Who benefit to a government shutdown? Who would benefit from a default?

Discussion in 'Think Tank' started by Anonymous, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. Anonymous Member

    I don't want any involuntary transfer of funds from one person to another. We all call that theft in any other context. I don't think society is benefited by involuntary transfers of money, goods, or services from one person to another.

    Politics destroy people's moral sense. Where you would never think to grab some strangers money, politics makes it palatable to steal using the government as the middle man.

    Which is another problem with the single payer--we are switching from one middle man (insurance companies) to another middle man, namely government.

    Wrong on both counts.
    I did.
    1. ACA allows young Americans to stay on their parents’ insurance plans
    The first point is interesting--it infantalizes adults. Not what I want in a society. Interestingly, between the ages of 18 and 45, I saw an MD once. In fact, most of my male friends were the same. The females went for their pap smears, that was about it.
    And what if your parents don't have coverage? Then oh well, there you go, falling between the cracks.
    2. ACA bans insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions
    which raises premiums for everyone, directly contradicting the claims of lower costs. The money for those subsidies comes from the rest of us, those who pay taxes.
    3. ACA offers tax credits to small businesses to buy insurance
    great!. More IRS in our lives. Yep, that's gonna help, I'm sure. Again, this is a transfer of funds from the person who earned it to people who didn't.
    4. ACA requires companies with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance
    And we've seen how the companies are reacting to that-no more full time jobs and companies will be incentivized to stay under the cap. Yep, that'll help the economy grind to a halt.
    5. ACA provides subsidies to help individuals afford coverage
    Again, more IRS, and more theft from one person to another. Those subsidies will help raise the price of ACA. THat is what happens when 'free' money is being used to solve problems.

    If the government were to simply go away, health care would be affordable. A catastrophic insurance plan is cheap. Cover things like cancer and heart attacks, and let people take care of themselves. That's what individual responsibility is, taking care of yourself, and insuring against the unexpected.

    I was reading about new medical boutiques shops, $100 a month, and you are covered for anything that can be done in a doctor's office. Add a catastrophic insurance package, and the problem is solved without ACA.
  2. The Internet Member

    I understand that we don't want to incentivize sloth and stupidity. But we can have both a safety net and an economic system that rewards ingenuity and effort.

    Libertarians make some good arguments. Here's an example: the price gouging argument. Whenever there's an emergency situation like a loss of power for several days or a transportation crisis, people will go to the hardware store and buy things like batteries, generators, chainsaws, etc. At such times stores may double or triple their prices. Customers get pretty mad about that. They say that they're already suffering due to the emergency and it's wrong to take advantage of them at such times. Sometimes there's talk of passing laws to stop price gouging.

    However, if a store can't raise prices they'll sell out of certain items rapidly and it will be a long time before they'll get restocked. With higher prices, customers will think twice about their purchases, giving those most in need the opportunity to get the items.

    Also, if store owners can't raise prices during a shortage they won't have much incentive to keep extra supplies on hand for future emergencies. This likely will make it harder for communities to remain functional after an ice storm or an earthquake.

    Pretty good argument in favor of price gouging, I think. It's the kind of argument that helps people see beyond emotional appeals against the big meanies being mean. Perhaps I should stop here and enjoy this warm moment of agreement with my libertarian friends.
  3. Anonymous Member

    You really shouldn't. The dude is arguing, from a position of being completely oblivious to just how comparatively much shittier and more expensive the US healthcare system really is, using incredibly stupid sophistic illogical buzzphrases like "If the government were to simply go away, health care would be affordable."

    It's nonsense from someone who, for what seems like purely ideological reasons (such as considering taxes as being 'theft'), can't even bring himself/herself/itself to see that the healthcare system in certain countries is much better, much cheaper, more comprehensive, etc.

    It has always puzzled how easily morons can get duped with simplistic buzzphrase ideology into supporting something completely at odds with not just their own person interests, but the interests of almost everyone else in their country.

    The irony that they have used the internet, a product of evil gov spending, to spout this shit is completely beyond them.
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  4. Anonymous Member

    So, all able-bodied people with a job chipping in to a communal money pot to take care of the sick is bad for moral? That is an, eh, interesting approach. Following that logic all taxation, also that for schools, police, infrastructure and an army to protect the nations wealth is also immoral, and should be bought the people needing such things.

