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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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   401. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 03, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4172585)
Circle-jerk crowd ganging up on Ray 12:1 while they high-five each other - Thread just fine
Liberal bag of hot air called on his beliefs - Off the rails


1. Why do you assume the statement that things had "gone off the rails today" wasn't referencing the anti-Ray comments, or my poking Davey boy with a stick?

2. I am not a liberal, which you really should have figured out by now.

3. Replying to my second statement @398, in a tone that doesn't douse itself in the gasoline of liberal superiority you so often claim to detest would be a good start to returning things to some form of intellectually honest debate. (To repeat, you've now claimed three times that I've said things I never said, nor even implied. Please attempt to figure out your mistake and apologize.)
   402. Morty Causa Posted: July 03, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4172586)
Anecdotally: it's happened to me and everyone else I know who's had one of those age-50 colonoscopies. It's all paid for 100%, but then you get balance-billed by the anaesthesiologist. If you protest, the bill is magically withdrawn. If you pay the anaesthesiologist anything, just try to get a refund, even though contractually you owe them nothing.


There are many told and untold stories that deal with ways providers game the system against those who are not experts, and have no access to expert.

The one that came to my notice fairly recently was when a friend went to a hospital for a bone marrow biopsy. The hospital sends the specimen to a lab not covered fully by his insurance, even though it knew what his insurance was, and knew he didn't know who the hell they would be sending the thing to. And his insurance was Blue Cross, not some Podunk thing. Then they wanted him to pay what the insurance co. didn't. Neat, huh.

Next time he goes, I write up a disclaimer to the effect that the hospital is not authorized to outsource to anyone not on his network. Guess what? They did it anyway. Not only that, the insurance upheld the charge because he had "utilized" it. Authorization was immaterial. I'd like to see how that would play out in court. The hospital, after wrangling, "waived" the charge, but how often do you think people (or when they are too sick to take care of this, their relatives) would just pay it, if they can afford it? Why don't they just ####### mark you up like the anatomical posters of the cow on the wall in slaughterhouses?
   403. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 03, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4172589)
OK, fair enough... Like I said, I don't know what I'd have done either...

I'm not sure, either. Recognizing a right is being violated and what to do about it are very different questions, the second one being difficult.

But I would hope that if I had lived at the time, I would have recognized that blacks had the same inherent rights as whites did, to live a life of personal freedom in which they could seek out the betterment of their own lives and the lives of the ones they cared about. Because if I didn't recognize that, I would be utterly beneath contempt and further evidence that if a god ever existed, any divine spark had eluded humanity.
   404. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 03, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4172590)
1. Why do you assume the statement that things had "gone off the rails today" wasn't referencing the anti-Ray comments, or my poking Davey boy with a stick?

Fair enough. People like Johnny and MCoA have earned, through their history, an automatic initial assumption of good faith.
   405. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 03, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4172591)
I'm not sure, either. Recognizing a right is being violated and what to do about it are very different questions, the second one being difficult.


If Americans, three generations into the future, look back onto the early 2000s as the time when the nation moved forward from the dark ages and recognized the "human right" to health via public welfare, will such a right exist?
   406. DA Baracus Posted: July 03, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4172592)
Anecdotally: it's happened to me and everyone else I know who's had one of those age-50 colonoscopies. It's all paid for 100%, but then you get balance-billed by the anaesthesiologist.


This happened to me with an MRI. I got a bill for the procedure and another for the person giving me the procedure.
   407. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 03, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4172594)
Re-posted without comment:

I am forcing you to do nothing. We (and here I mean supporters of ACA collectively) voted and otherwise acted according to the rules of how we run our great nation. We won, again according to the rules. Now everyone has to function according to the outcomes of the process.

I invite you (and by you I mean all against ACA) to play by the rules and get what you want enacted. I woudl suggest you are acting against the movement of history, as shown in the fact that the entire industrial world is steadily moving in this direction (and is ahead of us).

You clearly don't like this fact, but that is OK. But no, I am not forcing you, we all are as instantiated by the government (which according to some upthread is some sort of exogenous force and not us at all, which confuses me because much of democracy is then really pointless).
   408. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 03, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4172596)
Fair enough. People like Johnny and MCoA have earned, through their history, an automatic initial assumption of good faith.


Many people have, actually. Now move on to #2 and #3 like an adult would?
   409. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 03, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4172597)
Many people have, actually. Now move on to #2 and #3 like an adult would?

I'd say "physician, heal thyself" but I'm sure you'd demand someone else do it for you.
   410. booond Posted: July 03, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4172598)
First of all, this doesn't happen, except on an occasional anecdotal basis.


Which is it, does it not happen or does it happen occasionally?
   411. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 03, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4172599)
I'd say "physician, heal thyself" but I'm sure you'd demand someone else do it for you.


So, must we close this episode of Dan Goes Ballistic For No Obvious Reason with the assumption that you simply can't read plain English? I'd like to think not, but it's your call.
   412. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 03, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4172605)
Fair enough. People like Johnny and MCoA have earned, through their history, an automatic initial assumption of good faith.


Thank you
   413. formerly dp Posted: July 03, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4172606)
This happened to me with an MRI. I got a bill for the procedure and another for the person giving me the procedure.

Didn't you hear David tell us this never happens? All of these anecdotes must be outliers.

My wife had emergency surgery almost 3 years ago. It took us a year and a half to resolve all of the bills, because of an error *the hospital* made filling out the paperwork when she was admitted. David's handwaving away the stress involved in getting letters from hospitals and doctors falsely claiming that you owe tens of thousands of dollars, but it's precisely this sort of experience that's motivating some of the ACA provisions.

   414. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4172634)
I think there is only one real human right; that people have a right of self-ownership, that is to say they own their thoughts, their bodies, and the products of their thoughts and bodies. The right of self-defense would be a corollary right.

I reject the notion of any "rights" that force any person to act on the behalf of others.


Thank you. That is very well stated. I don't agree with it (meaning it does not fully and completely reflect my beliefs in what human rights are, not that I disagree with everything you said), but it is a much neater summary than I could make on my own beliefs.

