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Oxygenee
In all seriousness, how did this guy get elected?
Jaded Prole
It was the legerdemain factor.
Oxygenee
There's a word I'd like to hear him pronounce.
Kommienezuspadt
Oh good lord.

At least he's not quite as bad as my mother. She calls the internet 'the email'. But then she's not leadng one of the most powerful nations in the world...
Absinthesizer
Hey, I didn't vote for him.

Or maybe I did. Damn electronic ballots.
traineraz
Dialup here, what's it say? What's it say? <hopping on one foot>
Oxygenee
It's worth getting broadband just to watch.
Donnie Darko
The proper question to ask is how can we find a way to get this guy unelected?
Jaded Prole
His time is almost up, the revolving seat will be assigned to __________ ?
bob_chong
Disagree w/ his actions and policies, but the meme that he lacks intelligence is hackneyed. Psychometrically speaking, JFK was likely our lowest IQ president. But he did OK (until Dallas, anyway). Is GWB out of touch? Sure he is. Do you think your wonderboy Clinton used the Internet when he was in office? How about now (besides surfing porn)? Do you think there is an ex-president who knows how much a gallon of milk costs? These guys are so far removed from "normal life," it's shocking.

The whole "Dumbya" thing is just lazy and intellectually dishonest. He's smarter than Kerry (not that it means anything). So we could have actually had a "dumber" president.

Oxygenee
I disagree. I think he's as thick as pigshit.

He's almost pathologically intellectually incurious, and any grown man who says "there are rumours on the internets" or "I looked it up on the Google" or "I've read three Shakespeares" is a moron.

The argument that he's in fact quite clever, or cleverer than Kerry, is based on extrapolations from old SAT scores etc - dubious science which flies in the face of the plain evidence observable every time the man opens his mouth.
bob_chong
This forum was, is, and will always be full of sneering liberals.

Fact is, you simply confuse public speaking ability with intelligence. Morons are not allowed to fly airplanes. Period.
bob_chong
QUOTE(Oxygenee @ Oct 29 2006, 02:57 PM) *

The argument that he's in fact quite clever, or cleverer than Kerry, is based on extrapolations from old SAT scores etc - dubious science


Oh, so you have advanced degrees in education now and are prepared to discredit the psychometricians who wrote about it? Frankly, Oxy, if you're just being "political," that's cool, but if you're playing "knowledgeable social scientist," then you are completely out of your depth. You really don't know what you're talking about.

Then again, many folks dismiss the concept of IQ and general intelligence completely. But those who do this are usually at the far end of the bell curve anyway. Kind of like when Reagan quipped, "I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born." I've noticed that everyone who dismisses IQ is usually several SDs above the mean anyway.
Oxygenee
I've defintely never been called a sneering liberal before. Next thing you'll be calling Artemis a raging pinko. abs-cheers.gif

My comments weren't a function of political bias, they were entirely ad hominem - regardless of his politics, I think Bush as a person is intellectually limited. I think he is, in the plain English meaning of the phrase, lacking in intelligence.

The idiocies that come out of his mouth go way beyond "difficulty in public speaking" or whatever you ascribe them to. It's inconceivable to me that anyone of even average intelligence could talk like he does. Over and above this, he's intellectually incurious, doesn't appear to have ever genuinely read a book, and has never, not even once, demonstrated in public the ability to engage intellectually with an opponent in an unscripted situation. When travelling, he's shielded by his handlers from informal discussions with the press, for the same reason. Without a script, he comes across as an idiot.

The "evidence" to the contrary is - to the best of my knowledge - his SAT scores from 40 years ago and his modest academic achievements. We have no idea at all of the conditions under which he took these tests, the degree of coaching he had, or any other unusual factors. To ascribe anything at all to this 40 year old data is, as a I said, dubious science. And to use it to deny the plain evidence accumulated over the last 8 years seems to me just perverse. As the saying goes, if it sounds country man, it's a country song.
Jaded Prole
Bob, if you can make a convincing arguement that Bush isn't a blithering idiot, there may be a very high paying position available to you in Washington. You've taken on a tough job there.

I think Bush was chosen as a front man for an extremist neocon cabal with big plans figuring that they might need a fall guy if things went awry. Cheney Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz and a couple of others are running this circus. The question is who they have chosen to occupy that seat for the next round.


Ok, let the ad hominem attacks begin . . .




Absomphe
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Oct 29 2006, 12:58 PM) *


Morons are not allowed to fly airplanes. Period.


