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Lorrie Leaver's profile photoAngella X's profile photoPamela Narbaiz's profile photoJeffrey Hamby's profile photo
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The challenge is to stay in business. In this economy that my friends is the challenge. And have great kneepads.
 
+Albert De Castro Does the government really need to be the one to create institutions that can help new business? It seems to me that we should always turn to the private sector first, rather than the Government. We should always have Government intervention as a last resort.
 
Freakin Libs. Let the govt take care of your pathetic asses. Yeah right.... Get a life pal. Stay in school!!!! Muwahhhahahahahahahahahhaaha ... and waaaahahaha
 
Capitalism and religious imperialism are the root of all conflict; wars and the like. Promote socio-economic and socio-political equity, direct democracy around the world is the purest form of absolute self-determination. To hell with war, corporate imperialism and religious oppression; cooperate and collaborate.
 
I don't want no stinkin' war. But damn show some accountablilty like in 08. It's like everyone wants the annointed one to pay their way. Oooooo don't get me started.
 
Capitalism made America, Spain, England, etc, as they are now, but that doesn't mean they are the best that the world can make. Build a better economy, build a better America, build a better world; true progressive results.
 
+Darrell Robert Parker sounds like your promoting mob rule .. Wasn't that the downfall of Athens? And you're sorely misinformed if you think capitalism is to blame .. It is in the best interest of capitalism to avoid conflict so to maximize acquisition of resources and minimize cost .. Also government barriers to entry into heavily regulated markets limits competition allowing already established firms to grow to the size they have and require bailouts so to "save the economy" .. what you perceive as a free market is an illusion of over regulated inefficiency .. It's the promotion of your socio-equity that's produced this anti-competitive environment
 
Here is my small business story: I own a business with 30 employees. We have been thriving for years. We are now hesitating to hire new employees even though we need to, due to obama care. Obama care is costing us so much more per employee that it is unlikely we will hire in the near future. Obama care is devastating businesses all over the US from small to large. Get Obama out of office and remove Obama care so that the economy can get restarted.
 
+s.bradford colson I am an advocate of kicking out all illegal immigrants and not letting them leach off the government. You can not be a legal citizen if you are born here and your parents were illegal. They are a leach on society and have no right being here. I am an advocate of letting myself and my employees decide what is best for them with regard to healthcare not the government. The government needs to butt out of our business regardless of democrat or republican. I am an advocate of kicking obama out of office as he is a waste of space.
 
I am sick of all the talk and want to see some action on solutions!! Until that happens we are where we are and it is what it is!!!
 
+Trey Markel until Obama is out of office, it will continue to be all talk and no action.
 
Jared Oliver - You have no clue as to what I am saying, you are stuck in a life of circular reasoning and intellectual stagnation.


True progressiveness is using the lessons of the past to create and promote a better future. Technology will eliminate the need to compete in global markets, competitive economic policies have lived out their usefulness. Competitive economics has only led to war and savagery, pestilence and famine and political deprivation.

Cooperation instead of corporatism, collaboration instead of competition.

When two men beat each other over a piece of land, the land becomes useless to both. When two men collaborate in the productive use of the land, the land becomes twice as productive.
 
+Darrell Robert Parker explain to me which war your speaking of caused by capitalism .. Also which collaborative based economy has produced better creativity and an upwardly middle class .. All the ones I can recall involve controlling and manipulating the masses to further the agenda of ruling class .. Please provide examples
 
Oh he's just generalizing rhetoric, +Jared Oliver. Passing judgement using the rhetorical ridiculousness that makes them feel superior is what many on the left do. Good luck with conversation. ;)
 
+Darrell Robert Parker The problem with plans such as yours is that you rely on the People to be the driving force for the plan. At this time, the People are (collectively) not smart enough or responsible enough to be trusted with their own future. Perhaps, in a future, more enlightened time, this could come to pass, but the problem with treating everyone as "equals" (outside of the legal system) is that people aren't "equals". Some are smarter, some are stronger and some work harder. By ignoring this fact and treating everyone as "equals" in the socio-economic area, you're removing that which truly makes us stronger: you're allowing the weak to survive and breed.
 
