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Corbyn Teaches Us to Embrace the Change We Need
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The shocking election result in the United Kingdom – the Conservatives losing their majority and the creation of a hung Parliament; and Jeremy Corbyn being more successful than any recent Labor candidate – cutting a 20 point Theresa May lead down to a near tie – gives hope to many that the global shift to the right, fueled by the failures of governments to meet the basic needs of their population and growing economic insecurity, may be ending.

Corbyn is a lifelong activist whose message and actions have been consistent. He presented a platform directed at ending austerity and the wealth divide and was openly anti-war. There are a lot of lessons for the Labor Party in the UK from this election but there are also lessons for people in the United States. We review what happened and consider the possibilities for creating transformative change in the United States.

The Corbyn Campaign Results

The Corbyn campaign showed that a political leader urging a radical progressive transformative agenda can succeed. Many in his own party, the neo-liberal pro-war Blairites, claimed Corbyn could not win, tried to remove him from leadership, and sabotaged and refused to assist his campaign.

Corbyn showed he could win the leadership of the UK in the future, maybe sooner than later. While Theresa May is in the process of forming a minority government with a small radical conservative party from Northern Ireland, there has already been a backlash, mass petitions and protests against it and UK history has shown in similar circumstances that the second place finisher, may, in the end form the government. Corbyn is taking bold and radical actions. He is preparing to present a Queen’s speech in which he will say that he and his party are “ready to serve” and will continue to push his program through Parliament. He is calling on other parties to defeat the government in Parliament.

Corbyn did better than any recent Labor leader. Jonathan Cook, a British political commentator, writes in “The Facts Proving Corbyn’s Election Triumph” that Corbyn received 41 percent of the vote against May’s 44 percent. This was a big improvement in Labor’s share of seats, the largest increase since 1945. Cook points out that Corbyn won more votes than “Ed Miliband, Gordon Brown and Neil Kinnock, who were among those that, sometimes noisily, opposed his leadership of the party.” Even Tony Blair does not look all that good compared to Corbyn, Cook recounts:

“Here are the figures for Blair’s three wins. He got a 36 per cent share of the vote in 2005 – much less than Corbyn. He received a 41 per cent of the vote – about the same as Corbyn – in 2001. And Blair’s landslide victory in 1997 was secured on 43 per cent of the vote, just two percentage points ahead of Corbyn last night.

“In short, Corbyn has proved himself the most popular Labour leader with the electorate in more than 40 years, apart from Blair’s landslide victory in 1997.”

Bhaskar Sunkara, the founding editor of Jacobin, writes that Corbyn was not only campaigning against the Tories and Theresa May, but battling his own party – yet he still “won”:

“This is the first election Labour has won seats in since 1997, and the party got its largest share of the vote since 2005 — all while closing a twenty-four point deficit. Since Corbyn assumed leadership in late 2015, he has survived attack after attack from his own party, culminating in a failed coup attempt against him. As Labour leader he was unable to rely on his parliamentary colleagues or his party staff. The small team around him was bombarded with hostile internal leaks and misinformation, and an unprecedented media smear campaign.

“Every elite interest in the United Kingdom tried to knock down Jeremy Corbyn, but still he stands.”

The Blairites were taught a lesson by Corbyn. Many of his harshest critics are now changing their tune and embracing Corbyn. Hopefully they will join in creating a party in Corbyn’s image – a party for the many, not the few. Corbyn has rebuilt the mass base of Labor. The party is now the largest in Europe with half a million members. It is time for the “leaders” of Labor to follow the lead of the people and of Jeremy Corbyn.

What can we learn regarding US politics?

Sunkara argues Corbyn demonstrated that a winning campaign strategy is “to offer hopes and dreams to people, not just fear and diminished expectations.” In current US terms that means it is insufficient just to oppose Trump, a positive vision for the future that shows what a candidate and party stand for is needed, e.g. it is not just enough to defend the failing Affordable Care Act and oppose the Republican’s American Health Care Act, you must stand for something positive: National Improved Medicare for All. This is one example of many.

Sunkara provides more detail:

“Labour’s surge confirms what the Left has long argued: people like an honest defense of public goods. Labour’s manifesto was sweeping — its most socialist in decades. It was a straightforward document, calling for nationalization of key utilities, access to education, housing, and health services for all, and measures to redistribute income from corporations and the rich to ordinary people.

“£6.3 billion into primary schools, the protection of pensions, free tuition, public housing construction — it was clear what Labour would do for British workers. The plan was attacked in the press for its old-fashioned simplicity — “for the many, not the few” — but it resonated with popular desires, with a view of fairness that seemed elementary to millions.

“The Labour left remembered that you don’t win by tacking to an imaginary center — you win by letting people know you feel their anger and giving them a constructive end to channel it towards. ‘We demand the full fruits of our labor,’ the party’s election video said it all.”

Corbyn showed how important it is to have the correct analysis on foreign policy. Twice during the campaign, the UK was hit by a terrorist attack. Corbyn responded by telling the truth: part of the reason for terrorism is the UK foreign policy, especially in Libya. He also opposed the use of nuclear weapons. The Conservatives thought these anti-war positions would hurt Corbyn, instead they helped.

This is even more true in the United States with the never ending wars the country is fighting. But, the unspeakable in the United States, as Paul Street calls it, is acknowledging that terrorism is conducted by the US. This taboo subject makes it hard for people to understand that the US is constantly committing acts of terrorism around the world, which lead to predictable blow back from US militarism, regime change and war. No elected official will tell these obvious truths, which the people of the United States would instinctively understand if they were voiced.

Although the U.S. is often portrayed as a ‘center-right’ nation and progressives are called extremists, the reality is that there is majority support for a progressive agenda. There is a developing national consensus in the United States for transformational change, and Bernie Sanders articulated some of that consensus, at least on domestic issues, in his run for president, but the problem is that U.S. elections are manipulated by the elites in power who make sure that their interests are represented by the winner

Sunkara ends his article on Corbyn saying “Also, Bernie Sanders would have won.” We do not know what would have happened in a Trump-Sanders election. The closest example may be McGovern’s 1972 campaign against Nixon which he lost in a landslide. In that campaign, the Democrats deserted their candidate, even the AFL-CIO and big unions did not support McGovern and Nixon demonized him in the media. Would Clinton-Democrats have stood with Sanders or would they have sabotaged him like the party did to McGovern?

A key to Corbyn’s success was retail politics. The population of the UK is 65 million, compared to the US population of 321 million. Retail politics can work in the UK, while in the US paid media advertising drives the campaign, which means money often determines the outcome. This gives great power to big business interests, and while it can be overcome, it is a steep hill to climb.

Despite their significant losses, the Democrats are still controlled by Clinton-Obama Wall Street and war neo-liberals as we saw in the recent DNC chair election where Clinton protégé, Tom Perez, was elected. We are not optimistic that the US can apply the Corbyn model within the Democratic Party because it has been a party representing the oligarchs from its origins as the party of plantation slave-owners.

The duopoly parties that represent Wall Street, war and empire will not allow voices that represent “the many, not the few” to participate in US elections. They shut them out whether they run as an insurgent inside a party, as people learned from the mistreatment of Bernie Sanders by the DNC, or if they run outside of the two parties. The bi-partisans make independent party runs nearly impossible with unfair ballot access laws, barriers to voter registration, secret vote counting on unverifiable election machines, exclusion from the debates and exclusion by the corporate media, who are in cahoots with the bi-partisans.

It Comes Down to Building An Independent Mass Political Movement

We live in a mirage democracy with managed elections, as we describe in the article “Fighting for A Legitimate Democracy By and For the People,” on the long history of wealth dominating politics in the U.S.

Historically, transformations have occurred because of mass social movements demanding change and participating in elections through independent parties that have grown out of a movement with candidates from the movement (Corbyn has been involved in every anti-war movement, anti-apartheid, anti-austerity, pro-peace and human rights movements among others). Showing mass electoral support, even without winning, has resulted in significant changes – union rights, women’s voting rights, the eight-hour workday – indeed the New Deal came out of third party platforms. It is important to resist the duopoly parties in order to get to the root of the problems we face; as Patrick Walker explains, the “grassroots resistance must oppose Democrats as well as Trump.”

A broad and diverse social movement whose demands are articulated by an independent party platform has forced one of the two parties to capitulate to the movement or disappear. That still seems to be the most likely path to real change for the US.

Corbyn teaches that we should embrace the radical transformational change that is needed, whether in elections or as a movement, to inspire people to take action and shift the realm of the possible. The people thirst for change as their economic situation becomes more insecure. There needs to be a movement that addresses that insecurity through a human rights lens, or else the insecurity will be channeled towards hatred and violence.

The key first step is to show the many, we are with them; that we are listening and acting consistent with their beliefs. Taking this correct first step, lights the path ahead of us.

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers co-direct Popular Resistance.

(Republished from Popular Resistance by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. nsa says:

    A Corbyn style politician could not be elected to any public office in the USA. Why? Simple…..the maniacal warmongering jooies loathe and detest Corbyn personally and his peacenik politics even more so. In the USA the jooies have a de facto veto of office seekers…..they own the mass media, the banking industry, the congressional whores, and both parties.
    If there were an election in the USA for public office between a cannibal, an avowed atheist, a pedophile, and Corbyn…..Corbyn would finish last.

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    • Replies: @JohnDough
    It's true. A Corbyn like politician could never be elected in the US. All the various pro Israel groups and their cohorts on Wall St., Hollywood, Washington, high finance , and media would stop any anti war, anti big business, pro Palestine candidate.

    Meanwhile there's a big scam going on to blame Russia for influencing US elections when little old Israel is the biggest factor in controlling US elections, foreign policy, and unending war in the Middle East!
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  2. Far from hoping ‘that the global shift to the right… may be ending,’ I hope it intensifies.
    Given Hobson’s choice between being robbed by the oligarchs of the Right or being robbed by the parasites of the Left, I choose the Right. After all, the Left builds nothing but resentment.

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  3. JohnDough says:
    @nsa
    A Corbyn style politician could not be elected to any public office in the USA. Why? Simple.....the maniacal warmongering jooies loathe and detest Corbyn personally and his peacenik politics even more so. In the USA the jooies have a de facto veto of office seekers.....they own the mass media, the banking industry, the congressional whores, and both parties.
    If there were an election in the USA for public office between a cannibal, an avowed atheist, a pedophile, and Corbyn.....Corbyn would finish last.

    It’s true. A Corbyn like politician could never be elected in the US. All the various pro Israel groups and their cohorts on Wall St., Hollywood, Washington, high finance , and media would stop any anti war, anti big business, pro Palestine candidate.

    Meanwhile there’s a big scam going on to blame Russia for influencing US elections when little old Israel is the biggest factor in controlling US elections, foreign policy, and unending war in the Middle East!

    Read More
  4. Corbyn’s ‘victory’ was about Conservative weakness and incompetence; the only Labour policy which mattered was promising students free stuff.
    It also teaches us that almost no-one cares about the tens of thousands of rapes which his party’s policies led to and which his party ignored.

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    • Replies: @Ace
    Touche.

    The authors' nonsense about "a radical progressive transformative agenda" and offering people hopes and dreams is the standard stuff of all western elite betrayal. The West is being destroyed by immigration but the elites and the left want us to think voters are angry about "neo-liberalism" and being mean to God-damned foreigners who are stealing everything from them.

    Indians and Chinese flood our engineering schools and the motel industry is being taken over by Indians with the aid of SBA loans. Hispancs flood in illegally, take our jobs, and suck up welfare. Muslims segregate, terrorize, and chivvy for shariah. But it's those bleedin' rightists wots doin' us, mate. Corbyn's the one.
  5. anon says: • Disclaimer

    The MSM are running the same narrative in the U.K. post Election that it’s run in the U.S. since Nov. 8, to wit:
    ” We really won.”
    The fact is, the Tories won 318 of the 650 Seats, Labour won 262.

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  6. People in the US don’t seem to balk at the obscene amounts thrown at the MIC by both parties but healthcare for everyone would be “socialism”. Americans want their “freedoms”, like being dragged out of your car by thuggish cops, being spied on by the NSA and FBI and of course the freedom to be taxed, taxed and taxed some more while getting precious little in return. The Left/Right argument is so passé. Sad.

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    • Agree: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Government run healthcare would be Socialism, there's no argument - it's in the freakin definition. Healthcare for everyone, like we used to have when there was a free market (way, way back before your time, I'm sure) was definitely a good thing.

    That doesn't stop me from agreeing with the rest of your post about (the US Police State and taxation.

    I don't know why some generally liberty-loving people can't understand why socialism doesn't work - it by definition, reduces all liberties. Like you said at the end, Nosey, the Left/Right argument is so passe. Annoying.

  7. ” Sunkara argues Corbyn demonstrated that a winning campaign strategy is “to offer hopes and dreams to people, not just fear and diminished expectations.” ”

    This is what French and Dutch ‘socialists’ did, both parties now have disappeared.
    The dreams became nightmares.
    One cannot combine globalism, including being pro EU, with socialism at home.

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  8. Randal says:

    The shocking election result in the United Kingdom – the Conservatives losing their majority and the creation of a hung Parliament; and Jeremy Corbyn being more successful than any recent Labor candidate – cutting a 20 point Theresa May lead down to a near tie – gives hope to many that the global shift to the right, fueled by the failures of governments to meet the basic needs of their population and growing economic insecurity, may be ending.

    The “Conservative” Party increased its share of the vote from 36.9% to 42.4%, still 2.4% ahead of Corbyn’s Labour. It remains in government, albeit with its small majority now provided by Northern Irish conservatives of the DUP.

    Any great triumph by Labour is a reflection of their abject humiliation under the Blairites, and an artefact of the distortions created by the first past the post system here, just as was the previous “Conservative” Party “triumph” that was endlessly trumpeted at us in 2015.

    He presented a platform directed at ending austerity

    What “austerity” is that, then? Here are the ONS figures for government spending:

    UK Government spending – real and as % of GDP

    State spending has been characterised by an unending rise throughout the C20th and continuing under the “Conservative” governments from 2010 to date, and even as a percentage of GDP it’s still higher than it was under Labour in 1996-7.

    The Corbyn campaign showed that a political leader urging a radical progressive transformative agenda can succeed.

    “Succeed” in losing an election by rather less than had been feared?

    gives hope to many that the global shift to the right, fueled by the failures of governments to meet the basic needs of their population and growing economic insecurity, may be ending

    There has been no “global shift to the right”, there has been a shift away from establishment politics fuelled by the inability of the establishment to provide sufficient bread and circuses to suppress resistance to their policies. Which side has benefited in any particular country has depended upon the dynamics of politics in those countries – in places like Spain and Greece the left have been the beneficiaries. Indeed, if the corrupt Democrats had not sabotaged the Sanders candidacy to ensure the establishment figurehead got their nomination, they might have won the election in the US as well.

    As for the US sphere’s interventionist wars, Trump stood on a platform criticising and (implicitly, at least) of ending those, and is betraying it in office. If Corbyn does ever achieve office, his government will likewise betray it, whether by him endorsing some kind of “humanitarian” war or by throwing him out in order to do so.

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  9. n230099 says:

    Sure Jeremy…. A ‘tried and true formula:

    Now get this!
    We feed the rats to the cats and the cats to the rats
    And get the catskins for nothing”**

    **Norton, Mould, Hart

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  10. Corbyn teaches that we should embrace the radical transformational change that is needed, whether in elections or as a movement, to inspire people to take action and shift the realm of the possible. The people thirst for change as their economic situation becomes more insecure. There needs to be a movement that addresses that insecurity through a human rights lens, or else the insecurity will be channeled towards hatred and violence.

    That’s just a couple of cubic yards of this complete load of crap article.

    Nick Lenin taught the Russians to embrace the changes they needed. If you didn’t want to embrace it, you would end up in braces.

    Mao Zedong taught the Chinese to embrace the changes they needed. 1,000,000,000 or so souls lives changed for the worse, 40,000,000-odd souls lost to starvation, with most of the people left bereft of morals or religion, as it was beat out of them by people with little red books.

    Candidate for US President, Øb☭ma Hussein, urged the Americans to embrace the changes we needed. After great encouragement of the already long-underway ruination of the freest land the world had ever seen for 8 years, the people voted for someone quite different, who doesn’t seem to be changing a damn thing. Even so, we’ll take that over embracing more change.

    All you Commies will go straight to hell eventually. You’d better em-brace yourself now – knees and elbows in, head between your legs, 5 years to impact.

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  11. fitzGetty says:

    … his naive adherents say that they voted for him because he was “””so sincere … so much his own man … so committed …”””
    Maybe.
    So were Stalin and all the rest … so committed … so Red .
    He is keen too for the native English to ADAPT more effectively TO incoming moslem hoardes …

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Mr. Getty, I hate to be a homo(nym)-commie, but this "hoard" vs. "horde" thing has been like a bug up somewhere for a while now. I'm sure you know the difference. I've had this homonym thing happen with my own typing lots, and I wrote John Derbyshire that it happens when one hears the words to be typed in his head. It's easy to put down another spelling.

    Kudo's on the original spelling of Moslem though! As we used to say back in old Bombay, "quit changing the names around you PC bastards, or we'll send you to Burma or Ceylon."
  12. Randal says:

    Corbyn Teaches Us to Embrace the Change We Need

    Difficult to see how Corbyn, even if he does get into office somehow, actually represents any real change on any of the really important issues, though he personally has some refreshingly different positions on certain issues such as being less subservient to Israeli interests and being more strongly opposed to the use of war as a tool of policy.

    On the really important issues of globalism versus nationalism, the use of mass immigration to undercut and break national resistance to globalism, and the subordination of policy to minority identity group lobbying, he seems likely to be just more of the same. His supposed “change” appears mostly to be just reverting to even more old fashioned mid-late C20th-style state socialism.

    The election of a Greek government of the “new left” showed how useful the “new left” is at standing up to establishment globalism – about as much as a chocolate teapot. They made a bit of noise, then caved in to the globalists and sold their voters down the river. Since then, they’ve just functioned as Uncle Toms to fool just enough Greek voters that they are being governed by opponents of globalism to keep the country in line.

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  13. Anon says: • Website • Disclaimer

    there will never be a true Left in america as long as the liberal party base keeps demonizing whites and driving them away from Leftism….I noted that Corbyn refused to demonize whites, at least during his campaign….yet you mentioned nothing about that. Odd case….

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    • Replies: @DerSohndesAllvaters
    demographics... counting the Poles and other Europeans, GB is still 1960's white. Even HRC isn't that dumb.
  14. …but the problem is that U.S. elections are manipulated by the elites in power who make sure that their interests are represented by the winner

    What people seem unable to realize is that’s not a bug, but a feature. It’s structural; the way the such systems are designed.

    Most folks think governments are designed for their benefit, yet any serious examination of the origins and invariable actions of government proves that notion utterly false.

    The Constitution looked fairly good on paper, but it was not a popular document; people were suspicious of it, and suspicious of the enabling legislation that was being erected upon it. There was some ground for this. The Constitution had been laid down under unacceptable auspices; its history had been that of a coup d’état.

