"Obamacare"
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28-01-2014, 04:14 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
Chas,

P.S. That last exchange also shows how open minded we are.

I'm not saying my line (the state level) is set in stone. You could counter that we need to make it smaller, and have health care laws at the county, city, neighborhood, household, or individual level. And I'd say "fine" to every one of them. All I did was set a maximum size that one could go before people were denied the right to exercise free will. You can move that line anywhere you want, and as long as free will is maintained, I'm fine with it.

By contrast, you seem to be saying "the line MUST be drawn here at the national level, and I'm unwilling to consider putting it anywhere else, and if you ask me to justify why I want the line drawn here, then you must not be interested in constructive discussion."
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28-01-2014, 04:30 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
(28-01-2014 04:01 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(27-01-2014 04:26 PM)Chas Wrote:  This is why I really dislike conversing with you. You constantly mischaracterize what I and others say.

We're done. You are a disingenuous, unrealistic ideologue and seem incapable of carrying on a constructive discussion.

Chas, we are debating if laws on minimum health care should be done at the state level, my preference, or the federal level, your preference. States are smaller than the federal government. Federal jurisdiction is bigger. So I did NOT mis-characterize you when saying that your position is a bigger jurisdiction is better. That IS what we're debating. All I did was ask a question to challenge your assumptions, namely that if you feel the State level is not big enough, and you feel we should go bigger, why stop at the Federal level, and why not have a law for all North American countries? Why not the whole continent? Or the world?

Whenever someone draws an arbitrary line in the sand, as you and I have both done with our state vs. federal issue, the obvious, constructive question is "Why did you draw the line there? What not go further one way or the other?"

I've already said why I felt the arbitrary line should be drawn at the state level, which I will restate: I want the line to be as small as possible, at the individual level, but I know that you'll never agree to that, and you'll always want a bigger jurisdiction. Therefore, as a compromise, I'm willing to go as big as possible provided: a) that we respect free will and let people decide which jurisdiction to live under, and b) I feel competition is good, so I want competing jurisdictions.

If we go any bigger than the state level, we lose those things. The law then applies to Americans everywhere they are legally allowed to live, and we have one big monopolistic system that doesn't compete. So I've explained why my arbitrary line in the sand is as big as I am comfortable going, and why I don't want the jurisdiction to be any bigger.

Now, all I did was ask you obvious questions. Why do you draw the arbitrary line at the federal level? If you think that the state level is too small, and bigger is better, why stop at the federal level, why not go even bigger? And, if you were told you could NOT draw the line at the federal level and had to go either bigger or smaller, would you prefer to go smaller (state level) or bigger (continental)?

When I ask such basic questions to challenge your assumptions, and you throw your hands up and say 'how dare you, I'm done', that makes it seem that you didn't really think through your answer, and that you don't really have a good reason for drawing the line at the national level other than that it's the status quo.

Think what you want. You are once again telling me what my position is and it is annoying and frustrating.

You come up with absurd scenarios, you change the nature of the discussion, you ask simplistic, unnuanced questions, and you presume others' positions.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-01-2014, 04:32 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2014 04:36 PM by Chas.)
RE: "Obamacare"
(28-01-2014 04:14 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Chas,

P.S. That last exchange also shows how open minded we are.

I'm not saying my line (the state level) is set in stone. You could counter that we need to make it smaller, and have health care laws at the county, city, neighborhood, household, or individual level. And I'd say "fine" to every one of them. All I did was set a maximum size that one could go before people were denied the right to exercise free will. You can move that line anywhere you want, and as long as free will is maintained, I'm fine with it.

By contrast, you seem to be saying "the line MUST be drawn here at the national level, and I'm unwilling to consider putting it anywhere else, and if you ask me to justify why I want the line drawn here, then you must not be interested in constructive discussion."

Do you even read my responses? I did not say that, and you seem to be too dense to understand that.

I said that a minimum level should be set for all residents of the U.S., the same as Switzerland. The states can vary it beyond that.

The difference is that Americans should have the freedom to live anywhere in the U.S. with the expectation of fairness, especially in a modern mobile society.

Your ideas presume the mobility of the 18th or 19th century.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-01-2014, 04:46 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
(27-01-2014 01:29 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(27-01-2014 12:45 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Q: Name one federal policy we disagree on that does not boil down to you wanting to force people to do things against their will.


YES, so state one practical, real world example.

Environmental regulations.

You may note that this is the response I originally gave you.

Months ago.

Yes, but whereas I read your response, you obviously didn't read mine. I stated repeatedly I DO agree with you, and that I feel setting maximum levels of pollution is NOT initiating force.

The only thing I disagreed with you is the purpose of the environmental regulation: it is NOT to protect the individual from the corporation, it is to protect the corporation from the individual. As I explained, classic liberalism (libertarianism) split into 2 groups:

1) those that believed private property was an extension of your person and that everyone had the right to own private property defend their property against the initiation of force just like they defend their persons, including delegating that responsibility to the police.

