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Monday, July 02, 2012

OT-P: July: Obamacare Decision as Baseball: the Runner is Safe, so Now What?

My favorite play in baseball is the second base steal. In the play, the base runner watches the pitch, and at just the right moment, he sprints toward second. The catcher snatches the pitch, springs up and rockets the ball to the second baseman who snags it and tries to tag the runner as he slides into the base. As the dust clears, all eyes are on the second base umpire who, in a split second, calls the runner safe or out. When the play is over, the players dust themselves off, and the game goes on.

Some on the field may disagree with the umpire’s call.  However, the umpire’s decision is final, and arguing can get you ejected. To stay in the game, great teams simply adjust their strategy based on the umpire’s call.

 

Morty Causa Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:26 PM | 4025 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics, special topics

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   1001. tshipman Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4174413)
So, not that this section of the thread isn't ridiculous and dumb (oh wait, it is), but BLS released another employment number:

80,000. Not a good jobs number. April was revised down by 9K and May was revised up by 10K.

All of the 2nd quarter was treading water, making it unclear to me at least whether all the hubbub about employment matters at all when it comes to the presidential race. Like the rest of the economy, anything much better (like 180K) or much worse (like -20K) would clearly have an impact, but this muddled state is much less clear.
   1002. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4174419)
In other words, you've been pulling an Andy: Repeatedly asking a question to which you already know the answer -- both because the answer is obvious and because it's been given repeatedly

Funny, but I still don't recall any of you answering why people who object to the ACA should be exempt from that insurance mandate / tax, while at the same time people who object to the Iraq war should not be exempt from withholding the percentage of their taxes that goes to pay for it.

At long last Ray managed to squibble out an answer which tried without much success to address the legal distinction, but neither he nor anyone else ever attempted to address the moral / philosophical question that was the heart of my inquiry.

Perhaps the "obvious" answer for you is that you'd feel fine about making contributions to those respective causes voluntary in both cases, but unless I've missed something, I don't recall you or any other libertarian actually saying that, directly or otherwise. But here's your opportunity.
   1003. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4174420)
Dan is not covering himself in glory in this thread.



We took risks, we knew we took them; things have come out against us, and therefore we have no cause for complaint, but bow to the will of Providence, determined still to do our best to the last ... Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale, but surely, surely, a great rich country like ours will see that those who are dependent on us are properly provided for.


Final Entry, Robert Falcon Scott's diary from Expedition to Find a Sam Hutcheson Post with Content.
   1004. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4174423)
I missed your original question about that 2MPH vehicle, and you must have missed my request to repeat it. But assuming that Brian wasn't misreading the substance of that question when he responded in #981, I think I get the thrust of your question, and I also think that #981 would likely summarize my own response. Requiring all vehicles to go 2MPH or less has costs that I'd suspect even an Amish farmer might reject, let alone progressives and non-progressives who don't reject motorized vehicles. There are no costs relating to an insurance mandate that are even remotely comparable to a 2MPH limit on driving, unless you think that forcing everyone to drive 2MPH for the rest of their lives is no different than requiring those people who can afford it to pay for health insurance.


But once you agree that there are certain costs you're willing to put up with - including people dying - then there's nothing to distinguish your position over Good Face's position from which you opined that he should be shot on sight; you draw a line just like he did, only in a different place than he did.
   1005. tshipman Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4174429)
But once you agree that there are certain costs you're willing to put up with - including people dying - then there's nothing to distinguish your position over Good Face's position from which you opined that he should be shot on sight; you draw a line just like he did, only in a different place than he did.


Really? I mean, is the whole thread just going to descend to Dan, TGF and Sam trolling and counter-trolling each other?

Really?
   1006. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4174430)
There are no costs relating to an insurance mandate that are even remotely comparable to a 2MPH limit on driving, unless you think that forcing everyone to drive 2MPH for the rest of their lives is no different than requiring those people who can afford it to pay for health insurance.

Ah, so in other words, people are only murderers when at a different cost/benefit conclusion that *you* don't like. Draw a line at a different line than Andy on cost/benefit? You killed those people. Deaths below the line that Andy likes? Irrelevant, because Andy Once Read a Book About France's Health Care System.

Fact is, you've decided not to count the lives saved as a result of the 2 MPH moonjump cars because it's stupid. Well, *I* think taking a system that makes up a large part of the economy, a system that the large, vast majority of Americans are happy with, and sentencing everybody to the sausage-making cornucopia of new regulatory agencies, answerable to nobody, writing tens of thousands of pages of rules based on whim is pretty ####### stupid.

Sorry fella, just like Sam doesn't believe that 1850s slaves had any rights violated under his definition of a right, you're a killer under your definition of killing.
   1007. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4174432)
Really? I mean, is the whole thread just going to descend to Dan, TGF and Sam trolling and counter-trolling each other?


Is asking a grown man to learn to read "trolling?"
   1008. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4174435)
Prior to May 16, 1954, saying that Plessy was decided "wrongly" was an accurate moral assertion, but unfortunately that's all it was.


Fine. So we can say that the statement that the ACA decision was decided wrongly last week is an accurate moral assertion.

It wasn't until Brown was handed down that Plessy was also----from that point on----certifiably "wrong" in its constitutional interpretation.


Ah. So Plessy was decided rightly at the time, then. Good to know you've joined Sam in the quaint idea that black people didn't deserve rights before a consensus decided out of the goodness of their hearts to give them those rights. Here, according to you, Plessy was decided rightly (until it was deemed to have been decided wrongly!), and "separate but equal" was constitutional and didn't violate the 14th Amendment.

Well, I'm kind of surprised you said that. But I give you credit for honesty.
   1009. formerly dp Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4174439)
So was it a fact that Plessy v. Ferguson was decided wrongly, or just a Sesame Streetish opinion! Own it, formerly dp.

We have a mechanism for arbitrating interpretative disputes. You want us to reject the legitimacy of that mechanism and accept your interpretation as the only one that could possibly be valid. And we're not doing that. Now, you can either move on from this point, or you can keep demanding that the community bend to your judgement. One of those options recognizes that indulging Ray DiPerna's need to feel smarter than everyone else is not the goal of BTF political discussions, and the other does not. Which one will you choose in this round?
   1010. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4174440)
Fine. So we can say that the statement that the ACA decision was decided wrongly last week is an accurate moral assertion.


For you. Accurate moral assertion *for you.*
   1011. Spahn Insane Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4174445)
No. That was the dishonest claim by Ginsburg in her dissent for why the mandate wasn't regulating inactivity. Self-insurance is not "just not buying insurance." Self-insurance involves actuarially assessing risk and then setting money aside to pay claims.

I'd love to know how many people actually do this and ultimately choose not to carry insurance, if they have a choice in the matter (other than "choosing to be better off in terms of economics and/or not having a pre-existing condition").

