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Climate Change and Societal Collapse


Sotha
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A website with a quick glance at the data:

 

http://www.climatedata.info/forcing/gases/carbon-dioxide/

 

 

Here the c(CO2) of the past:

 

stacks-image-feda935-800x524.png

 

 

 

I see a pattern here comparable to that of plastics-pollution of the oceans:

Almost all of it stems from China and India, while Western populations are led to believe/feel the West is the leading polluter,

using this lie then as a pretext to necessitate higher taxes (and bans of plastics, like the ridiculous plastic straw ban in California, which does nothing but

soothe "liberal minds" and adds costs to Western consumers):

 

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/stemming-the-plastic-tide-10-rivers-contribute-most-of-the-plastic-in-the-oceans/

https://www.verdict.co.uk/yangtze-river-plastic-pollution/

 

Western countries pollute negligibly, because we recycle, use landfills, and ecologically safe garbage-incineration plants.

 

Again:

I'm also all for keeping the environment as clean and healthy as feasible, but I prefer effective and efficient measures, not propaganda frauds that are just pretexts to redistribute income and wealth.

 

 

 

True, but it is sad that when voting conservative options, people can't take the common sense policies of state funded healthcare, welfare state, free public education (at least the US) things from the liberal part. And again polarization and bickering with more stupid policies from both sides whoever wins anyway. The pendulum swings and causes harm unto the breach upon the weakest ones in society once more.

Edited by Anderson

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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people can't take the common sense policies of state funded healthcare, welfare state, free public education (at least the US) things from the liberal part.

In reality there's little common-sense in any of those. However, everyone on all sides of politics, be it conservatives or liberals, except the most libertarian ones, seems to agree that those are good things...

 

Also, none of it is "free".

 

"It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it." -- Thomas Sowell

Edited by Skaruts
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In reality there's little common-sense in any of those. However, everyone on all sides of politics, be it conservatives or liberals, except the most libertarian ones, seems to agree that those are good things...

 

Also, none of it is "free".

 

"It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it." -- Thomas Sowell

 

Somewhat true but discussable.

 

It is all about making cuts in other places - police, army and redistributing it to education and the health system. Not saying that making a symbollic gesture will make things better. Many countries have declarative free healthcare but many are also poor banana republics where these things do not work de facto without a bribe and such. See Cuba. Taxi drivers make more than doctors and teachers.

 

But at the same time these things work in Nordic countries, so I guess we have an example.

 

”Free” . Agreed that it is more of a term that gives bragging rights in politics to parties. In reality it is paid either by insurance companies which gather those fees from people or there is only 1 state funded insurance company, which also takes a cut from a monthly wage to fund that system or some other insurance private or public fund. The point is that you should not have to worry about this with a reasonable precaution beforehand someone hits you over the head, you get a concussion and a week in hospital and you must not worry about filling any paperwork to get that help you need ASAP.

Edited by Anderson

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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Nordic countries, at least some, like Sweden, have very high taxes and very few socialist policies in place (which means less gov spending), and that allows Swedish socialist politicians to brag about surplus and of course there's plenty of money to invest in medicine and education. At the expense of nearly or over half of one's salary. That means people's living standards are half as high as they could be.

 

In other cases those things also run on debt. Which invariably falls heavily on the next generations to deal with.

 

You have to keep three things in mind though:

1- Anything non-competitive is never as efficient at what it's intended to do than anything competitive.

2- No one manages other people's money as efficiently as they manage their own.

3- A million heads think better than a few hundred.

 

Governmental services aren't competitive and the money is for the most part not their own, and everything is centrally planned by a few hundred bureaucrats. So you can only ever expect gov services to be less efficient and more expensive and less innovative than what private enterprises would provide you with. Obviously there's also the added costs of the fat salaries and subsidies of hundreds of bureaucrats that run it, as well as the fact that you're paying for schools your entire life despite that you're not using them anymore. Also, in the case of universities with public funding, the people who can't afford a college education are paying for the college education of those who can.

 

I don't know anything about how Swedish healthcare works. Are there still long periods of waiting, for example? I'm sure there's public employees going on strike from time to time. There always are, and that's something that seems to only ever happen in public services. But anyway, however well it may work, it could be better.

 

No one ever found a way to privatize the police, the courts, the military and the firefighters, and perhaps there's a place and usefulness for the government (although the British gov is becoming a great argument for anarcho-capitalism these days, and the Foreign Legion is some food for thought), but everything else could pretty much be so, much to the benefit of the poor people that those things are purportedly aimed to help. If you think about it, private businesses provide us with everything, except these things people insist must be provided by govs. It seems to be a common fallacy that people think these things are of a higher importance than anything else: what fixes your health is important, sure enough, but all the other things that keep you healthy and sane in the first place -- well fed, warm, cooled, well slept, comfortable, entertained, fit, etc) are no less important, and yet no one has a problem with them being efficiently, abundantly and mostly affordably provided by the "free" markets. (Housing is an exception to the "affordably" part, and I'd love to dig deeper to find out why.)

 

As far as education goes, it's rather dangerous to have it in the hands of the state to begin with. If you have the bad luck of voting for a totalitarian wolf in sheep clothing, public education facilities will be the first places to be turned into indoctrination camps. That's how Hitler did it, among many others.

