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Thursday, April 03, 2014

OTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 03, 2014 at 01:59 PM | 4718 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 7 million aca signees and counting, i-95 south, nc, politics

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   401. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 07, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4681508)
   402. JE (Jason) Posted: April 07, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4681511)
Tell me again about the lean of National Review, Jason?

Conservative. Next?
   403. JE (Jason) Posted: April 07, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4681512)
While in Jason's world, a hack who writes for a right wing rag and posts about studies he clearly hasn't read is a perfectly unbiased and quotable source!

Is it that time of the month again, Shredder? Phil Klein is a very capable writer who is right-of-center. His work should be read with that in mind.

See you in May.
   404. spike Posted: April 07, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4681513)
Any argument that boils down to "Kissinger was worse" needs work.

I'm no fan of drone warfare, but the fact remains that when the whereabouts of enemy combatants are identified in other countries, countries generally do stuff about it. You can use standoff weaponry (bombs, drones, cruise missiles) or you can send in troops. Both incur collateral damage. If the host country isn't going to meaningfully help you out, or worse, tacitly permits this behavior, it sort of eliminates option 2, unless you'd like to add the host to the combatants list.

There is always the option of doing nothing I suppose, and it's a debatable point. It would also immediately cause a land rush in Waziristan when every potential target that ever lived figured out it was a safe haven.
   405. bobm Posted: April 07, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4681520)
Linking it mainly because of this paragraph:

As many as 900 civilians may have been killed and 600 seriously injured, including children, in more than 330 strikes since 2004, according to an Amnesty International report on the U.S. drone program in Pakistan released last fall. On the ground, that's created a culture of fear.


It is hard to see how "creating a culture of fear" advances America's long-term counter terrorism efforts, especially when civilian populations come to see pilotless, drone warfare as callous, dishonorable and terroristic.
   406. zenbitz Posted: April 07, 2014 at 08:30 PM (#4681530)
@354 sorry bunyun... Research is salaries not just equipment and supplies. In fact, its mostly salaries.
   407. Shredder Posted: April 07, 2014 at 08:39 PM (#4681533)
Is it that time of the month again, Shredder? Phil Klein is a very capable writer who is right-of-center. His work should be read with that in mind purely for its comedic value.
Fixed that for you.
   408. zenbitz Posted: April 07, 2014 at 08:40 PM (#4681534)
Shorter Sam: everything is confirmation bias.
   409. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 07, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4681547)
(Andy apparently believes that gaining weight is unrelated to caloric intake and/or amount of exercise. When "Don't judge!" conflicts with science, "Don't judge!" wins.)

Who said anything at all like that? Of course there's a relationship between caloric intake, exercise and weight. Double down on Double Duh.

The point is simply that different metabolisms make for greater or lesser efficiency in burning off calories. Since you can't possibly not know this, I have to wonder what you're trying to get at.

And the "don't judge" part is simply a case of taking these different metabolisms into account before getting into your Gil Thorp lectures about self-control to people with calorie burning mechanisms that aren't as efficient as ours or Lisa's. Some of these people undoubtedly do need to step up their running and step down on their junk food, but identical programs don't work identically for non-identical people.
   410. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 07, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4681554)

You literally do not understand how taxes and incentives work.

To fund your scheme, you will need to more than double the tax revenues of the US. That means you will need to double the tax rate the average person pays.

So now instead of middle class people paying 25-30% of their income in taxes (incl. the 7% SS tax paid by employers) you'll need them to pay 60%, instead of upper middle class people paying 35-40% they'll have to pay 75-80%. But of course that won't work because people will cut back on their work effort and evade taxes like crazy. Not to mention the massive recession you will cause.


So in your world if I am taxed $10,000 and then get a payment of $10,000 I will radically change my behavior? That is crazy talk. There is no income effect for most people in the middle. One the wealthy end you pay more than $10,000 and on the poor end you pay less.

How this turns into huge swings in behavior and doubling of taxes is an exercise in hysteria and lunacy. The effective tax rate on most people does not really change much, because people are getting money back.

In your head somehow people are paying huge taxes and changing their behavior based on that, while not accounting for the additional income they get, but that's just silly.

And yes I suppose if the tax is set up wrong it might have some distorting quality, but so what? The crazy trade protection racket is much more disruptive and does not directly address the income inequality. The only way to address income and wealth inequality is to transfer money from wealthy to poor.

Minimum income is a way to do that without the corrosive impact of various other income transfers.
   411. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 07, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4681555)
Shorter Sam: everything is confirmation bias.


Pithy. Also near universally true.
   412. Monty Posted: April 07, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4681558)
The more I look for confirmation bias, the more I see it in the world all around me.
   413. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 07, 2014 at 09:49 PM (#4681560)
The more I look for confirmation bias, the more I see it in the world all around me.


Of course. It's like trying to think about consciousness.
   414. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 07, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4681562)
Who said anything at all like that? Of course there's a relationship between caloric intake, exercise and weight. Double down on Double Duh.

The point is simply that different metabolisms make for greater or lesser efficiency in burning off calories. Since you can't possibly not know this, I have to wonder what you're trying to get at.

I was wondering the same when you dismissed my almost identical comment by saying, "Yes, and if you blow hard enough, the Sun will go out. Works on paper, anyway."

And the "don't judge" part is simply a case of taking these different metabolisms into account before getting into your Gil Thorp lectures about self-control to people with calorie burning mechanisms that aren't as efficient as ours or Lisa's. Some of these people undoubtedly do need to step up their running and step down on their junk food, but identical programs don't work identically for non-identical people.

At no time did I suggest that the same caloric intake and/or exercise program would yield identical results for any two people, and at no time did I "lecture" anyone. I made a general comment about weight gain being a direct byproduct of excess caloric intake and/or insufficient exercise.

It doesn't take 20 years to figure out one's metabolism. If you gain weight over a 3-week period, it's time to make an adjustment. There's no need to wait 3 months or 3 years (or longer), as if the trend will magically reverse.
   415. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 07, 2014 at 09:55 PM (#4681563)
When news broke of the supposed "7.1 million" O-Care registrants, Josh Marshall of TPM and Eric Boehlert and MM immediately labeled anyone who might question the numbers as "truthers" and the term has been used repeatedly by other organs since then.


