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Author Topic: 3 Misleading Statements About Health Care Used to Promote Socialism
TheSteelenGeneral
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Well, no government can allow for overnight doubling of food prizes.
But, good point.

Workers wages are certainly dependent on, and related to oil. there might be a lag.

I'm not sure, but earlier Red seemed to be display indignation about European government support for drugs companies, and that they were price regulated.
1. Didn't the usa pay farmers in the 50s - 70s NOT to grow crops? The more land one had, the more subsidies one got?
2. the intricate and interwoven network of us army generals now working for arms companies and plane-makers, could very well be seen as virtual government support.
3. has there never been an investigation into cartels among Big Pharmac ?

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Redskullvw
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Wasn't indignation. It was pointing out the apples vs oranges difference that requires people who argue that socialized medical systems to take into account the fact that as hey exist currently, socialized systems benefit greatly from unsocialized systems.

As to the three points you just made, what was your point?

Yes we had farm subsidies, and still have them. But then again we feed a lot of the world with the crops we do grow. And would you prefer a military that prohibited contracts with any company which had employees that once worked for the government? That would pretty much make it impossible for any contracted government work at all. And as far as big pharma being investigated, you have the FTC, the FDA, and the CPSD doing investigations all the time- not to mention States Attorney General constantly looking for the next Vioxx payout.

So what exactly is your point, or for that matter what does this have to do with the topic at all?

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LoneSnark
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quote:
Well, no government can allow for overnight doubling of food prizes.
But, good point.

Workers wages are certainly dependent on, and related to oil. there might be a lag.

Are you drunk?

The U.S. government does not control food prices, as any smart government should choose to allow the price system to operate freely.

And workers wages are certainly NOT dependent upon oil; they are not even related to oil. Are you suggesting your employment contract promises to pay you in barrels of oil?

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LetterRip
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quote:
Lemme get this straight: US trains don't run on electricity generated by oil, or oil derivatives? If the "train plants" run on coal, is the price of coal not tied to oil prices?
If oil became significantly expensive switching to coal or LNG locomotives could be done relatively painlessly.

quote:
You seem to be saying: if oil weren't cheap, we would find other transport which is cheap? Yeah? How would you do that? Just by abracadabra? I'm curious.
Our energy consumption mix is based on prices, as oil prices rise those sectors that have flexibility in their usage will change the mix used. Food transport is pretty flexible, and is mostly done via truck because trucks are pretty cheap and flexible.

quote:
3. It's not just transport of course, why food is cheap nowadays (in the whole world but especially the usa, because there are the lowest oil prices) it's those major agricult. machines, tractors and whatever john deere makes. These all run on oil. Also various weed processing machines, run on oil.
All of those can switch to NG or electric without major headaches, oil/diesel is cheap so there is no incentive to switch for most users (though already a lot of equipment has switched to natural gas and electric).

Also as LoneSnark notes, a big part of the cost of food is labor.

Red,

quote:
Wasn't indignation. It was pointing out the apples vs oranges difference that requires people who argue that socialized medical systems to take into account the fact that as hey exist currently, socialized systems benefit greatly from unsocialized systems.
The R&D in the US is almost all socialized, it is only the 'me too' drugs that tend to be developed by non public R&D spending.

LoneSnark,

quote:
The U.S. government does not control food prices, as any smart government should choose to allow the price system to operate freely.
It mandates usage of ethanol fuel blends which is basically a corn price support, it has and does pay to have farmers not produce which is a price support for wheat and other grains. Both of affect the prices of beef. Tons of subsidies, etc.

The controls aren't direct, but claiming that it isn't controlling food prices, or that the 'price system operates freely' is a bit naive.

LetterRip

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Redskullvw
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LR

But then again who develops drugs for orphan diseases? 2004 had 200 USA company patents for just such drugs that treat less than 200,000 people total. These aren't "me too" drugs. And they certainly aren't the result of a socialism based system. And those patents represented almost all the patents in that class for the entire world.

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LoneSnark
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quote:
The controls aren't direct, but claiming that it isn't controlling food prices, or that the 'price system operates freely' is a bit naive.
Not at all. The economic theory of marginal producers would argue that the forms of price supports you describe are not price fixing at all. If you pay people to not farm this land then they will take your money and go farm somewhere else (America has lots of land you know). And mandating Ethanol drives up the price today, encouraging future production which will drive the price back down to the marginal cost of production.