 

Welfare is a different story though. It contributes to unemployment rates and free riding, as well as out of control migration. It seems to be a major factor in the problem Europe is facing right now with massive immigration from the middle east. I forgot which country it was, perhaps Poland or Hungary, where some migrants got in, saw there was no welfare, and just turned away and left.

Edited by Skaruts
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Nordic countries, at least some, like Sweden, have very high taxes and very few socialist policies in place (which means less gov spending), and that allows Swedish socialist politicians to brag about surplus and of course there's plenty of money to invest in medicine and education. At the expense of nearly or over half of one's salary. That means people's living standards are half as high as they could be.

 

In other cases those things also run on debt. Which invariably falls heavily on the next generations to deal with.

 

You have to keep three things in mind though:

1- Anything non-competitive is never as efficient at what it's intended to do than anything competitive.

2- No one manages other people's money as efficiently as they manage their own.

3- A million heads think better than a few hundred.

 

Governmental services aren't competitive and the money is for the most part not their own, and everything is centrally planned by a few hundred bureaucrats. So you can only ever expect gov services to be less efficient and more expensive and less innovative than what private enterprises would provide you with. Obviously there's also the added costs of the fat salaries and subsidies of hundreds of bureaucrats that run it, as well as the fact that you're paying for schools your entire life despite that you're not using them anymore. Also, in the case of universities with public funding, the people who can't afford a college education are paying for the college education of those who can.

 

No one ever found a way to privatize the police, the courts, the military and the firefighters, and perhaps there's a place and usefulness for the government (although the British gov is becoming a great argument for anarcho-capitalism these days, and the Foreign Legion is some food for thought), but everything else could pretty much be so, much to the benefit of the poor people that those things are purportedly aimed to help. If you think about it, private businesses provide us with everything, except these things people insist must be provided by govs. It seems to be a common fallacy that people think these things are of a higher importance than anything else: what fixes your health is important, sure enough, but all the other things that keep you healthy and sane in the first place -- well fed, warm, cooled, well slept, comfortable, entertained, fit, etc) are no less important, and yet no one has a problem with them being efficiently, abundantly and mostly affordably provided by the "free" markets. (Housing is an exception to the "affordably" part, and I'd love to dig deeper to find out why.)

 

As far as education goes, it's rather dangerous to have it in the hands of the state to begin with. If you have the bad luck of voting for a totalitarian wolf in sheep clothing, public education facilities will be the first places to be turned into indoctrination camps. That's how Hitler did it, among many others.

 

Welfare is a different story though. It contributes to unemployment rates and free riding, as well as out of control migration. It seems to be a major factor in the problem Europe is facing right now with massive immigration from the middle east. I forgot which country it was, perhaps Poland or Hungary, where some migrants got in, saw there was no welfare, and just turned away and left.

 

I can accept that excessive access to welfare creates risks of voluntary unemployment, decreased competition and all that jazz but in the conditions of a strong state with capable institutions, that risk is at a minimum.

 

I don't agree that healthcare and education shouldn't have a basic public threshold of access to everyone. If you want private hospitals and schools, fine go ahead. But I don't want that to be the only option because I feel better to know there's no segregation between me with the lumpen people. If rich people want to be in an ivory tower that's their problem. Everyone gets what they like but IMHO in a publicly funded place you have a better appreciation for how the work of everyone is equally important. In a nutshell it prevents one to become a snob and stay around with a down to earth mentality.

More people getting education is a benefit for everyone if we ever hope to overcome that rural-urban rift we're having. It's ok to pay for that in taxes. That's why we're supposed to be an advanced society. If not, don't wonder why communists win. Same for excess in censorship by liberals. They shouldn't wonder why Trump wins. Getting offended won't work. Same logic for both sides of the debate.

 

English people don't complain about the NHS anyway (except when someone wants to scrap the system) and the US has a huge external debt (which was cleverly turned into an advantage with bonds) in spite of never having public healthcare. So it's not all that bad. But, it would be good to have a uniform compromise solution.

 

Hitler's victory of the minds and hearts of germans was not about their education system but more about complacency of their entire society. It's a reason for them to meditate when a nation like that is easy to go into nationalism and after almost 80 years goes into another extreme with excessive tolerance and liberalism (like the restrictive gun laws to bear even handguns for self-defense, concealed carry is a necessity, which btw goes against classical liberalism). But it's a prosperous nation at present and the most de-Nazified country in the world with great possibilities for the disabled, poor, LGBT and all other normal people so I'm not sure why you mention Hitler. If your country goes into dictatorship land free schools/ universities will close anyway like Erdogan did to Fethullah Gullen in Turkey or Orban tries to as a mentally deranged senile to hunt Soros in Hungary, and those are 100% privately funded. Silly Orban. Hungarians will emigrate anyway. Again ignorant of where the world is headed.

Edited by Anderson

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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I don't agree that healthcare and education shouldn't have a basic public threshold of access to everyone. If you want private hospitals and schools, fine go ahead. But I don't want that to be the only option because I feel better to know there's no segregation between me with the lumpen people. If rich people want to be in an ivory tower that's their problem. Everyone gets what they like but IMHO in a publicly funded place you have a better appreciation for how the work of everyone is equally important. In a nutshell it prevents one to become a snob and stay around with a down to earth mentality.