Well it might have something to do with the reflexive act of the modern GOP wherein any fact that is inconvenient has been unskewed, branded as lies, called a hoax and so on.

Unless there is a reason to believe there is some cover-up or something I think anyone challenging the 7 million figure is pretty much nuts. So yeah I find it hard to feel bad Josh is calling them a name.
   416. Morty Causa Posted: April 07, 2014 at 10:00 PM (#4681565)
Confirmation bias is almost instinctual--maybe it is instinctual. We all tend to do that, to a greater or less degree, varying some according to person and to situation. That's why every discipline worth its salt has, or should have, a built-in adversarial/contradictory element that must be taken seriously. Even the Church has its Devil's Advocate.
   417. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 07, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4681566)
Unless there is a reason to believe there is some cover-up or something I think anyone challenging the 7 million figure is pretty much nuts.

Like pointing out that 20 to 25 percent of enrollees haven't gotten around to actually paying their first month's premium?
   418. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 07, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4681570)
Confirmation bias is almost instinctual--maybe it is instinctual. We all tend to do that, to a greater or less degree, varying some according to person and to situation. That's why every discipline worth its salt has, or should have, a built-in adversarial/contradictory element that must be taken seriously. Even the Church has its Devil's Advocate.


That's a good practice, but it's not going to get past the fundamental truth of the matter. Rationality is a bolt-on. Irrationality is the substrate. When push comes to shove, people will default to the substrate and use the bolt-on to make up a "reason" for why their knee-jerk instinct is "true."
   419. Morty Causa Posted: April 07, 2014 at 10:16 PM (#4681574)
Not sure I follow you. Just because one wants to revert to the instinctual doesn't make it any more fundamental, much less more true. It just has to do with way the brain is constructed. See Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow. Confirmation of bias out of hand as our first urge has to do with unthinking fears. It will begin with that, but it doesn't have to end there, even though we have a self-serving urge to want it to end with our out-of-hand views. Rationality, and countenancing counter-views seriously, has to do with breaking that reflex.
   420. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 07, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4681575)
Like pointing out that 20 to 25 percent of enrollees haven't gotten around to actually paying their first month's premium?


That isn't challenging the 7 million enrollment number, that is moving the goalposts. Since many of those who have no paid have not gotten a bill yet.

First the website was going to sink everything and we would never hit the 7 million enrollment goal. And now hey they have not paid. But it really doesn't matter because even if none of them paid it is still enough people to keep ACA going. And of course most of that alleged 25% will pay.

But hey keep wishing and hoping and pretending the GOP will repeal and replace any second now, meanwhile ACA will keep insuring millions.
   421. Shredder Posted: April 07, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4681580)
Like pointing out that 20 to 25 percent of enrollees haven't gotten around to actually paying their first month's premium?
Do you typically pay your bills weeks before they're due? Maybe you do, but I typically wait until the actual date that they're due (usually the day before, actually, just to be safe). By the way, according to the administration, insurance companies are saying it's closer to 15-20%. But they're probably COOKING THE BOOKS!!
   422. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 07, 2014 at 10:36 PM (#4681582)
I disagree. The fear is fundamental. It exists prior to and beneath everything else. You can construct and edifice of reason to bandage over the fear and instinct, but that edifice itself is a reaction to the instinct. But you are correct that "slow" thinking is more of the edifice and less of the animal. Of course, most people think "slowly" about how to rationalize the "fast" instinctual assumption, and proceed with their "rational argument" in support of their "reasoned belief" after they have constructed such a predisposed narrative.
   423. Morty Causa Posted: April 07, 2014 at 10:54 PM (#4681588)
That's why you need the third party. And an agreement that the third party's outcomes will be decisive and supervene. It's hard to see and easy to forget, but it's a hard won certainty that it's better general for all us, individually and as a whole. In the end, we won't get better until we institute structures and process that make us be better. That's what thinking slow tells us is best for society. But we always want to revert to that fast thinking--we are right and we are all that matters, so #### everyone else. It's then just about force, If you do that, though, you never get past, either inidvidually or socially, the Hatfield-McCoy dilemma. Or, if you prefer: for us to advance, someone has to take a chance on ### for tat. Even in complex societies. Especially in complex societies. However, if that's not the rule, if it's just about being right and getting your way because you are simply just always right, that's chaos, and no one has any complaints at whatever happens. Something about sowing wind and reaping whirlwind. But even so, there will be conflict, and it's likely to end in some violence. How much is the question. According to some, the historical trajectory points to us reducing it and controlling it, however imperfectly and precariously.
   424. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 07, 2014 at 10:54 PM (#4681590)
That isn't challenging the 7 million enrollment number, that is moving the goalposts. Since many of those who have no paid have not gotten a bill yet.

It isn't "moving the goalposts" at all. By no real-world definition has a person "enrolled" in health insurance until they've actually paid the premium,* and, through Feb. 1, only 80 to 85 percent of enrollees actually paid the premium. Unless that rate drastically improved over the last two months, the real number of enrollees is likely to be a million short of that much-ballyhooed 7 million number.

(* By your definition, I guess I already own the 197 items in my Amazon.com Wish List.)

***
Do you typically pay your bills weeks before they're due? Maybe you do, but I typically wait until the actual date that they're due (usually the day before, actually, just to be safe).

See above. I wasn't referring only to people who enrolled last week.
   425. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 07, 2014 at 11:02 PM (#4681594)
At no time did I suggest that the same caloric intake and/or exercise program would yield identical results for any two people, and at no time did I "lecture" anyone.

Yeah, right, there's nothing lecturing about this comment:

If you take in more calories than you burn, you gain weight. Almost everything beyond that is an excuse.

................................

I made a general comment about weight gain being a direct byproduct of excess caloric intake and/or insufficient exercise.

Gee, how profound can you get?

It doesn't take 20 years to figure out one's metabolism. If you gain weight over a 3-week period, it's time to make an adjustment. There's no need to wait 3 months or 3 years (or longer), as if the trend will magically reverse.

