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Are 99%ers poking fingers at a failure of capitalism?


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#101 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7556

Posted 05 November 2011 - 12:36 PM

@phantom: The USA IS GREAT! :P


Of course it is, of course it is... :P

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#102 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5449

Posted 05 November 2011 - 12:44 PM

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.



I wonder how this would be written today. Replace people with corporations perhaps? Or redefine corporations as people.. that's probably enough.

#103 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 05 November 2011 - 01:36 PM

Well, no.. it doesn't. If the health care was, in general, good quality then it would rank higher... the fact it ranks lower suggest that in general the quality isn't good. The fact that "high quality" exists for the minority who can afford it doesn't change the case of the majority/general case.


Well if I were to say, "Ferrari is constantly outperformed by the Toyota Prius," I'd want that clarified also. Would you say a Ferrari is lower quality than a Toyota Prius without further clarification? Would you say that Ferrari in general is lower quality than Toyota in general?

#104 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

Posted 05 November 2011 - 02:03 PM

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.



I wonder how this would be written today. Replace people with corporations perhaps? Or redefine corporations as people.. that's probably enough.

From what I understand, corporations are legally people. I believe the 14th amendment is given as the basis for this.
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#105 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7556

Posted 05 November 2011 - 05:46 PM


Well, no.. it doesn't. If the health care was, in general, good quality then it would rank higher... the fact it ranks lower suggest that in general the quality isn't good. The fact that "high quality" exists for the minority who can afford it doesn't change the case of the majority/general case.


Well if I were to say, "Ferrari is constantly outperformed by the Toyota Prius," I'd want that clarified also. Would you say a Ferrari is lower quality than a Toyota Prius without further clarification? Would you say that Ferrari in general is lower quality than Toyota in general?


heh, thanks, I needed a laugh.. the lengths you will goto to try and twist things to that your great US of A can't have anything bad said about it... well.. you should probably run for the goverment...

You are two blind to apprently see the stupidness of your reasoning so I'm going to leave you to your little dream world; the rest of us understand what that study is saying even if you don't.

#106 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1734

Posted 05 November 2011 - 06:08 PM

However, to try to get back ontopic, it seems that the OWS is asking a question (well one of many) that many corporations can't answer. "Where are the jobs?" We know that the corporations can create them. There's been several reports saying that regulations aren't affecting job growth or profit. We know that the tax cuts for businesses and the rich have had a stellar effect on their profits and overall wealth. We know that a number of corporations and financial firms would not be in business if not for the bailouts. I dare say that hiring more people now would quickly create demand and therefore more profit than businesses are getting currently.

And, IMO, if businesses were bailed out by the taxpayer, then the taxpayer has a right to say that the businesses owe them a job.


Corporations will hire when it will make them more money to do so. That's the thing about these large companies, they are predictably greedy. Why should they hire just because they can? That doesn't make financial sense.

#107 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1734

Posted 05 November 2011 - 06:14 PM

You can have the best health care system in the world but if the vast majority of the population can't get access to it then it has failed and you might as well not have it. So, yes, you get 'out ranked' for a very good reason because the rank is what the majority see.
Education system, same deal. If your whole population isn't getting access to 'the best' then it doesn't matter how much you spend.


I completely agree. The US Government is failing to deliver on both fronts. We should learn from the countries who are doing it better and follow their example where it makes sense.

#108 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

Posted 05 November 2011 - 08:14 PM


However, to try to get back ontopic, it seems that the OWS is asking a question (well one of many) that many corporations can't answer. "Where are the jobs?" We know that the corporations can create them. There's been several reports saying that regulations aren't affecting job growth or profit. We know that the tax cuts for businesses and the rich have had a stellar effect on their profits and overall wealth. We know that a number of corporations and financial firms would not be in business if not for the bailouts. I dare say that hiring more people now would quickly create demand and therefore more profit than businesses are getting currently.

And, IMO, if businesses were bailed out by the taxpayer, then the taxpayer has a right to say that the businesses owe them a job.


Corporations will hire when it will make them more money to do so. That's the thing about these large companies, they are predictably greedy. Why should they hire just because they can? That doesn't make financial sense.

You quoted me but your response seems to completely ignore what I wrote. But anyway, corporations are saying that they are not hiring because they don't know what taxes are going to be like in the future. Also they say that regulations are also stifiling business. In summary, too much uncertainty. But we know that in Clinton's era taxes were far higher than they were now and businesses (small, large, multinational) were booming. I've mentioned that there have been reports, articles that say that regulations are not nearly as stifling if at all to corporations. And we know. That if businesses were hiring than it will create more demand and therefore raise profits across the board. If they're as greedy as you said and they want more profits then that's the surest way to do so. Even businesses acknowledge that's there is not much demand. We know it's because the people who have jobs are for the most part buying what they need not what they want. And that's because of uncertainty in the job market and stipulations such as "if you've been unemployed for X months, we won't hire you".
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#109 Eelco   Members   -  Reputation: 301

Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:41 AM

If your whole population isn't getting access to 'the best' then it doesn't matter how much you spend.

