Trumpism minus the Trump?

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This topic contains 37 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 4 months ago.

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  • #44036

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg,

    I’m sure there were plenty of out-takes on that shot where Peter Finch a.k.a. Howard Beale ended the sermon with: “WEEEEEE!”. 🐷 😁

    The Soviets indeed did try to mimic Capitalism in their waning years, but without an unfettered price system based on supply-and-demand and ultimately founded on private property rights, there’s no rational way for goods and services to move and exchange and it ends in chaos. You see it today with the “ghost metropolises” in Red China, mega-cities meant for tens of millions that dwarf those in the U.S….yet all sit abandoned.

    A Dictator, a Party, even a whole society of spies cannot absorb and use all the knowledge needed to go into the making of a pencil, yet unfettered supply-and-demand prices do just that.

    #44037

    Unseen
    Participant

    @Enco

    Free markets are overrated, or not every market even CAN be free.

    The medical marketplaces are either not free or are distorted.

    Explain how the pharma market is free. Well, it is free for Big Pharma. They seem to be free to charge whatever they want, and the reason is clear: They make products people must use but where there is no competing products to choose between. They have raised the price on many prescription drugs apparently simply because they can. They use tactics even when they are regulated that allow them to raise prices. The most common example is probably the one where they pull a product off the market just before it’s scheduled to become generic, substituting basically the same product in a functional sense but with a minor tweak to the formula that often has no effect on the performance of the drug. It is then treated as a new product all over again with a sunset time to go generic once again well off in the future.

    Health insurance is also a great source of market distortion. Often, they will go ahead and pay what the manufacturers ask because they can recoup the cost through premiums. The prices soar because of this. HOWEVER, not everyone has insurance.

    A lot of markets are not really free or are free in seriously distorted ways.

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Unseen.
    #44039

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Flooding is not an issue here. We had over two feet of rain from TS Fay in 2008 and it wasn’t even close to my house. The wind could wreck the place, no doubt. I could have built another house with all the money I have given to insurance companies by now.

    #44040

    _Robert_
    Participant

    …not every market even CAN be free.

    My company was the only game in town for several products required to get an airplane off the ground. Smaller competitors were flushed out by recessions. Recessions have utility, LOL.  The investment and time required to challenge us was astronomical and thus so were our prices. Most established big-capital markets become oligopolies at best or monopolies at worst.

    #44041

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    The pharmaceutical industry is indeed not a free market, as both the COVID-19 crisis and the infant formula crisis amply demonstrate.

    Pharmaceutical researchers came up with the COVID-19 vaccine in 3 days, but it took months to get it to market because of FDA approval procedures, and if the FDA protocols weren’t changed in the midst of the crisis, it may have taken 10 years to get a vaccine, during which time, millions more would have died and/or the virus could have mutated to something worse.

    And FDA procedures and tariffs of 17.5 % on foreign infant formulas are what got us to a predicament where there are only 4 infant formula manufacturers and one formula factory serving the entire U.S. So when one batch of formula was recalled, the whole process gets shut down and some infants ended up in ICUs.

    U.S. Import and Export Data
    Preparations suitable for infants or young children, put up for retail sale: HS Code 190110
    https://www.flexport.com/data/hs-code/190110-preparations-suitable-for-infants-or-young-children-put-up-for-retail-sale

    Before this, the FDA recalled batches of formula not because of safety, but because they didn’t have sufficient Iron levels and didn’t meet labelling requirements. I guess the FDA thinks none is better than some:

    Able Groupe Recalling Products Labeled as Infant Formula Formulas Have Insufficient Iron Levels as Per Requirements for Infant Formula in The U.S., and Products Do Not Meet Other FDA Requirements
    https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/able-groupe-recalling-products-labeled-infant-formula-formulas-have-insufficient-iron-levels

    Dairy farmers who provide components for infant formula are also subsidized to keep prices up through payments-in kind from the USDA. This also makes infant formula manufacture costly and is reflected in prices on top of inflation.

    And all this goes with any product meant for good health.

    This is not “market failure,” but regulatory “success” for the regulators and manufacturers who benefit from regulatory capture of the marketplace. If pharmaceuticals is not a free market, it needs to be.

