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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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   901. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 09:54 PM (#4174140)
Give me $50,000 right now or be banned from BTF forever. I can smell it in the penumbra.


The only thing you smell is what your head's up.
   902. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 05, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4174142)
If there are no rules you'll abide by but your own, then don't be shocked if the opposition acts the same way.


Same goes for you - like Sam, your entire ideological underpinning is force. I would be very happy to let you voluntarily give your body over to a neo-feudalist state, if that's what you freely desire. I'd be be absolutely shocked if you acted the same way, and cared about my individual rights to the same degree that I care about yours.
   903. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 05, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4174143)
The only thing you smell is what your head's up.

Then it's a good thing for my olfactory system that I didn't swallow your arguments.
   904. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 09:58 PM (#4174144)
People like that can wantonly consign entire classes of people to undeserved deaths, and that's just "free speech"?


Why the scare quotes? That's exactly what it is.

---

Retro: I knew Andy wasn't being hyperbolic.
   905. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4174145)
So when you're wrong, and Atilla rapes and robs an old man, or a woman, or a child, you just tell them "Well, I thought he'd be nice" and shrug your shoulders?

No, I ask "Why didn't you have your own privately contracted security guard to protect you?"

Seriously, though, if I lived in some imaginary lawless world and there was a guy going around raping and robbing old men, I'd probably get a group of people together (hire them, organize them, whatever the mechanism) and deal with the problem. At least, that would be the "right" thing to do.

Again, what's the fallback? What if you're wrong, and they aren't honest?

Security company's insurance reimburses me for my claim, and depending on the details, we either find a new security company or we continue with the one we have. If this happens too often, the security company either becomes unable to obtain insurance or customers or both, and goes out of business and is replaced by a better one.

Or what if you and your buddies are the bad guys, deadbeats who put the security folks in danger and shoot them in the back when they complain?

You mean, what if we were complete sociopaths? I imagine someone would deal with us appropriately.
   906. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4174148)
Same goes for you - like Sam, your entire ideological underpinning is force.


No, it isn't. I have never said that I deny the right of others to pass laws that I don't like or don't think are right. Never. I don't equate my position, and only my position, with what's right. It's like baseball strategy: there are different kinds that can get you to your goal. There is not holy one way of going forth.

And I agree if I would act that way, then I have declared war, and there are no rules anymore, and I cannot expect my adversary to act any differently than I do. Certainly not better than I, more deferential to me than I would be to them. The thing is you and Ray and David engage in pusssy politics. You can only always be privileged and entitled; you can never accept that sometimes you don't get your way and you are a debtor, not a creditor, and that under the system this is perfectly okay.
   907. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4174149)
Where'd Andy go? I want to know if he supports my 2 MPH inflatable cube car law or if he prefers to have a million people die.
   908. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4174152)
The thing is you and Ray and David engage in pusssy politics. You can only always be privileged and entitled; you can never accept that sometimes you don't get your way and you are a debtor, not a creditor, and that under the system this is perfectly okay.

Yeah, and I remember you coming to this "mature conclusion" when we had political threads when Bush made policies. Oh wait, you didn't.
   909. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4174154)
Same goes for you - like Sam, your entire ideological underpinning is force.


Gods, given your recent difficulties in reading for basic comprehension this could be terribly fun. Do explain, won't you?!
   910. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4174158)
Gods, given your recent difficulties in reading for basic comprehension this could be terribly fun. Do explain, won't you?!

I'm sorry, Sam Crow, that I don't accept your curious notion that black slaves didn't actually have any rights violated.
   911. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4174160)
We'll settle for you putting up a cash bond to guarantee you'll be good for any health care expenses before you get the privilege of participating in society.

Would be a better gotcha if not for the fact that presenting a valid insurance policy is in effect doing this. Assuming David has insurance, which seems extremely likely, he almost certainly does this before receiving his health care treatments.


Fine, fine. Conceded. AFAIC, David can be exempt from the mandate to buy health insurance, for as long as he buys health insurance.
   912. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4174162)
908:

???

Moe Howard to Curly Howard: Every time you think you weaken the nation.
   913. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4174164)
I'm sorry, Sam Crow, that I don't accept your curious notion that black slaves didn't actually have any rights violated.


For a man who makes his living writing, you sure do sort of suck at reading, Dan. Again, I never said anything remotely close to that. If you don't believe me, ask anyone else here that you trust. The only people who may have misread it as badly as you would be maybe Ray or David, though I suspect either of those two could read it correctly but might just spin it because it's me.

But come on, man. Details! I want to know the details of this "farce" of mine. Help me out, brother!
   914. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4174165)
Considering that that "viewpoint" you refer to amounted to a call for death by omission for those who can't afford medical care and don't have friends to pay for it, I make no apology for my reaction.

Get off the cross, Andy. Every policy that even remotely involves a safety issue involves costs that we choose to ignore that would prevent deaths.


Of course my reaction wasn't due to any personal threat directed at me, since with Medicare and a good supplementary policy I'm not likely to need friends to cover any possible medical expenses.

I know this puts me into the category of some Ultra Bleeding Heart or whatever, but when a person expresses a sentiment like this....

I believe that people who can't afford medical care and can't find anybody willing to volunteer to provide it or pay for it should go without.


....he's saying unequivocally that society, through its elected representatives, shouldn't even be allowed to help people like that.

He's not saying "I don't know this person who can't afford medical care, therefore I don't feel any special obligation to him as an individual". That would be little more than acknowledging that he's got limited financial resources and that his person-to-person private charity begins at home. Instead, he's saying that anyone without a private network of support should just rot to death in the street. Marie Antoinette couldn't have put it better.

Truth be told, my suggestion of instant execution would be more merciful, and far more deserved than the fate he's willing to consign to those anonymous millions of people. And who knows, with a bit of posthumous luck, he might wind up as the Tea Party's version of John Birch. Then you'd really have a ####### martyr.

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

I think TGF is pretty much a troll, but saying he should be shot is beyond the pale, obviously.

Perhaps so, but then what do you make of that comment of his, beyond the obvious fact that he's got a right to say it? Does it strike you as whimsical, or anything that even remotely resembles a civilized statement of philosophy?

P.S. Did anyone else catch the finish of that Nats game?
   915. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:19 PM (#4174168)
AFAIC, David can be exempt from the mandate to buy health insurance, for as long as he buys health insurance.

Credit where credit is due - that was an extremely clever comeback.

However, assuming he's on the upper end of the income scale and on the healthy side, his buying health insurance wouldn't free him from the law - he'd also be on the giving end of the subsidies and the additional costs that the healthy will pay.
   916. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:21 PM (#4174169)
Once more: not having insurance doesn't make you a free rider. Not paying for what you get does.

Yep. And all those that go into bankruptcy or just have debts discharged by their holders are simply passing the costs to the rest of us.


You act as if the ACA doesn't "pass the cost to the rest of us."
   917. Jay Z Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:22 PM (#4174170)
Would be a better gotcha if not for the fact that presenting a valid insurance policy is in effect doing this. Assuming David has insurance, which seems extremely likely, he almost certainly does this before receiving his health care treatments.

As someone posted earlier (BrianBrianson?), while I'd still vehemently disagree with it, the people that simply admit that it's about wealth transfer are at least being honest about it and deserve credit. When progressives argue that reason we need the law is because of all the free rider problems created by...previous progressive laws and because of the employer-tethered health insurance market created by...previous progressive laws, and all the various market distortions and mandates created by...previous progressive laws, it comes off as much more dodgy.


First, healthcare is not about "wealth transfer", it's about risk abatement.

No one can self insure out of pocket. Nobody. Perhaps Mitt Romney can, but even for him it's a poor use of funds.