Government policy is short sighted and only cares about driving prices higher today, four years from now is irrelevant to sitting officials.

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TheSteelenGeneral
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Redd,
My point is that us companies, us corporation are not as unprotected by the government as you seemed to suggest, since you also seem to suggest that euro comps are unfairly subsidized.
And you also seem to suggest that European drug companies somehow unfairly profit from the "heavy" R&D work done by the usa companies.
This seems to me an insane thing to say, do you really think that Europeans get these drugs for free? If us companies don't add some sort of R&D-markup into their prices, than that's just stupid on their part. And I really, really, doubt that they DON'T add that mark-up.

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WarrsawPact
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Speaking of government vs. private R&D...
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LoneSnark
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TheSteelenGeneral, if you had read the thread you would have noticed why companies are not able to to add some sort of R&D markup into their prices: European governments made doing so illegal by setting price controls.

If a company wants to sell drugs in France then it must approach the French government and begin negotiations. The French Government will offer a price and the company can refuse it. But if they do, then after a while, by international law, the French can violate patent of the drug developer and give it to a domestic drug company. This is why companies never refuse the price offered, it is better to make pennies than nothing.

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Redskullvw
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TSG

What Lonesnark said. It really is a case of apples vs oranges. But if we want to sell new apples in Europe we have to get paid a lesser amount and sell our new apples like they were old oranges. Therefore, the new apples sell for substaintially less in Europe than they do in America, because only the American market is unregulated making it possible to return the costs of R&D and advertising on the global market. In essence, USA companies with patents on drugs sell world wide, but their profit margins and return on dollars turn-around depend almost completely on the domestic American market.

Is it possible to sell drugs for less on the American market? Yes it is. But if we were faced with such a European system of price controls across the board for all drugs, it would take American drug companies decades to net a profit- much less fund new drug research.

Thats part of the issue touched on by several people over the previous two pages.

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TheSteelenGeneral
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quote:
Originally posted by LoneSnark:
But if they do, then after a while, by international law, the French can violate patent of the drug developer

This seems contradictory. If it's by international law, don't label it with a criminalizing term like violate. Unless of course, you think that international laws, which the usa signed, are illegal.
Companies lose a patent after a number of years, this is nothing new.

Still selling to others while you know you make jack sh!t AND lose the patent, is their own decision. In the end, don't boohoo over it, Big Pharmaceutics thinks it worthwhile, otherwise they wouldn't do it.

And setting price caps on medicine seems a good thing to me. Keeps em humble. Deregulation would lead to Wild West scenarios where increasingly just the rich can have adequate medical treatment.
Depends on your philosophy: Are we here to keep the companies profitable or are they here to keep us healthy? Sure, we want both, but what's the priority? It's not as if people are dying like flies because Big Pharma makes 10 procent less.

[ November 15, 2007, 11:36 PM: Message edited by: TheSteelenGeneral ]

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TheSteelenGeneral
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quote:
Originally posted by TheSteelenGeneral:
quote:
Originally posted by LoneSnark:
But if they do, then after a while, by international law, the French can violate patent of the drug developer

This seems contradictory. If it's by international law, don't label it with a criminalizing term like violate. Unless of course, you think that international laws, which the usa signed, are illegal.
Companies lose a patent after a number of years, this is nothing new.

Redd,
Still selling to others while you know you make jack sh!t AND lose the patent, is their own decision. In the end, don't boohoo over it, Big Pharmaceutics thinks it worthwhile, otherwise they wouldn't do it.
Basically, if they can only make a profit and do R&D in a market with high prices, they're doing something wrong. Ceteris paribus, all companies calculate R&D into their costs and mark it up into their price.

And setting price caps on medicine seems a good thing to me. Keeps em humble. Deregulation would lead to Wild West scenarios where increasingly just the rich can have adequate medical treatment.
Depends on your philosophy: Are we here to keep the companies profitable or are they here to keep us healthy? Sure, we want both, but what's the priority? It's not as if people are dying like flies because Big Drugs makes 10 procent less.


