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Thread: Trump Thread

  1. #1081
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    It is a pretty logical step, albeit fairly cold-blooded.

    His party cannot be brought to amend it; the opposition wants to add funding support without fundamental changes.

    The lack of support for repeal is because politicos and a goodly slice of the public already view it as an entitlement.

    So if you want to replace it rather than paper (money) over the problems, you cut out a component or two that more or less guarantees failure in the near future. THEN the pressure for change will allow for action.

    Mind you, I think Trump is miscalculating in that it will not be the Trump plan that rides to the rescue. I think it will be (sadly) the Sanders plan.
    Over here in the UK, the Tory strategy for bringing about privatisation of teh NHS, a Thatcherite fetish that the electorate finds toxic, is to cut funding, increase demands, lower morale by other means, then finally crow that the NHS is failing and needs to change. Increasing demands is usually accompanied by a meaningless slogan saying "A Health Service that works for the nation" or something similar. Funnily enough, the Tories think the pre-Obama US model is the one to aim for.

  2. #1082
    The Red-titled Forum Administrator Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Over here in the UK, the Tory strategy for bringing about privatisation of teh NHS, a Thatcherite fetish that the electorate finds toxic, is to cut funding, increase demands, lower morale by other means, then finally crow that the NHS is failing and needs to change. Increasing demands is usually accompanied by a meaningless slogan saying "A Health Service that works for the nation" or something similar. Funnily enough, the Tories think the pre-Obama US model is the one to aim for.
    Did hear about about Jeremy Hunt scrapping the 1% pay rise cap? The Nurses can be paid more.. out of NHS budget which is not changing and squeezed to margins already. It is like an employer giving everyone a pay rise from the same exact pot of money, there won't be a difference.
    Last edited by Beskar; 10-14-2017 at 09:12.
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  3. #1083
    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Mind you, I think Trump is miscalculating in that it will not be the Trump plan that rides to the rescue. I think it will be (sadly) the Sanders plan.
    "Trump plan" is an oxymoron.

  4. #1084
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Mind you, I think Trump is miscalculating in that it will not be the Trump plan that rides to the rescue. I think it will be (sadly) the Sanders plan.
    What is sad about poverty not killing people?


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  5. #1085
    Member Member V:force Champion HopAlongBunny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    What is sad about poverty not killing people?
    But single payer would likely throw the insurance companies to the wolves, not to mention the effect on drug prices.
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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Run N Gun Champion, Hook Line & Sinker Champion, Anime BlackJack Champion, Street Racer Champion, Pipe Mania Champion, Spider Jump Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Soap Bubble Champion, Word Up Champion, Burger Time Champion, Shape Game Champion, Quick Shot Champion, Shuriken Challenge Champion, James Bomb Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Crazy Cars Champion, Space Runner Champion, Submarine Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Chicken Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Squirrel Soccer Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Stuart's Xtreme Skateboarding Champion, Jet Pac Stan Champion, Warthog Launch Champion, Candy Tetris Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Frogger Champion, Slack Man Champion, Fishing the Sea Champion, Mission To Mars Champion, Ollie Skates Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Brighton Bounty Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Ninja Turtles 2 Champion, Ice Racer Champion, Its Mine Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, Stick Avalanche Champion, White Van Man Champion, What-A-Shot Champion, Mars Patrol Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, Magic Ball Champion, BlackJack Champion, Sonny Sunshine Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    What is sad about poverty not killing people?
    I concede the need for Medicaid. There are those who are, in many cases through no fault of their own, unemployable. Such persons should have access to reasonable healthcare. I'd prefer it were handled by private charity, but recognize that the location of charitable service and those needing the service don't always coincide well in the USA.

    I dislike the Medicare for everyone approach that is advocated by Sanders. I have never subscribed to the notion that healthcare is a right I earned by drawing breath. I know that there are many who disagree.
    "Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude." -- A. de Tocqueville

    "Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite." -- J.K. Galbraith

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  7. #1087
    Senior Member Senior Member Othello Champion Montmorency's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    I concede the need for Medicaid. There are those who are, in many cases through no fault of their own, unemployable. Such persons should have access to reasonable healthcare. I'd prefer it were handled by private charity, but recognize that the location of charitable service and those needing the service don't always coincide well in the USA.