I'm not sure where those concerns come from. There's no government service providing people with food, and yet everyone seems to get fed. Even homeless people manage to eat. Food has become as cheap as it can be, because the more something sells the cheaper it tends to become.

 

Dentists and veterinarians in themselves pretty much debunk all arguments for a public healthcare. Even if some treatments can be expensive, there's affordable ways to pay, and there's always people willing to help you out if you ask. Assuming you're not an douchebag with no friends, and then if you are, well that's on you.

 

but in the conditions of a strong state with capable institutions, that risk is at a minimum.

That sounds like an overestimation of the potential efficiency of government on matters other than force, and an underestimation of the capability people demonstrate of working around regulations and laws.

If you have a system that does't play along with reality, that system is bound to fail.

Edited by Skaruts
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Dentists and veterinarians in themselves pretty much debunk all arguments for a public healthcare. Even if some treatments can be expensive, there's affordable ways to pay, and there's always people willing to help you out if you ask. Assuming you're not an douchebag with no friends, and then if you are, well that's on you.

That strongly depends on where you live. Just remember: there is a whole series about an American teacher who turns to selling drugs because he cannot afford his cancer treatment. Health care is expensive as hell and if you don't have any governmental support it can very well ruin you. The reason you think that "some treatments are expensive" is most likely due to the fact, that you have good healthcare and don't have to pay for most of them yourself (just assuming).

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Healthcare in my country (Portugal) is depressingly bad. I see occasionally on the news people dying while waiting, or stuff like a friend of mine who waited 7 months with broken ribs from a bike accident only to then be told it was too late to do anything. And I see all the old timers periodically waiting for hours and hours on the local clinic...

 

Why couldn't that teacher afford it though? I can't say I'm particularly convinced. I could swear I've seen american working class people being able to afford cancer treatments before. How high are taxes in America (or in his state) -- or In other words, what percentage of his wage was he not saving because he was forced to give it away every month? (Don't forget VAT.) What treatment price are we talking about exactly? And was there no affordable way for him to pay, and if so why not? That's a common thing in the private sector, it's very odd if there wasn't. Or are we talking about something that happened in the 70s or 80s? Are we talking about private healthcare here? I don't think American healthcare is fully privatized. Not that I know that much about it, to be fair.

 

I'm asking all those questions because I think they're relevant. Also because I don't want to be assuming stuff or talking past you.

 

If by any chance public-sector teachers are being underpaid, keep in mind wages in the private sector tend to go up over time (well, minimum wage tends to keep low wages low, as it removes the competitive aspect of those). I don't think that's true for the public sector, as wages there are conditioned by how bureaucrats prioritize spending. In my country, lately, teachers seem to go on strike every other month... That's what government spending cuts of this sort do. You take money from something so that you can put into something else, but that's to the detriment of what you took money from, and then you also need to compensate for it, to the detriment of something else. It's a never ending juggle.

 

On a perhaps funny related note, ironically public employees are partially paying their own salaries in taxes. :rolleyes:

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Well, the series I meant was the TV-show Breaking Bad. It is quite popular and famous, so I thought you would recognise it. It is fiction, of course, but after a quick search cancer treatment can cost up 100.000 $ a year. If the treatment goes longer than that, it can get very expensive. And while you are in treatment, you are not working, which in turn means that you will not paid (in Germany a longer leave due to sickness is covered by your health insurance). Another video I recently saw deals with hip replacements and although it is comedic it also covers the topic:

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I barely watch any TV... I heard about it, but I had no clue what it was about. But I'd rather be given actual IRL examples than a fictitious situation as an argument for how public healthcare is necessary. Cancer unfortunately affects a whole lot of people, and yet I never see people talk about people being unable to pay for treatments, and the only time I hear about it, turns out to be fictional.

 

(in Germany a longer leave due to sickness is covered by your health insurance).

There you go. That's one way the private sector can help you. Like I said, people find ways to make things affordable, as well as dire circumstances survivable. Nothing is perfect so there's obviously always going to be flaws and problems, but people also keep trying to improve things as they learn what works and what doesn't.

 

I don't expect healthcare to be privatized in a near future. My expectation (and prediction, I guess) it that the private sector will eventually grow and take over. The free markets kill every monopoly. It's hard to sell cheap lemonade when there's another lemonade stand that makes it seem like they're giving it for free, so it will likely take a long time, but eventually the quality and affordability of the paid lemonade will speak for itself.

 

Or else the over-spending riddled-in-debt government collapses the economy as usual, and public healthcare goes with it (I think that already happened in Venezuela), and private healthcare naturally takes over from there.

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I barely watch any TV... I heard about it, but I had no clue what it was about. But I'd rather be given actual IRL examples than a fictitious situation as an argument for how public healthcare is necessary. Cancer unfortunately affects a whole lot of people, and yet I never see people talk about people being unable to pay for treatments, and the only time I hear about it, turns out to be fictional.