Or so the socialist claims.

Or actually: so the national socialist claims. An international socialist would equally downrate the UK system for not providing care to, say, the Thai.

#110 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2397

Posted 06 November 2011 - 08:30 AM

Or so the socialist claims.

Or actually: so the national socialist claims. An international socialist would equally downrate the UK system for not providing care to, say, the Thai.


Calling unto -isms is not productive area of discussion. Like I said about education, the easiest thing to do is slap some label on someone or something and be done with it.


Regarding healthcare. Doctors don't collect checks, they don't issue bills. People working in health are paid by health insurance companies. Those dictate the type of treatments, duration, time per patient, etc... They require things like: we cover 7 minutes per patient.

Then there's the other side of insurance, the one that health industry needs to pay. Protection against malpractice and similar. So a doctor receives X from health and needs to spend Y for insurance. At 7 minutes per patient, they usually need to see ~60 people per day just to break even. So the next time your doctor overbooks you and then rushes you off with some generic medicine, don't blame them. If they spent more time, they won't make ends meet.


Enter pharma industry. How does doctor improve their situation? Well: "we would be very forthcoming if you were to recommend X for treatment of Y over Z".

This worked for a while. But then people got healthy. Better standard, better living conditions, regular treatments... And suddenly, Y became rare. Pharma looked at charts showing they will be out of business soon (which also means other kinds of medicine and related research would no longer exist).

If 20 years ago threshold for certain disease was 25, it was now lowered to 15. And suddenly, number of, say, diabetics, went from 1 in 5000 to 1 in 100 (fake numbers, but approximate ratios). 50 times more medicine sold. During last decade, these thresholds were systematically lowered to the point where certain harmless and normal conditions, which were never an issue became an epidemic, sometimes affecting 1/4 of population. General focus is non-life-threatening chronic conditions.

That is the alternative to "socialism". Under capitalism, healthy people aren't customers. And since it's illegal to make them ill, one simply changes the relevant metrics. It was said long ago: "US industry doesn't fulfill needs, it creates them". The concept has since become globalized and isn't US-specific anymore.

Oh, your health? Who cares. Unless you're ill, you're not a consumer. So contract a few chronic diseases, then we'll talk about life-long, $1000 per month treatments. Bring family, let them be ill too.

#111 Oberon_Command   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1960

Posted 06 November 2011 - 10:26 AM

Regarding healthcare. Doctors don't collect checks, they don't issue bills. People working in health are paid by health insurance companies. Those dictate the type of treatments, duration, time per patient, etc... They require things like: we cover 7 minutes per patient.

Then there's the other side of insurance, the one that health industry needs to pay. Protection against malpractice and similar. So a doctor receives X from health and needs to spend Y for insurance. At 7 minutes per patient, they usually need to see ~60 people per day just to break even. So the next time your doctor overbooks you and then rushes you off with some generic medicine, don't blame them. If they spent more time, they won't make ends meet.


Wow, that sounds really broken.

#112 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 06 November 2011 - 11:05 AM

heh, thanks, I needed a laugh.. the lengths you will goto to try and twist things to that your great US of A can't have anything bad said about it... well.. you should probably run for the goverment...

You are two blind to apprently see the stupidness of your reasoning so I'm going to leave you to your little dream world; the rest of us understand what that study is saying even if you don't.

In this thread I've pretty much trashed the US education system, voting system, pretty much all politicians in the US, and criticized the handling of the bailouts. Just because I don't think it's fair to say that one of the most advanced health care systems in the world is "consistently outperformed" without clarification doesn't mean I'm not willing to criticize the country.

edit: and tax code. I also criticized the US tax code.

#113 Binomine   Members   -  Reputation: 538

Posted 07 November 2011 - 05:41 AM

[Wow, that sounds really broken.

Most Americans don't realize that their medical care is negotiable, since most of the people just pay a big insurance company to do it for them, so most people don't understand the problems facing our health care system.

It's unethical for a doctor to prescribe treatments based on money, so they are usually separate from the whole billing process. It's kind of weird, since pharma companies advertise directly to doctors knowing they want to sell a more expensive product, but doctors often don't get cost information, so they wind up doing seriously broken things.

Since insurance companies are large customers of hospitals, they can haggle about price like any other commodity. Then add our governmental insurance (medicaid / medicare) , which also negotiates price, and the whole system is really broken from top down. A lot of hospital policies are based on price haggling, and usually the nurse's and doctor's unions fighting for patient care, although most of the workers are outside this process along with pretty much anyone with insurance.

#114 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1734

Posted 07 November 2011 - 10:31 AM

Most Americans don't realize that their medical care is negotiable, since most of the people just pay a big insurance company to do it for them, so most people don't understand the problems facing our health care system.


Indeed. We recently had our second child without insurance. The total bill for 6 months worth of Dr. visits and the actual delivery was just over $3,000. That would have been MUCH more expensive out of pocket if we had insurance. At least 9 months of insurance premiums at $500 / month just for my wife, approximately $2.5k in deductibles and 30% coinsurance for the delivery. Not saying that you shouldn't have insurance... but maternity coverage is ridiculous. Of course if we had any problems during delivery we would have been screwed. Fortunately things worked out well, and it was relatively inexpensive.