    I dislike the Medicare for everyone approach that is advocated by Sanders. I have never subscribed to the notion that healthcare is a right I earned by drawing breath. I know that there are many who disagree.
    Whether or not there is a right, perhaps it should be a public good. You can't run the country on charity.
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  8. #1088
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Run N Gun Champion, Hook Line & Sinker Champion, Anime BlackJack Champion, Street Racer Champion, Pipe Mania Champion, Spider Jump Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Soap Bubble Champion, Word Up Champion, Burger Time Champion, Shape Game Champion, Quick Shot Champion, Shuriken Challenge Champion, James Bomb Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Crazy Cars Champion, Space Runner Champion, Submarine Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Chicken Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Squirrel Soccer Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Stuart's Xtreme Skateboarding Champion, Jet Pac Stan Champion, Warthog Launch Champion, Candy Tetris Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Frogger Champion, Slack Man Champion, Fishing the Sea Champion, Mission To Mars Champion, Ollie Skates Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Brighton Bounty Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Ninja Turtles 2 Champion, Ice Racer Champion, Its Mine Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, Stick Avalanche Champion, White Van Man Champion, What-A-Shot Champion, Mars Patrol Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, Magic Ball Champion, BlackJack Champion, Sonny Sunshine Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Whether or not there is a right, perhaps it should be a public good. You can't run the country on charity.
    A valid concept. If that is so, however, the public would need to derive a "good" exceeding the public's investment via taxation.

    For example, the benefits generated by infrastructure improvements1 and the like -- historically handled by some level of government rather than private individuals -- usually pass this test. Government's role in this is to concentrate public monies for a shared public benefit.

    I have heard that argument advanced vis-à-vis healthcare, but have yet to see a reliable model that demonstrates such a "payoff" on a broad scale. Certainly national health systems have generated remarkable statistical improvements on certain issues such as infant mortality (and I am referring to those countries that are reasonably honest in their internal reviews, not just cooking the numbers for propaganda) and a number of preventative health interventions.

    However, I have yet to read/learn of a system that would generate both the cutting edge medical wonders available in the US health system (for all its flaws) while truly achieving universal coverage. Far too many of the national systems feature people flying off for faster medical treatment elsewhere or "black market" medical practices etc. cropping up alongside the official system. Bridges and dams must account for physical realities but healthcare must account for human inconsistencies. The latter are far less knowable and arguably more problematic.

    So I while I cannot and do not deny the potential for such a public good from such a system, I have yet to discern an approach that generated enough value for the investment and/or the concomitant restriction of personal freedom of choice engendered.

    I also agree with you that we cannot run a country on charity. Private charity may be superb locally but is likely incapable of addressing needs nationally. I am, however, also leery of government mandated 'charity' collected at the metaphorical point of a gun. Hence my dilemma with this issue.

    That said, the current 'worst of both concepts' system in the USA (neither fee-for-service nor universal access) is clearly flawed. Currently we mandate employers absorb part of the cost of healthcare, with government mandating this as a condition of full time employment while requiring employers to pay part of the cost,2 while government sets all of the regulations and standards and tries to cover medical care for the indigent and from retirement to grave.
    Government performs its portion of this set up with the usual efficiency of government (underperforming except when required by crisis conditions) while businesses seek to game the system to minimize the costs to them pursuant to the business' existential requirement to turn a profit.





    1 Our Asshat-in-Chief actually campaigned on infrastructure improvements, his ability to build things and get things done, and faces almost no Congressional opposition on the issue as it is one of the few truly bipartisan (actually virtually ALL parties except the Greens support infrastructure improvements and they would support it too if enough of the improvements were long-term environmental enhancers) issues in the Washington 'Swamp.' Despite which the administration STILL does not have a draft bill circulating in Congress much less being finalized for signature. Galling.