Your implication is that anyone, no matter what their metabolism, no matter the way they'd been raised, and no matter what their weight was when they first became aware of the dangers of obesity, can simply lose weight by will power alone. As if will power alone is sufficient for anyone, regardless of any other factors. That's every bit as simplistic as suggesting that with enough wind power you can blow out the Sun.
   426. tshipman Posted: April 07, 2014 at 11:05 PM (#4681595)
It isn't "moving the goalposts" at all. By no real-world definition has a person "enrolled" in health insurance until they've actually paid the premium,* and, through Feb. 1, only 80 to 85 percent of enrollees actually paid the premium. Unless that rate drastically improved over the last two months, the real number of enrollees is likely to be a million short of that much-ballyhooed 7 million number.


There are also additional people who tried to sign up on 3/30 or 3/31 and couldn't finish or put their name down as such, as well as all the people who signed up off the exchange direct with the insurer. We will not likely know how many people signed up in the open enrollment for a little while.

It's pretty close to 7 million. Maybe closer to six. Maybe closer to 8. /shrug. Doesn't really matter either way.
   427. Morty Causa Posted: April 07, 2014 at 11:49 PM (#4681611)
I don't really want to get enmeshed in the argument about weight and calories, but I will say that although it might seem strictly and plainly a physics and only a physics problem, that's only if you think humans are simple robots. First, even if that were true (that it's only about calories in, calories out), the way a person absorbs and utilizes those calories changes with time. That comes about naturally. His adaptability doesn't change naturally. That requires work. Besides the physics, there's a chemistry component, too. Some foods are handled differently when taken in in relation to other foods.

And, of course, there's psychology. Many of us spend our first 15-20 years or so being able to more or less eat what we want, then spend the rest of our lives trying to undo that, trying to break the habits and urges that have become mentally entrenched. For some people it's easier than for others. We vary according to spec in more ways than one. Those people will often insist it's only a matter of will power. For you see, they think we have this psychology outside of our psychology that governs and supervenes. No one understand why you can't get on the straight and narrow when they have no problem doing so. Of course, when it comes to something that has become engrained into them (drink, cigarettes, drugs, sex, arguing, etc.) that they find hard to correct or abandon, then they have reasons--damn good reasons. For that which we feel helpless against, none of us can simply plead guilty; we all have our explanations. As here.
   428. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 07, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4681614)
Yeah, right, there's nothing lecturing about this comment:

Right, nothing lecturing. If people in that thread had mentioned being overweight and I directed my comments toward them, that might have qualified as a lecture. But that's not what happened, as you know.

Your implication is that anyone, no matter what their metabolism, no matter the way they'd been raised, and no matter what their weight was when they first became aware of the dangers of obesity, can simply lose weight by will power alone. As if will power alone is sufficient for anyone, regardless of any other factors. That's every bit as simplistic as suggesting that with enough wind power you can blow out the Sun.

Nice try. You and some others were making it sound like gaining (or losing) weight was some mysterious phenomenon. It isn't.
   429. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:02 AM (#4681616)
Unless there is a reason to believe there is some cover-up or something I think anyone challenging the 7 million figure is pretty much nuts.

It's already been pointed out that actual enrollment is likely 15-20% lower based on the experience of states that are apparently tracking that even though the Obama Administration isn't doing so. Perhaps more importantly, it's absurd to claim that all those signing up, whatever their number, are happy about it. If you wait to the last month and only sign-up because of gun-to-the-head tax penalties, you're probably not an ObamaCare fan.
   430. Morty Causa Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:09 AM (#4681619)
Nice try. You and some others were making it sound like gaining (or losing) weight was some mysterious phenomenon. It isn't.

I mostly agree with this. It isn't msyterious. It is difficult, and it may be because the aversion to change and maintain change over a long period may be biological. Some refer to this as the thermostat effect. When we lived in heartier times, that didn't matter as much because we had to work hard all the time to subsist. Now.... Randolph Nesse, in his wrtings on evolutionary medicine talks some about this, as do others, of course.
   431. bobm Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:50 AM (#4681627)
Aggregates and the gender gap in compensation...

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday will call attention to what he has said is an “embarrassment” in America: the fact that women make, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns.

But critics of the administration are eager to turn the tables and note that Mr. Obama’s White House fares only slightly better. A study released in January showed that female White House staff members make on average 88 cents for every dollar a male staff member earns. [...]

Even as Mr. Obama seeks to make an issue of the gender gap in compensation across the country, however, his own hiring is facing some scrutiny. The recent study, by the conservative American Enterprise Institute, showed that the median annual salary for women in the White House last year was $65,000, while the median annual salary for men was $73,729. The study was based on White House salary data. [...]

Jay Carney, the president’s press secretary, said the statistics for White House staff members reflect the fact that women fill more lower-level positions than men. But he said that women and men in the same positions at the White House are paid the same, and that many of the women hold senior positions.

“Men and women in equivalent roles here earn equivalent salaries,” Mr. Carney said. “Some of the most senior positions in the White House are filled by women, including national security adviser, homeland security adviser, White House counsel, communications director, senior adviser, deputy chief of staff.”

He said that the 88-cent statistic was misleading because it aggregates the salaries of White House staff members at all levels, including the lowest levels, where women outnumber men.

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner, said the 77-cent statistic that Mr. Obama has often cited was misleading for the same reason, because it aggregates salaries for the American workforce. “The wage gap is real, but the White House does itself a disservice — and embarrasses itself in the process — by grasping for misleading statistics that don’t tell the whole story,” Mr. Buck said.


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/08/us/politics/as-obama-spotlights-gender-gap-in-wages-his-own-payroll-draws-scrutiny.html
   432. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 08, 2014 at 07:02 AM (#4681652)
Yeah, right, there's nothing lecturing about this comment:

If you take in more calories than you burn, you gain weight. Almost everything beyond that is an excuse.

Right, nothing lecturing. If people in that thread had mentioned being overweight and I directed my comments toward them, that might have qualified as a lecture. But that's not what happened, as you know.


Yes, you weren't lecturing me or Lisa, just every overweight person in the world who hadn't been able to lose weight.

