Bloggingheads Community

Bloggingheads Community (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/index.php)
-   Diavlog comments (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=9)
-   -   Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=6954)

miceelf 08-10-2011 10:51 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by conncarroll (Post 221048)
I am actually a big fan of Kleiman. Both his academic work and bheads performances. Normally. Probably why I was so disappointed in the diavlog.

I am a big fan of yours, Conn, even though i will probably never agree with you about anything.

I guess this sums up my reaction to your reaction;

http://youtu.be/Pxm-cVCdziI

AemJeff 08-10-2011 11:08 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 221056)
I would actually means test medicare and ss. I guess that's some agreement with the GOP on "cutting entitlements" but it's not an across the board cut, so if you drill down, it's different.

I am less concerned about the "organic labels, whcih isn't a food safety issue so a separate thing (although it's always unclear to me how the invisible hand is supposed to operate if there's no enforcement of accuracy in labeling), than things like making sure sick cows don't get into your ground beef. I don't much care if not allowing you to put cows with toxoplasma into your ground beef is a barrier for small meat packers. I think it's worth it.

I agree with you about some other regulations, depending on what they are.

Practically speaking, how do you means-test Medicare effectively - except at the margins? I mean, we can exclude billionaires from the program without harming anyone - but where does (let's say) a reasonably well-off eighty-five year old find health insurance for a non-ruinous price, even if that person is healthy? What if they have a few chronic problems? (Obviously a very likely circumstance.) It seems as if a program like this really needs to cover most of the population to fulfill its function properly.

miceelf 08-10-2011 11:10 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 221062)
Practically speaking, how do you means-test Medicare effectively - except at the margins? I mean, we can exclude billionaires from the program without harming anyone - but where does (let's say) a reasonably well-off eighty-five year old find health insurance for a non-ruinous price, even if that person is healthy? What if they have a few chronic problems? (Obviously a very likely circumstance.) It seems as if a program like this really needs to cover most of the population to fulfill its function properly.

I was actually thinking more in terms of copays and the medication piece, although I agree it's complicated. My understanding is there are ways of means testing within the context of still providing coverage.

badhatharry 08-10-2011 11:14 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 221062)
Practically speaking, how do you means-test Medicare effectively - except at the margins? I mean, we can exclude billionaires from the program without harming anyone - but where does (let's say) a reasonably well-off eighty-five year old find health insurance for a non-ruinous price, even if that person is healthy? What if they have a few chronic problems? (Obviously a very likely circumstance.) It seems as if a program like this really needs to cover most of the population to fulfill its function properly.

Doesn't the Ryan plan cover everyone?

miceelf 08-10-2011 11:19 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 221066)
Doesn't the Ryan plan cover everyone?

It covers no one. It provides people with a voucher with which they can (Ryan claims) buy coverage.

The voucher is incredibly optimistic in terms of what it expects the cost of insurance for the elderly to be, and about how quickly the cost of health care will rise.

Ryan's claim is that this will give everyone the opportunity to be covered, but it doesn't actually cover them itself. His critics of course disagree.

AemJeff 08-10-2011 11:19 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 221066)
Doesn't the Ryan plan cover everyone?

After a short time it doesn't provide adequate coverage for anyone. The difference between the size of the subsidy and the cost of coverage increases exponentially.

badhatharry 08-10-2011 11:30 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 221067)
It covers no one. It provides people with a voucher with which they can (Ryan claims) buy coverage.

The voucher is incredibly optimistic in terms of what it expects the cost of insurance for the elderly to be, and about how quickly the cost of health care will rise.

Ryan's claim is that this will give everyone the opportunity to be covered, but it doesn't actually cover them itself. His critics of course disagree.

Don't you think that if the Ryan plan (which is hardly fleshed out) doesn't cover anyone it will not be enacted? Which it won't be anyway, so never mind.

PS one of the aspects of the rising costs of health care that Ryan thinks he's addressing is that some of that rise is due to a lack of, that old chimera, competition.

miceelf 08-10-2011 11:47 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 221070)
Don't you think that if the Ryan plan (which is hardly fleshed out) doesn't cover anyone it will not be enacted? Which it won't be anyway, so never mind.
.

