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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

OTP November 2012 - Moneypoll! The Pundits vs. The Election-Data Nerds

Come next Tuesday night, we’ll get a resolution (let’s hope) to a great ongoing battle of 2012: not just the Presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but the one between the pundits trying to analyze that race with their guts and a new breed of statistics gurus trying to forecast it with data.

In Election 2012 as seen by the pundits–political journalists on the trail, commentators in cable-news studios–the campaign is a jump ball. There’s a slight lead for Mitt Romney in national polls and slight leads for Barack Obama in swing-state polls, and no good way of predicting next Tuesday’s outcome beyond flipping a coin. ...

Bonus link: Esquire - The Enemies of Nate Silver

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:42 PM | 11298 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mr president, off-topic, politics, sabermetrics, usa

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   9201. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 20, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4306791)
Which - even accepting that - is free health care.


Nope. You're no more going to win this than you're going to win the "at gunpoint" bit, Ray. The best you're going to do is agree that everyone else is going to make fun of you for believing these things so stringently.
   9202. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4306792)
Bob, #9199: Real insurance is a voluntary arrangement where assets are pooled based on risk. So there is no "free loading" there.
   9203. zonk Posted: November 20, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4306795)
Bob, #9199: Real insurance is a voluntary arrangement where assets are pooled based on risk. So there is no "free loading" there.


Sooo... the answer back in the days of rescission as a common practice would be for those dropped from coverage to.... do what exactly?
   9204. The Good Face Posted: November 20, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4306802)
Pity, because you're also always angry.

Your wife likes me that way.


Hehe, still fantasizing about getting a woman worth having (mine), instead of that grunting hambeast you're partnered with?
   9205. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 20, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4306812)
Real insurance is a voluntary arrangement where assets are pooled based on risk. So there is no "free loading" there.

Any social insurance textbook will tell you that participation in a social insurance scheme must be mandatory.
   9206. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 20, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4306817)
Any social insurance textbook will tell you that participation in a social insurance scheme must be mandatory.


Ray's going to balk at that word "social."
   9207. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4306819)
Hehe, still fantasizing about getting a woman worth having (mine), instead of that grunting hambeast you're partnered with?


It's not nice to talk about your mom that way.
   9208. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: November 20, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4306820)
Well in California we have to have car insurance in order to own a car so what is the Libertarian viewpoint on that?
   9209. zonk Posted: November 20, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4306825)
...and speak of the devil -

HHS has issued the proposed rules regarding coverage minimums, accepted premium variances, and plan definitions...

So have at it, freedom rangers -- you've got a 30 day comment period starting today...
   9210. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 20, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4306827)
The "police services are gifts too!" argument makes no sense. Rich people have paid enough income tax to cover the cost of the police services they've received several times over.

I've never been individually saved by a policeman, or a fireman, or an EMT, or even a friggin' garbage collector. I just can't believe I've been screwed this badly in life. No one in my immediate family has, either, but F them, they're free agents.
   9211. BDC Posted: November 20, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4306846)
in California we have to have car insurance in order to own a car so what is the Libertarian viewpoint on that?

That you are free to walk from Cucamonga to work in Inglewood every morning. And the world would be a stronger, steelier place if you did.
   9212. spike Posted: November 20, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4306852)
Which - even accepting that - is free health care.

Paying fair market value is the new free, apparently.
   9213. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4306855)
in California we have to have car insurance in order to own a car so what is the Libertarian viewpoint on that?


Where the glibertarians are going, they don't need roads.
   9214. Lassus Posted: November 20, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4306858)
Hehe, still fantasizing about getting a woman worth having (mine)

The one who won't let you play softball?
   9215. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 20, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4306875)
The one who won't let you play softball?

It must have been tough on her mother, not having any children.
   9216. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 20, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4306878)
Interesting observation from Nate Silver last Friday:

"This year, there were only 11 House seats that Democrats lost by five or fewer percentage points. Thus, even if they had performed five points better across the board, they would still have come up six seats short of controlling the chamber."

Puts all of Joe's "Yesredistrictingisafactor BUT, moving on quickly, Barack Obama had historically weak coattails and a poor performance" posts into mathematical perspective. And since the Congressional map is redrawn by the dominant party every 10 years, and since microtargeting is becoming more and more of a factor, it makes one wonder whether the Democrats can be expected to grab a lot of territory back in 2020, a Presidential year, followed by the Republicans doing the same in 2030, a midterm year, and so forth.
   9217. Kurt Posted: November 20, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4306885)
Well in California we have to have car insurance in order to own a car so what is the Libertarian viewpoint on that?

(1) You don't have to own a car

(2) You don't have to have car insurance to own a car, you have to have car insurance to drive a car on public roads.

(3) Insuring your own car is voluntary, the required insurance is for damage you inflict on other cars.

(4) Car insurance doesn't cover oil changes, gas, wiper fluid, contraceptives...
   9218. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 20, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4306893)
The irony of Ray's "freeloader" rhetoric is that he's perfectly okay with public provision of emergency care to the uninsured, which is just as much a case of freeloading as state-subsidized health insurance. About the only logical inference to take from all his whining is that he simply wants the subsidized uninsured to wear a scarlet "F" (for "Freeloader") stamped on their foreheads, just to point out to passersby what a bunch of moochers they are. This apparently would satisfy his libertarian concept of social justice.

   9219. The Good Face Posted: November 20, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4306899)
Hehe, still fantasizing about getting a woman worth having (mine)

The one who won't let you play softball?


You still sulking about me standing you up that time? Look, you're a really nice guy and all, but I'm just not that into you.
   9220. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4306911)
Any social insurance textbook will tell you that participation in a social insurance scheme must be mandatory.

Ray's going to balk at that word "social."


As any fair-minded person would. Like with the phrase "social contract," putting the word "social" in front of the word in order to redefine the word modifies the word out of existence. You might as well choose a different word, at that point. Like "social gunpointing."
   9221. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4306915)
Paying fair market value is the new free, apparently.


If people were paying fair market value, there would be no need for the fine/penalty.

Do people just say demonstrably false things for fun?
   9222. spike Posted: November 20, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4306916)
I don't know - how much enjoyment do you get from posting?