Your implication is that anyone, no matter what their metabolism, no matter the way they'd been raised, and no matter what their weight was when they first became aware of the dangers of obesity, can simply lose weight by will power alone. As if will power alone is sufficient for anyone, regardless of any other factors. That's every bit as simplistic as suggesting that with enough wind power you can blow out the Sun.

Nice try. You and some others were making it sound like gaining (or losing) weight was some mysterious phenomenon. It isn't.


Of course it's not mysterious. It's a factor of calories eaten, calories shed, and individual metabolism that makes it much more difficult for some people to lose weight than others. While you make a perfunctory acknowledgement of that last factor, you wave it off with that line about "everything beyond [the first two factors] is an excuse." All you're doing with your verbal Houdini act is looking for yet another excuse to fit a round peg into a square hole.
   433. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 08, 2014 at 07:09 AM (#4681654)
And Morty (#427), there's the fact that a fairly large percentage of overweight adults are the products of overweight parents with low metabolic rates, who fed them in their childhoods as if there were no tomorrow. To pretend that all this can be simply overcome by willpower is just another one of those "Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps, I Did It" bromides that simplistic people like Joe like to spout in a hundred different situations. You allude to this factor in your second paragraph, but the point needs to be made even more explicit: Willpower is necessary to lose weight, but it's not always sufficient.
   434. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 08, 2014 at 07:20 AM (#4681655)
Wow, this argument that is not really an argument in which everyone is accepting the exact same set of facts is now going on in two threads? Seems like overkill to me.
   435. bunyon Posted: April 08, 2014 at 07:54 AM (#4681661)
@354 sorry bunyun... Research is salaries not just equipment and supplies. In fact, its mostly salaries.

I know that it is. I'm saying it shouldn't be (I'm not clear if that is what you're saying). At least for NSF. NSF already doesn't pay much in techs or postdocs. I'm saying that grad students (for which we have an oversupply in most sciences) should be paid by schools to TA. Faculty salaries should be paid by the school. NSF should fund the stuff necessary for those people to do research - I'd keep the level the same. That would fund more work. The problem isn't so bad at NSF. But NIH is mostly built up to pay the salaries of people who technically work for someone else. Either those people should become NIH employees (not my preference) or their employers should start paying them.

I don't have as much problem with NIH paying postdocs and techs who a) do most of the work and b) aren't paid all that much anyway. Why an NIH grant should pay so much of its money to the PIs salary is beyond me.

But these "fixes" to NIH and NSF are minor and aren't going to push the deficit much one way or the other.
   436. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 08, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4681689)
It's shocking to see Clapper spinning the data to try to find a talking point that undermines whatever success the ACA might have had to date.
   437. GregD Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4681745)
Like pointing out that 20 to 25 percent of enrollees haven't gotten around to actually paying their first month's premium?
1) The only data that has been broken out by state--which is the only data that has been released on these issues--is 15%.

2) Massachusetts and Washington don't list non-payers as having joined (Wash lists them in a separate category not included in their tally.) Connecticut purged non-payers

3) Connecticut's rate ended up being 7% not 25%, once people reached the bill due date.

It isn't "moving the goalposts" at all. By no real-world definition has a person "enrolled" in health insurance until they've actually paid the premium,* and, through Feb. 1, only 80 to 85 percent of enrollees actually paid the premium. Unless that rate drastically improved over the last two months, the real number of enrollees is likely to be a million short of that much-ballyhooed 7 million number.

(* By your definition, I guess I already own the 197 items in my Amazon.com Wish List.)

You realize that most of the people listed as not paying hadn't started their policies yet, right? Not just that they hadn't received a bill, but that they had signed up in Feb or March for a policy that began April 1. There are people counted as non-payers who signed up for policies that don't begin in May.

You have 3 different groups: 1) People whose policy hadn't even started, 2) people whose policy had started but hadn't received a bill, and 3) people who had received a bill and not yet paid it. Grouping them together is absurd.

But I am positive that if you sign up for insurance and go through the process but get hurt before you receive your first bill, then you refuse on principle to send them your bill since you aren't "enrolled."

The "much-ballyhooed" number of 7 million is going to be wrong...in that it is already too low. Already up to 7.4 million and rising quickly as they process the people who got extended into April because of website failures (40,000 so far in NY alone.) And then you've got the 3-4 million people who have lost their insurance each year in normal times, many of whom will come into the system.
   438. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4681750)
The Josh Marshall piece linked above is very interesting.
   439. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4681755)
So in your world if I am taxed $10,000 and then get a payment of $10,000 I will radically change my behavior? That is crazy talk. There is no income effect for most people in the middle. One the wealthy end you pay more than $10,000 and on the poor end you pay less.

How this turns into huge swings in behavior and doubling of taxes is an exercise in hysteria and lunacy. The effective tax rate on most people does not really change much, because people are getting money back.

In your head somehow people are paying huge taxes and changing their behavior based on that, while not accounting for the additional income they get, but that's just silly.

And yes I suppose if the tax is set up wrong it might have some distorting quality, but so what? The crazy trade protection racket is much more disruptive and does not directly address the income inequality. The only way to address income and wealth inequality is to transfer money from wealthy to poor.

Minimum income is a way to do that without the corrosive impact of various other income transfers.


Of course it changes your behavior. Faced with higher taxes people will work less. The additional income is free, you don't have to do anything to get it.

Take a two income family making $100,000. Their current tax burden is probably about 25% (incl. employer's share of SS).

If they now face $20,000 in extra taxes, and get a $20,000 gift, you've moved their marginal rate well above 50%. It is highly likely one of them will stop working, especially if they have children, or will start working off the books. And, poof, there goes more than half of your extra $20,000 in taxes. Generalize this to the economy at large, and you see that you're creating a fiscal sinkhole.

Tariffs don't discourage economic activity, they just provide incentives for the relocation of that activity. I'd argue they are less distortionary than individual or corporate income taxes. They have some negative impact on growth, but if you use the extra revenue to reduce other taxes, you can offset a lot of that. Also they hurt capital, and help labor, so liberals should love them


   440. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4681762)
The Josh Marshall piece linked above is very interesting.