From this clearly any taxation, conscription, limited intellectual property law, and so on are violating human rights, is that correct? And really it is not a gotcha I am curious. I like to get to the root of these disagreements rather than name calling and putting up straw men (well I try anyway).
   415. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4172635)
My wife had emergency surgery almost 3 years ago. It took us a year and a half to resolve all of the bills, because of an error *the hospital* made filling out the paperwork when she was admitted. David's handwaving away the stress involved in getting letters from hospitals and doctors falsely claiming that you owe tens of thousands of dollars, but it's precisely this sort of experience that's motivating some of the ACA provisions.
Obamacare is going to prevent hospitals from filling out paperwork erroneously?

Shortly after my son was born, some jackass rear-ended my wife's car and totalled it; my son and wife went to the ER as a precaution. (Son; not a scratch. Wife: injured. Fortunately not too badly.) Between his birth and that trip to the ER, we were getting bills and/or EOBs for at least ten months. Yes, it was very inefficient, and a PITA to deal with all the paperwork. But there was never a time when they refused to pay or tried to deny coverage. You just had to make sure that the right paperwork went to the right people, and it was covered. I suppose it could have been part of a nefarious plot to trick us into paying for something we didn't need to pay, but if so, it was more of a Wile E. Coyote caliber plot than a James Bond supervillain caliber plot.
   416. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4172638)
Circle-jerk crowd ganging up on Ray 12:1 while they high-five each other


Well there was some of that. I don't think I engaged in any of it (the name calling, I was arguing but I don't think it was ganging up, but I could be wrong).

Of course Ray is a very capable so I don't worry about him much, but I admit I was not very comfortable with the tone of many of the posts (some on both sides though - calling people racist semi-randomly is in fact not very cool).
   417. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4172643)
Yes, it was very inefficient, and a PITA to deal with all the paperwork.


This is a good reason I am for single payer. Let the government bean counters fight with the hospital bean counters and leave the sick non-professionals (non bean counters) out of it. Of course that follows from my belief health care is a human right and my feeling that the government could run it better than a crazy quilt of government and insurance companies.
   418. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4172644)
Hey, have any of our pidgin libertarians ever told us whether war opponents should be subjected (at gunpoint) to paying for undeclared wars? What if some young and healthy person** wants to fight off the Taliban or the Iraqi insurgents only if they make it across the ocean to his house? Why should he be forced to pay for someone else's crusade?

I keep asking this question, and getting no answers other than Dan's response that if a war supporter's house gets invaded, it also affects the war opponent's house. Of course this begs the question of how A knows how spending billions of dollars in Iraq is going to stop his house from being invaded in the first place, and why B should care one way or the other if his freedom-hating neighbor's house gets bombed.

**who doesn't want to buy health insurance, either
   419. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4172645)
I think there is only one real human right; that people have a right of self-ownership, that is to say they own their thoughts, their bodies, and the products of their thoughts and bodies. The right of self-defense would be a corollary right.

I reject the notion of any "rights" that force any person to act on the behalf of others.


Thank you. That is very well stated.
I've been saying it for ten years here, and TGF says it once and all of the sudden it's "very well stated"? Sheesh. /mockoutrage. For the TL;DR crowd: a short video encapsulating this argument. Note that this is why it is incorrect to say that libertarians place "property rights" above "human rights," as some sometimes charge: libertarians reject the very dichotomy between these two concepts.
   420. BDC Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4172650)
I suppose it could have been part of a nefarious plot to trick us into paying for something we didn't need to pay

I don't think it's a plot; I think it's SOP. Lots of providers bill patients for whatever, figuring that even if a very small percentage of the saps write them a check, that's literally money in the bank. As others have noted, ACA tries to reform some of these abuses.
   421. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4172652)
This is a good reason I am for single payer. Let the government bean counters fight with the hospital bean counters and leave the sick non-professionals (non bean counters) out of it. Of course that follows from my belief health care is a human right and my feeling that the government could run it better than a crazy quilt of government and insurance companies.

Amen, especially when the sole mission of those insurance companies is to deny every possible dollar of payment that they can, regardless of the human consequences. Thank God we're slowly easing our way out of that nightmare, even if only with baby steps for now.
   422. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4172653)
Amen, especially when the sole mission of those insurance companies is to deny every possible dollar of payment that they can, regardless of the human consequences. Thank God we're slowly easing our way out of that nightmare
...by requiring everyone to get insurance from them?
   423. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4172657)
...by requiring everyone to get insurance from them?


Hey, we wanted single payer. It is better, but it is not perfect (or even all that great honestly), but it is a step.

I've been saying it for ten years here, and TGF says it once and all of the sudden it's "very well stated"? Sheesh.


Well, it was well stated.
   424. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4172660)
Shortly after my son was born, some jackass rear-ended my wife's car and totalled it; my son and wife went to the ER as a precaution. (Son; not a scratch. Wife: injured. Fortunately not too badly.) Between his birth and that trip to the ER, we were getting bills and/or EOBs for at least ten months. Yes, it was very inefficient, and a PITA to deal with all the paperwork. But there was never a time when they refused to pay or tried to deny coverage. You just had to make sure that the right paperwork went to the right people, and it was covered.

You're extremely lucky in three respects: (1) Your wife wasn't seriously injured; (2) You're in the tiny percentage of policy holders who has any clue as to what those insurance company statements are saying; and (3) You don't have Blue Cross / Blue Shield. Not everyone hits such a lucky trifecta.
   425. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4172665)
Amen, especially when the sole mission of those insurance companies is to deny every possible dollar of payment that they can, regardless of the human consequences. Thank God we're slowly easing our way out of that nightmare

...by requiring everyone to get insurance from them?