After a quick Google search, I have found this article:

https://www.thebalance.com/medical-bankruptcy-statistics-4154729

I think it is pretty good as it not only covers various statistics, but looks at them quite critically. Depending on the survey, the numbers of people who file bankruptcy due to medical bills differs significantly, but in all cases covered there are several thousand or up to a million people per year that do.

 

Regarding health care: In Germany we have a mixed system: you have to have health care insurance, but it is up to you, if you choose a public or a private insurance firm. The private ones usually are more expensive, but in turn cover a wider range of treatments and ususally get you an overall better treatment (e.g. single person rooms in hospitals, treatment by the head physician etc). Regardless of which insurance you have, a great part (if not all) of your treatment is covered by it, while in the U.S. most people don't have health care insurance and as a consequence have to pay the (already higher) treatment costs completely by themselves.

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I have to take a deeper look at US healthcare one of these days. On one hand I see people traveling to the US for a better healthcare, to avoid waiting in line in their own countries and that sort of thing, and then I also see many people complaining that US healthcare is bad. Something's not quite right. ObamaCare was pretty much a scam, as far as I've heard.

 

But there you go, if people don't have health insurance, that's on them, not on their healthcare system.

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Dentists and veterinarians in themselves pretty much debunk all arguments for a public healthcare. Even if some treatments can be expensive, there's affordable ways to pay, and there's always people willing to help you out if you ask. Assuming you're not an douchebag with no friends, and then if you are, well that's on you.

 

Yeah well stomatology and veterinary are things one can survive without technically. If you more or less try to take care of your teeth and your pet they will probably be fine.

 

 

I have to take a deeper look at US healthcare one of these days. On one hand I see people traveling to the US for a better healthcare, to avoid waiting in line in their own countries and that sort of thing, and then I also see many people complaining that US healthcare is bad. Something's not quite right. ObamaCare was pretty much a scam, as far as I've heard.

 

But there you go, if people don't have health insurance, that's on them, not on their healthcare system.

 

Technically the best healthcare system is in Israel, Germany.

 

 

Healthcare in my country (Portugal) is depressingly bad. I see occasionally on the news people dying while waiting, or stuff like a friend of mine who waited 7 months with broken ribs from a bike accident only to then be told it was too late to do anything. And I see all the old timers periodically waiting for hours and hours on the local clinic...

 

Why couldn't that teacher afford it though? I can't say I'm particularly convinced. I could swear I've seen american working class people being able to afford cancer treatments before. How high are taxes in America (or in his state) -- or In other words, what percentage of his wage was he not saving because he was forced to give it away every month? (Don't forget VAT.) What treatment price are we talking about exactly? And was there no affordable way for him to pay, and if so why not? That's a common thing in the private sector, it's very odd if there wasn't. Or are we talking about something that happened in the 70s or 80s? Are we talking about private healthcare here? I don't think American healthcare is fully privatized. Not that I know that much about it, to be fair.

 

I'm asking all those questions because I think they're relevant. Also because I don't want to be assuming stuff or talking past you.

 

Healthcare is usually a thing where you see old people more often. The infrastructure in Portugal probably is not perfect, but better than most countries. Don't forget that Portugal, like Spain and other countries with similar authoritarian regimes such to Estado Novo, Franco will have numerous reflexes over time in mentality and state organization. Just like that time when people complained that the police was too brutal in calming the riots connected to the Catalonian referendum. These reminiscences of dictatorship are stronger in post socialist countries and strongest of all in ex-USSR countries the farther east you go. So it's not that much the fault of Portugal or any policies taken at present as it is simply history that can't be changed over night.

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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I have to take a deeper look at US healthcare one of these days. On one hand I see people traveling to the US for a better healthcare, to avoid waiting in line in their own countries and that sort of thing, and then I also see many people complaining that US healthcare is bad. Something's not quite right. ObamaCare was pretty much a scam, as far as I've heard.

Well, one problem there appears to be that it is very expensive. If hospitals can each charge whatever they want, it can come to (literal) pay or die situations. I don't know about the quality, though. I can well imagine that they have competent doctors and good equipment, so this may be a reason why people from other countries go there.

 

ObamaCare was pretty much a scam, as far as I've heard.

 

But there you go, if people don't have health insurance, that's on them, not on their healthcare system.

This is exactly what ObamaCare was about (at least as far as I understood it): introducing a mandatory health insurance. The problem was that many people are egoistic and argue "Why should I pay more taxes, so the poor guy around the corner can get treated in a hospital?" People tend to see the personal cost first. The possible gain of having an insurance, if you might need it, is too far away for them. On the other hand, there are countries like Germany that are probably "overinsured". Here you have an insurance for more or less everything and this is probably also not necessary.

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If you more or less try to take care of your teeth and your pet they will probably be fine.

You can say the same about your overall health. You can argue certain things like old age affect people to the point they really need doctors, but then so does it affect them to the point they really need dentists.

 

Well, one problem there appears to be that it is very expensive.

How can your lemonade not be expensive when people are flocking to the other one that makes it seem like it's free? You're not gonna be getting enough profit to compensate for the costs of production, distribution, staff, etc, etc, by selling it cheap. There are probably other factors at play that I'm not thinking of too, but that should give you an idea.

 

If hospitals can each charge whatever they want, it can come to (literal) pay or die situations.