EDIT: And further, I'd love to know the size of the subset of that group which, when faced with a medical emergency, declines to seek treatment out of the conviction that it's immoral to receive health services he can't or won't pay for.**

**Christian Scientists excepted, of course...
   1012. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4174446)
Ah. So Plessy was decided rightly at the time, then. Good to know you've joined Sam in the quaint idea that black people didn't deserve rights before a consensus decided out of the goodness of their hearts to give them those rights.


Congratulations, Dan. You've lied often enough and loud enough that Ray has decided the lie is the truth. Good job, you!
   1013. Spahn Insane Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4174452)
And if you try to break in and take it, is he justified in shooting you? Yes.

Depends on the jurisdiction, no? (Been a few years since I took criminal law, but the allowance of lethal force to merely protect property's far from universal, best I can remember...)
   1014. billyshears Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4174453)
No. That was the dishonest claim by Ginsburg in her dissent for why the mandate wasn't regulating inactivity. Self-insurance is not "just not buying insurance." Self-insurance involves actuarially assessing risk and then setting money aside to pay claims.


And not buying insurance. And hoping you don't get sick because the vast majority of Americans for who self-insurance in a viable option (young people) will not have been able to set aside enough money to pay for one reasonably significant medical issue. Just because you dress self-insurance up in responsible sounding words doesn't change it's very essence. For many, not buying insurance and hoping you don't get sick is a rationale choice. But again, if society accepts the responsibility to pay for it when people who self-insure get sick, then the question becomes solely one of methods, rather than principles.
   1015. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4174456)
So was it a fact that Plessy v. Ferguson was decided wrongly, or just a Sesame Streetish opinion! Own it, formerly dp.

We have a mechanism for arbitrating interpretative disputes. You want us to reject the legitimacy of that mechanism and accept your interpretation as the only one that could possibly be valid. And we're not doing that.


So, can we put you in the Andy camp of holding the opinion that Plessy was decided rightly, then? At least until it was deemed to have been decided wrongly?

------

Sam: re the slaves/south thing. I don't for a second believe that you're racist. But I do believe that Dan managed to show that your view on what "rights" are is erroneous [edit: or flawed or shortsighted]. And rather than admit that he had boxed you into a corner and that you needed to re-think your definition of rights, you instead put yourself in the awkward position of appearing to support something you don't believe. An adjustment is in order, and you should probably take the time to consider one.
   1016. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4174457)
Congratulations, Dan. You've lied often enough and loud enough that Ray has decided the lie is the truth. Good job, you!


If you're not a liar, this means that you must have found proof that there was a great demand for the rights of black slaves in the 1830s deep south, the necessary condition you laid out for the right to not be a slave in the 1830s deep south to exist. So, for the good of scholarship, please post this groundbreaking material that you have certainly put together meticulously, as your are so not a liar.
   1017. BurlyBuehrle Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4174458)
Ah. So Plessy was decided rightly at the time, then. Good to know you've joined Sam in the quaint idea that black people didn't deserve rights before a consensus decided out of the goodness of their hearts to give them those rights. Here, according to you, Plessy was decided rightly (until it was deemed to have been decided wrongly!), and "separate but equal" was constitutional and didn't violate the 14th Amendment.


Show me where *anyone* said this
black people didn't deserve rights before a consensus decided out of the goodness of their hearts to give them those rights.


It is an empirical and historical fact that those rights weren't granted. Whether that was right or wrong? I've already stated that whether something is or isn't constitutional is a subjective value judgment. We might all agree that Plessy was wrong, on a moral level. We might all agree that, in our view on what the constitution means, Plessy was decided incorrectly. But from 1896 to 1954, Plessy *was* constitutional - because SCOTUS says so, and they get to decide.

Because someone accepts the legitimacy of SCOTUS, it does not follow that they think "black people did not deserve rights."

Let's try it a different way: please explain how the constitutionality of a law *should* be determined, if not by SCOTUS.
   1018. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4174461)
There are no costs relating to an insurance mandate that are even remotely comparable to a 2MPH limit on driving, unless you think that forcing everyone to drive 2MPH for the rest of their lives is no different than requiring those people who can afford it to pay for health insurance.

Ah, so in other words, people are only murderers when at a different cost/benefit conclusion that *you* don't like.


Tell you what, Dan. I'll give "*you*" a choice of either being forced to buy health insurance or forced to putter around for the rest of your life in a vehicle that goes only 2 MPH. You can try each option for a year or two and then tell us which one caused you more disruption.

And if you need further consultation, you're allowed to let Good Face ride shotgun, and fit David and Ray in the spare tire compartment.
   1019. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4174463)
So, not that this section of the thread isn't ridiculous and dumb (oh wait, it is), but BLS released another employment number:

80,000. Not a good jobs number. April was revised down by 9K and May was revised up by 10K.

All of the 2nd quarter was treading water, making it unclear to me at least whether all the hubbub about employment matters at all when it comes to the presidential race. Like the rest of the economy, anything much better (like 180K) or much worse (like -20K) would clearly have an impact, but this muddled state is much less clear.


Here's a question: why does ADP consistently take the over? They had June at 176K, and being off by 96K is quite the misfire.

WRT June, I think that the clear post-Crisis (or really, continuing) trend is that Summer tends to have some stagnation, followed by ramping up in Autumn and Winter. Why that is, I have no idea. However, inflation is below target and unemployment is *WAY* above target. Despite Bernanke's statements to the contrary, I think the Fed will act, and soon. QE3? Maybe, and it probably wouldn't be enough. But I definitely think there will be Fed action, as it's clear that Congress is in no mood to attempt fiscal stimulus in an election year.
   1020. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4174464)
   1021. BrianBrianson Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4174465)
Except this is too neat by half. You're simply deciding that the things you like are what makes society valuable and ignore anything about the things you like that make society less valuable. You talk about helping the less fortunate (which again, I do plenty of on my own), but you don't count the negative effects on society of throwing people into a byzantine tanglework. You talk about regulations, but you don't talk about how the tenths of thousands of regulations, covering every single human action, stifles personal freedom, which hurts society. You talk about the efficient things about electrical power but you also ignore the resource bloat and government's tendency to allow to simply use utilities as a source of revenue in exchange for overlooking issues and general regulatory capital (see Pepco in Montgomery County). You talk about government-funded education, but also ignore the negative effects on society of public education's cost per people literally exploding the last 40 years with no tangible results, resources that could have gone elsewhere but can't because of the country's industrial-education complex. You talk about helping people on the plus side, but ignore the downside of creating a society in which people are encourage to think that charity and compassion are what you force people with more resources than you to provide. Your argument is seductive, because it Enron's the accounting.


