Michigan and the USD

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Michael, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member


    Which is more important to you: You having affordable medical care OR your grandchildren having affordable University?

    As for European countries, as I understand it, the Netherlands has shifted towards a slightly more market-based medical healthcare system. Evidently there are fault lines. Fineland has buckets of oil. Germany has a massivly efficient productive base. Japan had the most medical doctors per person in the world and they also had very tax friendly environment for pharmaceutical industries, thus, you can usually find the medicine in Japan cheap because it's ... made in Japan. I'm watching Sweden, they've taken in a lot of refugees. I know a number of Swedish (I work with) who now wish they hadn't. AND at the same time, they're starting to question free things. Paying 50%+ or more in tax and living poor, yeah, it's starting to have an effect on society. So, that will be an interesting country to watch. Unlike Finland and all it's oil, they're stuck in the Euro.

    Free-Markets are not there to punish you iceaura. They exist to see that commodities are distributed fairly. We haven't had free-markets in over 100 years. AND as long as we don't, society will get poorer and poorer and poorer. AS has been the case for 100+ years. It's only now it's catching up. But, as I said before, an American living in Europe 30-40 years ago was living like a freaken King. The USD used to go a LONG way. Not any more I'll tell you that. I made 100% on carry trade against the USD it's lost THAT much purchasing power. You just have no clue.

    You want to play the system against the rich? The rich who own the government and can print USD at the drop of a hat? HA!!! Vote Obama and go back to your stall - it's milking time and you look ripe. You chose immorality and now you're going to see just where that gets you. If BillyT is correct, you have about 1 year and 4 months to find cover before all hell breaks loose. I'm looking at Spain and Japan and thinking.... we will see. Maybe, maybe not.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    As the current US system increasingly denies me both, and the affordability of university is increasingly eroded by the expense of double-paying for health care, the obvious choice of a system that provides both will have to include a different US health insurance setup.

    Health care is not a commodity that can be sold in a free market. Self deception on that score is a large part of the double payment US citizens must pony up.

    At least they can see a doc when they're injured. In the US, it's 50% in taxes and no doc, for the working poor.

    If BillyT is correct, that's because too many US voters listened to people like you, and voted for W and his "free market" line of Reaganomic bs.
    Either that or just shoot them. It's called self defense, michael, against the immoral initiation of force - you claim to support such efforts.
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  5. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    and you will get neither - and this is exactly the case.

    Medicine is a HUGE monopoly. You MUST be certified by the State. You must attend a State run School OR if you are from overseas (increasingly even Americans go overseas to get an MD - example the Philippines). Anything the State pays for skyrockets in cost - so much so that the State itself regulates what they'll pay.

    When you actually do have something that's free-market (laser eye surgery) the quality sky-rockets while the costs plummet.

    See, it's actually people like YOU that are the reason. You want to steal from other people and give to yourselves. SO you fall for the BULLSHIT crooked politicians (example: Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Gingrich, etc...) spoon feed you. You worry you're getting ripped off and use this as your excuse to steal from other people (people who have done nothing to you).

    Thus, you get expensive medical care and expensive education. That's because of people like YOU. As someone who has worked in BOTH the medical field AND university - I know exactly how the system works.

    Will we have an inflationary event? No one CAN know. It's completely up to the Central Banks. BillyT is hedging that when push comes to shove Central Bankers will print print and print to stop deflation to steal from savers to give to immoral greedy people - that's you. So, if his scenario plays out, you are the cause. If Central Banks shit their pants and stop printing, then we'll go into deflation - which may result in them turning around and printing. See, when you have a cartel, then it's no different than living under the whims of a King. ANYTHING is possible. This is why we invented markets.

    Some lessons need to be learned repeatedly.

    As for me, I'm not worried in the least which way the wind blows. Not a care in the world. Not that I'm sitting on a pile of cash, it's just that I have personal skills that will ensure I do fine even if hell itself opens up and swallows the economy and society along with it. That used to be "The American Way". Long before give me, give me, give me became the norm.
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  7. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Lastly, shooting a rich person is not self-defense. That's murder and is immoral.

