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Comment Re:23,000 Die from Bacteria 250k Die from Malpract (Score 2) 90

"America has the most expensive healthcare system in the world"
"Yeah, libertarianism works great ..."

Libertarianism? In the USA healthcare system? LMFAO.

Where exactly do Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, bans on free trade of prescription drugs and the tons of other government regulations fit into your definition of "libertarianism"?

In 2016, the federal government spent over $900 BILLION on Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare subsidies and other socialized healthcare programs. Due to federal government regulation, prescription drug in the USA can cost 5x, 10x, 20x ... as much as the exact same drug in Canada, Mexico or other countries. Removing that federal ban would save us tens of billions of dollars at minimum. Mandates on insurance policies prevent people from buying the exact coverage they want. Medicare & Medicaid price controls force providers to shift costs onto the privately insured & absolutely rape the working uninsured.

The U.S. Government has been heavily involved in the healthcare system for over 50 years! What are the results of their interventions? Skyrocketing prices, millions unable to afford basic services & quality which, as you noted, lags behind other countries.

Are there ANY other goods or services which, over that same time period, have experienced such ridiculous price increases for such lackluster quality(except housing and higher ed, which are also big government clusterfucks) Hell no! Even medical-related services like Lasik eye surgery have become better and cheaper.

Innovation & competition bring down prices. Government intervention has the opposite effect.

Comment Mod parent up! Re:Invert planet finding method? (Score 1) 160

You deserve some "Insightful" mods.

They've definitely been considering that idea! Check out this article

The authors of the paper being discussed in the article are proposing exactly what you said. Focus our searching/listening for extraterrestrial life on the areas in the galaxy where we would be most visible to other observers if "they" are using the same "transit observation" techniques we're using.

Comment Re:The Gold Age of the Internet is Gone (Score 1) 195

I disagree. I think we're in the early stages of a digital renaissance.

The traditional media is having convulsions because they realize that they've lost the ability to control the narrative. Not only are they chained to the old mediums, they've destroyed their credibility with the public. Look no further than the polls showing people's hatred and distrust of them. These same control freaks are now grasping to control the flow of information in the realm of social media and the internet, but they are doomed to fail.

It took the Internet to break the MSM's ability to control the public consciousness because the time and expense needed to build up a competing old-school media outlet was measured in years and millions of dollars. When Twitter, FB and YouTube start to suck bad enough(they're working on it), the barrier to entry for new competitors is probably measured in months and thousands of dollars.

Comment Another reason to scrap the income tax (Score 2) 77

Yet another good reason why we should abolish the personal and corporate income tax in favor of the fair tax The fair tax is a consumption tax, but avoids any disproportionate impact on the poor by providing a pre-paid tax credit in the amount that a poor person would pay in taxes over the course of a year.

Everyone understands that taxation creates a disincentive for particular behavior, which is precisely why tobacco is taxed at such ridiculous levels. Why the hell do we tolerate a tax system which creates a disincentive for working and producing things?

Eliminating the ridiculously complex, multi-thousand page income tax code also gets rid of the government's favorite and most convenient mechanism for handing out favors to wealthy special interests. It creates an incentive for businesses to invest in the U.S. & makes U.S. goods more competitive vs. imports ... and of course we would be far less vulnerable to this sort of tax fraud.

Comment If those are my options (Score 1) 514

"only massive, violent shocks ... proved powerful enough to flatten disparities in income and wealth. They appeared in four different guises: mass-mobilization warfare, violent and transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic epidemics."

For the USA, I vote for "state collapse". Economist Laurence Kotlikoff estimates that when the unfunded future liabilities (minus future revenues) in SS & Medicare are accounted for, the USA national debt is close to $200 trillion. Obviously that can't be funded through taxation, even if all private wealth was confiscated. That means outright default or Zimbabwe style hyperinflation, either of which would almost surely mean mass warfare or violent revolution.
This is not paranoia, it's mathematics. Ignore the doom & gloom at your own peril.