The problem with this argument is that it's a bunch of false assetions and poorly thought out definitions. If we define "freedom" to mean "freedom from government regulation alone", then you're right that freedoms are being decreased. But if we define "freedom" to mean "freedom from government regulation alone", then we're idiots. Giving up the freedom to be injured in automobile accidents, or the freedom to go without healthcare, or the freedom to give ourselves and our loved ones lung cancer, and replacing them with freedom from hunger, freedom from privation, freedom from dying of exposure to the elements is not a net loss of freedom, it's a net gain of freedom. That governments have problems with corruption, or inefficiencies, isn't an argument against governments (especially when we see the same problems with private actors, often made worse when private actors can get monopolistic situations). Similarly, you assert that education costs have increased without results, though this is simply false - we see that people are becoming more educated (e.g., Flynn effect), schools are increasingly serving a babysitting function, special needs children aren't just dumped somewhere to be forgotten, and so forth. Beyond which, teachers, janitors, whoever, are citizens, members of my community, and I'd rather see them making a livable, adult wage, not just sufficient to support a young woman living at home.

Beyond which, I'll stick to the position that we're not talking about charity at all. We're talking about more equitably distributing resources to people based on their contribution to society. We're talking about everyone paying their fare share for our shared prosperity.
   1022. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4174466)
There have been references made in the Lounge to an off-topic political thread on the Mainland. I suspect it is this thread. I am owning them.
   1023. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4174469)
An adjustment is in order, and you should probably take the time to consider one.

I gave him an easy out, too, and said he could take back his definition of right as he presented it, but Sam's talk:walk ratio is an undefined number. Given his refusal to take back his specific definition of a right and his refusal to post his evidence that the majority of the 1830s deep south thought blacks had a right to not be slaves, that only leaves the conclusion that Sam doesn't think black slaves had any rights violated. I don't actually think Sam's a racist, but as long as he refuses to admit that he *does* believe a right is more than simply a result of compelling demand for that right or he doesn't present his revolutionary study of the 1830s deep south that would rock the historical community, that's all he's leaving himself.
   1024. zonk Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4174471)
So, not that this section of the thread isn't ridiculous and dumb (oh wait, it is), but BLS released another employment number:

80,000. Not a good jobs number. April was revised down by 9K and May was revised up by 10K.

All of the 2nd quarter was treading water, making it unclear to me at least whether all the hubbub about employment matters at all when it comes to the presidential race. Like the rest of the economy, anything much better (like 180K) or much worse (like -20K) would clearly have an impact, but this muddled state is much less clear.


Yeah, it's another weak report... it gets whispered every now and again -- and this report would have still been weak even with nominal growth in public sector employment -- but that's what's really killed the jobs numbers over the past year. Without checking the BLS archives, I think it's been years -- probably going back to census hiring -- since the reports showed even small public sector growth.
   1025. spycake Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4174472)
Please stop. Everyone. Ray makes statements of opinion sound like facts. A lot of people do that. Or should I say, I think a lot of people do that. Let it go already.
   1026. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4174473)

Yeah, it's another weak report... it gets whispered every now and again -- and this report would have still been weak even with nominal growth in public sector employment -- but that's what's really killed the jobs numbers over the past year. Without checking the BLS archives, I think it's been years -- probably going back to census hiring -- since the reports showed even small public sector growth.


Gov't was down 4K. There have been something like 3M private sector jobs added since January '09. I *think*, without checking, that had local, state and federal gov't simply kept expanding at the rate it did in aggregate during Dubya's term on office, unemployment would actually be at/just below 7% right now.

Functionally, we have had increasing austerity, particularly since the end ARRA funds dried up.
   1027. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4174474)
Giving up the freedom to be injured in automobile accidents, or the freedom to go without healthcare, or the freedom to give ourselves and our loved ones lung cancer, and replacing them with freedom from hunger, freedom from privation, freedom from dying of exposure to the elements is not a net loss of freedom, it's a net gain of freedom.

Again, you're only counting the good things, deciding that your policies you like are responsible for those good things, and ignoring the voluminous negatives of those policies. Your argument is an accounting fiction.
   1028. Spahn Insane Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4174475)
And if you need further consultation, you're allowed to let Good Face ride shotgun, and fit David and Ray in the spare tire compartment.

What are they driving, a monster truck?
   1029. zonk Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4174477)
Here's a question: why does ADP consistently take the over? They had June at 176K, and being off by 96K is quite the misfire.


Different data sets -- but also, I think ADP only concerns private sector hiring while the BLS survey includes both public and private sector hiring. I don't think either is 'wrong' per se -- just different data-in and different methodologies. Both numbers are statistical approaches more than pure 'counts'.
   1030. Spahn Insane Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4174480)
Yeah, it's another weak report... it gets whispered every now and again -- and this report would have still been weak even with nominal growth in public sector employment -- but that's what's really killed the jobs numbers over the past year. Without checking the BLS archives, I think it's been years -- probably going back to census hiring -- since the reports showed even small public sector growth.

No! The size of government has exploded under Obama, haven't you heard?
   1031. Brian C Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4174482)
Why are Dan and now Ray pretending that they don't understand the concept of legal rights? Slaves had no legal rights under the old slavery regime; this is a simple historical fact. It's not even that the state failed to uphold their legal rights, they simply had none. It was legal to own slaves and illegal for slaves to exercise the rights that non-slaves had. And whatever extralegal ("natural" or "God-given", etc., whatever you want to call them) they had were violently suppressed by the state. And by that I mean real violence, not the fantasy black-helicopter violence that libertarians like to imagine every time they fill out tax forms.

And, of course, this was the whole problem with slavery. It's why abolitionists fought to end the institution and why the country ended up in a bloody civil war. I don't think there's actually any reason to explain this here, but for some reason Dan and now Ray have decided that they've found a gold mine of gotcha on the issue. It seems rather blatantly dishonest, since the whole ACA argument revolves around the SC's interpretation of legal rights in the first place. So I know these guys understand the distinction.
   1032. BrianBrianson Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4174483)
Again, you're only counting the good things, deciding that your policies are responsible for those things, and ignoring the negatives. Your argument is an accounting fiction.


I'm not - It turns out adding large positive numbers to small negative numbers still leaves a large, positive total. I can provide some examples if that makes it clearer for you.
   1033. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4174484)
Son, we live in a society that provides many benefits, and those benefits have to be created by laws and regulations and guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? A libertarian? You weep for your taxable income and minor inconveniences, and you curse the government. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that that government and the taxes and laws that support and define it, while annoying, make our wealth and high standard of living possible. And the existence of those taxes and laws, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, enriches all fo our lives! You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want that society and its annoying laws! You need that society and its annoying laws. We use words like "social contract," "democratic process," "collective action problem," and "progressive taxation." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very standard of living that our society provides, and then questions the manner in which the society provide it! I would rather you just said "Thank you," and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you run for office and propose some new legislation. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!
   1034. Lassus Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4174485)
So much for that whole "give me liberty or give me death" thing, I guess.

David, there were questions and points there to answer and debate in good faith. I am legitimately curious to see a view from you on this topic of whether or not YOU would break in or starve, if you can, as opposed to epigrams.