    2 Coverage via the workplace came about in the USA through Union contract efforts to improve the lot of their employees (since an organization negotiating for 150k people has more cost control leverage than the individual,3 and through organizations adding such 'fringe benefits' as a feature to draw in better employees for their organizations. Government then used this model to force all employers to do this, undercutting organizations' ability to use it to acquire the services of a higher caliber of employee and putting all of the administrative burden on the organizations AND loaded it up with government mandated minimum requirements that have driven up the costs. How well those higher costs have accomplished improving overall health coverage nationally is debatable as Senator Sanders recent Presidential bid suggests.

    3 This economy of scale concept is often touted by those in favor of universal healthcare. However, when only one consumer exists, the normal functions of the open market cease to operate. If there is an economy of scale at that level, it simply does not conform to the normal model of comparative negotiation in market interplay.
    "Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude." -- A. de Tocqueville

    "Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite." -- J.K. Galbraith

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  9. #1089
    Senior Member Senior Member Othello Champion Montmorency's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    However, I have yet to read/learn of a system that would generate both the cutting edge medical wonders available in the US health system (for all its flaws) while truly achieving universal coverage.
    "Medicare for All" is a neat slogan, but to actually achieve single-payer care and universal coverage would require several layers of brand new institutions and years of graduated transition. If people complained that the ACA bill was very long or complex, then the bill ushering in the new system would be at least an order of magnitude more so. What needs to happen is for Congress to establish a commission to return with some plans in 2 or 3 or 5 years. Of course, who's to say that future government or the People have the patience or commitment to follow through once the time comes? So if it comes, it comes haphazardly. That's the 'democracy tax'.

    2 Coverage via the workplace came about in the USA through Union contract efforts to improve the lot of their employees (since an organization negotiating for 150k people has more cost control leverage than the individual,3 and through organizations adding such 'fringe benefits' as a feature to draw in better employees for their organizations. Government then used this model to force all employers to do this, undercutting organizations' ability to use it to acquire the services of a higher caliber of employee and putting all of the administrative burden on the organizations AND loaded it up with government mandated minimum requirements that have driven up the costs. How well those higher costs have accomplished improving overall health coverage nationally is debatable as Senator Sanders recent Presidential bid suggests.
    [/SIZE]
    Government expansion via workplace coverage was a compromise, and workplace coverage only emerged in the first place because healthcare and health insurance as we know it did not yet exist. Today the product and service that needs to be provisioned is totally different, and we need to change how we do it once again. As with adaptation to climate change, the thing that wants central administration has to be transformed because it is no longer sustainable in its present state under any administration. This is two problems at once, economic and metaeconomic, and they're inseparable. We can't and shouldn't expect a mere reduplication of current practices with a different set of paperwork.

    3This economy of scale concept is often touted by those in favor of universal healthcare. However, when only one consumer exists, the normal functions of the open market cease to operate. If there is an economy of scale at that level, it simply does not conform to the normal model of comparative negotiation in market interplay.
    [/SIZE]
    This is an important point that follows from what I said about metaeconomics and sustainability. Even with a single-payer paragon established in the United States soon enough new crises in quality and absolute costs will emerge that can only be addressed by transnational governance of healthcare -and probably more. But, one step at a time.