I have an inlaw who was a doctor. Conservative guy, successful guy. Not just a doctor, he ran a hospital for a time. One of his daughters developed cancer as a teen. She's fine now, but years of treatments. They could not have afforded this without insurance.

You can care or not, but there are story after story about people who are hard workers for years, savers, and then an illness, the one with good insurance can't keep their job, they need to get single coverage which is expensive, more illness, "I thought I was covered", lose the house, bankruptcy, now can't pay for any treatment, death.

Meanwhile someone else is covered after a deductible because they happen to be married to a spouse who has a decent health care plan through a large company.

Part of the outrage for me is that I can't distinguish morally between the people who get screwed over and those who don't. I've been working at the same company for 25 years, good company, good insurance I presume. I did virtually nothing to merit this insurance. The company offered it and I was enrolled as a young employee. Virtually no work on my part. Now I could get laid off or something else could happen and I could go through the whole screwover. Or maybe I'll keep my job and be covered. Or in the best of all worlds me and my family won't have significant medical expenses.

Libertarians seem to care about different things, things like first principles and their damn manifestos they need to keep re-writing.
   918. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4174172)
Thanks for returning the thread to reality, Jay Z. That's always a virtue.
   919. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4174174)
For a man who makes his living writing, you sure do sort of suck at reading, Dan. Again, I never said anything remotely close to that. If you don't believe me, ask anyone else here that you trust.

OK then, reading time for Sammy. This is what you wrote:

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.

There was no consensus demand in the 1800s south to demand the ending of the enslavement of blacks, the necessary condition for a right to exist under your own definition of a right. Thus, under your own definition of a right, no right exists. So again, there are only three possible choices:

1) There is actually more to a right than consensus demand.
2) There was consensus demand in 1830s Mississippi to grant the right to blacks to not be slaves.
3) You believe that blacks did not have any rights violated.



   920. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4174176)
All relations, between individuals, between individuals and groups, between groups and groups, are of a contractual nature--that means there are reciprocal right, benefits, AND duties.


Is the ACA now a contract?
   921. Dan The Mediocre Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4174178)
You act as if the ACA doesn't "pass the cost to the rest of us."


I don't act that way. I'm simply countering the notion that the ACA is passing the cost to us and that the cost being passed to us is a new state of affairs.
   922. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:33 PM (#4174181)
I think it's quite likely that in an O re-election (and general D+2 or greater lean) there's serious conversation about tax reform (the amount of revenue raised varying based on Republican bargaining position), some variant of carbon limiting legislation, tinkering around the edges at health care, and various peacekeeping actions (wars if you prefer that terminology) to be determined later.

There will be less of a chance than there is now. The Republicans would love to win the Presidency as a fluke in 2012, but they think they actually CAN win it in 2016. And they're correct. 2013-2016 is going to make this seem like the Kumbaya Age of Cooperation.
   923. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:35 PM (#4174183)
Instead of whining about the very existence of the social contract like you do every time you lose a public referendum on the nineteenth century, how about telling us which of the ACA's provisions would not cause to to blow your freedom rape whistle?


I feel like liberals constantly need common, everyday words explained to them. Like "choice" and "affordable." Here we have another word that apparently fell through the cracks of the education system: "Contract." A contract requires offer, acceptance, and consideration. Putting the word "social" in front of it doesn't change that.
   924. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4174186)
   925. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4174188)
I feel like liberals constantly need common, everyday words explained to them. Like "choice" and "affordable." Here we have another word that apparently fell through the cracks of the education system: "Contract." A contract requires offer, acceptance, and consideration. Putting the word "social" in front of it doesn't change that.


Tell that to Locke
   926. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4174193)
Tell that to Locke


Ray only understands the concept of truth as what he knows to be. If he doesn't know something, it just can't be true. Because if it were, he'd know it. Makes everything simple, and the beauty is he can't ever lose.
   927. tshipman Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4174197)
Just for that, Richard Posner on John Roberts:


By the way, no discussion of the leaks? Sort of interesting that all the kremlinology was actually true.
   928. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4174198)
First, healthcare is not about "wealth transfer", it's about risk abatement.

Nonsense. You're forcing coverage ratios that *don't* accurately reflect risk. ACA subsidizes the poor and sick from the wallets of the healthy and strong - the bill *may* be warranted and practical, but that's what it is.

No one can self insure out of pocket. Nobody. Perhaps Mitt Romney can, but even for him it's a poor use of funds.

Which is why I seek insurance services form a willing third party, in which I agree to pay prices for the coverage I need, want, or require, in return for fees that represent the risk that I am insured for.

Part of the outrage for me is that I can't distinguish morally between the people who get screwed over and those who don't. I've been working at the same company for 25 years, good company, good insurance I presume. I did virtually nothing to merit this insurance. The company offered it and I was enrolled as a young employee. Virtually no work on my part. Now I could get laid off or something else could happen and I could go through the whole screwover. Or maybe I'll keep my job and be covered. Or in the best of all worlds me and my family won't have significant medical expenses.

Yes, some people will not benefit from a particular law or lack of law. As happens in every health-based law, there's always a line that causes people to suffer and to die. I strongly encourage people to give their own money to help those who can't help themselves out, because that's all I have the right to do. I have no right to compel good deeds from third parties, all I have the right to do is to convince others to do good deeds and to convince others in seeking a society in which compassion and generosity come from you, not what you demand an elected politician make someone else do.

If I was a world dictator with unlimited power, I'd raise taxes way more than Obamacare does and rather than subsidize the American poor and sick, use it in central Africa and other places around the world where health-based suffering is way greater than anything an uninsured American has to face. Or, I would, if I believed I had any right to do it. I personally taxed myself at 100% for the ballpark feature I did in this year's ESPN Mag preview - I hope a few thousand makes at least a small dent in the South Sudan. But I did that voluntarily, that's what compassion is and what it stems from. I wish every one of you had a favorite charity (many of you no doubt already do) and had the means to have the ability to help the less fortunate, but I would never, ever, ever seek to have any of you compelled to do so. Even guys like Andy and Sam - I have no desire to reward statists with more statism.



   929. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4174199)
Instead of whining about the very existence of the social contract like you do every time you lose a public referendum on the nineteenth century, how about telling us which of the ACA's provisions would not cause to to blow your freedom rape whistle?
I dunno; is there a provision in there where they rename a post office or something?
   930. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4174200)

From the link at 924:

But over the past 10 years, Posner said, "there's been a real deterioration in conservative thinking. And that has to lead people to re-examine and modify their thinking."

"I've become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy," he said.


If someone knows him, get word to him to visit this site, if he wants to see exercises in goofy fantasy bloviations.
   931. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4174206)
I dunno; is there a provision in there where they rename a post office or something?


Still can't answer the simplest questions.

   932. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4174207)
First, healthcare is not about "wealth transfer", it's about risk abatement.


I will continue to comment that this is false every time this falsehood is perpetuated. The ACA is indeed about wealth transfer. How could it be about anything else? You're "insuring" many people -- I use the word "insure" loosely - actually incorrectly - as insurance relates to risk -- who couldn't pay for their own insurance. You may think this policy good. You may think it just. But you may not, correctly, state that it is not a wealth transfer. Who is now paying for the insurance of the people who couldn't pay before? The tooth-insurance fairy?

Liberals cannot seem to own what this is. It was pretty amusing to see - as Dan noted earlier - BrianBenson or whoever it was be all surprised that his fellow liberal compatriots weren't just standing up and saying "Yes. Yes. Yes. This IS a wealth transfer." Many of them don't have the stones to do that.
   933. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4174209)
I believe that people who can't afford medical care and can't find anybody willing to volunteer to provide it or pay for it should go without.