    Of course, there are places on the globe where the such arguments really do fly, and where everyone has to buy their own services outright. Non of them are places I would care to live.
  5. The Internet Member

    Thing is, we are all paying for the uninsured anyway. These people still get sick or hurt and wind up in our hospitals creating bad debt which is usually subsidized by local taxes. But to get from that ER visit to the tax man there are god knows how many people involved, making the overhead for that ER visit ridiculous.
  6. The Internet Member

    I feel your pain. But right now I want to be patient and to try to convince people slowly and respectfully using good arguments if I can.

    I'm still optimistic that Americans can rise above the tribalism imposed upon them by slick pseudo-grass roots marketing professionals. We are an unbelievably blessed, diverse, clever, and generous people. We can do this. I just know it.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Enturbuleak Member

  8. Anonymous Member

    Thanks. A succinct explanation of why prices matter. And when prices are distorted, then people suffer. Remember that when you think of all the price distortion going on in the medical market now, then apply this logic to that market and you are well on the way to understanding my take on economics.
    Then read this please:

    US health care IS outrageously expensive. That is true. My argument is it is the government interference in the market that is causing those prices to be so high. I have given economic reasons why this is so, You have not refuted or even addressed a single one of those arguments.

    Yet everything the Dems and GOP do are purely ideological, or purely pragmatic. The proper way is to have principles, which is what I am espousing here, principles for a just society, one that doesn't steal from some to give to others.

    It's really hard to compare one country to another in this regard, but look at the survival rate for serious stuff like cancer, and see how US patients fare compared to other countries. We (the US) are far superior, ie you you'll live longer with American care if you get cancer or other serious problem).
    I look beyond the news reports to other data. My take on universal health care is that it replaces money with time. IE, you have to wait. I may be wrong, but that doesn't affect the other arguments against government provided health care.

    "It has always puzzled how easily morons can get duped with simplistic buzz phrase ideology."
    Dude, you are spouting Democratic buzzphrases at me. THe irony is delirious.
    I explained how ACA will help me and hurt you, yet you still say this. Now who is being simplistic?
    Ah, yes, the internet was invented by the government

    SO what? It did nothing with it. It took the market to show what the net could do.

    Also, it would have been invented with or without the government. The technology suggests itself.
  9. Anonymous Member

    Actually, i like this idea. We chip in VOLUNTARILY, not by coercion or force or fraud. That's how the US operated before the USG took over charity and turned it into welfare. People voluntarily helped other people
    What a concept. It helps foster a sense of community, it fosters a sense of self reliance.

    Why do you have two sets of rules for people? One set of your rules says theft is immoral, yet another set of your rules says that theft is OK if done by a majority. I thought the rule of law is that law applies equally to all? Why do you want to set up special privileges for certain people? It sounds a lot the divine rights of kings to me to say that some people can point guns, take money and not be called thieves. Please explain.
    Here's the thing. With taxes, the government takes my money, builds a few roads, then goes to foreign countries and murders innocent people, or takes the money and builds a facility in UTAH to spy on us, or uses the money to give congress critters health care we'd love to have but can't afford because they insist we pay taxes to fund these wasteful activities.

    So, I don't object to paying for services. I do object to being complicit in murder. I do object to paying the health care of someone who is 100x wealthier than me. Taxes ensure that we will continue to fund the USG in its efforts to murder innocent people.

    So, of course taxes are immoral, they fund wars and other activities not conducive to a happy life. The FF understood that an income tax destroys the rule of law. Would that the rest of us understood that.
  10. tinfoilhatter Member

    I am wondering if moodys is going to degrade the bond, again.....
  11. Anonymous Member
  12. Anonymous Member

    I don't need to tell you how that will work out, do I? "Contribute after capability, consume by need", we all know how that went.


    Everyone contribute according to income minus loan interests or some such formula. That goes for presidents and one-legged Joe down at the corner. I fail to see where I have ever argued for any special privileges.

    That is not to say people with money or power won't try to make themselves such privileges. It happens everywhere. This is why we have a voting system. I don't know why this doesn't seem to work in the US, it works reasonably well elsewhere.

