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Comment Re:Welcome to the Trump future... (Score 0) 405

mmm, interesting.
But I'm sure you can come up with some scenario where a natural disaster kills them both at once.
Congress certainly thought it was possible - which is WHY there is a third-in-line person. Same thing could happen if, say, they both got involved in some major corruption scandal and both of them were impeached.

Comment Re:Not surprised... (Score 1) 405

Actually... you're joke may be somewhat true. Stress is a major contributor to heart disease, and living in a country where mass shootings is a regular occurrence (in fact more regular than ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD -... actually that's selling it short, TWICE as many in 20 years as the next 10 countries COMBINED) and everybody has a fucking gun, with no real measure to determine if they even know where the safety is, would sure as hell leave ME permanently stressing out.

Comment Re:Obama care is the reason (Score 4, Insightful) 405

Trump could piss in a jar, say "Drink my urine to absorb my business power" and his supporters would be lining up to buy it.

And when he gets sued after somebody discovered he stopped pissing in jars after the first one and the rest were just really expensive lemonade they'll call the judge biased against urolagnia.

Comment Re:Yes, Obamacare helped ruin health insurance... (Score 1) 405

There is no such thing as an abortifacient. No abortifacient birth control has been on sale in decades. And the pill was NEVER one.

If anything the pill PREVENTS abortions. Any sexually active women will naturally abort about 2 out of 3 fertilized eggs - only one in three fertilizations lead to successfull implantation. By preventing the eggs being released in the first place - the pill actually prevents these natural abortions from happening.

Comment Re:Welcome to the Trump future... (Score 1) 405

>In actual fact, one of the biggest contributors to lower life expectancy is obesity, and one of the biggest identifiable causes of obesity is government policy: corn subsidies and bad federal nutritional guidelines.

Something Obama made a serious effort to act on early in his presidency, he desperately tried to regulate that industry - make sure consumers are informed of what's in their food and encourage companies to improve the quality of what they sell. Only to have it scuppered by the republican congress.
So if there is any blame on government - then by your own reasoning - that blame lies with the republican party.

Comment Re:Welcome to the Trump future... (Score 5, Insightful) 405

But, you can't have poor people dying because they can't afford healthcare... and an individual cannot really negotiate with a large corporation - especially when the price for turning down their offer is to die.

So what can we do... mmm well we could pool a lot of people's money together. They could negotiate prices as a group - which can be on equal footing with the suppliers, and the group as a whole isn't "about to die" so the negotiations are no longer happening under duress. Then you can also use standard actuarial table structures to spread risk around so that those with little risk right now can help cover those with high risk - and get better results for all.
Of course, such systems work better the larger the pool - so you will want to get EVERYBODY in on it (that's a fundamental attribute of actuarial tables - they only WORK if they are BIG). Ideally - you want the pool to be available, in it's entirety, to pay for healthcare - so it should probably not be profit driven.

There was a system, very much like that, in Scottland in the 19th century - it was actually the first ever use of actuarial tables to spread risk, instituted by the Scottish church to help the wealthier congregations assist the poorer ones in their care duties.
But it doesn't seem ideal to have a religious organisation run this - after all, people don't all have the same religion and it would cause friction that would limit the pool of potential contributors.

Mmm we could set up a massive, non-religiously affiliated organisation to collect dues and manage the fund, handle the negotiations and take care of the payments when we need it !
Seems like a huge amount of effort to get set up and convince everybody to sign on though - and a bit of a chicken/egg problem since the greatest benefits (the negotiation power) only comes when you have lots of members, but to get lots of members you need to offer the benefits.

If only there was some organisation that was already established, had lots of negotiation power, the infrastructure to collect and manage dues with an already existing tiered-structure to scale your dues to your income, capacity to handle payments, no profit motive and no religious affiliation which we could leverage to run this national insurance scheme for us... I know we can use our government ! They're perfect ! This is EXACTLY the sort of thing we invented them for !

Oh wait, we just invented single payer healthcare.