....he's saying unequivocally that society, through its elected representatives, shouldn't even be allowed to help people like that.
He's saying that you shouldn't be allowed to compel other people to help people like that. You and anybody else of course should be allowed to help people like that. You speak of 'society' as if it is is some mystical construct, rather than a collection of individuals. You see a person dying in the street, and you want to provide him with medical care, great. You want to pay a doctor to provide him with medical care, great. You want to rally a bunch of bystanders to provide him with medical care, or to pay a doctor to provide him with medical care, great.

But you don't get to point a gun at a doctor and demand that he provide medical care just because it will make you feel better about yourself if you do. Nor do you get to point a gun at some random bystanders and demand they empty their pockets so you can hire a doctor to provide medical care just because it will make you feel better about yourself if you do.
   934. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4174210)
Ray, you can know all there is to know about alchemy, and you know what? You still don't know ####.
   935. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4174211)
If someone knows [Posner], get word to him to visit this site, if he wants to see exercises in goofy fantasy bloviations.

I doubt if he'd be too surprised. You should note that he's also one of the few conservatives / libertarians who's always been willing to engage liberals in a continuing dialogue. The closest liberal counterpart to him I can think of would be the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whatever you may think of his king-sized ego.
   936. billyshears Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4174212)
As someone posted earlier (BrianBrianson?), while I'd still vehemently disagree with it, the people that simply admit that it's about wealth transfer are at least being honest about it and deserve credit. When progressives argue that reason we need the law is because of all the free rider problems created by...previous progressive laws and because of the employer-tethered health insurance market created by...previous progressive laws, and all the various market distortions and mandates created by...previous progressive laws, it comes off as much more dodgy.


Look, it has to be about wealth transfer. But I also think the entire concept of an ordered republic is predicated on some level of wealth transfer. Does basic health fall within that level? I think it does. It's either that, or let people in need of emergent care die in the streets because they can't pay. That's a moral choice. Once we make that moral choice, it mostly becomes a question of methods rather than principles.
   937. Dan The Mediocre Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4174213)
But you don't get to point a gun at a doctor and demand that he provide medical care just because it will make you feel better about yourself if you do. Nor do you get to point a gun at some random bystanders and demand they empty their pockets so you can hire a doctor to provide medical care just because it will make you feel better about yourself if you do.


Why do you get to point a gun at my head and demand I defend your possessions?
   938. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4174216)
I believe that people who can't afford medical care and can't find anybody willing to volunteer to provide it or pay for it should go without.


....he's saying unequivocally that society, through its elected representatives, shouldn't even be allowed to help people like that.

He's saying that you shouldn't be allowed to compel other people to help people like that.


You need to read those words of his a bit more carefully. Whether or not he means them literally, they're right there on the page. Once again:

I believe that people who can't afford medical care and can't find anybody willing to volunteer to provide it or pay for it

should go without.


If you can find a better interpretation of those words than those words themselves, you're free to offer them. They were not taken out of context.

You and anybody else of course should be allowed to help people like that. You speak of 'society' as if it is is some mystical construct, rather than a collection of individuals. You see a person dying in the street, and you want to provide him with medical care, great. You want to pay a doctor to provide him with medical care, great. You want to rally a bunch of bystanders to provide him with medical care, or to pay a doctor to provide him with medical care, great.

And if he can't find anyone to pick up the bill, then just leave him there, and that's great, too. Got it. The three of you can probably get a nice group rate at the Hide-A-Way motel.
   939. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:10 PM (#4174217)
Can I offer to buy his organs? I mean, if he's on his way out he won't be needing them. I could donate the money to hire a bounty killer to avenge his death.
   940. billyshears Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4174218)
First, healthcare is not about "wealth transfer", it's about risk abatement.

No one can self insure out of pocket. Nobody. Perhaps Mitt Romney can, but even for him it's a poor use of funds.


I'm on your side, but this can't be true. For one, self-insurance isn't really out of pocket - it's basically just not buying insurance and hoping you don't get sick. Secondly, the ACA is predicated on risk-pooling. If nobody could self-insure, risk pooling wouldn't matter. Some people can self-insure, and we have a good idea who those people are. The problem is that ####-happens, people who rationally self-insure get sick, and society pays for it anyway. So society has to choose: either don't pay for it, or find a better way to pay for it. The ACA pays for it by taking away the option of self-insurance and using the insurance premiums from these people to pay for the health care of others. I have no issues with this approach.
   941. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4174220)
He's saying that you shouldn't be allowed to compel other people to help people like that.


Yeah, we know what he's saying We're saying he's wrong.

But you don't get to point a gun at a doctor and demand that he provide medical care just because it will make you feel better about yourself if you do.


Sure you do.

The law allows that in all sorts of ways.

If by "pointing a gun" you mean imposing conditions on professionals and tradespeople in order for them to attain and retain their license and certification.

All sorts of encumbrances on doctors are imposed.

And this you don't get to pass a law if a mythical group of people could pony up doesn't pass the giggle test. That is not grounds from prohibiting legislation. It's just your version of the Old Time Religion which you seek to force on people. Just more heads I win, tails you lose stuff.
   942. Zipperholes Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4174222)
And this you don't get to pass a law if a mythical group of people could pony up doesn't pass the giggle test. That is not grounds from prohibiting legislation.
Why shouldn't it be? I don't care about what is.
   943. Lassus Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4174224)
By the way, no discussion of the leaks? Sort of interesting that all the kremlinology was actually true.

Rumors and and anonymous source leaks are true now? The off-season will be happy to hear that.
   944. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4174225)
And if he can't find anyone to pick up the bill, then just leave him there, and that's great, too. Got it. The three of you can probably get a nice group rate at the Hide-A-Way motel.


How could he possibly just be left there to die, with all of you compassionate liberals around to help him?
   945. Spahn Insane Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:40 AM (#4174245)
Retro: I knew Andy wasn't being hyperbolic.

And though I find Good Face's view vis. sick people who can't afford health care abhorrent, so I do find that particular sentiment of Andy's, to the extent it's sincerely held.

Wait--that almost borders on compassion (for me, at least). Getting soft in my old age...
   946. Spahn Insane Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4174246)
How could he possibly just be left there to die, with all of you compassionate liberals around to help him?

We were around, but were unsuccessful at hacking into your checking account.
   947. BurlyBuehrle Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4174247)
Trying to catch up.

As someone posted earlier (BrianBrianson?), while I'd still vehemently disagree with it, the people that simply admit that it's about wealth transfer are at least being honest about it and deserve credit.


Yes, that was me, @221. And yes, it is wealth transfer. But I don't see the problem with it; most Americans (as was pointed out) like wealth transfer in a real sense. In a hyperbolic, theoretical, ideological sense, many think they are opposed to it; but when it is explained to them, many change their minds. Living in a collective, ordered society is fundamentally about wealth transfer.

I find this recurring theme about the laws reflecting the "values of society" to be interesting. The point that was missed is that "the values of society" are not static. The pertinent question isn't "we didn't provide health coverage to everyone before, so how could ACA reflect our social values?" Rather, if we believe that the law reflects, in some fashion, the values of society, then we must value universal health care...because we passed it, right? And we're allowed to get better, aren't we? Jim Crow sucked...but it must have been what a whole lot of people (at least, the ones with power) wanted, right?

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?

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? 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...

Finally, the pooling your money argument that has popped up a ton of times also is curious to me. I'm genuinely curious - are there particular policy goals where this wouldn't be the solution? Are public utilities okay, or should those of us who want electricity pool our money to obtain it? How about roads? Public education?