    Then you'd have to stop voting for people who insist of the US Army going to places with funny names and kill people all the time. You'll have to vote for politicians arguing for putting tax on financial income rather than putting all on regular work income. I would also be furious if my tax money went to pay for health care for very rich people that was not also available to me.

    As it is where I live, the very rich guy and the very poor guy both pays (about the same percentage of their income), and should they have a heart attack at the same time they get the same treatment. The rich guy always has the option to buy private healt-care in adition to paying his taxes of course. It is not as if I live in a dictatorship.

    They also fund the schools, the museums, the public services, national infrastructure etc. At least to me, having a functional water supply and sewer system is very conductive to happy life. I would even be so bold as to say it is necessary. I have no problems seeing your point of immoral politicians using tax money for immoral purposes (spying on private citizens, waging unnecessary wars, lining their own pockets), but I fail to see how that makes taxation immoral per se.
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  13. tinfoilhatter Member

    Benjamin Franklin said two things were unavoidable, death and taxes. Everyone loves the founding fathers, yet why does Mr. Francklin's quote never get mentioned? Yet under today's non-sense he would be branded as a socialist because he believed in libraries that loaned the books for free.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Anonymous Member

    Good luck with that. The person in question has been posting this same shit for years (they have a distinct posting style), and if you ever came close to cutting through their layers of horsehit they'd simply piss off back to a forum with less resistance.

    How can you reason with someone who says shit like this?:
    "US health care IS outrageously expensive. That is true. My argument is it is the government interference in the market that is causing those prices to be so high."

    How often can this person ignore the fucking fact that many other countries, with extensive government input, have much MUCH lower prices than the US does? It's pure unadulterated ideology built around side-stepping of what real world data there is. How can you ever hope to reason with that???

    Consider this other classic example of their shit:
    "Also, it [the internet] would have been invented with or without the government."

    This is toxic thinking exemplified and regurgitated. In holding to ideology that government must always be evil, this person is forced to either completely ignore examples of positive government (hence their complete ignorance of other healthcare systems) or forced to use extremely sophistic shit like the above quote (sure government did something right, but that thing would have happened anyway so the government is still bad or evil).

    It's fucking joke thinking that builds its own nomenclature while hijacking principles of economics/politics to seem much more substantive and complex than the utter horseshit it really is. How can you reason with that? This is the anti-gov equivalent of 'Freemen on the land'.

    The saddest part is that it shouldn't require any intellectual leap to see the massive problem with such an ideology. There are only finite resources, and the question is how best to utilise said resources in a manner that maximises healthcare coverage and quality. Different countries have tried different approaches, allowing those different methods to be amenable to some degree of comparison. The results are in – the US approach lags far behind that of other nations. It's that simple. If an ideological leaning is being contradicted by real-world in-practice examples then it isn't a fucking mental stretch to wonder if there is a problem with the ideology. How can you reason with someone who either won't look at the real world data that exists and/or can't emotionally deal with such?

    As I said, good luck with it.
    This ^. It really isn't much more complicated than this.
  15. The Internet Member

    Libertarians place a high positive value upon personal freedom and a high negative value upon limited options or coercion. Well who can argue with that?

    If I go to a restaurant, I'd rather order for myself than have someone order for me. I'm not a picky eater but there are a few foods I'm kinda "meh" about and occasionally I get in the mood for a certain thing.

    But choice is a funny thing. It's not an absolute good. For example, let's say I'm newly diagnosed with a horrible cancer that kills most people within a year or two. I ask my doctor what to do. If he says, "Well you have two options, treatment A or treatment B; the choice is yours," I'm going to be miserable. Because the mere fact he's allowing me to pick means he doesn't know which is better. Here I am dying and he doesn't fucking know.

    So to sum up: choice is great when shit isn't all that important and/or when people don't fucking know things.
  16. Anonymous Member

    The rich guy would have to pay his taxes too. Unless you live in a poll-tax system, he'd actually pay more than you, so it would rather be him financing not only his own, but also a fair share of your health care. The total cost would come down too, because the two of you are buying in bulk (heath-care for two) rather than single purchases.
  17. Anonymous Member

  18. Anonymous Member

    You are miserable not because of the choices offered but because of the cancer and you seem to be saying either that it's the doctor's fault that he can't cure you, or that having limited choices is no good when you don't like any of them.