Comment Re:Welcome to the Trump future... (Score 2, Informative) 405

The horrors do not end there.
If Air Force one crashes into the atlantic tomorrow with both Trump and Pence on board... the presidency goes to the speaker of the House. In this case Paul Ryan - a man who has run several times and was never able to get the nomination. He's saner than either the president- or vice-president elect but his own brand of ultra-selfcentered, classist asshole.
When he accepted the speakership it was only on condition of being allowed a minimum number of weeks a year to spend with his family - he is clearly in favor of the idea of family vacations... for rich people, because he also repeatedly fought and voted against making America NOT be one of the only countries on earth without protected, paid family leave.
Only in America is a couple of weeks a year to spend with your family, rest up a bit, get out of town a bit - without worrying about losing your job or lost wages NOT considered an essential right for a well-functioning society. Paul Ryan has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that these things remain the privilege of the rich and wealthy - or at least those with rare enough job skills to be able to personally negotiate them contracts.

Comment Re:Google, Motorola, Intel . . . (Score 1) 245

>Besides, relatively business savvy isn't saying he's good, just that he's better than a lot of politician/legislators we have had in the past - which is a low bar indeed.

But considering that government does not, never can and by god never ever SHOULD resemble a business - that's not at all a bad thing. You CAN be good at both - but nothing you learn about one is helpful to the other. Being good at both is a bit like getting a double PHD in art history and astrophysics. Sure it can be done, but it's a rare person indeed who can master such utterly disparate disciplines and they know how to keep them separate in their heads.

Comment Re:Google, Motorola, Intel . . . (Score 1) 245

Take the money he inheritted, take his net worth today (the one he claims to have - which is almost certainly exagerated by 2 orders of magnitude). Factor in inflation.
Had he stuck all his money way back when into an index-tracking fund he would be richer now than he is - a LOT richer.

This is such a terrible businessman he can't even do (nearly) as well as the AVERAGE of the stock market - in a period that included 3 major recessions including the largest one since the great depression !
And that's working with how much he CLAIMS to have, all the evidence suggests he is a LOT less rich than that.

Comment Re:Welcome to the Trump future... (Score -1, Troll) 405

I can not even begin to tell you how dumb this idea is. Are you seriously going to haggle with the emergency staff, as they're about to treat your heart attack? What about when your s.o. finds a lump in their breasts/chest? What are you going to tell your kid, when they get lymphoma? "Sorry sweetie. You deserve the best, but we can only afford to send you to that guy that operates out of a dumpster."

The extremes do not an argument make. You can "prove" anything if you use only the extremes or outliers in your analysis. No one is talking about negotiation and/or haggling.

The problem with a hidden "pay-via-indirect-intermediary" trade is the lack of information at the point of trading. The market cannot reach any optimum if the $BUYER purchases and consumes $PRODUCT without knowing at the time of purchase how much $PRODUCT will cost. This is an advantage to $SUPPLIERS, as they can jack up prices and know that $INTERMEDIARY will, one way or another, get that price from $BUYER.

If $BUYER has to directly see the price at point of purchase, even if they do not negotiate, then it's likely that they'll avoid that particular $SUPPLIER in the future. This has the effect of driving down price to what the market will bear. If $BUYER only sees the price a month later, disconnected from the act of actual trading, they do not connect particular $SUPPLIER to that price, and hence do not choose a different $SUPPLIER the next time around.

This means that if all the $SUPPLIERS want the price to stay at the same level, they have to collude. With the intermediary, there is no need to collude - they intermediary ensures that the price will be paid, and the $BUYER does not change intermediaries.

So, it's not a matter limited only to healthcare, but simple market economics that would apply to any commodity available only via an intermediary.

Comment Re:How is this different from arbitrage on the NYS (Score 1) 208

He's got TWO ex goldman sachs employees in his cabinet - INCLUDING the treasury secretary.

At least Clinton had been forced to make promises to the progressive wing of the democratic party to get the Sanders supporters on-board, which would have precluded her being that bad.
It doesn't MATTER whether you believe she would WANT to be. She wouldn't be ABLE to - because she had been forced to make promises against that, which she would have to keep if she wanted another term.

Trump on the other hand is sucking the wall street dong like no other president before ever has ! Hell his taxplan will give wallstreet moguls 6 trillion dollars - which you will have to make up with YOUR taxes.

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