No, I am just saying it's mechanism is not that it directly covers anyone. If Ryan is exactly accurate, it provides everyone with a large enough voucher to ensure that they can get coverage. But it's selling point is that it is NOT government coverage. This is a feature not a bug. I realize this may seem nitpicky, but when we get into the topic of means-testing and whether and how to cover people, it becomes important to distinguish between being covered by a plan, and having a plan to be covered.

I have separate criticisms of the Ryan plan, but the primary point was that it doesn't directly cover people. It provides people a voucher which the plan claims will allow them to have coverage.

The truth of this claim is a separate issue, but it's not a plan to directly provide coverage.

badhatharry 08-10-2011 11:58 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 221072)
I have separate criticisms of the Ryan plan, but the primary point was that it doesn't directly cover people. It provides people a voucher which the plan claims will allow them to have coverage.

The truth of this claim is a separate issue, but it's not a plan to directly provide coverage.

Right, but I thought there was some sort of mandate to buy coverage:

Quote:

RYAN: Its mandate works no different than how the current Medicare law works today, which is you just select from a wide range of different plans. It literally would be like Medicare Advantage…
I realize that this is not however the point of your discussion with jeff.

sugarkang 08-10-2011 12:34 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 221072)
No, I am just saying it's mechanism is not that it directly covers anyone. If Ryan is exactly accurate, it provides everyone with a large enough voucher to ensure that they can get coverage. But it's selling point is that it is NOT government coverage. This is a feature not a bug. I realize this may seem nitpicky, but when we get into the topic of means-testing and whether and how to cover people, it becomes important to distinguish between being covered by a plan, and having a plan to be covered.

These death panels were my favorite part about Obamacare. Not being sarcastic, either. Just like they said in the recent Loury/McArdle diavlog: there are trade offs.

stephanie 08-10-2011 01:31 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 221072)
No, I am just saying it's mechanism is not that it directly covers anyone. If Ryan is exactly accurate, it provides everyone with a large enough voucher to ensure that they can get coverage. But it's selling point is that it is NOT government coverage. This is a feature not a bug. I realize this may seem nitpicky, but when we get into the topic of means-testing and whether and how to cover people, it becomes important to distinguish between being covered by a plan, and having a plan to be covered.

I have separate criticisms of the Ryan plan, but the primary point was that it doesn't directly cover people. It provides people a voucher which the plan claims will allow them to have coverage.

The truth of this claim is a separate issue, but it's not a plan to directly provide coverage.

Beyond this, the only way the Ryan plan actually saves money is if people can't get coverage or get coverage that is less than they currently get.

Basically, we currently have the government insuring the elderly. That is replaced with vouchers through which the elderly are to buy insurance, which will provide some coverage. Even if the amount paid was identical (which it's not, due to Ryan discounting inflation), this would mean less coverage, since the insurance companies need to make money. You are adding a middle man that does nothing but take out money. This, for the record, is not a slam on insurance companies. It's simply how it works.

Oh, but is there a savings due to competition? What competition? The only competition that would matter is if medical providers had to lower prices to get patients to buy the services (tests or whatever). This doesn't work well in theory, given that people who need medical care are pretty much willing to pay and can't really evaluate what is and is not necessary. The saving comes on non-necessary (elective) care, which is what we tend to think saves money in the long run. But more important still, the model isn't that we pay out of pocket (as you would need to, for competition to matter) under Ryan's plan, but that you'd have insurance. As anyone familiar with the US system knows, having payment come from insurers rather than the government creates no meaningful competition. Why is it better to have old people covered by something similar to the workplace insurance system that honest libertarian types dislike? Well, because it caps the money we spend, even though that means that some old people either don't get coverage or have a much lesser form of coverage.

So what about pressure on medical providers to lower prices? Conservatives tend not to like that, but that directly contradicts the argument that something like the Ryan plan lowers prices. The only entity here (absent out of pocket payment and belief that the free market would work even in the medical arena, which is not, in any case, the Ryan plan) with the power to pressure medical prices down is the government, which is why some providers dislike taking Medicare.

Okay, so what about competition between insurance companies? This assumes that insurance companies are just dying to sign up elderly folks and provide them with full coverage, which is bizarre and inconsistent with how the health insurance market has traditionally worked.