Again, there are affordable ways to pay for things, there are loans; there are solutions to these things, and as a last resort you can always ask for help. People like to help each other. You can even try to crowdfund it these days.

 

Also, they can't charge whatever they want. Prices aren't under the control of businesses. Put simply, if you start overcharging for your lemonade, then you're making my job of stealing your customers easier. I can just simply under-price it (assuming the quality of the lemonade is about the same), thus forcing you to lower your prices. Prices are set naturally by the market, not by any of the businesses in it. You can set a starting price if you're introducing a new product to the market, but even that will be based off of what the market will reasonably accommodate (what people will agree to pay, for example), and it'll bend over time to consumer and competitive forces.

 

The problem was that many people are egoistic and argue "Why should I pay more taxes, so the poor guy around the corner can get treated in a hospital?" People tend to see the personal cost first.

Of course they think about themselves first. It's their own lives that are at stake when having to pay more taxes. This goes both ways: In order for me to pay something for your health, I have to be taking something from what I can pay for my own. And why should I have to be pay for other people's needs when I have needs of my own and I'm already barely scrapping by too?

 

And that's a biological imperative. We're not collectivist creatures like ants and bees. We care differently for people depending on what they mean to us. We care for ourselves and our own, then for our friends, then for our community, then for our state, then for our country. At each step we care less and less, and that's a natural thing (it's actually related to our evolutionary survivability). There's no point building a system under some premise like "people should care equally about everyone" because that's not real and will never be. That system is bound to fail.

 

But the concern is not even that superficial. The concern could be better phrased as "why should I be paying for the health issues of some person that didn't take care of their health in the first place?" Most medical issues are related to things they could've controlled, like smoking or eating crap, etc.

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Well, here is a recent article on why health care in the US is so expensive (btw the first hit when googling "why is US healthcare so expensive"):

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/080615/6-reasons-healthcare-so-expensive-us.asp

One of the most interesting points for me was that many doctors do unnecessary tests out of fear for being sued. This results in costs for the tests that in turn are more expensive due to the higher fees for specialists who are the only ones able to conduct said tests.

 

You are mistaken that all health issues are caused by not taking care of oneself. It may help to have a decent lifestyle, work out, don't smoke, don't drink too much etc. But still you can always develop cancer for no obvious reason, have a genetic disorder or simply have an accident (needn't even be your own fault; say a car hits you, while waiting for the bus). And this is the situation you pay insurances for. So, the answer to the question "Why should I pay for the other guy's treatment?" is "Because he will pay for mine, if I need it." And people with an unhealthy lifestyle usually have higher fees for their insurances. It may not suffice to cover the cost they will actually be causeing, but it goes in the right direction. Some insurance companies here in Germany will also grant bonuses, if you lead a healthy lifestyle and can prove that you work out or go to preemtive medical check ups (which are also usually paid for by them).

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But the concern is not even that superficial. The concern could be better phrased as "why should I be paying for the health issues of some person that didn't take care of their health in the first place?" Most medical issues are related to things they could've controlled, like smoking or eating crap, etc.

Insurances in general work by collecting the (financial) risks of many and let everyone only pay for the average of that risks. That way, you can protect yourself against the biggest insured risks without having to have a reserve that would actually cover it. You pay a relatively small (compared to the insured risk) fee and can use the rest of the money for something else instead of needing a huge sum lying around with a low probability to ever getting used.

 

The next step after defining the existance of human rights, is to make sure, that such rights are not only a piece of worthless paper but actually ensure the wellfare of all people (well, only citizen for now, because we are not that advanced as a society just yet). That includes a lot of poor people.

So the government applies the principles behind insurances on its governed population (for now; it will be the entire world after enough of the population reached a higher humanity level). As someone has to pay for it and the poor can't, the people who actually have money are paying for themselves and the poor. That concept is called "welfare state".

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You are mistaken that all health issues are caused by not taking care of oneself.

I said "most", not all. I wasn't disregarding things that are out of our control.

 

Well, here is a recent article on why health care in the US is so expensive (btw the first hit when googling "why is US healthcare so expensive"):

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/080615/6-reasons-healthcare-so-expensive-us.asp

Well that article pretty much shows how the US healthcare is mostly run by the government, and not a private enterprise. So I'm not really surprised that it costs a lot, now.

 

The reason why I'd like to look deeper into it is because I know (well, I've heard) some parts are privatized, others aren't, and I have no clue which are which, so it's hard for me to visualize what exactly makes it cost whatever it does. That article doesn't make US healthcare system an example of a failing private healthcare, though. It makes it seem like it's a regulated market to an absurd degree. It makes it seem like an expensive public healthcare.

 

Points 1 and 2 amusingly boil down "too many bureaucrats cost too much money" and "bureaucrats get in the way of free trading", point 5 pretty much says it's the gov who's controlling wages, and the other points could be down to bad management, which is something to be expected from governments. Though it's not clear from the article what causes the problems in those points.

 

Point 3 can be a necessity. Imagine what the costs would be if that article was only all about 3.

 

As someone has to pay for it and the poor can't, the people who actually have money are paying for themselves and the poor. That concept is called "welfare state".