    Far too many of the national systems feature people flying off for faster medical treatment elsewhere or "black market" medical practices etc. cropping up alongside the official system.
    I think these "medical tourists" to America can be generalized as economic elites, with a small proportion of non-elites being sponsored for experimental treatments or purposes of research into rare conditions. There is medical tourism out of the United States as well, but the profile is inverted: those are lower or middle-class people who cannot afford treatment locally.
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  10. #1090
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Run N Gun Champion, Hook Line & Sinker Champion, Anime BlackJack Champion, Street Racer Champion, Pipe Mania Champion, Spider Jump Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Soap Bubble Champion, Word Up Champion, Burger Time Champion, Shape Game Champion, Quick Shot Champion, Shuriken Challenge Champion, James Bomb Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Crazy Cars Champion, Space Runner Champion, Submarine Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Chicken Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Squirrel Soccer Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Stuart's Xtreme Skateboarding Champion, Jet Pac Stan Champion, Warthog Launch Champion, Candy Tetris Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Frogger Champion, Slack Man Champion, Fishing the Sea Champion, Mission To Mars Champion, Ollie Skates Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Brighton Bounty Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Ninja Turtles 2 Champion, Ice Racer Champion, Its Mine Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, Stick Avalanche Champion, White Van Man Champion, What-A-Shot Champion, Mars Patrol Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, Magic Ball Champion, BlackJack Champion, Sonny Sunshine Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    "Medicare for All" is a neat slogan, but to actually achieve single-payer care and universal coverage would require several layers of brand new institutions and years of graduated transition. If people complained that the ACA bill was very long or complex, then the bill ushering in the new system would be at least an order of magnitude more so. What needs to happen is for Congress to establish a commission to return with some plans in 2 or 3 or 5 years. Of course, who's to say that future government or the People have the patience or commitment to follow through once the time comes? So if it comes, it comes haphazardly. That's the 'democracy tax'.



    Government expansion via workplace coverage was a compromise, and workplace coverage only emerged in the first place because healthcare and health insurance as we know it did not yet exist. Today the product and service that needs to be provisioned is totally different, and we need to change how we do it once again. As with adaptation to climate change, the thing that wants central administration has to be transformed because it is no longer sustainable in its present state under any administration. This is two problems at once, economic and metaeconomic, and they're inseparable. We can't and shouldn't expect a mere reduplication of current practices with a different set of paperwork.



    This is an important point that follows from what I said about metaeconomics and sustainability. Even with a single-payer paragon established in the United States soon enough new crises in quality and absolute costs will emerge that can only be addressed by transnational governance of healthcare -and probably more. But, one step at a time.



    I think these "medical tourists" to America can be generalized as economic elites, with a small proportion of non-elites being sponsored for experimental treatments or purposes of research into rare conditions. There is medical tourism out of the United States as well, but the profile is inverted: those are lower or middle-class people who cannot afford treatment locally.
    I know what metaeconomics means in general, but how do you use the term here?
    "Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude." -- A. de Tocqueville

    "Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite." -- J.K. Galbraith

    "When you're in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, 'Damn, that was fun'.” -- J. H. Marx

  11. #1091
    Member Member V:force Champion HopAlongBunny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    One difference.
    For the individual the provision of x may be a life or death choice; you will pay the maximum given that choice.
    For the gov't, x is a bulk good (life and death are not at issue); the gov't gets a better rate.

    As a patient with complete kidney failure, I have seen how this plays out first-hand.
    A drug I needed was $5,000 a pop if I bought it as a person; buying through blue cross the price magically drops to ~$50.
    It is a rather dramatic example of "market power" at work.
    Ja-mata TosaInu

  12. #1092
    Senior Member Senior Member Othello Champion Montmorency's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    I know what metaeconomics means in general, but how do you use the term here?
    The economics of healthcare are the narrow questions of how actors from individuals to firms to governments are exchanging money and other resources to provision and consume certain sets of fixed services and products with respect to some predetermined indicators like access, outcomes, efficiencies and expenditures of GDP and so on...

    The metaeconomics of healthcare go to the root of societal organization, of what healthcare is supposed to be, or what is possible, what is needed or should be needed in the context of all the other economic sectors and their principles as well as philosophical and political-sociological questions on the human condition including, "What is or should be the overall focus of economic activity?".

    Here's one take:

    [T]his website argues for a paradigm shift in the substance, rather than the form of economics, a move which will, paradoxically, take economics back to its origin in the field of moral philosophy. I hope to convince the viewer that when the existing paradigm is examined for it appropriateness to humanity’s needs, it will be seen to be so inadequate, dysfunctional and socially destructive that a new economic paradigm is called for. When the current economic upheavals have run their course, and rebuilding is being planned, it must start from a clear vision of the kind of social community we desire, and this website will argue that it cannot be profit-driven.