//On a related topic, I have to admit, your demonstrably false postings do bring me great mirth.
   9223. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 20, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4306920)
As any fair-minded person would. Like with the phrase "social contract," putting the word "social" in front of the word in order to redefine the word modifies the word out of existence. You might as well choose a different word, at that point. Like "social gunpointing."


The fact that you don't understand people doesn't mean people aren't real, Ray.
   9224. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 20, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4306924)
Somebody check the Ray robot. It seems to be stuck in the argument loop from back in October.

Naaah he's back in full Libertarian mode....

Sometimes the libertarians stifle themselves because they know that their arguments are extremely unpopular at large- Ray's probably been wanting to vent like this for over a month or two-

what was really fun was over at libertarian sites after Romeny's 47% comment was made public- some of them really really wanted Romney to own that comment go full bore Randian moochers v. makers- they really thought that would be a winning argument...

   9225. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4306930)
what was really fun was over at libertarian sites after Romney's 47% comment was made public- some of them really really wanted Romney to own that comment go full bore Randian moochers v. makers- they really thought that would be a winning argument...

What this means is that the GOP is facing a catfight between the willfully suicidal** and the totally clueless who actually think that going Full Monty Wingnut is actually a winning strategy.

But I'll give Ray at least this much credit: He's not as totally stupid as those in the "FMW is a winner" faction. That honored place at the table goes to Kehoskie and his "Let's double down on the dying old white men" strategy.

**whose buzzword is "principles", and election results be damned
   9226. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4306931)
I don't know - how much enjoyment do you get from posting?

//On a related topic, I have to admit, your demonstrably false postings do bring me great mirth.


I'm sorry, but this is utterly non-responsive. What is the reason for the fine/penalty under Obamacare if everyone is paying fair market value for the insurance?

What is happening is that since a large swathe of people aren't paying fair market value - they are going to be getting insurance for little or no cost, which is the whole freaking point of the system - the system wouldn't have enough money unless everyone who could pay were roped in by fining them in order to get their money.

Why are people lying about this?
   9227. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4306939)
What is happening is that since a large swathe of people aren't paying fair market value - they are going to be getting insurance for little or no cost, which is the whole freaking point of the system - the system wouldn't have enough money unless everyone who could pay were roped in by fining them in order to get their money.


I will say this once, Ray.

Healthcare, health insurance, and health outcomes do not model rationally to stringent free market idealism. I'm sorry that reality has decided to punch your theory in the face like that, man.
   9228. spike Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4306940)
The fine is for those that won't join a group, to help defray their emergency room and other ad hoc costs that would have been covered by insurance. No one said anything about folks who refuse to buy insurance as getting free market anything.
   9229. spike Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4306942)
I'm sorry that reality has decided to punch your theory in the face like that, man.

Listening to "libertarians" shake their tiny fists at the actual world and curse that it doesn't abide by their reality-based opinions never gets old.
   9230. The Good Face Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4306943)
I will say this once, Ray.

Healthcare, health insurance, and health outcomes do not model rationally to stringent free market idealism. I'm sorry that reality has decided to punch your theory in the face like that, man.


Not in the legal and regulatory environment we've set up in the US, no. But that being the case, people shouldn't go around making obviously false claims like;

Paying fair market value is the new free, apparently.


The people who were previously uninsurable before ACA will not be paying fair market value post ACA. If somebody thinks that's a good thing, that's OK. But they shouldn't lie about it.
   9231. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4306948)
What is happening is that since a large swathe of people aren't paying fair market value - they are going to be getting insurance for little or no cost, which is the whole freaking point of the system - the system wouldn't have enough money unless everyone who could pay were roped in by fining them in order to get their money.

Why are people lying about this?


Let me break the logjam by freely admitting that under the libertarian premise of "fairness", and under the libertarian concept of "freeloader", then yes, those who will be benefiting by Obamacare's insurance subsidies will indeed be "freeloaders".

Of course the followup question from the non-pure libertarian POV is "So ####### what?" We live in a society whose premises are codified by laws enacted by elected representatives and subject to judicial review, not premises cribbed from The Fountainhead or pidgin libertarian "slippery slopes" that conflate social safety nets with some sort of Leninist nightmare.

Any six year old can construct a perfectly "logical" framework that by definition negates all other competing premises right out of existence. The Marxists were great at that, too. They're the mirror image of the Rays of the world in their respective conceits about their own superior visions, and following either of them to their desired conclusion produces similarly abhorrent results.
   9232. spike Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4306951)
The people who were previously uninsurable before ACA will not be paying fair market value post ACA

Bringing the entire group of folks who were uninsurable as well as the folks who had no access to purchase group insurance in at one time spreads the actuarial risk over a massive pool. I'm sorry the insurance companies will have a harder time selling predatory high premium low coverage policies, but those are hardly "fair market".
   9233. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4306955)
Bringing the entire group of folks who were uninsurable as well as the folks who had no access to purchase group insurance in at one time spreads the actuarial risk over a massive pool. I'm sorry the insurance companies will have a harder time selling predatory high premium low coverage policies, but those are hardly "fair market".

Health insurance "markets" in this country have been unilaterally rigged by insurance companies for the sole purpose of maximizing their own profits, and nothing else. Works great for the once and forever healthy, not so great for those who might actually need to call on it more than once, and not at all for those with many pre-existing conditions.
   9234. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4306956)
Not in the legal and regulatory environment we've set up in the US, no


Not in any environment. Like national defense and policing, health outcomes are just not something that reasonably and easily models onto standard for-profit free market theory. But Ray can't just come to terms with this disconnect between health outcomes and market ideology, because he's always lived in a world where we pretended they were compatible. I fully believe that if we had lived the last 50 years in a system where military services were outsourced (universally rather than partially) and someone proposed a semi-nationalized model for armed forces, Ray would balk at that too.
   9235. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4306959)
Listening to "libertarians" shake their tiny fists at the actual world and curse that it doesn't abide by their reality-based opinions never gets old.