    Life is radical uncertainty. Is that your objection? None of us ever know for certain what the outcome of our actions will be,

    And just because a doctor doesn't give you the choices you want (not to have cancer) doesn't mean that choices are unimportant,

    The choices we make ARE our life. Big and small, every choice we make defines us.
  19. The Internet Member

    I'm saying choice is only one value. There are others. Like having the best, most accurate information available. In fact, very often it is the information that makes the choice for us.

    For example, let's say a study comes in showing that treatment A patients don't live as long as treatment B patients. Assuming a similar quality of life with either treatment, guess which one I would pick.
  20. Anonymous Member

    How often can this fucking person mischaraterzie my arguments? Tell me please, I need to know.
    And how often can you assert your point (Nationalized Health CAre is Better) without looking at the statistics that show a much more complex picture?
    People invented the internet. Who was paying them at the time seems irrelevant to the facts, which is that it didn't become a major force in the world until the market picked it up.

    Government does some good things. I've never said otherwise. What I object to is the bad things that inevitably come with it, If I pay $1 tax and even 1¢ of that goes to kill innocent people, then I have a legitimate complaint. If you don't see that, nothing I say will help you understand that basic point,

    Roads are not a function of government, If you truly think they are, you are ignorant of US history.
    go to wikipedia and learn about who built the first roads in the US. You are also ignoring that many roads are built priovately even today.

    Also, the only railroad not to go bankrupt in the US in the 19th century was built privately (Great Northern)
    SO don't tell me how only governments can supply certain services. History shows otherwise.

    Exactly, finite resources, and governments waste them profligately. That is a truism that has been seen for centuries, Markets are much more efficient than government at providing goods and services. So you are saying we should use the least efficient supplier for our medical care.
  21. Anonymous Member

    Yes, of course the more accurate data you have the more likely you will make the right choice. But just because those studies show that Cure A works 95% of the time and cure B only 80% of the time, there is no way to know in advance which will work best for you. That is the nature of statistics. They are impersonal.

    So all you have is your choices.

    Want to know how to make God laugh?
    Tell her your plans.
  22. The Internet Member

    I'm having a hard time following you. Are you saying that I have some mystical knowingness that might guide me to pick B rather than A if B happens to be better for me, personally, in spite of the statistical data indicating that A is generally better than B?
  23. Anonymous Member

    You do realise that even the most fleeting glance at healthcare systems, when you compare them with the US, is empirical real-world evidence against your statement here? The private health insurance sector has been ripping the guts of the US people for how long now? Any chance of the US, as a nation and a people, getting a clue?

    Let me give you a rather extreme example showing how much a government approach can outperform the private sector. In China when a port structure is needed they simply build it. The example that comes to mind is the port of Huang Hua which was built in a year and a half. From scratch, and currently has capacity to process in excess of 20 million tonnes annually. There is not a single example in the entire world involving the private sector, or a public private partnership, that even comes close to this project in terms of efficiency – that's a simple fact that cannot be reconciled with the sorts of simplistic ideologically-based pronouncements like that quoted above.

    Unregulated corporate activity will fuck people. Unconstrained government will similarly fuck people. The vast majority of examples of where most efficient use of resources and greatest public benefit were achieved have been in finding the ideal mix of proper government oversight mixed with private market ingenuity and creativity. This is not a rule that applies across the board, and there are notable exceptions, but looking at different countries and their approaches, successes and failures have shown that finding this right combination is often a key component in achieving efficiency and public benefit. A great example to illustrate this is the success of the Port of Rotterdam.

    Ultimately, if you are going to try and develop any thesis or explanatory model you simply cannot be ignorant of real-world data. From your post it really does seem as if you believe that the US economy would have grown like it has without US government infrastructure investment. It is hard to know where to begin with this to explain why this is such a joke idea, or the voluminous evidence against the contention. For fuck's sake the role of the Army Core of Engineers alone in dredging US ports, to take just one example, shits all over your naïve overly-simplistic historic revisionism.