   948. Spahn Insane Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4174249)
You act as if the ACA doesn't "pass the cost to the rest of us."

Oh, sure it does. (There. I'm "owning it.") Can't speak for anyone else, but I happen to think it imposes much less of a net social cost than widespread medical care-induced bankruptcies (or widespread illness borne of lack of treatment/preventive care). Perhaps I'm wrong about that; it's a possibility I'm willing to live with.

Yes, it involves tradeoffs (including sacrifices of "freedom," as defined by some). BFD.

EDIT: Coke to BrianBuehrleson in 947, who puts it a lot more persuasively...
   949. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4174250)
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? Better than SCOTUS?


But even within SCOTUS, four of the nine found it unconstitutional.
   950. BurlyBuehrle Posted: July 06, 2012 at 12:59 AM (#4174253)
Oh, and the argument about who pays more taxes than they're required to pay? Of course not many folks do.

But when you're making that statement, you're destroying your own concept that "private charity" is going to solve this problem. The fact of the matter is that people, left to their own devices in a "state of nature" are in it for themselves. So does it shock us that on an individual level, people only want to pay what they're required to pay, and not more? But, because progressives realize that this is the "nature of the beast," we create governments and institutions that attempt to determine what benefits should be provided by the collective (i.e., the State) and the amount that represents each person/entity's fair share of the burden for those services.

When you say that most people don't pay more than they're required, aren't you really just saying "most people aren't very charitable?"

Man, if only humanity could invent some sort of apparatus to collect resources from people -- even those who might not necessarily love the idea -- to provide things to everyone.

Does anyone like paying taxes, in a vacuum? I doubt it. But what Irving Berlin, JOSNW*, ME, and probably other progressives mean when they say "I love paying taxes" was already succinctly stated elsewhere but bears repeating: I like the benefits that living in this ordered society confers on me. I recognize that these benefits come at a cost, and I am willing to pay for them.

We know what a state of nature might look like. That is why we have government.

*I think it was him. If not, apologies.
   951. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:01 AM (#4174255)
How could he possibly just be left there to die, with all of you compassionate liberals around to help him?


Sorry dude, there was a Phish concert downtown.
   952. Morty Causa Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:01 AM (#4174256)

Why shouldn't it be? I don't care about what is.


I know you don’t. But I do. And you lost.

It shouldn’t be simply because as a concept it’s a wild card that can be played on any proposal you don’t like. That would make government impossible. Why don’t those who want everyone to have health care pay for it is like saying why can't you insert alum and Epsom salt in all the desserts the bakery makes.

And making government impossible wouldn't make our predicament better. It makes it worse. You can disagree and work to have your way under the system. But, that’s all you are entitled to under the system. You don't get to pull a Papal bull out your ass, but nobody else can. If we get to that point, then it's religious war time. And if it's war, then there are no rules, and you can stuff the sanctimony and save the sermonizing.

I like government. I think government should act. The invention of government was a quantum leap forward in our history. This idea that government is the problem is incredibly stupid. Channeling those charitable impulses through government is perfectly valid and entirely feasible. Private charity just goes so far. If private charity could take care of it, it would take care of it. At one time, not too long ago, all the medical care you could get was in the doctor's black bag, except for a few things like x-rays. Charity was easy. JOSN said he gave a good friend $20K. That's wonderful, but nowadays, that can be absorbed in twenty minutes.

As pathetic an excuse as that "charity exception" is, it is your last best hope. It’s all you got left. And it's shameful that you would grasp at a straw like that. I want to defeat that sort of thinking, that type of mentality. I think those who promote it are evil—in the way Graham Greene's The Quiet American was evil. They think their way is the only way to do good, they brook no alternative visions, and they don’t care who gets hurt in them getting their way, because, after all, it's all in the quest of the good and holy idea. Their naïveté, or blithe lack of awareness, has devastating consequence. Real people get hurt so as to salve a conscience that can only be salved by other’s pain and suffering in the quest of an imaginary holy grail.

If you sincerely are concerned with those who are without adequate health care, however, and you want the government to stay out, then you should pony up. You put your money where your mouth is. You should forego your coverage for those who don’t have it. You lick the sores of those lepers with your tongue. That, too, will solve the problem in theory as much as what you demand would.

And for those that don’t care if people have health care, which as far as I can see is all of you—how frigging convenient is it to hang your righteous selfishness on such a paltry pretext. It’s always is with this sort. Either it must be your way, and someone else must do it your way, or it shouldn't get done at all. Those are the only options. Again, with you people, it’s always either we win one way or we win by not doing it at all. There’s never a way in your mind that you should lose and have to do it someone else’s way. If you don’t have any shame for that sort of attitude, you deserve to be shot. Sorry, but I’m not enabling you in playing this game of deferring at every juncture to your exceptionalism. You're just another dick with ears.

If you do that, though, if you relinquish your advantage for those that are disadvantage, then and only then will your views have any vindication and deserve any respect.
   953. BurlyBuehrle Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:01 AM (#4174257)
But even within SCOTUS, four of the nine found it unconstitutional.


Yes, but five are needed to make it unconstitutional. Four is meaningless, at least in a real sense. It might mean it is a close call, but many things are close calls, without making them without effect. So, again, do you reject SCOTUS's authority (be it 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 of them) to determine, at least in a real and practical sense, what is constitutional?
   954. Morty Causa Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4174258)
But even within SCOTUS, four of the nine found it unconstitutional.


So, that makes it unconstitutional?
   955. Morty Causa Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:08 AM (#4174259)
Damn, if you guys had posted earlier, you'd have save me a lot of work. Exxxcelent anyway,though.
   956. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:14 AM (#4174261)
Yes, but five are needed to make it unconstitutional. Four is meaningless, at least in a real sense. It might mean it is a close call, but many things are close calls, without making them without effect. So, again, do you reject SCOTUS's authority (be it 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 of them) to determine, at least in a real and practical sense, what is constitutional?


Do I reject that their rulings have to be followed, while mine don't? Of course not. I never said otherwise. I just don't see what this really has to do with the issue of whether the law is constitutional. This is kind of like me saying Ichiro isn't a deserving Hall of Famer, and then everyone saying "Nyah, nyah, Ray, Ichiro is going to be elected overwhelmingly." But I never argued otherwise.
   957. BurlyBuehrle Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:32 AM (#4174264)
I just don't see what this really has to do with the issue of whether the law is constitutional.


Like I said, there is an argument here about what "is" is. You cannot, on the one hand, say "I accept that SCOTUS is the arbiter of the constitutionality of a particular law" and then, after SCOTUS determines a law is constitutional, say

I just don't see what this really has to do with the issue of whether the law is constitutional.


It has everything to do with whether the law is constitutional. If we don't have a defined institution for determining these things, and you say Law A is unconstitutional, and I say Law A is - where do we go from there? Who else but SCOTUS gets to determine this? SCOTUS doesn't operate with the institutional mandate of "we determine the constitutionality of the law, subject to the approval of others." They're the final arbiter.

I get what you're saying about Ichiro (FWIW, I've lurked in the threads where you've made the case that Ichiro should not be elected to the HoF; I think you're correct), but if (when) Ichiro is elected, he *will be* a Hall-of-Famer, your (and my) *opinion* that he is undeserving notwithstanding. Just like ACA *is* constitutional...irrespective of your statement that it is not.

This isn't some "nyah nyah nyah" issue, as you suggest above. I'm taking specific issue with your continued insistence that ACA is unconstitutional when ACA has gone through the entirety of the mechanism we have *precisely to determine such things* and has been found to be constitutional.