Yes, it is. I have some thoughts on the matter, but I'm working on sorting out how much of those are confirmation bias.
   441. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4681765)
If everything is confirmation bias, maybe the Bushies are right that we create our own realities. I just blew your mind...
   442. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4681769)
People with actual skills in those trades are doing pretty well. Probably much better than college graduates with mediocre grades from mediocre schools. The real problem is the semi-skilled laborers that used to be able to get factory jobs on the assembly line, not the skilled tradesmen.


A problem that David is also likely disinclined to address. After all, iPhones are cheap.
Well, making iPhones more expensive isn't going to help people.

I'm "disinclined" to "address" the "problem" of bad baseball teams losing games, too. Nobody has a right to earn a living regardless of whether he is actually capable of doing something valuable. If you don't have marketable skills, that's a shame, but it's not a problem for anyone but you to address. Other people have no obligation to support you -- and certainly not at the cost of punishing other people who happen to have been unlucky enough to be born on a different side of an imaginary line on the ground.
   443. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4681770)
What? People said "too many people are going to school".

Your post is the first I remember anyone talking explicitly about the top or bottom 20%.
It was clearly implied; when people talk about too many people going to college, they're not arguing for decimating the ranks of Harvard matriculants.

however I find it hilarious that you seem to want some sort of centralized group (government perhaps) to before the fact sort out who goes where.

I want to give people the resources to determine where they go. You seem to want to try to figure out who should go where and slot them there, no matter what they want.
Want some hay to add to your strawman? We already have (centralized) policy; I'm talking about what the policy should be. Of course the ideal would be for government to get out of the higher education business, in which case it would sort itself out quickly. But if government is going to subsidize higher education, either through payments made directly to students or through the establishment of heavily-subsidized government schools, then it should do it efficiently and intelligently.

You want to (force other people to) give people the resources to determine where they go, without regard for whether it makes sense for them to do that. To say otherwise is like saying that you want Medicaid but you don't want to tell people how to use it -- that they should be given "resources" and should then decide for themselves whether to spend them on medical doctors, homeopaths, witch doctors, or Christian Science prayer healers.

You don't get to know in advance who exactly will succeed and who will will. And besides that I bet I disagree with your notions of success and failure.
Of course you know in advance who will succeed and who won't. Do you think schools let in applicants completely at random? Do you think schools should let in applicants completely at random?
   444. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4681772)
ROI is a stupid concept to apply to college, because college isn't merely an economic investment (*) and the returns the attendee and society get aren't merely economic.
You seem confused about the difference between monetary and economic. Of course it's an economic investment; the word "merely" doesn't even make sense in that context.

To the extent capital gets a return from colleges educating people, capital should finance the education. There's certainly no reason it should get it for free.
Did we repeal the Thirteenth Amendment? I wasn't aware that "capital," whoever that is, gets educated people for free.
   445. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4681779)
I'm "disinclined" to "address" the "problem" of bad baseball teams losing games, too. Nobody has a right to earn a living regardless of whether he is actually capable of doing something valuable. If you don't have marketable skills, that's a shame, but it's not a problem for anyone but you to address. Other people have no obligation to support you -- and certainly not at the cost of punishing other people who happen to have been unlucky enough to be born on a different side of an imaginary line on the ground.


Thank you Rick Grimes.
   446. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4681796)
Wrong. Protectionism only really harms the economy to the extent that your market is too small. A free trade zone of the US, EU, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, would be amply large to ensure the benefits of competition.
Setting aside that in your world we apparently will no longer have any cars -- or at least nothing to put in them -- this is completely wrong. Protectionism always harms the economy. Raising costs of production is an unalloyed bad, and this would be obvious if it weren't for the fact that people are still stuck in a nationalist, mercantilist view of trade.

Nobody would ever propose that the economy would be better off if farmers were denied fertilizer¹ or tractors on the grounds that this would force farmers to hire more farmhands to help grow crops. Nobody would ever propose that the economy would be better off if some railroad tracks were torn up or large potholes were deliberately made in the roads on the grounds that this would create extra work for people engaged in transporting goods from factory to market.

But these are the same things as raising tariffs to create jobs.



¹ Some environuts might make the anti-fertilizer argument, but that's not because of the economic effects.

As for world peace, enriching China is about the absolutely stupidest thing one could do. We're following Marx' prediction of selling them the rope to hang us, by subsidizing their military industrial complex and military expansion.
Again, a nineteenth century view of the world. Impoverishing China makes us poorer and less safe. Enriching China -- and of course ourselves -- by trading with them reduces their military threat; it doesn't increase it. Marx was, you know, wrong about everything.
   447. tshipman Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4681804)
Good post on 437, GregD. Thank you for taking the time to do the legwork.

***

Again, a nineteenth century view of the world. Impoverishing China makes us poorer and less safe. Enriching China -- and of course ourselves -- by trading with them reduces their military threat; it doesn't increase it. Marx was, you know, wrong about everything.


While I agree with you on tariffs (although I think that Apple would likely just absorb any cost increases out of their sky-high profit margins), Marx's critique of history is as trenchant today as it was in the 1800's. The materialist view of history is absolutely more correct than what came before--most notably the "great man" theory.

Marx missed on price levels, but that shouldn't make you overlook his excellent work in history.
   448. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 08, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4681806)
Marx was, you know, wrong about everything.