    It had been drafted, in the first place, by men representing special economic interests. Four-fifths of them were public creditors, one-third were land speculators, and one-fifth represented interests in shipping, manufacturing, and merchandising. Most of them were lawyers. Not one of them represented the interest of production — Vilescit origine tali. (the dice were loaded from the start)

    Albert Jay Nock, Liberty vs. the Constitution: The Early Struggle
    [Excerpted from chapter 5 of Albert Jay Nock's Jefferson]
    https://mises.org/library/liberty-vs-constitution-early-struggle

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    • Replies: @Anon
    yes, I agree. ...the constitution was written by the rich and for the rich...the business end of the constitution is the structure of the federal govt...the size of the nation it creates and the size of the voting districts..and the checks and balances and separation of powers....the EU was created along the same lines as the federal american constitution....the strategy is called divide et impera (the phrase was used by james madison, aka the father of the constitution)....madison wrote that the larger the voting districts, the harder it is for the people to unite against the rich....so that is why the founding plutocrats enlarged the voting districts...the checks and balances and separation of powers are another way for the rich to prevent the masses from using the government to do the will of the people...we see this now--the elite have so stifled democracy using the constitution that they are able to make whites second class citizens and force feed economic growth via population growth via mass immigration....for more on this see the book Unruly Americans by Woody Holton and the book Toward An American Revolution by Jerry Fresia
    , @Ace
    The Constitution does not favor particular professions or trades. Where is land speculation favored, or shipping? Altering the obligations of contract protected creditors by a certain view but that is, by another, but a protection for private property frim which all benefit.

    The Constitutional Convention exceeded its brief by a country mile but it was not imposed from above.

    Its failure may have been not to include self enforcing limits on centralization. The Founders and Ratifiers also did not foresee the size and power of industry, banking and commerce, a failure that was still not dangerous for a hundred years. Only in the early 20th c. did anyone think to enact anti-trust legislation, which has proved to be useless against media and all other forms of concentration.
    , @Stephen R. Diamond
    Remember Shay's Rebellion!
  15. Agent76 says:

    This would be one major factor if most of the Electorate only knew and sure some did.

    Jul 18, 2016 The European Union: Part of America’s Imperial Project

    The British people’s decision to leave the European Union shocked the political establishment across Europe and around the globe. Now, Professor Michel Chossudovsky exposes the EU as the imperial project that it always was, and the growing movement against EU domination as an anti-imperial movement of world historical importance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    The best illustrations of these project are the daily flights from Brussels to Washington, vice versa, and AIPAC's office in Brussels.
    Then there were the Obama speeches in Germany, urging European cooperation, and his interference in the French elections, the fear that Marine le Pen might become president.
  16. Anon says: • Website • Disclaimer
    @jacques sheete

    ...but the problem is that U.S. elections are manipulated by the elites in power who make sure that their interests are represented by the winner
     
    What people seem unable to realize is that's not a bug, but a feature. It's structural; the way the such systems are designed.

    Most folks think governments are designed for their benefit, yet any serious examination of the origins and invariable actions of government proves that notion utterly false.


    The Constitution looked fairly good on paper, but it was not a popular document; people were suspicious of it, and suspicious of the enabling legislation that was being erected upon it. There was some ground for this. The Constitution had been laid down under unacceptable auspices; its history had been that of a coup d'état.

    It had been drafted, in the first place, by men representing special economic interests. Four-fifths of them were public creditors, one-third were land speculators, and one-fifth represented interests in shipping, manufacturing, and merchandising. Most of them were lawyers. Not one of them represented the interest of production — Vilescit origine tali. (the dice were loaded from the start)

    Albert Jay Nock, Liberty vs. the Constitution: The Early Struggle
    [Excerpted from chapter 5 of Albert Jay Nock's Jefferson]
    https://mises.org/library/liberty-vs-constitution-early-struggle
     

    yes, I agree. …the constitution was written by the rich and for the rich…the business end of the constitution is the structure of the federal govt…the size of the nation it creates and the size of the voting districts..and the checks and balances and separation of powers….the EU was created along the same lines as the federal american constitution….the strategy is called divide et impera (the phrase was used by james madison, aka the father of the constitution)….madison wrote that the larger the voting districts, the harder it is for the people to unite against the rich….so that is why the founding plutocrats enlarged the voting districts…the checks and balances and separation of powers are another way for the rich to prevent the masses from using the government to do the will of the people…we see this now–the elite have so stifled democracy using the constitution that they are able to make whites second class citizens and force feed economic growth via population growth via mass immigration….for more on this see the book Unruly Americans by Woody Holton and the book Toward An American Revolution by Jerry Fresia

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    ...madison wrote that the larger the voting districts, the harder it is for the people to unite against the rich….
     
    While that does not surprise me in the least, I have not read that and would like to. Any sources? Thanks in advance!
    , @Ace
    The size​ of the nation was small in 1787 and even if congressional districts were large the playground for Congress and president was small. Later stupidities like the 15th and 16th Amendments and the establishment of a central bank were the death knell of the original republic.

    The constitutional checks and balances and separation of powers are not the reason why government is impervious to popular control. It's that political parties have a stake in plunder and are in the thrall of billionaires because of the cost of campaigns. The interests the Founders and Ratifiers assumed would be eternally opposed eventually saw they have an interest in combining against the people. In what way does Ryan oppose the Dems or advance the supposed aims of the R party?
  17. Corbyn isn’t a constituency jump to the left. Conservative voters just hate Theresa May. She’s the Brit equivalent of a RINO.

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    • Agree: Ace
    • Replies: @Uebersetzer
    If actually in "power", he would either cave in like Tsipras in Greece or be removed or tamed by a soft coup, as in a book by Chris Mullin, entitled A Very British Coup. I don't think it was a strong lurch to the left, more a sign of underlying volatility in the British political system.

    Derbyshire ranted about Communism etc., but the Daily Mail readers most likely to be moved by such denunciations would probably never vote Labour anyway, not even when it was led by Blair. Corbyn was helped by revulsion against unending austerity and a rather poor campaign by May, who has rather less of a common touch than an aristocratic vampire would have.

    May will be doing very well to make it through the rest of the year, and I don't expect her to.

  18. JackOH says:

    I recall Dr. Flowers, a medical doctor, from her days as a very gutsy, very articulate activist associated with Physicians for a National Health Program. Kevin Zeese, if my memory’s okay, is a lawyer by training, and has run for state office in Maryland. I exchanged brief correspondence with Dr. Flowers maybe a decade ago.

    My impression from afar is both are pretty much conventional democratic socialists of the Bernie Sanders type. They, of course, answer their own implicit question as to why a straightforward socialist alternative does not exist in the States.

    “U.S. elections are manipulated by the elites in power who make sure that their interests are represented by the winner.” That’s it—cut and print.

    Has anyone given any thought to a common front (or popular front) with select democratic socialists?

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    • Replies: @Ace
    One of the reasons we don't have a "straightforward socialist alternative" (thanks be) is because Flowers and Zeese are talking nonsense when the West is crumbling from the insanity of third-world immigration, the red-green alliance, welfare spending, the universal franchise, and Supreme Court betrayal.
  19. Che Guava says:

    It is all very amusing, Despite Corbyn’s constant denigration in the ‘leftist’ press. step up most Guardian columnists and journalists, among many others, but those were the worst.

    He is not the old left as he is depicted, he is one day foot in foot out and one day oee foot in.

    A kind of fake between old left and new left.

    It is funny that the DUP has to back May。i would thinking that nothing that they want wikl happen.

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  20. @NoseytheDuke
    People in the US don't seem to balk at the obscene amounts thrown at the MIC by both parties but healthcare for everyone would be "socialism". Americans want their "freedoms", like being dragged out of your car by thuggish cops, being spied on by the NSA and FBI and of course the freedom to be taxed, taxed and taxed some more while getting precious little in return. The Left/Right argument is so passé. Sad.

    Government run healthcare would be Socialism, there’s no argument – it’s in the freakin definition. Healthcare for everyone, like we used to have when there was a free market (way, way back before your time, I’m sure) was definitely a good thing.

    That doesn’t stop me from agreeing with the rest of your post about (the US Police State and taxation.

    I don’t know why some generally liberty-loving people can’t understand why socialism doesn’t work – it by definition, reduces all liberties. Like you said at the end, Nosey, the Left/Right argument is so passe. Annoying.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wally
    The fact is, too many people really don't want to work for a living.
    They want all the benefits of work , but not the effort.
    Today's millennials are a prime example.

    In addition, given the fact that May got more votes than Corbyn, a la Hillary, the US left would say that May won.

    , @NoseytheDuke
    America is doing a fine job of reducing liberties with nary a whiff of socialism. Some things should be owned by the people (society) and other things are better suited to private ownership. Simple really.
    , @MarkinLA
    Healthcare for everyone, like we used to have when there was a free market (way, way back before your time, I’m sure) was definitely a good thing.

    You mean before modern medicine when the most physicians could do was mend wounds, set broken bones and hand out antibiotics? When most serious illnesses were eventually fatal and people just accepted that there was nothing they could do? When you could go into an emergency room and you weren't inadvertently signing your life savings over to the hospital.

    Yes, in those days there were no million dollar treatments and 90% "discounts" for insurance so it was much simpler. The "free market" doesn't work with a system with that much complexity and ability to screw the masses.
  21. articles as this give me hope for the us.the workers in the us have been brainwashed into thinking socialised medicine,reasonable holidays and a free education system for all is a commie plot “to drain their natural liquids.”
    unfortunately your media is owned lock,stock and barrel by the ruling class and somehow this is perceived as democracy.i wonder if abc who interviewed chelsea manning showed the iraqi civilians(including children) being machine gunned by the american helicopter gunship?
    when somebody is jailed for leaking material as this the country is in serious trouble.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ace
    Van Jones couldn't have said it better.

    Machine gunning children was the best part.
    , @Foxcreek
    I think that actually is "precious bodily fluids."
  22. @fitzGetty
    ... his naive adherents say that they voted for him because he was """so sincere ... so much his own man ... so committed ..."""
    Maybe.
    So were Stalin and all the rest ... so committed ... so Red .
    He is keen too for the native English to ADAPT more effectively TO incoming moslem hoardes ...

    Mr. Getty, I hate to be a homo(nym)-commie, but this “hoard” vs. “horde” thing has been like a bug up somewhere for a while now. I’m sure you know the difference. I’ve had this homonym thing happen with my own typing lots, and I wrote John Derbyshire that it happens when one hears the words to be typed in his head. It’s easy to put down another spelling.

    Kudo’s on the original spelling of Moslem though! As we used to say back in old Bombay, “quit changing the names around you PC bastards, or we’ll send you to Burma or Ceylon.”

    Read More
  23. Wally says:
    @Achmed E. Newman
    Government run healthcare would be Socialism, there's no argument - it's in the freakin definition. Healthcare for everyone, like we used to have when there was a free market (way, way back before your time, I'm sure) was definitely a good thing.

    That doesn't stop me from agreeing with the rest of your post about (the US Police State and taxation.

    I don't know why some generally liberty-loving people can't understand why socialism doesn't work - it by definition, reduces all liberties. Like you said at the end, Nosey, the Left/Right argument is so passe. Annoying.

    The fact is, too many people really don’t want to work for a living.
    They want all the benefits of work , but not the effort.
    Today’s millennials are a prime example.

    In addition, given the fact that May got more votes than Corbyn, a la Hillary, the US left would say that May won.

    Read More
  24. @Rosamond Vincy
    Corbyn isn't a constituency jump to the left. Conservative voters just hate Theresa May. She's the Brit equivalent of a RINO.

    If actually in “power”, he would either cave in like Tsipras in Greece or be removed or tamed by a soft coup, as in a book by Chris Mullin, entitled A Very British Coup. I don’t think it was a strong lurch to the left, more a sign of underlying volatility in the British political system.

    Derbyshire ranted about Communism etc., but the Daily Mail readers most likely to be moved by such denunciations would probably never vote Labour anyway, not even when it was led by Blair. Corbyn was helped by revulsion against unending austerity and a rather poor campaign by May, who has rather less of a common touch than an aristocratic vampire would have.

    May will be doing very well to make it through the rest of the year, and I don’t expect her to.

    Read More
  25. @Agent76
    This would be one major factor if most of the Electorate only knew and sure some did.

    Jul 18, 2016 The European Union: Part of America's Imperial Project

    The British people’s decision to leave the European Union shocked the political establishment across Europe and around the globe. Now, Professor Michel Chossudovsky exposes the EU as the imperial project that it always was, and the growing movement against EU domination as an anti-imperial movement of world historical importance.

    https://youtu.be/XOTfy8gzC3U

    The best illustrations of these project are the daily flights from Brussels to Washington, vice versa, and AIPAC’s office in Brussels.
    Then there were the Obama speeches in Germany, urging European cooperation, and his interference in the French elections, the fear that Marine le Pen might become president.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Agent76
    This is also something I have from 2000. Sep 19, 2000 Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs

    The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1356047/Euro-federalists-financed-by-US-spy-chiefs.html
  26. This article is so lacking in analysis. Every statement creates questions, which are unanswered. All of the problems of modernity can be solved by choosing one of two dualisms, artificially created and corrupted through and through?

    Sickening.

    Read More
  27. Anyone who promises to stay out of wars is sure to win in the long run. Trump, sort of vaguely and contradictorily, pointed to that direction in his campaign. He will not be reelected if he goes the other way now. People are sick of wars. They do not live in the nineteenth century, much less in the Middle Ages, and are pretty well informed about whom wars benefit. Besides, with the dissolution of borders, patriotism lost all of its strength as a mass mobilizer, becoming, for all practical purposes, a void concept.

    Read More
  28. (Complementing my earlier comment)

    With the rise in the information access by the common people, wars lost their golden aura. But I am afraid that is true only about inter-country wars. Civil wars are on the rise, and will likely stay so. Again, this is related to information access, which causes people to recognize the enemy amongst those in their own country.

    Read More
  29. @Anon
    there will never be a true Left in america as long as the liberal party base keeps demonizing whites and driving them away from Leftism....I noted that Corbyn refused to demonize whites, at least during his campaign....yet you mentioned nothing about that. Odd case....

    demographics… counting the Poles and other Europeans, GB is still 1960′s white. Even HRC isn’t that dumb.

    Read More
  30. Altai says:

    After the disaster that was the human replicate Milliband, the Blairites had the gall to say the problem was ‘Labour went too left!’. Yes, that’s how they lost the white working class during a time of mass inequality and low wages, no, the problem was IMMIGRATION! But people settled for Corbyn, he may not have changed the tune on immigration, but his other policies were great and as a political veteran had no trace of being a glib manager.

    It was funny to watch the reaction. It could be boiled down to, ‘Are they Jewish?’, then they’ll savage him and call him crazy before starting to cozy up or attack May.

    It’s amazing how hysterical they are against Corbyn.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23

    It’s amazing how hysterical they are against Corbyn.
     
    It's true, he's always had opinions that don't go down well in polite company.

    For example, the extraordinary opinion that the Labour Party should apologize to the people of Iraq for Blair's part in destroying their country, or that it should oppose the endless oppression of the Palestinians.
  31. Art says:

    Corbyn is a lifelong activist whose message and actions have been consistent. He presented a platform directed at ending austerity and the wealth divide and was openly anti-war.

    Who in his right mind can argue with that? Clearly the of powerful of big money and the powerful of the big state are losers for 99% of humanity. A pox on both. (Currently the moneyed and the state are effectively one.)

    Power resides with property ownership. Who owns what decides power. Right now the 1%, through debt and stock ownership, controls most of America’s property. Control of America radiates out of 1% Wall Street.

    This was not always the case. Local businesses and private homes and property where the bedrock of American stability. Bigness is the enemy of the 99%.

    It is time to return power to local people, local business, and local private governing institutions.

    Peace — Art

    p.s. If you want insecurity, make war – if you want peace and security, stop war.

    p.s. While we dither and fuss about party politics that they exclusively control – the Jews are dragging us into a war on Iran.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    Power resides with property ownership. Who owns what decides power. Right now the 1%, through debt and stock ownership, controls most of America’s property. Control of America radiates out of 1% Wall Street.

    This was not always the case. Local businesses and private homes and property where the bedrock of American stability. Bigness is the enemy of the 99%.
     

    True. and it's been going on for some time. It's now a very finely honed system, and yet most seem to support it!!

    ...I saw something else that filled me with dread. I saw the government
    of the United States enter into a struggle with the
    trusts, the railroads and the banks, and I watched while
    the business forces won the contest.

    I saw the forms of republican government decay through disuse, and I
    saw them betrayed by the very men who were sworn to preserve and uphold them. I saw the empire of business, with its innumerable ramifications, grow up around and above the structure of government.

    - R. F. PETTIGREW, TRIUMPHANT PLUTOCRACY, The Story ofAmerican Public Life from 1870 to 1920.

     

  32. Miro23 says:
    @Altai
    After the disaster that was the human replicate Milliband, the Blairites had the gall to say the problem was 'Labour went too left!'. Yes, that's how they lost the white working class during a time of mass inequality and low wages, no, the problem was IMMIGRATION! But people settled for Corbyn, he may not have changed the tune on immigration, but his other policies were great and as a political veteran had no trace of being a glib manager.

    It was funny to watch the reaction. It could be boiled down to, 'Are they Jewish?', then they'll savage him and call him crazy before starting to cozy up or attack May.

    It's amazing how hysterical they are against Corbyn.

    It’s amazing how hysterical they are against Corbyn.

    It’s true, he’s always had opinions that don’t go down well in polite company.

    For example, the extraordinary opinion that the Labour Party should apologize to the people of Iraq for Blair’s part in destroying their country, or that it should oppose the endless oppression of the Palestinians.

    Read More
    • Replies: @TWS
    Perhaps apologizing for his part in turning his nation into an Islamic Terror nation would help?
  33. @Anon
    yes, I agree. ...the constitution was written by the rich and for the rich...the business end of the constitution is the structure of the federal govt...the size of the nation it creates and the size of the voting districts..and the checks and balances and separation of powers....the EU was created along the same lines as the federal american constitution....the strategy is called divide et impera (the phrase was used by james madison, aka the father of the constitution)....madison wrote that the larger the voting districts, the harder it is for the people to unite against the rich....so that is why the founding plutocrats enlarged the voting districts...the checks and balances and separation of powers are another way for the rich to prevent the masses from using the government to do the will of the people...we see this now--the elite have so stifled democracy using the constitution that they are able to make whites second class citizens and force feed economic growth via population growth via mass immigration....for more on this see the book Unruly Americans by Woody Holton and the book Toward An American Revolution by Jerry Fresia

    …madison wrote that the larger the voting districts, the harder it is for the people to unite against the rich….

    While that does not surprise me in the least, I have not read that and would like to. Any sources? Thanks in advance!

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    I found one source...

    Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other.


    The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection
    From the New York Packet. Friday, November 23, 1787. Madison (as Publius)

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed10.asp

    , @Eagle Eye

    …madison wrote that the larger the voting districts, the harder it is for the people to unite against the rich….
     
    Interesting ballot initiative filed in California:

    "Divid[es] current Assembly and Senate districts into neighborhood districts with each Assemblymember representing about 5,000 persons and each Senator representing about 10,000 persons. Provides for neighborhood district representatives to elect working committees the size of the current Assembly and Senate, 80 Assemblymembers and 40 Senators. Gives working committees legislative power generally, and sole power to amend bills, but requires approval by appropriate vote of the full membership in each house for passage of any non-urgency bill. Reduces legislators’ pay and expenditures."
     
    http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/initiative-and-referendum-status/initiatives-referenda-cleared-circulation/
  34. @jacques sheete

    ...madison wrote that the larger the voting districts, the harder it is for the people to unite against the rich….
     
    While that does not surprise me in the least, I have not read that and would like to. Any sources? Thanks in advance!

    I found one source…

    Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other.