    It is a joke that you think telling people to look up the history of roads of Wikipedia even qualifies as argumentation, and you really do genuinely appear ignorant of the role of both the Federal and State government in that history (something which 'Union and Democracy', Wikipedia's main source, lays out in depth).
  24. Anonymous Member

    I believe the point was that government care would push you into plan A, even if in your case plan B would work better (i.e. genetic difference)
    Anon poster- was this your point?
  25. tinfoilhatter Member

    One thing i have to point out is that a lot of states make it mandatory for everyone to have car insurance if they want a license to drive. Where was all the complaining for this? If i have to have car insurance, then at least let me have a tax credit, or make some of the cost tax deductible. I admit, driving without insurance is irresponsible, so is living with out health insurance. If these people manage to get obama care removed, which i doubt, then they better fucking lobby to remove the car insurance laws, lest they be revealed as hypocrites.
  26. Anonymous Member

    I am saying statistics is one of several tools you would use to make the decision of which competing plan to use. If one plan had a 90% survival and one only 10%, then it's pretty certain that most people should choose A. But there will statistically be some people who should have chosen B and the only way to know is to make the choice, which precludes doing the other.

    There's no mysticism involved, unless the person adds it in. I am saying that human intuition is part of the process of decision making, and statistics will never supplant insight and intuition. Stats can help guide the intuition and insight, but they can't supplant human judgement. I took a class on stats and loved it, but it is a tool of limited utility. And it has to be interpreted, which means, wait for it, human judgement.

    And then of course we have to live with the consequences. that's the part we don't really like, unless we get it right.
  27. Anonymous Member

    "I am saying that human intuition is part of the process of decision making, and statistics will never supplant insight and intuition."

    Please keep in mind that this is the SAME human insight and intuition that has roped many a clam into the scam of $ientology. Never underestimate the stupidity of the human race. We use things like math and science and FACTS to determine how to make the best decisions(IN THEORY).
  28. Anonymous Member

    It's interesting that I've been explaining how the USG created the problem that they are looking to solve. Why do you ignore that?
    Why do you ignore that you are trying to compare apples to oranges when you compare health care systems across countries. Are you aware that the various places report basic statistics, such as live birth rate, differently, making it impossible to compare the raw stats, you have to dig deeper to find the apt comparisons.
    Why do you ignore all the evidence that shows the nationalized health care has plenty of problems?
    You say below that 'unregulated corporate activities' will fuck people, but don't notice that the Chinese government was unregulated in the dam example.
    And if you say they regulated themselves I'll laugh in your face.

    Please learn a basic economic lesson, that of the seen and unseen. Also see the response posted above to The Internet.

    The US Army Corps of Engineers share a large part of the blame for the effects of breaking levees on New Orleans.
    And you miss one important fact in all your rants, that it is always and only people who do these things. You assert with no proof that it requires government, yet I've given too many examples of major projects done by private enterprise for that to fly. You say ONLY government can do it. Yet I've shown that's not true, yet you insist on repeating it ad nauseum.

    Well, as I understand it, the States entered into an agreement to enact a separate entity to handle certain issues. The states retained their sovereignty, and were free to leave if they no longer enjoyed their participation in the federal government.

    But I doubt that's how you see it, since you've only read what agrees with your ideology.

    Many roads up til the 20th century were privately built and run all through the US. There were about 3000 private roads, IIRC. So I say right back at you, to look deeper into the issues and stop telling me we need government to build roads. It is a patently false statement.
  29. Anonymous Member

    It's getting all twighlight zone in here…
    The USG created the health insurance market that has been ripping the guts and resources out of the US populace? I think your 'explanation' has kind of missed the biggest factor that, as seen when comparing with other healthcare systems, is fucking the US system.
    When you ignore other healthcare systems, and how many of them are outperforming the US by almost every conceivable metric, then it would be much more honest to admit such rather than this blatant act of sophistry.
    No one has claimed, or even tried to claim, that the existing nationalized healthcare system are free of problems – that is pure strawman on your part. The existence of such problems, however, do absolutely nothing to address the gigantic gulf in quality, coverage and cost that exist between those and the US system (a gulf you seem determined to ignore).
    ???? I never mention a fucking thing about any dam. You have made a specific claims regarding government inefficiency, and I cited a clear-cut example disproving your contention. But congratulations on the obvious side-step. I'm sure that fooled some people for all of 2 seconds.
    This is difference between the two of us. Your contention are purely theoretical, while mine are based upon numerous real-world examples. You really should explore the Port of Rotterdam as a case study, since it demonstrates many examples of achievement that could not have been attained by government in isolation nor by private industry in isolation.
    Somewhat deliberately missed the point here. Also, ignoring the declining swampland due to corporate pollution (and thus the reduction in hurricane-stopping capacity that resulted) is a bit suspect.