As was Friedman and von Mises. But that won't stop a true believer from believing, will it Davey?
   449. GregD Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4681821)
Marx was, you know, wrong about everything.
Including his support for free trade?
   450. zonk Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4681830)
Agreed on the interestingly candid assessment --

As far as repeal and replace goes, the problem with replace is that if you really want people to have these new benefits, it looks a hell of a lot like the Affordable Care Act. ... To make something like that work, you have to move in the direction of the ACA. You have to have a participating mechanism, you have to have a mechanism to fund it, you have to have a mechanism to fix parts of the market.
   451. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4681832)
Including his support for free trade?
Marx 'supported' free trade because he thought it would hasten the revolution, not because he thought it was a good in itself. So, no, he was wrong about that, too.
   452. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4681841)
Why was the "cash for clunkers" program a "fiasco?"
Because it was just a massive giveaway to a few people?
   453. BrianBrianson Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4681845)
Enriching China -- and of course ourselves -- by trading with them reduces their military threat


Indeed, rich people don't want to go to war, they have too much stuff to lose. (Though they're often keen on sending other people to war, which is why you want to redistribute wealth to lift everyone out of poverty - so they stop itching to fight wars on behalf of the wealthy)
   454. Ron J2 Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4681847)
#446 I once proposed outlawing machine made containers as a path to full employment. Takes a lot of skilled laborers to make useful barrels and the like. (And to be clear I was being facetious. It's just a variation on the old make work by denying tractors, etc to a government project. Which apparently has happened in various places in the worls)
   455. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4681848)
In the United States, college is seen as a means to build a broad-based, educated citizenry that are prepared to participate in democracy. That is very different than the way that the university system formed in Europe.
What it is "seen as" and what it actually is are not the same question. College that is little more than really expensive remedial high school with beer does not contribute to that goal in any meaningful way.
   456. spike Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4681849)
Faced with higher taxes people will work less.

Are you basing this on anything in particular, or is it just one of those "everybody knows" sort of deals for you?

Does an income tax make people work less?
   457. Mefisto Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4681852)
Next DMN will be telling us that Marx was wrong about slavery and didn't support the North in the Civil War.
   458. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4681874)
Why was the "cash for clunkers" program a "fiasco?"

Because it was just a massive giveaway to a few people?


How would that apparent failure indicate a similar failure potential for a program like basic assured income, which is designed to "giveaway" a basic monthly income to people?
   459. JE (Jason) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4681879)
   460. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4681883)
Next DMN will be telling us that Marx was wrong about slavery and didn't support the North in the Civil War.


Don't write it off too glibly. He's fond on occasion of telling us how it would have been better to let the "market" sort out that issue, rather than infringing the freedoms of poor, put upon southerners to associate with folks they didn't like.
   461. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4681888)
#446 I once proposed outlawing machine made containers as a path to full employment. Takes a lot of skilled laborers to make useful barrels and the like. (And to be clear I was being facetious. It's just a variation on the old make work by denying tractors, etc to a government project. Which apparently has happened in various places in the worls)


It's a backwards solution to the problem, of course. You don't remove tech from the equation just so we have "full employment" via forced manual labor. You throw out the Puritanical ideal of "full employment," acknowledge that a mechanized means of production will not employ or support masses of humanity, and adjust your practical distribution of wealth in society accordingly. The problem isn't the reduction of the need for human brute force labor. The problem is the hoarding of wealth from mechanized production in the hands of the very, very few because "capitalism" and Baby Jesus.
   462. zenbitz Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4681899)
¹ Some environuts might make the anti-fertilizer argument, but that's not because of the economic effects.


Just to be pedantic - not that I am really disagreeing - one of (ok, maybe THE) benefit of organic farming is that it uses less energy. Which is, of course, an indirect economic effect - particularly by reducing externialities.
   463. zenbitz Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4681902)
I must admit it's amusing to see the White House hoisted on it's own petard. Uh... if the 88% pay at the WH is unfair aggregation, what exactly is the 77% Nationwide one?
   464. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4681910)
I must admit it's amusing to see the White House hoisted on it's own petard. Uh... if the 88% pay at the WH is unfair aggregation, what exactly is the 77% Nationwide one?


Agreed.
   465. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 08, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4681912)
88% is a hell of a lot better than 77%.
   466. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4681921)
It isn't "moving the goalposts" at all. By no real-world definition has a person "enrolled" in health insurance until they've actually paid the premium,* and, through Feb. 1, only 80 to 85 percent of enrollees actually paid the premium. Unless that rate drastically improved over the last two months, the real number of enrollees is likely to be a million short of that much-ballyhooed 7 million number.
The fact that many haven't paid isn't the primary reason why the 7 million number is bogus; the facts that most of the people enrolled through Obamacare previously had health insurance, and the 7 million is a gross rather than net number anyway are the main reasons why the 7 million number is bogus. The relevant question is what is the net increase in insured people, not the number of people who filled out a form on a website.
   467. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4681925)
The fact that many haven't paid isn't the primary reason why the 7 million number is bogus; the facts that most of the people enrolled through Obamacare previously had health insurance, and the 7 million is a gross rather than net number anyway are the main reasons why the 7 million number is bogus. The relevant question is what is the net increase in insured people, not the number of people who filled out a form on a website.


Whu? If Jimmy has insurance plan X, then goes shopping on the ACA website and finds plan Y which is better value for the money, and then gets either 1)better coverage for the same money or 2)equivalent coverage for less money, then that's a valid "win" for supporters of the ACA. Because someone has better insurance than they had previously. Yes, going from "nothing" to "something" is probably a bigger win, but going from 25% to 75% because you can afford a better plan on the public exchanges is also a win.

Because, free market and stuff.
   468. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4681929)
Next DMN will be telling us that Marx was wrong about slavery and didn't support the North in the Civil War.

Don't write it off too glibly. He's fond on occasion of telling us how it would have been better to let the "market" sort out that issue, rather than infringing the freedoms of poor, put upon southerners to associate with folks they didn't like.
Can't tell whether that's maliciously untrue or just standard dumbness. You are confusing the Civil War with the civil rights era, and even then oversimplifying.
   469. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4681934)
Whu? If Jimmy has insurance plan X, then goes shopping on the ACA website and finds plan Y which is better value for the money, and then gets either 1)better coverage for the same money or 2)equivalent coverage for less money, then that's a valid "win" for supporters of the ACA. Because someone has better insurance than they had previously. Yes, going from "nothing" to "something" is probably a bigger win, but going from 25% to 75% because you can afford a better plan on the public exchanges is also a win.
True, if you simply make up facts, you can prove anything. Yes, if people get better insurance for less, that would be a positive, but it's (a) purely hypothetical, and (b) not the question being addressed. Perhaps people are getting worse coverage for the same -- or more -- money. (Where "worse" is defined by people's preferences, not by Barack Obama's.)
   470. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4681942)
Yes, if people get better insurance for less, that would be a positive, but it's (a) purely hypothetical, and (b) not the question being addressed. Perhaps people are getting worse coverage for the same -- or more -- money. (Where "worse" is defined by people's preferences, not by Barack Obama's.)