   958. Jay Z Posted: July 06, 2012 at 01:38 AM (#4174265)
I'm on your side, but this can't be true. For one, self-insurance isn't really out of pocket - it's basically just not buying insurance and hoping you don't get sick. Secondly, the ACA is predicated on risk-pooling. If nobody could self-insure, risk pooling wouldn't matter. Some people can self-insure, and we have a good idea who those people are. The problem is that ####-happens, people who rationally self-insure get sick, and society pays for it anyway. So society has to choose: either don't pay for it, or find a better way to pay for it. The ACA pays for it by taking away the option of self-insurance and using the insurance premiums from these people to pay for the health care of others. I have no issues with this approach.


As far as risk goes, basically no one but the Mitts can self-insure catastrophic. It's just too big a sum to keep around in cash and dedicated to no other purpose.

I think I am accurate in calling it risk abatement rather than wealth transfer. I'm a middle aged male with wife and kids and none of us have pre-existing conditions. I've covered through work now just like almost everybody else. I'm at risk because I could lose my job, which is not exactly a zero percent chance for anyone anymore. The job loss had nothing to do with my health care, but now the wife or kids have some condition, and I go through the whole rigamarole of trying to get a new job with insurance, wife tries to get a new job with insurance, COBRA runs out, single market is expensive even without pre-existing and unaffordable or unavailable with, etc. etc. etc.

It is NOT a wealth transfer for me to seek to improve coverage of this risk. The family and me are healthy NOW. We might not be in the future. The point is for everybody to have better coverage of this risk that we all face (except for the Mitts and only the Mitts who can theortically pay even the worst-case scenarios out of pocket, and the Mitts all have gold-plated plans for life anyway.) Like you said, it's sharing of risk.
   959. Jay Z Posted: July 06, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4174267)
As far as basic necessities of life are concerned such as food, clothing, shelter, and now healthcare, an example comes to mind. I'm sure this isn't particularly original.

You're in the woods, it's stormy, and you're hurt. Why you're in the woods doesn't really matter. Maybe you were kidnapped and left off blindfolded. Maybe you fell out of a plane. Maybe you got lost on a hike. Maybe you're a drunken fool with no provisions. Doesn't matter, you are in a fight for your life.

You come upon a cabin in the woods. The cabin has obviously been occupied fairly recently but there is no one there at the time. It is well stocked with food for a couple of months, some bandages and medicine, and heat. There's also a lock on the door and a No Trespassing sign.

Under the circumstances, is it wrong for you to break in, use some of the food and medicine, and rest up for a day or two while the storm passes and you heal up? While normally this isn't appropriate, in times of survival the rules change. Life trumps liberty and property, and you may use the provisions. If you can compensate the owner later that would be great too, but you can use the provisions even if you're never able to pay him back.

In nature, there is no true private property. Animals attempt to establish territory and keep objects, but if a more powerful being takes their stuff, nothing is done. Private property is useful to society, but its existence in a society MANDATES some sort of safety net. MANDATES. Not an option to be charitable by the property owners. You cannot make someone's life worse than the natural state and really say they are included in the society. In that case the society is not in their best interests.

In the New Testament of the Bible, there's a passage where the Jews are instructed not to harvest to the edges of their fields. That was to be left for the poor and aliens. I don't know what their attitude on health care was. Jesus seemed to spend a lot of time practicing something similar to health care; I'm sure there were plenty of others wandering about trying to do the same. I don't know what sort of care was required, if any.

In a heavily urban environment it's unrealistic to ask poor people to walk for miles to find a farmer's field. Food stamps and such are more efficient. Again, these are simply a requirement of society. With healthcare, yes I feel that the existence of health care allows people to demand a sustenance/substinence level of care. Life trumps liberty and property again. It can be debated whether more preventative care is better at sustaining than ER care; it seems highly likely in at least some instances. My feeling on the insurance mandate, for those that can afford to buy insurance, is that yes, you need to pay for that in the same fashion as you pay for food stamps through your taxes. It can be done through group coverage to keep it affordable and avoid underwriting.
   960. asdf1234 Posted: July 06, 2012 at 02:11 AM (#4174268)
When you say that most people don't pay more than they're required, aren't you really just saying "most people aren't very charitable?"


People don't want to pay taxes because 1) they're frequently wasted on oppressive bureaucracies that oppress the citizens from whom they steal (e.g., the TSA and DHS) 2) they're frequently routed to initiatives that many people find offensive or objectionable (the NEA and various wars, domestic and foreign) and 3) they're claimed by coercion. I'd be less likely to fork over to Save the Children if they kicked down my door, shot my dog, and threw me in a cell for failing to offer them the precise amount they deemed acceptable. Though it's admittedly possible that I'm oversensitive to high-pressure tactics from solicitors.

Man, if only humanity could invent some sort of apparatus to collect resources from people -- even those who might not necessarily love the idea -- to provide things to everyone.


And so the state is Santa Clause, handing out goodies and creating equality and freedom where none existed before. Where do systematic oppression, war, extortion, regressive taxation, the legislative transfer of wealth from the poor & middle class to the elite, and the other myriad fruits of the inevitable marriage of money and power fit into that worldview? Or do we just ignore them the same way we ignore the assassination of a 16-year-old American child who was neither accused nor convicted of a crime? I'm sure there are many who cheerfully donate their tax dollars to the charity that killed him (what with the eggs and the omelets and all), but perhaps they could look into their hearts and try to understand why their contemptible, natural-rights-affirming, social-contract-denyin' neighbors don't want to subsidize that particularly proud moment in our nation's otherwise unblemished history.
   961. BurlyBuehrle Posted: July 06, 2012 at 02:11 AM (#4174269)
You cannot make someone's life worse than the natural state and really say they are included in the society. In that case the society is not in their best interests.


Bingo.
   962. BurlyBuehrle Posted: July 06, 2012 at 02:21 AM (#4174270)
People don't want to pay taxes because ... the citizens from whom they steal


If you're going to characterize taxes as "stealing," you've already opted out of a society where we have a government to define and enforce rights. Herein lies the difference, I guess, between you and me: the government might do some things with which I disagree - vehemently, at times - but that doesn't mean that taxes are "stealing."

3) they're claimed by coercion. I'd be less likely to fork over to Save the Children if they kicked down my door, shot my dog, and threw me in a cell for failing to offer them the precise amount they deemed acceptable. Though it's admittedly possible that I'm simply oversensitive to high-pressure tactics from solicitors.


What coercion? The rule of law? The same rule of law that mandates you pay your taxes also mandates that I *not* kick in your door, shoot your dog, or imprison you. Again, are you opting out of society?

And so the state is Santa Clause, handing out goodies and creating equality and freedom where none existed before. Where do systematic oppression, war, extortion, regressive taxation, the legislative transfer of wealth from the poor & middle class to the elite, and the other myriad fruits of the inevitable marriage of money and power fit into that worldview? Or do we just ignore them the same way we ignore the assassination of a 16-year-old American child who was neither accused nor convicted of a crime? I'm sure there are many who cheerfully donate their tax dollars to the charity that killed him (what with the eggs and the omelets and all), but perhaps they could look into their hearts and try to understand why their contemptible, natural-rights-affirming, social-contract-denyin' neighbors don't want to subsidize that particularly proud moment in our nation's otherwise unblemished history.