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WarrsawPact
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quote:
And setting price caps on medicine seems a good thing to me. Keeps em humble.
What could possibly go wrong?
Some useful medicines wouldn't be made in the first place? Acceptable, if it keeps them humble, right?

And give more power to the decidedly un-humble government. Fantastic.
quote:
It's not as if people are dying like flies because Big Pharma makes 10 procent less.
It's not as if people would die like flies if Big Pharma made 10 percent more. But "people not dying like flies" isn't your standard of success, is it?

[ November 15, 2007, 11:48 PM: Message edited by: WarrsawPact ]

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LoneSnark
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quote:
Depends on your philosophy: Are we here to keep the companies profitable or are they here to keep us healthy? Sure, we want both, but what's the priority?
You have failed to recognize the fact that this is not an either or question. If they do not sell drugs that make us healthy then we do not buy them and they make no profit. If they make no profit then they take their money and go home. There is nothing that says they must develop drugs. If there is more money to be made manufacturing sex toys then they will scrap their cures for cancer and make sex toys.

Sure, from societies point of view keeping us healthy is far more important than keeping us jolly. But in a free society, we know what is important by how profitable it is. We want people to become doctors so the system makes being a doctor profitable. To make sex toys more profitable than curing cancer is a crime against humanity, which is what these price controls on drugs end up doing.

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LetterRip
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WarrsawPact,

thanks for the link, an interesting point about metoos being developed in parallel due to all chasing after the same suggestive result from academic research is interesting.

His claim that strengthening patents is the only way to discourage me-toos is silly. Here are two obvious ways - 1) me-toos could get 'weaker patents' hence they aren't as rewarding to develop 2) deductions for marketing, R&D or other expenses could be disallowed for me-toos.

Essentially anything that changes the risk/reward profile for me-toos could discourage them.

Most of his arguements didn't make much sense since they were addressing someones elses arguements, a link which I haven't read yet.

LoneSnark,

quote:
If they do not sell drugs that make us healthy then we do not buy them and they make no profit.
Snakeoil has been tremendously profitable throughout history, a company need only instill a belief that their product will benefit you to sell it, no actual benefit needs to happen. Indeed - it appears that most of the drug advertising is aimed at this type of sales.

quote:
But in a free society, we know what is important by how profitable it is.
Um no... recreational drugs aren't important nor is porn, but both are quite lucrative. Profitability isn't related to importance, it is related to market forces, and non market interferences.

quote:
We want people to become doctors so the system makes being a doctor profitable.
Artificial scarcity certainly makes being a doctor more profitable. However maximizing the cost of medical education decreases its profitability. Past doctors increased their profitability by artificially constraining supply.

LetterRip

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LoneSnark
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quote:
1) me-toos could get 'weaker patents' hence they aren't as rewarding to develop
But you run the risk of no-one developing anything.

[/quote]2) deductions for marketing, R&D or other expenses could be disallowed for me-toos.[/quote]
What classifies as a "me-too"? Will the FDA decide? Similarly, you are eroding the incentives to develop the drugs in the first place, regardless of the second place, third place, etc.

quote:
Um no... recreational drugs aren't important nor is porn, but both are quite lucrative.
Perhaps I did not make my point clear enough. When something is profitable that is sending the signal that it is in short supply and therefore fullfilling that supply is important. This is how a free economy works, market forced determine what is important and therefore rewarded and then economic actors respond accordingly.

quote:
Snakeoil has been tremendously profitable throughout history, a company need only instill a belief that their product will benefit you to sell it
Do you seriously believe they will make much in terms of profit when every news program in the country will fall over themselves trying to discredit it in the name of ratings? Snakeoil salesmen are rather sensational in our day and age. Besides, is it not the responsibility of the FDA to make sure selling snakeoil is un-profitable?

