelevant because they don't stop this activity, nor would they want to. Hence the point that all these govts and "larger" orgs are increasingly irrelevant.

Larry, I don't have to convince anyone, I can just leave, as shown in the last link above. Your forefathers were smart for their time, but times changed and their invention is now filled with idiots. Those morons are now on the verge of driving away everyone who actually added value, whether through "millionaire taxes" or other dumb restrictions. They can enjoy "governing" themselves into poverty soon enough, when the remaining smart ones just leave, as the founders did Europe.

 
At 10/21/2011 8:35 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

so sprewell.. is there a short list of countries to flee to?

 
At 10/21/2011 9:13 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Sprewell: Zach{riel}, for you, there is no action without "passion," whatever that means, most don't need to be passionate about something to do it.

No one does anything without desire.

Sprewell: Reason tells me not to eat dirt, so if you really want to sate your hunger, you need reason first.

Use your reason, Sprewell. If you liked eating dirt, you would eat dirt.

Sprewell: Yes, the founders often claimed to derive their fundamental beliefs from god, but I don't know what part of my saying I don't derive my fundamentals in such a moronic way you don't understand.

No, they were careful to mention Nature. Most people have the experience or knowledge that people naturally prefer liberty to chains. Because of this, the syllogism based on the premise of liberty, rang true for many people, even non-theists.

Sprewell: Considering the poor here are richer than the rich in many other less capitalist systems, it has been empirically shown that more capitalist systems provide more collective autonomy, at least in the most important sense of the autonomy that money provides.

So you apparently consider autonomy (what the American Founders called liberty) for the most people to be a positive value.

Sprewell: Your beloved "good governance" is what leads to unhealthy markets.

Modern economies depend on the interplay between business and government. In particular, a national currency provides the basis for national markets.

Sprewell: Market cycles have been around long before industrialization.

That's right, but industrialization allows for gross over-production. The development of banking allows for gross over-capitalization.

Sprewell: Unfortunately, the Constitution, the best check of them all, has been debased over time into something more resembling mob rule, most of all by that fascist, FDR.

It's hard to take your position seriously when you try to use smear by association rather than argument.

Sprewell: The larger bully is barely held in check by the more enlightened, largely businessmen.

Now you get it. Modern democracies are stable because of the interplay of organizations and individuals operating at all levels of society, private and public.

Larry G: so sprewell.. is there a short list of countries to flee to?

Heh. Sprewell mentioned Seasteading "is already working on doing it."

"The Seasteading Institute doesn't plan on building a seastead itself."
http://seasteading.org/about-seasteading/frequently-asked-questions#build_one_already

 
At 10/22/2011 12:15 AM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Larry, why, you looking to leave too? ;)

Zach, Yes, people often don't do stuff without desire: what that has to do with your beloved "passion," who knows. Haha, I point out that you need reason to know not to eat dirt: you respond irationally that if you liked eating dirt, you would eat it. Of course that's completely nonsensical since it wouldn't sate your hunger, which is what we were talking about. I have to explain this basic fact because I suspect you wouldn't be able to make the obvious inference otherwise. ;) Perhaps the founders did mention Nature somewhere, but since you didn't mention Nature anywhere in your quote from the Declaration of Independence, obviously you didn't care to argue that until now. If most prefer liberty to "chains," why do you keep arguing for the chains of govt, that takes away 40% of GDP every year?

I do consider autonomy/liberty for the most a positive value, as you apparently do also, when you referred to "the greatest autonomy for the vast majority of people." Of course that's not an absolute priority, but it is an important one. Saying modern economies depend on govt is pretty meaningless if you can only proffer currency as the sole example. National currencies are a recent imposition, we had competing banknotes as recently as a century ago. Obviously the US got by just fine for more than a century without your beloved "national currency," as did most of humanity for millenia before.

You may be right that industrialization and banking led to some initial excesses, because they advanced the state of the art and so made the pre-existing business cycle temporarily more pronounced. But decrying that is akin to decrying all progress, simply because some bad results might come with the vast bounty of good stuff. Where did I "smear by association," with FDR? His fascist inspiration is well known, though perhaps not by you. I see, so you admit a warlike govt is held in check by the private sector, but you still argue for that govt? Funny how you admit the private sector performs better at everything, yet still cling to your religion of govt. Yep, seasteading is what I linked to; they don't need to build it in order to design it, which is the harder part anyway.