Comment Re:Government run program (Score 2) 274

"We know that the Russians still do nuclear tests"

LOL How exactly do you "KNOW" that? Is this the latest conspiracy theory from nutty left-leaning websites intent on pushing the "evil Russians" narrative?

The Russians did their last tests in the late 1980s. The USA and USSR signed the "Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty" circa 1990. There has been no nuclear testing by either country since then, even underground. A nuclear explosion isn't something you can do secretly. There is a seismographic monitoring network that can pick up the signature from 1000s of km away and narrow down the location to within about 50 km.

Maybe you're confusing Russia with North Korea?

Comment Re:Globalization vs. Protectionism (Score 5, Insightful) 202

If you care about what's going on beyond your borders, why would you support so-called "free trade"?

Agreements like GATT, NAFTA and the WTO treaty simply give corporations a way to avoid all of the health, safety, labor and environmental protections that apply in the USA while maintaining their access to USA markets.

When you're importing those cheap foreign-made goods, you're exporting pollution and sweat shops. Some "protectionism" (a disparaging globalist term for a sensible policy) to prevent corporations from cutting costs through regulatory arbitrage would be a good thing for America and the world.

Comment Re:Unless on the interstate system (Score 1) 243

Explain exactly how the problem with infrastructure is "small, limited government"? I see government at all levels growing every single year.

The only states that are really cutting things right now are the Dakotas, but that's only because they cranked up spending like crazy with the extra revenue from the oil boom(government couldn't just keep budgets stable and have a surplus, they had to spend every last f***ing penny) and are now having to scale back as those revenues have dried up.

Yeah, we sure have "small limited government" when government at all levels sucks more than 40% of GDP out of the economy every year. Do you think maybe the problem is with their spending priorities and not their overall size?

Comment Re:Stop apologizing (Score 1) 292

" by any reasonable definition of the term."

Oh, come on. You know exactly what "genetic modification" means in the parlance of our times. Whether it's reasonable or not, the FDA uses the same definition. Despite the fact that selective breeding is technically "genetic modification", people(& the FDA) interpret that term to mean something produced with genetic engineering techniques. Techniques that produce traits which would not have occurred in nature and would be almost impossible to create with selective breeding.

Take glyphosate resistance in plants. The so-called "Roundup Ready" strains. You wouldn't produce that trait by selective breeding unless you could breed a soy plant with a petunia and then make the offspring cross-pollinate with bacteria.

We could certainly find a more accurate term, but the current definition is entrenched in the common vernacular AND enshrined in regulation, so I'm afraid we're stuck with it. Maybe the GMO-conscious consumers are ignorant halfwits, but they're still consumers & you don't want them avoiding your quinoa because you use an expansive definition of "GMO". Logical or not, they have a right to know how their food is produced.

Comment "trading" isn't "economic activity" (Score 1) 185

Unless you count sucking the lifeblood out of the real economy and depriving small traders of the margins to which they would be entitled in a fair stock market.

Think about it. What does Goldman Sachs or any other big investment bank provide to economy in terms of actual goods and services? Are their multi-billion dollar annual profits really commensurate with the actual value of the services that they provide? Why does everyone out in the real economy, producing the real value struggle under perpetual debt while the people who shuffle money around accumulate(not "earn") massive profits?
These people are nothing but parasites who are endowed by the federal government with special legal privileges to rip off everyone else. This isn't "economic activity" or "industry" or "capitalism" it's leeching. "The Vampire Squid" is a perfectly appropriate label for GS.

Comment Re:a Silicon Valley engineer (Score 2) 126

Did you know that the average career of an NFL player is only 3.3 years? Crazy, isn't it? For every multi-millon dollar superstar with a long successful career, there are many anonymous athletes who experience a career-ending injury in their first or second season. They must also be counting only what the football player made while playing football.
I can easily believe that the "average" engineer earns more over the course of an entire career.

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