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Old 04-22-2010, 02:14 AM   #701
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I believe you’re only mandated to cover liability for injuries and property damage done to others. I’m not quite sure I see the comparison. It’s about protecting the property rights of others. If you wish to protect your own property – you are welcome (and wise) to do so – but that isn’t compulsory.
It's just simply the fact that it's funny that one bothers people and the other doesn't, that's all. A car, while a nice thing to have, an important thing to have, even, isn't an absolute necessity in people's lives. Your health, on the other hand...

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True - law enforcement can fail - so why add yet another several layers to increase the opportunity for corruption? My point is, just because law enforcement fails - we shouldn't set up a host of other entities that will also fail. Simply hold law enforcement accountable.
And who will hold them accountable? That's a fine argument, but why can't the same be said for government, too? If your answer is to hold law enforcement accountable when they fail, well, do the same with government. The entity itself isn't so much the problem as it is the people who work within it. You get a competent government, or a competent law enforcement, you will get competent results.

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Old 04-22-2010, 02:31 AM   #702
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Is it fair to say the jury is still out to determine if it was lack of fraud enforcement, and not a lack of regulation that caused it?
No, its more than fair! All we do know is that both a lack of fraud enforcement and a lack of regulation was present. I will just say that I lean one way, and this line here will give it away: remember, most of what was done with subprime loans and derivatives trading was perfectly legal.

We do know the final answer: It was a combination of both, but it will take a while for us to know how each one was weighted.

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(not to mention it was the government that pushed for subprime mortgages – causing banks to take risks they wouldn’t ordinaly take – and it was the desire to get this risk off their own books and “out there” - that really led the likes of Goldman and Lehman to manage the CDO and CDS racket the manner in which they did.)
Not sure I can go with this. Certainly not if you are referring to the Community Reinvestment Act, which explicitly had standards prohibiting the kind of subprime loans that were defaulted on en masse. In fact, government regulated loans, CRA or otherwise, had consistently much lower default rates. What is often missed is that a high cost loan given to a middle or upper income borrower that they can not afford can also be subprime. Any loan can be subprime given the right(or more accurately, wrong) terms. Hence why there are empty suburban, upper middle class/lower affluent developments in places like Loudon County, VA(DC exurbs), The Santa Clara valley, San Francisco and LA exurbs, Phoenix suburbs, Las Vegas, empty condo buildings in Miami, etc.

2 hardly liberal sources:

Community Reinvestment Act had nothing to do with subprime crisis - BusinessWeek

President's Speech: Opening Remarks to the 2008 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference (3/31/2008)

What pushed fly by night creditor to offer and Lehman and friends to securitize bad loans was the good old fashioned profit motive, which is a good thing so long as it is not taking excessive, dishonest, unrealistic risks with the money of you and I, neither of whom were involved in any way.

With securitization, ultimately, you change the dynamic of John the banker who you see at the diner giving you a loan and being on the hook if you default. Now John can say, "I don't care if you pay me back or not, I have already made big money selling your loan to Wall Street." So if he is unethical even in the slightest, John from the diner will no longer care if you can document your income, as you'll lose your house, but he wont lose his money like he would have before.

I think securitization, the overall trend being about a generation old, has led to innovative methods of financing ideas and businesses and has been a net positive, it is just something that can blow up when our worst impulses go completely unregulated.


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Your father, God rest his soul, was obviously right on.
Again, isn’t this another example of fraud - committed by both the lenders and the borrowers (creative accounting, stated income loans)?
Thank you! Cancer is a terrible thing, and he was 58 and built like a light to middle weight boxer until January 2009, so it takes you way too fast. He was a great guy, Vietnam combat medic, who just never could kick the smoking.

Creditors AND BORROWERS- Thank you for including that!! Agree 100%, and it is often glossed over, these borrowers were just as greedy and culpable, buying things they knew they couldn't afford through deals they knew were too good to be true. My Dad, no arch conservative, in fact our views matched pretty well, said that all the time.

Yes, another example of fraud, the kind of fraud that is plain to you and I but unfortunately was not quite as plain to the government! In order for it to meet the legal definition of fraud, they of course have to break a law, and again, a lot of what happened between 2000 and 07(roughly) was shady, unethical, fly by night(my dad dealt with many "mortgage companies" that were run from a cell phone and nothing more!!) and perfectly legal

Making it illegal and subject to fraud enforcement as you suggest would of course mean regulation. Heres hoping it is not the burdensome, excessive anti competitive regulation you and I both worry about!

Please remember always my bottom line on this: Regulation is not my only answer, and I am as scared of the prospects of getting the regulation wrong and the resulting consequences as I am of what will happen if we keep the status quo.