 
At 10/22/2011 2:29 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Modern economies depend on the interplay between business and government. In particular, a national currency provides the basis for national markets. "

While a common currency, gold for example, may allow for smoother transactions, it's by no means, a requirement. Consider how well international markets operate where multiple currencies are involved, with no central government authority, controlling currency.

 
At 10/22/2011 8:10 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Sprewell: people often don't do stuff without desire:

They may do something that defers a short-term desire to fulfill a long-term desire. But it's always something they want or want to avoid that motivates action. Reason alone won't make you get up from your chair to grab your next bag of Cheetos.

Use your reason, Sprewell. This is basic philosophy.

Sprewell: Perhaps the founders did mention Nature somewhere, but since you didn't mention Nature anywhere in your quote from the Declaration of Independence, obviously you didn't care to argue that until now.

Perhaps it's not taught in Seastead, but most people, even outside the U.S. are quite familiar with the highly influential U.S. Declaration of Independence. It's in the very first sentence.

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. "
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration.html

Sprewell: If most prefer liberty to "chains," why do you keep arguing for the chains of govt, that takes away 40% of GDP every year?

People don't consider a "government of the people" to be chains. Quite the contrary.

Sprewell: National currencies are a recent imposition, we had competing banknotes as recently as a century ago.

Recent, as the culmination of process of industrialization. Again, nearly all countries have national currencies, and many use dollars as an international currency. As markets become more integrated, this becomes essential to commerce.

Sprewell: You may be right that industrialization and banking led to some initial excesses, because they advanced the state of the art and so made the pre-existing business cycle temporarily more pronounced.

Not temporarily, but increasingly so.

Sprewell: But decrying that is akin to decrying all progress, simply because some bad results might come with the vast bounty of good stuff.

The exaggerated market cycle was bringing misery to large numbers of people. Good thing it is possible to attenuate the market cycle.

Sprewell: Where did I "smear by association," with FDR? His fascist inspiration is well known, though perhaps not by you.

Sorry, despite your revisionism, the vast majority of historians reject such an equivalence. The New Deal was not "a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology."

Sprewell: I see, so you admit a warlike govt is held in check by the private sector, but you still argue for that govt?

The balance of power is a fundamental principle of democratic governance. That's why it is hard to impose democracy on countries without the free institutions that underlie it.

Sprewell: Yep, seasteading is what I linked to; they don't need to build it in order to design it, which is the harder part anyway.

They've done the hard part. Now all they need is a billionaire to come along and give them a bunch of money. Heh.

 
At 10/22/2011 8:11 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: Consider how well international markets operate where multiple currencies are involved, with no central government authority, controlling currency.

They don't work as well. Hence, the common currency of the US$.

 
At 10/22/2011 10:32 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "They don't work as well. Hence, the common currency of the US$."

You should read our comment more carefully, and all the way to the end.

You know that response is incomplete in any case.

 
At 10/22/2011 10:44 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10/22/2011 10:56 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Sorry, despite your revisionism, the vast majority of historians reject such an equivalence. The New Deal was not "a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology."

In the real world - where everyone else lives, a vast majority of our readers know that historical accuracy isn't determined by a majority of historians, and that there's ample evidence - his own words, for instance - that FDR admired Mussolini, and the fascist form of government he had established in Italy.

 
At 10/22/2011 11:02 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "People don't consider a "government of the people" to be chains. Quite the contrary. "

Yes. We're sure that those who don't wish to be included, find "government of the people" to be quite liberating.

 
At 10/22/2011 5:55 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: Consider how well international markets operate where multiple currencies are involved, with no central government authority, controlling currency.

Zachriel: They don't work as well. Hence, the common currency of the US$.

Ron H: You should read our comment more carefully, and all the way to the end.

That was the end of your comment.

A common currency within a market is an important enabler of trade. As markets have grown and become more integrated, common currencies are adopted by fiat or de facto.

Ron H: In the real world - where everyone else lives, a vast majority of our readers know that historical accuracy isn't determined by a majority of historians, ...

It's a valid appeal to authority.