    The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection
    From the New York Packet. Friday, November 23, 1787. Madison (as Publius)

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed10.asp

    Read More
  35. @Achmed E. Newman
    Government run healthcare would be Socialism, there's no argument - it's in the freakin definition. Healthcare for everyone, like we used to have when there was a free market (way, way back before your time, I'm sure) was definitely a good thing.

    That doesn't stop me from agreeing with the rest of your post about (the US Police State and taxation.

    I don't know why some generally liberty-loving people can't understand why socialism doesn't work - it by definition, reduces all liberties. Like you said at the end, Nosey, the Left/Right argument is so passe. Annoying.

    America is doing a fine job of reducing liberties with nary a whiff of socialism. Some things should be owned by the people (society) and other things are better suited to private ownership. Simple really.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    Some things should be owned by the people (society)...
     
    Who is this people, Kemosabe? If you want to own part of my stuff that I earned, that is theft, whether you get charged or not. Who's deciding which stuff of mine you're gonna own part of? I'd rather leave it up to the US Constitution on the federal level. States can do what they want, per Amendment X. Then if California was as dicked-up as it is now, I could go to some state that had decided not to embrace the socialist suck.

    I guess it's hard to see socialism if you could not even imagine free markets. It's been a long time - maybe the only free markets left in the USSA are the flea markets, Chinese restaurants (nobody pays taxes but the customer, and that money goes .... I dunno...), and the labor market for illegal immigrants in building. I wish we could all have the freedom of an illegal alien.

    "It's more fun, being an illegal alien!" Phil Collins of Genesis
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Some things should be owned by the people (society)
     
    Yeah, like the Church, as in England. But that archaic First Amendment, written by powdered wealthy slavers, stands in the way.
  36. @Art
    Corbyn is a lifelong activist whose message and actions have been consistent. He presented a platform directed at ending austerity and the wealth divide and was openly anti-war.

    Who in his right mind can argue with that? Clearly the of powerful of big money and the powerful of the big state are losers for 99% of humanity. A pox on both. (Currently the moneyed and the state are effectively one.)

    Power resides with property ownership. Who owns what decides power. Right now the 1%, through debt and stock ownership, controls most of America’s property. Control of America radiates out of 1% Wall Street.

    This was not always the case. Local businesses and private homes and property where the bedrock of American stability. Bigness is the enemy of the 99%.

    It is time to return power to local people, local business, and local private governing institutions.

    Peace --- Art

    p.s. If you want insecurity, make war – if you want peace and security, stop war.

    p.s. While we dither and fuss about party politics that they exclusively control – the Jews are dragging us into a war on Iran.

    Power resides with property ownership. Who owns what decides power. Right now the 1%, through debt and stock ownership, controls most of America’s property. Control of America radiates out of 1% Wall Street.

    This was not always the case. Local businesses and private homes and property where the bedrock of American stability. Bigness is the enemy of the 99%.

    True. and it’s been going on for some time. It’s now a very finely honed system, and yet most seem to support it!!

    …I saw something else that filled me with dread. I saw the government
    of the United States enter into a struggle with the
    trusts, the railroads and the banks, and I watched while
    the business forces won the contest.

    I saw the forms of republican government decay through disuse, and I
    saw them betrayed by the very men who were sworn to preserve and uphold them. I saw the empire of business, with its innumerable ramifications, grow up around and above the structure of government.

    - R. F. PETTIGREW, TRIUMPHANT PLUTOCRACY, The Story ofAmerican Public Life from 1870 to 1920.

    Read More
  37. MarkinLA says:
    @Achmed E. Newman
    Government run healthcare would be Socialism, there's no argument - it's in the freakin definition. Healthcare for everyone, like we used to have when there was a free market (way, way back before your time, I'm sure) was definitely a good thing.

    That doesn't stop me from agreeing with the rest of your post about (the US Police State and taxation.

    I don't know why some generally liberty-loving people can't understand why socialism doesn't work - it by definition, reduces all liberties. Like you said at the end, Nosey, the Left/Right argument is so passe. Annoying.

    Healthcare for everyone, like we used to have when there was a free market (way, way back before your time, I’m sure) was definitely a good thing.

    You mean before modern medicine when the most physicians could do was mend wounds, set broken bones and hand out antibiotics? When most serious illnesses were eventually fatal and people just accepted that there was nothing they could do? When you could go into an emergency room and you weren’t inadvertently signing your life savings over to the hospital.

    Yes, in those days there were no million dollar treatments and 90% “discounts” for insurance so it was much simpler. The “free market” doesn’t work with a system with that much complexity and ability to screw the masses.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Mark, you've got to learn the difference between science and economics - totally, totally different things. Of course, you'd have died with clogged arteries in 1955, and you had hardly any chance with some of the cancers that are treatable now. That's due to the amazing abilities of scientists and the research world. I know, "they are supported by NIH, etc.", but plenty of people give real charity for so many causes when they are left with money in their pockets.

    The economics of health care is a separate issue. It has been FUBARed to the extent probably never seen by those who invented that acronym. The government screws up business, then people complain to the government to fix it, then they screw it up worse, etc. and that has been going on for 1/2 a century in this field.

    You are wrong if you mean that the "complexity" of the medicine (I use this term loosely, meaning all the imaging technology, new materials, new drugs, all of it) is what makes it cost so much. Of course, for a new process, drug, or type of operation, it does. Then, the real cost goes way down, as long as it's not held ransom by government and middlemen that are in place through regulation.

    You should talk to some doctors - be they surgeons, cardiologists, whatever - and find out how the money from a patient gets sucked up by the system. It is amazing. A good cardio doc may make less than $1000 for a damn stent procedure, where he sticks that catheter up the artery into the various cardiac arteries while your heart is beating, and uses continual x-ray images to see what you've got, and then again to put a stent in (without punching through any walls which will kill you.) ONE THOUSAND. I could see another grand for the 1-hour or so of 10 technicians involved and a chunk for the facility and equipment. Do the rough estimation yourself, Mark. The whole thing doesn't cost near the 10 to 20 large that the insurance company or individual will be billed.

    The middlemen make all the big money - insurance cos., hospital admins, etc. Do you understand Mark, that one decent size doctors office will have 20 % of the staff just doing the billing stuff? Hey, this is the damn computer age - that's supposed to make it easier, right? The complexity is in the finance/economics of medicine, because government forced it that way.

    See how much you get charged in the emergency room for 1/2 hour behind the counter for something that may be nothing, but you or the patient is scared about - you will get charged $1500 or more for that 1/2 hour, if you just try to pay like a honest individual sucker, because the 5 illegal aliens in the room must be covered too.

    Socialists just don't have the brain-power to see this stuff, or else they don't get out much.
  38. Agent76 says:
    @jilles dykstra
    The best illustrations of these project are the daily flights from Brussels to Washington, vice versa, and AIPAC's office in Brussels.
    Then there were the Obama speeches in Germany, urging European cooperation, and his interference in the French elections, the fear that Marine le Pen might become president.

    This is also something I have from 2000. Sep 19, 2000 Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs

    The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1356047/Euro-federalists-financed-by-US-spy-chiefs.html

    Read More
  39. @MarkinLA
    Healthcare for everyone, like we used to have when there was a free market (way, way back before your time, I’m sure) was definitely a good thing.

    You mean before modern medicine when the most physicians could do was mend wounds, set broken bones and hand out antibiotics? When most serious illnesses were eventually fatal and people just accepted that there was nothing they could do? When you could go into an emergency room and you weren't inadvertently signing your life savings over to the hospital.

    Yes, in those days there were no million dollar treatments and 90% "discounts" for insurance so it was much simpler. The "free market" doesn't work with a system with that much complexity and ability to screw the masses.

    Mark, you’ve got to learn the difference between science and economics – totally, totally different things. Of course, you’d have died with clogged arteries in 1955, and you had hardly any chance with some of the cancers that are treatable now. That’s due to the amazing abilities of scientists and the research world. I know, “they are supported by NIH, etc.”, but plenty of people give real charity for so many causes when they are left with money in their pockets.

    The economics of health care is a separate issue. It has been FUBARed to the extent probably never seen by those who invented that acronym. The government screws up business, then people complain to the government to fix it, then they screw it up worse, etc. and that has been going on for 1/2 a century in this field.

    You are wrong if you mean that the “complexity” of the medicine (I use this term loosely, meaning all the imaging technology, new materials, new drugs, all of it) is what makes it cost so much. Of course, for a new process, drug, or type of operation, it does. Then, the real cost goes way down, as long as it’s not held ransom by government and middlemen that are in place through regulation.

    You should talk to some doctors – be they surgeons, cardiologists, whatever – and find out how the money from a patient gets sucked up by the system. It is amazing. A good cardio doc may make less than $1000 for a damn stent procedure, where he sticks that catheter up the artery into the various cardiac arteries while your heart is beating, and uses continual x-ray images to see what you’ve got, and then again to put a stent in (without punching through any walls which will kill you.) ONE THOUSAND. I could see another grand for the 1-hour or so of 10 technicians involved and a chunk for the facility and equipment. Do the rough estimation yourself, Mark. The whole thing doesn’t cost near the 10 to 20 large that the insurance company or individual will be billed.

    The middlemen make all the big money – insurance cos., hospital admins, etc. Do you understand Mark, that one decent size doctors office will have 20 % of the staff just doing the billing stuff? Hey, this is the damn computer age – that’s supposed to make it easier, right? The complexity is in the finance/economics of medicine, because government forced it that way.

    See how much you get charged in the emergency room for 1/2 hour behind the counter for something that may be nothing, but you or the patient is scared about – you will get charged $1500 or more for that 1/2 hour, if you just try to pay like a honest individual sucker, because the 5 illegal aliens in the room must be covered too.

    Socialists just don’t have the brain-power to see this stuff, or else they don’t get out much.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    The middlemen make all the big money – insurance cos., hospital admins, etc. Do you understand Mark, that one decent size doctors office will have 20 % of the staff just doing the billing stuff?

    You need a reality check. The DOCTOR bills you at 20K and if you are lucky enough to have insurance THEY only pay the doctor 2K. However, if YOU don't have insurance the doctor still sends you a bill for 20K and can sue you for that 20k. Instead you spout industry nonsense about middlemen causing all these mythical costs.

    As for billing, many doctors just utilize a billing service that takes a cut of the overall income. Those services contract with lots of doctors and medical groups so that stuff about billing taking so much isn't anything more than what any other business has. Most insurance companies are using the same codes for the same procedures ands everything is automated.

    I worked in a medical products company and know what the markups on our products were and they were astronomical compared to most industries.

    It is stupid to bring in illegal aliens or unnecessary tests - the red herrings of the medical industry as the reason costs are so high. They are not what is causing the huge costs. If insurance companies get a 90% discount and a business still accepts their business, what does that say about the whole business model?

    No the problem is that the providers all get a lot more than what the average working person can afford and without insurance any significant procedure can bankrupt you and there is nothing you can do unless you can negotiate in the case of elective surgery. However, if you need something quickly, you are screwed. This is the free market at work.

    Case in point, a contractor friend of mine was going to get his knees done. None of his doctors was willing to negotiate with him until he told them he was going to India. As it was he could only make it work if he was in and out of the surgical center in one day while in India he was going to spend a week at a 5 star hotel.

    I got dysentery in Morocco and paid the doctor 400 dollars for multiple visits and tests from the hotel physician on call. When I turned the bills in to my insurance and calculated my 20% out of network amount that I expected to pay, I was shocked when I got a check from them for 800 dollars. That was most likely because trying to override the system wasn't worth the 500 dollars the insurance company would save versus just running it through the system with the US codes and US payment amounts.
    , @Miro23

    The middlemen make all the big money – insurance cos., hospital admins, etc. Do you understand Mark, that one decent size doctors office will have 20 % of the staff just doing the billing stuff? Hey, this is the damn computer age – that’s supposed to make it easier, right? The complexity is in the finance/economics of medicine, because government forced it that way.
     
    In France the government decided that every citizen needed efficient government provided healthcare. So everyone got an electronic card carrying their full medical history with a card reader in each doctor's office. After every visit/ treatment the card is immediately updated by the doctor/specialist, greatly reducing administration costs, and no one working in the sector expects to make big money.

    It's worth reading T.R.Ried's "The Healing of America" https://www.amazon.com/Healing-America-Global-Better-Cheaper/dp/0143118218/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497333210&sr=8-1&keywords=the+healing+of+america+by+t.+r.+reid

    Reid travels around the world comparing health care systems (every country has the same challenge - and they tackle it in a multitude of different ways) and he finds that the US has about the worst value healthcare in the world.
  40. @NoseytheDuke
    America is doing a fine job of reducing liberties with nary a whiff of socialism. Some things should be owned by the people (society) and other things are better suited to private ownership. Simple really.

    Some things should be owned by the people (society)…

    Who is this people, Kemosabe? If you want to own part of my stuff that I earned, that is theft, whether you get charged or not. Who’s deciding which stuff of mine you’re gonna own part of? I’d rather leave it up to the US Constitution on the federal level. States can do what they want, per Amendment X. Then if California was as dicked-up as it is now, I could go to some state that had decided not to embrace the socialist suck.

    I guess it’s hard to see socialism if you could not even imagine free markets. It’s been a long time – maybe the only free markets left in the USSA are the flea markets, Chinese restaurants (nobody pays taxes but the customer, and that money goes …. I dunno…), and the labor market for illegal immigrants in building. I wish we could all have the freedom of an illegal alien.

    “It’s more fun, being an illegal alien!” Phil Collins of Genesis

    Read More
  41. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    The change the West needs?

    More ACOWW or Afro-Colonization of White Wombs

    Read More
  42. @NoseytheDuke
    America is doing a fine job of reducing liberties with nary a whiff of socialism. Some things should be owned by the people (society) and other things are better suited to private ownership. Simple really.

    Some things should be owned by the people (society)

    Yeah, like the Church, as in England. But that archaic First Amendment, written by powdered wealthy slavers, stands in the way.

    Read More
  43. Your “conservative” party allowed poofters to pretend that their sodomy consummates a legal marriage. Corbyn’s silence on the most radical act in Anglo-Saxon history is mighty suspicious. Where is the opposition?

    Much like the Democrats’ silence when Bush anounced that Islam is peace– surely the falsest statement ever made in the White House. Where is the opposition?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    Much like the Democrats’ silence when Bush anounced that Islam is peace– surely the falsest statement ever made in the White House.
     
    Hey, slow down, Reg. There is a lot of competition in the White House false statement space! Your example is right on up there, though, maybe number 5 with a scimitar bullet.
  44. TWS says:

    This is a parody, right? I thought the only comedy writer here was the ‘Ask a Mexican’ column. If this becomes a regular feature it could be fun.

    Next stop, The Onion!

    Read More
  45. MarkinLA says:
    @Achmed E. Newman
    Mark, you've got to learn the difference between science and economics - totally, totally different things. Of course, you'd have died with clogged arteries in 1955, and you had hardly any chance with some of the cancers that are treatable now. That's due to the amazing abilities of scientists and the research world. I know, "they are supported by NIH, etc.", but plenty of people give real charity for so many causes when they are left with money in their pockets.

    The economics of health care is a separate issue. It has been FUBARed to the extent probably never seen by those who invented that acronym. The government screws up business, then people complain to the government to fix it, then they screw it up worse, etc. and that has been going on for 1/2 a century in this field.

    You are wrong if you mean that the "complexity" of the medicine (I use this term loosely, meaning all the imaging technology, new materials, new drugs, all of it) is what makes it cost so much. Of course, for a new process, drug, or type of operation, it does. Then, the real cost goes way down, as long as it's not held ransom by government and middlemen that are in place through regulation.

    You should talk to some doctors - be they surgeons, cardiologists, whatever - and find out how the money from a patient gets sucked up by the system. It is amazing. A good cardio doc may make less than $1000 for a damn stent procedure, where he sticks that catheter up the artery into the various cardiac arteries while your heart is beating, and uses continual x-ray images to see what you've got, and then again to put a stent in (without punching through any walls which will kill you.) ONE THOUSAND. I could see another grand for the 1-hour or so of 10 technicians involved and a chunk for the facility and equipment. Do the rough estimation yourself, Mark. The whole thing doesn't cost near the 10 to 20 large that the insurance company or individual will be billed.

    The middlemen make all the big money - insurance cos., hospital admins, etc. Do you understand Mark, that one decent size doctors office will have 20 % of the staff just doing the billing stuff? Hey, this is the damn computer age - that's supposed to make it easier, right? The complexity is in the finance/economics of medicine, because government forced it that way.

    See how much you get charged in the emergency room for 1/2 hour behind the counter for something that may be nothing, but you or the patient is scared about - you will get charged $1500 or more for that 1/2 hour, if you just try to pay like a honest individual sucker, because the 5 illegal aliens in the room must be covered too.

    Socialists just don't have the brain-power to see this stuff, or else they don't get out much.

    The middlemen make all the big money – insurance cos., hospital admins, etc. Do you understand Mark, that one decent size doctors office will have 20 % of the staff just doing the billing stuff?

    You need a reality check. The DOCTOR bills you at 20K and if you are lucky enough to have insurance THEY only pay the doctor 2K. However, if YOU don’t have insurance the doctor still sends you a bill for 20K and can sue you for that 20k. Instead you spout industry nonsense about middlemen causing all these mythical costs.

    As for billing, many doctors just utilize a billing service that takes a cut of the overall income. Those services contract with lots of doctors and medical groups so that stuff about billing taking so much isn’t anything more than what any other business has. Most insurance companies are using the same codes for the same procedures ands everything is automated.

    I worked in a medical products company and know what the markups on our products were and they were astronomical compared to most industries.

    It is stupid to bring in illegal aliens or unnecessary tests – the red herrings of the medical industry as the reason costs are so high. They are not what is causing the huge costs. If insurance companies get a 90% discount and a business still accepts their business, what does that say about the whole business model?

    No the problem is that the providers all get a lot more than what the average working person can afford and without insurance any significant procedure can bankrupt you and there is nothing you can do unless you can negotiate in the case of elective surgery. However, if you need something quickly, you are screwed. This is the free market at work.

    Case in point, a contractor friend of mine was going to get his knees done. None of his doctors was willing to negotiate with him until he told them he was going to India. As it was he could only make it work if he was in and out of the surgical center in one day while in India he was going to spend a week at a 5 star hotel.

    I got dysentery in Morocco and paid the doctor 400 dollars for multiple visits and tests from the hotel physician on call. When I turned the bills in to my insurance and calculated my 20% out of network amount that I expected to pay, I was shocked when I got a check from them for 800 dollars. That was most likely because trying to override the system wasn’t worth the 500 dollars the insurance company would save versus just running it through the system with the US codes and US payment amounts.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    "You need a reality check. The DOCTOR bills you at 20K and if you are lucky enough to have insurance THEY only pay the doctor 2K. However, if YOU don’t have insurance the doctor still sends you a bill for 20K and can sue you for that 20k...."
     
    That's what I just got done telling you, the insurance companies are the middlemen. They make a killing, but that IS BECAUSE IT IS NOTHING LIKE A FREE MARKET. Feral gov't rules make it where a big group of individuals, say a small group of employers, cannot get together and make up an insurance plan without going through government rules which will change them. Insurance should be easy.

    On the medical devices, it's the same lack of competition. These companies go through FDA hoops (very much like FAA PMA - parts approval) and can after having gone through can charge out the yingyang for the devices due to LACK OF COMPETITION.


    No the problem is that the providers all get a lot more than what the average working person can afford and without insurance any significant procedure can bankrupt you and there is nothing you can do unless you can negotiate in the case of elective surgery. However, if you need something quickly, you are screwed. This is the free market at work.