    #44042

    Unseen
    Participant

    @Enco

    When I need medical help I can almost never do what would be called intelligent and effective price shopping be it for doctors, medications, emergency services, whatever.

    There is no way to make the medical field anything resembling a free market. No solution will be perfect. This is after all the real world. However, the solution, the best solution, as evidenced by the medical systems in other advanced countries, involves a lot of government supervision, regulation, and control.

    #44043

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Robert, don’t deceive yourself. You should consider going someplace safe where there is no flooding like Kentucky.

    Free markets are more efficient than the free market place of ideas. At least there is that. If the market were restricted to intelligent and reasonable ones like Strega, Robert, Fronkey et al then we would be able to weed out exceedingly bad ideas like libertarianism. After thousands of years in the crucible there ought to be not one theist were there a scintilla of efficiency in that market.

    As for the free economic market i give props to Adam Smith. I mean he could not forsee the trajectory of economics and society. And i totally get the appeal of basic economic ideals. It is just that in practice it does not work. Why? I suspect part of the reason is only tangentially related to economics. It is human nature. It fucks up governments and it fucks up economics.

    How many industries are free? In my area there is essentially one cable company. And they make it a strict practice to fuck the customer. They pay their sales people bonuses for greater fuckings. The only real competitor has inferior internet. I am guessing it is pretty much the same throughout the USA. It would be great if there were competition. Gas prices and pretexts for raising prices unconsciounably… I would love to see the government take over the whole industry. What the hell? High gas prices causes inflation. It causes poor families to be under budget. Why not have the government set reasonable prices and yet continue to make great profits and then reduce our taxes while we transition to verdant energy.

    The other thing i think and observed in my law practice is mega corps deliberately putting mom and pop shops out of business. They just reduce prices on key items of their diminutive competitors until they bankrupt them.

    #44044

    Davis
    Moderator

    When a market can be efficiently free and minimally regulated in a way that meets the safety and best interests of the people, then it should be free. This should not be controversial. When the conditions are rife for underdevelopment of a sector, antitrust, consumer abuse (there are so many kinds of consumer abuse), endangers the safety of consumers/environment/national interests…then it should be regulated and potentially partially government owned until the conditions allow the market to be free. This shouldn’t be controversial. Anyone who thinks all markets should be free is wilfully blind to the endless amount of anti-trust practice, blatant consumer abuse and dangerous business practices. After all…it is a virtue in most of the business world to endanger others, abuse customers and work against community and even national interests if they can get away with it and make money. Not tempering this is insanity, akin to the kind of faith in absolute markets that the religious have towards their impossible ideals.

    #44045

    Unseen
    Participant

    @Enco

    Here’s why we need government to help protect us from the “free market” for pharmaceuticals. This is Pfizer in Great Britain but you can bet the same sort of shenanigans go on here. One hopes that the legislation allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices will pass.

    Dr. Campbell is a dependable and independent expert. A visit to his channel to peruse past videos would be time well spent.

    #44046

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    When I need medical help I can almost never do what would be called intelligent and effective price shopping be it for doctors, medications, emergency services, whatever.

    That’s because the law forbids Physicians, Pharmacists, Clinical, and Hospitals from posting prices for their procedures and wares. The only medical devices I’ve seen freely advertised with prices are eyeglasses and hearing aids.

    In a Free-Market health care system, those laws wouldn’t exist and you could know who offers what for how much as easy as a menu screen on location at the practice or pharmacy or via an app from the practice or pharmacy to save you a trip. And if you don’t see the procedure or medicine on the menu, you can pretty well rest assured the Doctor or Pharmacist doesn’t provide it and you can move on to the next one. Woo practitioners would no longer be a barrier to getting what you want and need.

    There is no way to make the medical field anything resembling a free market. No solution will be perfect. This is after all the real world. However, the solution, the best solution, as evidenced by the medical systems in other advanced countries, involves a lot of government supervision, regulation, and control.

    I just did, both here and the previous post. And there’s more that can be done to make health care better by deregulation and de-control.