There was Wrongway Corrigan, but many people suppose that he did it on purpose, so I guess he doesn't count.
traineraz
Bob, since you find out-of-context intelligence testing so very meaningful, I have an example for you:

My brother (two years older) and I both tested as "gifted" on early-age IQ testing, and were placed in the "gifted student" programs. (Age 6 or 7 or something.)

My brother didn't last very long, nearly flunked out of high school (only got through because my parents put him in a private school with more discipline), and then did flunk out of a community college. At 37, he's got a great under-the-table career as a pizza delivery man. He's so incompetent with regard to any aspect of life, that my mother has given me charge over his inheritance in her will.

Me? I skipped a year in high school and a year in college. No matter that I didn't have any direction in life, I received my BA weeks before I turned 20. (Liberal arts, not much value there.) Currently have a professional degree (landscape architecture/planning, 2004) and work at the mid-level in planning (government work, and no, it's not normal to be at a mid-career level two years after receiving one's degree). But I'm bored, and looking at going back to school again, hard science, MS or possibly Ph.D.

We both tested as "gifted". However, there are few who would accuse my brother of being intelligent. Unused potential for intellectual development isn't the same as intelligence.
The Standard Deviant
I hear cocaine does wonders for the brain.
bob_chong
Trainer,

IQ typically stabilizes after age seven, so if testing at an early age is not always a good idea. Thus, for actually using IQ to make decisions, it should be retested later. I was tested three times in school (they used to do that back then, everyone was tested) at age seven, eleven, and thirteen. Two scores were exactly the same, and the other was one point off.

My younger brother is much the same as your brother. "Smartest" one in the family. At age 34, he is still unemployed, unemployable, and basically a hobo/leech (and a huge Michael Moore fan and pretty much a commie).

I agree with you about unused potential. Some folks also discount intelligence when it is used for evil as well.

bob_chong
QUOTE(Oxygenee @ Oct 29 2006, 05:39 PM) *

The "evidence" to the contrary is - to the best of my knowledge - his SAT scores from 40 years ago and his modest academic achievements. We have no idea at all of the conditions under which he took these tests, the degree of coaching he had, or any other unusual factors. To ascribe anything at all to this 40 year old data is, as a I said, dubious science.


The data are there, though. Scored well on Air Force Officer Qualifying Test and SAT, earned an MBA, was a pilot. These are not the stuff of morons.

I know this won't convince you, but it ain't dubious science.

I understand he's reviled here. Maybe you're no flaming liberal, but probably 99% of the members are. But I don't buy it that he doesn't read, can barely walk and chew gum, etc.


Donnie Darko
He possesses a certain "intelligence". So do some inmates of mental asylums. So did Hitler. So did Churchill. Raw intelligence is not a substantive enough measure to be of much value when judging the leader of the US. All sorts of things can be done with intelligence. Two geniuses by the names of Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman were crucial in contributing to the development of a weapon that could wipe out the entire planet in a few minutes.

The problem with Bush is his methodology as a leader is the polar opposite of the scientific method, and that's pretty fucking dumb. Science dictates that one makes observations, collects data, then forms a theory and a plan for further research/action based on what they have observed. In contrast, many of Bush's policies are formed in exactly the same way that the "science" of "Intelligent Design" operates. Make your theory first, THEN look for data that supports what you have already theorized. We've seen it with him over and over again, and many of his ex-administration members have attested to it (flaming Liberals like Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke come to mind).

That is not an intelligent approach. It's intellectually lazy, and downright irresponsible for someone in such a position of power as Bush. I don't need to know if he had a high SAT score, I need to know if he is capable of making decisions based on hard evidence, research and careful foresight. Nowhere is that carefully calculated and measured approach more crucial than in the issue of National Security. If Bush had been President during the Cuban Missile Crisis, this would be a very different planet (probably a dead one).

Yeah, I know Kennedy got us into that mess, it's all the Liberal's fault, yada yada yada. But it ended without a shot being fire. Saddam didn't even HAVE a remotely comparable arsenal to Kruschev, and Bush went in there with NO fucking plan. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to know that he's proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that, intelligent or not, he's a disaster of a President.
traineraz
Actually, the MBA is quite possibly the easiest master's degree to earn, if you have any concept of basic mathematics (addition, subtraction, etc.) and know how to read and write.

You can get one from the University of Phoenix online in just six weeks (ok, a little longer, but you get the point). There are a lot of useless and witless MBAs running around out there.