...along with a few more restraints on those insurance companies' autonomy, it'll have to do for the time being. Neither of us are wholly satisfied, but then neither of us are empowered to make laws by ourselves. Sorry that that last bit sticks in your throat.
   426. BDC Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4172666)
Just BTW, the anaesthesiology balance-billing happened to me again when I had cataract surgery last year. (Again, I told them to go #### up a rope, and the billing ceased.) From what I can tell, the entire profession of anaesthesiology is built on overbilling. I think I missed my calling :)
   427. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4172669)
One of the major anesthesiology groups in Houston just withdrew from our local BC/BS in mid year, and we were all informed that we'd be responsible even if our doctors were in plan and enclosed a list of provider groups at local hospitals. This was a few weeks before I had surgery; fortunately for me, MD Anderson's all U of Texas employees.
   428. Vailsoxfan Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4172672)
It is along with many other specialties. They feel they are forced to take in network rates by the insurance companies, because if they dont everyone will have to pay out of pocket for their services which no one can afford. The providers are caught between charging what they want to customers who cant pay it or taking what the insurance company deems is reasonable. Some try to make it up by sneaking it to their customers after the fact. The free market at work.
   429. Morty Causa Posted: July 03, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4172679)
I don't think it's a plot; I think it's SOP. Lots of providers bill patients for whatever, figuring that even if a very small percentage of the saps write them a check, that's literally money in the bank. As others have noted, ACA tries to reform some of these abuses.


Of course it is. Personnel are always more or less flabbergasted when anyone questions anything on the bill.

Amen, especially when the sole mission of those insurance companies is to deny every possible dollar of payment that they can, regardless of the human consequences. Thank God we're slowly easing our way out of that nightmare, even if only with baby steps for now.


The administrative overhead of the insurance carriers is something like 18%. Now, what is that for? It's for figuring out ways to not cover and to drop you. It's to pay the largest cadre of attorneys, the insurance defense lawyers, to figure out ways to frustrate and impede recovery. Sometimes just for fun.
   430. Morty Causa Posted: July 03, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4172680)
I think there is only one real human right; that people have a right of self-ownership, that is to say they own their thoughts, their bodies, and the products of their thoughts and bodies. The right of self-defense would be a corollary right.

I reject the notion of any "rights" that force any person to act on the behalf of others.


More cloud talk. It's horse ####.
   431. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 03, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4172685)
I don't think it's a plot; I think it's SOP. Lots of providers bill patients for whatever, figuring that even if a very small percentage of the saps write them a check, that's literally money in the bank. As others have noted, ACA tries to reform some of these abuses.
That kind of does sound like a plot. But why not just chalk it up to bureaucratic inefficiency? When our daughter was born, my wife took a combination of sick leave, vacation, disability, and unpaid leave. Only, the company didn't do the paperwork properly, and she was paid for her unpaid leave. It took a similar ten months of phone calls, emails, and paperwork to get the company to take back the $10,000 of their money we were holding for them. If we hadn't said anything, guarantee they'd never have figured it out.
   432. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 03, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4172688)
More cloud talk. It's horse ####.
…says the chimpanzee.
   433. Morty Causa Posted: July 03, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4172690)
Prove me wrong, children, prove me wrong. They never do. So many questions, so few answers. Any time you're ready, Nieporent. Any time. Make your case.
   434. BDC Posted: July 03, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4172691)
why not just chalk it up to bureaucratic inefficiency?

I am always one to suspect incompetence rather than malice. But after being told several times (including the experiences of close family members) that the anaesthesiologist's office "forgot" to check the box that said "routine procedure at contract rate," I no longer suspect incompetence. I mean, certain procedures are bread-and-butter stuff, and they always get it "wrong"? :)
   435. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 03, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4172692)
I've been saying it for ten years here, and TGF says it once and all of the sudden it's "very well stated"? Sheesh.


Apparently you should write more clearly.

For the TL;DR crowd: a short video encapsulating this argument. Note that this is why it is incorrect to say that libertarians place "property rights" above "human rights," as some sometimes charge: libertarians reject the very dichotomy between these two concepts.


Another of your basic errors. At least Dan, when he's not pouting and throwing tantrums that disable his basic ability to read, embraces the end game of this and George's theory of non-property vis a vis real estate. Are you saying you're on board with common ownership of all lands?
   436. Morty Causa Posted: July 03, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4172694)
"I am always one to suspect incompetence rather than malice."

It's not an either/or. It's both, and it's because exclusion is inculcated in the process. Nieporent talks about bureaucracy as if it's the alien strain from Andromeda. It's necessary because the Insurance Companies demand it, and everyone is gaming everyone else to get there cut of the pie.
   437. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4172699)
as if it's the alien strain from Andromeda


I love that movie. Sure it isn't actually very good, but wow do I love it. I should watch it again soon, wonder if it is on NetFlix. It is!
   438. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 03, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4172702)
From 245 And on the other hand, people don't like having their status of "charity case" rubbed in their face. Even beggars can have pride.

Then, you go ahead and chastise "liberals" for not getting this. Maybe it isn't true, that it's a figment of your twisted imagination.

"Yes, I'm very ill, I may die from it, but, gosh darn it, I have my pride! Let me die, rather than save me with your charity!"

Somehow it reminds me of the Judge Smails line: "The hardest decision I ever made was giving the death penalty to that boy. Felt I owed it to him."
   439. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4172703)
Then, you go ahead and chastise "liberals" for not getting this.


Why is liberals in scare quotes here?
   440. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 03, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4172707)
As if only liberals understand charity? That his POV is extremist bull ####?
   441. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 03, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4172712)
No I got the basic meaning, I just didn't get why the scare quotes around liberals that's all. Doesn't really matter.
   442. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 03, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4172714)
I don't like the label, so it's in "scare quotes". (I prefer "progressive", as it more aptly distinguishes.)
   443. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 03, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4172736)
"I think John Locke is cloud talk. Prove me wrong in a BBTF comment." -- Chimpanzee.
   444. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 03, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4172766)
Note that this is why it is incorrect to say that libertarians place "property rights" above "human rights," as some sometimes charge: libertarians reject the very dichotomy between these two concepts.

"You've got to let them know. It's people. THE GREEN IN MY POCKET IS PEOPLE!!!"
   445. tshipman Posted: July 03, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4172816)
How does one support the ACA and then claim with a straight face that they don't hate freedom?


This goes back to the central ideological disconnect between the ideas of what freedom is.

