"Obamacare"
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28-01-2014, 08:15 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
Jeez, you guys are prolific. I was trying to keep up with this and I can't figure out where I really left off. I can't even find out where Frank's post is about the law suits. So, I may not be fully understanding the point or the context. But, lucky for me, this is the internet age and things like not really knowing what was said don't have to prevent me from coming in with an opinion on the matter! Who doesn't love the 21st century?

Anyway, a few things from what I've been able to gather.

First, Franks is correct that the government has stepped in and allowed certain companies and industries to basically settle for a slap on the wrist and avoid the massive liability they would face if they were defending a whole bunch of personal suits or a class action. The financial services industry is a great example of this. The tobacco settlements are not. The reality is that if the feds had not stepped in, they woudl have gone bankrupt long before most people were able to collect anything from them. By stepping in and setting up a fund to pay victims, they ensured more people would be able to collect. As I recall, this had a lot of support in the states as well. The general feeling was it was better to preserver these companies so they could pay vs. continue to have them fight the litigation until they were bust. The same logic was applied to asbestos as well and a few other large scale issues that had wide reaching health problems. You can argue that the tobacco companies got off easier than they should have, and I suppose there was always room for more punitive measures, but I think in the end the greater good was served with this.

Second, the idea that private rights of action are better than government regulation is one of the single most laughable arguments I've seen (and it gets made plenty of times). It fails on more levels than I can fully address but I'm going to hit a few of the highlights. First, once you have a judgment, it takes the government to enforce it. So, that right there is the "force" that Frank is always bitching about. Why it's ok for the government to enforce judgements one off but not to prevent wide spread abuse is absolutely beyond me. Second, the reason laws exist to protect air and water and limit pollution is because the system that people like Frank claim will keep us all safe was not working. It was not until the government got involved and stated forcing these companies to behave that things actually changed. As for this idea of "force", how about my right to not have my family forced to drink polluted water and forced to breath polluted air? The idea that we are better off fighting these things off one at a time, one person at a time, and only after the fact rather than get out in front of them and simply say "you shall not do the following...." is simply beyond me. It is force one way or another. How about we force people to respect the rights of everyone else rather than having to force them to pay after they poisoned us.

There is far too much proof that companies will not behave without government regulation. Just look what happened when we repealed Glass-Steagle (the US law that prevented insurance companies, commerical banks and investment banks from operating under one entity). AIG got into the financial services business and almost bankrupted the fucking planet. It didn't take very long either. People like Allan Greenspan fought for years to prevent any regulation of derivitives, despite all the warnings that these things were going to completely destablize the global economy. It's not like people didn't see the 2008 crash coming and it's not like there were not people begging the government to step in and enforce some common sense on the banks. But, we kept hearing the free market will fix it all and any problems can be managed in litigation. That was a great theory until the US tax payer was forced to take on 7 TRILLION dollars of risk on behalf of these banks to prevent a melt down that would have turned the world into the kind of waste land in the movie "Mad Max".

Markets are constantly manipulated. Corporate capitalism - where a handful of people take all the rewards and distribute the risk down to employees and shareholders - is not capitalism as defined by Adam Smith. The idea that kind of market can operate without a referee and all issues can be managed through the courts is just ridiculous. Big companies can completely bury small plaintiffs. Government ends up getting forced to get involved to protect the claims of pepole who come late to the party. Some of these problems are obvious and can be headed off before they happen. If that's force, so be it, but force is going to be used at some point or another. It is inevitable.

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28-01-2014, 08:23 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Yes, but whereas I read your response, you obviously didn't read mine.

Oh, you!

I note that you have not addressed much of the content of my post; namely, that aforementioned procession of flailing strawmen. But! I am generous. Let us proceed.

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I stated repeatedly I DO agree with you, and that I feel setting maximum levels of pollution is NOT initiating force.

You agree insofar as there 'should' be some rules. As I mentioned, agreement in principle is incredibly easy to find. As I have explained oh so many times, I do not find your definition of "initiating force" to be anything but trite and useless. What I consider of interest is the degree to which a given policy restricts freedom of action (the primary nominal negative component of any law), and how this balances with the benefit to society thereof (aka 'utility' cf utilitarianism).

... and also, just as in your "lol drug laws" example, still leaves every detail imaginable open to consideration.

Do you then, in principle, accept that you and I might proceed to different conclusions as to what details would be ideal re: pollution regulation?

If 'yes', then, as you have also literally just admitted, this disagreement would not proceed from a fundamental difference re: your puerile and superficial definition of "initiating force".

And thus we see that your idiotically belaboured question cannot stand. So there's that.

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  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.

Of course, the problem with that statement is that I literally never said such a thing. You were sounding so reasonable for several whole sentences there, frankksj. And then you go and once again make something up and proceed to ascribe it to me. Dear, oh dear.

I keep telling you, try to do that less often.

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  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.

Notwithstanding the extraordinarily comprehensive debate and discussion as what what 'property' and 'ownership' even mean, not to mention the likes of what sort of things might be held as property.

But sure.

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  So we already have laws on the books that prevent any and all pollution--namely property rights.

That's incredibly simplistic, but you probably know that. Also wildly insufficient, but you probably know that.

