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Comment Re:Epipen cost: $30, regulatory costs: $30 mil+ (Score 1) 326

Ya know, we got on fine without epipens so long as people had the notion that they were at least somewhat responsible for dealing with their own shit. Naturally a market where epipens are much more profitable prefers that people are too helpless to use a needle and syringe.

As to diverting to drug users -- anyone can order bulk needles/syringes from any veterinary supply house, and they are cheap, around $20/100 (and if you buy Monoject brand, they can last for years -- I actually have some over 40 years old and still good). You can also get boxfuls of the tiny ones for insulin OTC at Costco and probably elsewhere (I believe in every state but New York, which requires a Certificate of Need).

As to shelf life, as I said I used to keep epi on hand (when I lived in rattlesnake and nasty-bees country and frequently had to dose a bitten/stung dog) but I found from direct experience that the stale date was to be believed; a month or so later the stuff was no good, and it was stored in a dark fridge. Because of that it wound up mostly wasted, and I gave it up in favor of keeping atropine on hand, which for the purpose works about as well -- and keeps a lot longer. (The current bottle is stale-dated 1991 and still works as good as new.)

Manufacturing processes vary a lot, tho. I haven't read up on epi but I have on LT4, and there the shelf life varies from 6 months to 3 years depending on the tablet binder -- but I have seen some that was no good right off the shelf (the reference brand, no less), and another that was still good 25 years later (and a B-rated generic at that). If that mfgr did the testing on that latter batch... well, the results wouldn't reflect anyone else's product, let alone typical reality. May also depend on the mfgr'ing fail rate (again, dunno about epi, but for LT4 the recall rate is ~50%).

I wonder how many "needs a 2nd dose" were actually cases where the potency had silently and prematurely faded. AFAIK there's no good way to test that with a dose in the field, other than "it didn't work". With some drugs (eg. oxytocin) you can use it a long time after the stale date, you just have to double or triple the dosage to account for lost potency.

Comment Re:Epipen cost: $30, regulatory costs: $30 mil+ (Score 1) 326

Why go to all that bother? single-use needle-and-syringes are available anywhere for about 30 cents each. If your life depends on it, you can bloody well take five minutes to learn how to use it.

Also, yes, epi DOES go bad -- I used to keep it on hand, and I found it rather reliably goes bad about a month after the stale date. It may not change color either.

Comment Re:Epipen cost: $30, regulatory costs: $30 mil+ (Score 1) 326

If "getting the wrong dose" is a problem, provide syringes only in the correct size for a single dose. After that, as you say any idiot can learn to do it. And if someone's life depends on it, well, if they're unwilling to learn something so manifestly simple, maybe they have different problems.

Further, veterinary epinephrine is the same damn thing. It's about 50 cents per cc at 1:1000. (Obey the stale date, it does not keep well.) Goes to show what the stuff actually costs.

Comment Re: Other than Brother... (Score 1) 387

I have an Epson Actionlaser that I found out too late plays the same game. When the cart runs out, the only way to replace it is not with a $50 toner cart, but with a $150 fuser assembly that includes the cart.

So when its first cart got tired (to be fair, that went about double its expected lifespan) the Epson got replaced by a couple of old HPLJs that I rescued from going to the landfill, and that take $30 aftermarket carts.

Comment Re:Dogs too. (Score 2) 305

Actually, they are much =further= from their wolf ancestors, which is why they guard your livestock rather than eat it. It's also why they pay attention to what the human says and does, which wolves are poor at but dogs (even dumb ones) excel at, since we've selected for that observatory-responsiveness to man for thousands of years. It is not a wild animal trait.

And as a pro dog trainer (working retrievers, which share a lot of DNA lineage with the guardian/working breeds of western Europe) it doesn't surprise me at all that your farm dogs know individually all the stock they protect, and understand fairly complex sentences and concepts. This has nothing to do with dog culture (singleton dogs can do just as well or better), and everything to do with treating the dog like you would a child old enough to have some responsibility and reasoning ability, instead of like a retarded unthinking animal that only does mindless conditioned responses, as the infantilizing treat-and-clicker-training crowd does.

Comment Re:"could not recall" (Score 1) 409

Yeah, that's basically why I think UBI would be an improvement over the current welfare system. Yeah, we'd probably get more grasshoppers living off the sweat of the ants. But per the info from Finland, not having to run a huge and invasive welfare department would be a considerable savings to taxpayers. And the fact that it's not infinite (waste your UBI and starve, oh well) might retrain enough of the grasshoppers that we'd have a net gain in ants, too. Keep public medical and kill the entire rest of the welfare system, and I'd be on board with it.

I have more or less the same list of "what is gov't business" (not everything should be privatized; we've had that system before, we called it the dark ages) but we don't need the current system where a third of the economy gets eaten by one or another gov't function or requirement.

Also, I just read somewhere that Britain is cutting surgery benefits to the obese and smokers in an effort to cut back on runaway costs... so the bottom may be getting close on the socialzed medicine thing.

As to people who are too dumb to manage their own savings -- that's a relatively recent development. We need to stop assuming everyone is too stupid to run their own lives and needs Uncle Sam to do it for them.

Comment Re:Before we go too far down that line of thought (Score 1) 470

My observation is that when mosquitoes are suppressed (and I've lived where a formerly-heavy population has been basically exterminated) the niche is filled by crane flies -- which are both a fine food species for mosquito-eaters and do not bite.

Funny how the animal lovers who want to save the biting mosquito don't care about the dogs and coyotes that die of mosquito-transmitted heartworm, or that mosquitoes are the leading cause of death in caribou.

Comment Re:"could not recall" (Score 1) 409

" What you're saying is that if taxes were lower, companies would just pay them instead of locking up their cash overseas."

Well, yeah. Look at Ireland.

But regulatory costs are much higher than taxes, and that's become the real problem. Jamie Z used to have the saga of "Opening the DNA Lounge" online and he spent somewhere around $1 million just trying to get legal with the city of San Francisco. Costco figured out (and this is about square with my own estimate from when I was looking into making a part-time hire) that 70% of the cost of each lawful employee is payroll taxes, fees, insurance, workmans comp, and the like -- that $10/hour new hire is $30/hour in real costs. (Wouldn't you rather dump all the "benefits" and double your paycheck?)

"Businesses rarely see (or even look) beyond near term returns."

If they're publicly held, they can't, since by law their first obligation is to their shareholders. Blame the fact that Wall Street looks for short-term profits at the expense of long-term viability -- because if shareholders are not making a profit every quarter, they take their money elsewhere. (And that applies to everyone, not just the big-money shareholders.)

"That's why we have taxes, to ensure that all competing businesses do make those investments and reap the future profits, or at least don't go down in bankruptcy because society has fallen apart and can't afford their goods or services anymore."

No, we have taxes to run the government. And the level of taxation doesn't particularly jibe with whether the government "runs society" or not; mostly it jibes with spending, which may or may not be beneficial; roads and schools are a benefit to all, but there's all sorts of good evidence that welfare spending has been primarily harmful, having become a way of life rather than a safety net.

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