    #44047

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen, When I need medical help I can almost never do what would be called intelligent and effective price shopping be it for doctors, medications, emergency services, whatever.

    That’s because the law forbids Physicians, Pharmacists, Clinical, and Hospitals from posting prices for their procedures and wares. The only medical devices I’ve seen freely advertised with prices are eyeglasses and hearing aids. In a Free-Market health care system, those laws wouldn’t exist and you could know who offers what for how much as easy as a menu screen on location at the practice or pharmacy or via an app from the practice or pharmacy to save you a trip.

    Much of the time, even with the information available, an intelligent choice would still be largely impossible due to several factors including the urgency of making a quick decision and the lawyerly and psychologically massaged presentation of the facts designed to help me make the decision THEY want rather than the best decision.

    I just did, both here and the previous post. And there’s more that can be done to make health care better by deregulation and de-control.

    When you remove deregulation and control, you are handing the medical system over to the marketing department who can feed you what they think will make the sale while withholding important info you probably should know.

    And then, I say once again, you don’t have the time and information handy to make a good choice. I had a heart attack and the EMT’s asked me which ER I’d prefer. How the fuck do I know? If I want to buy a car, I can spend hours, days, weeks, even months gathering info, making comparisons, looking for bargains. On a gurney, which ER to go to was perplexing. I ended up taking the nearest one even though, perhaps, another one a mile further away might have the best facilities.

    #44048

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Jake,

    How many industries are free? In my area there is essentially one cable company. And they make it a strict practice to fuck the customer. They pay their sales people bonuses for greater fuckings. The only real competitor has inferior internet.

    You do know cable companies are granted their monopoly franchises by government, right?

    I am guessing it is pretty much the same throughout the USA.

    Myself, I do use the main local cable company strictly for Internet, no TV channels, but from the Internet, I get access to YouTube, Dailymotion, VEVO, Vimeo, BitChute, TED, and many other video services, plus streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Pluto.tv, Tubi.tv, CuriousityStream, and I could get more. On top of this, I have HDTV rabbit ears and antennas to get local stations whenever I want, on top of their archives available on YouTube. I have all the TV I can ever want, practically á la carte and on demand…yet you say there’s absolutely no competition?

    It would be great if there were competition. Gas prices and pretexts for raising prices unconsciounably… I would love to see the government take over the whole industry.

    Did you just read what you just wrote? At the same time and in the same breath? You can’t have competition and government monopoly at the same time, silly.

    What the hell? High gas prices causes inflation.

    Uh, no. Inflation is the increase of the money supply resulting in an overall increase in the price of goods and services, including gasoline.. High gas prices are the result of inflation combined with the forced reduction of supply caused by shutting down pipelines and the building of oil rigs and refineries.

    Why not have the government set reasonable prices and yet continue to make great profits and then reduce our taxes while we transition to verdant energy.

    Taken a good look at Venezuela lately? It doesn’t work that way.

    The other thing i think and observed in my law practice is mega corps deliberately putting mom and pop shops out of business. They just reduce prices on key items of their diminutive competitors until they bankrupt them.

    Law firms and lawyers are ones to talk about monopoly and screwing over the little guy. They have a monopoly on the practice of law through the American and State Bar Associations and put paralegals in jail for typing simple wills and contracts for pay. Because of the laws they create, lawyers and law firms are the silent partner in every other business in the country and jump on them for their workplace conditions, yet these same lawyers and firms have unpaid interns to fetch their coffee and three-martini lunches and maybe launder black dresses.

    Self-awareness isn’t a strong suit here?

    #44049

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Enco, i was referring to competition among cable companies. You’re finding alternatives is irrelevant to the point. Big businesses in industries like cable, pharma and gas have de facto monopolies. Whether one finds an alternative does nothing to obviate the issues that come with price fixing. Big business is like big government in that it wields its power unconscionably to the detriment of the public.

    Yes i saw what i wrote and see it without contradiction. Again certain industries are dominated by a few big players and they hose the public. If we were to have the government run the oil and gas industry we could all save money on taxes with the revenue borne of government profit. We could also use that as an impetus to begin the conversion to a green economy. These prices at the gas pump are bullshit.

