Democracy - how to achieve it?

Previous Topic Next Topic
 
classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
33 messages Options
12
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Democracy - how to achieve it?

GS Chandy
On Democracy
============
 
There appears to be considerable foncusion about just what 'democracy' might be (and how to bring it about in specific nations).  

My own country, India, while it DOES have elections that can be shown to be reasonably 'free' (and 'fair') by most standards, is actually far from being democratic.  It turns out, on examination, that most elections held under conditions of 'nominal electoral democracy' (which is what I call our 'democracy' in India) are in fact profoundly flawed in nature - not democratic at all.

I believe the USA also is far from bring truly democratic, in practice on the ground.

I believed it would be well worth the time and effort to try and find out just what this wonderful beastie, 'democracy', might be.  

So, I started with my own favorite definition:

My definition of Democracy:
-- government OF the people;
-- BY the people;
-- FOR the people.  

What we actually have achieved in India is only:

-- government OF the people;
-- BY some of the people;
-- FOR a few of the people.

This is evidently a far cry from true democracy.  How then can we move to become a true democracy?  Is this going to be possible at all?  (From whatever I've been able to gauge about the USA, I believe the US too is in this kind of situation).  

I used Google to investigate a bit further about just what 'democracy' might be.  And discovered the following:

A: Merriam-Webster Definition (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democracy):
Usage 1.
a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority
b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections

B: Free online dictionary - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/democracy
Usage 1 is more or less the same as the Merriam-Webster Definition

(Therefore, the definition I am using passes muster).

C: Wikipedia has a very useful entry at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy, which contains much useful background.

D: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/democracy/

A most useful article indeed, providing much food for thought and action.  I strongly recommend this piece for anyone needing some authoritative and insightful ideas on the subject.  In particular, the Stanford Encyclopedia's ideas on 'normative democracy' are worth close study - this may help people wishing to move towards true democracy from whatever they have in place at any specific moment of time.

There are more than 18 MMMMMMMMMillion links to 'democracy' on Google.  I have not even looked at more than a very few of these.  My aim is only to try and arrive at a reasonable understanding for myself of 'democracy', which I could pass on to my grandchildren, who are studying it in school - and to help me try and develop tools to enable development of democratic practices in organizations and in society in India.

Here are a couple of common understandings of what 'democracy' is/how it comes about in a nation.  Some of them seem to be 'misunderstandings' (in my view).

1) The regular conduct of 'free' and 'fair' elections means the nation is democratic.  Not true at all.

It seems to be true enough that 'free' and 'fair' elections are NECESSARY for democracy - but such elections are not SUFFICIENT to ensure the practice of democracy (as we have seen in India).
 
2) Democracy is 'easy' to practice.  NOT TRUE AT ALL!  It requires relentless effort by citizens to first win democracy (even 'nominal democracy', such as what we've achieved in India); and then it takes more regular effort on the part of sizable numbers of those citizens to ensure that the hardwon nominal democracy moves towards becoming a true democracy.

3) Capitalism is an essential pre-requisite for democracy.  Not necessarily true at all!  Haim and his cohorts and consorts are, I believe, regularly making this grievous error.

4) Socialism is an essential pre-requisite for democracy.    I believe Paul A. Tanner believes this to be the case.  In my view, this is not necessarily true - though the 'socialist paradigm' is closer to 'democracy' than is the 'capitalist paradigm';  as Soviet Russia and the horrifying gulags of Stalinist times proved, it is all too easy to slip from a humane view of 'society as it could be' (implicit in Marx) into something else entirely.

5) 'Mathematical economics' is helpful to ensure 'equity' in society; this appears to be Paul A. Tanner's view.  Not necessarily true at all (in my view).  Most of the extant and operating economics is, in my view, still the 'dismal non-science'.  Mathematics may well be a very useful tool to help us develop economics into a science - but that has not been accomplished at this point of time.  The profound insights into 'economics of systems' of Georgescu-Roegen (and others) do not seem to have been developed into a usable set of tools for operating our  societal, financial and economic systems.