The standard libertarian position is for freedom of choice. The freedom to not purchase insurance, iow, is incredibly valuable to Ray.

This point of view is very difficult for me to understand, because I don't think that it is really all that valuable to choose to not have insurance. Also, I don't think that someone who cannot afford to pay for their child's health care is all that excited that they have to worry about whether or not their kid will get sick every day. I don't think the person who chooses not to buy health insurance who can afford it is all that thrilled about it either--they'd probably like to have it, but think it's too expensive.

I think that Ray's concept of freedom is very narrow--it's the sort of freedom that most interests him. I think that's natural, but it's regrettable.
   446. flournoy Posted: July 03, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4172820)
What would you say is an alternate concept of freedom, then?
   447. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 03, 2012 at 11:54 PM (#4172824)
The freedom to not purchase insurance, iow, is incredibly valuable to Ray.

This point of view is very difficult for me to understand, because I don't think that it is really all that valuable to choose to not have insurance.


Of course, what is important to me is the freedom not to be forced to purchase insurance.

Which includes, in this case, the freedom not to be forced to pay for someone else's health care.
   448. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 03, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4172827)
I think that Ray's concept of freedom is very narrow--it's the sort of freedom that most interests him. I think that's natural, but it's regrettable.


What does this mean, that my concept of freedom is "very narrow"? Does the ACA limit the freedom of everyone except for its pet class -- those who are exempt from the mandate? Yes, it does.

I'm sorry, but you guys can't have it both ways. You can't favor a bill that forces people to purchase a product while also claiming to be lovers of freedom. You hate freedom. There can be no doubt of that if you support this law. Just own it. Why do liberals have a problem owning their views? They so often want to veil them.
   449. tshipman Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4172830)
Which includes, in this case, the freedom not to be forced to pay for someone else's health care.


You already do, though. Your insurance premiums are higher than they would be if everyone had insurance already.


What would you say is an alternate concept of freedom, then?


I generally think that freedom based analyses are silly. The most important freedoms for me in terms of public policy goals are freedom from want and freedom from fear.

Edit: this is why I feel like freedom based analyses are silly:
I'm sorry, but you guys can't have it both ways. You can't favor a bill that forces people to purchase a product while also claiming to be lovers of freedom. You hate freedom. There can be no doubt of that if you support this law. Just own it. Why do liberals have a problem owning their views? They so often want to veil them.

   450. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:06 AM (#4172831)
From what I can tell, the entire profession of anaesthesiology is built on overbilling. I think I missed my calling :)


I've been ribbing my wife (an anesthesiologist) this evening about this. Without a doubt, it is their services that cause the biggest WTF reaction when you see a bill for services. ("What the F is this? Who was this person? Did I meet them?") She works in an outpatient surgery center (bankers hours for MDs) but I've demanded to see the billing codes, procedures and such, and it is so mfing complicated. Fortunately for them (for the surgery center and also the patients) they have people who are basically there specifically to audit the billing before the patients/insurance are billed to begin with. Not sure if that is SOP in the biz, but she says the amount of billing disputes is almost non-existent compared to that of a hospital.
   451. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4172835)
I generally think that freedom based analyses are silly.


It's not hard to see why. You're supporting a law that exerts greater control over people, that further redistributes wealth, that offers the standard liberal solution to a problem: more government.

Again, the "we don't want to live in a society where people go without medical insurance" proves too much. First, it's ludicrous on its face: obviously we as a society do want that -- liberals included, as they could have ponied up their own cash to solve the problem at any time but did not -- because it was happening. Second, if we really don't want that, then the problem should take care of itself without the heavy hand of government needing to play a role.
   452. tshipman Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4172841)
Again, the refrain of "we don't want to live in a society where people go without medical insurance" proves too much. First, it's ludicrous on its face: obviously we do want that -- liberals included, as they could have ponied up their own cash to solve the problem at any time but did not -- because it was happening. Second, if we really don't want that, then the problem should take care of itself without the heavy hand of government needing to play a role.


Why do governments have to build roads, Ray?


It's not hard to see why. You're supporting a law that exerts greater control over people, that further redistributes wealth, that offers the standard liberal solution to a problem: more government.


Well, technically this is true, as my preferred solution was single payer, but this isn't a great description of ACA/Obamacare.

Freedom based analyses are silly because they're the sort of thing you worry about when you don't have other #### to worry about. Ray is upset that he might have to pay more taxes in the future. I consider that to be pretty unimportant, because Ray has benefited tremendously from society, and is complaining that he might have to contribute more. If someone does not have enough money to buy health insurance after taking into account housing, transportation and food, I fail to see how the cause of freedom is being advanced here. If children get sick because their parents tried to ride the percentages, I fail to see how the cause of freedom is being advanced. If a lawyer succeeds in having his tax rate cut 4 percentage points, I fail to see how the cause of freedom is being advanced.

Freedom is sort of a bullshit dump. What does the freedom to not have to buy health insurance mean? It obviously means less to Ray than 2% of his income, so I don't think his outrage is that impressive.
   453. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4172843)
Freedom based analyses are silly because they're the sort of thing you worry about when you don't have other #### to worry about. Ray is upset that he might have to pay more taxes in the future.


No. Again, this is a mandate to purchase a product in order to pay for others and a penalty for not doing so.

I consider that to be pretty unimportant, because Ray has benefited tremendously from society,


I don't benefit from society. Society benefits from me.

   454. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:33 AM (#4172848)
I can't believe that anyone is still responding to this troll. He repeats assertions as if they were proven facts, he repeatedly ducks questions that he can't answer without contradicting himself, and he acts as if he were James Murray and Noah Webster all rolled into one with his twisted idea of "freedom". This is truly the reductio ad absurdum face of what passes for 21st century "conservatism".

-------------------------------------------------

Which includes, in this case, the freedom not to be forced to pay for someone else's health care.


You already do, though. Your insurance premiums are higher than they would be if everyone had insurance already.