Okay, well, what about the promise that Ryan will make the insurers provide insurance? First, not very free market, and not fair unless the insurers can make money. Second, we are back to the original point -- you have to assume an extra layer of cost for the same system. So either the care provided is really bare bones and excludes the huge costs (treatment for serious illness) that are the problem, or the Ryan plan ends up costing more than Medicare. Or we find some excuse so that insurance companies don't have to cover everyone. My guess is that insurance companies would have to provide some form of insurance that covered more predictable costs and could gear the prices charged to those costs (so no savings there, but more expense), but could exclude the expense stuff, the stuff which is why we need Medicare in the first place. Fabulous. What a good plan!

Ultimately, the best case scenario for the Ryan plan (except that it will never be passed anyway, so this is more an attack on the logic of supporters than concern about the plan) is that it's a back door way of doing what lots of people want to do with Medicare -- find a way to cut some of the most expensive treatments (such as the huge amounts spent at the very end of life, for example) without people noticing and freaking out like they do if we actually try to do this with Medicare. (Government hands off and all that.) Now, people willing to pay lots out of pocket could buy additional insurance or pay for the treatments anyway, but they can do that anyway. Arguably if more people have less care, there's more a market for additional insurance, so more would be available, but even so it's really stupid to design a plan around that, the result is less economically efficient, and the arguments selling it are dishonest.

What really seems dumb to me, though, is that some people just seem to assume "not government, so cheaper" without thinking through how it would actually work or comparing the US to other countries. This is what Ryan et al. are counting on, in trying to sell a plan like this to people who flip about the idea that the government might cut anything off their current coverage. No, really, it's private Medicare.

miceelf 08-10-2011 02:24 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 221089)
Beyond this, the only way the Ryan plan actually saves money is if people can't get coverage or get coverage that is less than they currently get.


Yes. And it actually does nothing to address the deficit because his alleged savings from health care are entirely eaten up by his planned tax cuts.

The magical way that it saves money is that implementing his plan will make the cost of coverage to go down. I'm serious, that's his claim.

"competition" (waves hands)

The middleman approach is also the favored approach of the GOP to student loans, and why they fought so hard against those reforms. Rather than have the government guarantee and subsidize the loans that are made to students, why not just let the government lend directly to the students themselves, since it's taking all the risk anyway, and doesn't need to make a profit?

But, oh, no- that's big government. Competition. Magic.

whburgess 08-10-2011 07:36 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 221062)
Practically speaking, how do you means-test Medicare effectively - except at the margins? I mean, we can exclude billionaires from the program without harming anyone - but where does (let's say) a reasonably well-off eighty-five year old find health insurance for a non-ruinous price, even if that person is healthy? What if they have a few chronic problems? (Obviously a very likely circumstance.) It seems as if a program like this really needs to cover most of the population to fulfill its function properly.


So we should just accept that a 85 year old man who has assets should have his health care funded by the tax payer so he can pass those assets on to his kids when he dies?

AemJeff 08-10-2011 07:58 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 221159)
So we should just accept that a 85 year old man who has assets should have his health care funded by the tax payer so he can pass those assets on to his kids when he dies?

We have a simple choice. Either we believe that we ought to receive needed medical care as we age, or we don't. The cost of coverage in any rational market will obviously spiral beyond the means of nearly anybody. I'd prefer to pass my assets on at the latest date possible, thank you very much.

whburgess 08-10-2011 08:22 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 221161)
We have a simple choice. Either we believe that we ought to receive needed medical care as we age, or we don't. The cost of coverage in any rational market will obviously spiral beyond the means of nearly anybody. I'd prefer to pass my assets on at the latest date possible, thank you very much.


I'm not sure you answered my question. Why should the taxpayer be at all obligated to make sure you can pass your assets on? Why shouldn't your assets go to pay for your health care costs before you're able to get money from the taxpayer?

AemJeff 08-10-2011 09:31 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 221167)
I'm not sure you answered my question. Why should the taxpayer be at all obligated to make sure you can pass your assets on? Why shouldn't your assets go to pay for your health care costs before you're able to get money from the taxpayer?