     

    This is ABSOLUTELY NOT a free market. Where is the open pricing and ready access to information? Where is the competition? If you think that health care is a free market, Mark, than you are in need of some expensive health care yourself - the kind that takes teams of psychologists in Vienna, Austria. (Don't worry, they are Austrians, so they might believe in the Austrian School of economics, and that'll save you a pretty penny.)

    It is stupid to bring in illegal aliens...
     
    Loads of California hospitals and clinics have been shut completely down due to illegal alien overload. I thought you lived in CA. You really just don't seem get out and about. It is a major problem, and my $1500 bill for 1/2 hours at the ER remained 75 % unpaid, as I told the guy on the phone that I can't pay for all these people. No, it was not in CA; this problem is widespread.

    .... or unnecessary tests
     
    I did not bring that up at all, but since you did, yes it's a problem. This has more to do with lawyers than anything. Doctors have to cover their asses and that is a big chunk of some (of the specialties) work.

    As for billing, many doctors just utilize a billing service that takes a cut of the overall income. Those services contract with lots of doctors and medical groups so that stuff about billing taking so much isn’t anything more than what any other business has. Most insurance companies are using the same codes for the same procedures and everything is automated.
     
    This is 1/2 the story. I've seen it work this way too, definitely, billing doesn't have to be in-house, but this is not the simple sending of papers out. The system is massively complicated and since you mentioned it, do you know there are whole degrees in medical billing? What does that say to you, Mark? Between medicare, screwed up insurance companies, deadbeats (like me who will not cover the illegal aliens) it is a bunch of busy work that adds NOTHING to the economy. The doctor I knew was nothing if not frugal, and he did billing in-house with 11 out of 50 employees (3 offices total) being in the billing/collecting dept. Think about it: Are there Associate Degrees in checking people out at AM-PM? No, because the job has not been made massively complicated by thousands of pages or rules. (Hey, but there's still time and personnel in Congress!)

    Your last 2 paragraphs on the foreign medical care pretty much make my point. Things are much closer to a free market in some other countries, but I am just going by what you and other say - I have not been. I could tell you a lot about how it works in China, but this comment is toooooo loooong.

  46. TWS says:
    @Miro23

    It’s amazing how hysterical they are against Corbyn.
     
    It's true, he's always had opinions that don't go down well in polite company.

    For example, the extraordinary opinion that the Labour Party should apologize to the people of Iraq for Blair's part in destroying their country, or that it should oppose the endless oppression of the Palestinians.

    Perhaps apologizing for his part in turning his nation into an Islamic Terror nation would help?

    Read More
  47. Miro23 says:

    He’s also saying that destroying the Middle East based on fake WMD stories generates Islamic Terror blowback in the West.

    There are no other UK (or American) politicians saying that.

    The US and the UK have killed 100.000′s of civilians in these countries.

    Read More
  48. Miro23 says:
    @Achmed E. Newman
    Mark, you've got to learn the difference between science and economics - totally, totally different things. Of course, you'd have died with clogged arteries in 1955, and you had hardly any chance with some of the cancers that are treatable now. That's due to the amazing abilities of scientists and the research world. I know, "they are supported by NIH, etc.", but plenty of people give real charity for so many causes when they are left with money in their pockets.

    The economics of health care is a separate issue. It has been FUBARed to the extent probably never seen by those who invented that acronym. The government screws up business, then people complain to the government to fix it, then they screw it up worse, etc. and that has been going on for 1/2 a century in this field.

    You are wrong if you mean that the "complexity" of the medicine (I use this term loosely, meaning all the imaging technology, new materials, new drugs, all of it) is what makes it cost so much. Of course, for a new process, drug, or type of operation, it does. Then, the real cost goes way down, as long as it's not held ransom by government and middlemen that are in place through regulation.

    You should talk to some doctors - be they surgeons, cardiologists, whatever - and find out how the money from a patient gets sucked up by the system. It is amazing. A good cardio doc may make less than $1000 for a damn stent procedure, where he sticks that catheter up the artery into the various cardiac arteries while your heart is beating, and uses continual x-ray images to see what you've got, and then again to put a stent in (without punching through any walls which will kill you.) ONE THOUSAND. I could see another grand for the 1-hour or so of 10 technicians involved and a chunk for the facility and equipment. Do the rough estimation yourself, Mark. The whole thing doesn't cost near the 10 to 20 large that the insurance company or individual will be billed.

    The middlemen make all the big money - insurance cos., hospital admins, etc. Do you understand Mark, that one decent size doctors office will have 20 % of the staff just doing the billing stuff? Hey, this is the damn computer age - that's supposed to make it easier, right? The complexity is in the finance/economics of medicine, because government forced it that way.

    See how much you get charged in the emergency room for 1/2 hour behind the counter for something that may be nothing, but you or the patient is scared about - you will get charged $1500 or more for that 1/2 hour, if you just try to pay like a honest individual sucker, because the 5 illegal aliens in the room must be covered too.

    Socialists just don't have the brain-power to see this stuff, or else they don't get out much.

    The middlemen make all the big money – insurance cos., hospital admins, etc. Do you understand Mark, that one decent size doctors office will have 20 % of the staff just doing the billing stuff? Hey, this is the damn computer age – that’s supposed to make it easier, right? The complexity is in the finance/economics of medicine, because government forced it that way.

    In France the government decided that every citizen needed efficient government provided healthcare. So everyone got an electronic card carrying their full medical history with a card reader in each doctor’s office. After every visit/ treatment the card is immediately updated by the doctor/specialist, greatly reducing administration costs, and no one working in the sector expects to make big money.

    It’s worth reading T.R.Ried’s “The Healing of America” https://www.amazon.com/Healing-America-Global-Better-Cheaper/dp/0143118218/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497333210&sr=8-1&keywords=the+healing+of+america+by+t.+r.+reid

    Reid travels around the world comparing health care systems (every country has the same challenge – and they tackle it in a multitude of different ways) and he finds that the US has about the worst value healthcare in the world.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    In France the government decided that every citizen needed efficient government provided healthcare. So everyone got an electronic card carrying their full medical history with a card reader in each doctor’s office. After every visit/ treatment the card is immediately updated by the doctor/specialist, greatly reducing administration costs, and no one working in the sector expects to make big money.
     
    My bold. The government decided that, huh? What did people decide? Did they all just happen to agree to be treated like cattle?

    I'd rather just pay for what I need, make decisions based on cost, and not pay for anyone else except for my family or to help in charity cases (no, not illegal aliens, just a few tragic cases that I THINK deserve help). That doesn't preclude a simple private INSURANCE plan. (Note: insurance does not mean walk-in, wait around, "hey, whatever you need to do; I've got all day' not my money, only the peoples' money". It means that I couldn't come up with a million dollars in one shot for cancer treatment, so we can pool our resources and pay monthly to cover the small risk. It means young people could pay $50 or $100 monthly still, especially young men who just don't have anything go wrong healthwise often, as this could cover the 1/50 chance of a visit to the ER for an auto wreck that year)

    In the US, you can get the best treatment in the world still for the high-tech state-of-the-art new procedures, and there are tons of good doctors (don't know about graduates from med-schools over last 20 years though). I have doctor friends that deserve every 100,000 bucks they make (a number of those 100K's!) as some trained for >12 years after college before making the real money.

    However, I don't doubt that at the basic level, the US healthcare market could be in the bottom half. I explained why to Mark in LA (sorry, Mark, I should have known you DO live in California from your handle) already. Everyone who pushes government-run health care has no memories of freedom, I suppose. That is, besides the politicians and others who just want a personal gain.

    The books sound interesting anyway. I'll look at reviews first to make sure the author's not a commie.

    I'd like to know what he thinks of the situation in China. Could you tell me here, if you have read this book through, Miro?
    , @JackOH
    Miro23, I recall T. R. Reid's good talk to the Cleveland (Ohio) City Club back around 2010 or thereabouts.

    No other country had a business establishment so opposed to a national health care scheme that, at the urging of the American Medical Association, it would voluntarily bankroll arbitrarily defined insurance groups for the sole purpose of blocking national health care. What Big Business didn't understand at the time was they'd be charging themselves an excise tax on labor, or that up to half of the beneficiaries would be non-workers contributing nothing to productivity, or that the cost of group health insurance would turn untold American companies from profitable winners into losers. May as well call American health care the Eurasian and Canadian economic empowerment system.

  49. @MarkinLA
    The middlemen make all the big money – insurance cos., hospital admins, etc. Do you understand Mark, that one decent size doctors office will have 20 % of the staff just doing the billing stuff?

    You need a reality check. The DOCTOR bills you at 20K and if you are lucky enough to have insurance THEY only pay the doctor 2K. However, if YOU don't have insurance the doctor still sends you a bill for 20K and can sue you for that 20k. Instead you spout industry nonsense about middlemen causing all these mythical costs.

    As for billing, many doctors just utilize a billing service that takes a cut of the overall income. Those services contract with lots of doctors and medical groups so that stuff about billing taking so much isn't anything more than what any other business has. Most insurance companies are using the same codes for the same procedures ands everything is automated.

    I worked in a medical products company and know what the markups on our products were and they were astronomical compared to most industries.

    It is stupid to bring in illegal aliens or unnecessary tests - the red herrings of the medical industry as the reason costs are so high. They are not what is causing the huge costs. If insurance companies get a 90% discount and a business still accepts their business, what does that say about the whole business model?

    No the problem is that the providers all get a lot more than what the average working person can afford and without insurance any significant procedure can bankrupt you and there is nothing you can do unless you can negotiate in the case of elective surgery. However, if you need something quickly, you are screwed. This is the free market at work.

    Case in point, a contractor friend of mine was going to get his knees done. None of his doctors was willing to negotiate with him until he told them he was going to India. As it was he could only make it work if he was in and out of the surgical center in one day while in India he was going to spend a week at a 5 star hotel.

    I got dysentery in Morocco and paid the doctor 400 dollars for multiple visits and tests from the hotel physician on call. When I turned the bills in to my insurance and calculated my 20% out of network amount that I expected to pay, I was shocked when I got a check from them for 800 dollars. That was most likely because trying to override the system wasn't worth the 500 dollars the insurance company would save versus just running it through the system with the US codes and US payment amounts.

    “You need a reality check. The DOCTOR bills you at 20K and if you are lucky enough to have insurance THEY only pay the doctor 2K. However, if YOU don’t have insurance the doctor still sends you a bill for 20K and can sue you for that 20k….”

    That’s what I just got done telling you, the insurance companies are the middlemen. They make a killing, but that IS BECAUSE IT IS NOTHING LIKE A FREE MARKET. Feral gov’t rules make it where a big group of individuals, say a small group of employers, cannot get together and make up an insurance plan without going through government rules which will change them. Insurance should be easy.

    On the medical devices, it’s the same lack of competition. These companies go through FDA hoops (very much like FAA PMA – parts approval) and can after having gone through can charge out the yingyang for the devices due to LACK OF COMPETITION.

    No the problem is that the providers all get a lot more than what the average working person can afford and without insurance any significant procedure can bankrupt you and there is nothing you can do unless you can negotiate in the case of elective surgery. However, if you need something quickly, you are screwed. This is the free market at work.

    This is ABSOLUTELY NOT a free market. Where is the open pricing and ready access to information? Where is the competition? If you think that health care is a free market, Mark, than you are in need of some expensive health care yourself – the kind that takes teams of psychologists in Vienna, Austria. (Don’t worry, they are Austrians, so they might believe in the Austrian School of economics, and that’ll save you a pretty penny.)

    It is stupid to bring in illegal aliens…

    Loads of California hospitals and clinics have been shut completely down due to illegal alien overload. I thought you lived in CA. You really just don’t seem get out and about. It is a major problem, and my $1500 bill for 1/2 hours at the ER remained 75 % unpaid, as I told the guy on the phone that I can’t pay for all these people. No, it was not in CA; this problem is widespread.

    …. or unnecessary tests

    I did not bring that up at all, but since you did, yes it’s a problem. This has more to do with lawyers than anything. Doctors have to cover their asses and that is a big chunk of some (of the specialties) work.

    As for billing, many doctors just utilize a billing service that takes a cut of the overall income. Those services contract with lots of doctors and medical groups so that stuff about billing taking so much isn’t anything more than what any other business has. Most insurance companies are using the same codes for the same procedures and everything is automated.

    This is 1/2 the story. I’ve seen it work this way too, definitely, billing doesn’t have to be in-house, but this is not the simple sending of papers out. The system is massively complicated and since you mentioned it, do you know there are whole degrees in medical billing? What does that say to you, Mark? Between medicare, screwed up insurance companies, deadbeats (like me who will not cover the illegal aliens) it is a bunch of busy work that adds NOTHING to the economy. The doctor I knew was nothing if not frugal, and he did billing in-house with 11 out of 50 employees (3 offices total) being in the billing/collecting dept. Think about it: Are there Associate Degrees in checking people out at AM-PM? No, because the job has not been made massively complicated by thousands of pages or rules. (Hey, but there’s still time and personnel in Congress!)

    Your last 2 paragraphs on the foreign medical care pretty much make my point. Things are much closer to a free market in some other countries, but I am just going by what you and other say – I have not been. I could tell you a lot about how it works in China, but this comment is toooooo loooong.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    WAS: "Feral gov’t rules make it where a big group of individuals, say a small group of employers,..."

    S/B: "Feral gov’t rules make it where a big group of individuals, say in a group of small employers, ...."

    Too early in the morning for trying to explain free markets vs. government-induced bureaucracy.

    , @NoseytheDuke
    I doubt that you have any "stuff" that I'd want or don't already have much more of anyway, but to answer your question as to who are the "people", the American people, US citizens. They should be considered the owners of such things as essential infrastructure like the interstate highway network for instance.

    If you are struggling to pay a $1500 medical bill then I'd have to say that the "free market" does not appear to be working for you but keep it up, there are bound to be many Wall St squillionaires who would appreciate your efforts to champion the market on their behalf.
    , @MarkinLA
    This is ABSOLUTELY NOT a free market. Where is the open pricing and ready access to information? Where is the competition? If you think that health care is a free market, Mark, than you are in need of some expensive health care yourself – the kind that takes teams of psychologists in Vienna, Austria. (Don’t worry, they are Austrians, so they might believe in the Austrian School of economics, and that’ll save you a pretty penny.)

    This is the typical babble from the free market ideologue. If we only had a TRUE free market all our problems would be solved. Yet they ignore the fact that nobody is stopping anybody from posting their prices ahead of time. Nobody is forcing insurance companies to take people they don't want (yes Obamacare does but the free market types are against it). Nobody is stopping you from going out of your insurance network and paying 10 times as much. There is always some boogeyman destroying the purity and superiority of the true free market.

    Yet of all the medical systems in the industrialized world, the US is the most free market oriented of all of them. It is also the most expensive, most convoluted, and has the largest percentage o people uninsured. Of course, the free market ideologue says that until the market is totally free (whatever that means) then, of course, it is screwed up .

    The number one reason why people end up in bankruptcy court is unpaid medical bills. That tells you there is something wrong with the system.
  50. @Achmed E. Newman

    "You need a reality check. The DOCTOR bills you at 20K and if you are lucky enough to have insurance THEY only pay the doctor 2K. However, if YOU don’t have insurance the doctor still sends you a bill for 20K and can sue you for that 20k...."
     
    That's what I just got done telling you, the insurance companies are the middlemen. They make a killing, but that IS BECAUSE IT IS NOTHING LIKE A FREE MARKET. Feral gov't rules make it where a big group of individuals, say a small group of employers, cannot get together and make up an insurance plan without going through government rules which will change them. Insurance should be easy.

    On the medical devices, it's the same lack of competition. These companies go through FDA hoops (very much like FAA PMA - parts approval) and can after having gone through can charge out the yingyang for the devices due to LACK OF COMPETITION.


    No the problem is that the providers all get a lot more than what the average working person can afford and without insurance any significant procedure can bankrupt you and there is nothing you can do unless you can negotiate in the case of elective surgery. However, if you need something quickly, you are screwed. This is the free market at work.

     

    This is ABSOLUTELY NOT a free market. Where is the open pricing and ready access to information? Where is the competition? If you think that health care is a free market, Mark, than you are in need of some expensive health care yourself - the kind that takes teams of psychologists in Vienna, Austria. (Don't worry, they are Austrians, so they might believe in the Austrian School of economics, and that'll save you a pretty penny.)

    It is stupid to bring in illegal aliens...
     
    Loads of California hospitals and clinics have been shut completely down due to illegal alien overload. I thought you lived in CA. You really just don't seem get out and about. It is a major problem, and my $1500 bill for 1/2 hours at the ER remained 75 % unpaid, as I told the guy on the phone that I can't pay for all these people. No, it was not in CA; this problem is widespread.

    .... or unnecessary tests
     
    I did not bring that up at all, but since you did, yes it's a problem. This has more to do with lawyers than anything. Doctors have to cover their asses and that is a big chunk of some (of the specialties) work.

    As for billing, many doctors just utilize a billing service that takes a cut of the overall income. Those services contract with lots of doctors and medical groups so that stuff about billing taking so much isn’t anything more than what any other business has. Most insurance companies are using the same codes for the same procedures and everything is automated.
     
    This is 1/2 the story. I've seen it work this way too, definitely, billing doesn't have to be in-house, but this is not the simple sending of papers out. The system is massively complicated and since you mentioned it, do you know there are whole degrees in medical billing? What does that say to you, Mark? Between medicare, screwed up insurance companies, deadbeats (like me who will not cover the illegal aliens) it is a bunch of busy work that adds NOTHING to the economy. The doctor I knew was nothing if not frugal, and he did billing in-house with 11 out of 50 employees (3 offices total) being in the billing/collecting dept. Think about it: Are there Associate Degrees in checking people out at AM-PM? No, because the job has not been made massively complicated by thousands of pages or rules. (Hey, but there's still time and personnel in Congress!)

    Your last 2 paragraphs on the foreign medical care pretty much make my point. Things are much closer to a free market in some other countries, but I am just going by what you and other say - I have not been. I could tell you a lot about how it works in China, but this comment is toooooo loooong.

    WAS: “Feral gov’t rules make it where a big group of individuals, say a small group of employers,…”

    S/B: “Feral gov’t rules make it where a big group of individuals, say in a group of small employers, ….”

    Too early in the morning for trying to explain free markets vs. government-induced bureaucracy.

    Read More
  51. Ace says:
    @Englishman
    Corbyn's 'victory' was about Conservative weakness and incompetence; the only Labour policy which mattered was promising students free stuff.
    It also teaches us that almost no-one cares about the tens of thousands of rapes which his party's policies led to and which his party ignored.

    Touche.

    The authors’ nonsense about “a radical progressive transformative agenda” and offering people hopes and dreams is the standard stuff of all western elite betrayal. The West is being destroyed by immigration but the elites and the left want us to think voters are angry about “neo-liberalism” and being mean to God-damned foreigners who are stealing everything from them.

    Indians and Chinese flood our engineering schools and the motel industry is being taken over by Indians with the aid of SBA loans. Hispancs flood in illegally, take our jobs, and suck up welfare. Muslims segregate, terrorize, and chivvy for shariah. But it’s those bleedin’ rightists wots doin’ us, mate. Corbyn’s the one.

    Read More
  52. @Miro23

    The middlemen make all the big money – insurance cos., hospital admins, etc. Do you understand Mark, that one decent size doctors office will have 20 % of the staff just doing the billing stuff? Hey, this is the damn computer age – that’s supposed to make it easier, right? The complexity is in the finance/economics of medicine, because government forced it that way.
     