Doesn't matter to him, as long as he retains his sacred "choice" to reject insurance altogether.
   455. formerly dp Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:33 AM (#4172850)
#452: you do realize you're trying to make a serious argument to a trollbot who has no capcity to or interest in engaging you on what you actually say? TAFKaR will just keep spitting out the same words over and over again regardless of how thoroughly you dismantle what it's trying to pass off as an argument. It's not interested in exchange, it's just here for the whine...
   456. Poulanc Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4172854)
I don't benefit from society. Society benefits from me.


Wow.


EDIT : That's just insane. If you were to remove yourself from society, I think it would get along just fine.
   457. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4172855)
I don't benefit from society. Society benefits from me.

This now approaches drollery on a nearly cosmic level.
   458. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4172856)
I don't benefit from society. Society benefits from me.

Wow.


Why wow? I'm using the words in exactly the same way he is using them. He thinks I "benefit" without acknowledging any benefit I provide.
   459. formerly dp Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4172858)
I don't benefit from society. Society benefits from me.

All hail the mighty TAFKaR!
   460. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4172861)
EDIT : That's just insane. If you were to remove yourself from society, I think it would get along just fine.


And yet, your leaders won't let me remove myself from the mandate.

   461. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4172862)
I don't benefit from society. Society benefits from me.

There's a great Warren William movie called The Dark Horse, where William plays a ruthless political kingmaker, and Guy Kibbee is a hapless chump whom William installs into the governorship. Highly recommended on many levels.

Anyway, when William is asked for his off-the-record opinion of his protege, he responds by saying "Every time he opens his mouth he subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge". He could have been thinking of Ray's Oscarworthy performance in this thread when he spoke those words.
   462. booond Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4172863)
I don't benefit from society. Society benefits from me.


If you die tomorrow the world will keep spinning.
   463. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4172867)
If you die tomorrow the world will keep spinning.


How does that remotely relate to whether the world benefits from me?
   464. booond Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4172868)
How does that remotely relate to whether the world benefits from me?


We won't miss you for a second.
   465. tshipman Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4172869)
Why wow? I'm using the words in exactly the same way he is using them. He thinks I "benefit" without acknowledging any benefit I provide.


See the interesting thing is that you don't acknowledge any positive externalities from society. For you, since you pay more taxes than you receive in benefits, you benefit society more than it benefits you. That's sort of interesting to me in that you think that reductively.

#452: you do realize you're trying to make a serious argument to a trollbot who has no capcity to or interest in engaging you on what you actually say? TAFKaR will just keep spitting out the same words over and over again regardless of how thoroughly you dismantle what it's trying to pass off as an argument. It's not interested in exchange, it's just here for the whine...


I don't have any problem with Ray's behavior in this thread. He posits the logical outcome of a lot of his arguments. Sometimes I think he says silly things, but he doesn't gratuitously insult people (most of the time). I think the "TAFKaR" line is over the line, fwiw, and wish that you would stop using it. All Ray has done is promote an argument.

I think the cheap shots at Ray are unprovoked and unnecessary, and I wish they would stop.
   466. Poulanc Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4172870)
And yet, your leaders won't let me remove myself from the mandate.


If you want to remove yourself from the mandate, can't you just remove yourself from the society?
   467. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4172871)
We won't miss you for a second.


I repeat the question.
   468. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4172873)
I think the cheap shots at Ray are unprovoked and unnecessary, and I wish they would stop.


Well, they don't bother me, but thanks for the defense.

(I still don't know where "TAFKaR" derives from. I guess it's supposed to be some sort of robot. And I guess it's supposed to be witty.)
   469. booond Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4172875)
I repeat the question.


Once you decided on a selfish pose as a world view you've ceased to be worth fresh air.
   470. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4172878)
Once you decided on a selfish pose as a world view you've ceased to be worth fresh air.


Why is it selfish? My views that I shouldn't have to be forced to pay don't prevent me from volunteering to pay.
   471. formerly dp Posted: July 04, 2012 at 01:07 AM (#4172893)
Every point the bot is making has been responded to already. He insists on acting as if they haven't been. It's classic troll behavior. Ray doesn't like taxes. Repeating this ad infinitum and layering on some bullshit about freedom adds nothing to the conversation.

Not a robot Ray, an algorithm. And reports of your self-awareness were apparently premature.
   472. flournoy Posted: July 04, 2012 at 04:29 AM (#4172919)
I generally think that freedom based analyses are silly. The most important freedoms for me in terms of public policy goals are freedom from want and freedom from fear.


... which you achieve through the opposite of freedom - central control. I think it's disingenuous to call that "freedom."
   473. BrianBrianson Posted: July 04, 2012 at 05:01 AM (#4172920)
Why wow? I'm using the words in exactly the same way he is using them. He thinks I "benefit" without acknowledging any benefit I provide.


Basically every person benefits from society by several orders of magnitude more than they benefit society. Because of economy of scale (more or less), the amount of work we get out of society is immeasurably large compared to the work we put into society. Drop a man in a field, say "Okay, you're on your own" - he might survive, but his life will be much worse. Maybe not immeasurably worse, since we can try and estimate the cost of things (e.g., http://www.ted.com/talks/thomas_thwaites_how_i_built_a_toaster_from_scratch.html )
   474. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 04, 2012 at 06:38 AM (#4172924)
This goes back to the central ideological disconnect between the ideas of what freedom is.
Right; the difference between negative and positive liberty.
The standard libertarian position is for freedom of choice. The freedom to not purchase insurance, iow, is incredibly valuable to Ray.

This point of view is very difficult for me to understand, because I don't think that it is really all that valuable to choose to not have insurance. Also, I don't think that someone who cannot afford to pay for their child's health care is all that excited that they have to worry about whether or not their kid will get sick every day. I don't think the person who chooses not to buy health insurance who can afford it is all that thrilled about it either--they'd probably like to have it, but think it's too expensive.

