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Old 10-06-2010, 09:56 PM   #41
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Save that, Chinaco. It can be used as a posting on any number of subjects related to Congress and the Federal government.

It's not just the government. Read the value jet crash reports and you see exactly the same problem in companies.
Or you can read the TITANIC inquiries and see exactly the same thing.

"System drift" is a near universal phenomenon
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:08 PM   #42
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To some extent, there's a lot of fond remembering of "systems" and models that never were.

What was the old retirement "model"? At no time have 50% of Americans been covered by DB plans. For most of American history, and certainly most of human history, people just worked until they couldn't anymore, then depended on their families. It takes a pretty liberal definition to call that a "model," and it's certainly not a system

Healthcare--same thing. We've got a patchwork of various care provision mechanisms and a separate set of payment mechanisms, but they are largely uncoordinated. They always have been.

Having a system that is designed top-down is often not the best answer. Sometimes systems and models that evolve in response to the market are far better than the ones that are "designed." The Soviet Union had a carefully planned agricultural system. US agriculture has very little centralized planning--just a bunch of farmers, suppliers, wholesalers and retailers looking out for their own individual interests. It's a very complex system with tremendous interdependencies, but no one planned it and no one controls it. I think everyone knows the relative productivity of the two systems, and how that story ended.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:44 PM   #43
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'US agriculture has very little centralized planning--just a bunch of farmers, suppliers, wholesalers and retailers looking out for their own individual interests. It's a very complex system with tremendous interdependencies, but no one planned it and no one controls it. I think everyone knows the relative productivity of the two systems, and how that story ended. "

Which agriculture are you describing? Certainly not the USA

Impact of U.S. Subsidies Efforts to decipher the causes of the present crisis have cast a spotlight on one of the U.S.’s most visible and, for most, egregious examples of hypocrisy and double-speak: the extremely high level of U.S. government payments to farmers while simultaneously encouraging other countries to reduce domestic agricultural supports. Although these payments have technically fallen within our support reduction commitments under the World Trade Organization (WTO), they have risen dramatically since 1996 and stand as a testament to U.S. admonitions to “do as I say, not as I do,” when it comes to trade liberalization. The severe drop in farm income that would have occurred in the absence of this compensation has been cushioned by these payments, which exceeded $20 billion annually for the last several years.....


Subsidies are U.S. government payments made directly to producers. Most critics of these payments, which nearly tripled since the key turning point of 1996, point to their role in increasing production, thereby glutting the market and forcing prices lower. Instead, this study provides evidence to show that the relationship is far from a linear one, with the reality far more complex than many would have us believe. U.S. production of the eight major crops (3) increased as land previously idled by government set-aside programs was brought back on-line. In the absence of traditional supply management and price support tools, prices declined sharply. Faced with drastic impacts on net farm income, the U.S. government responded by paying farmers compensatory sums to help close the gap.

Rethinking U.S. Agricultural Policy by Daryll Ray, Daniel De La Torre Ugarte, Kelly Tiller / Rural America / In Motion Magazine
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:34 AM   #44
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SamClem is right that US agriculture is extremely efficient. Which is probably why it is way to easy for the US farmer to produce too much stuff. Even relatively modest surplus of commodities like corn or wheat result in huge drops in price causing large drops in farmer income. Cause there is only some much, corn on the cob, corn flakes, corn bread, and of course the ubiquitous corn syrup the US consumers can consume, even with some of us doing more than our fair share. This is why we started the agricultural subsidies during the New Deal.

I don't pretend understand how the system works but I think any resemblance, between US agriculture and free market/free trade is pretty tenuous.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:50 PM   #45
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Just wait until the middle class finds out their health insurance will cost $1500/month come 2014.
Well, its been $1350/mo for my wife and me since 2007...so I'm looking forward to 2014!
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:51 PM   #46
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Well, its been $1350/mo for my wife and me since 2007...so I'm looking forward to 2014!
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:08 PM   #47
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Well, its been $1350/mo for my wife and me since 2007...so I'm looking forward to 2014!
For every winner like yourself, there will be a lot more losers out there. The amount of people who can afford $1500/month is between slim and none. One of my clients is paying $3000/month right now, which is just crazy....but they don't really have a choice because they've both racked up millions in claims and they wanted the best group policy available. Still, I would guess the number of people who can afford $1500/month is less than 2%.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:23 AM   #48
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Well, its been $1350/mo for my wife and me since 2007...so I'm looking forward to 2014!
+2

Quote:
For every winner like yourself, there will be a lot more losers out there. The amount of people who can afford $1500/month is between slim and none. One of my clients is paying $3000/month right now, which is just crazy....but they don't really have a choice because they've both racked up millions in claims and they wanted the best group policy available. Still, I would guess the number of people who can afford $1500/month is less than 2%.
Due away with cost shifting, business and tax subsidies. Let everyone see and pay the real cost of health care insurance. Thatís not losing, thatís enabling.