6) 'Microdemocracy' is useful to promote 'democracy'.  In my view, this idea of Kirby Urner's is entirely justified.  My reasoning goes like this: if two people working together can learn to practice democratic behavior, then it may become possible for more people to practice democratic behavior - which may then lead to democracy in larger groups and perhaps even in whole nations.

7) The 'One Page Management System' (OPMS) - a systems aid to problem solving and decision making developed from the seminal contributions to systems of the late John N. Warfield* - is, I believe, a most useful tool to help us learn what democracy really might be and then to move our society towards democracy.  *Professor Emeritus, George Mason University (GMU), Fairfax, VA, USA.  More information about Warfield's developments is available from http://www.jnwarfield.com and from the "John N. Warfield Collection" held at the GMU library (see http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=gmu/vifgm00008.xml;query=;).  The OPMS goes a step further in that it enables individuals and groups at any level to apply the sophisticated concepts of systems science, with minimal preparation, to issues and concerns of direct concern to them.  

Some documentation about the OPMS is provided in the attachments herewith.

GSC

01_OPMS___in_Outline.doc (224K) Download Attachment
04 OPMS Deep Logic.doc (91K) Download Attachment
03 How a child learns2.doc (58K) Download Attachment
Some Missions of Interest.ppt (4M) Download Attachment
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

Gary Tupper
GS Chandy has submitted a comprehensive summary of what democracy might be considered to be. It is also perhaps worth considering the alternatives (what democracy is not) eg dictatorship/ oligarchy/theocracy etc.

What are the benefits of democracy? Well to name one, it allows for the 'losing side/s' to do so gracefully. Ie it allows for the prevailing side to go ahead and do the 'wrong thing' in the eyes of their adversaries - without leading to hostilities.

Is a party system necessary for a functioning democracy? I would say so, for a jurisdiction of any considerable size. Although I am not sold on a 2 party model - since both parties then regress to the 'centre'. 3 or more parties will allow for actual differences in positions.

And what about the society - can a society with great differences in wealth/education/health care etc remain democratic? I tend to doubt it. A robust & dominant middle class seems a prerequisite. And there is always the danger of elections/politicians being 'bought'.

And what about responsibilities? The art of compromise comes first to mind - for elected officials. And for citizens - the responsibility to be informed and active. Can a society where 30% vote be 'democratic'.

Gary Tupper, Canada - not fully democratic, but hopefully "getting there"

On 12/9/2012 5:56 AM, GS Chandy wrote:
On Democracy
============
 
There appears to be considerable foncusion about just what 'democracy' might be (and how to bring it about in specific nations).  

My own country, India, while it DOES have elections that can be shown to be reasonably 'free' (and 'fair') by most standards, is actually far from being democratic.  It turns out, on examination, that most elections held under conditions of 'nominal electoral democracy' (which is what I call our 'democracy' in India) are in fact profoundly flawed in nature - not democratic at all.

I believe the USA also is far from bring truly democratic, in practice on the ground.

I believed it would be well worth the time and effort to try and find out just what this wonderful beastie, 'democracy', might be.  

So, I started with my own favorite definition:

My definition of Democracy: 
-- government OF the people; 
-- BY the people; 
-- FOR the people.  

What we actually have achieved in India is only:

-- government OF the people;
-- BY some of the people;
-- FOR a few of the people.

This is evidently a far cry from true democracy.  How then can we move to become a true democracy?  Is this going to be possible at all?  (From whatever I've been able to gauge about the USA, I believe the US too is in this kind of situation).  

I used Google to investigate a bit further about just what 'democracy' might be.  And discovered the following:

A: Merriam-Webster Definition (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democracy):
Usage 1.
a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority
b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections 

B: Free online dictionary - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/democracy
Usage 1 is more or less the same as the Merriam-Webster Definition

(Therefore, the definition I am using passes muster).

C: Wikipedia has a very useful entry at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy, which contains much useful background.