Also, Ray, I'm not playing "gotcha" with my request regarding #971, I really want to know if that's a fair assessment on your view of "society" and your preferred place, role, etc, in the same.
   1035. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4174490)
Dan -

Again, your argument about rights is just a gussied up version of, "you don't believe in God, so you can't be moral." Just as one does not need faith in a perfectly good and omnipotent God to believe in and practice various forms of personal and political ethics, one does not need faith in metaphysical rights to make arguments about what should and should not be considered human rights.
   1036. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4174495)
If you're not a liar, this means that you must have found proof that there was a great demand for the rights of black slaves in the 1830s deep south


No, the demand was in the north, actually. Good lord you're making an abject fool of yourself, son.
   1037. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4174496)
Tell you what, Dan. I'll give "*you*" a choice of either being forced to buy health insurance or forced to putter around for the rest of your life in a vehicle that goes only 2 MPH. You can try each option for a year or two and then tell us which one caused you more disruption.


Concepts, Andy, you're not dealing with the concepts. All you're doing is pointing out that you draw the line differently from Good Face. But you are willing to put up with a measure of human suffering and death, just like he is.

In other words, you're Frasier in the below scenario, searching to find a distinction where none exists:

Niles: Well, I hope you're happy!
Frasier: Snap out of it. What you were doing was completely dishonest.
Niles: Ooh, said the pot to the kettle!
Frasier: What is that supposed to mean?
Niles: I think you know what it means.
Frasier: Don't be ridiculous! Our two situations are totally
different.
Niles: Oh, really? How so?
Frasier: Well, for one thing, you've been misleading a woman for
your own selfish gain.
Niles: And so are you!
Frasier: Well, I'm not finished. She was also... trusting you to tell
the truth.
Niles: Oh, and the difference would be?!
Frasier: YOUR... WOMAN... IS... ENGLISH!
Niles: Frasier, you've lost this one.
Frasier: I know. I know. It's just going to take a little while to climb
down off of this particular high horse.

   1038. zonk Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4174497)

Functionally, we have had increasing austerity, particularly since the end ARRA funds dried up.


Absolutely - both realistically and politically, I still the initial stimulus package was probably Obama's biggest term one misstep... He went tepid, he went (too) block grant, and probably should have been helicoptering money from the sky instead.

Still, what are you gonna do -- FDR tried to stake out the same sort of moderate path in his first two years -- listening a bit too much to Morgenthau and deficit hawks like Lewis Williams Douglas, his first budget director. It was the second New Deal, after the '34 midterms and the defection of Douglas, that had most of the muscular programs people remember from the New Deal.

The difference is that FDR got an even bigger bump in congressional mandates in 1934, while Obama's Democrats barely held on to one chamber by the skin of its teeth.

Goes to show one of the key differences between then and now -- FDR had the luxury of a very loud, very vocal, very active, and very effective left flank, while Obama's left flank is loud, vocal, but ineffective.
   1039. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4174498)
And if you need further consultation, you're allowed to let Good Face ride shotgun, and fit David and Ray in the spare tire compartment.

What are they driving, a monster truck?


Since Dan was the one who posed the original scenario, I'm afraid you'll have to ask him.
   1040. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4174502)
Just as one does not need faith in a perfectly good and omnipotent God to believe in and practice various forms of personal and political ethics, one does not need faith in metaphysical rights to make arguments about what should and should not be considered human rights.

Except for the fact Sam stated his personal conditions for the existence of a right in his view, which are fundamentally incompatible with a black slave having any rights to violate in 1830s Alabama. If Sam's going to point out that some people would get hurt under my definition of a right (as they do under any definition), it's perfectly fair to point out that his stated definition of a right leaves any room for Uncle Tom to be equally as much a person as Simon Legree.
   1041. BDC Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4174503)
I agree, BurlyBuerhle. Constitutional is what SCOTUS says it is, in our system. The further semantic wrinkle comes when the Constitution can be interpreted as contradicting itself, of course; and as a very complicated document written over 200+ years, it would be surprising if it didn't. (The great example is the Second Amendment, which sort of can't mean what it says, at least in 21st-century terms.) So all sorts of constitutional contradictions have crept in at times: most notably over the franchise, which has needed a lot of amendment. And when the Constitution contradicts itself, people are going to interpret it variably (hence the concept of a dissenting opinion, to begin with).

In baseball, OTOH, a runner cannot be simultaneously out and safe, and there's almost no mechanism for a do-over, so the rightness and wrongness of arbitrary decisions is far more final. Umpiring crews don't issue dissenting opinions. (Though it might be fun if they did :-D )

   1042. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4174505)
And I've generally lurked, but JOSNW's posts are on-point...but wanting someone to die callously? Isn't that the same thing we're trying to prevent with ACA/universal care? I get the visceral reaction, I do. When I read that someone felt that those who can't afford care should "go without," I thought -- why does this person want to live in a collective society? Isn't the entire point of living in a society so that we can each improve our lot in this world - through the benefits a collective confers?
Yes, to improve our lot, through voluntary mutual exchange. Libertarians are not hermits. We want to deal with each other. That's why libertarians favor free trade -- between individuals in the same country and in different countries (while liberals do not, except with many caveats and conditions). Dealing with people is not the same as wanting to impose our will on others.

Also, this idea that some people "know" what is constitutional, better than SCOTUS, is wild to me. What does this even mean? Why is your view/opinion/certainty better than mine?
Because I'm smarter, nicer, and more virtuous than you are. And my kids are cuter than yours.
Better than SCOTUS? Do you reject SCOTUS's authority to determine what is, at least for practical purposes, constitutional? Being "constitutional" isn't some abstraction that we each get to rule on in our minds. We can all have an *opinion* on it...but when SCOTUS says something is constitutional, well, it is the law of the land. I suppose there is a philosophical debate in here somewhere concerning what "is" means -- but that is better left to Bill Clinton and his handlers...
Look, nobody disputes that "it's the law of the land." If the Supreme Court rules tomorrow that a 27-year old is eligible to be president, or that a law allowing racial discrimination is okay, or that a law vetoed by the president is actually the law because the president doesn't have the power to veto, or that sitting on your couch is interstate commerce, then, yes, that's "the law of the land." People criticizing the Supreme Court are saying that these real/hypothetical rulings are wrong, not that they didn't happen. Being constitutional certainly is an "abstraction that we each get to rule on in our minds." Jeffrey Maier did reach onto the field and interfere with a ball in play, regardless of what Rich Garcia thought. Nobody who says this means that Jeter didn't get credit for a HR. We just mean that it was wrong, and he didn't actually hit one.
   1043. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4174506)
Gov't was down 4K. There have been something like 3M private sector jobs added since January '09. I *think*, without checking, that had local, state and federal gov't simply kept expanding at the rate it did in aggregate during Dubya's term on office, unemployment would actually be at/just below 7% right now.
Which would be horrible! The unemployment situation, even if fiscal austerity weren't as severe, should be entirely unacceptable. Our elites prefer monetary and fiscal austerity anyway. It's really depressing.
   1044. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4174508)
No, the demand was in the north, actually. Good lord you're making an abject fool of yourself, son.