    You can NOT win their game. You will lose. It's that simple. Your only chance at even a remote change of having a prosperous existence is free-markets. If not, you will be a slave, cattle to be milked by the rich at their whim and sent to slaughter in a war when they're done sucking the productivity out of you. When the government promises you something, they first have to steal from someone to give it to you.

    So? Why not end their game? Stop the Central Banks and have competing currencies. Elect Ron Paul and we might have a chance to do so. But, we both know that takes to much courage. At the end of the day people are primates and primates are easily ruled by fear and hate change. They pretend they want change, but that's just hot air. The gate is wide open and in your stall you quiver whining about "the rich" and voting for one of their stooges. The flavor of the month.

    How 5% of Americans had the BALLS big enough to throw off the yoke and start this god damn republic is beyond me. Can't see that happening again.
  8. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    That's why it's so important to entrench and maintain public control of such institutions, and utilize competitive democratic processes. That way, the "criminals" are kept busy using their powers against one another in an effort to stay empowered in the institution, and the result is an acceptable level of corruption and so on. It's not perfect, but it works a lot better than monarchy or anarchy.

    Yeah, that all already happened.

    So we need more stringent financial regulations to prevent a repeat of the recent past, yes? Like the sorts of things we had in place not so long ago?

    What is "the productive class?" How do we identify a member of such?

    Are you unaware that producerism is an ugly, radical right-wing ideology that runs directly into fascism?

    Can you guess the author of the following quote:

    "We demand the fulfilment of the just claims of the productive classes by the state"

  9. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Even if they initiate the use of force against you?

    I.e., you have to try to become a rich person. Because the world is divided into rich people and losers.

    Not that iceaura has ever had a single bad thing to say about free markets, in situations where such things can actually exist. Rejecting the inanity of applying the "free market" paradigm to areas that defy its fundamental assumptions (like medical care) is just that.

    You're really muddling here - you seem, on the one hand, to reject the plutocratic state we've arrived at, but your response is to demand a more extreme, pure version of exactly the ideology that said plutocrats have ridden into their current position. It would be kind of funny if it weren't so sad.

    It isn't the central banks that are causing the insolvency and inequality, mostly.

    Are you conflating Central Banks with Investment Banks?

    Ron Paul's clearly-stated platform is a give-away to the rich that will permanently disenfranchise everyone else. Any of the window-dressing about gold or drug legalization is just that.
  10. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    It is if the police and the courts do it. Theres a difference between 'personal liberty' and 'public liberty'.

    Republicans are primarily bible thumpers...and will therefore never accept the principle of personal liberty.

    Christianity doesnt believe in personal liberty because it doesnt believe in personal sovereignty.

    Personal sin is not only your business but GOD's business...and therefore also the business of his agents on earth.
  11. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    Jolly is a word I would use to describe Marc Faber...but this paragraph isnt exactly correct.

    When you buy a toaster at Walmart some of the retail price goes to China yes, but some also goes to pay for the store, to maintain the store, to pay the staff, the truck drivers, the fuel and electricity costs, and a 3% profit to build more Walmarts.

    Also, prostitution doesnt create wealth...it just relocates wealth from Marc's wallet to a purse.

    Beer at least, has some nutritional content.
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  12. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member


    I think the criminals are not busy fighting with themselves and are instead slicing up the pie.
    And, you're OK with this?
    I don't think so. It's not possible to regulate the financial markets. Regulating them is not going to work because the system is structurally unsound. They've screwing us over since well before Clinton gave them free-reign. Again and Again. Not just us. In Japan too. This system was designed to "smooth out the markets". When 0.1% own 80% of the markets - that's code for continued Aristrocracy. Something Joe just doesn't seem to be able to grasp. Then again, he gushes over Bernanke and Krugman like a schoolgirl at a prom

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    We need a different monetary system. One where the greedy can gamble and win and loose and that's that. It won't have much of an effect on you or I - unless we're "in the game". That's a better system all around. I'm sure if you think of it a bit more, you'll come to the same conclusion. Central Banking Cartels do not work any differently than Kings and Queens. They're the same. The 0.1% are modern day Aristocrats. Competing currencies, where any community can create their own currency is inherently much more stable.