D: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/democracy/

A most useful article indeed, providing much food for thought and action.  I strongly recommend this piece for anyone needing some authoritative and insightful ideas on the subject.  In particular, the Stanford Encyclopedia's ideas on 'normative democracy' are worth close study - this may help people wishing to move towards true democracy from whatever they have in place at any specific moment of time.

There are more than 18 MMMMMMMMMillion links to 'democracy' on Google.  I have not even looked at more than a very few of these.  My aim is only to try and arrive at a reasonable understanding for myself of 'democracy', which I could pass on to my grandchildren, who are studying it in school - and to help me try and develop tools to enable development of democratic practices in organizations and in society in India.

Here are a couple of common understandings of what 'democracy' is/how it comes about in a nation.  Some of them seem to be 'misunderstandings' (in my view).

1) The regular conduct of 'free' and 'fair' elections means the nation is democratic.  Not true at all.

It seems to be true enough that 'free' and 'fair' elections are NECESSARY for democracy - but such elections are not SUFFICIENT to ensure the practice of democracy (as we have seen in India).
 
2) Democracy is 'easy' to practice.  NOT TRUE AT ALL!  It requires relentless effort by citizens to first win democracy (even 'nominal democracy', such as what we've achieved in India); and then it takes more regular effort on the part of sizable numbers of those citizens to ensure that the hardwon nominal democracy moves towards becoming a true democracy.

3) Capitalism is an essential pre-requisite for democracy.  Not necessarily true at all!  Haim and his cohorts and consorts are, I believe, regularly making this grievous error.

4) Socialism is an essential pre-requisite for democracy.    I believe Paul A. Tanner believes this to be the case.  In my view, this is not necessarily true - though the 'socialist paradigm' is closer to 'democracy' than is the 'capitalist paradigm';  as Soviet Russia and the horrifying gulags of Stalinist times proved, it is all too easy to slip from a humane view of 'society as it could be' (implicit in Marx) into something else entirely.

5) 'Mathematical economics' is helpful to ensure 'equity' in society; this appears to be Paul A. Tanner's view.  Not necessarily true at all (in my view).  Most of the extant and operating economics is, in my view, still the 'dismal non-science'.  Mathematics may well be a very useful tool to help us develop economics into a science - but that has not been accomplished at this point of time.  The profound insights into 'economics of systems' of Georgescu-Roegen (and others) do not seem to have been developed into a usable set of tools for operating our  societal, financial and economic systems.

6) 'Microdemocracy' is useful to promote 'democracy'.  In my view, this idea of Kirby Urner's is entirely justified.  My reasoning goes like this: if two people working together can learn to practice democratic behavior, then it may become possible for more people to practice democratic behavior - which may then lead to democracy in larger groups and perhaps even in whole nations.

7) The 'One Page Management System' (OPMS) - a systems aid to problem solving and decision making developed from the seminal contributions to systems of the late John N. Warfield* - is, I believe, a most useful tool to help us learn what democracy really might be and then to move our society towards democracy.  *Professor Emeritus, George Mason University (GMU), Fairfax, VA, USA.  More information about Warfield's developments is available from http://www.jnwarfield.com and from the "John N. Warfield Collection" held at the GMU library (see http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=gmu/vifgm00008.xml;query=;).  The OPMS goes a step further in that it enables individuals and groups at any level to apply the sophisticated concepts of systems science, with minimal preparation, to issues an!
d concer
ns of direct concern to them.   

Some documentation about the OPMS is provided in the attachments herewith.

GSC

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

kirby urner-4
In reply to this post by GS Chandy
On Sun, Dec 9, 2012 at 5:56 AM, GS Chandy <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 6) 'Microdemocracy' is useful to promote 'democracy'.  In my view, this idea of Kirby Urner's is entirely justified.  My reasoning goes like this: if two people working together can learn to practice democratic behavior, then it may become possible for more people to practice democratic behavior - which may then lead to democracy in larger groups and perhaps even in whole nations.
>

Yes, I'm interested in "village democracy" where a village might be
the size of say a former military base in Washington State and/or
Okinawa.

There's contact with the outside world, and some turnover in the
makeup of the residents.