The whole thing is obviously very complicated, and the fact that I had a father in Real Estate who I helped out a lot and the fact that I read a little bit on this stuff in no way makes me an expert or more qualified than anyone else to know exactly what happened or what to do about it.

That is the hard part, and to every Congress person, Democrat or Republican and President Obama, all I have to say is "better you than me!"
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:45 AM   #703
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Do you think it is possible that the free market system could be efficient and innovative enough to lower the costs across the board to a level that charity is only needed in the rarest, most dire occasions?
If I understand you correctly from your quoting of reason and dislike of regulation, you are talking about the extreme end of the free market spectrum, not the still very free though not quite there US system? If not, sorry in advance.

I think, theoretically, it could be. However, when markets go unregulated(which we have been a long way from for quite some time), history has proven that monopolistic tendencies do develop. It does run counter to what one would think, but nonetheless, it has happened. I don't know if it is an economies of scale issue or what have you, but in every market that has tried the unfettered course, things have gotten out of hand with respect to concentration and regulators have had to step in with antitrust. Of course, monopolies can charge whatever they want. There is also the issue of collusion between companies.

There really exists no perfectly competitive free market, don't think there ever really has been one. Granted, we were much closer to this before the Teddy Roosevelt era, but there was the rampant protectionism, the massive land grants and subsidies to oil and railroads to build industry in this country, etc. In short, all the things that Milton Friedman and friends would have had serious issues with, if not coronaries over!

Though I agree 100%, the market is the best, most efficient and cost effective way to answer the what to produce, how to produce it and who gets what is produced questions, that does not mean it is always perfect at doing all things. You are talking to a Democrat who has no interest in seeing our system re made along the lines of say, Germany or Sweden and has no problem with the market answering most questions nearly completely(hair salons, convenient stores, condo developments, concert promoting companies...) or to a great extent(health care, college education....)

We let the market do health care to a great extent. And we have, for those with the access, the highest quality care, the best trained doctors, the most innovative research, development and equipment, etc. The reason we have Medicare is because the free market, as good as it is in the areas mentioned, was not taking care of senior citizens, the people who need health care the most.

Now, the idea of increased competition in health care driving down costs is perfectly valid, and it has been used extensively by Obama and Congress in crafting this bill. The exchanges are competitive, they let individuals and small businesses buy from many more companies than the 2 or 3 that likely dominate their home state.

I just do not make the leap from "more competition between companies is good, efficient and drives down costs" to "we would be much better off if we took free enterprise to its most extreme and left everything to it." Because, has I said, though on paper, the extreme of this situation would lead us to believe it is a perfectly competitive utopia, the reality of what has happened when societies were at, or at least closer to this extreme relative to today has been quite different. It has actually been anti competitive and antithetical to the idea of business and competition and efficiency in many ways. This is one of the most fascinating ironies I have ever encountered.

As for it reducing costs enough so that charity is only necessary in very narrow circumstances, my answer is I don't know, but anything is possible. Everything of course would hinge on whether charitable entities could afford to stay up and running faced with the same pressures as for profit or non profit in name only entities.

I am not asking for agreement, but I truly hope I made some sense, I realize my posts are long and far from concise. Thank you for reading!
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:42 AM   #704
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How do you interpret that? If we take it literally, then the government has failed every single person that has died since those words were put to paper – and will eventually fail both you and I – as we are certain to die.

In my opinion, it is referencing the government’s responsibility to protect us from harm at the hands of others.
Protect us from harm? Like being able to protect us from a very preventable disease like diabetes? I interpret that to mean that no child, woman, man live shorter lives just because they're poor. People are dying or living poor quality lives due to diseases that you and I could afford to prevent or treat.

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Do you think it is possible that the free market system could be efficient and innovative enough to lower the costs across the board to a level that charity is only needed in the rarest, most dire occasions?
I absolutely don't. Even with the most incentivized tax breaks... I've never in my life seen an example of anything being completely taken care of by charity.

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I believe you’re only mandated to cover liability for injuries and property damage done to others. I’m not quite sure I see the comparison. It’s about protecting the property rights of others. If you wish to protect your own property – you are welcome (and wise) to do so – but that isn’t compulsory.
But one's poor health due to lack of preventative medicine becomes a drain on everyone else. So in that way it is very much like car insurance.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:05 AM   #705
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If I understand you correctly from your quoting of reason and dislike of regulation, you are talking about the extreme end of the free market spectrum, not the still very free though not quite there US system? If not, sorry in advance.
Yes.For the sake of this discussion I’m quoting sources like reason.com because in general I am a very big proponent of limited government, very limited. While I do understand the need for regulations to keep in step with those that create new schemes which are technically legal but are clearly used to deceive, manipulate, and steal – I certainly do not trust the government (more specifically – career politicians) to be any more noble and honest than the thieves wearing suits, especially since the career politicians depend upon the thieves in suits to fund their campaigns.