I don't know what most of this means. I never said the state is Santa Claus. Don't be confused for one second: government is capable of enormous evil. But is this thread actually about whether we should have government/organized society at all? If it is, we can have that discussion. I assume the assassination reference is in regards to Trayvon Martin? If not, I'm totally missing it. I'm totally missing most of this paragraph, in fact.
   963. robinred Posted: July 06, 2012 at 02:50 AM (#4174273)
burly,

jd is talking about this:

Ac
cording to U.S. officials, al-Awlaki was promoted to the rank of "regional commander" within al-Qaeda in 2009.[28][29] He repeatedly called for jihad against the United States.[30][31] In April 2010, American President Obama authorized al-Awlaki's targeted killing.[32][33][34] The targeted killing of an American citizen was an unprecedented Presidential order which al-Awlaki's father and civil rights groups unsuccessfully challenged in court.[32][34][35] Officials stated that the "imminent threat" international legal standard is used to add names to the C.I.A.'s list of targets.[33]


Al-Awlaki was believed to be in hiding in Southeast Yemen in the last years of his life.[26] The U.S. deployed unmanned aircraft in Yemen to search for and kill him,[36] firing at and failing to kill him at least once,[37] before he was killed in an American drone attack in Yemen on September 30, 2011.[38] Two weeks later Al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who was born in Denver, was also killed by a CIA-led drone strike in Yemen.[39][40][41] Nasser al-Awlaki, the father of Anwar, made an audio recording condemning the killings of his son and grandson as senseless murders.[42]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_al-Awlaki
   964. BrianBrianson Posted: July 06, 2012 at 03:14 AM (#4174274)
As someone posted earlier (BrianBrianson?), while I'd still vehemently disagree with it, the people that simply admit that it's about wealth transfer are at least being honest about it and deserve credit.


I'm not even really sure I agree with the idea that there is such a thing as wealth transfer in the way you're suggesting, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, in the current context, taxing the wealthy to provide health care for the poorer makes the wealthy wealthier (although this craps out when the marginal tax rate on the wealthy is something like 75% - hence "current context"). It's not wealth transfer, it's wealth creation. Secondly, a lot of the government's work (and almost all the work libertarians typically want the government to do) is about ensuring a lopsided structure such that the wealthy receive more wealth than they produce, and the poor receive less wealth than they produce, mitigating that really reduces what you're calling wealth transfer, it doesn't enhance it. (Though since we all end up wealthier, it doesn't really do that either - I'm trying to frame it in the context you're talking about it in, but since that context is wrong, it's kinda hard).
   965. BrianBrianson Posted: July 06, 2012 at 03:43 AM (#4174276)
Okay, lemme try to be clearer about the last point. When you put up capital for a mine, and I start digging, we're both creating wealth. But were creating a lot more wealth that we would've if it was just the two of us; I have a public education, have had access to public healthcare (which I've used), used public roads, lived in a house (whose building was goverened by government regulations, and inspected to ensure it met those regulations by government inspectors) which got electrical power from government owned provider, (and all the electrical devices run on principles discovered by a scientist working in a government-funded lab), and so on, and so forth. Plus, the mine uses electricity from those same government run providers, get supplies along a government-built road, ships to markets on the same government built roads, has it's security assured by the government, and so on, and so forth. Working in the mine, we create wealth - but far, far more than we would working alone. I create a little wealth, you create a little wealth, and society at large creates the lion's share of the wealth. How it's subsequently distributed between the three of us is mostly set by society - if society adjusts the balance, it isn't really wealth transfer, in the sense that I'm taking your wealth, but that you're getting less of society's share, and I'm getting more. As long as we each get more than our intrinsic share (which is so laughably the case in our context it's not worth considering much, but *could*, in principle, not be the case - which is problematic) it isn't wealth transfer in the way you understand it.
   966. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 03:54 AM (#4174278)
Are we still going on about the collective action problem to which taxation is a solution?

If I opened a store, and said anyone could take what they wanted, and that only those who really liked me had to pay, I would go out of business, even if I were George Bailey.

If I had a country, and we were attacked, and I said that only those who want to go fight them have to, everyone else could just stay home, the country would be conquered.

If I have a health care system, and say that only those who feel bad about the sick people need to contribute to their care, the sick people will die.

Thus it ever was, and thus it ever shall be. That's why we have prices on goods, taxation, conscription, and the ACA.
   967. Lassus Posted: July 06, 2012 at 07:18 AM (#4174291)
In the New Testament of the Bible, there's a passage where the Jews are instructed not to harvest to the edges of their fields. That was to be left for the poor and aliens.

Wait, aliens? I may need to give this bible thing another try.
   968. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2012 at 07:40 AM (#4174293)
Jay Z, Morty, Burly, Brian and Slivers have all been describing the basic principles of a civilized society in various eloquent ways. Their only problem is that in trying to explain the realities of our world to our local libertarians, they might as well be talking to a flying saucer full of tentacled Martians who just landed in the middle of New Jersey.

   969. formerly dp Posted: July 06, 2012 at 08:07 AM (#4174295)
Secondly, a lot of the government's work (and almost all the work libertarians typically want the government to do) is about ensuring a lopsided structure such that the wealthy receive more wealth than they produce, and the poor receive less wealth than they produce


Shhhhhhhhh...

Don't give away their secret. The more they can keep us all arguing about freedom, the less likely we are to stumble onto that inconvenient reality they work so hard to obfuscate.
   970. BrianBrianson Posted: July 06, 2012 at 08:52 AM (#4174306)
Jay Z, Morty, Burly, Brian and Slivers have all been describing the basic principles of a civilized society in various eloquent ways. Their only problem is that in trying to explain the realities of our world to our local libertarians, they might as well be talking to a flying saucer full of tentacled Martians who just landed in the middle of New Jersey.


Arguing on the internet is rarely for the benefit of the arguers, who're typically too entrenched in their positions to give much. But the background audience - those not committed enough to say anything, but interested enough in the topic to read the debate - they are the real beneficiaries of the discussion. The point isn't to convert Ray, which is almost certainly impossible, but to impress upon the background audience that being part of a society means you should give a #### about other people's welfare.
   971. Lassus Posted: July 06, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4174316)
The point isn't to convert Ray, which is almost certainly impossible, but to impress upon the background audience that being part of a society means you should give a #### about other people's welfare.

To be fair to Ray (and Dan; and David, er, probably. Good Face would most likely laugh at a kid getting hit by a car.), he does give a #### about other's people's welfare on a discrete level. He just (more or less, in my interpretation) thinks that "society" isn't a valid enough concept to merit being part of for that purpose.
   972. BDC Posted: July 06, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4174324)
I'm interested in the subthread about constitutionality, which seems to me semantic, but in a rich sense, not a trivial one. Clearly, if the Supreme Court rules a certain way, then a law is constitutional or unconstitutional till they reverse themselves (which they sometimes do). But there's another sense in which, no matter what they say, an observer can opine that their decision violates a deeply-held principle of the constitution. (So one might certainly say that Plessy v. Ferguson, an egregious example, violated the 14th Amendment, however much it settled "separate but equal" as the law of the land for many decades.) Ray may be pedantic or petulant or just plain wrong about the ACA decision, but he's not being absurd.
   973. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4174331)
Jay Z, Morty, Burly, Brian and Slivers have all been describing the basic principles of a civilized society in various eloquent ways. Their only problem is that in trying to explain the realities of our world to our local libertarians, they might as well be talking to a flying saucer full of tentacled Martians who just landed in the middle of New Jersey.


So, are you or are you not in favor of banning vehicles for slow-moving inflatable cubes?
   974. Jay Z Posted: July 06, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4174334)
In the New Testament of the Bible, there's a passage where the Jews are instructed not to harvest to the edges of their fields. That was to be left for the poor and aliens.

Wait, aliens? I may need to give this bible thing another try.


The old-style aliens - Alien and Sedition, illegal alien - foreigners. Not the REAL aliens like E.T. :)
   975. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4174335)
Jay Z, Morty, Burly, Brian and Slivers have all been describing the basic principles of a civilized society in various eloquent ways. Their only problem is that in trying to explain the realities of our world to our local libertarians, they might as well be talking to a flying saucer full of tentacled Martians who just landed in the middle of New Jersey.