[ November 16, 2007, 11:18 AM: Message edited by: LoneSnark ]

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LetterRip
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LoneSnark,

quote:
Not at all. The economic theory of marginal producers would argue that the forms of price supports you describe are not price fixing at all.
Price control and price fixing are not the same thing. They are controlling the price and keeping it artificially higher than it would be without the distortions. The price floats a bit due to other variables though.

quote:
The economic theory of marginal producers would argue that the forms of price supports you describe are not price fixing at all. If you pay people to not farm this land then they will take your money and go farm somewhere else (America has lots of land you know). And mandating Ethanol drives up the price today, encouraging future production which will drive the price back down to the marginal cost of production.
Making stuff up doesn't work [Smile] The farmers don't just 'go and farm other land' nor is production being increased to take advantage from ethanol prices. Ethanol imports are heavily tarriffed since sugar ethanol it is far cheaper and more efficient than corn ethanol.

http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/wm1074.cfm

Red,

quote:
2004 had 200 USA company patents for just such drugs that treat less than 200,000 people total.
The drug act for rare drugs, if someone announces a drug it can essentially stop development in that area for 7 years. Patents aren't particularly meaningful since lawyers are cheap compared to drug development.

Also claiming you are developing a 'rare drug' treatment can be used as a writeoff for other research - just look for research that overlaps the lucrative drug and claim it is for the 'rare disease' drug.

LoneSnark,

quote:
But you run the risk of no-one developing anything.
Not at all. There are all sorts of reseach avenues, the risk of that are pretty much nonexistent. Especially as old drugs patents begin to expire.

quote:
What classifies as a "me-too"? Will the FDA decide? Similarly, you are eroding the incentives to develop the drugs in the first place, regardless of the second place, third place, etc.
Same molecular target/backbone.

How does it 'erode the incentives to develop the drugs in the first place'? It should increase the incentive for number one, since the risk of competition is lowered.

quote:
This is how a free economy works, market forced determine what is important and therefore rewarded and then economic actors respond accordingly.
We don't and noone ever has had a 'free economy'. We have a regulated market economy with things like patents, copyrights, licensing, etc. So things like supply can't respond to demand.

quote:
When something is profitable that is sending the signal that it is in short supply and therefore fullfilling that supply is important.
In a regulated market economy, it may just mean that there is an artificial scarcity, and thus fullfilling that supply would erode prices.

quote:
Do you seriously believe they will make much in terms of profit when every news program in the country will fall over themselves trying to discredit it in the name of ratings? Snakeoil salesmen are rather sensational in our day and age.
Actually selling snake oil has already been tremendously profitable in modern times, and the media barely notices when a pharmaceutical gets caught at it. Major drug companies have been found to be misrepresenting the benefits of their drugs for quite some time.

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7400/1167

If you want to sell snakeoil that has a low risk of health effects, most of the supplement and dietary aid products fulfill that role.

LetterRip

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LoneSnark
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quote:
The farmers don't just 'go and farm other land' nor is production being increased to take advantage from ethanol prices. Ethanol imports are heavily tarriffed
Hmm, tarriffs are not what we were talking about. There is no question that tarriffs are capable of driving up prices permanently; what was being disputed was that paying a few farmers not to farm would do so, which it would most definitely not as long as there was more land available for farming.

To put it another way, paying farmers not to farm in Britain is guaranteed to work. Paying farmers to not farm in Kansas is only temporary: they will clear the forests of North Carolina and produce there.

quote:
me-toos could get 'weaker patents' hence they aren't as rewarding to develop
Ok, the purpose of developing a drug is to sell it and claim monopoly profits. But if you grant them a weak patent, as you wish to, then it is possible for someone else to develop a 'me-too' copy and compete on price. As such, adjusting for risk, such an investment is stupid. Even if you are first you may still not make a profit. As such, knowing that others may compete encourages me not to compete; since everyone is going to draw the same conclusion then no one will compete and the drug goes undeveloped.

quote:
thus fullfilling that supply would erode prices.
Hmm, why is that special? In a free economy fullfilling a supply SHOULD erode prices. What our regulated economy does for us is make sure some prices never erode, for example the sky-high compensation of doctors whose supply is regulated by the AMA, or any other licensed profession whose supply is regulated by its own members. But don't mistake law-enforcement for regulation. Without government secured private property rights and contract settlement there is no free market.

quote:
Major drug companies have been found to be misrepresenting the benefits of their drugs for quite some time.
And like I said, the News agencies depend on catching these drug makers for their own livlihood, since fake drugs is nothing if not sensational.