People keep repeating "libertarian" as if that is some magic trump card that wins every argument. I am simply explaining to you what the system you support - Obamacare - is, and pointing out the falsehoods you've been saying about it. And so screaming "libertarian, libertarian!" and then looking around for your high fives looks completely silly at this point.
   9236. The Good Face Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4306961)
Bringing the entire group of folks who were uninsurable as well as the folks who had no access to purchase group insurance in at one time spreads the actuarial risk over a massive pool. I'm sorry the insurance companies will have a harder time selling predatory high premium low coverage policies, but those are hardly "fair market".


I don't think you understand how "access" works. Markets either. So, which public school system do you teach in?
   9237. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4306962)
You call them high fives, I call them conspicuous handouts.
   9238. The Good Face Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4306963)
Not in any environment. Like national defense and policing, health outcomes are just not something that reasonably and easily models onto standard for-profit free market theory. But Ray can't just come to terms with this disconnect between health outcomes and market ideology, because he's always lived in a world where we pretended they were compatible. I fully believe that if we had lived the last 50 years in a system where military services were outsourced (universally rather than partially) and someone proposed a semi-nationalized model for armed forces, Ray would balk at that too.


Ray's problem is that he think everybody is entitled to health care but doesn't want a mechanism to pay for it. That problem goes away once you make your peace with a world where not everybody is entitled to health care. And then the outcomes match up better with markets.
   9239. spike Posted: November 20, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4306969)
I don't think you understand how "access" works

Access to group insurance and commensurate (significantly) lower rates has been up until now almost entirely a function of getting it from your employer. ACA will engage those folks previously without such access (self-employed, part time, full time for small biz, etc).
   9240. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4306986)

I'm not a fan of the term "freeloader", but it's obvious that some people pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits, and other people receive more than they pay. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it would be virtually impossible for it to be otherwise so.

Now, do Mitt Romney or Rush Limbaugh have any idea which people receive more than they pay for, and who they vote for? Probably not.
   9241. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 20, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4307000)
Puts all of Joe's "Yesredistrictingisafactor BUT, moving on quickly, Barack Obama had historically weak coattails and a poor performance" posts into mathematical perspective. And since the Congressional map is redrawn by the dominant party every 10 years, and since microtargeting is becoming more and more of a factor, it makes one wonder whether the Democrats can be expected to grab a lot of territory back in 2020, a Presidential year, followed by the Republicans doing the same in 2030, a midterm year, and so forth.

Obama had historically weak coattails, yes. There's really no denying this. As the only president in history to win reelection with a smaller margin of victory than in his initial win, Obama essentially limped to reelection without carrying many, if any, fellow Dems across the finish line.

As for the redistricting business, you made several errors that render much of your argument moot.

***
Bringing the entire group of folks who were uninsurable as well as the folks who had no access to purchase group insurance in at one time spreads the actuarial risk over a massive pool.

Nonsense. This "spreads" (i.e., redistributes) wealth, not risk.
   9242. spike Posted: November 20, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4307011)
Pete King concedes Libya talking points for Rice did not come from White House

Oh man, Walnuts and Aunt Bea are going to be pissed.
   9243. The Good Face Posted: November 20, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4307014)
Access to group insurance and commensurate (significantly) lower rates has been up until now almost entirely a function of getting it from your employer.


Why on earth should people not in a given group have access to things that membership in said group is a prerequisite to?

ACA will engage those folks previously without such access (self-employed, part time, full time for small biz, etc).


Sure. By allowing them to pay less than market value.
   9244. spike Posted: November 20, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4307021)
Why on earth should people not in a given group have access to things that membership in said group is a prerequisite to?

Insuring people in groups is cheaper than insuring individuals. Allowing individuals to form a group to purchase insurance provides a market solution that allows them to exploit the power of buying in a group, and the vendor to profit by reduced risk.

Sure. By allowing them to pay less than market value.

No, by allowing them to form a group which presents less risk to the insuror and better rates for the insured.
   9245. spike Posted: November 20, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4307030)
McCain: ‘Surprised’ By Report That DNI Removed Terrorism References In Rice’s Benghazi Talking Points

Yeah. He gets surprised by a lot of things these days. Like sunrise.

I'm sure he's provided his apology to Susan Rice by now, right?
   9246. zonk Posted: November 20, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4307032)
Obama had historically weak coattails, yes. There's really no denying this. As the only president in history to win reelection with a smaller margin of victory than in his initial win, Obama essentially limped to reelection without carrying many, if any, fellow Dems across the finish line.


"Historically weak" by what standard?

House Democrats outperformed House Republicans in 2004 and House Democrats in 1996... House Republicans picked up 12 seats in 1984, but they had an even deeper hole to start with and ended up still further back from a majority than the Democrats were to start this cycle...House Democrats also upped their national share of the vote compared to 2010.

I love these Kehoskian "there's no denying this" statements -- it's the classic blusterific tactic of pretending that conveying absolute certainty in an opinion built on flimsy analysis will forestall any look at the evidence.
   9247. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4307035)
What is happening is that since a large swathe of people aren't paying fair market value - they are going to be getting insurance for little or no cost, which is the whole freaking point of the system - the system wouldn't have enough money unless everyone who could pay were roped in by fining them in order to get their money.

Why are people lying about this?


Let me break the logjam by freely admitting that under the libertarian premise of "fairness", and under the libertarian concept of "freeloader", then yes, those who will be benefiting by Obamacare's insurance subsidies will indeed be "freeloaders".


I won't make you adopt my terms, definitions, or characterizations, Andy, but I do thank you for being the only liberal in this discussion who had the honesty to agree that, contrary to spike's comment in #9212 ("Paying fair market value is the new free, apparently."), there are plenty of people who will be getting health care for less than fair market value under Obamacare.

Of course the followup question from the non-pure libertarian POV is "So ####### what?"


So nothing. I was merely pointing out what the system was and was not; I had no illusions that any liberals would suddenly think it wasn't a good idea. I just see no need for people to spread false information about the fundamental nature of what the system is.

Oh, and the larger point was that Obamacare is an example of Romney's comment that people were promised goodies by Obama.
   9248. zonk Posted: November 20, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4307038)
McCain: ‘Surprised’ By Report That DNI Removed Terrorism References In Rice’s Benghazi Talking Points

Yeah. He gets surprised by a lot of things these days. Like sunrise.