    Again I'll ask: When the government sells Bonds to the Chinese - what's backing the value in the Bond? It's your future labor and your childresn future labor. That is immoral. It's slavery. Debt-based Slavery.
    I wouldn't say there's a productive "class" of people - are there? Is the worker productive or the employer who started the company? Or both? I'd say both.

    The person who only consumes, I'd say this person is unproductive. This would encompass a lot of Americans at this point in history.
    That's a pretty short quote and I have not context. Without googling I'd guess it must be someone famous. Hitler? Stalin? Obama? Thomas Jefferson? Ron Paul? Jesus?

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    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  13. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Then I'm acting in self defense. Steve Jobs is not initating force against me when he offers me an iPhone. I can refuse to buy it and instead buy Android. There's nothing he can do.
    I didn't say that. I've never once in my life striven to become rich and I am not rich. I do not care about most things a wealthy person would care about. I know wealthy people. Some extremely wealthy. I find them sometimes sad and other times small minded. Many are not happy.

    Money will not make you happy. I knew that from a very early age. As a matter of fact, when you live on $25 a week. Money has almost no meaning at all in an odd sort of way it's meaningless. Maybe that's why I feel happy to discard this system and start anew? I didn't grow up thinking about money but thinking about thinking.
    In a free-market medical care would be much better and much cheaper than it is now. You just don't understand that power that is unleashed in a free-market.

    Medicine as it is now is 100% State monopoly. It's driven by the AMA as well as rich surgeons as well as politicians all the way to Universities who are damn well sure they keep "Medicine" and it's prestige all to themselves. I'm pretty sure USYD GMP would have been closed it was so pathetic. You would be shocked. I'm not joking. MDs who can't find a liver on an X-ray. Yeah, the norm.

    You'd have to expound your position here. It's not clear enough.

    Oh, I think it is.
    Nope. Not to say Investment Banks are any better.
    Once you're free of their currency, it doesn't matter how many papers dollars they have now does it? Just as Zimbabweans. Pretty little numbers on pretty little paper isn't worth any more than other peaces of paper ... to some people.
  14. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    I'm not sure if I get what you're getting at. Public liberty can not impinge upon personal liberty or there is a problem with the structure of that society.

    You can not say: Wearing a burka is public liberty because not to do so is hurting the eyes of these other people. Why? Because that impinges on the personal liberty of a person to wear what they damn well want to wear (or nothing at all).

    If not, then where do we derive our morals from? You can't vote morality can you? Five men on an island can not vote that rape is legal just because a woman washed ashore AND think they're acting moral. They may be acting legally - but their actions will be immoral.

    Well, I wonder if, in a free-market, idiot republican bible thumpers wouldn't be out competed. I certainly think that'd be the case with the LDS. Most suck off the government teat like ... well, like you can imagine

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  15. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Well now this is a fundamental question isn't it?

    Does production create wealth?

    The idea of markets is to distribute good efficiently. So, if people really want blueberries and not blackberries. Resources are utilized to provide the market with blueberries cheaply and blackberries will be more expensive.

    Imagine if you could FORCE people to buy sex licenses. People like sex. But, you make them buy a license. This employs people. Has this created wealth? It's providing a service. But, it's an artificial service. People don't WANT the licenses. They want the sex. Therefor licenses are actually wasting resources. The work people are doing issuing them is actually REDUCING prosperity - even though they themselves are employed. Assuming the earth is limited in it's resources - we should rather the FREE market decide if people want a sex license.