    ...

    [B]ut what distinguishes metanomics from informed orthodox economics is its rejection of two even more fundamental assumptions. The first of these is that the aim of economics of whatever kind is to increase “wealth”, which is taken to be material possessions or comforts or the money to obtain them. The second is the assumption that the natural economic group is the nation state. The latter is already being questioned in the drive to globalism which has been intensified by the rise of China, with all its many economic consequences, and of the transnational business corporation, which actively seeks to escape from regulation by the nation state and whose ideal would be a totally borderless world.

    Metanomics redefines the aim of economic theory and practice , so that wealth is not a measurable financial quantity, but a function of human well being, albeit this is not separable from a minimum level of income. “Human welfare” or “human prosperity” might initially be taken to be something akin to Aristotle’s euphoria, which meant something much less dramatic and intoxicating than commonly understood today.

    ...

    One thing we can be sure of is that the economic problems that humankind now faces cannot be solved by the same kind of economic thinking that caused them in the first place.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 10-15-2017 at 21:28. Reason: Link
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  13. #1093
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Run N Gun Champion, Hook Line & Sinker Champion, Anime BlackJack Champion, Street Racer Champion, Pipe Mania Champion, Spider Jump Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Soap Bubble Champion, Word Up Champion, Burger Time Champion, Shape Game Champion, Quick Shot Champion, Shuriken Challenge Champion, James Bomb Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Crazy Cars Champion, Space Runner Champion, Submarine Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Chicken Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Squirrel Soccer Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Stuart's Xtreme Skateboarding Champion, Jet Pac Stan Champion, Warthog Launch Champion, Candy Tetris Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Frogger Champion, Slack Man Champion, Fishing the Sea Champion, Mission To Mars Champion, Ollie Skates Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Brighton Bounty Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Ninja Turtles 2 Champion, Ice Racer Champion, Its Mine Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, Stick Avalanche Champion, White Van Man Champion, What-A-Shot Champion, Mars Patrol Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, Magic Ball Champion, BlackJack Champion, Sonny Sunshine Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I think these "medical tourists" to America can be generalized as economic elites, with a small proportion of non-elites being sponsored for experimental treatments or purposes of research into rare conditions. There is medical tourism out of the United States as well, but the profile is inverted: those are lower or middle-class people who cannot afford treatment locally.
    A fair point, but I and my wife (courtesy of a good deal of her work being in Canada for two years) are familiar with several middle class and working class Canadians who personally traveled or whos parents traveled to the USA to avoid waiting in lines for a test/procedure/what have you. So it isn't just elites, even though those probably do constitute most of the intercontinental medical "vacations."
    "Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude." -- A. de Tocqueville

    "Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite." -- J.K. Galbraith

    "When you're in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, 'Damn, that was fun'.” -- J. H. Marx

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    Senior Member Senior Member Othello Champion Montmorency's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    A fair point, but I and my wife (courtesy of a good deal of her work being in Canada for two years) are familiar with several middle class and working class Canadians who personally traveled or whos parents traveled to the USA to avoid waiting in lines for a test/procedure/what have you. So it isn't just elites, even though those probably do constitute most of the intercontinental medical "vacations."
    I'm sure on the right intersections of person, place and (usually outpatient) procedure, it works out through classic economic principles. So for Americans who need dental care, they're (I'm admittedly assuming) more likely to drive to Mexico than fly to India.
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Christian humanism, yet another kind of metaeconomic take.

    @@Seamus Fermanagh
    @@Philippus Flavius Homovallumus

    I have already, on a previous occasion, spoken at some length on the subject of Work and Vocation. What I urged then was a thoroughgoing revolution in our whole attitude to work. I asked that it should be looked upon—not as a necessary drudgery to be undergone for the purpose of making money, but as a way of life in which the nature of man should find its proper exercise and delight and so fulfill itself to the glory of God. That it should, in fact, be thought of as a creative activity undertaken for the love of the work itself; and that man, made in God’s image, should make things, as God makes them, for the sake of doing well a thing that is well worth doing.