...or when briefings on matters he's supposedly keenly interested in as a matter of national security are being held.
   9249. spike Posted: November 20, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4307050)
and being a ginormous dick when called on it.
   9250. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 20, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4307051)
Re: #9241--
Obama had historically weak coattails, yes. There's really no denying this. As the only president in history to win reelection with a smaller margin of victory than in his initial win, Obama essentially limped to reelection without carrying many, if any, fellow Dems across the finish line.

As for the redistricting business, you made several errors that render much of your argument moot.


Say it and say it and say it, and it still won't make it so. The actual context and data were cited in the vicinity of this strata of this thread.

The 2012 Democrats had the fifth-greatest gain of House seats in a Presidential year since the 1960s. They're still mopping up the final vote totals, but proportional to his margin of victory, Obama "did" the same or better than he did in 2008. Of course, it's a modest feat, considering the incredibly feeble precedent: the average House gain for the winning party was +2 in the previous six elections. Ultimately, you don't know what you're talking about, only for what you're rooting for.

I understand. If you can't make Obama be a loser, at least you can make him feel like a loser.
   9251. The Good Face Posted: November 20, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4307052)
Why on earth should people not in a given group have access to things that membership in said group is a prerequisite to?

Insuring people in groups is cheaper than insuring individuals. Allowing individuals to form a group to purchase insurance provides a market solution that allows them to exploit the power of buying in a group, and the vendor to profit by reduced risk.

Sure. By allowing them to pay less than market value.

No, by allowing them to form a group which presents less risk to the insuror and better rates for the insured.


People always have had the right to form such groups. ACA is not "allowing" them to do anything they couldn't do before. Forcing people to buy stuff so you can use the money to buy things for other people is not actually a "market solution". Seriously, you don't seem to understand the words you're using.
   9252. spike Posted: November 20, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4307058)
People always have had the right to form such groups.

Poppycock. As an independent contractor or part time employee, there was no feasible way to do so.

and furthermore, the larger the group the better the deal. Organizing insured into a group that covers an entire state does exactly that.
   9253. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 20, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4307065)
Just for fun:

House seats "gained by" winning Presidents, 1968-2012:
Reagan +50
Obama +29
Nixon +17
GW Bush +0
Carter +1
Bush Sr. -2
Clinton -7

Gerald Ford would be at -1 if you count his 1976 loss; Jimmy Carter would be at -33 if you count his 1980 loss; George Bush Sr. would be at +7 if you count his 1992 loss.
   9254. BDC Posted: November 20, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4307075)
Why on earth should people not in a given group have access to things that membership in said group is a prerequisite to?

One reason is that membership in such groups (employed, unemployed, self-employed) changes. You might still raise the same objection, but it's not like the permanent haves are at war here with the permanent have-nots. Most healthy employed people are a cancer diagnosis and pink slip away from changing group membership. And whether this offends Ayn Rand or not, people tend to develop sympathy in there-but-for-the-grace situations, for some strange reason.
   9255. Ron J2 Posted: November 20, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4307083)
health outcomes are just not something that reasonably and easily models onto standard for-profit free market theory.


This is an assertion that's pretty easy to test. Take a look at the late adapters to socialized medicine. Pick any metric you'd care to name (most frequently life expectancy is used) and see whether there has been adverse consequences. And what's happened with national expenditures on health care.

Switzerland would be a good place to start. Taiwan as well.

And as I've mentioned, prior to 1960 health care expenditures and life expectancy were basically the same in the US and Canada. Now the US spends a great deal more for no obvious gain in health care outcomes.
   9256. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 20, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4307084)
This is an assertion that's pretty easy to test.


That would require an audience in search of factual reality, Ron.
   9257. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4307085)
That would require an audience in search of factual reality, Ron.


So, someone other than you and your cohorts, then?
   9258. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 20, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4307096)
So, someone other than you and your cohorts, then?


Cute, Ray. The data exists. Ron has provided you with really good hints as to where to tailor your search. Go see what you find, huh?
   9259. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4307097)
That would require an audience in search of factual reality, Ron.

So, someone other than you and your cohorts, then?


Goodness knows no lawyers need apply.
   9260. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 20, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4307100)
House Democrats outperformed House Republicans in 2004 and House Democrats in 1996... House Republicans picked up 12 seats in 1984, but they had an even deeper hole to start with and ended up still further back from a majority than the Democrats were to start this cycle...House Democrats also upped their national share of the vote compared to 2010.

Silly comparisons, all of them. The GOP already had a majority in the House in 2004, so they had less upside potential. The Dems were in the minority in 1996, but the "Contract with America" Congress was still relatively popular, plus the 1996 presidential election was a three-way race. As for 1984, the Dems were in Year 30 of an eventual 40-year majority in the House. Comparing the GOP's 2-year majority in 2012 to the Dem's 30-year entrenched majority in 1984 is absurd.

I love these Kehoskian "there's no denying this" statements -- it's the classic blusterific tactic of pretending that conveying absolute certainty in an opinion built on flimsy analysis will forestall any look at the evidence.

Coming from someone who believes Nate Silver can predict, to four-decimal-point certainty, the results of presidential elections many months in advance, this is yet another silly claim.
   9261. Ron J2 Posted: November 20, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4307101)
#9256 There's also a fairly interesting section on doctor skills in Superfreakanomics. I don't want to rely too heavily on this, but ... well, interesting.
   9262. Ron J2 Posted: November 20, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4307103)
#9258 I'd have expected Ray to argue as DMN has in the past. He honestly doesn't care if there is no observable change in health care outcomes (or even if health care outcomes improve in a socialized model) nor whether there is cost containment (albeit for from perfect) under a socialized model. It's an intrusion into the free market and is therefore wrong regardless of outcome.
   9263. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 20, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4307104)
Say it and say it and say it, and it still won't make it so. The actual context and data were cited in the vicinity of this strata of this thread.