Beatrice - And attacking the person rather than constructively criticizing the message, is the Karl Rovian tool that right winged have learned well. Your spitefulness is showing, maybe you should put on a thicker burka.
 
Jared - Maybe you should review the last two decades of Republican led conflicts to understand how capitalism has been the root of military conflicts.

To get you started, why did we enter into the first Gulf War conflict? A critical analysis starting with the COMPETITION for oil between Iraq and Kuwait will give you the answers.
 
Brian - Unfortunately, I can't recruit other species to implement the plan, so I guess PEOPLE will have to learn to just get along and cooperate with each other in order to develop the economy we need to sustain all people equally.

Something similar to standing in line to use the ATM, fighting over who is going to be next means no one gets to grab their cash.
 
+Darrell Robert Parker capitalism has nothing to do with military conflicts. Perhaps crony capitalism, but even that's a stretch.

Capitalism on its own would have promoted honest competition for those resources.
 
+Darrell Robert Parker But that's my point, they're NOT going to learn to get along right now, and we don't have the time to wait for them to do so. Plans like yours may sound great on paper, but in practice they fail miserably due to the involvement of modern Humans. This is why our current System is the best we have for now, for it takes into account the shortcomings of a vast number of the members of our Society.
 
First things first, we need to wean people off the dole. If Heinlein is right (Once the monkeys learn they can vote themselves bananas, they’ll never climb another tree”), there's a lot of undoing needing done.

The current 100-year experiment with progressivism has made the task of cooperation harder, not easier.
 
+Jared Oliver It is in the best interest of capitalism to avoid conflict so to maximize acquisition of resources and minimize cost.

Yes, it is, but there are problems in practice: 1) People are not rational beings; we are emotionally-driven, and therefore will not always make decisions that are in our own (or our economies') best interests; 2) Corporations do not have an emergent consciousness and therefore tend to, on an organizational level, act in merely self-perpetuating ways rather than in their own long-term best interest.

An example of both of these problems is the focus on annual or even quarterly profits at the expense of long-term investment and planning, which causes short-term losses but leads to greater profits in the long term (and prevents the kind of catastrophic failure we've seen in so many corporations in the past few years).

This is not to say that any other organizational system would automatically be an improvement, since any such system would, and does, also have the limitations described above. In my observation, they are best countered when an individual has both the foresight and the authority to steer decisions in ways that make long-term sense. That does suggest that we should not look for solutions from consensus-based (or, increasingly, lack-of-consensus based) bodies like Congress. The President may be in a better position to effect changes, but, due to the checks and balances in our system, this is not always practical, either - and that's probably just as well, since election is no guarantee of foresightedness.

What seems likeliest to have a real effect is a combination of education and experience - the experience of real businesses thriving as a result of long-term thinking and planning, and other business owners and executive officers being educated about their successes. Unfortunately, as with any stable, sustainable system, success, and profit, are not immediate, which makes the model less enticing; but they are real and ongoing. Given time, we may experience a sea change in how business leaders approach running their companies.
 
Saying capitalism has nothing to do with war is like saying a person pulling the trigger has nothing to do with the bullet killing someone.

Fact of the universe, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. There is a consequence to every negative action, etc etc etc. Capitalism calls for competition, competition breeds aggressive behavior, aggressive behavior breeds anger and hatred, anger and hatred breeds WAR.(We Are Right)

The opposite of progress is regress, do you all prefer regression? If so then just push the fracking red button and send us all to nuclear hell, then we can wait another 65 million years for this planet to clean up the mess.

Your logic reminds me of the ridiculous notions middle school students have of how the world works. "If I just ignore my dirty room, the magic cleaning fairy will make it go away"
 
+Darrell Robert Parker the actual problem is you think what we live in now is capitalism when it's absolutely not. By definition capitalism is about free trade without governmental interference.

With that in mind it is impossible for capitalism to be the cause of war.

I welcome you too look up the definition of crony capitalism though.
 
And capitalism calls for fair competition.
 
Capitalism would be great if it were pure and fair.
 
+Chuck Fresh agreed. It trends not to be when people don't pay attention and when governments get involved.
 
