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Comment Re:Ah Hell (Score 2) 124

The word steal invokes the mental image of taking away, while copyright infringement doesn't, so steal is an inaccurate label for copyright infringement since no taking away is involved. The same thing that makes it inaccurate is exactly what makes it a great rhetorical trick. It's like referring to a speeder as a "dangerous criminal" or someone who thinks that trains should run on time as someone who "holds certain views in common with Nazis". You can think and argue that copyright infringement is bad without reducing yourself to that level, so whether copyright infringement is good or bad is irrelevant to the topic.

Comment Re:The point of laws and courts... (Score 1) 411

Take a look at the comment by the poster called "N.J." on your link, which handily demolishes the whole thing. Key point is that if data is processed for European countries as it is for the US, the European countries suddenly come out on top, despite spending far less. Also, people who don't receive treatment or who stop receiving treatment aren't counted in the US. Here's another point from another comment on another story ( Americans get sick earlier in life, and younger people are more resilient to disease, so survival rates are raised by that, even though the situation itself is actually worse. As an example of that, the more childhood cancer in a country, the better the cancer survival rates (I'm not saying that I know childhood cancer to be more prevalent in the US, it's an example). European governments sometimes run campaigns to increase awareness of health information, which is probably related to the potential for such campaigns to directly decrease health expenditure, and governments are very much involved in deciding for example what additives are legal in food, so I don't think that it's fair to say that prevention is outside the purview of the health care system. The US system just chooses not to engage that angle as much because the incentive isn't there.

Comment Re:The point of laws and courts... (Score 1) 411

You haven't demonstrated that, and I doubt that it's true, but I acknowledge that it could be true. Even in that case, having become seriously ill in the first place is already a failure of the health care system - it is better to prevent the illness than to treat it after the fact. So prognosis after onset of illness wouldn't be the most telling figure.

Comment Fix it for real (Score 1) 392

Don't make it for the internet only, make sales tax the same all over. While you are at it, make it mandatory to add the now-omnipresent sales tax into all prices displayed to consumers who are going to have to pay the tax anyway. It's a pretty "unique" situation to make every single transaction in a whole country more complicated and confusing than it needs to be for no apparent reason. Find a way to change tips into a commission for waiters too - so the commission comes out of the stated price instead of on top of the stated price. Then suddenly you won't need a math degree to go shopping groceries, buy a burger or split a restaurant bill! If it says 10$ on the sticker/menu, that's what it would actually cost instead of some inconvenient amount like 10.43536$.

Comment Re:The point of laws and courts... (Score 1) 411

I think you must mean more effective for the people who can afford whatever expensive care they need in that case. However, for the filthy rich, it doesn't matter where you have your care, so those people aren't going to receive health care in just one country. They can travel to whatever country has the best hospital for doing the thing they need done, so it becomes a per-hospital and per-malady thing rather than a per-country thing. For everyone but the filthy rich, there is a fixed budget for health care (whatever you can afford/your country can afford) and in that case efficient=effective, since if the budget is fixed then bang/buck * buck becomes just bang. I take it you aren't filthy rich so efficiency directly impacts your health prospects since if the US had more efficient health care, you could afford better care for the same amount of money.

Comment Re:The point of laws and courts... (Score 1) 411

Immigrants are not the same kind of people as those that stay in their country, so it's not a sensible comparison to compare Japanese in Japan and Japanese in the US. Otherwise for example we'd be forced to conclude that people from India are a whole lot more intelligent than Americans on average, but that's not the case, even if it is true of the average Indian who shows up in the US. Thus the stereotype of Asians being more intelligent.

Comment Re:The point of laws and courts... (Score 1) 411

I agree that it is a complicated question that is it difficult to reduce down to a single ranking of who gets more bang for the buck. I will say that I didn't cherry pick this link - it was the first I found that directly addressed the question. The fact that it is difficult to do, and that there are plenty of studies saying that American health care is not efficient as evidenced by the other posters in the story, indicate to me that you don't really know that America is particularly efficient, and that you instead assumed it must be because you already believe that governments are inefficient. In any case it would be weird if America were efficient at health care when evaluated as a whole, because many poor people have no or little health care, while many rich people have a great deal of health care. You could argue that this skews the numbers since the poor people are inappropriately counted even though they shouldn't be as they aren't actually receiving much care - though I think making that argument might give you pause and cause some reflection on your position?

Comment Re:Hindsight (Score 1) 411

That's not how patents really work, though. They are often written in legalese so that no technical person will gain much from reading them without considerable effort. Beyond that, technical people are usually advised/ordered in the strongest terms not to read patents for any reason ever because it's impossible not to infringe on some patent somewhere and if you have read the patent you are inevitably infringing, then damages are higher if you get sued. It is conceivable for an improved patent system to serve the function of dissemination of research, but the current patent system does the opposite. The obvious changes to make would be to require patents to be plainly understood to an average practitioner of whatever field the patent is in, and to remove the connection between reading a patent and higher damages for infringing on it.

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