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Member since: Fri Jul 13, 2012, 12:38 PM
Number of posts: 653

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For clarity, I'm not that hung up on the capitalist standpoint

When 45,000 people are dying without healthcare, I don't need the capitalism argument to motivate me but for those running into the socialism rebuttal, it might be handy. I do believe in the economic benefits that I pointed out though.

Obamacare isn't a perfect solution. Single payer has flaws too but I think it can work pretty well.

The big thing about Obamacare is that it's going forward. They don't have to try to get a 60 seat majority in the Senate, a majority in the House and a sympathetic president to go through that terrible argument again.

When America finds out that there are no death panels, etc, and see some encouraging numbers in health care costs, I think Obamacare will appeal much more over time and it will become more like Medicare - they won't be able to get rid of it. And the focus will become how this imperfect legislation can be improved - which will likely move it towards Medicare for all - with a few stages of amendments.

Here's a way I pitched it to my GOP leaning sister

My sister's initial reaction to my comments about healthcare was to suggest shock that I'd become a socialist.

List of countries by total health expenditure (PPP) per capita
US $7,960
Canada $4,363
Difference = 7,960-4363 = $3,597 heath care savings per person

If the US went to Canada's system (which from what I've seen is better than Medicare), the US would save:

311,591,917 US people x $3,597 per person = $1.12 Trillion health care savings per year.
Some of those savings would be saved by the government, some by business and some by the people who pay for their health care.

And the part overlooked in a lot of health care discussions and number crunching is the economic impact that concerns capitalists:
- The work force would be healthier and therefore, more productive.
- Companies would make more money because cost of employment of their labor would be reduced
- US citizens would have more disposable income that would boost the US economy
- Each job would cost about $7,200 less which would make employment in the US more competitive in the world and bring jobs back to the US.
- Because more jobs would come back to the US, more value add would be done in the US and reduce the US trade deficit as more products made or services performed in the US would be purchased by Americans and more products made or services performed in the US would be sold to other countries.
- And of course, the federal and state deficits would be significantly reduced with lower health care costs.
- bankruptcies and court costs would go way down
- cost of borrowing/mortgages would go down because the risk of loaning is reduced with the elimination of most healthcare bankruptcies. As a result, more capital would flow into the economy to give it a boost

The major losers would be the health care insurance companies and those health care professionals who thought the Hippocratic Oath meant making an absurd bundle off sick people.

Aside from a general improvement in the quality of life of the average American:
US Life Expectancy 78.2 (38th ranked)
Canada Life Expectancy 80.7 years (12th ranked)
US citizens would likely live about 2.5 years longer while spending $1.12 trillion less per year to acquire those extra years of life
And we have a good idea that's true because 45,000 US citizens would stop dying each year because they don't have health care:
45,000 US people per year aren't just losing an ideological argument about capitalism. They're losing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness forever. But the US is willing to spend trillions to avenge 3,000 deaths one time on 9/11 but not address 45,000 dying per year - which just blows my mind.

One can bicker about the precision of the numbers I've used above. But the general theme is accurate. The US can afford to have the best health care in the world because the US is already paying much more than any other country in the world now. The US is just getting a terrible bang for it's health care buck with devastating results ... economically, socially, etc.

The duty of capitalists in business is to find ways to produce their products and services cheaper, better and more efficiently to maximize their bottom line. 45+ years ago, Canada tried the above with no detrimental effect on capitalism. In fact, it makes Canadian businesses more competitive around the world in their capitalist system. The US has tried what they have for the last 45 years and the results are plain to see. It hasn't worked. Capitalists have to look to the bottom line when things aren't working and try something else - particularly when they can see someone else or another country who has proven that another solution can work much better over the last 45 years. It's in the capitalists best interest to hold their nose and socialize healthcare (ignoring the other stronger philosophical/ideological arguments).

So my GOP leaning sister voted for Obama.

I don't understand the attack on Rice beyond partisan reasons

The Sept 15th CIA memo supported her account of events
that were known at that time.

I've followed her since 2007 or so when she was involved as an adviser to the Obama campaign. I reviewed her bio back then and I've had no issues with her. She seems quite capable.

I think Obama has been trying to do all three.

#2 (Firm but nice) & #3 (the long view) are in his control and that's largely been his style and approach.

#1 he tried pretty hard. He went to meet with them at their conference. He invited them to the White House. He named a number of Republicans and Hillary to his cabinet (Gregg reneged).

For #1 to work, it takes two. When the GOP met during the inauguration to plot on not cooperating, etc. It was pretty much doomed. And he's tried in policy:
- Obamacare was a GOP devised approach
- the Dream Act was written and sponsored by GOP legislators
- GOP congressmen & Senators who tried to compromise got primaried

The GOP Pundits and Romney campaign only have two general excuses

1. We lied.
2. We're incompetent in reading polls.

Dick is has to go with #1 while avoiding #2 because reading polls has been his only gig to get money. In his case, admitting he lied is the lesser of two evils for future income.

Rove can't admit #1 because admitting he effectively defrauded the billionaires would affect his ability to raise money (his power) in the future so he's got to blame the polling experts.

But Rove is in real trouble because Nate Silver, Dr Sam Wang, Drew Linzer and now Dick Morris prove that the polls could be read accurately.

Michael Lewis did an interview on Bloomberg a while back

that I posted here.