SBA: We need five year projections.
Us: We can't honestly project five years, this is a new and unproven enterprise. We can fake it... but is that what you really want?
SBA: Do you have collateral?
Us: If we had collateral, we wouldn't need your help.
SBA: [uncomfortable pause, looks at watch]
Us: Who does the SBA actually help?
SBA: We're just like every other bank - we only help those who really didn't need help to begin with.
 
The most efficient way to survive in the free market is to deliver something people want for a price they are willing to pay, to build trust, listen to their needs then do it again. Would there ever be an Apple if they screwed their customers?

The consequences of governmental intervention in free market activity is disincentive. Would there be an Apple if we had to wait for a master planner to tell them it's OK to work from the garage? To make an innovation? By definition, governments lag private enterprise.

When all creativity is removed from how to build and serve markets, it gets released in how to avoid government intrusion.
 
How did the market deal with US automakers selling only gas guzzlers?
 
It depends on the externality. Generally an informed market punishes bad actors by not buying their products, running them out of business.
 
Friedman is senile. Prob has been for many years. Watch for yourself in 'The One Percent.'
 
To bash regulation a bit, the FERC was created in the 70s to reduce our foreign oil dependency from the whopping 35% that it was at the time. We all know how that story has played out.
 
Friedman wasn't the Granddaddy... That's more likely Ludwig Von Mises.
 
Eh, could be. Keep in mind though that early in his career he was a staunch supporter of Keynsian economics until he began to see holes in its theory and application.
 
+Jeffrey Hamby There's "not overnight" and then there's "not unless we absolutely have to". See again +Chuck Fresh 's comments above - that goes for any bank or investment concern, or any corporation: they are, by their nature, supporters and maintainers of the status quo, and it takes a very rare leader or group of leaders to foster and support innovation. Even so, without constant effort, innovative companies can slip into complacency as well.
 
+s.bradford colson I disagree. Immigration is a huge drain on the economy with all the people of all races and ethnicities using services and medical facilities without paying anything into the economy. Most are paid under the table, pay no taxes, send their money back to their homeland yet suck the life out of our resources. Eliminate them and our healthcare costs will go down by a large %.
 
+Merle Reine It's a common misconception that illegal immigrants pay no taxes. In fact, most of them pay Social Security taxes and increasing numbers are filing tax returns. In addition, they pay property and sales taxes. In paying these taxes, especially Social Security taxes, they are actually propping up the system, since they will not be able to collect on what they pay in.

Here are an article and a report on immigrants and taxes:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2008-04-10-immigrantstaxes_N.htm

http://www.urban.org/publications/900898.html
 
+Merle Reine In addition, if you are concerned about the drain on the economy caused by emergency medical services, you should support a single-payer healthcare system that offers coverage to everyone, as preventive care is much more cost-effective than catastrophic and emergency care.
 
Americans complain that immigrants are taking away there jobs. If that is true then why are Farmer's unable to hire enough Americans to pick their crops. Many Farmer's are losing their crops because there are no migrant workers.
 
illegal aliens are a drain to every facet of society. I face competition from companies also that hire undocumented, illegal aliens to do shoddy work for less as do all americans in unskilled positions.
 
+Christina Talbott-Clark that's dandy, but the status quo has been crony capitalism leaning toward socialism for decades. The fact is nobody since before our grandparents has seen anything resembling actual capitalism so really can't speak about how awful it is.

At least not in this county.

Chile, Singapore, Hong Kong. Check out those examples.
 
+Andrea Boyce That would be because of the secure border initiative and the better economy of Mexico where the majority of illegal immigrants are from. We are shipping them back, they are leaving. Thank God. Now we just need to get american's off their lazy asses of unemployment to go do those jobs. I would rather pay double for my vegetables than I currently pay knowing it was done with american labor.
 
+Merle Reine Okay, so we agree that a single-payer system is the most logical and effective, and that preventive care is the most cost-efficient.

If basic emergency care regardless of ability to pay or legal status is an ethical imperative - and it is, hence policies in emergency rooms nationwide - then a certain percentage of health care costs will be unrecoverable by providers. This is the situation as it stands. If a single-payer system covering all citizens were instituted, access to preventive care would reduce overall costs by reducing the demand for catastrophic/emergency services (though, obviously, not removing it), a net benefit to the health care system and (under a single-payer scenario) to the taxpayer. I think, based on what you've said, we're in agreement here.