Why, exactly, given your clear belief in "rational actors" in the "efficient markets" would someone drop a plan they liked in order to buy one they didn't from the ACA? (Hint beforehand: an insurance company dropping a previously offered plan and replacing it with a higher priced plan, which then drives the consumer to choose an ACA option rather than the higher priced "replacement plan" from the previous insurer, is still the consumer choosing the plan they think is better for them, not "Barack Obama" doing so for them.)

Do you even understand what markets are?
   471. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4681943)
You are confusing the Civil War with the civil rights era, and even then oversimplifying.


No, I am not categorically ignorant of post-Reconstruction history as you are, apparently.
   472. bobm Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4681947)
Why, exactly, given your clear belief in "rational actors" in the "efficient markets" would someone drop a plan they liked in order to buy one they didn't from the ACA? (Hint beforehand: and insurance company dropping a previously offered plan and replacing it with a higher priced plan, which then drives the consumer to choose an ACA option rather than the higher priced "replacement plan" from the previous insurer, is still the consumer choosing the plan they think is better for them, not "Barack Obama" doing so for them.)

Why can't people buy new cars without having to pay the cost of seat belts or catalytic converters? One cannot buy a product regulated out of existence.
   473. steagles Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4681948)
The fact that many haven't paid isn't the primary reason why the 7 million number is bogus; the facts that most of the people enrolled through Obamacare previously had health insurance, and the 7 million is a gross rather than net number anyway are the main reasons why the 7 million number is bogus. The relevant question is what is the net increase in insured people, not the number of people who filled out a form on a website.
is there any affirmative answer to that that you would accept as legitimate?
   474. Shredder Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4681956)
Perhaps people are getting worse coverage for the same -- or more -- money. (Where "worse" is defined by people's preferences, not by Barack Obama's.)
Maybe Americans for Prosperity could find a few of those people and put them in TV commercials, or maybe the Republican response to the State of the Union can highlight one of these cases. Though you'd think if they could, they wouldn't be caught lying every time they try to do so.
The relevant question is what is the net increase in insured people, not the number of people who filled out a form on a website.
According to Gallup, the uninsurance rate from the beginning of Q4 2013 and the end of Q1 2014, the uninsurance rate among adults dropped 1.5%. 316MM people in the U.S., about 76.5% of which are over 18 is about 242MM people. Multiply that by 1.5%, and you have about 3.6MM newly insured people. That poll doesn't include people aged 24-26 who got insurance via their parents, since they were already insured prior to Q4 2013, but that adds another estimated 2.5MM. Nor does that include people who got coverage through expanded medicaid, but we're starting at roughly six million people, plus the expanded medicaid folks. That's probably a total in the eight to ten million range.


   475. GregD Posted: April 08, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4681960)
The fact that many haven't paid isn't the primary reason why the 7 million number is bogus; the facts that most of the people enrolled through Obamacare previously had health insurance, and the 7 million is a gross rather than net number anyway are the main reasons why the 7 million number is bogus.
What fact?

We have firm data on 2 states. Kentucky reported that 75% of its enrollees were previously uninsured. New York 59%.

So two data points, neither of which supports your claim that "most" had health insurance.

We will see but right now there's zero evidence for what you claim as a fact. And the evidence that exists suggests most are newly insured.

The relevant question is what is the net increase in insured people, not the number of people who filled out a form on a website.


Yes! This is the question. Gallup says the uninsured rate fell 1.5% since January and 2.4% since last fall.

Another study says more than 5 million people have become newly insured since the end of last year.

This doesn't count people covered under other aspects of the law.
   476. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4681963)
Why, exactly, given your clear belief in "rational actors" in the "efficient markets" would someone drop a plan they liked in order to buy one they didn't from the ACA? (Hint beforehand: an insurance company dropping a previously offered plan and replacing it with a higher priced plan, which then drives the consumer to choose an ACA option rather than the higher priced "replacement plan" from the previous insurer, is still the consumer choosing the plan they think is better for them, not "Barack Obama" doing so for them.)
Obamacare outlawed the best plans -- high deductible plans that provide primarily catastrophic coverage -- and demand that policies cover lots of stuff whether people want coverage for those things or not.
   477. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4681977)
Obamacare outlawed the best plans


Did you hire on with an insurance company recently?
   478. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4681980)
We will see but right now there's zero evidence for what you claim as a fact. And the evidence that exists suggests most are newly insured.
Zero evidence, unless you count the McKinsey study.

As for Gallup, yes, it says that the uninsured rate has finally dropped almost to the level from before Obamacare was passed.
   479. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4681981)
Why can't people buy new cars without having to pay the cost of seat belts or catalytic converters? One cannot buy a product regulated out of existence.


Is this supposed to be an argument against the ACA and/or seatbelts? No, you can't buy a car without a seatbelt, because it doesn't satisfy our basic understanding of what a car requires in order to be sold in the public markets of the United States.
   480. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4681984)
No, you can't buy a car without a seatbelt, because it doesn't satisfy our basic understanding of what a car requires in order to be sold in the public markets of the United States.


Oppression!
   481. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4681985)
Did you hire on with an insurance company recently?
No; I'm just economically literate, so I understand how insurance is supposed to function. (As insurance against unmanageable risks, not as prepaid health care.)
   482. BDC Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4681991)
One cannot buy a product regulated out of existence

As I learned to my grief when I tried to market my highly affordable extra-flammable baby pyjamas.

Insurance, though, might be seen as an industry regulated into existence. It's something that people have confidence enough to buy because it's offered in a tightly-controlled marketplace. When entire sectors of the economy (like medicine) become inextricable from insurance systems, one has to take the regulation along with the product and sometimes one has to take the regulated product itself, by mandate of the regulators, as with auto, home, flood, and now medical insurance.
   483. Shredder Posted: April 08, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4682005)
As for Gallup, yes, it says that the uninsured rate has finally dropped almost to the level from before Obamacare was passed.
You mean back before a crap ton of people lost their employer provided health insurance thanks to the Bush recession? Doesn't economic literacy imply that someone pays at least a passing attention to context? Guess not.
   484. bobm Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4682033)
Is this supposed to be an argument against the ACA and/or seatbelts?