    We've been able to get away with a LOT of these shenanigans - but at a HUGE cost to society. From "rich as oil sheiks" to barely white-trash in less than 30 years. Why? IMO it's because we've issued one too many sex licenses. AND while the majority of people like to think they not only need a sex license to have sex, but that I should pay for one too (and have the gall to force ME to buy one!) well, their insolence is coming to an end. Reality has a funny way of catching up with all of us - even society.
  16. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Lastly, I'd like to reiterate I am not "wealthy". I am middle class. I do a lot of traveling because I've chosen not to buy my house as I move around a lot. I own a house, and while that house is nice, it's losing value year after year and the people living in it (family) live there for free and will do so until long from now. I don't plan to move back there - ever. I don't plan to sell that house.

    I may buy a house again. I was thinking of buying one in Japan. Or not?

    The reason why I support the free-market is because I've come to accept that we have not been living in a free-market for a long time (if ever) and that free-markets are the most moral systems when part of a moral society with moral sound money. This means we must eliminate Central Banks as they are immoral. We must eliminate income tax.

    Will this happen? I have no idea. I was thinking maybe 120 years. Or never. Or 5 years? Who knows.

    If Central Banks keep printing we will get inflation. If they shit their pants then we will get deflation. That is not a free-market. That's a farm. We are the cattle on that farm. I don't like living as Cattle. You can if you want to, but I don't want to. I am a part of society though. I should no more be forced to leave as you should be. So? Why not try and make a society where some people can use central banks fiat and others can issue their own currency and we'll let "the market" (code for you and I) decide which we'd like to use...
  17. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    Depends on what is being produced. When there was a famine in Haiti some people started producing mud pies and selling them to the starving.

    You could say in this case that the production didnt produce real wealth...but it did make the buyers feel full for a while.

    And that feeling of fullness was obviously marketable.

    This is why using the GDP as an economic indicator of prosperity is so silly...because a lot of its calibrated transactions are not necessarily worthwhile.
  18. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    Yup, this is how I feel about all the derivatives trading that goes on at banks.

    This is a HUGE market in the hundreds of trillions.

    Its just moving wealth from one place to another without creating any...like your bureaucrats issuing sex licences.
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You put so much effort into denying your political roots, setting up this world in which you are above politics and dwelling in the realm of facts and realities - - and then jump a shark like that. Clinton?

    That small group of men you hold up as expressions of your views - the Founders of the American experiment - had strong views on the regulation of corporations and their financial dealings. Check them out sometime - they thought regulation of financial markets not only possible but a fundamental role of government.

    Or consider: what do you mean by "structurally unsound" - is that not simply a synonym for poorly or inadequately regulated, given the human nature of Banking Man?
  20. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    I understand free markets just fine. Which is why I understand very well exactly why it is impossible to establish a free market in something like medical care. Consumers in the medical care market do not have information symmetry with the sellers, and their ability to decline a service they don't like the pricing of is extremely circumscribed. Competition is frequently absent, and the barriers to entry are necessarily very high. In many important cases, the consumer isn't even conscious when the relevant decisions are being made.

    The free market might work for elective medicine (indeed, it apparently already does), but not for the actual needed care that we're primarily concerned with.

    Your free-market sloganeering here is just that. I don't think you have much grasp on how these things work (or don't work). You've just got a one-size-fits-all solution - which just so happens to include tax cuts and deregulation - that you uncritically demand the application of everywhere, without any actual policy analysis.

    Not where I live, it isn't. There's a slew of private insurance companies and HMOs etc.

    Medicine is definitely a guild, and the AMA definitely plays a big role in maintaining that.

    But what is your alternative? How can we have enforced standards of qualification for doctors, without there being some body that has a monopoly on such?

    Your plan is to do away with accreditation for doctors? Or what?
  21. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    US has an expensive "For Profit" medical system. Any of the European, Canadian, or Japanese (probably some more "socialized medicine" is IMHO a better alternative, measured by life expectancy provided and total cost to society (Typical US cost is 2.5 times greater and life expectancy is at least 2 years less in US.)

    The US´s self-serving guild, (AMA), has strong financial interest so should not be controlling the supply of doctors. Let the governments do that (including their educations and qualifications to practice) . The AMA controlling medicine is the fox guarding the hen house!