I think that Ray's concept of freedom is very narrow--it's the sort of freedom that most interests him. I think that's natural, but it's regrettable.
It's very narrow because you're defining it very narrowly: "the freedom not to purchase insurance." If you define it more generally as the liberty to order one's life as one sees fit without government interference, it's a lot less narrow. Nanny statists want to look at each instance of interference in isolation: the freedom to buy large sodas. The freedom to hire an unlicensed attorney or interior designer. The freedom to drink raw milk. The freedom to sell caskets or to braid hair without government permission. The freedom to use an unapproved medicine. The freedom to drive without a seatbelt or to not buy health insurance. (*) The freedom to sell a product without pushing government propaganda. The freedom to operate a used bookstore (**) without government permission. The freedom to ride a bicycle without a helmet. The freedom to use sunscreen. Or to smoke on private property. The freedom to hire who you want to hire. The freedom to sell guided tours without government permission. Or to offer transportation for hire. For some of these, one can think of justifications; for others, not so much -- but the point is that it all adds up. One needs government permission to do almost anything commercial, and thanks to the Obamacare mandate, even noncommercial things like sitting on one's couch.

Similarly, when each tax is looked at in isolation -- you talk about "2% of his income" -- it's not such a big deal. Except, of course, that all the taxes together have the government confiscating (at gunpoint!) a third of one's income. That's 1/3 of one's life where one is working not for oneself, but for the government.


(*) Note to Andy: since to you everything is ad hoc, you can't grasp the concept of a slippery slope argument. But this is not a slippery slope argument; I'm not talking about where things may lead, but where things already are.
(**) This one should appeal to Andy.
   475. Ron J Posted: July 04, 2012 at 07:59 AM (#4172927)
#373 Catton has some fascinating stuff in the Gathering Storm (and other places) on the dangers of abolitionist politics in slave state. One thing that seems on point (given Sam's rep and all) is the fact that Kentucky's only truly prominent abolitionist politician had a formidable reputation as a knife fighter.

There was no possibility of being an open abolitionist in the deep South. In precisely the same way that there was no possibility of voting for Lincoln in 1860.
   476. Morty Causa Posted: July 04, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4172931)
Why is it selfish? My views that I shouldn't have to be forced to pay don't prevent me from volunteering to pay.


It's not your call. You don’t have the power. You can panhandle, but you don’t have the sufficient wherewithal. That you are encumbered with social and legal and political responsibilities is the state of your being. However, that does not keep you from volunteering to pay more than the state requires.

Ray & David are like the Energizer Bunny. They just keep banging away on the drum and insisting it’s the music of the spheres. And some people like Tshipman take this insistent asserting seriously even though that has been exposed time and time again as just empty bloviating dicta. R & D are clowns, but make no mistake: their seltzer bottle is filled with acid. They demand respect, claim that can only come about if the game is played on their terms, but will not reciprocate if the game is played on other terms. That’s the quintessence of religious fanaticism.

I don't benefit from society. Society benefits from me.


Get thee to a nunnery.

   477. Morty Causa Posted: July 04, 2012 at 08:27 AM (#4172933)

Of course, what is important to me is the freedom not to be forced to purchase insurance.


In other words, what’s valuable to you is to force the existing order to defer to you by making wholesale changes of order others do not want made. To maintain that it owes you deference based on some absolute value it does not recognize and you can’t explain?

What does this mean, that my concept of freedom is "very narrow"? Does the ACA limit the freedom of everyone except for its pet class -- those who are exempt from the mandate? Yes, it does.


Yes. Choices have to be made. They will be made. They have been made. That is the existential context. No one can get all that they want. You may rail against that, just as you may rail against the injustice of the sky. That obligates neither. The universe is unimpressed.
   478. Morty Causa Posted: July 04, 2012 at 08:31 AM (#4172934)
I'm sorry, but you guys can't have it both ways. You can't favor a bill that forces people to purchase a product while also claiming to be lovers of freedom. You hate freedom. There can be no doubt of that if you support this law. Just own it. Why do liberals have a problem owning their views? They so often want to veil them.


It is you and David veil and refuse to explain. It’s not hate. It’s recognizing that freedom is qualified, relative, and contingent. CrosbyBird and I discussed this early in the previous OT-Hot Topic. You can say all you want that Freedom of Speech should not be abridged, but what happens? It’s immediately abridged. See any other absolute value you claim. The mills of reality ground exceedingly small and they cannot be denied. Just because you enter this context with your sense of insufferable entitlement doesn’t mean the operating system (and others subject to it) is obligated to stop everything and personally renegotiate the deal just for you on an ad hoc basis. Camus said the first question you answer is, do I want to live in this context. If you don’t, you’re problem is solved (there’s your absolute). If you do, you can then work for the change you want; you can engage the world, but you don’t get your way by making special pleading claims. Everyone wants to do that, and has their views of that, which differ form yours or mine. You must contend. You’re not just owed it.
   479. Lassus Posted: July 04, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4172950)
You hate freedom. There can be no doubt of that if you support this law. Just own it. Why do liberals have a problem owning their views? They so often want to veil them.

As soon as you own that you'd have no problem watching a family burn alive because the parents didn't pay the proper fee, I'll gladly admit I hate freedom; because the latter is as ridiculous as the former.
   480. Jay Z Posted: July 04, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4172954)
(deleted by author)
   481. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 04, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4172961)
There was a really fascinating discussion of freedom and private coercion / private governance at Crooked Timber, recently, in dialogue with the Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog.

Bertram, Robin, and Gourevitch, "Let it Bleed: Libertarianism and the Workplace"
Libertarianism is a philosophy of individual freedom. Or so its adherents claim. But with their single-minded defense of the rights of property and contract, libertarians cannot come to grips with the systemic denial of freedom in private regimes of power, particularly the workplace. When they do try to address that unfreedom, as a group of academic libertarians calling themselves “Bleeding Heart Libertarians” have done in recent months, they wind up traveling down one of two paths: Either they give up their exclusive focus on the state and become something like garden-variety liberals or they reveal that they are not the defenders of freedom they claim to be.
   482. RobertMachemer Posted: July 04, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4172966)
Ok, I'm no philosopher (political or otherwise). While you guys leap about and speak in a shorthand that I don't understand, I need things spelled out for me more. Obviously, you don't have to answer, but I appreciate it when you do.

Two questions:

(1) For Ray: you said that you think society benefits more from you than you benefit from society. Is that "you" in the specific "Hi, I'm Ray Diperna" sense or you as roughly the representative of the average member of that society?