    It may well seem to you—as it does to some of my acquaintances— that I have a sort of obsession about this business of the right attitude to work. But I do insist upon it, because it seems to me that what becomes of civilization after this war is going to depend enormously on our being able to effect this revolution in our ideas about work. Unless we do change our whole way of thought about work, I do not think we shall ever escape from the appalling squirrel-cage of economic confusion in which we have been madly turning for the last three centuries or so, the cage in which we landed ourselves by acquiescing in a social system based upon Envy and Avarice. A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, and such a society is a house built upon sand.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    No nation has yet found a way to keep the machines running and whole nations employed under modern industrial conditions without wasteful consumption. For a time, a few nations could contrive to keep going by securing a monopoly of production and forcing their waste products onto new and untapped markets. When there are no new markets and all nations are industrial producers, the only choice we have been able to envisage so far has been that between armaments and unemployment [...] I see no reason why we should not sacrifice our convenience and our individual standard of living just as readily for the building of great public works as for the building of ships and tanks—but when the stimulus of fear and anger is removed, shall we be prepared to do any such thing? Or shall we want to go back to that civilization of greed and waste which we dignify by the name of a “high standard of living”? I am getting very much afraid of that phrase about the standard of living. And I am also frightened by the phrase “after the war”—it is so often pronounced in a tone that suggests: “after the war, we want to relax, and go back, and live as we did before.” And that means going back to the time when labor was valued in terms of its cash returns, and not in terms of the work.
    The relentless pressure of hungry labor is behind the drive towards wasteful consumption, whether in the destruction of war or in the trumpery of peace. The problem is far too much simplified when it is presented as a mere conflict between labor and capital, between employed and employer. The basic difficulty remains, even when you make the State the sole employer, even when, you make Labor into the employer. It is not simply a question of profits and wages or living conditions—but of what is to be done with the work of the machines, and what work the machines are to do. If we do not deal with this question now, while we have time to think about it, then the whirligig of wasteful production and wasteful consumption will start again and will again end in war. And the driving-power of labor will be thrusting to turn the wheels, because it is to the financial interest of labor to keep the whirligig going faster and faster till the inevitable catastrophe comes.
    But it will make a great difference to the result if we are genuinely aiming at a real change in economic thinking. And by that I mean a radical change from top to bottom—a new system; not a mere adjustment of the old system to favor a different set of people.
    And, whether by strange coincidence, or whether because of some universal law, so soon as nothing is demanded of the thing made but its own integral perfection, its own absolute value, the skill and labor of the worker are fully employed and likewise acquire an absolute value. This is probably not the kind of answer that you will find in any theory of economics. But the professional economist is not really trained to answer, or even to ask himself questions about absolute values. The economist is inside the squirrel-cage and turning with it. Any question about absolute values belongs to the sphere, not of economics, but of religion. And it is very possible that we cannot deal with economics at all, unless we can see economy from outside the cage; that we cannot begin to settle the relative values without considering absolute values. And if so, this may give a very precise and practical meaning to the words: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” ...
    The first, stated quite briefly, is that work is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do. It is, or it should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties, the thing in which he finds spiritual, mental, and bodily satisfaction, and the medium in which he offers himself to God [...] So long as society provides the worker with a sufficient return in real wealth to enable him to carry on the work properly, then he has his reward. For his work is the measure of his life, and his satisfaction is found in the fulfillment of his own nature, and in contemplation of the perfection of his work.
    Here is the second consequence. At present we have no clear grasp of the principle that every man should do the work for which he is fitted by nature. The employer is obsessed by the notion that he must find cheap labor, and the worker by the notion that the best-paid job is the job for him. Only feebly, inadequately, and spasmodically do we ever attempt to tackle the problem from the other end, and inquire: What type of worker is suited to this type of work? People engaged in education see clearly that this is the right end to start from; but they are frustrated by economic pressure, and by the failure of parents on the one hand and employers on the other to grasp the fundamental importance of this approach.
    A third consequence is that, if we really believed this proposition and arranged our work and our standard of values accordingly, we should no longer think of work as something that we hastened to get through in order to enjoy our leisure; we should look on our leisure as the period of changed rhythm that refreshed us for the delightful purpose of getting on with our work.
    A fourth consequence is that we should fight tooth and nail, not for mere employment, but for the quality of the work that we had to do. We should clamor to be engaged on work that was worth doing, and in which we could take a pride. The worker would demand that the stuff he helped to turn out should be good stuff; he would no longer be content to take the cash and let the credit go [...] The greatest insult which a commercial age has offered to the worker has been to rob him of all interest in the end product of the work and to force him to dedicate his life to making badly things which were not worth making.
    Christian people, and particularly perhaps the Christian clergy, must get it firmly into their heads that when a man or woman is called to a particular job of secular work, that is as true a vocation as though he or she were called to specifically religious work. The Church must concern herself, not only with such questions as the just price and proper working conditions: she must concern herself with seeing that the work itself is such as a human being can perform without degradation—that no one is required by economic or any other considerations to devote himself to work that is contemptible, soul-destroying, or harmful. It is not right for her to acquiesce in the notion that a man’s life is divided into the time he spends on his work and the time he spends in serving God. He must be able to serve God in his work, and the work itself must be accepted and respected as the medium of divine creation.
    The Church’s approach to an intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him not to be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours, and to come to church on Sundays. What the Church should be telling him is this: that the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables. Church by all means, and decent forms of amusement, certainly—but what use is all that if in the very center of his life and occupation he is insulting God with bad carpentry? [...] She has forgotten that the secular vocation is sacred. Forgotten that a building must be good architecture before it can be a good church; that a painting must be well painted before it can be a good sacred picture; that work must be good work before it can call itself God’s work. [...] The official Church wastes time and energy, and moreover commits sacrilege, in demanding that secular workers should neglect their proper vocation in order to do Christian work—by which she means ecclesiastical work. The only Christian work is good work well done. Let the Church see to it that the workers are Christian people and do their work well, as to God: then all the work will be Christian work,
    God is not served by technical incompetence; and incompetence and untruth always result when the secular vocation is treated as a thing alien to religion
    This brings me to my third proposition; and this may sound to you the most revolutionary of all. It is this: the worker’s first duty is to serve the work.
    There is in fact a paradox about working to serve the community, and it is this: that to aim directly at serving the community is to falsify the work; the only way to serve the community is to forget the community and serve the work.
    ['Blessed are the monomaniacal'??!]