    All the cost of private profit making medical insurance policies could be eliminated, when the government pays. Some states have started to regulate the millions of dollars drug companies give to US doctor to prescribe their new more expensive drug (often without any demonstrated benefit - for example proton beam treatment of prostate cancer. and dozens of others)

    Doctors in UK, etc. work on salary so entered medical school mainly because the wanted to help´cure the sick knowing they will never get extraordinarily rich. In the US, getting an MD license is a ticket to great wealth. - Which type of doctor would you want cutting on you - the profit driven or service driven doctor?

    An example: APL´s space department made an implantable heart pacer with the same extreme quality control used in space craft and very high technology - Its rechargable battery lasted more than a week. (Recharged by spending half an hour in chair wearing vest with a coil in it while watching TV or reading.)

    Back then the expendable batteries need minor abdominal surgery about every 15 months (They last years now with less power required fro the electronics.) to replace battery. (Only a cable goes up to the heart.) Even though the APL unit was smaller, essentailly the same price, and so reliable it had a mean time between failures greater than 30 years, very few doctors would use it - they wanted that cash flow every year or so for very simple operation.

    Yes, there are many evils in the US´s for profit medical system in additions to the higher costs and shorter life expectancies because the type of students entring the field are often also "profit driven." In the UK etc. doctor gets same pay if he takes 20 minutes or longer with each patient. - He does better diagnose, etc. than in US where doctors have assistants and send five or less minutes with each patient.

    SUMMARY: Yes there are much better alternative medical systems with years of proven superiority (Except for the 1% who can pay >$10,000 every time they have a medical problem at Mayo Clinic, etc.)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2012
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I can tell that you've been out of the country since the 1960s.

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    It's not like that anymore. Even students who take degrees in accounting or history often graduate from college with student loan debts of $50K or more. Those who get M.D. degrees owe $200-400K, depending on the university. The only jobs available to new graduates are in HMOs, which don't pay very well, or in small clinics that administer to the poor and rely greatly on government funding, which pay even less. If he's good he might get a job at a public hospital, which pays better but still nothing to brag about.

    It can take a young doctor ten years just to pay off his student loan, at which time he's in his late 30s and not so young any more. Now that he has some experience he might be hired by a clinic with private patients or by a private hospital. Or he could start his own practice, in which case he has to buy a zillion dollars worth of equipment and he's right back in massive debt again.

    If he's good then yes, he might retire with a few million dollars in his retirement account; but remember that these days a married couple needs at least two million dollars to retire comfortably rather than merely surviving.

    Of course some of them become heart surgeons and retire with $25M. But there aren't that many heart surgeons. Not all doctors are so successful. If they open up their own private practice or go into partnership with an existing private practice, they have to buy malpractice insurance. Because the one thing America has a surplus of is attorneys, doctors are constantly being sued so malpractice insurance costs a fortune. They have to have all kinds of crazy equipment to be in conformance with the laws about practicing medicine. Most male doctors have to pay a female nurse practitioner to perform intimate procedures on female patients, or at least to be in the room in case the patient's predatory attorney convinces her to sue him for sexual harassment. And all of this comes out of their own income.
    You've been away for so long that you don't even think like an American anymore. There's no conflict between profit and service. Those who provide the best service earn the most profit. Obviously in real life this isn't always completely true, but that's our model and it's true enough.

    In my experience, the USA is the only country in which both parties to a transaction say "thank you."
    I've known many doctors over the decades and I've never met one like that. Are you sure you're not getting your news about America from Pravda and Al Jazeera, like Sam? Or do you have some great-grandchildren in the USA who belong to the Occupy movement?
    The reason for our shorter life expectancy is that we don't lead healthy lives. We're all 30lb/14kg overweight, we don't get enough sleep, we eat all the wrong foods, we don't get enough exercise, and we worry too much.