You suggest that health care should be provided to all citizens (and, I assume, legally-residing non-citizens) under this sadly hypothetical single-payer system, but not to undocumented non-citizens. However, if there is still a segment of the population unable to access preventive care and for which there is no means by which a provider can recover care costs - illegal aliens - then emergency care for this group is a net drain on the system. It is therefore more cost-effective to simply cover full access to care for everyone, reducing health care costs systemwide. The argument against providing healthcare to all residents of the country, regardless of legal status, thus becomes a moral, rather than economic, one.

tl;dr: It would be cheaper to provide care regardless of legal status, so we should cover everyone and deal with immigration concerns in another sphere.
 
Cheaper to deport illegal aliens.
 
+Merle Reine As far as the competition you mention from companies who hire undocumented workers, that's a problem. I, too, would be willing to pay more for my food and other goods knowing that the workers who produced them were making a living wage that then returned to the economy of my own nation - but given the stagnation of wages over the past several decades, I am not sure I'd be able to do so, and I am sure that people below median income would not be able to do so.

This is a problem that needs to be tackled from several sides at once. A great deal of the material produced for American consumption is manufactured abroad so that it can be sold inexpensively, which in turn artificially increases buying power, making it possible for individuals and families to manage on smaller (inflation-adjusted) incomes. At the same time, costs have risen to the point that multi-adult households are nearly all also multi-income households. Add in a cultural imperative to demonstrate success and individuality via ownership of goods and property, and the corporate focus on short-term profit I noted above, and we are left with an increasingly unstable economic base.

But I am sure I am only telling you things you already know.

It seems to me that if we want to resolve the problem of jobs going to other countries or to cheap, under-the-table labor, we need to stabilize the economy so that living wages can be paid to domestic workers for production within the nation. But this can only happen at the cost of corporate profits and the loss of cheap consumer goods. It requires sacrifice, and one that we as a nation may not be willing to make. We don't seem to have been willing so far.
 
No, not at the cost of corporate profits. We already have the highest corporate tax rate in the woend and it sounds as if you suggest we raise it.

The US is still the largest manufacturing country in the world. That happens to be more on the higher end/ higher margin goods. We've sent offshore low margin and low cost goods. The only wage that can support that manufacturing is that found in countries with lower wages themselves.

Inflation has already cost us a large portion of our savings unnecessarily. Increasing the cost of goods nobody wants to make here is something I'm not interested in seeing.
 
+Merle Reine Even if it were cheaper to deport illegal aliens (and I don't know that it would be; I don't have data to hand on relative cost estimates), why is deportation incompatible with universal health care? Why not go ahead with a cost-saving measure on the one hand while implementing a (potentially) cost-saving measure on the other?

Although given the percentage of undocumented workers who pay taxes, I suspect there's precious little to be saved in deportation. It costs money to track people down, investigate them, detain them, and deport them, too.
 
I'd love to discuss the fact that the AMA at inception began increasing the cost of medical training while at the same time banning private clubs from providing medical treatment pools. Or how, since the early 70s and the hmo bill, medical fees have skyrocketed. Or how, since Medicaid and later Medicare, the cost to taxpayers has increased to unsustainable amounts.

I do not believe more intervention, as has proven itself to simply increase costs, is the answer.
 
+Jeffrey Hamby No, I'm not suggesting we increase the corporate tax rate (though it's not as simple as high rates - see also http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/03/business/economy/03rates.html?_r=1).

I'm saying that I don't think it's possible to stop companies from hiring undocumented workers (and/or moving manufacturing jobs overseas) unless it becomes economically feasible to offer those jobs to American citizens at higher wages, and that doing so would require a number of difficult changes, lowered profit margins among them. It's furthermore not something that any one company could do in isolation; they'd be run out of business by their cost-cutting competitors.
 
+Jeffrey Hamby The intervention you're talking about is that of a whole bunch of groups and their individual costs, motives, and requirements. Moving to a single-payer system would actually makes things considerably less complicated.
 