    the moment you think of serving other people, you begin to have a notion that other people owe you something for your pains; you begin to think that you have a claim on the community. You will begin to bargain for reward, to angle for applause, and to harbor a grievance if you are not appreciated. But if your mind is set upon serving the work, then you know you have nothing to look for; the only reward the work can give you is the satisfaction of beholding its perfection. The work takes all and gives nothing but itself; and to serve the work is a labor of pure love.
    The danger of “serving the community” is that one is part of the community, and that in serving it one may only be serving a kind of communal egotism. The only true way of serving the community is to be truly in sympathy with the community—to be oneself part of the community—and then to serve the work, without giving the community another thought. Then the work will endure, because it will be true to itself. It is the work that serves the community; the business of the worker is to serve the work.

    Where we have become confused is in mixing up the ends to which our work is put with the way in which the work is done.


    What is required is the perfect practical discrimination between the end pursued by the workman (finis operantis) and the end to be served by the work (finis operis), so that the workman may work for his wages but the work be controlled and set in being only in relation to its proper good and nowise in relation to the wages earned; so that the artist may work for any and every human intention he likes, but the work taken by itself be performed and constructed for its proper beauty alone.
    Or perhaps we may put it more shortly still: If work is to find its right place in the world, it is the duty of the Church to see to it that the work serves God, and that the worker serves the work.
    Vitiate Man.

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