Someone coming from a family with a strong business background, like the Bushes (oil, trading with Hitler during wartime, etc.) would already likely have had accounting and finance drilled into him from an early age. Passing financial management and accounting courses should not have been a great challenge.


Meanwhile, you still haven't shown us evidence that Bush is intelligent. You've only shown that he got a decent SAT score, which means he has (or had, 40 years ago) the potential to develop intelligence, should he so choose. Oh, and you've done some name-calling and liberal-bashing instead of discussing, which are typical tactics when one has no argument to fall back on.

So, do you have anything to show us, or should we expect more irrelevant "liberal-bashing" and similar name-calling?



NUC-LE-AR.



I'm not sure what your brothers' political leanings have to do with his lack of intelligence, or this discussion. There are people at each end of the political spectrum who are and who are not educated and/or intelligent.

Oxygenee
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Oct 30 2006, 07:33 AM) *

But I don't buy it that he doesn't read,


The only book we know for sure he's read is "My Pet Goat", and he didn't even finish that one.
Oxygenee
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Oct 30 2006, 07:33 AM) *

I know this won't convince you, but it ain't dubious science.


My point really is this: I don't think - as, if I understand correctly, you seem to - that intelligence is something that can only be determined with teams of trained sociologists and hundreds of multiple choice questions. I think there's a plain English meaning of the word, and it's perfectly possible to make a rational judgement on the intelligence level of another human being, given a reasonable period to observe them in a variety of different situations.

Watching, reading about, and listening to Bush for the last 8 or so years, I've a hard time understanding how anyone could come to any conclusion other than that the man is intellectually extremely limited.
Oxygenee
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Oct 30 2006, 07:33 AM) *

Maybe you're no flaming liberal,



I believe in free enterprise and individual achievement. I believe in small government and low taxes. I believe in personal liberty.

So as you can see, there's no party in the US (or the UK for that matter) that represents my views.
Wild Bill Turkey
If this isn't a discussion about the rightness or wrongheadedness of the man's politics but actually, as it appears, a serious discussion about whether or not the president is of below average intelligence, then I simply have to side with Chonger.

Anybody can see that he's not well-spoken, and linguistic skills are certainly an indicator of the presence of intelligence, but a lack of eloquence does not guarantee stupidity, as so many clearly assume. When a child in school shows poor verbal skills, parents and teachers look to other sources for indications of the child's mental abilities. This is one of the reasons that intelligence tests do not rely entirely on essay questions, but include problem-solving questions as well as tests designed to evaluate many aspects of someone's intellect.

Other evidence is available for helping us gauge Bush's intelligence. The military service tests and SAT scores are valid criteria. Pilot's ratings are extremely hard to come by, requiring thorough understanding of a great many types of complex mechanical, electronic, and natural systems. His MBA is certainly a valid indicator, and I find it laughable that Taz claims that any fool can acquire a master's degree in business administration, yet offers his own bachelor's degree in liberal arts as proof that he's this generation's Isaac Newton.

Finally, there's the fact that he's become the president of the United States. Twice.
Some of you will argue that he cheated his way into the job. Even if true, do you think an idiot could pull that off? Some will argue that he's a figurehead with a family name, a lot of money, and a political machine doing it all for him. Then why wasn't Ted Kennedy a two-term president? And while he may have a chief-of-staff and a cabinet of advisors, in the end the president has to be a functioning deal-maker and decision-maker. He has to be agile in a world of internecine political warfare and maintain an edge, especially during his first term. Nobody can do all that for him.

Intellectually incurious? Possibly he's never read Virgil. Politically wrongheaded? That isn't the question at hand. To argue that he's actually unintelligent is to deny the evidence.
Oxygenee
QUOTE(Wild Bill Turkey @ Oct 30 2006, 12:41 PM) *

To argue that he's actually unintelligent is to deny the evidence.


Deny this, you acolytes of Chong.



If it sounds Country man, then that's what it is, it's a Country song.
sixela
They will. Apparently, there's something in the air in the US that makes people blind to even the obvious to the rest of the world.

It also makes them impervious to any argument from someone not breathing that same air, and you're a fucking Brit now.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Wild Bill Turkey @ Oct 30 2006, 04:41 AM) *

Intellectually incurious? Possibly he's never read Virgil. Politically wrongheaded? That isn't the question at hand. To argue that he's actually unintelligent is to deny the evidence.