I would definitely support a sane single payer system, but it has to do better than Obama's attempt. C'mon, people are REQUIRED to buy private health insurance?!

#115 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

Posted 07 November 2011 - 10:55 AM

The healthcare payment system is way out of control. The sticker price for care, which no one actually pays, continually increases because of the discounted rates that insurance companies and the government negotiate, among other reasons. Even totally uninsured people are rarely charged the list price for services, either because it is illegal or because hospitals go straight to their uncompensated care funds. The $3000 cost for 6 months of prenatal care and the delivery probably didn't even come close to covering the pay for the people involved, let alone facility and equipment costs. Someone paid the difference.

Obama's indinvidual mandate was a compromise because the very concept of single payer coverage was DOA in Congress. He was pro-single payer, but quickly realized that it wasn't going to go anywhere.

I wish that something would bring healthcare costs under control, but I have a hard time seeing how anything other than government intervention will do it-- and there's such strong opposition to that that only the weakest options get very far.

Congrats on the new baby by the way tstrimple, how's he or she doing?

#116 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

Posted 07 November 2011 - 11:33 AM

I would definitely support a sane single payer system, but it has to do better than Obama's attempt. C'mon, people are REQUIRED to buy private health insurance?!

What Khaiy said. But yes, Obama was all for a single-payer system, but was left to compromise with a mandate private insurance system. Which like you I don't agree with.
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#117 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 07 November 2011 - 11:40 AM

I wish that something would bring healthcare costs under control, but I have a hard time seeing how anything other than government intervention will do it-- and there's such strong opposition to that that only the weakest options get very far.

Much like taxes, I found Obama's approach to healthcare misguided. Single payer systems and privatized insurance should both work fine, but the larger problem is the cost, which doesn't change drastically purely by implementing either system. It felt very much like they were regulating the symptoms rather than fixing the problem, which is rising medical costs.

I also criticize the process they took passing it. There were tons of non-controversial parts of the health care bill that could have been split off into their own bill and passed in a couple of hours, but we had to wait for months debating the more controversial things before we could get all the pieces that most people wanted like having centralized accessible medical records for everyone.

#118 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

Posted 07 November 2011 - 12:23 PM

I will say this and I think you will agree way2. The bigger priority is not the debt but tax reform. Unfortunately with all fervor over cutting spending and the debt, they've brought the cart before the horse.
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#119 Gamer Gamester   Members   -  Reputation: 136

Posted 07 November 2011 - 01:18 PM

The corporation is not the optimal way of organizing our societies. Putting profit ahead of all other priorities (genuine value creation, morals, etc.) is not balanced. Yes, human nature contains greed, and any society must deal with this. Capitalism purports to turn this negative into a positive (structure things so that you get rich and powerful -- "satisfy" your greed (if that's even possible with greed's nature) -- by generating real value for society). However, our current system fails: you can get rich and powerful without creating value -- in fact, you can do so by creating harm! We seem to have a bizarre fixation on that one aspect of human nature -- greed-- and overemphasize this as if it's the only relevant human quality and the only "realistic" motivator. I don't believe this is true, but it can be hard to see otherwise when our main measures of "success" are based on profit.

The general populace isn't being raised into good citizens. If the "free market" is the best way to organize the interactions of our lifestyles, then that places a large importance on how we interact through the market. In a "free market" society, who you vote for doesn't matter as much as what you buy and what you sell. Why are all the jobs being shipped overseas? I don't know... why is everybody buying goods that are manufactured overseas?

Really, schools should include "Free Market 101" as part of the curriculum. "Consumers" should be very curious about where the things they buy come from. Don't buy evil! And what if there are no "good" options out there? Think of the entrepreneurial opportunity here! You could be the only player in the market for a "good" version of this good (ha!) or service (which would be quite valuable -- in a society where people actually paid attention to what they're buying).

It's ironic. Where are the jobs? Create them! Really, we want jobs to be able to fulfill the needs and desires we have. So there's plenty of "work" available out there to fill all these needs and desires. The corporations aren't structuring this for us, but do we really like the job they do anyway? Why aren't we creating our own jobs? It appears our citizens don't think entrepreneurially, and don't have the right values as consumers to support such thinking.

#120 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1734

Posted 07 November 2011 - 01:21 PM

The $3000 cost for 6 months of prenatal care and the delivery probably didn't even come close to covering the pay for the people involved, let alone facility and equipment costs. Someone paid the difference.


I don't think that's true. The prenatal and delivery were paid directly to the doctor. The hospital was paid around $1700 for using a bed overnight. We definitely do not qualify for any discounted prices based on income level. There was probably some discount for cash payment, and not using a payment plan.

Congrats on the new baby by the way tstrimple, how's he or she doing?


Thanks! Things are great on the nights she goes to sleep. I think we're almost out of the 2AM nights trying to get the baby to sleep.




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