    Sure inflation can occur as you say. It also can be the result of a product or service that is necessary for in this case trucking and prices that get passed along to the consumer. And when you abandon your libertarian principles and get all gung ho to help the Ukranians there is a fall out for billions of humans that did not sign on. Is that a foolish consistency? Should humans have a responsibility to get their affairs in order after centuries of government equals tyranny?

    Is Venezuela as an example consonant with the USA? Are there differences that might make that example inapposite? I notice you give examples that prop up your libertarian fantasies as though they were dispositive of the isssues. No mention of counterbalancing considerations-same as a theist.

    Upon entering the legal profession i was immediately a maverick. I used a trade name. Law Sense. Not my last name. I advertised like a mutha. That was considered anti-priestly among the established attorneys. And yes back then the board of bar overseers (if memory serves) had a schedule of suggested fees for various services. I never bought into any of that.

    On the other hand i totally get the practice of law being restricted to people with legal training who have passed the bar. It is a necessary for the benefit of the public. It is a minefield out there. If you don’t know what you are doing you get eaten alive.

    Laws that lawyers create that are at the behest of big business in the so called free market. It is a charade. It is nonsense. And although lawyers are often assholes and priestly they serve a necessary function in society. The kinds of laws you allude to are important because in an environment without and oversight of business it is clear from history and everything we know about humans that there will be abuse. I wont expand because it is an obvious point.

    #44055

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    If individuals do not have the competence to make the most elementary decision of which medicine they want and at what quantity and price, or to do their due diligence on hospitals and physicians in advance to getting sick, then by what stretch of the imagination do individuals who call themselves Government have the competence to run a nation’s entire health care system?

    (Remember, this is the same Government that subsidized tobacco, starch, and sugar, that hoarded PPE on the basis of a lie, and forced COVID-19 patients in with healthy convalescent elderly and made the latter die, and that kept cheap COVID-19 tests and vaccines off the market, all throughout the COVID-19 crisis and still does to this day.)

    Also, the fact that nothing has 100 percent market share is why marketing is considered work, and it is evidence that consumers can always say “no.”

    #44059

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen, If individuals do not have the competence to make the most elementary decision of which medicine they want and at what quantity and price, or to do their due diligence on hospitals and physicians in advance to getting sick, then by what stretch of the imagination do individuals who call themselves Government have the competence to run a nation’s entire health care system?

    What’s good about the current system whereby health care is based on profit for the dispensers of it rather than delivering the best possible outcomes on average.

    (Remember, this is the same Government that subsidized tobacco, starch, and sugar, that hoarded PPE on the basis of a lie, and forced COVID-19 patients in with healthy convalescent elderly and made the latter die, and that kept cheap COVID-19 tests and vaccines off the market, all throughout the COVID-19 crisis and still does to this day.)

    If anything sucks worse than the U.S. Federal Government it’s the U.S. Health Care System.

    In fact, a lot of what sucks about the U.S. Health Care System is DUE to a government that blocks positive change at every turn. Blockages designed to help maintain and enhance the profits made by an inefficient system.

    So, what I’m saying is that, yes, the government (by which I mean OUR government) would be terrible at running a national health care system, so what’s needed is a system run under the Hippocratic Oath* with the government WAY in the background. As it is now, doctors are burdened with paperwork, some necessitated by the government and some required by the private medical insurance companies.

    * I’d like to see the Hippocratic Oath codified into laws with teeth such that failing to deliver care to the detriment of a patient incurs a legal liability.

    You see, the government is not the entirety of the problem, it’s the middleman part of the industry, an entire category of the business which can largely be eliminated along with the money we spend to feed their bureaucracy, a bureaucracy largely designed to deny the payment of claims, no matter how valid the reason. The insurance companies drive up medical costs by denying claims. If the insurer won’t pay and the patient can’t, the doctor or hospital has to pay a good deal of this expense to those who can pay.

    Also, the fact that nothing has 100 percent market share is why marketing is considered work, and it is evidence that consumers can always say “no.”

    Say no based on what? Crystal balls are very expensive nowadays.

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