That would only lead to that right existing only in the north.
   1045. Brian C Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4174509)
Concepts, Andy, you're not dealing with the concepts. All you're doing is pointing out that you draw the line differently from Good Face.

And this, too. Of course he's deciding to draw the line in a different place. And why not? There's nothing wrong with that. I'm not sure why Andy is so unwilling to concede this point, because it's hardly damning - it's like making fun of someone for wearing a bad tie and that person coming back with "Oh yeah! Well you're wearing a tie also!". It's just stupid.
   1046. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4174511)
Which would be horrible! The unemployment situation, even if fiscal austerity weren't as severe, should be entirely unacceptable. Our elites prefer monetary and fiscal austerity anyway. It's really depressing.


I'd be more keen on stimulus if the self-proclaimed Keynesians didn't stop being Keynesians every time we're in the boom part of the cycle.
   1047. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4174513)
   1048. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4174514)
Except for the fact Sam stated his personal conditions for the existence of a right in his view, which are fundamentally incompatible with a black slave having any rights to violate in 1830s Alabama.
You're engaging in the same conflation of descriptive and normative language as has bedeviled the stupid "constitutional" argument. One can argue that rights aren't meaningfully in existence but should be, if one doesn't believe in rights as metaphysical entities.
   1049. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4174515)
Sam: re the slaves/south thing. I don't for a second believe that you're racist. But I do believe that Dan managed to show that your view on what "rights" are is erroneous [edit: or flawed or shortsighted]. And rather than admit that he had boxed you into a corner and that you needed to re-think your definition of rights, you instead put yourself in the awkward position of appearing to support something you don't believe. An adjustment is in order, and you should probably take the time to consider one.


No. Dan simply failed to read plain English very well.

The question was "do rights exist?" I answered, quite rationally, no. Dan then decided that I had said black people don't have rights, which is stupid. What I said was no one has rights, only protected privileges granted by any given authority at any given time. Dan apparently can't quite fathom this simple idea.
   1050. formerly dp Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4174518)
Let's try it a different way: please explain how the constitutionality of a law *should* be determined, if not by SCOTUS.

By TAFKaR. Duh.

This puts it beyond the realm of human judgement, error and context. There can only be one right answer.

If people want to keep indulging Ray's idiosyncratic definition of constitutionality for another 600 threads, that's great. But I'll pose the question again so they can continue to ignore it:

Which of PPACA's provision are least palatable to you, and which are OK?

Let's start small:
Dependents (children) will be permitted to remain on their parents' insurance plan until their 26th birthday, and regulations implemented under the Act include dependents that no longer live with their parents, are not a dependent on a parent's tax return, are no longer a student, or are married.

Freedom rape or OK?

Medicare is expanded to small, rural hospitals and facilities.

Freedom rape or OK?

Employers must disclose the value of the benefits they provided beginning in 2012 for each employee's health insurance coverage on the employees' annual Form W-2's.

Freedom rape or OK?

All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance. Women's Preventive Services – including well-woman visits, support for breastfeeding equipment, contraception and domestic violence screening – will be covered without cost sharing.

Freedom rape or OK?

Members of Congress and their staff will only be offered health care plans through the exchange or plans otherwise established by the bill (instead of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program that they currently use).

Freedom rape or OK?
   1051. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4174521)
No, the demand was in the north, actually. Good lord you're making an abject fool of yourself, son.

That would only lead to that right existing only in the north.
This is a deeply troubling blind spot that often comes up in discussions of slavery and the South. There was a population of millions of Southerners articulating that black people had rights and deserved freedom. If you have a discursive understanding of rights, you can base the claims for the rights of Southern blacks on the extensive, if not terribly well-preserved, discourse of freedom and right among black Southerners, most of them held in slavery.
   1052. Brian C Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4174522)
I'd be more keen on stimulus if the self-proclaimed Keynesians didn't stop being Keynesians every time we're in the boom part of the cycle.

Well, back in the Clinton days we had big surpluses and were paying down debt (how easily this slips down the memory hole). I think most Keynesians were pretty happy with that state of affairs, especially relative to what's happened since.
   1053. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4174524)
That would only lead to that right existing only in the north.


The "right" existed where, and only where, it was defended. You're not getting this very well, Dan. The point isn't that southern slaves were less human than other people (your rank, mud-slinging assertion so far in this thread) but that no such thing as "human rights" exist outside of a system that defends such "rights" against infringement.
   1054. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4174525)
Of course he's deciding to draw the line in a different place. And why not? There's nothing wrong with that. I'm not sure why Andy is so unwilling to concede this point, because it's hardly damning - it's like making fun of someone for wearing a bad tie and that person coming back with "Oh yeah! Well you're wearing a tie also!". It's just stupid.

Andy started by declaring that the people wearing a bad tie should justifiably be murdered (without a hint of a joke about it, as subsequent posts have shown) so I feel a vehement response was and remains warranted.

   1055. zonk Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4174526)

Well, back in the Clinton days we had big surpluses and were paying down debt (how easily this slips down the memory hole). I think most Keynesians were pretty happy with that state of affairs, especially relative to what's happened since.


To be fair - I don't know that I'd call Clinton or most of his economic team 'Keynesian' -- maybe Reich, but the Secretary of Labor has a pretty thin policy portfolio.
   1056. Brian C Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4174527)
Andy started by declaring that the people wearing a bad tie should justifiably be murdered (without a hint of a joke about it, as subsequent posts have shown) so I feel a vehement response was and remains warranted.

Well, actually, it was more like he said that the people who wanted the people with bad ties to die should be murdered. Which isn't better, but if we're going to use metaphors, we should try to keep them straight.
   1057. CrosbyBird Posted: July 06, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4174529)
Well, *I* think taking a system that makes up a large part of the economy, a system that the large, vast majority of Americans are happy with, and sentencing everybody to the sausage-making cornucopia of new regulatory agencies, answerable to nobody, writing tens of thousands of pages of rules based on whim is pretty ####### stupid.

Generally, I agree with you, but not for health care. It's already something we heavily subsidize and the costs are not determined solely by market factors. We already guarantee a baseline of medical coverage. That coverage that people are happy with is already socialized medicine.

I also don't think the "large, vast majority" of people are happy with health care. They may be temporarily content with their health care, but as soon as they start getting any sort of serious health problem and the insurance companies start becoming an obstacle, the attitude changes.

My mother was nearly destroyed financially by my stepfather's illness, which lasted almost a decade before he finally chose to end dialysis and his life. They were well-insured and responsible, but between copays for services and drugs and non-covered services, they lost everything short of their home. Now my mother pays over $15000/year out-of-pocket for coverage because she's not old enough for Medicare.
   1058. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4174532)
The "right" existed where, and only where, it was defended.