Poor people are paying too. Which is what makes all of this stuff ironic. In some places perhaps there's a flat tax, or maybe they don't pay income tax or something of the sort, but they're still paying all the other taxes. Like I said before, those who can't afford college educations are still paying for the college educations of those who can, and they're still paying for the schools they're never gonna use again, and they're still potentially being payed less wherever companies have to cover half of people's social security (because costs (and taxes) imposed on companies are always reflected on prices, worker wages or on market shares), etc, etc.

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Poor people are paying too. Which is what makes all of this stuff ironic. In some places perhaps there's a flat tax, or maybe they don't pay income tax or something of the sort, but they're still paying all the other taxes. Like I said before, those who can't afford college educations are still paying for the college educations of those who can, and they're still paying for the schools they're never gonna use again, and they're still potentially being payed less wherever companies have to cover half of people's social security (because costs (and taxes) imposed on companies are always reflected on prices, worker wages or on market shares), etc, etc.

There are a lot of ways how a government can implement a welfare state. The poor may have to pay less or profit from lower/no income tax or get state aid... Some of that ways involve giving money to the poor, others are based on giving directly what is needed. The first type is way easier to implement. So most often you see people paying taxes (at least consumer taxes) while also getting state aid.

Governments are bureaucratic monsters even without having to come up with a way to exempt people from consumer taxes (wich, by the way is pretty hard to pull off without creating a lot of exploit potential in practice). So they just calculate minimum living wage and try to get everyone above that. That works more or less well - but in general it works.

So yes, the poor pay their consumer taxes as everyone else - and get state aid to still have enough to pay the bills.

 

Whether income tax and social security contributions should exist or whether everything should be covered by consumer tax and other taxes (property tax, corporate tax, capital yields tax, inheritance tax... there are a lot of taxes out there), is highly controversial. I tend to like the no-income-tax concept more because i then does not have to fill out tax forms anymore. But redistribution should be easier when having a (most often progressive) income tax...

At the end it does not really matter, how the money is redistributed between the rich, the not so rich and the poor as long as all people can eat, pay their bills and get good medical care when they need it.

Redistribution is the point here. At the end, the entirety of all people pays for everything (assuming that there is no free lunch *g*).

 

So the art of building a welfare state is to get the rich pay for the poor. High or low prices do not matter at all. The median living standard matters. Whether there is enough wealth to be redistributed matters (and there is plenty). Redistribution overhead does matter too - wich might be something to consider in the next debate about tax fairness and basic income... ;)

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So the art of building a welfare state is to get the rich pay for the poor. High or low prices do not matter at all. The median living standard matters. Whether there is enough wealth to be redistributed matters (and there is plenty). Redistribution overhead does matter too - wich might be something to consider in the next debate about tax fairness and basic income... ;)

The problem with the robin hood effect (besides its relation to the misconception that he stole from the rich to give to the poor) is that it's based off of a mindset that neglects to see that the rich already redistribute their wealth on their own (think how many people get paid and how many businesses flourish each time they buy a yacht, or when Elon Musk makes silly absurdly expensive experiments), and in doing so they give a serious push to keep the economic gears turning, which is ultimately what actually keeps raising the living standards of everyone else including the poorest.

 

The robin hood mindset also tends to upset the rich, who, if they can afford to move away (if they're not stuck to localized business infrastructures or something), will then look for tax havens and take their wealth with them and invest and pay salaries elsewhere, in turn raising the living standards of other nations and lowering those of their own. Or they find ways to build their infrastructure in other countries and transport the goods from overseas (f. ex. China) if it turns out to be cheaper and less of a hassle.

 

High or low prices do not matter at all. The median living standard matters.

Prices are directly related to living standards. Lower prices means money is worth more, for example, which means wages are worth more, including the lowest ones, of course. The price on their labor is also directly related to their living standards. Minimum wage, among other problems it creates, removes the competitive aspect of the lowest wages, though, which would otherwise make them tend to rise over time as low wage workers became more demanding in accordance to their growing experience and skills.

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You can say the same about your overall health. You can argue certain things like old age affect people to the point they really need doctors, but then so does it affect them to the point they really need dentists.

 

 

 

They can just buy fake teeth and that is that. It is what it is. Cannot avoid the things old age does to you. After 40 vision blurs, the human organism cannot restore itself like at 20-30.

It is not like old people need to be attractive anymore to mate or something. Their prime time is over. Just perfect time for teaching, rest, politics (btw 40-50 is a pretty young age for politics considering most countries are gerontocracies).

 

Stomatology and veterinary are optional healthcare things and one of the more expensive and disposable ones. But it depends on priorities as with all things I guess.

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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I said "most", not all. I wasn't disregarding things that are out of our control.

 

Well that article pretty much shows how the US healthcare is mostly run by the government, and not a private enterprise. So I'm not really surprised that it costs a lot, now.

 

The reason why I'd like to look deeper into it is because I know (well, I've heard) some parts are privatized, others aren't, and I have no clue which are which, so it's hard for me to visualize what exactly makes it cost whatever it does. That article doesn't make US healthcare system an example of a failing private healthcare, though. It makes it seem like it's a regulated market to an absurd degree. It makes it seem like an expensive public healthcare.