    Actually my mini-generation (the War Babies, born 1941-1945, when the birth rate was low because none of the men were home) are probably the healthiest Americans who ever lived because we took health food, aerobics and transcendental meditation seriously. But the Baby Boomers (1946-1964) have not been following in our footsteps, and they are the bulge in the curve that defines every attribute about America. Their children are even worse off because they spend their whole lives texting, playing MMORPGs and eating Big Macs.

    As for the higher costs, this goes back to the reason I cited above: defensive medicine. Doctors perform an endless barrage of tests, knowing that they're not necessary medically, because they're necessary legally. When they get sued by a predatory attorney, all he has to do is convince the jury that the one test the doctor failed to perform might have saved the patient's life, the doctor will lose the case and suddenly he's facing a multi-million-dollar judgement and he'll never be allowed to work again.

    At the highest level I can't disagree with your assessment of the U.S. economy. However, you've got the details all wrong. The problem is not with the doctors or the other professionals. The problem is that we have too many lawyers. Most of the people in Congress are lawyers so you can bet that they will never pass laws that will weaken that group's stranglehold on the country.

    I have a friend who has worked for an insurance company for 40 years. 25 years ago she was the claim examiner on a horrible auto accident in which two people were badly injured. Fortunately they both made full recoveries but their hospital bills were outrageous. To make a long story short, the driver had more-or-less stolen the car while the owners were out of the country on vacation. The state where the accident occurred has a law stating that if your car is involved in an accident, no matter who is driving, then you are liable for the damages. The only way out of that is if you can prove that the driver did not have your permission.

    Even though the victims recovered and the hospital's bill was paid by their medical insurance, that insurance company never agreed to a settlement so the case is still in process. They hired some new lawyers who found a clever loophole that might allow them to claim that the driver did have the owner's permission. And they're suing the insurance company for fifteen million dollars! How much of that money will go into the pockets of the attorneys?

    Oh yeah, and my friend has spent the last two months reading a hundred pages of court transcripts of her own testimony from 25 years ago, and "playing court" with her company's lawyers to make sure she'll be a believable witness.

    This is what happens in a country with too many lawyers.
    I notice you haven't mentioned how long it takes to get an appointment in those countries. You could die while you're waiting.
    Places like the Mayo Clinic don't take patients from the general population no matter how rich they are. They reserve their limited resources for cases that other doctors can't solve, for illnesses that have only been documented twice and they have the only doctor who's familiar with them, for epidemics that could wipe out an entire city, etc.

    Well okay if you're really rich you can bribe anybody. But your concept of "rich" is about thirty years out of date. Make that $250K and maybe they'll let you in, not $10K. The justification is that at that point you become a "benefactor" so they owe you a favor.

    I had perfectly unremarkable surgery on my rotator cuff two years ago and the bill was $15K. Fortunately I have good insurance so I only had to pay $3K. And yes I'm sure that my surgeon's attorney, the hospital's attorney, the anesthesiologist's attorney, and the insurance company's attorney all got a big part of that money.
  23. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    MD's often start out at a salary 4 times or more greater than that of your average accountant. Why people defend the right of physicians to receive extraordinary compensation is beyond me. It is another entitlement.

    Artificial restraint of physician supply is not acceptable. Maybe we need to rethink how physicians are trained rather than to continue restraining the the supply of physicians in order to protect the physician's extraordinary paycheck.


    How is that any different from an accountant or any other college graduate? It isn't.

    If your claims were true, you might have a point. But they are not. Just look at the salaries I posted in this thread. Physicians in the US are not the poor peasants you are making them out to be.

    I assume you have some evidence to back up your claims here or are you just repeating Republican/industry talking points again? Because the Congressional Budget Office which has studied this claim has determined that tort reform would only decrease US healthcare expenses by a whopping 2%.


    Unfortunately, the evidence does not support your claims. Do you think that people in other industrial countries don't have similar tort laws? The hard facts are that other industrial countries have better and more efficient healthcare systems. The US is spending nearly 20 percent of its income on healthcare, more that twice what any other industrial country pays for healthcare and they cover everyone whereas we only cover a fraction of our population with healthcare insurance and they get better outcomes.

    CBO Study on Tort Reform


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