A right has to exist before it can be defended.

The point isn't that southern slaves were less human than other people (your rank, mud-slinging assertion so far in this thread) but that no such thing as "human rights" exist outside of a system that defends such "rights" against infringement.

My "mud-slinging assertions" consist of posting exactly what you said.

So anyways, we're in agreement. As of post #1053 Dan Szymborski and Sam Hutcheson officially agree that Sam Hutcheson believes that antebellum black slaves did not have any rights violated.
   1059. Greg K Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4174533)

Well, actually, it was more like he said that the people who wanted the people with bad ties to die should be murdered. Which isn't better, but if we're going to use metaphors, we should try to keep them straight.

Frankly I think anyone who wears a tie in their day to day life is exhibiting mildly sociopathic behaviour and is a danger to society as a whole.
   1060. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4174535)
So anyways, we're in agreement. As of post #1053 Dan Szymborski and Sam Hutcheson officially agree that Sam Hutcheson believes that antebellum black slaves did not have any rights violated.


When did you become such a petulant ####, Dan?
   1061. Brian C Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4174536)
To be fair - I don't know that I'd call Clinton or most of his economic team 'Keynesian' -- maybe Reich, the Secretary of Labor has a pretty policy portfolio.

Not really relevant - my point is, you only have to go back to the last Democratic administration that actually operated in a boom cycle to find a scenario to please the Keynesians.
   1062. zonk Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4174538)

Generally, I agree with you, but not for health care. It's already something we heavily subsidize and the costs are not determined solely by market factors. We already guarantee a baseline of medical coverage. That coverage that people are happy with is already socialized medicine.

I also don't think the "large, vast majority" of people are happy with health care. They may be temporarily content with their health care, but as soon as they start getting any sort of serious health problem and the insurance companies start becoming an obstacle, the attitude changes.

My mother was nearly destroyed financially by my stepfather's illness, which lasted almost a decade before he finally chose to end dialysis and his life. They were well-insured and responsible, but between copays for services and drugs and non-covered services, they lost everything short of their home. Now my mother pays over $15000/year out-of-pocket for coverage because she's not old enough for Medicare.


Healthy people are pretty happy with health care... I would just repeat again from a few pages ago - people may give their doctors high marks, but they generally give their insurers pretty bad marks. You can, of course, say that this is the fatal flaw of ACA ('forcing' people into further reliance on an entity they don't like) -- but we shall see whether the MLRs, elimination of virtually all discriminatory factors in coverage, coverage minimums, etc change that.

Either insurers will eventually become a lot more like public utilities rather than pure for-profit corporations, or we'll eventually end up with a public insurance schema that will replace them.
   1063. Lassus Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4174539)
...a system that the large, vast majority of Americans are happy with...

I'm reasonably sure this is not the case.
   1064. formerly dp Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4174540)
Frankly I think anyone who wears a tie in their day to day life is exhibiting mildly sociopathic behaviour and is a danger to society as a whole.

How could they not? It's a well-known fact that ties choke off the supply of oxygen to the brain.
   1065. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4174543)
Well, back in the Clinton days we had big surpluses and were paying down debt (how easily this slips down the memory hole). I think most Keynesians were pretty happy with that state of affairs, especially relative to what's happened since.

Well, yeah, back in the days of Clinton with a Republican congress, we had a fleeting surplus. But there was hardly any real austerity in the uptimes, we just barely squeezed out a slender, semi-fictional (thanks to inevitably temporary SS suprlus) surplus that lasted a few years. Even without his tax cuts and warmongering, both of which I was against at the time, Bush was inevitably going to be in the red as a result of the 2001 Clinton Recession.
   1066. Greg K Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4174544)
A right has to exist before it can be defended.

I may be reading it wrong - you guys actually know what the other is saying and are just arguing for the sake of arguing - but in case there is a genuine misunderstanding here...

I think what Sam is saying is that a right has no relevance until it's defended.

I suppose the connection between your two points is the degree to which the discussion of "rights" inspires people and governments to defend them.
   1067. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4174545)
I'm reasonably sure this is not the case.


http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/mar/10/george-will/will-says-95-percent-people-health-insurance-are-s/
   1068. Randy Jones Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4174547)
Frankly I think anyone who wears a tie in their day to day life is exhibiting mildly sociopathic behaviour and is a danger to society as a whole.


This is the most acccurate, most important, and most self-evidently truthful statement in this entire thread.
   1069. The Good Face Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4174549)
Well, actually, it was more like he said that the people who wanted the people with bad ties to die should be murdered. Which isn't better, but if we're going to use metaphors, we should try to keep them straight.


This is misstatement of my position. At no point did I say that I "wanted people to die". There is a distinction between not wanting to buy something for somebody and wanting them to die. One could fairly claim I am indifferent to such hypothetical deaths, but not that I wanted them to occur. Much the way you (and Andy) are indifferent to countless real deaths occurring all over the globe as we speak.
   1070. Lassus Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4174552)
Interesting figures. I suppose I can stand corrected barring further examination.
   1071. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4174556)
elimination of virtually all discriminatory factors in coverage

It's "discriminatory" in the same way that covering a Ferrari costs more than covering Dart is discriminatory. Or discriminatory in the same way that flood insurance in the Outer Banks costs more than flood insurance in Charleston, West Virginia. Or discrimantory in the same way that charging a 90-year-old more for life insurance than a 20-year old is discriminatory.

Yes, some people are born healthier than others. Some people are also born with more talent than others, born in a more loving family than others, or born in a better country than others. You can play the compassion game non-stop - I would say that if it's right that the rich and healthy ought to be paying a subsidy to those less fortunate, then it sure as hell shouldn't be to the only moderately-fortunate that a sick, insuranceless American is in a world context, but to parts of Africa and Asia, where the health situation is *far* more superior and the people have *far* less hope.

I supposed I would be perfectly content with ACA if it wasn't just the next step in a daisy chain consisting of the regressives continually proposing new, large schemes because of the "unfair" situations created by their previous old, large scheme, something that's been going on for 80 years.
   1072. Spahn Insane Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4174559)
And my kids are cuter than yours.

Hot wife, or recessive genes?
   1073. zonk Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4174562)

A right has to exist before it can be defended.


Does a right exist if you -- cradle to grave -- never experience the benefits of it?

I'm really struggling to see how this same argument has been going on for so many pages... it comes down to theory vs reality. The reality is that if Dan had showed up on the plantation of the man who wrote the words "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." and sought to secure the theoretical rights that 'existed' for his slaves, he'd have at best been escorted off the plantation by the local constable, at worst shot or arrested.

So in the grand scheme, who cares whether they exist in theory or not? I happen to think they do, but so what?