And give a government sponsored monopoly, as well as trample in our liberties.
 
The USA thrived when it produced things. This is no longer the case, now it is primarily service industries. We need a new industry and I recommend Hemp/Cannabis/medical marijuana. It produces, it heals, it is natural, saves trees...we need to take it off of the Schedule I list. and give it a chance to help the economy.
 
While it's true we're more service than manufacturing, the US is still the world's leading manufacturer.

Besides, the world has moved on. There is more money to be made in services than manufacturing, raising GDP.
 
+Pamela Narbaiz Oh hell no. Ban and arrest those that smoke pot or better yet, send them out with all the other illegals.
 
+Jeffrey Hamby It appears to me that your concern about governmentally-organized healthcare is rooted in a distrust of government qua government. While I certainly have my own misgivings about the efficacy of our electoral system in representing the actual will of the people (we live in a country where 90% of elections are won by the person who spent the most money and 50% of those who legally may do not bother to vote; clearly there are some issues with our "representational" government), I don't share your distrust.

In my opinion, there are some services, necessary for the well-being of the populace, which are best managed by the government, because they do not need to and in fact should not turn a profit. These include education, corrections, and healthcare. Education should not need to be profitable because it represents an investment the dividends of which will be paid in educated, capable citizens and workers. Corrections and healthcare should not be profitable because their greatest income is derived from human pain. A prison or hospital profits with each incarceration and operation; but increased numbers of prisoners and patients are not good for a society. They are good only for that company's profit margin. A government, on the other hand, has a vested interest in a healthy, productive workforce. It makes more sense to put governments in charge of such things than corporations.

But we also have a serious need for election reform. 
 
+Jeffrey Hamby It appears to me that your concern about governmentally-organized healthcare is rooted in a distrust of government qua government. While I certainly have my own misgivings about the efficacy of our electoral system in representing the actual will of the people (we live in a country where 90% of elections are won by the person who spent the most money and 50% of those who legally may do not bother to vote; clearly there are some issues with our "representational" government), I don't share your distrust.

In my opinion, there are some services, necessary for the well-being of the populace, which are best managed by the government, because they do not need to and in fact should not turn a profit. These include education, corrections, and healthcare. Education should not need to be profitable because it represents an investment the dividends of which will be paid in educated, capable citizens and workers. Corrections and healthcare should not be profitable because their greatest income is derived from human pain. A prison or hospital profits with each incarceration and operation; but increased numbers of prisoners and patients are not good for a society. They are good only for that company's profit margin. A government, on the other hand, has a vested interest in a healthy, productive workforce. It makes more sense to put governments in charge of such things than corporations.

But we also have a serious need for election reform. 
 
I agree with +Pamela Narbaiz on that one. Alcohol is more harmful than marijuana to your body, yet one is classified with the most damaging narcotics while the other is sold at convenience stores.

This psa brought to you by someone who has never even smoked it.
 
Banning pot? Let me tell you. My wife has a friend and her husband is a pot smoker. He can't keep a job, spends what money they do have/get on pot and not his kid. I see it first hand that pot is for losers. I would not allow someone like that around my kids or family nor would anyone I know. You think legalizing and taxing will work? Great, so I will be surrounded on the freeway by not only drunks but pot heads too? Might as well kill my kids now before some pot head kills them first.
 
I am with Jeffrey on this one almost word-for-word, except that I'd add alcohol is also far more socially devastating. 
 
+Christina Talbott-Clark only if you ignore my previous comments should it appear that way. The AMA is not a government institution, though it has been granted a monopoly by the government, so maybe there is some gray area on that one.

HMOs were a product of private enterprise, but with federal intervention they've helped skyrocket medical care costs to unaffordable heights.

My distrust is of the marriage between private enterprise and government.

I don't believe any services are better managed by government. Before federal intervention in the 60s hospitals could treat the indigent without worry of it forcing them to lose money. Medicaid has been a money loser since its inception. Welfare, while a noble program is rampant with corruption on both the side if those who take advantage of it and the side of those who try to convince people to stay on it presumably to preserve their budget. I can't think of a single example of something the government does more efficiently than private enterprise... At least that which is not provided monopoly status or at least barrier to entry by our government.