Arguing on the internet is rarely for the benefit of the arguers, who're typically too entrenched in their positions to give much. But the background audience - those not committed enough to say anything, but interested enough in the topic to read the debate - they are the real beneficiaries of the discussion. The point isn't to convert Ray, which is almost certainly impossible, but to impress upon the background audience that being part of a society means you should give a #### about other people's welfare.


Point acknowledged, and the other benefit is letting the "background audience" see these uninhibited Randians give full vent to the attitudes that form the basis 21st century conservatism / libertarianism**, after the last drop of social consciousness has been squeezed out of it.

**Libertarians here always react with great indignation when you lump them together with conservatives, but when it comes to social safety nets, their attitudes are completely indistinguishable.
   976. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4174339)
Jay Z, Morty, Burly, Brian and Slivers have all been describing the basic principles of a civilized society in various eloquent ways. Their only problem is that in trying to explain the realities of our world to our local libertarians, they might as well be talking to a flying saucer full of tentacled Martians who just landed in the middle of New Jersey.

So, are you or are you not in favor of banning vehicles for slow-moving inflatable cubes?


That must refer to something you asked at some point while I was offline yesterday. If you find it and ask it in full again I'll be glad to answer it. But that sentence above is virtually incoherent.
   977. The Good Face Posted: July 06, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4174340)
To be fair to Ray (and Dan; and David, er, probably. Good Face would most likely laugh at a kid getting hit by a car.),


Whose kid? And whose car? Body work isn't cheap you know.
   978. formerly dp Posted: July 06, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4174344)
Ray may be pedantic or petulant or just plain wrong about the ACA decision, but he's not being absurd.


No one has disputed Ray's right to interpret the constitution in whatever way he wants. What we've objected to is his insistence on stating his interpretation as fact, rather than as opinion, and then demanding that we accept it as such. But that's what he does in pretty much every argument he makes.
   979. BDC Posted: July 06, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4174346)
his insistence on stating his interpretation as fact, rather than as opinion, and then demanding that we accept it as such

Yeah, that would be the "petulant" part of it :)
   980. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4174350)
No one has disputed Ray's right to interpret the constitution in whatever way he wants. What we've objected to is his insistence on stating his interpretation as fact, rather than as opinion, and then demanding that we accept it as such. But that's what he does in pretty much every argument he makes.


I can't really get on Ray for that, because I'll do that on some topics as well... and I've noted that some of the anti-Rays do as well.


Whose kid? And whose car? Body work isn't cheap you know.


some goat's

and

someone's 1968 Chevelle.
   981. BrianBrianson Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4174351)

So, are you or are you not in favor of banning vehicles for slow-moving inflatable cubes?


No, you're making the same mistake here you're making in all your other considerations, trying to consider a problem in isolation, pretending it has no context at all. The downsides to such an approach (indeed, even in deaths from ambulances travelling at 2 mph) outweigh the benefits. The non-libertarians (whatever political label we'd each choose) aren't proceeding from some principle to determine how things should be done, and remaining blind to the effect of doing them, but starting from the question "What's the best way to do this?" Cars improve our lives in a number of ways, despite the risks. Where we can feasibly and economically make them safer (i.e., wear seatbelts, no drink-driving, use hands-free), we should do those things. But "safety, ignoring context and consequences" isn't a priority. *Nothing*, ignoring context and consequences, is a priority. (At least, I think most would agree with me, though I'm not a liberal).
   982. zonk Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4174354)
That must refer to something you asked at some point while I was offline yesterday. If you find it and ask it in full again I'll be glad to answer it. But that sentence above is virtually incoherent.


Reductio ad absurdum usually is...
   983. The Good Face Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4174359)
some goat's

and

someone's 1968 Chevelle.


A tragedy on both ends!

   984. Shredder Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4174360)
The downsides to such an approach (indeed, even in deaths from ambulances travelling at 2 mph) outweigh the benefits.
What you're missing here is Dan's personal cost/benefit analysis for the ACA. The costs to Dan, an extra $0 since he already pays for health care (or maybe some ridiculous "loss of liberty" argument), far outweigh the benefits to society, helping the less fortunate participate in the health care system preferably before requiring emergency care. It's a perfect analogy in Dan's mind. Dan's OK with a bunch of people being denied access to routine medical care (and likely living far shorter lives as a result) as long as it doesn't cost him any extra money, just like Andy is content to let millions of people die as long as he can get to the grocery store faster, according to Dan. If you try not to think about how utterly ridiculous it is, it almost makes sense.
   985. formerly dp Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:19 AM (#4174364)
I can't really get on Ray for that, because I'll do that on some topics as well... and I've noted that some of the anti-Rays do as well.


The ACA's constitutionality has been decided by the only mechanism we have available for resolving disputes about interpretation. Any argument about the law has to proceed from that fact, or else it's just fist-pounding. And for the last 600 posts on the subject, that's all the libertarians here have done. I've asked for a discussion of the ACA's specific provisions to find out precisely what in the bill they find unreasonable, but all they can do is whine about the death of freedom and restate their ideologically-loaded interpretation of the bill's constitutionality. This discussion hasn't moved forward a half-step because it's way easier for them to hide behind their radical and marginalized worldview than it is to engage with what's actually in the bill.

Iow,we know they don't like the mandate. We're not learning anything more about their policy preferences from them restating that for the 300th time. So the conversation goes in circles, and gets progressively more pointless with each revolution.
   986. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4174365)
When you put up capital for a mine, and I start digging, we're both creating wealth. But were creating a lot more wealth that we would've if it was just the two of us; I have a public education, have had access to public healthcare (which I've used), used public roads, lived in a house (whose building was goverened by government regulations, and inspected to ensure it met those regulations by government inspectors) which got electrical power from government owned provider, (and all the electrical devices run on principles discovered by a scientist working in a government-funded lab), and so on, and so forth. Plus, the mine uses electricity from those same government run providers, get supplies along a government-built road, ships to markets on the same government built roads, has it's security assured by the government, and so on, and so forth.

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.
   987. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4174372)
Dan's OK with a bunch of people being denied access to routine medical care (and likely living far shorter lives as a result) as long as it doesn't cost him any extra money, just like Andy is content to let millions of people die as long as he can get to the grocery store faster, according to Dan. If you try not to think about how utterly ridiculous it is, it almost makes sense.


Dan is not covering himself in glory in this thread.
   988. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4174374)
What you're missing here is Dan's personal cost/benefit analysis for the ACA. The costs to Dan, an extra $0 since he already pays for health care (or maybe some ridiculous "loss of liberty" argument), far outweigh the benefits to society, helping the less fortunate participate in the health care system preferably before requiring emergency care.

Utter tripe. I'm opposed to these laws on a fundamental level, whether or not they personally help me. I oppose these laws because they impose things on others that I don't feel I have any right to compel a free party to do.

If you try not to think about how utterly ridiculous it is, it almost makes sense.

In other words, the cost of a policy is a relevant issue only on things that progressives don't like.

Are you denying that we'd save a ton of lives with inflatable cubes? It's only silly because a progressive isn't proposing it.

But let's segue back in health. If everybody received a complete physical, blood screening, and one of those full body screens every week rather than when the patient would feel the need to go to the doctor, would that not catch many more diseases and ailments and catch them earlier, saving lives? But you're not proposing it, because the costs would be ridiculous - every line you draw has a real human cost, so every line you draw makes you a murderer by Andy's definition.


   989. Lassus Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4174377)
but you don't talk about how the tenths of thousands of regulations

A couple hundred regulations don't sound so bad.