I have a hard time seeing how this is any different than say, proposing that we strip the Cardinals of their last WS title because there were theoretically several better teams who would have won the WS more often if we had simmed the thing a few thousands times.
   1074. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4174563)
Let's start small:
Dependents (children) will be permitted to remain on their parents' insurance plan until their 26th birthday, and regulations implemented under the Act include dependents that no longer live with their parents, are not a dependent on a parent's tax return, are no longer a student, or are married.

Freedom rape or OK?
Inaccurate description. It's not that adults up to the age of 26 (don't say "children") will be "permitted" to remain on their parents' insurance policies. That's been true for about 10,000 years. What you mean is that people will be required to buy insurance policies that cover their adult children up to the age of 26. Not okay.
Medicare is expanded to small, rural hospitals and facilities.

Freedom rape or OK?
Hard to figure out precisely what that means, so can't really say.
Employers must disclose the value of the benefits they provided beginning in 2012 for each employee's health insurance coverage on the employees' annual Form W-2's.

Freedom rape or OK?
Silly and misses the point -- the benefits should be taxed like all other compensation, not just "disclosed" -- but seems mostly harmless, and I guess to the extent it gets liberals to stop falsely claiming that employee compensation hasn't risen, it's a good thing.
All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance. Women's Preventive Services – including well-woman visits, support for breastfeeding equipment, contraception and domestic violence screening – will be covered without cost sharing.

Freedom rape or OK?
Not okay. There's a reason for co-pays and deductibles. (Also, contraception isn't health care.) This will just lead to overuse of these, which are already overused.
Members of Congress and their staff will only be offered health care plans through the exchange or plans otherwise established by the bill (instead of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program that they currently use).

Freedom rape or OK?
Grandstanding, but fine.
   1075. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4174565)
I think what Sam is saying is that a right has no relevance until it's defended.

No, he said a right *doesn't exist* until his conditions are met. The conditions, as he laid out, were compelling demand by the governed, so overwhelming that the government would be terrified *not* to recognize that as a right. Clearly, the conditions he specifically laid out for the *existence* of a right were not found in the 1830s deep south.
   1076. zonk Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4174566)
It's "discriminatory" in the same way that covering a Ferrari costs more than covering Dart is discriminatory. Or discriminatory in the same way that flood insurance in the Outer Banks costs more than flood insurance in Charleston, West Virginia. Or discrimantory in the same way that charging a 90-year-old more for life insurance than a 20-year old is discriminatory.


It's the proper term, employed by the industry, the legal profession, and regulatory architecture... I know you're in semantic grudge match with Sam, but there's nothing improper about using the term.
   1077. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4174570)
I think what Sam is saying is that a right has no relevance until it's defended.


Of course. And a "right" isn't a real thing in the world. There's not a subsection of the asteroid belt where all of your "natural rights" orbit the sun in tandem with you. A right is theoretical construct, a story we tell ourselves in our political narratives, and if there's no power defending that construct then that construct doesn't really exist in any meaningful extent.

The argument against slavery didn't hinge on "rights", it hinged on humanity. The point of the war was to end the process where a section of humans were treated as less than human, while the founding document claimed to defend the construct-rights of all humans.
   1078. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4174571)
Not really relevant - my point is, you only have to go back to the last Democratic administration that actually operated in a boom cycle to find a scenario to please the Keynesians.

Oh, I don't need them to actually be in the administration. You could simply find articles, written by the most vehemently counter-cyclical Keynesians today, during the last boom cycle, in which they advocated remedies exactly opposite to what they propose in the current bust cycle - slashed social welfare, slashed unemployment benefits, increased taxes *and* decreased overall spending, shedding of government employees, running large surpluses.
   1079. formerly dp Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4174575)
Summaries in #1050 aren't mine, but:

Dependents (children) will be permitted to remain on their parents' insurance plan until their 26th birthday

Inaccurate description. It's not that adults up to the age of 26 (don't say "children") will be "permitted" to remain on their parents' insurance policies.

"Children" is a perfectly accurate description. They're the children of the policy holders. Not hard to understand.

Not okay. There's a reason for co-pays and deductibles. Also, contraception isn't health care.

Yes, it is. We can go through the whole "the pill is used to prevent ovarian cysts" thing again if you want.
   1080. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4174578)
It's the proper term, employed by the industry, the legal profession, and regulatory architecture... I know you're in semantic grudge match with Sam, but there's nothing improper about using the term.


Yes, it's the proper technical term, but like bias, it's also used as a loaded word to suggest an additional negative connotation. If that's not what you intended, I apologize.
   1081. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4174580)
Yes, to improve our lot, through voluntary mutual exchange.


Correct. And one of the founding assumptions of democratic governance is that we mutually, voluntarily accept the exchanges that result from the taxation and spending decisions that result from legal, democratic processes such as laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. That's one of the conditions of living in the United States.

Now, one of the benefits of living in a democratic society is that not only can those taxation and spending decisions be changed by popular opinion, but even the founding assumption given above is amendable. However, you will find that human history shows that its the "legal, democratic processes" bit that is most easily changed. Nobody's found a way to remove the "taxation and spending decisions" part.
   1082. zonk Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4174583)
Not okay. There's a reason for co-pays and deductibles. Also, contraception isn't health care.

Yes, it is. We can go through the whole "the pill is used to prevent ovarian cysts" thing again if you want.


Heck, why do we need to go through that? There's a reason that Obama's more or less unacceptable-to-the-church 'accommodation' towards the Vatican's hissy fit garnered exactly ZERO opposition from the insurance carriers... children are expensive, and children by people not expecting to have children can be especially expensive. Insurance companies would gladly mail the pill and rubbers to all their policy-holders if it wouldn't get them into such PR trouble.
   1083. Greg K Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4174585)
No, he said a right *doesn't exist* until his conditions are met. The conditions, as he laid out, were compelling demand by the governed, so overwhelming that the government would be terrified *not* to recognize that as a right.

I suppose, like zonk, he defines "existing" as having some kind of influence over the lives of the people who have the right.

If you imagine two scenarios, one in which slaves in the 1830s had theoretical rights and one in which they didn't, would they notice a difference at all in their lives?

The abstract idea of rights in this fashion are useful because they inspire people to defend those rights. But by themselves, without that action, they're not particularly meaningful. As someone else mentioned this is more a discussion of what "existence" means. Sam argues that until something has a tangible effect on the real world it doesn't really exist. Whereas you appear to be arguing that rights exist and have always existed even when they have had absolutely no effect on human interaction.

I'm not sure how you resolve an argument like that. I'm far from a hardcore relativist, but I do think it's awfully difficult to meaningfully discuss social issues outside the bounds of what we as humans have culturally produced.
   1084. BDC Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4174587)
I always wear a tie when I teach. It immediately gives me the appearance of professionalism. Well, that or a mildly sociopathic aura that keeps students alert.
   1085. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4174588)
Yes, it is. We can go through the whole "the pill is used to prevent ovarian cysts" thing again if you want.