OK, OK. He's intelligent. But he's still a complete moron.

Seriously though, everyone is speaking as if "intelligence" is some universal constant, when in reality there are myriad sorts of intelligence. And any of those intelligences can be rendered ineffective if one is stupid in just the right way, and Bush happens to be stupid in ways that are going to counteract whatever intelligence he does possess.
Jaded Prole
He may have a reptilian sort of intelligence but he is not competant to be in a position of power. He also exhibits the signs of having anti-social personality disorder.
bob_chong
QUOTE(traineraz @ Oct 30 2006, 01:28 AM) *

I'm not sure what your brothers' political leanings have to do with his lack of intelligence, or this discussion.


The idea that the world owes you a living, or the gov't owes you a handout, leads to indolence. An otherwise intelligent person can be made lazy by liberal promises. So you've got a guy sitting around bitching about "the man" instead of trying to work. And so he finds aid and comfort in reading bullshit like Michael Moore books. It's a lot easier to do that than work.

bob_chong
QUOTE(sixela @ Oct 30 2006, 08:21 AM) *

Apparently, there's something in the air in the US that makes people blind to even the obvious to the rest of the world.


Yeah, keep telling yourself that trait is uniquely American. If you say it enough times, it becomes true.


Donnie Darko
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Oct 30 2006, 11:09 AM) *


The idea that the world owes you a living, or the gov't owes you a handout, leads to indolence. It's a lot easier to do that than work.


It's easy to be a social Darwinist, as you're entirely abdicated from any responsibility toward helping anyone other than yourself. If they're poor, then they must not work hard. And if a CEO makes 250x that what his average employee does, surely that's because he works 250x as hard.

traineraz
QUOTE(Wild Bill Turkey @ Oct 30 2006, 01:41 AM) *

I find it laughable that Taz claims that any fool can acquire a master's degree in business administration, yet offers his own bachelor's degree in liberal arts as proof that he's this generation's Isaac Newton.

I did no such thing. If you were to PTFA, you'd understand that I was comparing the relative academic achievements of two people who both scored highly on objective intelligence tests, in response to Bob's assertion that Bush's SAT scores indicated intelligence.

For the record, WBT, I have half of a Master's of Science in Management Systems from Clarkson University (a more specialized, two-year version of an MBA; dual-enrollment when working on my BA); financial considerations prevented my completing it at the time -- no money for private-school tuition. So yes, I know exactly what's involved in an MBA, and rocket science it ain't.
traineraz
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Oct 30 2006, 08:09 AM) *

QUOTE(traineraz @ Oct 30 2006, 01:28 AM) *

I'm not sure what your brothers' political leanings have to do with his lack of intelligence, or this discussion.


The idea that the world owes you a living, or the gov't owes you a handout, leads to indolence. An otherwise intelligent person can be made lazy by liberal promises. So you've got a guy sitting around bitching about "the man" instead of trying to work. And so he finds aid and comfort in reading bullshit like Michael Moore books. It's a lot easier to do that than work.


You said he wasn't intelligent, not that he was lazy. And there's lazy on both sides of the coin.

How about sitting around the family farm waiting for the next government handout . . . er, I mean "farm subsidy"? That's more of a Republican thing, isn't it? Intentionally paying people not to produce, or artificially inflating their product prices, that is. That'd be you and me writing Joe Farmer a check to not grow stuff.

Yes, it "keeps family farms operational". Too bad the subsidies go to corporate production farms, too. I guess the world (our taxes, that is) owes ConAgra a living.

Do you believe that selling or leasing productive lands (oil, mining, timber) to corporations for dirt isn't a handout/subsidy, either? At no time has the federal government (under any administration) charged prices that relate to the value to be extracted from the land, to my knowledge. That'd be us (you and me) giving corporations billions of dollars' worth of raw materials for nothing. Why not just write them a check?
Jaded Prole
True. Without government subsidies and underwriting payed for by taxes, our economic system would have collapsed many decades ago. The difference between public and private ownership is that of accountability and the extraction and accumulation of enourmous sums by the few at the expense of society as a whole. This refers to big production, health and utilities, not to the small businesses that are regularly destroyed by the big ones.

Yes, hard work counts and I don't think anyone capable or working should be on the dole for any longer than it takes to overcome extreme hardship but the reality is that one cannot honestly ingore the larger social conditions that make that possible or plausible.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE
An otherwise intelligent person can be made lazy by liberal promises.