Neither, only against the premise of your question that ACA was somehow not directly responsible for affecting the available choices for consumers.

One could argue that both involve some degree of increase in moral hazard. :-)
   485. Mefisto Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4682037)
I'm just economically literate


DMN has a good sense of humor, but that's the funniest thing he's ever written.
   486. spike Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4682043)
Yesterdays schadenfreude just keeps getting scahdenfreudier....

'Jilted Husband Says Kissing Congressman Is 'The Most Non-Religious Person I Know'

"I know his beliefs. When he ran one of his commercials, he said 'I need your prayers,' and I asked, 'When did you get religious?' He said, 'When I needed votes,'" Heath Peacock told CNN Tuesday. "He broke out the religious card and he's about the most non-religious person I know."
   487. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4682044)
Is this supposed to be an argument against the ACA and/or seatbelts? No, you can't buy a car without a seatbelt, because it doesn't satisfy our basic understanding of what a car requires in order to be sold in the public markets of the United States.

Right, and health insurance for men that didn't include maternity care now suddenly "doesn't satisfy our basic understanding of what a [health plan] requires in order to be sold in the public markets of the United States."

Behold the amazing "progress" brought by Obamacare.
   488. Shredder Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4682050)
Right, and health insurance for men that didn't include maternity care now suddenly "doesn't satisfy our basic understanding of what a [health plan] requires in order to be sold in the public markets of the United States."
Insurance plans cover all sorts of things that the individual consumer has no use for. My plan covered alzheimers when I was 28. The women I work with have a plan that covers prostate cancer, as it has since my employer went into business. What's your point? Do you really think insurers charge men more for a plan because the law says it has to cover prenatal care?
   489. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4682056)
Your implication is that anyone, no matter what their metabolism, no matter the way they'd been raised, and no matter what their weight was when they first became aware of the dangers of obesity, can simply lose weight by will power alone. As if will power alone is sufficient for anyone, regardless of any other factors. That's every bit as simplistic as suggesting that with enough wind power you can blow out the Sun.

Andy, unless you have a different definition of "will power" than is commonly understood, of course will power is sufficient to lose weight, assuming "will power" includes the ability to consume fewer calories and/or stick to an exercise regimen. A person who's overweight who reduces his caloric intake and/or increases his energy expenditure will lose weight.
   490. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4682057)
Insurance plans cover all sorts of things that the individual consumer has no use for. My plan covered alzheimers when I was 28. The women I work with have a plan that covers prostate cancer, as it has since my employer went into business. What's your point? Do you really think insurers charge men more for a plan because the law says it has to cover prenatal care?
Since they're no longer allowed to underwrite? Yes, they do.
   491. Mefisto Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4682058)
According to Rand, about 9.3 million people who didn't have insurance before now have it. Cite.
   492. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4682060)
Insurance plans cover all sorts of things that the individual consumer has no use for. My plan covered alzheimers when I was 28. The women I work with have a plan that covers prostate cancer, as it has since my employer went into business. What's your point?

Oh, I don't know. Maybe that requiring men to pay for maternal care is stupid, given that men can't get pregnant?

Do you really think insurers charge men more for a plan because the law says it has to cover prenatal care?

Of course they do. The whole point of that mandate was to reduce the cost of maternity care for women — which, of course, is just the latest example of liberals not having the courage of their convictions, given that they've insisted for over 40 years that having a baby is a woman's choice and a woman's choice alone.
   493. zenbitz Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4682062)
It is pretty funny to cry bloody murder over real single payer health care and then mock the ridiculousness of the insurance system as being worse. Yes, David -- Health Insurance is a dumb way to manage a nation's health care.

Insurance seems like the worst of the rent seeking industries. It should be abolished.
   494. zonk Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4682063)
OK - this is funny in a sort of cringe-worthy way...

Chris Christie reacts to roasting from Joy Behar...

"Wait... you mean THIS is what they meant by roast?"
   495. Shredder Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4682076)
The whole point of that mandate was to reduce the cost of maternity care for women
Just as requiring women to pay for coverage of prostate cancer is stupid, so long as we simply ignore these weird concepts called "risk pools". But OK, I guess the whole point of the ACA was to reduce maternity costs. Whatever you say, Joek.
given that they've insisted for over 40 years that having a baby is a woman's choice and a woman's choice alone.
Straw futures are skyrocketing!!
   496. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4682079)
Just as requiring women to pay for coverage of prostate cancer is stupid, so long as we simply ignore these weird concepts called "risk pools". But OK, I guess the whole point of the ACA was to reduce maternity costs.

Dumb. I never said women should be paying for prostate coverage, or that "the whole point of the ACA was to reduce maternity costs."

Straw futures are skyrocketing!!

Also dumb, as that wasn't a straw man. If having a baby is entirely a woman's choice, as liberals have been insisting for decades and as current law states, then the government shouldn't be forcing men — including gay men — to pay for maternity care.
   497. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4682083)
According to Rand, about 9.3 million people who didn't have insurance before now have it. Cite.
Where, to be clear, "insurance" includes Medicaid.
   498. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 08, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4682089)
Also dumb, as that wasn't a straw man. If having a baby is entirely a woman's choice, as liberals have been insisting for decades, there's no reason men — including gay men — should be forced to pay for maternity care.

If you head down this argumentative path you may find yourself agreeing with Sam on something...
   499. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 08, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4682094)
so long as we simply ignore these weird concepts called "risk pools".
I don't think you understand the concept. Risk pooling does not mean that everyone of every level of risk pays the same amount into a pool. We don't have 50-year old women who drive minivans 5 miles a day pay the same car insurance rates as 18-year old males who drive sports cars 100 miles a day because "risk pools." People in Iowa don't get "risk pooled" with people from California in earthquake insurance.
   500. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 08, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4682096)
(flip)
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