I do agree with you on the point of elections being won by those who spend money, I do actually believe the electoral college is a good system. framers of our Constitution believed a democracy would lead to tyranny of the many. The old analogies about 51% of the people voting to pee in the cerial of the remaining 49%, or the monkeys learning they can vote for free bananas, etc...

Where some of those ideas might work would be at the state level, which is why we have the 10th Amendment. MA has a single payer plan, your state might one day as well. That would be perfectly legal, and perfectly legitimate.
 
+Merle Reine I feel for your friend's family, but a single example does not a norm make. I could show you several examples of productive pot smokers, or how alcohol destroys many more families.
 
I was born to American parents in Oregon in 1953! I have a B.S. degree, raised my 2 kids alone after my husband abused us! I am a retired County employee. My father spent 35 years in USAF and I spent most of my growing years hopping from country to country every few years, learning a new language + culture each time. as my father was transfered. Hell, in 1971 I graduated H.S. in Izmir Turkey from the DOD educational system. I do not drink alcohol or take other drugs anymore (I tried things in the 70's). I choose to use medical marijuana instead of the morphine, norco, atavan and effexer that my MD was telling me to take because it is so much better on my life then the long-term use of the other ones. I have had 3 spinal surgeries, C3-C7 were removed during one of them. I still have to take care of a home and daily living for myself and my disabled adult son. Medical Marijuana I can, Pharamacuticals, I can't. The choice is easy.

Did you know that the Constitution was written on Hemp? The Hemp Industry incorporates the manufacturing element because we do like the accessories with the leaf on it. Federal and State receive revenue from taxes at the different levels.
It also involves organic cultivation and harvesting for medical uses. Hempcrete can replace concrete; clothing made of hemp has a longer life and stronger after washing then materials used now; It is put in food as a healing herb; controls pain +muscle spasms. The Vets and reformed gangbangers like it to help with PTSD symptoms! When cancer patients go through chemo they have found that medical marijuana edibles help them. Then there is the Rick Simpson story (YouTube).

I did not mean to get on my soapbox, this really isn't the right post to do that. You guys know where I stand, educate yourself then decide for you.

Lets promote the small business spotlight thing. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we need them.
 
+Pamela Narbaiz Sorry to hear about all of your issues. We all have issues, I too have fused discs in my neck and it affects my work daily. I have 9 screws, 2 plates and an artificial disk in my neck and am in constant pain. Pic of my xray and surgery:

https://plus.google.com/photos/106895281521228076521/albums/5680208945397554865

However, I choose to face my pain and not use it as an excuse to become a pot head. Anything that alters (i.e. impairs) your behavior or mood negatively i.e. pot, cocaine, heroin, needs to be restricted or banned.
 
So, caffeine, alcohol, asparin, acetominiphin... Hell carbohydrates can alter your behavior. All of these should be restricted?
 
+Pamela Narbaiz - I think we should burn down some little trifling shithole and rebuild it with hemp. Hell ya that would create some jobs :-)
 
+Jeffrey Hamby Don't be so asinine. Obviously I meant alter your behavior in a negative way like alcohol or illegal drugs i.e. pot, cocaine, heroin. AKA impaired.
 
I'm not being asinine, just making a point. Where is the line drawn and by whom? I think many people become obnoxious when overcaffeinated. Some people who have had cough syrup act similarly to people who do heroin.

The proponents of legalizing marijuana are generally OK with the idea of regulating it much the same way alcohol is.

If you want an example of asinine look at the fact that marijuana is classified with heroin as a schedule 1 drug, and how many people are jailed at our expense for recreational use.
 
I understand that but I personally agree with incarceration for pot users. You can not seriously argue that pot does not impair you can you? If someone is high and is driving, they are impaired and could hurt someone. Even if they are overmedicated on cough syrup, yes they should be arrested for driving under the influence and possibly for driving while stupid as they should know better. I don't drink often but when I do, I know enough not to drive for a least an hour after I have a beer. FYI my "asinine" comment was not meant as a derogatory comment on you personally, just my opinion ;)
 
Driving while impaired is an edge condition and is not what I'm talking about.