Sure I did. It's not about "passing assets on." That a perverse point of view, I think - akin to asking your parents to commit suicide before they've spent your inheritance. It's about getting treatment when you're sick. Without a system like Medicare almost nobody would be able to afford health care after they've passed middle age. There's no possible insurance market that can sustain that, and out-of-pocket payment isn't an option for the vast majority of people. And it only gets worse as we get older.

whburgess 08-10-2011 10:54 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 221172)
Sure I did. It's not about "passing assets on." That a perverse point of view, I think - akin to asking your parents to commit suicide before they've spent your inheritance. It's about getting treatment when you're sick. Without a system like Medicare almost nobody would be able to afford health care after they've passed middle age. There's no possible insurance market that can sustain that, and out-of-pocket payment isn't an option for the vast majority of people. And it only gets worse as we get older.

Ok Jeff, I'll just assume you don't want to answer the question.

AemJeff 08-10-2011 11:29 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 221184)
Ok Jeff, I'll just assume you don't want to answer the question.

I answered it in full. You don't like the answer because I rhink the question made bad assumptions about the underlying moral equities. I'm not obliged to make the same assumptions.

sugarkang 08-10-2011 11:48 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 221184)
Ok Jeff, I'll just assume you don't want to answer the question.

I think the reason he sounds preposterous to us -- sorry, I put words in your mouth -- is that you and I believe we should pay what we owe. After all, that's what normal people do. Pay what they owe. But Jeff seems to believe medical care is a right because ACA passed. Everyone's covered.

I'm trying to be neutral. It might just be a difference in what we believe the underlying numbers to be. If you believe the S&P report, then you know that entitlement spending is the problem (and taxes!). You and I know that the money just plain doesn't exist for an 85 year old to get some expensive procedure. Jeff, for whatever reason, rejects the notion that medical care comes with trade-offs. Therefore, he also rejects Glenn Loury's understanding of the problem, as well.

whburgess 08-11-2011 12:59 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 221190)
I think the reason he sounds preposterous to us -- sorry, I put words in your mouth -- is that you and I believe we should pay what we owe. After all, that's what normal people do. Pay what they owe. But Jeff seems to believe medical care is a right because ACA passed. Everyone's covered.

I'm trying to be neutral. It might just be a difference in what we believe the underlying numbers to be. If you believe the S&P report, then you know that entitlement spending is the problem (and taxes!). You and I know that the money just plain doesn't exist for an 85 year old to get some expensive procedure. Jeff, for whatever reason, rejects the notion that medical care comes with trade-offs. Therefore, he also rejects Glenn Loury's understanding of the problem, as well.

I really don't know what procedures are reasonable to expect. I simply don't understand why tax payers would be paying for any procedure for a person who owns a couple of extra homes, or an expensive boat, or a big motor home, or even one big expensive home with bedrooms that haven't been slept in years. I'm glad for whoever owns these things, and I don't think its anyone's business. However, for the taxpayer to pay my bills when I'm 85 while I keep my second home in florida to pass on to my kids doesn't seem right to me.

Or worse yet, if I die when i'm 60 of a heart attack and the government takes half my estate (which I'd like to pass on to my kids) in order to pay for some 85 year olds heart bypass, while he keeps his home in florida to pass on to his kids.

Nothing I've said to Jeff here has anything to do with the broke 85 year old who has nothing and needs a procedure. Maybe thats what Jeff is misunderstanding.

sugarkang 08-11-2011 01:07 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 221201)
Or worse yet, if I die when i'm 60 of a heart attack and the government takes half my estate (which I'd like to pass on to my kids) in order to pay for some 85 year olds heart bypass, while he keeps his home in florida to pass on to his kids.

Yeah, this is a real problem. We're trying to make one thing socialism and another thing capitalism and this also has weird consequences like you've stated here. I've always preferred some in-between approach where we socialize health care, but not health insurance. So, health care would be basic procedures that we all need anyway. But health insurance would be for uncommon, expensive medical procedures that people can pay for on their own.