2) those that believed humans should not be allowed to own property, that it was all collectively owned.

While communism was based on #2, in the US and Western Europe, our constitutions are based on #1. So we already have laws on the books that prevent any and all pollution--namely property rights. If somebody damages property which they don't own, they are responsible to the owner of the property for damages to undo the harm they've done, whether the property is owned by an individual, a corporation, or a government. Thus, if the government fully enforced private property rights there could be ZERO pollution, since, physically damaging other's property is in itself the initiation of force, and the government's role is to stop it.

When bad people/corporations do egregious things, and massively pollute, or willfully defraud, or kill or maim, the victims are entitled to recover damages in court. And when the abuse is so great that it would bankrupt the polluter, they need the government to grant them immunity. For example, the tobacco companies defrauded people, willfully presenting their products as healthy when they knew all along they were killers, deliberately making their products addictive and lying about it. Millions of people were victims. When it was revealed the extent of the damage they did, the lawsuits started pouring in, and juries were issuing massive judgements. Because of the sheer scale of their abuse and the large number of victims, had this continued, the total damages would have been in the trillions, and all the tobacco companies assets would have been bankrupted, liquidated and all their assets distributed to their victims.

So the tobacco companies went to the government, pleading for regulation which would grant them immunity, figuring it would be easier to convince a handful of government regulators what their maximum liability should be, rather than try to win over millions of jurors who were out for blood. So, the tobacco companies struck a deal with regulators to pay the government a fine in exchange for immunity from prosecution. IMO, the regulation was outrageous. The tobacco companies SHOULD have been liquidated and the money gone to their victims. Instead the victims got shit, all the fines went to the government, and the tobacco companies could continue on. Naturally, though, both the tobacco companies and the government sold this bill of goods to the public claiming it was government swooping in and protecting the innocent victims. I imagine you bought it hook line and sinker.

Just like when companies dump chemicals in rivers, they come begging for government regulation to grant them immunity. Just look at how much they spend lobbying politicians and regulators. It's not the public, the victims, lobbying the regulators. It's the corporations that they regulate.

Now, I agree that since the courts are enforcing property rights and determining damages, government regulators need to set guidelines about what is acceptable. We don't want everybody suing their neighbors for a backyard BBQ that polluted their air. A modern society cannot exist with zero pollution, some amount is inevitable, and rather than leaving it up to each jury to decide individually, sure, I agree, the government needs to establish a regulation that pollution below a certain level is immune from prosecution.

Where I disagree with you is that I think you fall for the propaganda, and that's why shitty regulation, like the tobacco master settlement, gets approved.

In your response, you never address any of these issues. You don't dispute them. You just ignore them. You never even attempted to refute my logic. That's why this exchange is so tedious and useless.
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28-01-2014, 04:50 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2014 04:57 PM by frankksj.)
RE: "Obamacare"
(28-01-2014 04:32 PM)Chas Wrote:  Do you even read my responses? I did not say that, and you seem to be too dense to understand that. I said that a minimum level should be set for all residents of the U.S.

I'm not saying anything different than you just said. We're debating where to draw the line, what jurisdiction defines "the minimum level"--the state or the federal. All I've done is repeat your own words, and explain why I want the states to decide the minimum level, and ask you to justify why you want the federal government to do it.

Every time I say this it seems you reply with "I'm not saying that the law should be done at the national level you fool. I'm saying it should be done at the national level!" Huh? If I was wrong for quoting as you as arguing for national laws, what did you mean when you wrote: " a minimum level [ie a law] should be set for all residents of the U.S." If there's one minimum level, or law, for ALL residents of the U.S., then it _IS_ a national law. How on earth can you dispute this? Yet every time I quote you as calling for a national law, you say "I did not say that."

Besides, there's the practical matter that the states will never agree on the minimum level. In Mississippi the minimum level is WAY below what Massachusetts considers acceptable. So, to establish a minimum level, like Obamacare did, means the states have got to battle out like they are, shutting down the government if they don't get their way, bickering back and forth, and ending up with a garbage law that nobody likes. What's wrong with letting Mississippi do it their way? Sure, maybe they're hurting themselves by setting the minimum too law. But why can't you let them make that mistake on their own? It doesn't hurt you. If you think it's terrible, then don't move to Mississippi. Why start a war trying to force Mississippi to adopt your minimum level knowing they're going to fight back with everything they've got?
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28-01-2014, 05:10 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
(28-01-2014 04:32 PM)Chas Wrote:  I said that a minimum level should be set for all residents of the U.S., the same as Switzerland. The states can vary it beyond that.

The difference is that Americans should have the freedom to live anywhere in the U.S. with the expectation of fairness, especially in a modern mobile society.

How is mobility harmed without a minimum national standard?

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28-01-2014, 05:21 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
(28-01-2014 08:06 AM)BnW Wrote:  The problem is one of you has absolutely no idea what you're taking about. And, I'm pretty sure that person is not cathym. If you're going to try to make an argument based on commodities prices, you really need a clue about the commodities exchange and how prices are set. Hint: it is not supply and demand of those items. Oh, and utility most certainly can be measured. You learn that in any introductory economics class.