Air pollution tends not to stop at border crossings...

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  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.

That does not really follow, given that there are about a thousand and one exceptions to the above parameters...

(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.

Which presupposes a massive amount of legal apparatus...

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  For example...

Your 'examples' are rarely any such thing, but okay; let's see where this is going.

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  ... 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.

Are you going somewhere with this?

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  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.

And, setting aside issues of corporate liability (yet another topic far more complex than you suggest), we might consider this as a case wherein certain companies were obligated to stop providing false information to customers.

Which, presumably, you would support...

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I imagine you bought it hook line and sinker.

lolwut?

Since I guess it wouldn't be tobacco (?), what were you smoking when that thought ran through your head?

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  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.

Relevance?

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  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.

Please tell me you're going somewhere with this.

Like, soon.

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  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.

So... once again, you feel that making stuff up suffices to inform you of my views.

You do realize that that makes it extremely difficult to hold a rational conversation with you, yes?

Please tell me you realize that.

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  In your response, you never address any of these issues.

My response to what? "These issues"? You mention one topic in this post. The above? Which you just posted? I can't really see how I might have responded to that before you posted it. Your earlier blather? I did address plenty of that - the least inane and irrelevant portions, at least.

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  You don't dispute them. You just ignore them.

At this point it's not even remotely clear what you're talking about.

"Them" being, what, precisely? And when did such non-disputation and ignoring occur?

Remember, it only counts if it happened outside your head.

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

You couldn't logic your way out of a paper bag.

(28-01-2014 04:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  That's why this exchange is so tedious and useless.

No, I've told you why.

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29-01-2014, 07:58 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2014 08:10 AM by Cathym112.)
RE: "Obamacare"
As I stated before, I worked for FINRA as an investigator. Let me tell you that although you feel companies who manipulated the market got off with a slap on the wrist, let me give you a glimpse into a regulator.

First, regulation can only be proactive with the rules they have and reactive by creating new rules for new products like supermontage trading, advanced derivatives, futures and products. These products are created faster than rules can be set for their use. To require a rule to be made before you create a product, would significantly impact the capitalism you are so fond of, Frank. And if a rule doesn't exist - how can be held accountable for violating something that doesn't exist?

Next, the products are often so sophisticated that the peon examiners don't understand the products.

You can't find the risks of a product if you don't understand the product.

Since FINRA pays an average of $50,000 for an entry level examiner, these are often kids fresh outta college.

Even the most senior examiners will cap out at $150,000. If they are smart enough to understand fully and entirely, the complexity of these products and understand exactly how algorithmic trading works (because they understand the mathematical algorithms themselves) then where are they gonna work? Work for Finra for a measly $150,000 per year? Or work for Goldman Sachs for a base salary of $800,000 per year? Hmmmmm Consider tough decision!

So Finra and the SEC can't employ the people to understand these products.

Next, the investigation: 100,000 emails to go through to find the smoking gun. Then the on the record depositions...where they don't even have their 5th amendment right (did you know you waive your right when you enter the securities industry?) where each hand claims they didn't know what the other was doing. No one ever confesses.

When a mob of people stampeed a person to death, how do you determine who is responsible?

Settlement seems like a slap on the wrist - because it is. That's the best a regulator can do. Until this country makes it a criminal offense when a product fails, or realizes its tremendous risk, there is little more that the regulator can do.

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29-01-2014, 09:11 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
(28-01-2014 05:23 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  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.

I was right to blow you off.

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29-01-2014, 09:53 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
(29-01-2014 09:11 AM)toadaly Wrote:  
(28-01-2014 05:23 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  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.

I was right to blow you off.

... you guys are really talking past each other.

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29-01-2014, 09:58 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
(29-01-2014 09:11 AM)toadaly Wrote:  
(28-01-2014 05:23 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  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.

I was right to blow you off.

yup. People who think they know everything are very annoying to those of us that do. Dodgy

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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29-01-2014, 10:21 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
(29-01-2014 09:53 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(29-01-2014 09:11 AM)toadaly Wrote:  I was right to blow you off.

... you guys are really talking past each other.

IMHO, intentionally so.

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29-01-2014, 10:31 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
(29-01-2014 09:53 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(29-01-2014 09:11 AM)toadaly Wrote:  I was right to blow you off.

... you guys are really talking past each other.

no. I'm just being mean.

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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29-01-2014, 10:35 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
(29-01-2014 10:31 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  
(29-01-2014 09:53 AM)cjlr Wrote:  ... you guys are really talking past each other.

no. I'm just being mean.


Congratulations on that. You typed pages worth of text, that no-one but you will ever read. That's quite an accomplishment. Something rarely seen on these types of forums.

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29-01-2014, 11:11 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
(29-01-2014 10:35 AM)toadaly Wrote:  
(29-01-2014 10:31 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  no. I'm just being mean.


Congratulations on that. You typed pages worth of text, that no-one but you will ever read. That's quite an accomplishment. Something rarely seen on these types of forums.


Wrong again. First its basic understanding that utility can be measured. Then its that milk actually is a commodity traded on the market. Now it's that no one reads anything I write. Thumbsup You are really on a roll here.

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