Campaign finance reform, as you mentioned, would be a huge step in the right direction. However, we have these folks currently in office that are unlikely to pass new legislation that would probably end their own careers.

My overall fear is that the US citizens will be sold on the notion that the crises is the fault of capitalism, and the career politicians (funded by the thieves in suits) will enact new legislation that will more than likely not protect the common citizen any more than today – but will continue to protect their campaign contributing friends and create more government jobs (therefore voters dependent on these new jobs created to support these new rules).

In theory, I hold the view that politicians must surrender all wealth when elected and will receive a stipend for the rest of their lives that will keep them sheltered, fed, and clothed at exactly the median level of the rest of the US. Practically, I’m not sure what we can do. The incestuous relationship between the political parties and business in nothing more than stealing from the public for their own benefit, and one way or another it will end – for it is ultimately unsustainable. How the cycle gets broken is still something I’m willing to consider.
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:46 AM   #706
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I came across some interesting quotes today – although the article is a few years old, I thought it was relevant to this discussion...

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Originally Posted by ByAlex Epstein(Montegomery Advertiser, September 16, 2007
In America, equality should mean only one thing: freedom for all. If business and wages were deregulated, we would see a dramatic rise in economic opportunity. If education and medicine were left free, with America's businessmen, doctors, and educators liberated to offer education and medicine at all different price points, we would see quality and price improvements like those for computers or flat-panel television sets. But these benefits of freedom require that we recognize the moral right of each individual to enjoy whatever he produces--and recognize that none of us has a right to something for nothing.
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Consider how the wealthiest individuals in any free economy, businessmen, make their money. The job of a businessman is to orchestrate productive enterprises that efficiently coordinate people, resources, and tools to create valuable products. Businessmen profit when they bring out valuable products at desirable prices; thus, they are continually making more, better, and cheaper products for everyone to purchase. Businessmen profit when they make others more productive; thus, they are continually seeking to create new jobs that can add to their bottom line, and providing their workers with as many productivity-enhancing tools and technologies as they can. Businessmen's pursuit of profit has been the driving force behind the incalculable increase in our standard of living over the last 150 years--and economic history shows that the freer they are left to make money, the greater the increase in productivity and wages at all levels.
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What then explains the poor educational opportunities, growing healthcare costs, and stagnating wages that are real problems for many Americans?
Government policies based on the same egalitarian mentality that denounces "income inequality." In the name of giving citizens "equal access" to education and medicine, the government has virtually taken over these fields, placing crippling controls on both producers and consumers. In the name of equalizing income, it enforces minimum-wage and anti-firing laws that make it difficult for eager newcomers to enter the job market. In the name of saving us from the alleged evils of rich Big Business, it enforces endless regulations that apply to every business, decreasing the productivity of all and making it hard for new business ventures to succeed.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:22 PM   #707
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Those are only interesting because they are so completely slanted to one side of the argument

pure propaganda


And, I live in the wealthiest city in America, and have always been a registered Republican.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:42 PM   #708
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I came across some interesting quotes today – although the article is a few years old, I thought it was relevant to this discussion...


these are as foolishly utopian as any aspect of communism.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:52 PM   #709
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Those are only interesting because they are so completely slanted to one side of the argument

pure propaganda


And, I live in the wealthiest city in America, and have always been a registered Republican.
I apologize - I thought it was obvious it was an editorial.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:59 PM   #710
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these are as foolishly utopian as any aspect of communism.
You're right I suppose. I should just pray and hope the public officials will always keep my best interest in mind (while keeping their friends wealthy and protected).
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:49 PM   #711
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I've never in my life seen an example of anything being completely taken care of by charity.
Do you expect better results with government run charity?
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:59 PM   #712
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Do you expect better results with government run charity?
I expect better results from a system that doesn't allow you to deny service because it won't make you a profit. I expect better results in a system that allows those that couldn't before afford preventative medicine.

If you think it's OK to allow profit to determine if your mother lives or dies, then so be it, live by that "principle". I can't.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:11 PM   #713
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However, we have these folks currently in office that are unlikely to pass new legislation that would probably end their own careers.
Yes.

Senator for life Democrat and Senator for life Republican most likely keep viable opposing candidates away by showing them the size of their big business funded war chest.

That would be enough to intimidate me out of running!

So if Senator for life knows that he will likely get bounced should a viable, competent opponent emerge, he will do everything possible to prevent the emergence of such a candidate. One of the easiest ways to do this is to build a big war chest and say "match that, you jerk."

Hard to imagine them giving that up, you are 100% right.

If campaign finance reform were to pass, it would take an enormous dose of "i'm doing what is right for our democracy, personal implications aside" from our elected officials.