Be here all week.
   990. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4174382)
I'm not even really sure I agree with the idea that there is such a thing as wealth transfer in the way you're suggesting, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, in the current context, taxing the wealthy to provide health care for the poorer makes the wealthy wealthier


Ah, so you're doing the wealthy a favor!

It's not wealth transfer, it's wealth creation. Secondly, a lot of the government's work (and almost all the work libertarians typically want the government to do) is about ensuring a lopsided structure such that the wealthy receive more wealth than they produce, and the poor receive less wealth than they produce, mitigating that really reduces what you're calling wealth transfer, it doesn't enhance it.


I would say that nobody serious believes this, but then MCOA would come along and cheerfully point out that I am not in tune with what liberals think.

So I grant that people _do_ believe this nonsense. Why they believe it I suppose is the real question.
   991. Shredder Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4174385)
Are you denying that we'd save a ton of lives with inflatable cubes? It's only silly because a progressive isn't proposing it.
What Dan conveniently forgets about the practicality of the ACA is that the point of the law is not only to provide access to health care to more Americans, but also reduce the costs to those already paying for health care (including him!), especially considering we're ALREADY paying for all of those people who don't have health insurance. That's the effect of adding millions of healthy people into the system. That's the effect of approving more generic drugs. That's the effect of evaluating which procedures work more effectively and which procedures don't, all things that this law provides for. Of course, there is a much BETTER way to do all of this, but people like Dan will run around and scream "FRENCH SOCIALIST NAZIS!!!!" if the government actually proposed a single payer system.

So to answer your proposal to Andy, if inflatable cube cars both increased the efficiency of transportation AND were safer, it would probably be a good idea.
If everybody received a complete physical, blood screening, and one of those full body screens every week rather than when the patient would feel the need to go to the doctor, would that not catch many more diseases and ailments and catch them earlier, saving lives?
I doubt you'd even find a doctor who agrees with that.
   992. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4174387)
I'm on your side, but this can't be true. For one, self-insurance isn't really out of pocket - it's basically just not buying insurance and hoping you don't get sick.
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.

No one can self insure out of pocket. Nobody. Perhaps Mitt Romney can, but even for him it's a poor use of funds.
No. By definition, if you can afford to pay for something out-of-pocket (and by "afford" I don't mean "avoid bankruptcy," but afford out of disposable income), then insurance is a bad deal. That's true whether the insurance is called an "extended warranty" or health insurance or homeowners' insurance or car insurance. Your expected payout in premiums is always going to be greater than your expected benefit. Unless, of course, you know something the insurer doesn't know.
   993. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4174390)
No one has disputed Ray's right to interpret the constitution in whatever way he wants. What we've objected to is his insistence on stating his interpretation as fact, rather than as opinion,


So was it a fact that Plessy v. Ferguson was decided wrongly, or just a Sesame Streetish opinion! Own it, formerly dp.
   994. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4174391)
Dan,

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.
   995. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4174394)
I've asked for a discussion of the ACA's specific provisions to find out precisely what in the bill they find unreasonable, but all they can do is whine about the death of freedom
Right. 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 -- and then whining that people haven't responded when what you mean is that you want a different response, even though a different response would not actually be the answer.
   996. Lassus Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4174399)
Ray - was my interpretation in #971 of your position close?
   997. Shredder Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4174400)
. 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.
Don't you get it, Andy? According to Dan, making a cost/benefit analysis that ends in one additional death makes you a murderer. Guess we're gonna have to line you up next to tGF. It's much less taxing on Dan to live in hypothetical worlds.
   998. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4174403)
In the New Testament of the Bible, there's a passage where the Jews are instructed not to harvest to the edges of their fields. That was to be left for the poor and aliens. I don't know what their attitude on health care was. Jesus seemed to spend a lot of time practicing something similar to health care; I'm sure there were plenty of others wandering about trying to do the same. I don't know what sort of care was required, if any.
The New Testament? It's Leviticus 19:9-10. The real bible, not the unauthorized sequel.

You come upon a cabin in the woods. The cabin has obviously been occupied fairly recently but there is no one there at the time. It is well stocked with food for a couple of months, some bandages and medicine, and heat. There's also a lock on the door and a No Trespassing sign.

Under the circumstances, is it wrong for you to break in, use some of the food and medicine, and rest up for a day or two while the storm passes and you heal up? While normally this isn't appropriate, in times of survival the rules change. Life trumps liberty
So much for that whole "give me liberty or give me death" thing, I guess.
and property, and you may use the provisions. If you can compensate the owner later that would be great too, but you can use the provisions even if you're never able to pay him back.
And if the owner is there at the time, and you knock, is he obligated to give you food? No. And if you try to break in and take it, is he justified in shooting you? Yes.
   999. BurlyBuehrle Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4174406)
I'm interested in the subthread about constitutionality, which seems to me semantic, but in a rich sense, not a trivial one. Clearly, if the Supreme Court rules a certain way, then a law is constitutional or unconstitutional till they reverse themselves (which they sometimes do). But there's another sense in which, no matter what they say, an observer can opine that their decision violates a deeply-held principle of the constitution. (So one might certainly say that Plessy v. Ferguson, an egregious example, violated the 14th Amendment, however much it settled "separate but equal" as the law of the land for many decades.) Ray may be pedantic or petulant or just plain wrong about the ACA decision, but he's not being absurd.


Bob, I agree that this is interesting in a semantic way. I kept waiting for someone to throw Plessy or Dred Scott in my face and demand to know "well, were they constitututional?"

The easy answer is that when SCOTUS decided those cases, they were, by definition, constitutional. And when they were later overturned, they ceased to be so.

This can make sense only if we all agree that something cannot be inherently/naturally/innately "constitutional." The constitution is a collection of principles and ideas; in order to determine if something fits within that framework, we need to have a mechanism to do so. It can be any mechanism - we could have a public referendum on each case, we could just ask me to determine it, we could just ask you to determine it, we could just ask Ray to determine it, we could flip a coin, etc. Any of these would perform the function, but we chose to set up SCOTUS to determine a thing's constitutionality, believing that it would be the best combination of efficiency and correct interpretation.

Where I suspect people are getting lost in semantics is failing to recognize that a thing's constitutionality is, by definition, a subjective inquiry. In baseball, the umpire calls a pitch either a ball or a strike, and his decision will be respected, and the game will move forward accordingly. In that way, the analogy to SCOTUS works. However, whether a pitch was a ball or a strike is capable of being objectively determined - and thus, we can either conclude that the umpire was correct or incorrect. There, the analogy breaks down. Determining a thing's constitutionality is a subjective value judgment; it is not possible to determine objectively a thing's constitutionality, we can each only express our personal viewpoint.

Someone brought up Citizens United. I think that case was wrongly decided, but I acknowledge that this is my personal view on what the constitution means. I would not say "Citizens United *is* unconstitutional," because that would just be incorrect, rather, I would say "I believe/I think/My opinion is...." A semantic point, perhaps, but an important one, I think.

It was conceded that SCOTUS's ruling on ACA "must be followed," which is perhaps as far as we can go in this debate.
   1000. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 06, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4174407)
No one has disputed Ray's right to interpret the constitution in whatever way he wants. What we've objected to is his insistence on stating his interpretation as fact, rather than as opinion,


So was it a fact that Plessy v. Ferguson was decided wrongly, or just a Sesame Streetish opinion! Own it, formerly dp.

Prior to May 16, 1954, saying that Plessy was decided "wrongly" was an accurate moral assertion, but unfortunately that's all it was. It wasn't until Brown was handed down that Plessy was also----from that point on----certifiably "wrong" in its constitutional interpretation.
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