The entire population of Scandinavia and Switzerland must be some of the laziest and most unproductive workers on the planet, given the flood of liberal promises in which they're drowning. Their respective economies must be at the bottom given the inherent dysfunction of their Liberalism.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...mp;refer=europe

QUOTE
The U.S. lost its position as the world's most competitive economy to Switzerland as budget and trade deficits prompted a slide to sixth in the World Economic Forum's annual rankings. Switzerland jumped from fourth place last year and Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Singapore all overtook the U.S.


And when a Wal-Mart enters a small community to sell cheap Chinese sweat-shop goods, surely those small family owned businesses that went under after Wal-Mart's arrival would have stayed in business had they only worked harder, instead of blaming "The Man" for their lot.

Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll sit on a boat all day drinking beer.

Oh, and Bush is still a moron.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Oct 30 2006, 12:50 PM) *
The difference between public and private ownership is that of accountability and the extraction and accumulation of enourmous sums by the few at the expense of society as a whole.


Commie!

Seriously though, I disagree with that notion. Who owns what has nothing to do with accountability. Scumbags in government get away with AT LEAST as many corrupt things as private business does.

Private ownership is great, in fact many times it can provide new solutions which lumbering slow-to-adapt government wouldn't think of in their wildest dreams. The thing is we need both public AND private ownership. We need government oversight of private business in the form of economic and environmental regulations and we need public oversight of the government to make sure they don't run away with their power just like the Enron guys. We need a balance. Libertarians want it all private, Communists want it all public. Social-Capitalists like myself want healthy Capitalism that doesn't forget about the masses of average workers that make it function.

The problem right now is that private enterprise has too much influence within the government that is supposed to be overseeing them. In that scenario, it's much harder to hold anybody accountable, but that's not because of private ownership vs. public ownership, that's just because public servants have replaced the "public" part of their title with "self".
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(traineraz @ Oct 30 2006, 12:35 PM) *

That'd be us (you and me) giving corporations billions of dollars' worth of raw materials for nothing. Why not just write them a check?


We do. Anybody who drives a car this year directly transferred a portion of their wealth to the pockets of oil companies for the pseudo oil shortage, giving them the largest profits in the history of any industry, ever.

Middle class Republicans drive cars too. I wonder how they feel about giving more of their income to oil companies even though there was no shortage of gasoline. If they were to get as angry about that as they do about a fraction of one cent from their paycheck going to give some single black mother food stamps, something positive might come of it. They get pretty damned angry about having to pay taxes that go to public education when their kid goes to a private school. I wonder what would happen if they got that angry about personally giving Bush over $3,375 out of their household's pocket for his supremely intelligent war.
bob_chong
And you actually think the govt. can achieve all of these leftist fantasies? What part of its track record screams "efficient allocation of resources"? This is not a Republican-Democrat thing: it is a reality check.
Donnie Darko
Our government in its current state certainly cannot. No government can solve everyone's problems, and I don't expect it to. But there is a bare minimum that I believe isn't being met.

When Americans have to file for bankruptcy because they can't afford to pay off a debt incurred from a life saving operation, I'd like to think we can do better. It seems strange to me that providing everyone with affordable health care and education is perceived as a "leftist fantasy", or that preventing oil companies from robbing you is some Liberal attempt to spread Socialism. Private enterprise can certainly fix some of these ills, but where do we turn when private enterprise fails to do so?

Industry clearly cannot regulate itself when it comes to environmental issues. It's a tragedy that issue is even painted as a partisan one, because in reality it is a public safety issue. Glaciers are receding by meters every year, some hundred miles wide have fallen into the ocean, and Bush with his supreme intelligence won't even acknowledge global warming exists.

I do agree though that our current beast of a government is broken and needs to be seriously reformed, which is something we both want. We just disagree as to which services the government should provide. A healthy private sector is necessary to achieve this, but it isn't the end all be all to having a functional society.

Perhaps this is "flaming liberalism" to you, but to me it's common sense. Checks, balances and safety nets are all hallmarks of productive nations, so why are they portrayed as some agenda to abolish private property and hand all over to the government? Still hooked on the anger towards some Americans who you don't think did the most with their 40 Acres and a Mule?

Look at the list on Bloomberg.com of the most competetive economies, and tell me how many of those countries charge students over $100K for an education and don't provide healthcare to several million of its citizens. Which of those countries emits the most greenhouse gases?