[ November 18, 2007, 11:00 AM: Message edited by: LoneSnark ]

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LetterRip
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LoneSnark,

quote:
Paying farmers to not farm in Kansas is only temporary: they will clear the forests of North Carolina and produce there.[quote]

They've been being paid not to produce for 20 or so years, so please do point to the evidence you have of your claim. If your claim is correct there should be a steady increase in the amount of land farmed.

[quote]Ok, the purpose of developing a drug is to sell it and claim monopoly profits. But if you grant them a weak patent, as you wish to, then it is possible for someone else to develop a 'me-too' copy and compete on price. As such, adjusting for risk, such an investment is stupid. Even if you are first you may still not make a profit. As such, knowing that others may compete encourages me not to compete; since everyone is going to draw the same conclusion then no one will compete and the drug goes undeveloped.

I think you misunderstood - an innovative drug patent would get full protection. A non innovative patent would get proportionally less protection. Thus the innovative drug is more likely to be worth developing than the unninnovative drug.

quote:
In a free economy fullfilling a supply SHOULD erode prices.
In a non free economy (ie one with patents) you can choose the profit maximizing supply. The profit maximizing supply is almost garunteed to be far less than maximum demand. So in an non free economy, demand will be intentionally not met. In a free economy a competitor would start up which would drive your price down.

quote:
Without government secured private property rights and contract settlement there is no free market.
I've not confused such things - but perhaps you have [Smile] Patents are not property, instead as stated in the constitution, the are a temporary monopoly devised to encourage the 'useful arts'.

quote:
And like I said, the News agencies depend on catching these drug makers for their own livlihood, since fake drugs is nothing if not sensational.
It isn't 'senstational' it is pretty much common place. There is the occassional news story, and the occassional medical research paper mentioning the issue. I'm not sure what gave you the impression that news agencies actually did any significant reporting on the issue.

Here is a news piece, but as far as I'm aware the issue gets very little play in the media

quote:
Lexchin, who consults on pharmaceutical policy for groups such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and governments including Australia and Canada, estimated that in the last five years, "biased research, suppression of negative studies, over-publication of positive studies and, all their (the pharmaceutical industry's) promotional activities, which includes their funding of continuing medical education," has meant, yearly, "one death per 1,500 people" in the general population.
http://ipsnews.net/africa/print.asp?idnews=25716

LetterRip

[ November 19, 2007, 07:56 AM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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WarrsawPact
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quote:
In a non free economy (ie one with patents) you can choose the profit maximizing supply. The profit maximizing supply is almost garunteed [sic] to be far less than maximum demand. So in an non free economy, demand will be intentionally not met. In a free economy a competitor would start up which would drive your price down.
Heh, I know what you're trying to say, but your terminology is saying something else entirely.

You don't mean to say "maximum demand." That concept isn't in play here, even if it theoretically could happen. You're talking about equilibrium demand, where supply and demand would meet in a perfectly competitive market.

No matter how competitive the market, some demand will not be met. It's a matter of price: people will almost always demand more of a product if you lower the price, even if you lower it below equilibrium price.

People gotta stop ripping on markets just because they're not "perfect markets". Markets can be efficient without being perfect.

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LetterRip
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Yep I was a bit imprecise,

quote:
People gotta stop ripping on markets just because they're not "perfect markets". Markets can be efficient without being perfect.
I'm not 'ripping on markets because they're not "perfect markets".' The definition of an efficient market is four part

1) many buyers and sellers - we have a handful of sellers except for generic drugs

2) similar or identical substitutes - true in some cases particularly generics; true in a limited extent for other drugs

3) complete information on quality and price - the market is close to the opposite, little or no information on quality, and little or no information on price

4) few barriers to entry - the barriers to entry for drug production are perhaps the highest for any industry

It is one of the furthest from an efficent market that you can find.

http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/Drug-papers/Kemp2.htm

LetterRip

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TheSteelenGeneral
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quote:
Originally posted by WarrsawPact:
[QB]
quote:
And setting price caps on medicine seems a good thing to me. Keeps em humble.
What could possibly go wrong?
Some useful medicines wouldn't be made in the first place? Acceptable, if it keeps them humble, right?

And give more power to the decidedly un-humble government. Fantastic.