 

Well there is such a thing called bioethics so healthcare apriori gets run and regulated by the government. How much regulation it needs is a different question. The point is that such an expensive market has no room for failed people who did not make it for the necesarry threshold to pay for those services.

Which is something Germany and other countries do have. A minimum healthcare package for survival.

 

I sympathize with your collegue who had to wait in line after the accident to fix his ribs, but there is no panacea for speeding things up (unless it is really something urgent like replacing heart valves) unless you want to pay for a private hospital. That is about as much as we can get. In my country (Republic of Moldova) and Romania too, a huge problem is that the conflict of interests of doctors who work for public hospitals is not regulated against collusion when same people work a second job at a private clinic. Atm that is a problem here. Beyond that most obstacles to improving the healthcare market in the private sector is a matter of the customs rules and taxes as well as good wages to prevent brain drain. No secret that many good doctors from Eastern Europe are leaving for rural Germany just because of the pay (and because German doctors get sweet spots in cities). We will see what it brings. Ultimately nobody to rely on except ourselves.

Edited by Anderson

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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They can just buy fake teeth and that is that. It is what it is. Cannot avoid the things old age does to you. After 40 vision blurs, the human organism cannot restore itself like at 20-30.

It is not like old people need to be attractive anymore to mate or something. Their prime time is over. Just perfect time for teaching, rest, politics (btw 40-50 is a pretty young age for politics considering most countries are gerontocracies).

 

Stomatology and veterinary are optional healthcare things and one of the more expensive and disposable ones. But it depends on priorities as with all things I guess.

You're seriously underestimating the seriousness of dental problems that can originate in many ways, one of which is old age. You can't go through life without really needing a dentist at some point the same way you can't without really needing a doctor at some point. You can't buy fake teeth at the local convenience store, and most teeth don't fall out peacefully and quietly in the first place.

 

And yet, the gov doesn't provide dentistry, and, I don't know about you, but I never heard anyone complaining they couldn't afford their dental treatment or that there was no affordable way for them to pay for it. I also never heard anyone complain they had to wait months to be treated.

 

Well there is such a thing called bioethics so healthcare apriori gets run and regulated by the government.

Which is one of the things that makes it so expensive. Regulations always bear a cost. And many regulations like these are largely derived from the apparent conviction that harming clients is a viable business strategy that private companies take. In reality private doctors wouldn't want to be sued either, and no business is successful with such a strategy.

 

How much regulation it needs is a different question. The point is that such an expensive market has no room for failed people who did not make it for the necesarry threshold to pay for those services.

Which is something Germany and other countries do have. A minimum healthcare package for survival.

You can't look at the costs of a highly regulated, highly bureaucratic, centrally planned public healthcare (with the added cost of the salaries and subsidies of hundreds of bureaucrats) and conclude that's what people would have to pay for if it was private.

 

The most fundamental problem with these things is that they breed dependent and irresponsible people, and that means they can't be just abolished overnight, but it also means it only tends to get worse in every aspect.

 

I sympathize with your collegue who had to wait in line after the accident to fix his ribs, but there is no panacea for speeding things up (unless it is really something urgent like replacing heart valves) unless you want to pay for a private hospital. That is about as much as we can get. In my country (Republic of Moldova) and Romania too, a huge problem is that the conflict of interests of doctors who work for public hospitals is not regulated against collusion when same people work a second job at a private clinic. Atm that is a problem here. Beyond that most obstacles to improving the healthcare market in the private sector is a matter of the customs rules and taxes as well as good wages to prevent brain drain. No secret that many good doctors from Eastern Europe are leaving for rural Germany just because of the pay (and because German doctors get sweet spots in cities). We will see what it brings. Ultimately nobody to rely on except ourselves.

Not sure who you mean is colluding. It seems doctors aren't being paid enough though, and it should be fine that they work on private clinics.

 

As for wages, in the private market they always tend to go up over time, unless automation comes into play, or unless the gov gets in the way with regulations.

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The problem with the robin hood effect (besides its relation to the misconception that he stole from the rich to give to the poor) is that it's based off of a mindset that neglects to see that the rich already redistribute their wealth on their own (think how many people get paid and how many businesses flourish each time they buy a yacht, or when Elon Musk makes silly absurdly expensive experiments), and in doing so they give a serious push to keep the economic gears turning, which is ultimately what actually keeps raising the living standards of everyone else including the poorest.

Guess i have to be happy that you did not call it communism. It has nothing to do with Robin Hood.

It is just a subsidy like every other. The state as a whole decides that no one should die of starvation or because he can't afford healthcare - and spends tax money to make that sure.

It is not about whether the rich are good or bad or whether it is okay to hoard ridiculous amounts of money. That just doesn't matter. Welfare expenses in the end are just expenses and have to be paid somehow. You can't take the money from the poor, because they don't have it. So obviously you have to take it from the rich.

 

The concept of the consumerism and entrepreneurship of the rich fixing the poorness problem is called Trickle-down economics and works as well as communism with real humans...

 

The robin hood mindset also tends to upset the rich, who, if they can afford to move away (if they're not stuck to localized business infrastructures or something), will then look for tax havens and take their wealth with them and invest and pay salaries elsewhere, in turn raising the living standards of other nations and lowering those of their own. Or they find ways to build their infrastructure in other countries and transport the goods from overseas (f. ex. China) if it turns out to be cheaper and less of a hassle.