The 2012 Democrats had the fifth-greatest gain of House seats in a Presidential year since the 1960s. They're still mopping up the final vote totals, but proportional to his margin of victory, Obama "did" the same or better than he did in 2008. Of course, it's a modest feat, considering the incredibly feeble precedent: the average House gain for the winning party was +2 in the previous six elections. Ultimately, you don't know what you're talking about, only for what you're rooting for.

I understand. If you can't make Obama be a loser, at least you can make him feel like a loser.

It's good that you went back and found the old thread. It's unfortunate you still don't understand the discussion that was held therein.

It's funny watching the same people who were citing Sam Wang's prediction that the Dems would retake the House in large part because of a coattail effect now pretend that the Dems' 8-seat gain, which leaves them in the minority, was a big deal.
   9264. DA Baracus Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4307109)
Somebody call engineering, JoeBot and RayBot both need to be rebooted.
   9265. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4307113)
Barack Obama had the second-longest coattails since the Beatles grew beards. Sorry.

The whole idea of Presidential coattails is essentially bogus, but the more you buy into it, the more your premise fails.
   9266. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4307115)

CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans' e-mail, is scheduled for next week.

Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies -- including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission -- to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge. (CNET obtained the revised draft from a source involved in the negotiations with Leahy.)


Revised bill highlights:
Grants warrantless access to Americans' electronic correspondence to over 22 federal agencies. Only a subpoena is required, not a search warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause.
Permits state and local law enforcement to warrantlessly access Americans' correspondence stored on systems not offered "to the public," including university networks.
Authorizes any law enforcement agency to access accounts without a warrant -- or subsequent court review -- if they claim "emergency" situations exist.
Says providers "shall notify" law enforcement in advance of any plans to tell their customers that they've been the target of a warrant, order, or subpoena.
Delays notification of customers whose accounts have been accessed from 3 days to "10 business days." This notification can be postponed by up to 360 days.

It's an abrupt departure from Leahy's earlier approach, which required police to obtain a search warrant backed by probable cause before they could read the contents of e-mail or other communications. The Vermont Democrat boasted last year that his bill "provides enhanced privacy protections for American consumers by... requiring that the government obtain a search warrant."

Link
   9267. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4307118)
The whole idea of Presidential coattails is essentially bogus, but the more you buy into it, the more your premise fails.

That's an odd claim, since you posted a handy chart that mostly shows otherwise.

Relative to their upside potential (i.e., minority status), the Dems underperformed in the House in 2012. Using Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton as counterpoints (#9253) shows a lack of understanding of the discussion at hand.
   9268. BDC Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4307124)
Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies [...] to access Americans' [...] Facebook wall posts


The FBI is going to spend most of their time "Liking" pictures of my cat.
   9269. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4307127)

So it sounds like every almost Government agency outside of Parks and Recreation would have access to your personal emails etc. What could possibly go wrong?
   9270. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4307129)
I'd have expected Ray to argue as DMN has in the past. He honestly doesn't care if there is no observable change in health care outcomes (or even if health care outcomes improve in a socialized model) nor whether there is cost containment (albeit for from perfect) under a socialized model. It's an intrusion into the free market and is therefore wrong regardless of outcome.


Ray's often impossible, but he's not David.
   9271. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4307130)
It's funny watching the same people who were citing Sam Wang's prediction


Not sure you're the proper authority to be criticizing other people's pre-election predictioneering, JoJo m'boy.
   9272. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4307131)
I expect most people in this thread, regardless of party affiliation, to be against Leahy's bill. This #### is getting out of hand.
   9273. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4307132)
And as I've mentioned, prior to 1960 health care expenditures and life expectancy were basically the same in the US and Canada. Now the US spends a great deal more for no obvious gain in health care outcomes.

This line gets trotted out in every discussion, but the people using it never seem to acknowledge the major differences between the two cohorts. Canada doesn't have a huge population of illegal immigrants that uses its hospitals as walk-in clinics, nor does it have a huge underclass prone to drug use and/or violence. Canadians also drive over 20 percent fewer miles per year than their American counterparts, which results in a lower number of auto accidents and a lower number of auto injuries and deaths in Canada. Canada also ranks far lower than the U.S. when it comes to obesity, with a rate at least 15 percentage points lower as of the latest studies.

Without taking all of the above into account, comparisons of U.S. and Canadian health outcomes and health expenditures are little more than a waste of time.
   9274. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4307134)
The "police services are gifts too!" argument makes no sense. Rich people have paid enough income tax to cover the cost of the police services they've received several times over.
What's interesting about this is that you haven't studied the issue, it's just something you're saying. You don't know whether the higher total taxes, say, a wealthy real estate guy pays versus a plant worker, are fair or not, because you're not interested in knowing whether the services he receives are or are not commensurate with his tax payments; you just want a cheap talking point.

The braying jackass caucus lost two members in West and Joe Walsh - but just to show my bipartisan bonafides, I'll say they picked up one with Alan Grayson returning to congress.
What's wrong with Grayson? He's extreme and impolitic, but unlike West he's not dishonest (AFAIK).

Not to mention those who get favorable tax rates on their dividends and capital gains, like (duh) Romney himself.
So tiresome to see these freeloaders get away, year after year, with taking advantage of the national infrastructure by paying artificially low taxes, especially for income that if anything should be taxed at higher rates than income earned through actual work. Pure white collar shiftlessness.

One of these days I'd love to see how long Ray's job would last if the government decided not to enforce its patent laws.
I for one am sick and tired of paying taxes that are used to create a phony system that allows this leech to skim cash off of people who actually make things.

The idea that a lawyer is pretending to be on the side of productive people is pretty ####### funny.
   9275. DA Baracus Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4307135)
Leahy scuttles his warrantless e-mail surveillance bill

Sen. Patrick Leahy has abandoned his controversial proposal that would grant government agencies more surveillance power -- including warrantless access to Americans' e-mail accounts -- than they possess under current law.

The Vermont Democrat said today on Twitter that he would "not support such an exception" for warrantless access. The remarks came a few hours after a CNET article was published this morning that disclosed the existence of the measure.