    I'll repeat the point so you can't avoid it – without the USACE prioritising and effecting national port infrastructure projects the US economy would have greatly suffered. This is work that private entities simply don't do in isolation. It is one of many such governmentally sponsored infrastructure works that have been vital to US economic growth. I know it doesn't gel with your ideology, but facts are facts.
    So when I point out how the history of US economic growth has relied upon US government involvement in terms of infrastructure projects your response is to brand all actions as being the result of people???? What the fuck do you think 'government' is???? It isn't cows, robots or aliens you know.

    I've seen some seriously retarded sophistry in internet debate, but this reasoning just takes the fucking biscuit.
    That's your strawman, not mine. I've given examples (eg: USACE) of vital infrastructure projects that private industry just doesn’t do in isolation. If you want to pretend that government has had no role in the development of US infrastructure then feel free – you are entitled to live in a bubble if you so wish.

    Here is another clear cut example. Why, in response to the Panama canal in 2015, are all the private industry stakeholders wailing for government help in making the US East Coast ports fit for purpose? If private industry could do this shit without government then why aren't they?
    You've completely and utterly ignored a whole swathe of evidence of government involvement in US infrastructural development, and that from the source you cited previously (Wikipedia cites that book). The many many examples of roads, canals, railroads and turnpikes that happened with State cooperation and funding can't really be ignored.
    So if a State puts up a substantial portion of funding for a road, while acquiring and putting up the needed land, is it really 'privately built' just because of who the State hires? If that's really how you are using the term 'privately built' then you are being extraordinarily disingenuous.
  30. The Internet Member

    You're making a hypothetical where treatment A has a 90% survival and treatment B has a 10% survival. So with treatment A, 1 out of 10 people die. That one person who dies probably would have died with treatment B as well, as it is clearly a shittier intervention.

    The only way to know if anyone will do better with B rather than A is to take the small handful of people who didn't die using B and see if they have anything in common. If they do --and only if they do-- you might be able to figure out if B is better than A for people sharing that commonality.

    I'm not clear how "making the choice" helps to answer any question at all.

    But I didn't mean for my hypothetical to get complicated. I just wanted two choices, one clearly superior to the other, to make the point that "choice" can be trivial when we have very good information about outcomes.

    What we really want is not so much the freedom to choose but good information about the available options. When we don't have good information, then yes, it is nice to use your own intuition. But that kinda sucks, doesn't it?
  31. Anonymous Member

    No, the success of Treatment A or B depends on the patients' genetics. Treatment A works best for genotype1, treatment B works best for genotype 2. The majority of the population is genotype 1. If treatment A is mandated it means everyone with genotype 2 is fucked. This is why courses to treatments can't be mandated by insurance companies or the government. Bean counters kill people.
  32. The Internet Member

    Okay, but that's not quite the issue I was trying to discuss.

    I was saying, choice matters when there's no *huge* reason to pick one option over another. Example of something huge: life or death. Example of something not huge: what to eat for dinner.

    If I offer you a choice between cake or death, you will pick cake because there is a *huge* difference between those two things. I don't even need to ask. I know you will take the cake rather than the death. That huge difference is what determines your choice.
  33. Anonymous Member

    In my neck of the woods they are. There are privately built road project here too, but they have a tendency to fail to be properly maintained.

    Railroads here too are a mix of public and private. There's nothing wrong with private ownership as such, sometimes the state has to buy up private companies going belly up, and sometimes the state sell companies to private contractors. It does on the other hand have very little to do with health-care, which is what we were debating.

    All statistics, reports, experience etc indicate that the US system falls way behind other OECD nations in the amount of health care it provides relative to the money put into it. Sure, if you insist on paying more than twice of what you do for healthcare relative to let's say France in order to be tied to an insurance company rather than the state, that is of course your prerogative. Actually, you can do that here in NHS land too if you so desire.
  34. Anonymous Member

    It is still YOUR choice, making it important to YOU. Are you saying that it is trivial to choose the procedure that will save your life because there is no doubt as to which procedure to choose? I really am not understanding your point of view.