Let them go - and exspell them from the country so they aren't able to come back.

Beeing a citizen of a welfare state does not only mean that you get help if you need it - it also means, that you have to pay for others getting that help if you can afford it.

People who decide to not beeing part of that state should not be part of that state.

They should have to get citizenship somewhere else or buy themselves an island where they could declare their own state and wich they would have to protect with their own military. Should not be a problem for the filthy rich wich also like to be hermits (hint: Most humans don't like to be alone)...

 

Minimum wage, among other problems it creates, removes the competitive aspect of the lowest wages, though, which would otherwise make them tend to rise over time as low wage workers became more demanding in accordance to their growing experience and skills.

The market for low wage labour is driven by an oversupply of humans that are not skilled enough for the higher tier jobs. Some of them fled from the countries we destabilized or helped to destabilize.

That is why we have seen a race to the bottom in the low wage sector in the last decades.

Basically, the low wage labour market seems to be broken beyond repair (well, a pandemic could fix it, but we hopefully don't get one soon) in the USA and most (if not all) of the EU.

 

And yet, the gov doesn't provide dentistry, and, I don't know about you, but I never heard anyone complaining they couldn't afford their dental treatment or that there was no affordable way for them to pay for it.

Some states do provide dentistry, some do not. And i heared even Germans complaining about the costs of dentistry (Germany is considered a welfare state by the way)...

 

You can't look at the costs of a highly regulated, highly bureaucratic, centrally planned public healthcare (with the added cost of the salaries and subsidies of hundreds of bureaucrats) and conclude that's what people would have to pay for if it was private.

The current competitive economic also comes with high overhead costs. Advertising, multiplied company structures / production facilities, Salesmen...

Whatever economic system you chose, it will not be free. Humans are greedy and as long as they are, we will spend at least twice the amount of resources (and produce twice the amount of pollution) on everything than we would have to spend if greed would not be a thing. We would not even need the concepts of money or "buying something" without it.

So it is not about overhead but about whether it works or not. If people starve or can't afford healthcare, that means to me, that the system is failing for them. For me, that is a bug that has to be fixed. Whether that also is a bug for you, depends on your ethics (for a social darwinist it would be a feature).

 

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You're seriously underestimating the seriousness of dental problems that can originate in many ways, one of which is old age. You can't go through life without really needing a dentist at some point the same way you can't without really needing a doctor at some point. You can't buy fake teeth at the local convenience store, and most teeth don't fall out peacefully and quietly in the first place.

 

And yet, the gov doesn't provide dentistry, and, I don't know about you, but I never heard anyone complaining they couldn't afford their dental treatment or that there was no affordable way for them to pay for it. I also never heard anyone complain they had to wait months to be treated.

 

Dentistry is not a life and death question (under most circumstances) so in many countries it is not covered by the minimum healthcare package. And that's ok. It's more like a luxury domain.

People don't complain about dentistry because they know there's nobody responsible for giving it away for free (conventionally speaking). If you have the money you'll get good teeth, if not it's all on you and your eating habits/sleep and all that jazz.

 

 

 

 

Which is one of the things that makes it so expensive. Regulations always bear a cost. And many regulations like these are largely derived from the apparent conviction that harming clients is a viable business strategy that private companies take. In reality private doctors wouldn't want to be sued either, and no business is successful with such a strategy.

 

You can't look at the costs of a highly regulated, highly bureaucratic, centrally planned public healthcare (with the added cost of the salaries and subsidies of hundreds of bureaucrats) and conclude that's what people would have to pay for if it was private.

 

The most fundamental problem with these things is that they breed dependent and irresponsible people, and that means they can't be just abolished overnight, but it also means it only tends to get worse in every aspect.

 

 

 

Ok, but you do agree that if medical services were not regulated than we'd have a lot of placebo, homeopathy and pseudoscience sold as if it was legit medicine? And we still get that despite regulations in ads and such. Only people who bother to read deeper understand that none of this helps and it is a waste of time and money.

 

You do agree that over diagnosing various conditions as well and underdiagnosing them are both dangerous extremes impossible to avoid with control, regulation and punishment from the government? Especially in areas where science did not develop well like psychiatry, neurology, oncology (most cases being terminal). We're less than half a century after lobotomy was alright. Now it's banned and that's where it stays.

 

But I don't contest that it's a huge waste of human resources to have doctors filling in endless paperwork instead of practicing medicine/consulting patients. C'est la vie I guess. Yet I don't see how it can be avoided in the private sector neither.

 

 

 

 

Not sure who you mean is colluding. It seems doctors aren't being paid enough though, and it should be fine that they work on private clinics.

 

As for wages, in the private market they always tend to go up over time, unless automation comes into play, or unless the gov gets in the way with regulations.

No, because then doctors will use their position in private clinics and through corruption variously take profits from both places.

There should be as you emphasized competition between the public and private clinics/hospitals.

 

As you said, wages are better in the private sector. But that doesn't mean we should block growth by letting things go with conflict of interests.

Edited by Anderson

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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