A vote on the proposal in the Senate Judiciary committee, which Leahy chairs, is scheduled for next Thursday. The amendments were due to be glued onto a substitute (PDF) to H.R. 2471, which the House of Representatives already has approved.

Leahy's about-face comes in response to a deluge of criticism today, including the American Civil Liberties Union saying that warrants should be required, and the conservative group FreedomWorks launching a petition to Congress -- with more than 2,300 messages sent so far -- titled: "Tell Congress: Stay Out of My Email!"
   9276. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4307136)
Not sure you're the proper authority to be criticizing other people's pre-election predictioneering, JoJo m'boy.

My being wrong about Romney means I can't point out that Sam Wang was wrong about the House for most of the fall?

I recall you were infamously wrong about the Civil Rights Act voting. I guess you should sit out every future discussion about race and politics.
   9277. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4307137)
My being wrong about Romney means I can't point out that Sam Wang was wrong about the House for most of the fall?


You being so spectacularly wrong would indicate that you might take some time to consider the failures of your assumptions, which you have not done. It has little to do with Sam Wang's equally invalid model, which, by the way, no one around here was touting with any degree of earnestness, to my recollection. You're just pretending that people were hyping Wang's model in order to prop up your 'both sides do it' defense of being so completely ####### wrong on the facts.

I recall you were infamously wrong about the Civil Rights Act voting.


I doubt that.
   9278. Greg K Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4307138)
This line gets trotted out in every discussion, but the people using it never seem to acknowledge the major differences between the two cohorts. Canada doesn't have a huge population of illegal immigrants that uses its hospitals as walk-in clinics, nor does it have a huge underclass prone to drug use and/or violence. Canadians also drive over 20 percent fewer miles per year than their American counterparts, which results in a lower number of auto accidents and a lower number of auto injuries and deaths in Canada. Canada also ranks far lower when it comes to obesity, with a rate at least 15 percentage points lower as of the latest studies.

Man, you make living in America sound like such a bummer. There are some good things about your country. Like baseball!
   9279. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:40 PM (#4307139)
Without taking all of the above into account, comparisons of U.S. and Canadian health outcomes and health expenditures are little more than a waste of time.


Maybe you should get Chambers to unskew that data, Joe.
   9280. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4307140)
You being so spectacularly wrong would indicate that you might take some time to consider the failures of your assumptions, which you have not done.

Ha ha. Underestimating Dem turnout by 2 points now counts as being "spectacularly wrong." Good stuff.

It has little to do with Sam Wang's equally invalid model, which, by the way, no one around here was touting with any degree of earnestness, to my recollection. You're just pretending that people were hyping Wang's model in order to prop up your 'both sides do it' defense of being so completely ####### wrong on the facts.

Huh? Sam Wang's name wasn't repeatedly mentioned here in the months before the election? Between that and your claim to not remember being wrong about the Civil Rights Act voting (#9277), it appears your memory is failing you. (Dementia would explain a lot of the nonsense you spout here.)
   9281. Lassus Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4307143)
Canadians also drive over 20 percent fewer miles per year than their American counterparts...

This is an interesting fact because I've been through Canada and there is a WHOLE lot of nothing up there which made me imagine the driving time per person was greater. Where is this factoid from, if I may? My guess is that it has to do with fewer people living in the nothing than in the U.S., plus the smaller population, public transportation, etc., but initially it just seemed off.


Huh? Sam Wang's name wasn't repeatedly mentioned here in the months before the election?

They weren't just mocking him? I really thought of this as the Nate Silver thread by the time the election rolled around. I recall Wang's name, but not that much about what was said. It seemed infrequent and/or unimportant.
   9282. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4307144)
Man, you make living in America sound like such a bummer. There are some good things about your country. Like baseball!

No, the United States, for all its problems, is still great. But when it comes to debating and crafting policy, U.S.-to-Canada comparisons are not so great, as they're often of the apples-to-oranges variety.
   9283. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 07:57 PM (#4307145)
Maybe you should get Chambers to unskew that data, Joe.


Again, a content-free, irrelevant response.

The lifestyles of Canadians and Americans are not 1-1 comparable.
   9284. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4307151)
This is an interesting fact because I've been through Canada and there is a WHOLE lot of nothing up there which made me imagine the driving time per person was greater. Where is this factoid from, if I may? My guess is that it has to do with fewer people living in the nothing than in the U.S., plus the smaller population, public transportation, etc., but initially it just seemed off.

Google brings up a bunch of different studies, all of which yield similar results. Here's one of them.

The U.S. and Canada are both 80/20 urban/rural. I'm guessing the difference is mostly due to Canada having more relatively large urban areas with mass transit, while the U.S. has a lot more smaller cities and a lot more sprawl.
   9285. Greg K Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:08 PM (#4307152)
Because I'm bored and just figured out how to search within a web page on my browser!

booond Posted: September 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4242136)
The guy at Princeton, Sam Wang, has also argued that the Nov. 6 projection isn't as useful as the current numbers (the now-cast). Silver's now-cast has Obama with a 95% chance of winning.


He's also pushing the idea that the Dems will take the House, which seems a little radical at this point.

tshipman Posted: September 29, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4248710)
"And yet, basically no one is predicting the Dems will retake the House, which means a bunch of districts that go for Obama will be going for the GOP House candidate. Other than gerrymandering, how do you explain this? Bad Dem candidates?"


The incumbency effect*, although I should note that Sam Wang projects D's to take back the house. Generally, people tend to vote for incumbents, all things being equal. This is worth around 2-4 points on the generic congressional ballot. Currently, most house races are not heavily polled, but in general, Dem's would project to pick up anywhere between 1-12 seats. If things really break towards Obama (Country is D+5-7), Dems might take back the house. I would put that at like 20%.

Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4282961)
"The analysis I've been reading has all generally had Nate the furthest out on a limb vis-a-vis Obama's chances."