That's not what the vast, vast majority of contraception is used for, and you know it.

I might as well argue that my car is a medical device because it helps prevent leg injuries and depending on the season, frostbite and heat exhaustion. These are all medical conditions that cars help you avoid, but we damn well know that's not why 99.9% of people have cars.
   1086. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4174590)
That's one of the conditions of living in the United States.

The United States doesn't own the land of the United States - land can't be rightfully owned (this last statement might start a surreal me and Sam vs. the conservative war, which could be an amusing change of pace).
   1087. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4174592)
Insurance companies would gladly mail the pill and rubbers to all their policy-holders if it wouldn't get them into such PR trouble.

I have no problem with insurance companies freely deciding to do something. Insurance companies can give out coverage for free pens and IPod repair - I couldn't care less.
   1088. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4174594)
I suppose, like zonk, he defines "existing" as having some kind of influence over the lives of the people who have the right.

Scientologists have little influence over the vast majority of people, but that doesn't mean that Scientologists don't exist.

If you imagine two scenarios, one in which slaves in the 1830s had theoretical rights and one in which they didn't, would they notice a difference at all in their lives?

If some Kurd or a Dinka are shot in the back of the head today, it wouldn't have any difference at all in our lives. But they still had rights violated. Just because we may not have the power to enforce the application of a right (for instance, I don't think someone born in New Hampshire has any more right to reside in New Hampshire than a random peasant in Madagascar or China) does not mean that the right does not exist. Even my cat knows a toy mouse still exists even if he's pushed it so far under the couch that he can no longer avail himself of playing with the toy mouse.
   1089. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4174595)
Not okay. There's a reason for co-pays and deductibles. Also, contraception isn't health care.

Yes, it is. We can go through the whole "the pill is used to prevent ovarian cysts" thing again if you want.
We can, but that would be silly, because it would miss the point. The chemicals that make up the pill can be used to treat a medical condition. That has always been covered, long before Obamacare, including under policies that did not cover contraception. (Although Sandra Fluke tried to convey the impression that it wasn't, she was careful not to actually say so.) The fact that those chemicals can also be used for birth control does not make birth control into health care. Not even the Catholic Church objects to using those chemicals to treat a medical condition like cysts (as long as it isn't subterfuge).
   1090. Greg K Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4174597)
I always wear a tie when I teach. It immediately gives me the appearance of professionalism. Well, that or a mildly sociopathic aura that keeps students alert.

This is a good tip. I could probably use a bit more of an aura of professionalism in my teaching. I doubt I'd go so far as a tie, but maybe fewer Simpsons t-shirts.

I'm comfortable with my sociopathic aura though...it's one of my few strengths as a lecturer!
   1091. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4174599)
Scientologists have little influence over the vast majority of people, but that doesn't mean that Scientologists don't exist.


My god. You just made that argument in all honesty, didn't you? Do you honestly not understand how a person-thing is not like a constructed-right-thing, Dan?
   1092. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4174601)
Of course contraception is health care.

Conception, gestation, and birth are natural, bodily processes which people want to manage. People want to manage them, in great part, because becoming pregnant is a very serious medical condition, which carries significant risks to physical and mental health. The management of natural, bodily processes which pose significant health risks is clearly an aspect of health care. Further, various hormonal treatments can lessen the chances of conception occuring, but it requires medical oversight to ensure that a person's body won't have bad responses to certain kinds of hormonal treatments. This requires engagement with the medical system.
   1093. formerly dp Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4174602)
That's not what the vast, vast majority of contraception is used for, and you know it.

How would I?

The last time I was privy to a conversation on the subject, the doctor explained the medical benefits of the pill to us, and said she recommends it to most of her patients, even ones who aren't sexually active. She may have been shilling for Big Pharma, or she may know a little more about uterine health than you do.
   1094. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4174603)
Do you honestly not understand how a person-thing is not like a constructed-right-thing, Dan?

Well, you're the expert on person-things, considering that's what you feel black slaves were until their white, right-having superiors gave them the gift of freedom.
   1095. just plain joe Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4174604)
I always wear a tie when I teach. It immediately gives me the appearance of professionalism. Well, that or a mildly sociopathic aura that keeps students alert.


You could try wearing a sword instead; that would provide that mildly sociopathic aura and it wouldn't interfere with the blood flow to the brain.
   1096. Greg K Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4174605)
Scientologists have little influence over the vast majority of people, but that doesn't mean that Scientologists don't exist.

I'm usually not good with the whole analogy thing, but I'll take a stab.

Scientologists exist because some weirdo decided to be one and some other weirdos decided to follow him.
Before that cultural production scientology didn't exist.

This is true of pretty much every aspect of human culture or concept produced by humans. It didn't exist, then humans culturally produced it.

Maybe rights are special and exist outside of this formula, I don't know enough about early human history to know. They seem like a really great idea, relatively speaking I'm sure humans produced it early on...but my best guess is that it was produced like any other concept.
   1097. Greg K Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4174606)
You could try wearing a sword instead; that would provide that mildly sociopathic aura and it wouldn't interfere with the blood flow to the brain.

I had a Jesuit prof once for a class on the Reformation. He wore his robes to lectures and brought a human skull to the first one for some reason I'm stil unclear on. Confusing at times, but that was one fun class.
   1098. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4174608)
He wore his robes to lectures and brought a human skull to the first one for some reason
Whose?
   1099. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4174609)
Conception, gestation, and birth are natural, bodily processes which people want to manage. People want to manage them, in great part, because becoming pregnant is a very serious medical condition, which carries significant risks to physical and mental health.

And they're free to contract with willing providers of these contraception management services. Just because I desire something doesn't give me a right to demand a provider of those services. If Bob's Health Care only wants to offer coverage for lupus, skydiving accidents, and hilarious things accidentally ending up in their rectum through a serious of improbable, wacky events, that's Bob's business. I can't go into Five Guys and demand a pizza. And don't try the "healthcare is tethered to employer!" nonsense because that was the inevitable result of *other* crazy progressive dictums. You break it, you buy it - previous crazy progressive ideas can't be the justification needed to implement the next crazy progressive idea. And there will be - 30 years from now, the progressives will no doubt have instituted wide-ranging food and exercise rules, because of the out-of-shape poor-eating "free riders" that they created with their previous crazy progressive idea (probably 3 or 4 crazy progressive ideas off, depending on how elections go)
   1100. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4174614)
The last time I was privy to a conversation on the subject, the doctor explained the medical benefits of the pill to us, and said she recommends it to most of her patients, even ones who aren't sexually active. She may have been shilling for Big Pharma, or she may know a little more about uterine health than you do.
This is mostly separate from the argument. She probably recommends the pill for people who say they aren't sexually active because (a) they may be lying and (b) who can predict with certainty that they won't become sexually active? Contraception is recommended health care because unless you definitely want to have a kid through natural childbirth, it's much better for your health to take hormonal treatments than to get pregnant.
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