Thanks BnW. I thought for a second there I was having a reading comprehension problem. When he said milk wasn't a commodity, I thought to myself, "He is either retarded, or I am suddenly having a problem understanding English." Since you noticed that he is retarded also, I know its not my reading comprehension skills.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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28-01-2014, 05:23 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
(28-01-2014 09:50 AM)toadaly Wrote:  
(28-01-2014 08:06 AM)BnW Wrote:  The problem is one of you has absolutely no idea what you're taking about. And, I'm pretty sure that person is not cathym. If you're going to try to make an argument based on commodities prices, you really need a clue about the commodities exchange and how prices are set. Hint: it is not supply and demand of those items. Oh, and utility most certainly can be measured. You learn that in any introductory economics class.

No-one was making an argument about commodity prices.

Actually, you were trying to tell me about how most commodity prices like milk is determined at the grocery store, based on the supply and demand of milk.

I corrected you, and told you that milk prices on the shelf are determined by the supply and demand of commodity futures.

You then went on to tell me that milk wasn't a commodity traded on the exchange.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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28-01-2014, 05:32 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2014 06:58 PM by Cathym112.)
RE: "Obamacare"
(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  When bad people/corporations do egregious things, and massively pollute, or willfully defraud, or kill or maim, the victims are entitled to recover damages in court. And when the abuse is so great that it would bankrupt the polluter, they need the government to grant them immunity. For example, the tobacco companies defrauded people, willfully presenting their products as healthy when they knew all along they were killers, deliberately making their products addictive and lying about it. Millions of people were victims. When it was revealed the extent of the damage they did, the lawsuits started pouring in, and juries were issuing massive judgements. Because of the sheer scale of their abuse and the large number of victims, had this continued, the total damages would have been in the trillions, and all the tobacco companies assets would have been bankrupted, liquidated and all their assets distributed to their victims.

You clearly have zero knowledge of how lawsuits and civil courts work.

First, in order to be able to sue a company, you need to prove intent or negligence. Hmmmm....access to insiders is a little tough. In order to get really high payments, you need a smoking gun that links corporate to the subsidies....to prove that one hand knew what the other was doing.

Then, motion upon motions are filed after the lawsuit. It could be seriously 10 years before anyone sees their day in court.

Even if the plaintive wins, there will be appeal after appeal after appeal after appeal and it can still get settled to something significantly less than what the judgement was. Take for example, Liebeck Vs McDonald's. This was not a frivolous lawsuit. This woman had 3rd degree burns because her coffee was so hot. She had skin grafts and two years of medical treatments. She was awarded $200,000 in compensation, and $2.7 million in punitive damages. The judge reduced the total damages to only $640,000.

Those huge judgments of $251 million don't actually pay out $251 million. They will declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy that allows them to still continue to function as a business, but unsecured creditors (i.e., a lawsuit award) is the last person in line to get paid. Which means, you could end up with zero....AND be out all the court costs.


PG&E settled with 636 plaintives in a class action lawsuit for $333 million. Later settled again for 1,100 statewide for 293 million. Can you do math, Frank? Assuming $1,000,000 in court expenses (the loser of the case does not usually pay, its VERY rare if they do). 199.2 million after the lawyer takes his 40%. Is a little under $315,000 per person. Considering the medical damage (complete infertility, cancer, death and loss of the ability to work), thats really not a lot of money now is it?

Do I also have to do the math for the other 1,100 people too? Hint...its even less than that.

And on top of that, PG&E still didn't clean up their mess.
http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/To...688046.php

They could build monuments to your stupidity. Shocking

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28-01-2014, 06:03 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2014 06:50 PM by Cathym112.)
RE: "Obamacare"
(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  [So, the tobacco companies struck a deal with regulators to pay the government a fine in exchange for immunity from prosecution. IMO, the regulation was outrageous. The tobacco companies SHOULD have been liquidated and the money gone to their victims.


"Pay a fine in exchange for immunity" You say that like they are granted special immunity because they negotiated with the government. You realize thats how a settlement works right?

You understand the concept of legal risk right? That is, the risk that you could lose. Not only are you out the money from trial and the massive amount of work that went into a investigation, but now there is legal precedent set so that other Firms can mimic the behaviors of the plaintive and NOT get in trouble for it. So regulators have to be careful which violations they take to court or arbitration. If they lose, other firms with the same violations can make a motion to dismiss based on that case.

Further, you realize that it is almost always better to settle right? A jury is 12 people (plus 2 alternates). You NEVER know how a jury will decide. Its always a gamble. always. always. always. Plus, there is a LOT of costs that go into an investigation.

Settlment requires a payment within 21 days. Jury/arbitration awards could be avoided for years through appeals.



(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  You never even attempted to refute my logic.

Thats because you aren't using logic.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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