The aggregators (unskewed excluded) are all actually in a pretty tight cluster- if one is out on a limb for Obama it's not Silver, it's that Wang guy from the Princeton Election Consortium. At any given point in time the aggregators vary among eachother by just 2 to 2.5 points

Clarence Thomas is a Reyne of Castamere (scott) Posted: November 04, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4292838)
It's my understanding that one of the differences between Wang and Silver is that Wang views each state as individual from the others, whereas Silver's model will see a swing in one state as indicating changes in other surrounding states with similar demographics absent other information.

retro-shiite Posted: November 04, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4292498)
Right--I mean, if I wanted to put the most credence in (sorry--express "religious fervor" for) the guy who's most confident my preferred candidate will win, I'd cast my lot with Sam Wang. (Wang does interesting work, but he *only* relies on state polls** , which I understand the logic of (since state by state results are what determines the winner) but strikes me as a little rigid.)



It doesn't look like anyone was calling him a fraud, or a moron or anything. But I'd describe any confidence shown in his projections as "heavily qualified".
   9286. SteveF Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4307153)
No, by allowing them to form a group which presents less risk to the insurer and better rates for the insured.


This is true, to a point. Part of the problem lately has been that health insurance companies have gotten so good at pinpointing who is actually going to make more claims that their need to pool risk has decreased significantly. In fact, they've gotten so good at it that most states have limitations on what factors can be considered and limit the impact that these factors can have on premiums (called 'rate banding').

So largely, I would say Ray is right. ACA is another mechanism for wealth redistribution.

That doesn't make it necessarily a bad thing. From my perspective, insurance is really only bad to the extent that it creates moral hazards/incentivizes inefficient behavior. I'm not a huge fan of the word moral in that context (or really, in most contexts), but that's the term of art. The other tricky issue in the context of health care is the cost benefit analysis required for end of life care. The government (without assigning blame to one party or another) has largely failed to appropriately address either issue.

Of course, your view of wealth redistribution largely depends on how well you think the 'free' market distributes wealth in the first place.
   9287. Greg K Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4307157)
The U.S. and Canada are both 80/20 urban/rural. I'm guessing the difference is mostly due to Canada having more relatively large urban areas with mass transit, while the U.S. has a lot more smaller cities and a lot more sprawl.

Speaking as a Canadian who's never driven a car before...

I think I can buy this, though my experience with the US is limited to Buffalo, Indianapolis, Minnesota, North Dakota, Florida, and South Carolina. I'm not sure if I've ever actually been in a big American city. I was in Washington once, but that was during one of those "Storm of the Century" type things that seem to happen every year so it was more or less shut down. Toronto and Montreal seem to have fairly good transit systems (though by European standards Toronto's sucks), and getting by without a car is no problem in the city centre. Though I grew up in Scarborough, which is not the downtown core but is part of Toronto proper (rather than the massive, massive sprawl that surrounds the city), and even there it was considered a bit weird that I didn't drive growing up. I'm not sure what Vancouver is like, but I know otherwise in the west driving is a must, whether in an urban or rural environment.
   9288. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4307160)
It's unfortunate you still don't understand the discussion that was held therein.
It's funny watching the same people who were citing Sam Wang's prediction that the Dems would retake the House in large part because of a coattail effect now pretend that the Dems' 8-seat gain, which leaves them in the minority, was a big deal.


This marks the first time I have typed Sam Wang’s name. Tell me more about faulty assumptions and a failure to understand previous posts.


The GOP already had a majority in the House in 2004, so they had less upside potential. The Dems were in the minority in 1996, but the "Contract with America" Congress was still relatively popular, plus the 1996 presidential election was a three-way race. As for 1984, the Dems were in Year 30 of an eventual 40-year majority in the House. Comparing the GOP's 2-year majority in 2012 to the Dem's 30-year entrenched majority in 1984 is absurd.

Translation: Context for me, not for thee.


Barack Obama had the second-longest coattails since the Beatles grew beards. Sorry.
The whole idea of Presidential coattails is essentially bogus, but the more you buy into it, the more your premise fails.


That's an odd claim, since you posted a handy chart that mostly shows otherwise.


No, it doesn’t. There’s no pattern to the margins of Presidential wins (or losses) and the accompanying House gains (or losses), and you can’t find one.

Go ahead, try. Give us a ratio: Presidential margin X = House pickup range Y. Thrill us.

Or, save your breath, because you’re wrong and the numbers show it.
   9289. Greg K Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4307163)
I'm trying to compare US Census and Transport Canada stats...the conversion between miles and km is tres annoying.

Someone tell me if I've got this right.
US Census lists 1.1 deaths per 100 million vehicles miles
Transport Canada lists 6.6 deaths per 1 billion vehicle kms

Converting 1 billion km to 100 million miles I get that as 1.06 per 100 million vehicle miles in Canada (round to 1.1)

Fun with math!

EDIT: Rough approximation using 2008 data, 6.02 vehicle mile per Canadian vs. 9.7 vehicle mile per American.
   9290. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4307165)
This marks the first time I have typed Sam Wang’s name. Tell me more about faulty assumptions and a failure to understand previous posts.

Did I attribute a mention of Sam Wang to you? You're not the only one claiming the Dems did great in the House in 2012.

Translation: Context for me, not for thee.

Uh, no. The entire discussion has been about gains within the context of upside potential. The Dems had very little upside potential in the House in 1976 (already held 290 seats) and a lot of upside potential in the House in 2012 (only held 190 seats). It's foolish to claim that Carter and Obama performed about equally in their respective elections vis-a-vis the coattail effect.

No, it doesn’t. There’s no pattern to the margins of Presidential wins (or losses) and the accompanying House gains (or losses), and you can’t find one.

Go ahead, try. Give us a ratio: Presidential margin X = House pickup range Y. Thrill us.

Or, save your breath, because you’re wrong and the numbers show it.

You're still not understanding the parameters of the discussion. Oh, well.
   9291. SteveF Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4307168)
Someone tell me if I've got this right.


You got it right.
   9292. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4307169)
So much of Ray and Mitt's argument depends on us buying the notion that, for example, people who work at big box stores are receiving for their work remuneration freely arrived at. They aren't.

We live in a union-busting country, and one result of that is wages are artificially suppressed. It's one thing to create nominally legal ways of stealing from low wage workers, but then kick them for not making more money and thereby paying more taxes? C'mon.