    In France the government decided that every citizen needed efficient government provided healthcare. So everyone got an electronic card carrying their full medical history with a card reader in each doctor's office. After every visit/ treatment the card is immediately updated by the doctor/specialist, greatly reducing administration costs, and no one working in the sector expects to make big money.

    It's worth reading T.R.Ried's "The Healing of America" https://www.amazon.com/Healing-America-Global-Better-Cheaper/dp/0143118218/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497333210&sr=8-1&keywords=the+healing+of+america+by+t.+r.+reid

    Reid travels around the world comparing health care systems (every country has the same challenge - and they tackle it in a multitude of different ways) and he finds that the US has about the worst value healthcare in the world.

    In France the government decided that every citizen needed efficient government provided healthcare. So everyone got an electronic card carrying their full medical history with a card reader in each doctor’s office. After every visit/ treatment the card is immediately updated by the doctor/specialist, greatly reducing administration costs, and no one working in the sector expects to make big money.

    My bold. The government decided that, huh? What did people decide? Did they all just happen to agree to be treated like cattle?

    I’d rather just pay for what I need, make decisions based on cost, and not pay for anyone else except for my family or to help in charity cases (no, not illegal aliens, just a few tragic cases that I THINK deserve help). That doesn’t preclude a simple private INSURANCE plan. (Note: insurance does not mean walk-in, wait around, “hey, whatever you need to do; I’ve got all day’ not my money, only the peoples’ money“. It means that I couldn’t come up with a million dollars in one shot for cancer treatment, so we can pool our resources and pay monthly to cover the small risk. It means young people could pay $50 or $100 monthly still, especially young men who just don’t have anything go wrong healthwise often, as this could cover the 1/50 chance of a visit to the ER for an auto wreck that year)

    In the US, you can get the best treatment in the world still for the high-tech state-of-the-art new procedures, and there are tons of good doctors (don’t know about graduates from med-schools over last 20 years though). I have doctor friends that deserve every 100,000 bucks they make (a number of those 100K’s!) as some trained for >12 years after college before making the real money.

    However, I don’t doubt that at the basic level, the US healthcare market could be in the bottom half. I explained why to Mark in LA (sorry, Mark, I should have known you DO live in California from your handle) already. Everyone who pushes government-run health care has no memories of freedom, I suppose. That is, besides the politicians and others who just want a personal gain.

    The books sound interesting anyway. I’ll look at reviews first to make sure the author’s not a commie.

    I’d like to know what he thinks of the situation in China. Could you tell me here, if you have read this book through, Miro?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23

    Could you tell me here, if you have read this book through, Miro?
     
    Absolutely I've read it, since I'm interested in what makes good government, and 1) national healthcare is a priority of any civilized country 2) a comparative across countries is probably the best way to compare what works and what doesn't (and not just in healthcare).

    It's a fairly short book and quite readable and humorous.

    Reid has a damaged painful right shoulder from an accident while he was a seaman in the U.S. Navy, and he takes it round the world to find how different healthcare systems deal with it (India, France, Germany, Japan, UK, Canada).

    From the book:

    HEALTH EXPENDITURE AS A PERCENTAGE OF GDP 2005

    USA 16.5
    France 11.0
    Switzerland 10.8
    Germany 10.4
    Canada 10.1
    Sweden 9.1
    UK 8.4
    Japan 8.1
    Mexico 7.3
    Taiwan 6.2

    He makes the point that international healthcare works in every way you can imagine and every system has its problems, but there is a basic equation of cost/health per person that's comparable.

    The French didn't have their healthcare system forced on them. They like it a lot, but grumble at the cost of high quality care on demand (even if it is delivered efficiently).

    https://www.amazon.com/Healing-America-Global-Better-Cheaper/dp/0143118218/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1497359661&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=ried%2C+healing+of+America
    , @MarkinLA
    Everyone who pushes government-run health care has no memories of freedom, I suppose.

    I don't push for government run anything. I push against stupid simplistic fairy-tale notions like free markets can solve every problem known to man, communism is always bad, and capitalism is always good.
  53. @Achmed E. Newman

    "You need a reality check. The DOCTOR bills you at 20K and if you are lucky enough to have insurance THEY only pay the doctor 2K. However, if YOU don’t have insurance the doctor still sends you a bill for 20K and can sue you for that 20k...."
     
    That's what I just got done telling you, the insurance companies are the middlemen. They make a killing, but that IS BECAUSE IT IS NOTHING LIKE A FREE MARKET. Feral gov't rules make it where a big group of individuals, say a small group of employers, cannot get together and make up an insurance plan without going through government rules which will change them. Insurance should be easy.

    On the medical devices, it's the same lack of competition. These companies go through FDA hoops (very much like FAA PMA - parts approval) and can after having gone through can charge out the yingyang for the devices due to LACK OF COMPETITION.


    No the problem is that the providers all get a lot more than what the average working person can afford and without insurance any significant procedure can bankrupt you and there is nothing you can do unless you can negotiate in the case of elective surgery. However, if you need something quickly, you are screwed. This is the free market at work.

     

    This is ABSOLUTELY NOT a free market. Where is the open pricing and ready access to information? Where is the competition? If you think that health care is a free market, Mark, than you are in need of some expensive health care yourself - the kind that takes teams of psychologists in Vienna, Austria. (Don't worry, they are Austrians, so they might believe in the Austrian School of economics, and that'll save you a pretty penny.)

    It is stupid to bring in illegal aliens...
     
    Loads of California hospitals and clinics have been shut completely down due to illegal alien overload. I thought you lived in CA. You really just don't seem get out and about. It is a major problem, and my $1500 bill for 1/2 hours at the ER remained 75 % unpaid, as I told the guy on the phone that I can't pay for all these people. No, it was not in CA; this problem is widespread.

    .... or unnecessary tests
     
    I did not bring that up at all, but since you did, yes it's a problem. This has more to do with lawyers than anything. Doctors have to cover their asses and that is a big chunk of some (of the specialties) work.

    As for billing, many doctors just utilize a billing service that takes a cut of the overall income. Those services contract with lots of doctors and medical groups so that stuff about billing taking so much isn’t anything more than what any other business has. Most insurance companies are using the same codes for the same procedures and everything is automated.
     
    This is 1/2 the story. I've seen it work this way too, definitely, billing doesn't have to be in-house, but this is not the simple sending of papers out. The system is massively complicated and since you mentioned it, do you know there are whole degrees in medical billing? What does that say to you, Mark? Between medicare, screwed up insurance companies, deadbeats (like me who will not cover the illegal aliens) it is a bunch of busy work that adds NOTHING to the economy. The doctor I knew was nothing if not frugal, and he did billing in-house with 11 out of 50 employees (3 offices total) being in the billing/collecting dept. Think about it: Are there Associate Degrees in checking people out at AM-PM? No, because the job has not been made massively complicated by thousands of pages or rules. (Hey, but there's still time and personnel in Congress!)

    Your last 2 paragraphs on the foreign medical care pretty much make my point. Things are much closer to a free market in some other countries, but I am just going by what you and other say - I have not been. I could tell you a lot about how it works in China, but this comment is toooooo loooong.

    I doubt that you have any “stuff” that I’d want or don’t already have much more of anyway, but to answer your question as to who are the “people”, the American people, US citizens. They should be considered the owners of such things as essential infrastructure like the interstate highway network for instance.

    If you are struggling to pay a $1500 medical bill then I’d have to say that the “free market” does not appear to be working for you but keep it up, there are bound to be many Wall St squillionaires who would appreciate your efforts to champion the market on their behalf.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    No, Nosey, I don't speak for myself alone about not wanting people to confiscated my stuff via coercion of the Feral Gov't. I am not hurting for any stuff either - I've got a real problem taking care of stuff I have. I can be kind of a drain. Maybe you should also get out more and see what problems people are having trying to get by after their future "stuff" (the money to represent that) is being confiscated in income tax, SS, Medicare, property tax on vehicles, 8 % sales tax (oh, only 2 % on food - used to be 0 and sales tax used to be 4 % only 2 decades back).

    As for my bill, it was the principal of the thing. Yes, I could have paid it, but you've got to take a stand - many won't take a stand for anything, so, like you, they will fall for anything*. Nope, I just was not going to get ripped off by a factor of 5 - 8! The admin. guy got (probably fake) offended when I mentioned that I' can't pay for the illegal aliens. I probably hung up on him but can't recall now. I did pay the doctor his $300 for the 20 min. or so of his time. For some reason, it didn't piss me off that much, as I know a number of doctors that are good people.

    There's not many free markets left, I just got done writing that (maybe not to you, but I read all the posts before I comment, most of the time). I am sorry if you have not enough imagination to see in your mind how easily free markets can work, were the governments to get out of (any) business.


    * as my main man Johnny Cougar sung from his Mellon Camp somewhere near Seymour, Indiana.
  54. @Reg Cæsar
    Your "conservative" party allowed poofters to pretend that their sodomy consummates a legal marriage. Corbyn's silence on the most radical act in Anglo-Saxon history is mighty suspicious. Where is the opposition?

    Much like the Democrats' silence when Bush anounced that Islam is peace– surely the falsest statement ever made in the White House. Where is the opposition?

    Much like the Democrats’ silence when Bush anounced that Islam is peace– surely the falsest statement ever made in the White House.

    Hey, slow down, Reg. There is a lot of competition in the White House false statement space! Your example is right on up there, though, maybe number 5 with a scimitar bullet.

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  55. JackOH says:
    @Miro23

    The middlemen make all the big money – insurance cos., hospital admins, etc. Do you understand Mark, that one decent size doctors office will have 20 % of the staff just doing the billing stuff? Hey, this is the damn computer age – that’s supposed to make it easier, right? The complexity is in the finance/economics of medicine, because government forced it that way.
     
    In France the government decided that every citizen needed efficient government provided healthcare. So everyone got an electronic card carrying their full medical history with a card reader in each doctor's office. After every visit/ treatment the card is immediately updated by the doctor/specialist, greatly reducing administration costs, and no one working in the sector expects to make big money.

    It's worth reading T.R.Ried's "The Healing of America" https://www.amazon.com/Healing-America-Global-Better-Cheaper/dp/0143118218/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497333210&sr=8-1&keywords=the+healing+of+america+by+t.+r.+reid

    Reid travels around the world comparing health care systems (every country has the same challenge - and they tackle it in a multitude of different ways) and he finds that the US has about the worst value healthcare in the world.

    Miro23, I recall T. R. Reid’s good talk to the Cleveland (Ohio) City Club back around 2010 or thereabouts.

    No other country had a business establishment so opposed to a national health care scheme that, at the urging of the American Medical Association, it would voluntarily bankroll arbitrarily defined insurance groups for the sole purpose of blocking national health care. What Big Business didn’t understand at the time was they’d be charging themselves an excise tax on labor, or that up to half of the beneficiaries would be non-workers contributing nothing to productivity, or that the cost of group health insurance would turn untold American companies from profitable winners into losers. May as well call American health care the Eurasian and Canadian economic empowerment system.

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  56. “Embrace the change (s) we need”

    Yeah right like the change from environment-destroying toilet paper to environment-friendly corn cobs.

    Or the ecological switch from from chemical-loaded toothpaste and plastic toothbrushes to using baking-soda and one’s own environment-friendly finger.

    And of course the long sought after elimination of privately-owned automobiles, the ultimate goal/change of leftist nut-cases worldwide.

    Of course there will always be a certain supply of “Staff” vehicles maintained in the gov motor-parks for the honchos and their entourage.

    Thus the resulting “change we need” to mass public transportation comprised of delapidated buses which run, such as in the workers paradise of Cuba, which run mabe twice a day if one is lucky.

    I can recall appartitions of smelly, loud, ugly, east german “Trabis”, two-stroke beasts which represented the ultimate in socialist engineering, during my visits, late sixties, to several iron-curtain countries, and I can also vividly recall the dead eyes of the disheartened, broken citizens, and the morgue-like atmosphere of the cities.

    Yes these are certainly the “Changes we need to embrace”, propagated worldwide by insane leftist professors and lunatics such as JC, which will be arriving with the onset of the next edition of a marxist heaven on earth.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member since 1973, airborne qualified US Army vet and pro jazz artist.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Eagle Eye

    And of course the long sought after elimination of privately-owned automobiles, the ultimate goal/change of leftist nut-cases worldwide.

    Of course there will always be a certain supply of “Staff” vehicles maintained in the gov motor-parks for the honchos and their entourage.
     

    All true, but it gets MUCH worse. A recent NPR feature about self-driving cars was a positive love-in of communist "planner" types, with participants growing ecstatic about communist tropes such as "transportation as a service" (i.e. no more personally owned automobiles), some roads being prohibited to manual drivers, high-density urban development (except, one surmises, for the Eloi class), etc.

    Of course, exclusive residential and even business areas will no longer be accessible by car to the hoi polloi, and all trips will be logged with full passenger details, purely for your own safety, you understand. (Much of this is already reality through permanent NSA tracking of cell phone locations, vehicle locations, etc. - project name "Treasure Map.")

  57. Miro23 says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    In France the government decided that every citizen needed efficient government provided healthcare. So everyone got an electronic card carrying their full medical history with a card reader in each doctor’s office. After every visit/ treatment the card is immediately updated by the doctor/specialist, greatly reducing administration costs, and no one working in the sector expects to make big money.
     
    My bold. The government decided that, huh? What did people decide? Did they all just happen to agree to be treated like cattle?

    I'd rather just pay for what I need, make decisions based on cost, and not pay for anyone else except for my family or to help in charity cases (no, not illegal aliens, just a few tragic cases that I THINK deserve help). That doesn't preclude a simple private INSURANCE plan. (Note: insurance does not mean walk-in, wait around, "hey, whatever you need to do; I've got all day' not my money, only the peoples' money". It means that I couldn't come up with a million dollars in one shot for cancer treatment, so we can pool our resources and pay monthly to cover the small risk. It means young people could pay $50 or $100 monthly still, especially young men who just don't have anything go wrong healthwise often, as this could cover the 1/50 chance of a visit to the ER for an auto wreck that year)

    In the US, you can get the best treatment in the world still for the high-tech state-of-the-art new procedures, and there are tons of good doctors (don't know about graduates from med-schools over last 20 years though). I have doctor friends that deserve every 100,000 bucks they make (a number of those 100K's!) as some trained for >12 years after college before making the real money.

    However, I don't doubt that at the basic level, the US healthcare market could be in the bottom half. I explained why to Mark in LA (sorry, Mark, I should have known you DO live in California from your handle) already. Everyone who pushes government-run health care has no memories of freedom, I suppose. That is, besides the politicians and others who just want a personal gain.

    The books sound interesting anyway. I'll look at reviews first to make sure the author's not a commie.

    I'd like to know what he thinks of the situation in China. Could you tell me here, if you have read this book through, Miro?

    Could you tell me here, if you have read this book through, Miro?

    Absolutely I’ve read it, since I’m interested in what makes good government, and 1) national healthcare is a priority of any civilized country 2) a comparative across countries is probably the best way to compare what works and what doesn’t (and not just in healthcare).

    It’s a fairly short book and quite readable and humorous.

    Reid has a damaged painful right shoulder from an accident while he was a seaman in the U.S. Navy, and he takes it round the world to find how different healthcare systems deal with it (India, France, Germany, Japan, UK, Canada).

    From the book:

    HEALTH EXPENDITURE AS A PERCENTAGE OF GDP 2005

    USA 16.5
    France 11.0
    Switzerland 10.8
    Germany 10.4
    Canada 10.1
    Sweden 9.1
    UK 8.4
    Japan 8.1
    Mexico 7.3
    Taiwan 6.2

    He makes the point that international healthcare works in every way you can imagine and every system has its problems, but there is a basic equation of cost/health per person that’s comparable.

    The French didn’t have their healthcare system forced on them. They like it a lot, but grumble at the cost of high quality care on demand (even if it is delivered efficiently).

    https://www.amazon.com/Healing-America-Global-Better-Cheaper/dp/0143118218/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1497359661&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=ried%2C+healing+of+America

    Read More
  58. Ace says:
    @jacques sheete

    ...but the problem is that U.S. elections are manipulated by the elites in power who make sure that their interests are represented by the winner
     
    What people seem unable to realize is that's not a bug, but a feature. It's structural; the way the such systems are designed.

    Most folks think governments are designed for their benefit, yet any serious examination of the origins and invariable actions of government proves that notion utterly false.


    The Constitution looked fairly good on paper, but it was not a popular document; people were suspicious of it, and suspicious of the enabling legislation that was being erected upon it. There was some ground for this. The Constitution had been laid down under unacceptable auspices; its history had been that of a coup d'état.

    It had been drafted, in the first place, by men representing special economic interests. Four-fifths of them were public creditors, one-third were land speculators, and one-fifth represented interests in shipping, manufacturing, and merchandising. Most of them were lawyers. Not one of them represented the interest of production — Vilescit origine tali. (the dice were loaded from the start)

    Albert Jay Nock, Liberty vs. the Constitution: The Early Struggle
    [Excerpted from chapter 5 of Albert Jay Nock's Jefferson]
    https://mises.org/library/liberty-vs-constitution-early-struggle
     

    The Constitution does not favor particular professions or trades. Where is land speculation favored, or shipping? Altering the obligations of contract protected creditors by a certain view but that is, by another, but a protection for private property frim which all benefit.

    The Constitutional Convention exceeded its brief by a country mile but it was not imposed from above.

    Its failure may have been not to include self enforcing limits on centralization. The Founders and Ratifiers also did not foresee the size and power of industry, banking and commerce, a failure that was still not dangerous for a hundred years. Only in the early 20th c. did anyone think to enact anti-trust legislation, which has proved to be useless against media and all other forms of concentration.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    Its failure may have been not to include self enforcing limits on centralization.
     
    Well, there is Amendment X, but I'm not sure if that could be considered self-enforcing. What would be an example?

    Good comment; what a relief from this den of vipers statists!
  59. Ace says:
    @Anon
    yes, I agree. ...the constitution was written by the rich and for the rich...the business end of the constitution is the structure of the federal govt...the size of the nation it creates and the size of the voting districts..and the checks and balances and separation of powers....the EU was created along the same lines as the federal american constitution....the strategy is called divide et impera (the phrase was used by james madison, aka the father of the constitution)....madison wrote that the larger the voting districts, the harder it is for the people to unite against the rich....so that is why the founding plutocrats enlarged the voting districts...the checks and balances and separation of powers are another way for the rich to prevent the masses from using the government to do the will of the people...we see this now--the elite have so stifled democracy using the constitution that they are able to make whites second class citizens and force feed economic growth via population growth via mass immigration....for more on this see the book Unruly Americans by Woody Holton and the book Toward An American Revolution by Jerry Fresia

    The size​ of the nation was small in 1787 and even if congressional districts were large the playground for Congress and president was small. Later stupidities like the 15th and 16th Amendments and the establishment of a central bank were the death knell of the original republic.

    The constitutional checks and balances and separation of powers are not the reason why government is impervious to popular control. It’s that political parties have a stake in plunder and are in the thrall of billionaires because of the cost of campaigns. The interests the Founders and Ratifiers assumed would be eternally opposed eventually saw they have an interest in combining against the people. In what way does Ryan oppose the Dems or advance the supposed aims of the R party?

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  60. Ace says:
    @JackOH
    I recall Dr. Flowers, a medical doctor, from her days as a very gutsy, very articulate activist associated with Physicians for a National Health Program. Kevin Zeese, if my memory's okay, is a lawyer by training, and has run for state office in Maryland. I exchanged brief correspondence with Dr. Flowers maybe a decade ago.