I think this would avoid the moral hazard issue while still providing all Americans access to the basics. The way it is now, Democrats don't want just the basics. They want the latest and greatest and they want it free.

uncle ebeneezer 08-11-2011 01:31 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Jeff, you are so selfish. You should have simply avoided the genes you were handed, worked harder because of them, or your parents should have set up more savings for you. Either way, why should libertarians and conservatives be stripped of their monetary freedom (which is equal to speech, I would remind you), which they often inherited (through no hard-work and a large amount of luck), to help you retain the freedom to exist, despite the situation you inherited (through no fault of your own?) What are you, some kind of sick madman? Asking those who are healthy and with-means to help those who are unhealthy and without-means? Talk like that would get you crucified, once upon a time...

sugarkang 08-11-2011 01:40 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 221204)
Jeff, you are so selfish. You should have simply avoided the genes you were handed, worked harder because of them, or your parents should have set up more savings for you. Either way, why should libertarians and conservatives be stripped of their monetary freedom (which is equal to speech, I would remind you), which they often inherited (through no hard-work and a large amount of luck), to help you retain the freedom to exist, despite the situation you inherited (through no fault of your own?) What are you, some kind of sick madman? Asking those who are healthy and with-means to help those who are unhealthy and without-means? Talk like that would get you crucified, once upon a time...

You could try addressing me directly. These crap genes could be guarded against by purchasing health insurance. Actual insurance would be affordable if it were separated from normal health care because it would only be for catastrophic events.

Or go all knee-jerky if you'd like.

whburgess 08-11-2011 01:52 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 221204)
Jeff, you are so selfish. You should have simply avoided the genes you were handed, worked harder because of them, or your parents should have set up more savings for you. Either way, why should libertarians and conservatives be stripped of their monetary freedom (which is equal to speech, I would remind you), which they often inherited (through no hard-work and a large amount of luck), to help you retain the freedom to exist, despite the situation you inherited (through no fault of your own?) What are you, some kind of sick madman? Asking those who are healthy and with-means to help those who are unhealthy and without-means? Talk like that would get you crucified, once upon a time...

Why do you say 'asking' those with means to help, when you really mean 'forcing' those with means to help?

You really should be more honest with the language you use if you really believe in what you're saying.

Also, I said nothing at all about those who don't have means to help themselves. I asked why should those who have means to go toward helping themselves get help from others before they exhaust those means?

look 08-11-2011 01:55 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 221208)
Why do you say 'asking' those with means to help, when you really mean 'forcing' those with means to help?

You really should be more honest with the language you use if you really believe in what you're saying.

Also, I said nothing at all about those who don't have means to help themselves. I asked why should those who have means to go toward helping themselves get help from others before they exhaust those means?

Do you have an idea of where to draw the line? May people keep a modest house and a car for each spouse, or will they share? Do they have to sell and rent a condo?

look 08-11-2011 02:06 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 221205)
You could try addressing me directly. These crap genes could be guarded against by purchasing health insurance. Actual insurance would be affordable if it were separated from normal health care because it would only be for catastrophic events.

Yes, didn't Congress pass, before the last election, a nation-wide children's health insurance bill? If adults were responsible for their own check-ups and minor surgeries, catastrophic insurance could cover cancers, major surgeries, etc. There would be a sliding scale based on financial need to help with both regular and catastrophic care.

For special illnesses like diabetes there would be a special coverage.

Medicare and SS would be totally means tested. My parents really did not need Medicare part D.

rcocean 08-11-2011 02:07 AM

What type of Liberatarian is "Sugarkang"
 
There are only 24 Kinds.

I'd say SugarKang is the "The Apostle" Libertarian:

"We just need to trust that the magic of the Market will make everything work out. Because its Magic".

Libertarianism in a nutshell:

Good: Free Trade & Open Borders, Budget deficits, Massive trade deficits, Outsourcing Jobs, Cutting taxes, Driving down wages.

Bad: The Minimum wage, Labor unions, Taxing the rich, Regulating business, Helping the disabled, sick and old, Environmental laws.

whburgess 08-11-2011 02:22 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 221209)
Do you have an idea of where to draw the line? May people keep a modest house and a car for each spouse, or will they share? Do they have to sell and rent a condo?

How about drawing a line at the income where every other family starts paying taxes? So if a family of 2 starts paying taxes at combined income of $40,000 per year, then the average person must not have any more resources then that average family before he starts getting money transferred from that family to him.

There would be formulas developed for means testing.