There is no law against possession of alcohol (unless you're under age) or cough syrup. You can drink alcohol in a bar or restaurant and can keep cough syrup in your car or work desk.
Long prison sentences are handed out for possession of marijuana but not for alcohol or cough syrup. Marijuana is classified with heroin and LSD as a schedule 1 controlled substance although study after study show effects of its use to be much less harmful. As a matter of fact its shown to have many benefits.

Meanwhile we spend billions propping up a useless "war" on it.

Many things can be abused, and showing a case in that realm doesn't prove any reason to ban possession. Hell, sleep deprived people are dangerous behind the wheel, but luckily we're not wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on a war on that.
 
+Jeffrey Hamby

My distrust is of the marriage between private enterprise and government.

I really wasn't talking about government specifically with regard to the groups you'd mentioned; rather, that it was problematic to have so many different interests in the arena of health care. But I take your point, and I am sorry I misunderstood your concerns. I appreciate your taking the time to explain.

I don't believe any services are better managed by government... I can't think of a single example of something the government does more efficiently than private enterprise.

How do you define efficiency? (No, I am seriously asking.) Part of my point is that some things should be done by a government because they are inherently inefficient (at least within themselves, or in the short term) - schoolkids aren't going to provide a return on the investment made in them for years to come, and then, not directly to the school district which educated them. It's an investment made in the long term and for the general good. Likewise, while good preventive health care should be less expensive overall than urgent care alone would be, it's still (in the case of a governmentally-managed care system) an outlay of money that has no direct benefit to the health care system itself. The benefit is to the society as a whole, in keeping the general populace (and therefore the workforce) healthier.

I do agree with you on the point of elections being won by those who spend money, I do actually believe the electoral college is a good system.

I have some frustrations with the Electoral College (mostly because it means the election's already over by the time the polls close in my state), but that's not what I was talking about. Rather, I think we need to increase voter involvement and restore trust in elected officials - which I believe can only happen with increased voter involvement. As it is now, a significant proportion of voters think "all politicians are crooks", which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, which then further drives down voter turnout. Personally, I think a vast improvement would be made by instituting governmentally-sponsored campaign funding (national, state and municipal/county/burough levels) and outlawing any other spending on political materials. That would be a hard, hard sell politically but would go a long way toward making elections about what the candidates say and how many people actually support them rather than about how much money they could raise.

framers of our Constitution believed a democracy would lead to tyranny of the many. The old analogies about 51% of the people voting to pee in the cerial of the remaining 49%, or the monkeys learning they can vote for free bananas, etc.

On the one hand, yes, it's not right to let two wolves and a sheep vote on what's for dinner... but on the other hand, those free bananas sure don't seem to be materializing.

Where some of those ideas might work would be at the state level, which is why we have the 10th Amendment.

So I got to thinking about this. On the one hand, it makes sense, especially since many of our states are the size of many of the countries where socialized medicine is most effective. It would certainly be (at least theoretically) easier to implement such programs on a state-by-state basis. But on the other hand, in a nation where people often move from state to state for work, school, or family, that approach would also cause complications. Imagine a national company that needs to have different health insurance policies for each state in which it has employees. And what of a student looking at college? Would the healthcare system of the state affect her decision about where to go to school? While the market might help propel states to implement health care as an incentive to business, it doesn't seem to have been happening so far - and since there are so many who argue that X or Y group don't deserve coverage for whatever reason, it seems likely to me that economic competitiveness would be insufficient incentive - not to mention the fact that some states are more solvent than others. It still seems to me that a national plan is a more sensible approach.

I look forward to your responses - I'm enjoying our discussion!
 
+Merle Reine If your wife's friend's husband were an alcoholic rather than a "pothead", would you be in favor of a return to Prohibition? If not, what do you think the differences are?

Also, I'm sure you didn't mean it this way, but your response to Pamela Narbaiz was extremely rude. You strongly implied her individual situation was less difficult than your own (impossible to know, since pain is subjective), and then told her she was morally weak and inferior to you because she has made choices you personally have not.