When everybody sees and has to pay the real cost then there will be broad public support for reform.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:31 AM   #49
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+2

Due away with cost shifting, business and tax subsidies. Let everyone see and pay the real cost of health care insurance. Thatís not losing, thatís enabling.

When everybody sees and has to pay the real cost then there will be broad public support for reform.
Yeah, but that's not the type of legislation we got....so unless it's repealed, that's not happening.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:40 AM   #50
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Let everyone see and pay the real cost of health care insurance. Thatís not losing, thatís enabling.
So making people pay more is not losing them anything? Is that what you're saying? It's a little counter-intuitive.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:38 PM   #51
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So making people pay more is not losing them anything? Is that what you're saying? It's a little counter-intuitive.
Perhaps this is similar to Marxists Revolutionaries' attitude that the worse things get for people, the better the chances for revolution.

If we are all bleeding to death in the street because we couldn't pay our health insurance we might be pretty highly motivated to do some revolting.

Mostly we act like frogs slowly being brought to the boil, but this could perhaps jolt us out of that passivity.

Ha
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:12 AM   #52
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So making people pay more is not losing them anything? Is that what you're saying? It's a little counter-intuitive.
No. Making the users of the health system pay more is just another way of saying that the taxpayers are not bearing the cost. One group loses. One group wins. We can chose who is going to pay but we cannot choose for nobody to pay (unless we want to do away with health care alltogether). There is no such thing as "free" health care. Personally, I much prefer it when other people pay my expenses for me. Unfortunately, too many other people have the same attitude for this to work.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:39 AM   #53
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Simple video that describes healthcare reform

The Basics - Kaiser Health Reform


Bottom line: our health care system is sick. That health care reform bill could be better... There are several things about it I do not like... but at least it is a start.

What people that work do not (or have not yet) realized is that if something is not done... they would see health care coverage at worst go away at their company or at best continue an unsustainable increase. This is especially true for the lower to mid middle class families.
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:51 AM   #54
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What you have to realize is that somebody likes things just the way they are and is making a bunch of money by maintaining the status quo. Not coincidentally, those with gobs of money contribute the most to campaigns and fund attack ads to maintain the status quo. This isn't just true in the health care industry, it is true in energy and I'm sure, other areas. Follow the money.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:34 AM   #55
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Yes... there are people and businesses who want status quo. But the status quo is not working so well and looking unsustainable.

Change is hard to accept.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:32 PM   #56
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Mostly we act like frogs slowly being brought to the boil, but this could perhaps jolt us out of that passivity.

Ha
The lead up to the Great Recession was more akin to us acting like the frog in a blender, "What goes green green green green red?".
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:33 PM   #57
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Change is hard to accept.
It depends. Change is easy to accept if it is clearly better than the status quo. I could give numerous examples, one being the fact that you are posting this rather than handwriting a snail-mail letter-to-the-editor.

If this change was clearly better, resistance would be minimal. I agree we need change.

-ERD50
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:51 PM   #58
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It depends. Change is easy to accept if it is clearly better than the status quo. I could give numerous examples, one being the fact that you are posting this rather than handwriting a snail-mail letter-to-the-editor.

If this change was clearly better, resistance would be minimal. I agree we need change.

-ERD50
Well said ERD50! The constant use of the expression "change is hard to accept" with the implication that all change is good all the time is tiresome. We need changes that lead to improvement and those that think that there is no possible downside from where we are today are naive. There is lots of room for criticism and questioning of the "changes" currently being mandated by Congress and attempts to stop discussion by saying we should accept any change unquestioned are inappropriate IMO.

I also agree that we need change.
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:38 PM   #59
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It depends. Change is easy to accept if it is clearly better than the status quo. I could give numerous examples, one being the fact that you are posting this rather than handwriting a snail-mail letter-to-the-editor.

If this change was clearly better, resistance would be minimal. I agree we need change.

-ERD50
Yes... it is in the eye of the beholder!


Most people have no clue about health care... similar to managing their finances to plan for retirement. It has been taken care of for them and they know little (until they experience adverse health problems... then they see it for what it is, a fine line between them and financial ruin).

Many only believe the rhetoric (whichever camp one falls into).
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:04 PM   #60
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It depends. Change is easy to accept if it is clearly better than the status quo. I could give numerous examples, one being the fact that you are posting this rather than handwriting a snail-mail letter-to-the-editor.

If this change was clearly better, resistance would be minimal. I agree we need change.
-ERD50
Sadly this is often not the case. Look at the banking system in this country. We still use little pieces of paper (checks) to transfer money around. Taxes - it took a long time for momentum to gather on e-filing. There are many people, despite having the technical capability to do so refuse to file their taxes electronically and/or have their refund direct deposited to their bank account despite the significantly faster processing of tax returns and payment of refunds. Years ago when direct deposit was being introduced in payroll processing my employer struggled to get acceptance. Despite special incentives (free bank account at a designated, national bank) and the obvious advantage of getting cash in your bank account earlier, employees refused to sign up for direct deposit. We finally had to make it mandatory.
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