Smarter people then I could work out the formulas, but here is an example off the top of my head. Suppose an elderly couple have combined SS of $30,000 per year and a house with $250,000 equity. They owe $100,000 for surgery. The house should be sold to pay for the surgery, the other $150,000 will provide the extra $10,000 per year to make $40,000 for the next 15 years--in which time they'll probably be dead. Until then, all other surgeries are covered by taxpayers. That seems much more fair to me then to transfer money from the young family who is trying to save money for their kids college, provide for their own retirement, etc.. What do you think?

sugarkang 08-11-2011 02:35 AM

Re: What type of Liberatarian is "Sugarkang"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rcocean (Post 221211)
I'd say SugarKang is the "The Apostle" Libertarian:

"We just need to trust that the magic of the Market will make everything work out. Because its Magic".

original post.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 221016)
I love markets, but I also recognize that markets have limits. I've never expected laissez-faire to be a panacea. And in this respect, I think the right wing goes wrong. I think it also blindly assumes that money and efficiency are perfectly related. And even if it's true that higher salaries will generate a bigger pool of candidates to choose from, it's not necessarily true -- and likely very false -- that putting big carrots in front of employees will generate more productivity.

In addition, there's just a de-humanizing aspect of reducing everything to price. Yet, the damn Democrats never study economics in the first place, so why ever take them seriously?

You were saying something about magic. I love magic!

look 08-11-2011 06:34 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 221216)
How about drawing a line at the income where every other family starts paying taxes? So if a family of 2 starts paying taxes at combined income of $40,000 per year, then the average person must not have any more resources then that average family before he starts getting money transferred from that family to him.

There would be formulas developed for means testing.

Smarter people then I could work out the formulas, but here is an example off the top of my head. Suppose an elderly couple have combined SS of $30,000 per year and a house with $250,000 equity. They owe $100,000 for surgery. The house should be sold to pay for the surgery, the other $150,000 will provide the extra $10,000 per year to make $40,000 for the next 15 years--in which time they'll probably be dead. Until then, all other surgeries are covered by taxpayers. That seems much more fair to me then to transfer money from the young family who is trying to save money for their kids college, provide for their own retirement, etc.. What do you think?

Yes, it sounds basically fair. After enough heart-breaking stories (not being sarcastic) of old folks having to sell their beloved homes it would become a standard practice to look ahead to downsizing when the kids leave, or being downsized from the beginning so you never have to leave, or having the kids buy you out if they love the home. I'm sure there are tweaks and considerations necessary, but your idea is sound.

TwinSwords 08-13-2011 10:38 AM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 220976)
Are you ready to explain now why you keep misrepresenting the S&P report? Why you keep claiming that it said the rating reduction was due to "not enough cuts," when in fact they also cited the failure to increase revenue?

So, I think everyone noticed how even after being given several opportunities, sugarkang refused to admit he was wrong or lying when he claimed over and over that the reason for the S&P downgrade was "not enough cuts." Hilariously, the very S&P report he linked to showed that there were other causes, including the dangerous political brinkmanship of the Republicans, who threatened to destroy the economy if their politically unpopular demands were not met, and the refusal of the GOP to consider revenue enhancements.

Now this:

Quote:

S&P: Debt default skeptics fueled ratings downgrade

A Standard & Poor’s director said for the first time Thursday that one reason the United States lost its triple-A credit rating was that several lawmakers expressed skepticism about the serious consequences of a credit default — a position put forth by some Republicans.

Without specifically mentioning Republicans, S&P senior director Joydeep Mukherji said the stability and effectiveness of American political institutions were undermined by the fact that “people in the political arena were even talking about a potential default,” Mukherji said.

“That a country even has such voices, albeit a minority, is something notable,” he added. “This kind of rhetoric is not common amongst AAA sovereigns.”

The statement seems likely to bolster one Democratic line of attack, that it was tea party intransigence — not a shortcoming of leadership by President Barack Obama — that is to blame for the U.S. downgrade, from AAA to AA+. Obama himself called on Republicans to “put country ahead of party” Thursday — a dig at conservatives in Congress who are blocking his agenda.

[...]
Reality has a well known liberal bias.

(Source)

badhatharry 08-13-2011 08:35 PM

Re: Downgrade (Mark Kleiman & Peter Cohan)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 221190)
Therefore, he also rejects Glenn Loury's understanding of the problem, as well.

well then the only thing is for Glenn Loury to have a talk with Jeff.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:48 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.