What's fantastic is that you inherently seems to trust a profitseeking company more, than a government under parliamentary scrutiny.

What about the fact that price controls will drive a company to be more efficient?

On relative side note:
What's so good about companies that entitles them to more protection than society as a whole?

Trusting in the invisible hand, and the "profitability is best"-attitude has led to a situation where american kids are the most obese i the world. Of course there are other causes, but the fact that junk food is more profitable than health food (unburdened by some sort of fat tax), has led to this. And, it's myopia, since society's cost in medical affairs is high.

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WarrsawPact
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quote:
What's fantastic is that you inherently seems to trust a profitseeking company more, than a government under parliamentary scrutiny.
The great thing about a profit-seeking company is, I don't have to trust them. I've got tons of other people who know more than I do, helping me avoid error. Including those who are competing with that company.

Not only that, but I only get one vote to keep government accountable, and that vote is diluted. It's not terribly easy to escape a poorly-provided government service, while I can simply stop buying what a profit-seeking company is making, and buy something else instead. The company won't come after me if I refuse to pay and buy their product.
quote:
What about the fact that price controls will drive a company to be more efficient?
Is that a fact? Study business or economics much? A price cap blunts price competition, drives firms out of the market, and can more easily lead to cuts in quality (and quantity supplied) and fewer new products, since profits are used to invest in risky projects like R&D.
quote:
On relative side note:
What's so good about companies that entitles them to more protection than society as a whole?

You're talking about companies as if they're not part of society as a whole. To consume, you must produce... or at least make plausible promises to produce in the future.

What's so good about companies -- what's so good about employment and production -- is that people use their minds to create things that other people want and then voluntarily make trades that they believe will benefit them. Thus they are constantly driven, in a society of minimized fraud and coercion, to make sure that the things they make are what people really really want to trade for.
quote:
Trusting in the invisible hand, and the "profitability is best"-attitude has led to a situation where american kids are the most obese i the world. Of course there are other causes, but the fact that junk food is more profitable than health food (unburdened by some sort of fat tax), has led to this. And, it's myopia, since society's cost in medical affairs is high.
Oh, it's society's cost? Is society writing checks now?

If you're talking about individuals, I don't see why people shouldn't be able to trade enjoyment of food for their health. People take risks every day doing things they enjoy. That's their business, not yours. But then, you take risks with your health, too, and that's not my business... I don't want it to be my business, either.

If you're talking about government writing those checks, I have a simple -- even elegant -- solution: stop the government from writing checks for people's medical bills. Then, if someone wants to eat lots of calories, they can pay the price later. One could rationally make that choice, if they love food that much. Other people eat all those cheap calories and then go jogging, trading some of their time and effort for the ability to eat what they like and still stay relatively attractive and healthy. Nobody's being cheated here: it's not hard to find out what you're eating.

Now, it's interesting that you didn't mention a certain pleasant side effect of cheap calories: how many people are starving to death in this country? That's a horrible death, and I never hear about it. Maybe some troubled girls with disorders, but who dies for being unable to afford it?

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TheSteelenGeneral
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"The great thing about a profit-seeking company is, I don't have to trust them. I've got tons of other people who know more than I do, helping me avoid error. Including those who are competing with that company."
Companies like ... Microsoft?

"in a society of minimized fraud and coercion"
the u.s.? Keep dreaming.

"Now, it's interesting that you didn't mention a certain pleasant side effect of cheap calories: how many people are starving to death in this country"

!!! You seriously wanna argue this? They die of heart diseases, diabetes or whatever!
"Oooh my country sooo much better than yours because little kids are not killed by their father, but they're killed by their mother, and that is WAAAAY better!!

Yeah. Think again, pal.

The point is not to get them killed at all, bubba.

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Funean
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There's more than one way to starve. There is actually a fair amount of malnutrition around, and it's costing all of us. It's a much bigger problem than dying of too few calories (dying of too many empty calories is pretty common in poor communities--we've had a bunch of threads that have noted the correlation between obesity and poverty, and the gist is most cheap and prepared foods, which are the choice of people with little money and little education in nutrition, are highly fattening but largely devoid of nutrients). It's somewhat masked by the enrichment in white flour, but there are lots of people who eat an entire diet of cheap, nutritionally void foods.