    My impression from afar is both are pretty much conventional democratic socialists of the Bernie Sanders type. They, of course, answer their own implicit question as to why a straightforward socialist alternative does not exist in the States.

    "U.S. elections are manipulated by the elites in power who make sure that their interests are represented by the winner." That's it---cut and print.

    Has anyone given any thought to a common front (or popular front) with select democratic socialists?

    One of the reasons we don’t have a “straightforward socialist alternative” (thanks be) is because Flowers and Zeese are talking nonsense when the West is crumbling from the insanity of third-world immigration, the red-green alliance, welfare spending, the universal franchise, and Supreme Court betrayal.

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  61. @NoseytheDuke
    I doubt that you have any "stuff" that I'd want or don't already have much more of anyway, but to answer your question as to who are the "people", the American people, US citizens. They should be considered the owners of such things as essential infrastructure like the interstate highway network for instance.

    If you are struggling to pay a $1500 medical bill then I'd have to say that the "free market" does not appear to be working for you but keep it up, there are bound to be many Wall St squillionaires who would appreciate your efforts to champion the market on their behalf.

    No, Nosey, I don’t speak for myself alone about not wanting people to confiscated my stuff via coercion of the Feral Gov’t. I am not hurting for any stuff either – I’ve got a real problem taking care of stuff I have. I can be kind of a drain. Maybe you should also get out more and see what problems people are having trying to get by after their future “stuff” (the money to represent that) is being confiscated in income tax, SS, Medicare, property tax on vehicles, 8 % sales tax (oh, only 2 % on food – used to be 0 and sales tax used to be 4 % only 2 decades back).

    As for my bill, it was the principal of the thing. Yes, I could have paid it, but you’ve got to take a stand – many won’t take a stand for anything, so, like you, they will fall for anything*. Nope, I just was not going to get ripped off by a factor of 5 – 8! The admin. guy got (probably fake) offended when I mentioned that I’ can’t pay for the illegal aliens. I probably hung up on him but can’t recall now. I did pay the doctor his $300 for the 20 min. or so of his time. For some reason, it didn’t piss me off that much, as I know a number of doctors that are good people.

    There’s not many free markets left, I just got done writing that (maybe not to you, but I read all the posts before I comment, most of the time). I am sorry if you have not enough imagination to see in your mind how easily free markets can work, were the governments to get out of (any) business.

    * as my main man Johnny Cougar sung from his Mellon Camp somewhere near Seymour, Indiana.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    You still owe them 1200 dollars and they can sue you in small claims court. They will likely sell it to a collection agency for some small fraction but you still owe somebody some money and they can ding your credit.

    If they had run some tests on you at that hospital and run the bill up to 10,000 dollars, it would have been worth it for them to sue you. You will lose and the court can make you pay if you have the means. You cannot argue in court that the fees are too high. Due to the convoluted system, everybody "charges" 3000 dollars for that echocardiogram so the fee isn't exorbitant as far as the court sees. You can't argue that the insurance companies only pay 300 dollars because they have a contract with the hospital and are just getting their "discount" like the 10% discount to avoid court the hospital offered you.

    This IS the free market at work.
    , @NoseytheDuke
    OK I misunderstood your comment, thanks for clearing that up but Mark is correct that by not paying your account you are merely tilting at windmills and only hurting yourself, you are certainly not affecting the corporation that has taken you for a spin.

    "Free markets" is just another myth and you've accepted it on misplaced faith. Societies need laws to function, it is why we have to stop at red lights, show a passport if we travel and not strong-arm weaker people into handing over their wallets in the street. Regulations are just laws for big business to abide by and with their removal you do not end up with a free market but rather one that is tilted to favour the big players, those with the clout to corrupt the lawmakers and those who scoff at the law and have the means to subvert its intent. The imaginary "free-market America" never existed but you seem convinced that it once did, good luck with that.
  62. Ace says:
    @paul metcalf
    articles as this give me hope for the us.the workers in the us have been brainwashed into thinking socialised medicine,reasonable holidays and a free education system for all is a commie plot "to drain their natural liquids."
    unfortunately your media is owned lock,stock and barrel by the ruling class and somehow this is perceived as democracy.i wonder if abc who interviewed chelsea manning showed the iraqi civilians(including children) being machine gunned by the american helicopter gunship?
    when somebody is jailed for leaking material as this the country is in serious trouble.

    Van Jones couldn’t have said it better.

    Machine gunning children was the best part.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    I guess this guy Paul got a free lunch one time and had an epiphany*.

    Yes, free education, FREE, FREE, FREE!


    * an erroneous epiphany, but an epiphany none the less.

  63. MarkinLA says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    "You need a reality check. The DOCTOR bills you at 20K and if you are lucky enough to have insurance THEY only pay the doctor 2K. However, if YOU don’t have insurance the doctor still sends you a bill for 20K and can sue you for that 20k...."
     
    That's what I just got done telling you, the insurance companies are the middlemen. They make a killing, but that IS BECAUSE IT IS NOTHING LIKE A FREE MARKET. Feral gov't rules make it where a big group of individuals, say a small group of employers, cannot get together and make up an insurance plan without going through government rules which will change them. Insurance should be easy.

    On the medical devices, it's the same lack of competition. These companies go through FDA hoops (very much like FAA PMA - parts approval) and can after having gone through can charge out the yingyang for the devices due to LACK OF COMPETITION.


    No the problem is that the providers all get a lot more than what the average working person can afford and without insurance any significant procedure can bankrupt you and there is nothing you can do unless you can negotiate in the case of elective surgery. However, if you need something quickly, you are screwed. This is the free market at work.

     

    This is ABSOLUTELY NOT a free market. Where is the open pricing and ready access to information? Where is the competition? If you think that health care is a free market, Mark, than you are in need of some expensive health care yourself - the kind that takes teams of psychologists in Vienna, Austria. (Don't worry, they are Austrians, so they might believe in the Austrian School of economics, and that'll save you a pretty penny.)

    It is stupid to bring in illegal aliens...
     
    Loads of California hospitals and clinics have been shut completely down due to illegal alien overload. I thought you lived in CA. You really just don't seem get out and about. It is a major problem, and my $1500 bill for 1/2 hours at the ER remained 75 % unpaid, as I told the guy on the phone that I can't pay for all these people. No, it was not in CA; this problem is widespread.

    .... or unnecessary tests
     
    I did not bring that up at all, but since you did, yes it's a problem. This has more to do with lawyers than anything. Doctors have to cover their asses and that is a big chunk of some (of the specialties) work.

    As for billing, many doctors just utilize a billing service that takes a cut of the overall income. Those services contract with lots of doctors and medical groups so that stuff about billing taking so much isn’t anything more than what any other business has. Most insurance companies are using the same codes for the same procedures and everything is automated.
     
    This is 1/2 the story. I've seen it work this way too, definitely, billing doesn't have to be in-house, but this is not the simple sending of papers out. The system is massively complicated and since you mentioned it, do you know there are whole degrees in medical billing? What does that say to you, Mark? Between medicare, screwed up insurance companies, deadbeats (like me who will not cover the illegal aliens) it is a bunch of busy work that adds NOTHING to the economy. The doctor I knew was nothing if not frugal, and he did billing in-house with 11 out of 50 employees (3 offices total) being in the billing/collecting dept. Think about it: Are there Associate Degrees in checking people out at AM-PM? No, because the job has not been made massively complicated by thousands of pages or rules. (Hey, but there's still time and personnel in Congress!)

    Your last 2 paragraphs on the foreign medical care pretty much make my point. Things are much closer to a free market in some other countries, but I am just going by what you and other say - I have not been. I could tell you a lot about how it works in China, but this comment is toooooo loooong.

    This is ABSOLUTELY NOT a free market. Where is the open pricing and ready access to information? Where is the competition? If you think that health care is a free market, Mark, than you are in need of some expensive health care yourself – the kind that takes teams of psychologists in Vienna, Austria. (Don’t worry, they are Austrians, so they might believe in the Austrian School of economics, and that’ll save you a pretty penny.)

    This is the typical babble from the free market ideologue. If we only had a TRUE free market all our problems would be solved. Yet they ignore the fact that nobody is stopping anybody from posting their prices ahead of time. Nobody is forcing insurance companies to take people they don’t want (yes Obamacare does but the free market types are against it). Nobody is stopping you from going out of your insurance network and paying 10 times as much. There is always some boogeyman destroying the purity and superiority of the true free market.

    Yet of all the medical systems in the industrialized world, the US is the most free market oriented of all of them. It is also the most expensive, most convoluted, and has the largest percentage o people uninsured. Of course, the free market ideologue says that until the market is totally free (whatever that means) then, of course, it is screwed up .

    The number one reason why people end up in bankruptcy court is unpaid medical bills. That tells you there is something wrong with the system.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    You consider it a free market if buyers are free to pay whatever the gov't-screwed-up system charges? The system has been screwed with for 6 decades, and you think all I have to do is offer up my money - how about the other side, the supply side? If a doctor would work for cash, along with the nurse assistants, staying completely out of the system, then yes, that's a somewhat free market - I've done that, but it's hard to get away with. However,

    a) I'm still paying for the other people in taxes. It's not a pittance; it's a hell of a lot when you count not just medicare, but subsidies of all kinds that flow from my income tax to the Feds back down in whatever form. It's the same at the state and even county level.

    b) The doctor with his assistants and office and medical equipment would only really be able to charge what it's worth with a decent profit, if I weren't paying for the freebies and cheap deals HE IS REQUIRED BY LAWS TO DO. You can't separate it all out without starting over, which is very difficult as people have become dependent and close-minded about it.

    It would take much pain to change the system back (that's a feature, not a bug, of what's transpired). It's much easier to take a flight to India or Thailand to get it to work.

    It's a lot easier in some of the foreign countries that YOU and another guy mentioned.

    Of course, the free market ideologue says that until the market is totally free (whatever that means) then, of course, it is screwed up .
     
    I think you really cannot imagine a free world at all. Sad, :-{ tweet-tweet.
  64. MarkinLA says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    In France the government decided that every citizen needed efficient government provided healthcare. So everyone got an electronic card carrying their full medical history with a card reader in each doctor’s office. After every visit/ treatment the card is immediately updated by the doctor/specialist, greatly reducing administration costs, and no one working in the sector expects to make big money.
     
    My bold. The government decided that, huh? What did people decide? Did they all just happen to agree to be treated like cattle?

    I'd rather just pay for what I need, make decisions based on cost, and not pay for anyone else except for my family or to help in charity cases (no, not illegal aliens, just a few tragic cases that I THINK deserve help). That doesn't preclude a simple private INSURANCE plan. (Note: insurance does not mean walk-in, wait around, "hey, whatever you need to do; I've got all day' not my money, only the peoples' money". It means that I couldn't come up with a million dollars in one shot for cancer treatment, so we can pool our resources and pay monthly to cover the small risk. It means young people could pay $50 or $100 monthly still, especially young men who just don't have anything go wrong healthwise often, as this could cover the 1/50 chance of a visit to the ER for an auto wreck that year)

    In the US, you can get the best treatment in the world still for the high-tech state-of-the-art new procedures, and there are tons of good doctors (don't know about graduates from med-schools over last 20 years though). I have doctor friends that deserve every 100,000 bucks they make (a number of those 100K's!) as some trained for >12 years after college before making the real money.

    However, I don't doubt that at the basic level, the US healthcare market could be in the bottom half. I explained why to Mark in LA (sorry, Mark, I should have known you DO live in California from your handle) already. Everyone who pushes government-run health care has no memories of freedom, I suppose. That is, besides the politicians and others who just want a personal gain.

    The books sound interesting anyway. I'll look at reviews first to make sure the author's not a commie.

    I'd like to know what he thinks of the situation in China. Could you tell me here, if you have read this book through, Miro?

    Everyone who pushes government-run health care has no memories of freedom, I suppose.

    I don’t push for government run anything. I push against stupid simplistic fairy-tale notions like free markets can solve every problem known to man, communism is always bad, and capitalism is always good.

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  65. MarkinLA says:
    @Achmed E. Newman
    No, Nosey, I don't speak for myself alone about not wanting people to confiscated my stuff via coercion of the Feral Gov't. I am not hurting for any stuff either - I've got a real problem taking care of stuff I have. I can be kind of a drain. Maybe you should also get out more and see what problems people are having trying to get by after their future "stuff" (the money to represent that) is being confiscated in income tax, SS, Medicare, property tax on vehicles, 8 % sales tax (oh, only 2 % on food - used to be 0 and sales tax used to be 4 % only 2 decades back).

    As for my bill, it was the principal of the thing. Yes, I could have paid it, but you've got to take a stand - many won't take a stand for anything, so, like you, they will fall for anything*. Nope, I just was not going to get ripped off by a factor of 5 - 8! The admin. guy got (probably fake) offended when I mentioned that I' can't pay for the illegal aliens. I probably hung up on him but can't recall now. I did pay the doctor his $300 for the 20 min. or so of his time. For some reason, it didn't piss me off that much, as I know a number of doctors that are good people.

    There's not many free markets left, I just got done writing that (maybe not to you, but I read all the posts before I comment, most of the time). I am sorry if you have not enough imagination to see in your mind how easily free markets can work, were the governments to get out of (any) business.


    * as my main man Johnny Cougar sung from his Mellon Camp somewhere near Seymour, Indiana.

    You still owe them 1200 dollars and they can sue you in small claims court. They will likely sell it to a collection agency for some small fraction but you still owe somebody some money and they can ding your credit.

    If they had run some tests on you at that hospital and run the bill up to 10,000 dollars, it would have been worth it for them to sue you. You will lose and the court can make you pay if you have the means. You cannot argue in court that the fees are too high. Due to the convoluted system, everybody “charges” 3000 dollars for that echocardiogram so the fee isn’t exorbitant as far as the court sees. You can’t argue that the insurance companies only pay 300 dollars because they have a contract with the hospital and are just getting their “discount” like the 10% discount to avoid court the hospital offered you.

    This IS the free market at work.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Nope, your definition of "free market" is let's just say, unsound. I had no possible way to get an estimate at the ER, and there would be no competitor, by law, which would be any different.

    No, they won't get the money. a) It's not my credit anyway, and b) I don't owe anyone anything, and haven't for 2 decades. I don't need no stinkin' credit score - the rental agency needed more info. to rent the car, as the lady said I "have NO credit". Not BAD credit, but NO credit. Hell with the system.

    Listen Mark, how about talk to some older docs about this. Secondly, just talk to some old people about how things worked - remember house calls? My Mom does. My friend's family keeps a lot of old stuff, and his birth, a pretty long time ago, cost < $300 including the hospital stay. OK, take 1000% inflation in those 5 decades - lot's more reasonable than US gov't stats. That'd be $3,000 today, about 1/2 to 1/3 of what one would pay today.

    One more thing. My doctor friend chewed out a deadbeat patient who came to his hospital 3 times with chest pains, but didn't want the treatment my doctor told him he needed - stents, I think, all on the taxpayers' tab. His rides to the hospital were FREE (meaning we paid), but the 3rd time was in a helicopter! Do you know how much that ride (be it 100 miles of 2 miles) costs? Many tens of 1000's, Mark. What happened after my friend told the patient to quit wasting taxpayers' money and not to come back? Well he got berated by the hospital administrator, the Big Cheese. My friend didn't give a crap about it; he's a good guy.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Oh yeah, I could come up with plenty 'o stories, but I did forget this gem. When I told him why I better take my wife to the emergency room just in case, my doctor friend told me I should NOT GO IN THE DOOR, and just drop my wife off and tell her to say "No English" - she might could pass for Mexican on a cloudy day.

    He was serious about it, and I should have listened. However, I wanted to be with my wife as she was worried. Once the lady in front asked questions, I had a hard time lying. That cost me $300 for the doctor and probably only $250 out of the $1300 big bill.
  66. @Ace
    The Constitution does not favor particular professions or trades. Where is land speculation favored, or shipping? Altering the obligations of contract protected creditors by a certain view but that is, by another, but a protection for private property frim which all benefit.

    The Constitutional Convention exceeded its brief by a country mile but it was not imposed from above.

    Its failure may have been not to include self enforcing limits on centralization. The Founders and Ratifiers also did not foresee the size and power of industry, banking and commerce, a failure that was still not dangerous for a hundred years. Only in the early 20th c. did anyone think to enact anti-trust legislation, which has proved to be useless against media and all other forms of concentration.

    Its failure may have been not to include self enforcing limits on centralization.

    Well, there is Amendment X, but I’m not sure if that could be considered self-enforcing. What would be an example?

    Good comment; what a relief from this den of vipers statists!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ace
    :-) Many thanks.

    Self-enforcing (or limiting) provisions might be like the 2/3 requirement in some local jurisdictions for approval of new bonds. Term limits. Recall with small numbers able to initiate (but not repeatable if immediate re-election in special election). Denial of franchise to people receiving public benefits. No authority for federal agency regulation. Only legislation.

    I'd like to see the oath of office changed so the federal office holders swears to not initiate and to refuse to enforce or approve legislation that is not applicable to the enumerated powers in Art. I, Sect. 8. Federal health care legislation? Where is the word "health" mentioned in said section? Impeachable offense to attempt to justify federal legislation by reference to any Supreme Court decision.

    Disqualification from re-election for any federal legislator who votes for increasing the debt ceiling.

    Impeachment and conviction of any official except president for any reason or no reason by vote of 40% of Congress. Re-election or re-appointment possible after new Congress sworn in thereafter official immune for two years.

    President and speakers of the House and Senate required to recite Art. I, Sect. 8 from memory every year at State of the Union address or the first Monday in February and declare that no Supreme Court decision purporting to expand said powers will be permitted to justify legislation not relating to the powers enumerated. Said speakers must personally declare for any new legislation what clause of Sect. 8 authorizes said legislation.

    Ninety percent requirement to change the above by constitutional amendment.

    It's all fantasy, I suppose. Social Security isn't authorized by any enumerated power and there's no constituency to roll back the welfare state and the Leviathan state.

    Still, we will have creativity and realism imposed on us one way or another. The Framers did not foresee socialism and the existence of educated and intelligent citizens who would embrace hatred of their own people and culture and unlimited government power. Nor did they foresee that former African slaves would be given voting rights. Well, Jefferson did foresee that and understood what dangers that entailed.

    We actually know enough about how an otherwise extraordinary first effort fell short to take another run at this liberty/limited government dealy.
  67. @MarkinLA
    This is ABSOLUTELY NOT a free market. Where is the open pricing and ready access to information? Where is the competition? If you think that health care is a free market, Mark, than you are in need of some expensive health care yourself – the kind that takes teams of psychologists in Vienna, Austria. (Don’t worry, they are Austrians, so they might believe in the Austrian School of economics, and that’ll save you a pretty penny.)

    This is the typical babble from the free market ideologue. If we only had a TRUE free market all our problems would be solved. Yet they ignore the fact that nobody is stopping anybody from posting their prices ahead of time. Nobody is forcing insurance companies to take people they don't want (yes Obamacare does but the free market types are against it). Nobody is stopping you from going out of your insurance network and paying 10 times as much. There is always some boogeyman destroying the purity and superiority of the true free market.

    Yet of all the medical systems in the industrialized world, the US is the most free market oriented of all of them. It is also the most expensive, most convoluted, and has the largest percentage o people uninsured. Of course, the free market ideologue says that until the market is totally free (whatever that means) then, of course, it is screwed up .

    The number one reason why people end up in bankruptcy court is unpaid medical bills. That tells you there is something wrong with the system.