And if your pain is greater, what would that change? I hope that you can, as it sounds like you may, take some comfort in the strength that enables you to bear it, but can you not have some compassion for a fellow person who is not able to cope in the same way you do, and be glad that she has found a way to ease her suffering?

I am sorry about what you are suffering.
 
+Jeffrey Hamby LOL I felt the same way! I was sorry to take so long replying, but that's life. It did mean I had some time to think about the things you said. I probably won't be able to reply again until later today or tomorrow anyway, so don't worry if you aren't able to be Johnny-on-the-spot. :)
 
Yes, alcohol should be banned as well. It serves no purpose except medical and to get drunk.
 
+Christina Talbott-Clark Efficiency to me is, at least in most enterprises, the ability to not run at a loss.

School is a tricky one to wrap into that of course. But I will say private schools tend to outperform public schools even though their goal is the same. Some (not all) public schools run with similar amounts of funding as private schools, but still can't seem to pull themselves out of the muddied waters of just getting children to graduate. Score one for private enterprise there as far as I'm concerned. Admittedly there's probably more to that story but I can only research so much.

Medical care is an interesting one. I wrote software for a company that provided medical practice management software, and was one of the few that dealt with CHOs. A noble cause, but a money loser. In that time (quite a while) I dealt with doctors, business analysts, SMEs, etc... And they all sang the same tune. When insurance companies, post HMOs, and Medicare/Medicaid set prices for certain ICDs and the doctors were charging less, it didn't make sense not to raise their rates to meet what they could get paid for the procedure. By trying to do a good thing our government inadvertently raised everyone's rates. No matter though, insurance covered it. Of course the real story there is that it wound up costing everyone more money.

In the meantime the shrinking margins of emergency care were pushing hospitals out of the ability to offer treatment for the poor and indigent, so laws were passed (and more Medicare funds thrown) to fix a problem that didn't exist before the changes.

I realize it's argued often that medical care doesn't fit into the free market principle of what a consumer would pay for a service vs its value. What's the value of a person's life? Well, not every treatment is life saving, and even then, the consumer can make a choice. Weeks of chemo and it's ill effects for a possibility of surviving a few more years or just letting go. People make that choice all the time. Some pay and some don't, and not always because of their ability or lack thereof to pay for it.

What I'm really getting at is while it's noble to offer preventative care to everyone, it's not manageable, especially by a country that's already in insurmountable debt. Plus, noting the almost 50/50 split on the desire for Obamacare, not everyone wants it.

Back to the 10th amendment, each state can make up their own collective minds to do so or not to. I understand what you're saying about complications regarding people moving for jobs or school, but each state has residency laws as well. Just try to go to an out of state college to find out what the difference is :)

Long winded post, and this time I haven't proofread, so it may ramble a bit. But you should be able to tell from it that I'm mostly libertarian and a believer in the Constitution, and what the framers believed when they conceived it. It seemed to me to have worked until presidents and congressmen realized they could buy votes by ignoring it.
 
so, not a fan of personal liberty then.
 
+Jeffrey Hamby I definitely believe in choice to a point. Example, my 20 year old smokes pot, can't keep a job, hangs with other pot heads, is on probation, the story goes on and on (true story). My 12 year old is responsible, does good in school, knows pot and drugs are bad, chooses good friends and makes good choices. I give her more leeway than my 20 year old as he is obviously not capable of making good decisions.

Moral of story, some people can not be left to make decisions for themselves and have to be looked out for their entire lives. Making pot legal will only help to make all the trailer trash, losers, etc more irresponsible. Sure there are the 10% that may smoke responsibly but we need to protect against the 90% that won't be responsible.
 
You have a point, but don't forget it would also eliminate the criminalization of thousands of otherwise productive people.

I know several people who smoke pot but are able to keep a job. I know a few that don't smoke pot or drink but can't keep a job. My point is I believe it's a coincidence/causation issue. I don't believe pot by itself makes people lazy and irresponsible, but rather people who are lazy and irresponsible may be drawn to pot.

Best of luck with your son. I don't have any wisdom on how to deal with that, and I hope you come up with a viable solution.
 
+Jeffrey Hamby My son wants to come live with me but he knows my stance on pot and it is forbidder on his probation as well. Not sure I am ready for all that drama.
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