He was asked if a CEO's experience was a good qualification for president and he responded that he didn't think so.

A Chairman of the Board and Owner of a company is the God of that company. Everything he says and does that is lawful goes. He has 100% complete control to hire, fire or delegate employees to do whatever he wants that company to do. He can go into other markets/businesses or get out of other markets/businesses. He can set prices and wages, etc. The CEO is the primary and final decision maker.

Although regarded as "the most powerful man in the world", the president doesn't have that same power as a CEO. He has that authority over those employed directly by the administration with some strings attached. for example, he has to get congressional approval to hire key "management" - the cabinet. And if he fires someone, that also can come under scrutiny by congress - as can nearly any decision he makes by the media and congress - unlike most CEOs.

The president can influence who becomes a judge with nominations. But the final decision and approval is with congress. And once he's made that pick, he can't make the decisions that that judge will ultimately make - he can't fire that judge. So he doesn't have much control over the judicial branch as we saw with Citizens United.

And we've certainly seen that the President doesn't have much control over congress over the last four years - even when his party has a majority in both houses. He's an influencer of that decision process only if his party has some control within one of those houses but not the final decision maker like a CEO - with the exception of a veto to stop a bad decision.

I think a guy like Romney who has been a CEO would find the presidency quite an adjustment and frustrating because he can't control as much of what goes on as many people think.

The president has a bunch of control over foreign policy but even there, diplomacy is required. Now a CEO usually possesses a component of that: salesmanship. But even there, as the president, salesmanship has it's limitations and isn't the same thing - pitching to potential customers vs trying to get along with foreign adversaries that may be trying to kill you literally.

Even the economics is considerably different. A CEO is usually focused on making a bottom line profit. The US government is not trying to make a profit on Medicare, Social Security, Military spending, etc - they're non profit entities while that's the lion's share of the country's expenses. And the economics is not purely market driven within a slice of the economy like a CEO faces - it's macro economics with currency, inflation, interest rates, tax incentives, median incomes, etc - a different economic problem than what the CEO encounters.

Having experience as a CEO is a nice to have experience but far from a requirement for president because the jobs are truly so different.

People often overlook that Barack Obama has run a couple of billion dollar entities pretty darn well: his campaigns in the 2008 primary and general election & the 2012 general election cleaned his rivals clock in generating direct revenues and how smartly those campaigns managed their money/expenses. He hired great management and staff. The effort was focused, lawful and disciplined. The marketing was slicker with "Change we can believe in", etc and the more effective advertising. The technology was better from internet financing, messaging and supporting the ground game. And all those campaigns were run much better than his rivals on a business level (Clinton, McCain & Romney).

As others have noted, Lincoln, Roosevelt & Reagan and the vast majority of US presidents had no CEO experience.


From top post:
"He never served in the military and he's never run a business." I mentioned to him that I haven't served in the military to which he replied "Well, neither have I, but my father did!"

Stanley Dunham was much more of a father to Barack than Obama Sr - who spent just a few weeks with him when he was old enough to remember it.

Stanley Dunham is the grandfather of Barack Obama. He was born in 1918 and served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II, enlisting just after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Stanley and his wife Madelyn raised Obama in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Charles Thomas Payne: Great-uncle of Barack Obama, younger brother of Madelyn Dunham, born 1925. Served during World War II in the U.S. Army 89th Infantry Division (cleduc - 89th division was part of General George Patton's Third US Army).[35] Obama has often described Payne's role in liberating Ohrdruf forced labor camp.
Ralph Dunham: Great-uncle of Barack Obama, older brother of Stanley Dunham, born 1916. He served in the U.S. Army as an assignment and personnel officer during World War II, landing at Normandy's Omaha Easy Red Beach on D-Day plus four, working his way through France, Italy and Germany.[40][41]

Madelyn Lee Payne Dunham: Barack Obama's maternal grandmother
During World War II, .... Madelyn worked the night shift on a Boeing B-29 assembly line in Wichita.

That is as American a family history as apple pie.

I've been saying the same thing.

Couldn't agree more.

I don't disagree with that either

It does bring to mind the larger and more serious issue: the quality of the political media in general.

To some extent, the bogus GOP polls and the conservative pundit talking points didn't just affect FOX news - it poisoned a good portion of the mainstream media.

And that's been happening since before Obama got elected in 2008. It now seems to be standard procedure for the GOP to manipulate the "liberal media" they complain about.

They were successful to the extent that a lying SOB like Romney should never have been remotely close. And that began long before Romney was nominated - before McCain lost with the birther crap and all the other crap used to demonized and de-legitimizate Obama with bogus info or claims.

It's a pretty serious state of affairs when the great arbiter for democracy: the media, can be bought or so severely swayed in such a dishonest manner. All this election did was dodge that bullet. Anyone thinking this election stopped that crap is fooling themselves. Things like Citizens United need to get overturned and things like voter suppression stopped. On Remembrance Day, I'm sure the vast majority of dead soldiers didn't fight so that billionaires could buy elections and the vote of the average person could be suppressed. Those of my family who gave their lives sure didn't.

I often don't agree with Joe but I do on this

I've looked at the polling in prior posts that leaves little doubt in my mind.

And I realize this conclusion isn't a shock to most around here. I mean the GOP party was pimping the biggest lying candidate in US election history.

But on top of what Frum said, there is some value in another conservative voice being added. Hopefully, it turns into a loud chorus
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