And these cheap calories are actually pretty expensive over time, I'd imagine. Count up all the costs associated with diet-based disorders and diseases, including treatment, lost productivity in the ill, eventual supported disability for a significant portion, children that due to death or disability of their parents receive whatever amount of state support, lost achievement and productivity from children who don't reach full mental or physical capacity due to poor nutrition in childhood, and so on.

Mind you, I'm not arguing for fat taxes or government intervention here--I'm just pointing out that the state currently does have a legitimate interest in improving the eating habits of citizens, and particularly the most vulnerable (and likely to become state-supported) citizens.

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LoneSnark
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quote:
The point is not to get them killed at all, bubba.
Whatever the cost? Driving a car is prone to get you killed, I guess you want us to outlaw auto-racing? How about driving to work?

quote:
Companies like ... Microsoft?
What, do you think the world would be better of without Windows? You believe Apple should be the sole provider of such software?

Funean, if you are right that cheap calories cost more over time then you should tell them. But I do not want to give up my rights wiithout a damn good reason, and forcing other people to live longer than they apparently want to is just not good enough.

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kenmeer livermaile
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I suppose this is health-care related:

health-care subsidies

""They are welcome to all the money I have in America. Rice should take half of it to improve the way she looks. She should have her teeth straightened and her face fixed, and should make herself look nice. I donate what is left to George Bush, because I know he will soon be admitted to a mental asylum because of his policies," former Lebanese minister Wiam Wahhab said."

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Funean
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quote:
But I do not want to give up my rights wiithout a damn good reason, and forcing other people to live longer than they apparently want to is just not good enough.
As I said, I'm not arguing for one course of action or the other. I'm merely pointing out that, given that under the current structure(s), we're already paying costs associated with poor diet and poor lifestyle choices, insofar as we have any public funding of disability (SSI), medical care (Medicare/aid), and child welfare for children put in more vulnerable positions due to such parental choices(innumerable programs). Lost productivity and the like also have an effect on the economy overall, which is another community concern.

It therefore seems to me that we have two paths to ameliorating the indisputably existing costs: 1: gear our social programs toward prevention rather than remediation of the effects after the fact, or 2: simply eliminate all social programs whose costs can be affected by individual lifestyle choices or exclude from support people whose choices render them potentially expensive. Both have ancillary costs--the first in dollars spent, the second in the loss of citizens who, with some education, might have been productive.

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DaveS
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Silly old notion that prevention is based on learning. I'm not aware of any medical, nutrition or health training in public schools (our most socialist program) except for sex education, which often is presented as sex prevention. Why do we nearly all read as adults? Because we were taught as children. The 4th "r" should be human biology.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"Oh, it's society's cost? Is society writing checks now?"

Actually, their elected representatives write them. We just pay for them.

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scifibum
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DaveS:

"I'm not aware of any medical, nutrition or health training in public schools (our most socialist program) except for sex education"

When I was in public school everyone took a "Health" class that covered these things. Not in any great depth, but enough that people came away knowing generally how to be healthy. If everyone applied that level of knowledge in their lifestyle choices then our population would be a LOT healthier. I don't think it's lack of education. Perhaps lack of sufficient beat-it-into-your-head repetition? Actually I think it's just that a lot of people have other priorities or flawed judgment.

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Everard
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I had a fair amount of health class all through school, from kingergarten through high school.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"And workers wages are certainly NOT dependent upon oil; they are not even related to oil. Are you suggesting your employment contract promises to pay you in barrels of oil?"

Not ENTIRELY dependent on oil, no, but quite directly impacted thereby, LS.

The Market's Invisible Hand needs good lubrication to keep jagging off a social economy like ours...

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Richard Dey
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When I'm sick, the last thing I want to do is discuss health care; but one thing experience tells me is that so-called preventive health care is completely bogus, from chlorophyll to margarine, and that that kind of expenditure booms under socialized medicine.

What needs to be protected is the right to feel sick to death about health care. It isn't health care that's being discussed; it's drug trials.