Ron H: ... and that there's ample evidence - his own words, for instance - that FDR admired Mussolini, and the fascist form of government he had established in Italy.

That doesn't make Roosevelt a fascist. He did not create a one-party state, revoke the Constitution, commit systematic racial murder, or overthrow the institutions of liberal democratic society, all things done by actual fascists.

 
At 10/23/2011 2:33 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "We said good governance is necessary to healthy markets. For instance, currency issued by a central authority, something that's been around since the Medes."

Ron H: "Consider how well international markets operate where multiple currencies are involved, with no central government authority, controlling currency."

Z: "They don't work as well. Hence, the common currency of the US$."

"Ron H: You should read our comment more carefully, and all the way to the end."

 
At 10/23/2011 2:51 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "That doesn't make Roosevelt a fascist. He did not create a one-party state, revoke the Constitution, commit systematic racial murder, or overthrow the institutions of liberal democratic society, all things done by actual fascists."

Although he was unable to accomplish all these fascist goals, he made a heroic effort to do so. He Threatened to overthrow the SCOTUS, and after cowing that body into submission, ignored the Constitution to a degree not seen before his time, and not seen since, until recently. Although he didn't progress to wholesale murder, he did forceably relocate american citizens of Japanese ancestry to a network of concentration camps, resulting in great loss of property, and a number of deaths.

That he failed to earn all the merit badges, doesn't make him less of a fascist. He just wasn't as successful as his hero.

 
At 10/23/2011 9:14 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: He Threatened to overthrow the SCOTUS, and after cowing that body into submission, ignored the Constitution to a degree not seen before his time, and not seen since, until recently.

Roosevelt didn't threaten to overthrow the Supreme Court, but to increase its numbers legislatively, a perfectly legal, but unwise, strategy. Crucially, the Democratic Party refused to allow it, and it cost Roosevelt politically. Unlike authoritarians, Roosevelt didn't overthrow the Constitution in order to impose his will, unlike fascists who believed that liberal democracy was inherently weak and corrupt.

Ron H: That he failed to earn all the merit badges, doesn't make him less of a fascist.

Roosevelt was not a fascist by any stretch. Of course, you seem to think all government is tyranny, even the U.S. Constitution.

 
At 10/23/2011 12:50 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Roosevelt didn't threaten to overthrow the Supreme Court, but to increase its numbers legislatively, a perfectly legal, but unwise, strategy. "

Perhaps you found the word "overthrow" too alarming.

FDR's threat to ask for legislation changing the composition of the Supreme Court, and the court's subsequent findings that FDR's New Deal programs might be constitutional after all, is a perfect example of the inadequacy of even the limited republic created by the Constitution.

Intimidation alone served to change the constitutionality of legislation, as determined by the Court.

Had Roosevelt succeeded, he would have, as head of the Democratic party, effectively been king.

The SCOTUS isn't truly independent, as it is still part of "the government".

State nullification was unlikely by that time in history, so the transformation was complete. What had originally been the servant of the States, had become the master.

 
At 10/23/2011 2:21 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: The SCOTUS isn't truly independent, as it is still part of "the government".

No, but it is a largely separate center of power, as is the legislature and executive—as is business and private interest groups, and individual voices, clubs, and states, and other regional governments, and political parties. It is a messy system, and it does involve accommodation of competing interests. It is hardly tyranny as you have suggested, but the very nature of what people mean by a free society.

 
At 10/23/2011 6:26 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "It is hardly tyranny as you have suggested, but the very nature of what people mean by a free society."

But, a free society wouldn't force us at the point of a gun, or steal our property.

 
At 10/24/2011 2:03 AM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Ron, you're wasting your time. Zach keeps admitting that markets work better everywhere and the myriad failures of govt, then magically asserts we still need govt for some unnamed end. Worse, he keeps making silly mistakes and nonsensical remarks, like his tangent about eating dirt or that racial murder is an essential component of fascism. You can't turn around someone so brainwashed.

 
At 10/24/2011 11:33 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sprewell: "Ron, you're wasting your time..."

Yes, I know. Mostly, this is for other readers who might benefit from the discussion. I have a lot of spare time right now, it's good practice, and I've actually learned some things I didn't know before.

 

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