    You consider it a free market if buyers are free to pay whatever the gov’t-screwed-up system charges? The system has been screwed with for 6 decades, and you think all I have to do is offer up my money – how about the other side, the supply side? If a doctor would work for cash, along with the nurse assistants, staying completely out of the system, then yes, that’s a somewhat free market – I’ve done that, but it’s hard to get away with. However,

    a) I’m still paying for the other people in taxes. It’s not a pittance; it’s a hell of a lot when you count not just medicare, but subsidies of all kinds that flow from my income tax to the Feds back down in whatever form. It’s the same at the state and even county level.

    b) The doctor with his assistants and office and medical equipment would only really be able to charge what it’s worth with a decent profit, if I weren’t paying for the freebies and cheap deals HE IS REQUIRED BY LAWS TO DO. You can’t separate it all out without starting over, which is very difficult as people have become dependent and close-minded about it.

    It would take much pain to change the system back (that’s a feature, not a bug, of what’s transpired). It’s much easier to take a flight to India or Thailand to get it to work.

    It’s a lot easier in some of the foreign countries that YOU and another guy mentioned.

    Of course, the free market ideologue says that until the market is totally free (whatever that means) then, of course, it is screwed up .

    I think you really cannot imagine a free world at all. Sad, :-{ tweet-tweet.

    Read More
  68. @MarkinLA
    You still owe them 1200 dollars and they can sue you in small claims court. They will likely sell it to a collection agency for some small fraction but you still owe somebody some money and they can ding your credit.

    If they had run some tests on you at that hospital and run the bill up to 10,000 dollars, it would have been worth it for them to sue you. You will lose and the court can make you pay if you have the means. You cannot argue in court that the fees are too high. Due to the convoluted system, everybody "charges" 3000 dollars for that echocardiogram so the fee isn't exorbitant as far as the court sees. You can't argue that the insurance companies only pay 300 dollars because they have a contract with the hospital and are just getting their "discount" like the 10% discount to avoid court the hospital offered you.

    This IS the free market at work.

    Nope, your definition of “free market” is let’s just say, unsound. I had no possible way to get an estimate at the ER, and there would be no competitor, by law, which would be any different.

    No, they won’t get the money. a) It’s not my credit anyway, and b) I don’t owe anyone anything, and haven’t for 2 decades. I don’t need no stinkin’ credit score – the rental agency needed more info. to rent the car, as the lady said I “have NO credit”. Not BAD credit, but NO credit. Hell with the system.

    Listen Mark, how about talk to some older docs about this. Secondly, just talk to some old people about how things worked – remember house calls? My Mom does. My friend’s family keeps a lot of old stuff, and his birth, a pretty long time ago, cost < $300 including the hospital stay. OK, take 1000% inflation in those 5 decades – lot's more reasonable than US gov't stats. That'd be $3,000 today, about 1/2 to 1/3 of what one would pay today.

    One more thing. My doctor friend chewed out a deadbeat patient who came to his hospital 3 times with chest pains, but didn't want the treatment my doctor told him he needed – stents, I think, all on the taxpayers' tab. His rides to the hospital were FREE (meaning we paid), but the 3rd time was in a helicopter! Do you know how much that ride (be it 100 miles of 2 miles) costs? Many tens of 1000's, Mark. What happened after my friend told the patient to quit wasting taxpayers' money and not to come back? Well he got berated by the hospital administrator, the Big Cheese. My friend didn't give a crap about it; he's a good guy.

    Read More
  69. @MarkinLA
    You still owe them 1200 dollars and they can sue you in small claims court. They will likely sell it to a collection agency for some small fraction but you still owe somebody some money and they can ding your credit.

    If they had run some tests on you at that hospital and run the bill up to 10,000 dollars, it would have been worth it for them to sue you. You will lose and the court can make you pay if you have the means. You cannot argue in court that the fees are too high. Due to the convoluted system, everybody "charges" 3000 dollars for that echocardiogram so the fee isn't exorbitant as far as the court sees. You can't argue that the insurance companies only pay 300 dollars because they have a contract with the hospital and are just getting their "discount" like the 10% discount to avoid court the hospital offered you.

    This IS the free market at work.

    Oh yeah, I could come up with plenty ‘o stories, but I did forget this gem. When I told him why I better take my wife to the emergency room just in case, my doctor friend told me I should NOT GO IN THE DOOR, and just drop my wife off and tell her to say “No English” – she might could pass for Mexican on a cloudy day.

    He was serious about it, and I should have listened. However, I wanted to be with my wife as she was worried. Once the lady in front asked questions, I had a hard time lying. That cost me $300 for the doctor and probably only $250 out of the $1300 big bill.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    I get it. A true free market is when the doctor can only charge you what YOU want to pay and not what HE wants to charge. How convenient for you.
  70. @Ace
    Van Jones couldn't have said it better.

    Machine gunning children was the best part.

    I guess this guy Paul got a free lunch one time and had an epiphany*.

    Yes, free education, FREE, FREE, FREE!

    * an erroneous epiphany, but an epiphany none the less.

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  71. MarkinLA says:
    @Achmed E. Newman
    Oh yeah, I could come up with plenty 'o stories, but I did forget this gem. When I told him why I better take my wife to the emergency room just in case, my doctor friend told me I should NOT GO IN THE DOOR, and just drop my wife off and tell her to say "No English" - she might could pass for Mexican on a cloudy day.

    He was serious about it, and I should have listened. However, I wanted to be with my wife as she was worried. Once the lady in front asked questions, I had a hard time lying. That cost me $300 for the doctor and probably only $250 out of the $1300 big bill.

    I get it. A true free market is when the doctor can only charge you what YOU want to pay and not what HE wants to charge. How convenient for you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Nope, you aren't even close to getting what I wrote. The doc can't charge a market price because he is forced to do else wise to comply with the overregulation and have you pay for the deadbeats, as he doesn't want to go broke either.

    The thing I don't get about you, Mark, is that you mentioned the bureaucratic waste in the defense industry already, and you seemed familiar. It's a lot more hidden as there are usually no direct retail consumers in that industry. Can you focus your mind on what you've seen within aerospace, and how much complete waste there is, and translate the concept to another industry, health care?

    It's like those analogies on the SAT. Ya gotta do like that.

  72. @MarkinLA
    I get it. A true free market is when the doctor can only charge you what YOU want to pay and not what HE wants to charge. How convenient for you.

    Nope, you aren’t even close to getting what I wrote. The doc can’t charge a market price because he is forced to do else wise to comply with the overregulation and have you pay for the deadbeats, as he doesn’t want to go broke either.

    The thing I don’t get about you, Mark, is that you mentioned the bureaucratic waste in the defense industry already, and you seemed familiar. It’s a lot more hidden as there are usually no direct retail consumers in that industry. Can you focus your mind on what you’ve seen within aerospace, and how much complete waste there is, and translate the concept to another industry, health care?

    It’s like those analogies on the SAT. Ya gotta do like that.

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  73. Eagle Eye says:
    @jacques sheete

    ...madison wrote that the larger the voting districts, the harder it is for the people to unite against the rich….
     
    While that does not surprise me in the least, I have not read that and would like to. Any sources? Thanks in advance!

    …madison wrote that the larger the voting districts, the harder it is for the people to unite against the rich….

    Interesting ballot initiative filed in California:

    “Divid[es] current Assembly and Senate districts into neighborhood districts with each Assemblymember representing about 5,000 persons and each Senator representing about 10,000 persons. Provides for neighborhood district representatives to elect working committees the size of the current Assembly and Senate, 80 Assemblymembers and 40 Senators. Gives working committees legislative power generally, and sole power to amend bills, but requires approval by appropriate vote of the full membership in each house for passage of any non-urgency bill. Reduces legislators’ pay and expenditures.”

    http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/initiative-and-referendum-status/initiatives-referenda-cleared-circulation/

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  74. Eagle Eye says:
    @Authenticjazzman
    "Embrace the change (s) we need"

    Yeah right like the change from environment-destroying toilet paper to environment-friendly corn cobs.

    Or the ecological switch from from chemical-loaded toothpaste and plastic toothbrushes to using baking-soda and one's own environment-friendly finger.

    And of course the long sought after elimination of privately-owned automobiles, the ultimate goal/change of leftist nut-cases worldwide.

    Of course there will always be a certain supply of "Staff" vehicles maintained in the gov motor-parks for the honchos and their entourage.

    Thus the resulting "change we need" to mass public transportation comprised of delapidated buses which run, such as in the workers paradise of Cuba, which run mabe twice a day if one is lucky.

    I can recall appartitions of smelly, loud, ugly, east german "Trabis", two-stroke beasts which represented the ultimate in socialist engineering, during my visits, late sixties, to several iron-curtain countries, and I can also vividly recall the dead eyes of the disheartened, broken citizens, and the morgue-like atmosphere of the cities.

    Yes these are certainly the "Changes we need to embrace", propagated worldwide by insane leftist professors and lunatics such as JC, which will be arriving with the onset of the next edition of a marxist heaven on earth.


    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" society member since 1973, airborne qualified US Army vet and pro jazz artist.

    And of course the long sought after elimination of privately-owned automobiles, the ultimate goal/change of leftist nut-cases worldwide.

    Of course there will always be a certain supply of “Staff” vehicles maintained in the gov motor-parks for the honchos and their entourage.

    All true, but it gets MUCH worse. A recent NPR feature about self-driving cars was a positive love-in of communist “planner” types, with participants growing ecstatic about communist tropes such as “transportation as a service” (i.e. no more personally owned automobiles), some roads being prohibited to manual drivers, high-density urban development (except, one surmises, for the Eloi class), etc.

    Of course, exclusive residential and even business areas will no longer be accessible by car to the hoi polloi, and all trips will be logged with full passenger details, purely for your own safety, you understand. (Much of this is already reality through permanent NSA tracking of cell phone locations, vehicle locations, etc. – project name “Treasure Map.”)

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    I totally agree on both of you all's points, Jazzman on that the animals that are a little extra equal will get to live like all Americans used to, and yours, Eagle, about the tracking of us like so many cattle or sheep.

    There's a parallel there between this transportation thing and the "they all have a card to keep track of all their aches and pains, medicines, doctor visits, etc." as a paraphrase of Milo's lauding of the wonderful French system.

    The thing about NPR is that the people speak so calmly and quietly, that it is soothing to listen to, until you start actually hearing what the nitwits are saying. Is Nina Totenburg still on? I had no choice but to listen in my roommate's vehicle long ago, and I thought she sounded sexy in a spinster-librarian kind of way. I'm over her now ... no, don't show me current pictures. Let me remember my mind's image.
    , @Authenticjazzman
    My dismay in this anti-auto era being that myself , born Detroiter, being that I simply love automobiles and I always have since my childhood.

    I owned, in the sixties and seventies, eleven Alfa Romeos, ( in succession) some of which are now extreme rarities and would fetch huge sums.

    And as a jazz player/performer I experienced the anti-auto mentality in Europe to the extreme, seeing as jazz players, of course with exceptions, are a crazy lot of leftist nut-cases and they frown upon mundane persons as myself who harbor such "reactionary", "capitialistic" preferences.

    It doesn't matter to them, hypocrites that they are, that Miles Davis, every jazzman's idol, could be seen roaring through Manhattan in his white Ferrari, and "Bird", when not high, was an avid Cadillac operator.

    And yeah, of course the "Self-driving" concept is a forerunner to the total elimination of privately-owned wheels.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" society member since 1973, airborn qualified US army vet and pro jazz musician.
  75. @Eagle Eye

    And of course the long sought after elimination of privately-owned automobiles, the ultimate goal/change of leftist nut-cases worldwide.

    Of course there will always be a certain supply of “Staff” vehicles maintained in the gov motor-parks for the honchos and their entourage.
     

    All true, but it gets MUCH worse. A recent NPR feature about self-driving cars was a positive love-in of communist "planner" types, with participants growing ecstatic about communist tropes such as "transportation as a service" (i.e. no more personally owned automobiles), some roads being prohibited to manual drivers, high-density urban development (except, one surmises, for the Eloi class), etc.

    Of course, exclusive residential and even business areas will no longer be accessible by car to the hoi polloi, and all trips will be logged with full passenger details, purely for your own safety, you understand. (Much of this is already reality through permanent NSA tracking of cell phone locations, vehicle locations, etc. - project name "Treasure Map.")

    I totally agree on both of you all’s points, Jazzman on that the animals that are a little extra equal will get to live like all Americans used to, and yours, Eagle, about the tracking of us like so many cattle or sheep.

    There’s a parallel there between this transportation thing and the “they all have a card to keep track of all their aches and pains, medicines, doctor visits, etc.” as a paraphrase of Milo’s lauding of the wonderful French system.

    The thing about NPR is that the people speak so calmly and quietly, that it is soothing to listen to, until you start actually hearing what the nitwits are saying. Is Nina Totenburg still on? I had no choice but to listen in my roommate’s vehicle long ago, and I thought she sounded sexy in a spinster-librarian kind of way. I’m over her now … no, don’t show me current pictures. Let me remember my mind’s image.

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  76. Ace says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Its failure may have been not to include self enforcing limits on centralization.
     
    Well, there is Amendment X, but I'm not sure if that could be considered self-enforcing. What would be an example?

    Good comment; what a relief from this den of vipers statists!

    :-) Many thanks.

    Self-enforcing (or limiting) provisions might be like the 2/3 requirement in some local jurisdictions for approval of new bonds. Term limits. Recall with small numbers able to initiate (but not repeatable if immediate re-election in special election). Denial of franchise to people receiving public benefits. No authority for federal agency regulation. Only legislation.

    I’d like to see the oath of office changed so the federal office holders swears to not initiate and to refuse to enforce or approve legislation that is not applicable to the enumerated powers in Art. I, Sect. 8. Federal health care legislation? Where is the word “health” mentioned in said section? Impeachable offense to attempt to justify federal legislation by reference to any Supreme Court decision.

    Disqualification from re-election for any federal legislator who votes for increasing the debt ceiling.

    Impeachment and conviction of any official except president for any reason or no reason by vote of 40% of Congress. Re-election or re-appointment possible after new Congress sworn in thereafter official immune for two years.

    President and speakers of the House and Senate required to recite Art. I, Sect. 8 from memory every year at State of the Union address or the first Monday in February and declare that no Supreme Court decision purporting to expand said powers will be permitted to justify legislation not relating to the powers enumerated. Said speakers must personally declare for any new legislation what clause of Sect. 8 authorizes said legislation.

    Ninety percent requirement to change the above by constitutional amendment.

    It’s all fantasy, I suppose. Social Security isn’t authorized by any enumerated power and there’s no constituency to roll back the welfare state and the Leviathan state.

    Still, we will have creativity and realism imposed on us one way or another. The Framers did not foresee socialism and the existence of educated and intelligent citizens who would embrace hatred of their own people and culture and unlimited government power. Nor did they foresee that former African slaves would be given voting rights. Well, Jefferson did foresee that and understood what dangers that entailed.

    We actually know enough about how an otherwise extraordinary first effort fell short to take another run at this liberty/limited government dealy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    It’s all fantasy, I suppose....
     
    Yeah, and to everything you wrote under that, I would add: Our elites have imported a new crowd of voters who not only wouldn't agree with you and me, but wouldn't even understand 1/2 of what you just wrote. There's no easy turning back now. Some of the comments from otherwise intelligent people right in this thread should tell you that most people "just cain't be reached."

    This is where the Libertarians and even Ron Paul go off the tracks - they think that the average recent immigrant to America will understand the ideas of liberty, freedom, federalism, separation of powers, Constitution as law-of-the-land. That's a non-starter, as the management-cube-dwellers like to say.


    We actually know enough about how an otherwise extraordinary first effort fell short to take another run at this liberty/limited government dealy.
     
    Sounda good - there may be a small, maybe only a coupla-centuries-long dark age in between though....just a few hoops like that ...
  77. @Eagle Eye

    And of course the long sought after elimination of privately-owned automobiles, the ultimate goal/change of leftist nut-cases worldwide.

    Of course there will always be a certain supply of “Staff” vehicles maintained in the gov motor-parks for the honchos and their entourage.
     

    All true, but it gets MUCH worse. A recent NPR feature about self-driving cars was a positive love-in of communist "planner" types, with participants growing ecstatic about communist tropes such as "transportation as a service" (i.e. no more personally owned automobiles), some roads being prohibited to manual drivers, high-density urban development (except, one surmises, for the Eloi class), etc.

    Of course, exclusive residential and even business areas will no longer be accessible by car to the hoi polloi, and all trips will be logged with full passenger details, purely for your own safety, you understand. (Much of this is already reality through permanent NSA tracking of cell phone locations, vehicle locations, etc. - project name "Treasure Map.")

    My dismay in this anti-auto era being that myself , born Detroiter, being that I simply love automobiles and I always have since my childhood.

    I owned, in the sixties and seventies, eleven Alfa Romeos, ( in succession) some of which are now extreme rarities and would fetch huge sums.

    And as a jazz player/performer I experienced the anti-auto mentality in Europe to the extreme, seeing as jazz players, of course with exceptions, are a crazy lot of leftist nut-cases and they frown upon mundane persons as myself who harbor such “reactionary”, “capitialistic” preferences.

    It doesn’t matter to them, hypocrites that they are, that Miles Davis, every jazzman’s idol, could be seen roaring through Manhattan in his white Ferrari, and “Bird”, when not high, was an avid Cadillac operator.

    And yeah, of course the “Self-driving” concept is a forerunner to the total elimination of privately-owned wheels.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member since 1973, airborn qualified US army vet and pro jazz musician.

    Read More
  78. Foxcreek says:
    @paul metcalf
    articles as this give me hope for the us.the workers in the us have been brainwashed into thinking socialised medicine,reasonable holidays and a free education system for all is a commie plot "to drain their natural liquids."
    unfortunately your media is owned lock,stock and barrel by the ruling class and somehow this is perceived as democracy.i wonder if abc who interviewed chelsea manning showed the iraqi civilians(including children) being machine gunned by the american helicopter gunship?
    when somebody is jailed for leaking material as this the country is in serious trouble.

    I think that actually is “precious bodily fluids.”

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  79. @Ace
    :-) Many thanks.

    Self-enforcing (or limiting) provisions might be like the 2/3 requirement in some local jurisdictions for approval of new bonds. Term limits. Recall with small numbers able to initiate (but not repeatable if immediate re-election in special election). Denial of franchise to people receiving public benefits. No authority for federal agency regulation. Only legislation.

    I'd like to see the oath of office changed so the federal office holders swears to not initiate and to refuse to enforce or approve legislation that is not applicable to the enumerated powers in Art. I, Sect. 8. Federal health care legislation? Where is the word "health" mentioned in said section? Impeachable offense to attempt to justify federal legislation by reference to any Supreme Court decision.

    Disqualification from re-election for any federal legislator who votes for increasing the debt ceiling.

    Impeachment and conviction of any official except president for any reason or no reason by vote of 40% of Congress. Re-election or re-appointment possible after new Congress sworn in thereafter official immune for two years.

    President and speakers of the House and Senate required to recite Art. I, Sect. 8 from memory every year at State of the Union address or the first Monday in February and declare that no Supreme Court decision purporting to expand said powers will be permitted to justify legislation not relating to the powers enumerated. Said speakers must personally declare for any new legislation what clause of Sect. 8 authorizes said legislation.

    Ninety percent requirement to change the above by constitutional amendment.

    It's all fantasy, I suppose. Social Security isn't authorized by any enumerated power and there's no constituency to roll back the welfare state and the Leviathan state.