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My overall fear is that the US citizens will be sold on the notion that the crises is the fault of capitalism
I fear this too. I hope there is no backlash against what is an ultimately flawed yet still the best system known to man to provide opportunity and quality of life to the greatest number of people.

Unregulated, unfettered, fraud promoting and government crony capitalism, sure, that caused the crisis. So it has its limitations and extremes that can cause issues, but again, this is no different than in any other system.

But capitalism as a system, as a framework of ideas based on private property, entreprneurship, free movement of labor, equal opportunity, merit, etc- far from caused or set up this crisis.

People need to realize, capitalism has its faults, but it ultimately is with us, as a result of the complete and utter failure of every other system tried before it and since its inception(communism).

A flawed human nature in a flawed world will produce a big set of flawed systems. However, I think the evidence shows capitalism, as a means of economic organization, minimizes the flaws and maximizes the benefits the best of any system.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:18 PM   #714
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If you think it's OK to allow profit to determine if your mother lives or dies, then so be it, live by that "principle". I can't.
Working with your example here -

Who would you rather perform critical surgery on your mother - a highly paid veteran doctor that graduated from Johns Hopskins or a community college drop out wearing a hemp Che t-shirt doing it for free?
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:19 PM   #715
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Yes.

Senator for life Democrat and Senator for life Republican most likely keep viable opposing candidates away by showing them the size of their big business funded war chest.

That would be enough to intimidate me out of running!

So if Senator for life knows that he will likely get bounced should a viable, competent opponent emerge, he will do everything possible to prevent the emergence of such a candidate. One of the easiest ways to do this is to build a big war chest and say "match that, you jerk."

Hard to imagine them giving that up, you are 100% right.

If campaign finance reform were to pass, it would take an enormous dose of "i'm doing what is right for our democracy, personal implications aside" from our elected officials.





I fear this too. I hope there is no backlash against what is an ultimately flawed yet still the best system known to man to provide opportunity and quality of life to the greatest number of people.

Unregulated, unfettered, fraud promoting and government crony capitalism, sure, that caused the crisis. So it has its limitations and extremes that can cause issues, but again, this is no different than in any other system.

But capitalism as a system, as a framework of ideas based on private property, entreprneurship, free movement of labor, equal opportunity, merit, etc- far from caused or set up this crisis.

People need to realize, capitalism has its faults, but it ultimately is with us, as a result of the complete and utter failure of every other system tried before it and since its inception(communism).

A flawed human nature in a flawed world will produce a big set of flawed systems. However, I think the evidence shows capitalism, as a means of economic organization, minimizes the flaws and maximizes the benefits the best of any system.
I agree with all of this. You're a Democrat?


j/k
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:24 PM   #716
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Who would you rather perform critical surgery on your mother - a highly paid veteran doctor that graduated from Johns Hopskins or a community college drop out wearing a hemp Che t-shirt doing it for free?
I thought the death panels would have already made this a moot point.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:40 PM   #717
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Working with your example here -

Who would you rather perform critical surgery on your mother - a highly paid veteran doctor that graduated from Johns Hopskins or a community college drop out wearing a hemp Che t-shirt doing it for free?
Using this example, just makes you sound a little grumpy and uninformed.

Even in the most socialized countries drop outs aren't doctors.

I'll tell you who I'd prefer, someone who got into medicine for the right reasons.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:48 PM   #718
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I'll tell you who I'd prefer, someone who got into medicine for the right reasons.
...someone who would go through 8 to 10 years of schooling/training in order to work for free and live in equal poverty? Hopefully he can find somone like himself to work on him when he gets ill...
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:23 PM   #719
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...someone who would go through 8 to 10 years of schooling/training in order to work for free and live in equal poverty? Hopefully he can find somone like himself to work on him when he gets ill...
Work for free and live in equal poverty?

You've went from rational discussion to sounding like a Glenn Beck listener in two posts.

The days of doctors being in two tax brackets above their patients has slowly been fading away. When I was in medical device sales I knew reps that were making more than most of their doctors.

Part of it was their insurance, which I agree needs to change. But tort reform needs to happen separately from health reform. The second was reimbursement, the insurance companies are bleeding everyone dry except themselves. They would give you an OK for surgery and then do a post surgical review and say that isn't covered. Reimbursement may not be as high with this new system but it will be more consistent.

A hospital I work with here in town has about 60% of their patients covered with insurance. But only looking at a 38% rate of reimbursement for the last several years. That's fucking ridiculous.
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:02 PM   #720
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...someone who would go through 8 to 10 years of schooling/training in order to work for free and live in equal poverty? Hopefully he can find somone like himself to work on him when he gets ill...
Sources?
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