(2) For Ray and David and other libertarians: Hobbes (apparently -- unlike you guys, I need to look these things up) is the one that coined the "nasty, brutish, and short" description of people's lives before (my words) society/central government. As I understand it, what he is saying is that humans, before they joined together for some sort of common goal of "living a bit longer in slightly more pleasant circumstances than the default" lived neither terribly long nor terribly enjoyably. Do you disagree with this description? (Are there people who do?) Or, if you do not, how do you reconcile it with a libertarian philosophy? (Ray, specifically, how do you reconcile it with your "society benefits more from me" statement).
   483. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 04, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4172972)
From the last page...
If there is no consensus demand - to the point that the powers that be in the world are concerned for their own well being should they violate it, no right exists.

Ah, the "antebellum southern blacks weren't actually deprived of a right" argument. That's always a classic.
The only real difference between Dan's argument here and an Evangelical Christian telling me that without God establishing morality there is no right or wrong, is that Dan isn't being honest about the fideistic grounding of his claims.
   484. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 04, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4172976)
One needs government permission to do almost anything commercial, and thanks to the Obamacare mandate, even noncommercial things like sitting on one's couch.

Right, David. You just go on believing that.
   485. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 04, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4172978)
David's #474 is the best framing of the libertarian POV we've seen here so far, but you can just as easily make a laundry list of "where things already are" on the other side of the ledger, and use them as some sort of an argument for regulatory control of the economy.

Nanny statists want to look at each instance of interference in isolation: the freedom to buy large sodas. The freedom to hire an unlicensed attorney or interior designer. The freedom to drink raw milk. The freedom to sell caskets or to braid hair without government permission. The freedom to use an unapproved medicine. The freedom to drive without a seatbelt or to not buy health insurance. (*) The freedom to sell a product without pushing government propaganda. The freedom to operate a used bookstore (**) without government permission. The freedom to ride a bicycle without a helmet. The freedom to use sunscreen. Or to smoke on private property. The freedom to hire who you want to hire. The freedom to sell guided tours without government permission. Or to offer transportation for hire. For some of these, one can think of justifications; for others, not so much -- but the point is that it all adds up. One needs government permission to do almost anything commercial, and thanks to the Obamacare mandate, even noncommercial things like sitting on one's couch.

Of course right now you need the permission of countless corporate bureaucracies to function in the 21st century world, and opting out of them is no more of a real alternative than opting out of the government. Their constraints are every bit as inhibiting, and often far more inhibiting, as a requirement to buy health insurance, or a mandate not to practice racial discrimination in your private business. Forcing a poor person to forego needed medical treatment because he doesn't have the money to pay for it consigns that person to a far worse fate than that of some Joe the Healthy Plumber, who can afford to buy health insurance but for whatever reason doesn't want to. Playing games with language and pretending that this poor person has any "choice" in the matter is little more than a transparent rhetorical dodge, and to tell that poor person that he should ask for voluntary contributions to pay for his medical care is such a complete non-starter on a societal scale that it's not even worth the dignity of a response.

And David, since you're not a complete coward like Ray, maybe you'll tell us if you think that an Iraq war opponent should have been compelled to pay taxes for that war, when he had no interest at all in its outcome, or thought that Bush's policies were only going to make things much worse. Why shouldn't the Pentagon have relied on voluntary contributions from hawks and defense contractors to finance their adventure?

I'm NOT asking this as a practical question, but purely as a philosophical one. How is this any different, in terms of "freedom", from the freedom not to buy a health insurance policy? In both cases it comes down to the assertion of individual autonomy / conscience versus the legitimacy of collective societal action, even though many people will refuse to frame it that way for different ideological reasons.

And BTW I don't believe in tax opt-outs for war opponents any more than I believe in allowing insurance opt-outs for Joe the Healthy Plumber. But I can't see why either of those examples of "resistance" is inherently any more compelling than the other.
   486. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 04, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4172979)
(2) For Ray and David and other libertarians: Hobbes (apparently -- unlike you guys, I need to look these things up) is the one that coined the "nasty, brutish, and short" description of people's lives before (my words) society/central government. As I understand it, what he is saying is that humans, before they joined together for some sort of common goal of "living a bit longer in slightly more pleasant circumstances than the default" lived neither terribly long nor terribly enjoyably. Do you disagree with this description? (Are there people who do?) Or, if you do not, how do you reconcile it with a libertarian philosophy? (Ray, specifically, how do you reconcile it with your "society benefits more from me" statement).

Perfectly good questions, but don't hold your breath waiting for Ray to give an honest and coherent answer.
   487. formerly dp Posted: July 04, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4172983)
The mandate does not force anyone to buy insurance. It offers a choice, it incentivizes one behavior by penalizing you for not engaging in it. And it can only penalize you if you are already engaging in economic activity (ie, not for just "sitting on your couch"). The state incentivizes having children and home ownership through the tax code as well. I fail to see how doing so equates to state tyranny and the death of freedom.

Again, if you had to rank order the provisions in aca listed earlier in the thread from worst to least worst, what would that list look like? Once the aca goes into full effect, how will peoples lives be degraded, and what provisions will be responsible for the degradation?

These cries of state oppression coming from society's most privileged class always seem to ring a bit hollow. When you enter into interactions with others, they have competing claims to right. The state is the arbiter of those claims, because absent that, all you've got is anarchy, where my desire to do what I want is restrained only by your power to stop me. Absent the state, you have only the rights you can secure for yourself through the naked exercise of power.
   488. tshipman Posted: July 04, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4172987)
There was a really fascinating discussion of freedom and private coercion / private governance at Crooked Timber, recently, in dialogue with the Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog.


Yes. Ray and David are very interested with the big bully theory of freedom. Government is the big bully, capable of putting you in jail, even executing you.

But there are lots of little bullies in everyone's life. Obamacare trades freedom to not purchase insurance for freedom to have it available, freedom to keep your kids on your plan until they're 25, freedom to not have rates raised more than 10% a year, etc. This is why I find freedom based analyses silly.