    Still, we will have creativity and realism imposed on us one way or another. The Framers did not foresee socialism and the existence of educated and intelligent citizens who would embrace hatred of their own people and culture and unlimited government power. Nor did they foresee that former African slaves would be given voting rights. Well, Jefferson did foresee that and understood what dangers that entailed.

    We actually know enough about how an otherwise extraordinary first effort fell short to take another run at this liberty/limited government dealy.

    It’s all fantasy, I suppose….

    Yeah, and to everything you wrote under that, I would add: Our elites have imported a new crowd of voters who not only wouldn’t agree with you and me, but wouldn’t even understand 1/2 of what you just wrote. There’s no easy turning back now. Some of the comments from otherwise intelligent people right in this thread should tell you that most people “just cain’t be reached.”

    This is where the Libertarians and even Ron Paul go off the tracks – they think that the average recent immigrant to America will understand the ideas of liberty, freedom, federalism, separation of powers, Constitution as law-of-the-land. That’s a non-starter, as the management-cube-dwellers like to say.

    We actually know enough about how an otherwise extraordinary first effort fell short to take another run at this liberty/limited government dealy.

    Sounda good – there may be a small, maybe only a coupla-centuries-long dark age in between though….just a few hoops like that …

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ace
    ** dark age in between **

    To note another popular quote, we can't unring the bell of immigration and the importation of slaves.

    Personally, I don't know why any nation or people have to dedicate themselves to commiting suicide. Population transfer or segregation are tools to use to avoid that. I suppose neither of those will ever happen in the absence of a Great Reversal in the wake of economic and social collapse. The for-real game of 52 Pick Up.

    Even a modest return to the recognition of basic human nature and the basics of social organization would be a great improvement.

    Can we remain insane forever? I don't think so.

    I will give the Muslims one thing (and only that). They do not kid themselves that non-Muslims who live in their lands in any way agree with the way they run things. Thus, they have the concept of second-class resident. We, foolishly, adhere to the magic dirt approach.
  80. Ace says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    It’s all fantasy, I suppose....
     
    Yeah, and to everything you wrote under that, I would add: Our elites have imported a new crowd of voters who not only wouldn't agree with you and me, but wouldn't even understand 1/2 of what you just wrote. There's no easy turning back now. Some of the comments from otherwise intelligent people right in this thread should tell you that most people "just cain't be reached."

    This is where the Libertarians and even Ron Paul go off the tracks - they think that the average recent immigrant to America will understand the ideas of liberty, freedom, federalism, separation of powers, Constitution as law-of-the-land. That's a non-starter, as the management-cube-dwellers like to say.


    We actually know enough about how an otherwise extraordinary first effort fell short to take another run at this liberty/limited government dealy.
     
    Sounda good - there may be a small, maybe only a coupla-centuries-long dark age in between though....just a few hoops like that ...

    ** dark age in between **

    To note another popular quote, we can’t unring the bell of immigration and the importation of slaves.

    Personally, I don’t know why any nation or people have to dedicate themselves to commiting suicide. Population transfer or segregation are tools to use to avoid that. I suppose neither of those will ever happen in the absence of a Great Reversal in the wake of economic and social collapse. The for-real game of 52 Pick Up.

    Even a modest return to the recognition of basic human nature and the basics of social organization would be a great improvement.

    Can we remain insane forever? I don’t think so.

    I will give the Muslims one thing (and only that). They do not kid themselves that non-Muslims who live in their lands in any way agree with the way they run things. Thus, they have the concept of second-class resident. We, foolishly, adhere to the magic dirt approach.

    Read More
  81. I will give the Muslims one thing (and only that).

    I will raise you one other thing anyway, Ace. I’ll give ‘em that they want their culture to remain a certain way (I’m not saying it’s anything I’d want a part of), and they do what they can to protect it. I don’t think that’s wrong. However, an unfortunate part of their culture, written in plain English whatever is that they must spread this culture throughout the world.

    Even that was OK when they were nothing but poor camel-jockeys that stayed in the deserts and way the hell away from us, before the oil money, or even when they had the money, but we still had serious borders here in the West.

    Read More
  82. @jacques sheete

    ...but the problem is that U.S. elections are manipulated by the elites in power who make sure that their interests are represented by the winner
     
    What people seem unable to realize is that's not a bug, but a feature. It's structural; the way the such systems are designed.

    Most folks think governments are designed for their benefit, yet any serious examination of the origins and invariable actions of government proves that notion utterly false.


    The Constitution looked fairly good on paper, but it was not a popular document; people were suspicious of it, and suspicious of the enabling legislation that was being erected upon it. There was some ground for this. The Constitution had been laid down under unacceptable auspices; its history had been that of a coup d'état.

    It had been drafted, in the first place, by men representing special economic interests. Four-fifths of them were public creditors, one-third were land speculators, and one-fifth represented interests in shipping, manufacturing, and merchandising. Most of them were lawyers. Not one of them represented the interest of production — Vilescit origine tali. (the dice were loaded from the start)

    Albert Jay Nock, Liberty vs. the Constitution: The Early Struggle
    [Excerpted from chapter 5 of Albert Jay Nock's Jefferson]
    https://mises.org/library/liberty-vs-constitution-early-struggle
     

    Remember Shay’s Rebellion!

    Read More
  83. @Achmed E. Newman
    No, Nosey, I don't speak for myself alone about not wanting people to confiscated my stuff via coercion of the Feral Gov't. I am not hurting for any stuff either - I've got a real problem taking care of stuff I have. I can be kind of a drain. Maybe you should also get out more and see what problems people are having trying to get by after their future "stuff" (the money to represent that) is being confiscated in income tax, SS, Medicare, property tax on vehicles, 8 % sales tax (oh, only 2 % on food - used to be 0 and sales tax used to be 4 % only 2 decades back).

    As for my bill, it was the principal of the thing. Yes, I could have paid it, but you've got to take a stand - many won't take a stand for anything, so, like you, they will fall for anything*. Nope, I just was not going to get ripped off by a factor of 5 - 8! The admin. guy got (probably fake) offended when I mentioned that I' can't pay for the illegal aliens. I probably hung up on him but can't recall now. I did pay the doctor his $300 for the 20 min. or so of his time. For some reason, it didn't piss me off that much, as I know a number of doctors that are good people.

    There's not many free markets left, I just got done writing that (maybe not to you, but I read all the posts before I comment, most of the time). I am sorry if you have not enough imagination to see in your mind how easily free markets can work, were the governments to get out of (any) business.


    * as my main man Johnny Cougar sung from his Mellon Camp somewhere near Seymour, Indiana.

    OK I misunderstood your comment, thanks for clearing that up but Mark is correct that by not paying your account you are merely tilting at windmills and only hurting yourself, you are certainly not affecting the corporation that has taken you for a spin.

    “Free markets” is just another myth and you’ve accepted it on misplaced faith. Societies need laws to function, it is why we have to stop at red lights, show a passport if we travel and not strong-arm weaker people into handing over their wallets in the street. Regulations are just laws for big business to abide by and with their removal you do not end up with a free market but rather one that is tilted to favour the big players, those with the clout to corrupt the lawmakers and those who scoff at the law and have the means to subvert its intent. The imaginary “free-market America” never existed but you seem convinced that it once did, good luck with that.

    Read More
  84. I’m glad I we can be civil here. Thanks for that first of all. I think the problem is in our definitions. Going from the bottom, at the end of your comment you mention “free-market America”. OK, I don’t maintain that at all levels (say the railroads, oil business, etc.) there were nothing but free markets, but MOST industries were much more free in pricing, regulation (lack thereof), hence supply and demand also. I really doubt that even 5% of small businessmen from this country’s founding until the 1960′s sometime EVER had to deal in any way with someone from the US Feral Government. Would you agree with that very rough guess?

    Regulations are just laws for big business to abide by and with their removal you do not end up with a free market but rather one that is tilted to favour the big players, those with the clout to corrupt the lawmakers and those who scoff at the law and have the means to subvert its intent.

    Abso-freakin-lutely! Right on, in fact. Why would I think otherwise. I never here under this (asinine though it was) post by the authors or anywhere else on the web or in my entire life have I been in favor of regulations. I just can’t see how your very true statement just there is at odds with anything libertarian. Free markets entail low or non-existent (like at the flea market) regulation. Socialism requires multitudes of regulation. Maybe you are equating what we have in America, “crony capitalism” with free markets, yet they are almost opposites.

    Mark is correct that by not paying your account you are merely tilting at windmills and only hurting yourself, you are certainly not affecting the corporation that has taken you for a spin.

    I appreciate your concern (not written in a snarky way, I promise), but yes, the big corp. is out about $1000. Yeah, they have some way to cover it, but their coverage takes a hit (i.e.”Oh, not worried about the $5000 damage to my car -insurance will cover it.”. Yeah, but you WILL take the hit in the long term.)

    The $1000 is admittedly peanuts to them, but

    a) it’s not peanuts to me.
    b) I felt a lot better (especially when I told the guy off on the phone).
    c) It may not take so much of this before they change something (what, I don’t rightly know.)
    d) I said it earlier – you’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.*

    * OK, Johnny Cougar said that before me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    but MOST industries were much more free in pricing, regulation (lack thereof), hence supply and demand also.

    And they were much more free to screw their employees, put out products that didn't work and tell the purchaser to F-off, free to sell snake oil, free to manipulate stock prices so the owners could cheat the people on the street, free to pollute the air and water and go out of business and open up shop somewhere else under a new name while never paying for the damage their old business caused.

    The problem with free market types is that they don't understand that most regulation comes about because the free market screwed a lot of people. We don't have Social Security or ERISA because some congressmen said lets screw with business owners. They came about because when companies went under during the Great Depression the employees found out that their pension promises weren't worth a nickel. The employees found out that companies routinely screwed their employees who were nearing their retirement by finding some way to lay them off so we had the vesting requirements put into the law.
    , @MarkinLA
    Maybe you are equating what we have in America, “crony capitalism” with free markets, yet they are almost opposites.

    Enough with this nonsense about crony capitalism - that is the only kind of capitalism there ever was and is.
  85. MarkinLA says:
    @Achmed E. Newman
    I'm glad I we can be civil here. Thanks for that first of all. I think the problem is in our definitions. Going from the bottom, at the end of your comment you mention "free-market America". OK, I don't maintain that at all levels (say the railroads, oil business, etc.) there were nothing but free markets, but MOST industries were much more free in pricing, regulation (lack thereof), hence supply and demand also. I really doubt that even 5% of small businessmen from this country's founding until the 1960's sometime EVER had to deal in any way with someone from the US Feral Government. Would you agree with that very rough guess?

    Regulations are just laws for big business to abide by and with their removal you do not end up with a free market but rather one that is tilted to favour the big players, those with the clout to corrupt the lawmakers and those who scoff at the law and have the means to subvert its intent.
     
    Abso-freakin-lutely! Right on, in fact. Why would I think otherwise. I never here under this (asinine though it was) post by the authors or anywhere else on the web or in my entire life have I been in favor of regulations. I just can't see how your very true statement just there is at odds with anything libertarian. Free markets entail low or non-existent (like at the flea market) regulation. Socialism requires multitudes of regulation. Maybe you are equating what we have in America, "crony capitalism" with free markets, yet they are almost opposites.

    Mark is correct that by not paying your account you are merely tilting at windmills and only hurting yourself, you are certainly not affecting the corporation that has taken you for a spin.
     
    I appreciate your concern (not written in a snarky way, I promise), but yes, the big corp. is out about $1000. Yeah, they have some way to cover it, but their coverage takes a hit (i.e."Oh, not worried about the $5000 damage to my car -insurance will cover it.". Yeah, but you WILL take the hit in the long term.)

    The $1000 is admittedly peanuts to them, but

    a) it's not peanuts to me.
    b) I felt a lot better (especially when I told the guy off on the phone).
    c) It may not take so much of this before they change something (what, I don't rightly know.)
    d) I said it earlier - you've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.*

    * OK, Johnny Cougar said that before me.

    but MOST industries were much more free in pricing, regulation (lack thereof), hence supply and demand also.

    And they were much more free to screw their employees, put out products that didn’t work and tell the purchaser to F-off, free to sell snake oil, free to manipulate stock prices so the owners could cheat the people on the street, free to pollute the air and water and go out of business and open up shop somewhere else under a new name while never paying for the damage their old business caused.

    The problem with free market types is that they don’t understand that most regulation comes about because the free market screwed a lot of people. We don’t have Social Security or ERISA because some congressmen said lets screw with business owners. They came about because when companies went under during the Great Depression the employees found out that their pension promises weren’t worth a nickel. The employees found out that companies routinely screwed their employees who were nearing their retirement by finding some way to lay them off so we had the vesting requirements put into the law.

    Read More
  86. MarkinLA says:
    @Achmed E. Newman
    I'm glad I we can be civil here. Thanks for that first of all. I think the problem is in our definitions. Going from the bottom, at the end of your comment you mention "free-market America". OK, I don't maintain that at all levels (say the railroads, oil business, etc.) there were nothing but free markets, but MOST industries were much more free in pricing, regulation (lack thereof), hence supply and demand also. I really doubt that even 5% of small businessmen from this country's founding until the 1960's sometime EVER had to deal in any way with someone from the US Feral Government. Would you agree with that very rough guess?

    Regulations are just laws for big business to abide by and with their removal you do not end up with a free market but rather one that is tilted to favour the big players, those with the clout to corrupt the lawmakers and those who scoff at the law and have the means to subvert its intent.
     
    Abso-freakin-lutely! Right on, in fact. Why would I think otherwise. I never here under this (asinine though it was) post by the authors or anywhere else on the web or in my entire life have I been in favor of regulations. I just can't see how your very true statement just there is at odds with anything libertarian. Free markets entail low or non-existent (like at the flea market) regulation. Socialism requires multitudes of regulation. Maybe you are equating what we have in America, "crony capitalism" with free markets, yet they are almost opposites.

    Mark is correct that by not paying your account you are merely tilting at windmills and only hurting yourself, you are certainly not affecting the corporation that has taken you for a spin.
     
    I appreciate your concern (not written in a snarky way, I promise), but yes, the big corp. is out about $1000. Yeah, they have some way to cover it, but their coverage takes a hit (i.e."Oh, not worried about the $5000 damage to my car -insurance will cover it.". Yeah, but you WILL take the hit in the long term.)

    The $1000 is admittedly peanuts to them, but

    a) it's not peanuts to me.
    b) I felt a lot better (especially when I told the guy off on the phone).
    c) It may not take so much of this before they change something (what, I don't rightly know.)
    d) I said it earlier - you've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.*

    * OK, Johnny Cougar said that before me.

    Maybe you are equating what we have in America, “crony capitalism” with free markets, yet they are almost opposites.

    Enough with this nonsense about crony capitalism – that is the only kind of capitalism there ever was and is.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    That is the only kind of capitalism there ever was and is.
     
    OK, I guess we'll have to defer to the expert, Mark in Los Angeles.*


    * After all, they know a lot out there, especially about running governments and such. It's working out great in California.
  87. @MarkinLA
    but MOST industries were much more free in pricing, regulation (lack thereof), hence supply and demand also.

    And they were much more free to screw their employees, put out products that didn't work and tell the purchaser to F-off, free to sell snake oil, free to manipulate stock prices so the owners could cheat the people on the street, free to pollute the air and water and go out of business and open up shop somewhere else under a new name while never paying for the damage their old business caused.

    The problem with free market types is that they don't understand that most regulation comes about because the free market screwed a lot of people. We don't have Social Security or ERISA because some congressmen said lets screw with business owners. They came about because when companies went under during the Great Depression the employees found out that their pension promises weren't worth a nickel. The employees found out that companies routinely screwed their employees who were nearing their retirement by finding some way to lay them off so we had the vesting requirements put into the law.

    Have you ever even been to the hardware store?

    Read More
  88. @MarkinLA
    Maybe you are equating what we have in America, “crony capitalism” with free markets, yet they are almost opposites.

    Enough with this nonsense about crony capitalism - that is the only kind of capitalism there ever was and is.

    That is the only kind of capitalism there ever was and is.

    OK, I guess we’ll have to defer to the expert, Mark in Los Angeles.*

    * After all, they know a lot out there, especially about running governments and such. It’s working out great in California.

    Read More
  89. The change Corbyn represents is the sort of change the Chavistas brought to Venezuela.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    The change Corbyn represents is the sort of change the Chavistas brought to Venezuela.
     
    Change you can believe in! Especially if you like the taste of cats and rats.
  90. Like myself, Mark remembers what a truly awesome place California once was (he and I have clashed over our respective understandings of 9/11 in the past) and I do agree with him on this thread. Consumer protection laws were a great thing for everyday working Americans and CA has been a leader there, or used to be. Sadly those same Americans have been abandoned to corporate interests today and things appear to be heading further in decline.

    I grew up in Britain but am (thankfully) living happily in Australia now after spending many years in the US. Many social programs have meant a lot to ordinary people and have improved the quality of their lives enormously. Unchecked immigration from the third world has undermined life in the UK as it has in CA. Corporate interests have lobbied for this outcome using the “free market” mantra to dupe the masses.

    Education and healthcare for all is an investment in the future rather than an expense and the failure to recognise this and act on it makes future decline inevitable. I have friends who champion the free market as if they would somehow benefit from it but it’s wishful thinking really. The problem is not that government makes too many laws but whom the laws government makes actually serve. Hint, it is not the people. Cheers

    Read More
  91. Consumer protection laws were a great thing for everyday working Americans and CA has been a leader there, or used to be. Sadly those same Americans have been abandoned to corporate interests today and things appear to be heading further in decline.

    Any laws can be used by big business to screw small business with. That’s why fewer laws are better, period! In fact, many times it is big business that writes the new laws, so they already know how to use them from the get go.

    What happens when small business does not have a shot? Yes, no competition, good answer. You get big business running the show, and you may be right that they use the mantra “free markets” for anything they are pushing, but anyone can use a phrase at will – doesn’t mean squat-all.

    You and Mark may be younger and never talked to older people who could tell you how free this country was. California is a damn tragedy. It is still the most beautiful place, but it won’t remain that way, and it’s pretty much not ours anymore.

    The problem is not that government makes too many laws but whom the laws government makes actually serve.

    See, now there’s the wishful thinking. Why would government serve the people once it gets big enough to do anything important? As soon as it has enough power to do anything, it’s worth the money spent to corrupt it. Nobody’s gonna lobby, bribe or threaten any political figure in a government small enough that the biggest thing they do each year is designate “National Cherry Pie Week” (unless you are BIG into pies.).

    When it comes to the US Feral Government, the most powerful beast in the world, let’s make sure not to bury it in the old Indian burial grounds, up on there, behind the Anderson’s barn. so it’ll come back alive. Don’t do it, what comes outta the ground ain’t watcha put in it.
    Sometimes, Dead is Betta!

    Have a good night.

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  92. @Quartermaster
    The change Corbyn represents is the sort of change the Chavistas brought to Venezuela.

    The change Corbyn represents is the sort of change the Chavistas brought to Venezuela.

    Change you can believe in! Especially if you like the taste of cats and rats.

    Read More
  93. craig 2 says:

    “Retail politics can work in the UK, while in the US paid media advertising drives the campaign, which means money often determines the outcome.”

    Trump’s election directly refuted this tired bit of conventional wisdom. His campaign was a triumph of retail politics, spending a fraction of what Clinton spent on paid advertising. The famous MAGA ball caps were not campaign giveaways, but purchased by motivated Trump supporters using their own money.

    Read More
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