Follow the delivery of Pill Z to your mouth -- after you've found a primary-care physician who puts you on drug trials for Pills A-Y until you are 5 min from cataleptic death. Suddenly, a phone call comes through -- and your babysitter says, oh yell, Draino, I've got some left-over Z's in my purse. I'll be right over. You pop the pill, survive, and have to show up in court to pay for all the hell you went through with Pills A-Y.

"Health care" is research, bureaucracy, and the law.

If we spent the bureaucracy and legal fees on research, we'd all be healthy.

Vote Libertarian and take your chances; hey, at least you'll have a chance.

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Everard
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"but one thing experience tells me is that so-called preventive health care is completely bogus"

Your experience is leading you to a conclusion that can't be factually supported.

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DaveS
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People will do what they're told, what they're enticed to do, and what feels good. That's the recipe behind advertising and easy calories. We're suckers if we don't know what's happening and head it off before long term problems set in. RD, you must be talking about something I don't quite follow, because you're the last one I would expect to be discounting "preventive education". More, "preventive health care" probably saved my first daughter's life by discovering problems her mother had during her pregnancy before they manifested. You want to sacrifice a loved one for the right to protect his/her innocence?
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WarrsawPact
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SteelenGeneral -
quote:
The great thing about a profit-seeking company is, I don't have to trust them. I've got tons of other people who know more than I do, helping me avoid error. Including those who are competing with that company.

Companies like ... Microsoft?

Yes, companies like Microsoft. Be careful how you reply.
quote:
in a society of minimized fraud and coercion

the u.s.? Keep dreaming.

I'm working on it.
quote:
Now, it's interesting that you didn't mention a certain pleasant side effect of cheap calories: how many people are starving to death in this country

!!! You seriously wanna argue this? They die of heart diseases, diabetes or whatever!

Yes, I seriously want to argue that starving to death is a horrible wasting death. Anyone here who would rather die of starvation than complications from diabetes or congestive heart failure after decades of eating delicious food, raise your hand and be counted.

.... Anyone?
quote:
The point is not to get them killed at all, bubba.
Okay, first of all, don't use those words of familiarity and condescension. I don't call you sport, pal, buddy, kiddo, or anything passive-aggressive like that, and you return the courtesy, understood? This is a forum for debate.

You're not "getting people killed" by staying out of their way when they do something they enjoy and can afford. Some people like base jumping and skydiving, and I'm not about to stop them. Some people like drinking alcohol and smoking pot, and I'm not particularly keen on getting in their way, either. They're adults and they can take care of themselves... and they can take care of their kids while they're at it. Unless somebody is coercing or defrauding someone else, I'm not interested. We'd all be better off if you weren't interested, either.

[ November 23, 2007, 02:56 PM: Message edited by: WarrsawPact ]

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Everard
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"Unless somebody is coercing or defrauding someone else, I'm not interested. We'd all be better off if you weren't interested, either."

Well, no, not really. Socialized medicine consistently outperforms free market medicine for the majority of people. An education market with a large socialized component consistently outperforms a free market education. Socializing our transportation system remarkably increased the quality of our transportation and infrastructure. Deregulating the airlines led rather rapidly to a decrease in performance. The list keeps going where markets with moderate to heavy socialization outperform free markets... so, I don't think your statement stands up to historical scrutiny. If you'd like to provide some evidence that it does, I'd be glad to listen... just like I'd be glad to listen if you'd care to provide evidence on the ron paul thread.

That said:

Steelengeneral, whatever points you make I may agree with, your method of debate since arriving has consistently been one of condescension and motive speculation. Its not welcome here.

[ November 23, 2007, 03:03 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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DonaldD
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Thanks for saving me the effort, Ev.
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LetterRip
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WarrsawPact,

quote:
Unless somebody is coercing or defrauding someone else, I'm not interested.
Pretty much all advertising makes fraudulent implications about the impact of their product in particular implications about improving emotions, camraderie, and the pleasure that the item will bring. Or false implications about qualities associated with the item.

This fraudulent behavior has been going on for about as long as we have had advertising.

One of the most significant impacts of this fraudulent behavior is that much of the public consume large amounts of low quality nutrition with negative long term impacts on health.

So, in your opinion what liability should McDonalds et al have for this long term fraudulent behavior?

Personally I think an externality tax would be the appropriate remedy.

LetterRip

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