    As for the other anon poster, your view I understand all too well, purely ideological, as you accuse me of being. You repeat the same talking points, which are based not on history or economics or psychology, but on the progressive ideology.
    I am happy that you think I'm wrong, and that you think you proved me wrong. I'm happy you are content with your world view. I am happy not to argue the point with you.
  35. The Internet Member

    I'm arguing that your choice is determined by the information available to you. So if you truly want to be capable of rational decision making and action in your own best interests, you need to focus upon the quality of the information that comes your way.

    What you believe to be true will determine how you act. So worry less about freedom and more about information quality control.

    Or to put it in opposity language: The only way to control people is to lie to them.
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  36. Anonymous Member

    Sure, OK. Of course, that's the rub now isn't, deciding what is relevant and what is dross. I think this may be our disagreement, who we can trust to provide us with accurate information.

    It is freedom that allows the discovery process. IOW, without freedom, your choices would be zip. The more freedom there is, the more data will become available, and the more there will information processing services to help you decide what is wheat and what is chaff.

    IOW, if everyone is not free to publish their findings, or if there is a lot of noise in the system, then it will be harder for us to make the right choice.

    Using a gun works pretty well. And lies can be detected and exposed. That requires the freedom to explore those cracks and crevices, shining bright lights on them. Again, that is freedom, which leads to information.

    So, it is still freedom that is the underlying value here. Freedom is what allows free inquiry and free press.
  37. The Internet Member

    So why do we still have chiropractors? We've known they were quacks for a hundred years and yet we have more chiropractors today than we did 20 years ago.
  38. Anonymous Member

    Because people want to believe. Because the radical uncertainty of life scares the living shit out of 100% of humans, and they want reassurances and certainty, and hence are possible marks for con men who promise but can't make good on their promises.

    We both agree that scientology falls into that category. I add government to that category. Scientology and governments can deliver the goods to an extent, but never ever never to the degree they promise, hence they promote misinformation.

    We are not rational machines that never make a mistake. Hubbard was dead wrong on that one. We make mistakes no matter how smart or knowledgeable we are. That is known as the human condition, and we only escape it when we die.

    I never have said that people were rational. What I am saying is that all we can do is choose among competing choices, and that those choices are what define our life. IOW, If I chose to be a MD, I prolly won't also be a concert pianists, if for no other reason than time constraints.

    People chose what they think or believe is best for them, which can include chiropractors or scientology.

    What I say about that choice is that at the moment they made the decision, they thought, felt or believed that it was the proper choice. The fact that they are human means they will never make the right choices all the time. They may immediately regret their choice (buyer's remorse) but a moment before they felt it would be the right one for them at that moment. That applies even if they felt that shooting up another hit of heroin was the right thing to do.
    (In economics, rational doesn't mean 'following the dictates of logic' but 'that which a person does'. Doing something collapses the wave function (so to speak) and shows the person's actual preferences)

    It is also why I consider child rearing to be about the most important task we have. Letting our children learn without fear and coercion seem the right way to go to build a solid liberal free society where people are able to follow their bliss, as Joseph Campbell so memorably said.
  39. The Internet Member

    So what do you use for reliable health information? I don't mean a perfect source because there isn't one, just a good source that is mostly legit with minimal crazy stuff.

    I ask because my wife got this email from a relative about trans fats. My doctor says if a fat is semi-solid at room temperature, like beef fat, butter, or Crisco, it raises the bad cholesterol numbers. A little in the diet is okay but don't eat a lot. So I was like, "Oh good advice." Then I went to the link in the email:

    Wow, now I know why my in-laws have weird health ideas. There are apparently a few real doctors involved with these kinds of quacky social networks to make them seem legit. I'm not a doctor and it would take me forever to explain to my in-laws the problems with this web site.

    Having good sources of health info is key to real choice and self determinism. Misinformation ultimately burdens us all with higher costs. The hardest people to teach, the ones who take up the most time, are those who think they already learned things when really they haven't.

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