Sooo... the answer back in the days of rescission as a common practice would be for those dropped from coverage to.... do what exactly?
Tough to say, exactly, since their options are going to be circumscribed by the very police their taxes are paying for.

(2) You don't have to have car insurance to own a car, you have to have car insurance to drive a car on public roads.
Minor point, but is this true? In NY any registered vehicle must be insured, and any vehicle must be registered. They no longer buy the 'but it's up on blocks in my barn' argument.

Canada also ranks far lower when it comes to obesity, with a rate at least 15 percentage points lower as of the latest studies.
With nine months of winter and nothing but poutine to eat? This defies belief.

edit: A VERMONT Democrat even thought about such a bill? The shame of it.

People always have had the right to form such groups.

Poppycock. As an independent contractor or part time employee, there was no feasible way to do so.
Correct, just as it's not feasible for the millions of Americans cheated out of the traditional benefits of full-time work by legislation paid for by the Waltons of the world. Those laws allow employers to create phony 'independent contractor' positions or compel real workers to hold two part time jobs with no benefits instead of a single job with the same total hours with benefits.

Any discussion of health care and 'freeloaders' that ignores how the deck is stacked in order to suppress wages and cheat workers of benefits is at best simplistic, often disingenuous and, in the case of people who know better, fundamentally dishonest.

ACA is another mechanism for wealth redistribution.
Sure, as long as you include the fact that a previous redistribution in favor of the wealthy has already occurred. Union busting is wealth redistribution, from the working class to the wealthy. Practical monopolies that suppress wages is wealth redistribution, for the working class to the wealthy. Right to work laws involve wealth redistribution. Focusing only on that aspect of ACA that involves nominal wealth redistribution as though that was its signal feature, and to the exclusion of the enormous number of strategies through which wealth is redistributed to the wealthy seems at the least, odd.

And as I've mentioned, prior to 1960 health care expenditures and life expectancy were basically the same in the US and Canada. Now the US spends a great deal more for no obvious gain in health care outcomes.
Is this controlled for obesity, though? That alone will skew your conclusions something fierce.

Canadians also drive over 20 percent fewer miles per year than their American counterparts...

This is an interesting fact because I've been through Canada and there is a WHOLE lot of nothing up there which made me imagine the driving time per person was greater. Where is this factoid from, if I may? My guess is that it has to do with fewer people living in the nothing than in the U.S., plus the smaller population, public transportation, etc., but initially it just seemed off.
Seems like fewer suburbs, which cut down on those 45 minute each way commutes that put 20k on a car every year. In the US, too, it seems like there are houses everywhere, even out in the nothing. In Canada a lot of that nothing is simply uninhabited.
   9293. SteveF Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4307170)
Sure, as long as you include the fact that a previous redistribution in favor of the wealthy has already occurred.


I did write 'Of course, your view of wealth redistribution largely depends on how well you think the 'free' market distributes wealth in the first place', did I not? #### man, I even put single quotes around the term 'free'.
   9294. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4307173)
We live in a union-busting country, and one result of that is wages are artificially suppressed.


Like any good liberal, you have this exactly backwards; the strength of unions in this country lead to wages and compensation that are artificially inflated.

How could it not be so? If it weren't so, the unions would simply disband and let the free market take over. There would be no need for "union busting."
   9295. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:45 PM (#4307174)
We live in a union-busting country, and one result of that is wages are artificially suppressed. It's one thing to create nominally legal ways of stealing from low wage workers, but then kick them for not making more money and thereby paying more taxes? C'mon.

Wages are artificially suppressed by union-busting? Wages are depressed by an abundance of low-skilled labor.
   9296. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4307176)
We live in a union-busting country, and one result of that is wages are artificially suppressed.

Like any good liberal, you have this exactly backwards; the strength of unions in this country lead to wages and compensation that are artificially inflated.


Both of you are misusing the word "artificially." There isn't some Platonic ideal of wages that the presence of unions (or union-busting) is dragging us away from. We got to our current level of wages entirely naturally.
   9297. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4307177)
I'm trying to compare US Census and Transport Canada stats...the conversion between miles and km is tres annoying.

Someone tell me if I've got this right.
US Census lists 1.1 deaths per 100 million vehicles miles
Transport Canada lists 6.6 deaths per 1 billion vehicle kms

Converting 1 billion km to 100 million miles I get that as 1.06 per 100 million vehicle miles in Canada (round to 1.1)

Fun with math!

So the fatality rate is the same, but Americans rack up more injuries and deaths in auto accidents because they drive ~20 percent more miles per year.
   9298. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4307178)
I did write 'Of course, your view of wealth redistribution largely depends on how well you think the 'free' market distributes wealth in the first place', did I not? #### man, I even put single quotes around the term 'free'.
Sorry, Steve. I included your quote, but then went back to riffing. Wasn't aiming at you.

@9294: a thing of beauty. An association of the empowered like, say, the American Bar Association, that contrives to inflate wages, is as natural as a rock formation. AFSCME, though? That's some artifice, right there. Buying yourself a state's worth of 'right to work' laws? That's a rainbow, right there. But the forty hour work week? Who the hell do these robots think they are? People?

Btw, I can't wait for you to tell us what the 'natural' price of manual labor is. This should be good.

Leahy's about-face comes in response to a deluge of criticism today, including the American Civil Liberties Union saying that warrants should be required, and the conservative group FreedomWorks launching a petition to Congress -- with more than 2,300 messages sent so far -- titled: "Tell Congress: Stay Out of My Email!"
Well, at some point Leahy probably promised to bring us together, so there's that. Seriously, though, what the hell was he thinking?

edit: @9296--good point, Monty. I will contrive to find a better, more apt word if this continues.
   9299. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4307182)
@9294: a thing of beauty. An association of the empowered like, say, the American Bar Association, that contrives to inflate wages, is as natural as a rock formation.


The ABA isn't a union, but I'm happy to do away with licensing for attorneys.

(Do you know what the ABA is, by the way?)

Btw, I can't wait for you to tell us what the 'natural' price of manual labor is. This should be good.


The "natural price" of manual labor is what the labor would be worth on the free market. I'm not sure what other answer you were waiting for.
   9300. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 20, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4307187)
.
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