The only freedom that matters in libertarianism is freedom from the government.
   489. BDC Posted: July 04, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4172989)
Some of DMN's freedoms, like freedom from seatbelts and bike helmets, are inseparable from insurance considerations. IOW, states mandate certain safety conduct not because they're like your annoying Aunt Mildred, but because motor vehicle use is hard to conceive of without a system of insurance. A libertarian position on those issues is consistent if it's absolute (that is, if DMN is OK with everybody taking to the road uninsured in vehicles of whatever condition, licensed or not, with a bare minimum of Darwinian driving conventions governing their conduct, that's in itself a reasonable attitude: and traffic in some countries does work that way).

However, wearing a seatbelt, from an insurance perspective, is not really much different from getting your brakes inspected: it's just an actuarial calculation that overall risk will be reduced if everyone complies. It just seems more intrusive because buckling your seatbelt is a conscious act you undertake every time you drive, and protects just you, rather than the pedestrians you will hurtle into if your brakes fail.

There's some sort of analogy to Obamacare here, of course, but it's both fairly obvious and was hashed out upthread, so I will leave it unconnected for now …
   490. bobm Posted: July 04, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4172993)
[468] (I still don't know where "TAFKaR" derives from. I guess it's supposed to be some sort of robot. And I guess it's supposed to be witty.)

The Algorithm (or Android) Formerly Known as Ray? Swiftian satire it's not.
   491. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4172999)
The mandate does not force anyone to buy insurance. It offers a choice, it incentivizes one behavior by penalizing you for not engaging in it.

Yeah, and jail doesn't force anyone to stay in jail. It offers a choice, it incentivizes one behavior (not breaking out of jail) by penalizing you for not engaging in it (by shooting you with a gun as you run away).
   492. Morty Causa Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4173001)
I generally think that freedom based analyses are silly. The most important freedoms for me in terms of public policy goals are freedom from want and freedom from fear.


Those are the freedoms Ray wants too—he just doesn’t want to pay for it, or be obligated to the system that provides it. He claims his inalienable right to gorge and run, leaving the check to others to pay. He wants to own reality, which means trumping the views and concerns of others with the notion of a one-true religion.


   493. Morty Causa Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4173003)
And yet, your leaders won't let me remove myself from the mandate.


That’s right. You can get on the Merry Go Round or not. If you do, it’s going to go round—you don’t have the right to make it not go round.

If you die tomorrow the world will keep spinning.


And if the world dies tomorrow, Ray will not. One of those two, the world or Ray, has an overstuffed and unwarranted sense of its importance and power.
   494. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4173005)
One thing that seems on point (given Sam's rep and all) is the fact that Kentucky's only truly prominent abolitionist politician had a formidable reputation as a knife fighter.


Now my heart's all aflutter.
   495. Morty Causa Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4173007)
All Ray has done is promote an argument.


Not really. Promoting an argument necessitates answering directly the specific counter-arguments on point. Not just creationistically repeating your original theses over and over and over. (That’s just shouting down.) Ray & David do not do this; thus, they are not honestly engaged in argument. This is not permitted in any intellectual discipline that has any integrity. They are lawyers; in law, it is a prime requirement that you directly address the contention of your opponent. You can’t just ignore an inconvenient point and attempt to skate by with a restatement of your naked assertions. If you try to do that, it’s held against you.
   496. Morty Causa Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4173010)
It's very narrow because you're defining it very narrowly: "the freedom not to purchase insurance." If you define it more generally as the liberty to order one's life as one sees fit without government interference, it's a lot less narrow.


That’s simply not possible. You can’t ignore the governmental context because that context is what makes the right possible in the first place, to the extent it’s expression is at all possible. You want your golden egg, but you think you can get it by killing the goose that lays it. That’s not possible. Not smart either.
   497. Morty Causa Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4173011)
474: all those things you enumerate: work to change them if you don’t like them. You, though, don’t own the system, nor can you commandeer it at will for your purposes. Others have different ideas, and the system recognizes (in a woefully insufficient way as to most regular people) their right to impress upon it also. Sorry, counselor, you don’t get to cut off rebuttal when it exposing you becomes embarassing.
   498. formerly dp Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4173012)
Trying to one-up Ray on bad analogies will get you nowhere, Dan. It was a good effort, though.
   499. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4173013)
For Ray and David and other libertarians: Hobbes (apparently -- unlike you guys, I need to look these things up) is the one that coined the "nasty, brutish, and short" description of people's lives before (my words) society/central government. As I understand it, what he is saying is that humans, before they joined together for some sort of common goal of "living a bit longer in slightly more pleasant circumstances than the default" lived neither terribly long nor terribly enjoyably. Do you disagree with this description? (Are there people who do?) Or, if you do not, how do you reconcile it with a libertarian philosophy? (Ray, specifically, how do you reconcile it with your "society benefits more from me" statement).


There are two competing visions of the "state of nature." The first is Hobbes, which you recap reasonably well up there. Life prior to civilization was "nasty, brutish and short." "War of all against all." Nature, sharp of tooth and red of claw. This is, in very general terms, the assumptive state of nature most liberal theorists start from. The world was brutal and violent, so humans banded together in ever more expansive social contracts to *progress* from that natural state towards a more civilized world.

In contrast to this, you have John Locke, whose vision of the state of nature is more aligned with traditional religious notions of "man before the Fall." Locke's state of nature assumes a pristine, Edenic beginning where men cooperated with men in freedom without the nefarious influences of unnecessary governance, and the long march of history has been one of warlords and strongmen taking over more and more of the natural freedoms of men placing it beneath the jackboots of their "states." It's a long, regressive "Fall" narrative. Libertarians love them some Locke. Their desire to remove "government" and "let the market decide" is another in a long line of dreams about returning to the Garden.

Now, for the record, Hume noted the errors in both of these guys, but that's another story. Suffice to say that Hobbes has the force of history and science on his side. Evolution does not promote Locke's ideas very well, etc.
   500. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 04, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4173014)
The Algorithm (or Android) Formerly Known as Ray? Swiftian satire it's not.


I didn't come up with the name, simply the abbreviation.
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