We can do better. Right now neither industry nor government is stepping up to the plate.
Donnie Darko
And by the way, can somebody explain to me why I take these things so seriously? It's really such a bore.

Here's my favourite song about "the issues"...
think about it, think think about it
bob_chong
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Oct 31 2006, 12:20 AM) *

And by the way, can somebody explain to me why I take these things so seriously? It's really such a bore.


I appreciate your writing about them, though I don't agree with them. In principle, maybe I do on some. How such systems could be worked out, given the current tentacles in place, public and private, are another matter. If you feel like further discussing something, pick one thing and explain the implementation plan as fully as you can (e.g., socialized medicine). I'd be interested to hear a plan that a vast majority of stakeholders would accept.
Jaded Prole
Here in the US "socialized medicine" has never been on the table. What has been considered is a national medical insurance plan that would cover basic expenses but the providers would remain private. This is an idea many support and it would save businesses much money in not having to provide employee health plans. It would not prevent individuals from buying added health insurance to cover things like plastic surgury . . . The good thing is that everyone would have access to medical care. I think the catch in our society is that it would have to be funded adequately so that, unlike medicare, medical professionals would be properly compensated.

Actually, we do have some socialized medicine. The military and high ranking politicians have access to it.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Oct 31 2006, 06:20 AM) *

If you feel like further discussing something, pick one thing and explain the implementation plan as fully as you can (e.g., socialized medicine). I'd be interested to hear a plan that a vast majority of stakeholders would accept.


First I should highlight that I believe quality health care is a human right.

Ideally I'd prefer a single-payer system, in which the payment for health care is delivered by the government, but actual care is delivered by private practice. I say ideally, because I realize that practically, we are shackled to the for-profit insurance company behemoth, and that removing their control over our health care and our market is no small endeavour. I'll post a lot more on this later when I have more time.

I do believe however that a single-payer system is more fiscally conservative than our current sytem. Just because it's private doesn't automatically mean that it's efficient:
Nymphadora
I love reading your posts, Donnie. I'm a Darko Groupie. hula-1.gif
bob_chong
What do you think of the MA plan?
Fizzle
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Oct 31 2006, 10:49 AM) *

First I should highlight that I believe quality health care is a human right.



Donnie, can you explain how someone has a "right" to the services of another individual? In other words, how can I demand that someone else provide something for me? And what if they refuse? What if people refuse to even enter the field and learn medicine? What then?

Donnie Darko
QUOTE
What do you think of the MA plan?


It's a good start.

The good points are that it (at least on paper) gives health care coverage options to many who could not afford it before, and gives them more than one option to choose. That appeals to the socialist in me. No one should have to face financial ruin for choosing care necessary to maintain their health.

In some ways though it's a bandaid on a severed artery, and it does not appeal to the fiscal conservative in me. The current health care system is becoming an enormous drag on our economy, to the point where investors are losing confidence in our markets. How can we lead the world economy if businesses are paying an exorbitant amount of $ for ever increasing insurance premiums, which in turn keeps wages flat? Doctors also now have to hire a full time staff dedicated solely to navigating our labyrinthine insurance industry, which makes medical practices more and more inefficient. In our current system, Doctors are treated as sharehholder tools and pharmaceutical marketing representatives. Providing health care has become secondary to billing and bureaucracy. Patient treatment has become subjugated to patient insurance status.

And then the Doctors themselves have to pay exorbitant sums for medical malpractice insurance, which further drives medical costs up, meanwhile putting more money into the belly of the gluttonous insurance industry and shark litigators. (The medical malpractice issue is an entirely separate complex one, I'll address that another time).

Having two MDs, two PAs, and one RN in my family, as well as two employees of insurance companies, I've seen both sides of the coin. The insurance industry is every bit as bloated and inefficient as we accuse the government of being, if not more so, since Medicare and Medicaid don't need the same massive marketing and legal departments, nor do they need to shell out exorbitant pay to executives, or post a big enough profit to keep their investors from jumping ship.

If we were to keep the current system, the least we should do is eliminate payroll taxes for businesses whom provide health insurance to their employees. This would at least provide incentive for businesses that don't provide insurance to get their asses in gear and do so, and would make it affordable for small business to offer coverage too. (that was one plan suggested by Howard Dean, uber-Liberal MD).

Utlimately though, I don't believe keeping the current privatized health care payment system is sustainable.
I think we need a single payer system like this one: PNHP proposal
Jaded Prole
I agree.
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