We've seen a lot of interest on "co-housing" and other such uses of
real estate over the last several decades.  I'm building on that
trend, plus introducing more in the way of software.

Picture a software package based somewhat on the Wild West as a theme,
with roles of sheriff, mayor, councilor, judge, deputy sheriff and so
on.  Out of the box, you have shared public meetings, web sites where
the minutes get posted, lots of ideas for email CCs i.e. who should
get what emails depending on the topic.  Lots of templates, built-in
wisdom about the need of a small town.

However, the community itself is not some dusty bare survival town on
the edge of civilization.

Using the Wild West as a theme does not imply lots of irresponsible
gun play or bank and train robberies.  We're talking about high tech
lifestyles, an airstrip, lots of domed enclosures (planetarium etc.).

To have a focus on such small democracies with rotating positions and
polling / voting systems, does not preclude an interest in so-called
"big governments".

I think Paul doesn't understand that.  In looking at a network of
refugee camps linking together to form a quasi-state or virtual state
(not necessarily recognized by the United Nations as such), I'm not
turning my back on citizens of mega-states.

I just think innovation proceeds at a faster pace, and with greater
frequency, at a smaller scale.

Paul also thinks the US is in a position to follow Sweden, but I think
psychologically the US is not mature enough at this point.  Remember
the US and Sweden all but severed diplomatic relations during the
Vietnam War.  Sweden was highly critical of the US in this chapter.

This proves that the Feds have a very different mindset from the
Swedes.  One cannot expect the Feds to have anything close to the
collective intelligence of Swedes, if history is any guide.

That's why I think my interest in letting companies offer health
packages that take people out of North America for some procedures and
treatments, if not physically then jurisdictionally.

Perhaps I could buy into a Swedish outfit that helped run a network of
hospitals and hospital cruise ships.  My contribution to the plan
would be deducted from my pay check.  I could do this without
surrendering US citizenship.

I can well imagine global health care networks that offer care
packages in various shapes and sizes.  It might be nice if the Feds
were a part of the solution, not part of the problem, but evidence
suggests such competence is not there.  We can't afford to just sit on
our hands and wait for the Feds to become intelligent, contributing
world citizens.

Kirby

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

Robert Hansen
In reply to this post by Gary Tupper

On Dec 9, 2012, at 3:30 PM, Gary Tupper <[hidden email]> wrote:

GS Chandy has submitted a comprehensive summary of what democracy might be considered to be.

Both of you seem to be conflating democracy with economics and give short shrift to liberty, justice and freedom. Keep it simple Gary. The haves and have nots.

Bob Hansen
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

Gary Tupper
On 12/9/2012 2:09 PM, Robert Hansen wrote:

On Dec 9, 2012, at 3:30 PM, Gary Tupper <[hidden email]> wrote:

GS Chandy has submitted a comprehensive summary of what democracy might be considered to be.

Both of you seem to be conflating democracy with economics and give short shrift to liberty, justice and freedom. Keep it simple Gary. The haves and have nots.

Bob Hansen
Robert: I take liberty, justice & freedom as 'givens' in a proper democracy - they are the fruits of a functioning democracy. But the rub is that these should be available to all citizens: the liberty to be poor, the justice for the select and the freedom to remain disadvantaged are not what I have in mind.

If Haiti & Syria are 'democracies' then heaven help us.

Gary
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

He, Jing Yun
In reply to this post by GS Chandy
I think that India needs to work out the problem how to improve ordinary people life by providing reasonable houses for people who live in not-so-good living conditions and by helping them obtain jobs so that they can live a life like most Chinese do. Democracy is something discussed about after solving this problem. It seems to me that Indian has democracy on the surface but its democracy does not benefit India. China does not have democracy but its government has accomplished something!
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

kirby urner-4
On Sun, Dec 9, 2012 at 3:04 PM, He, Jing Yun
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> I think that India needs to work out the problem how to improve ordinary people life by providing reasonable houses for people who live in not-so-good living conditions and by helping them obtain jobs so that they can live a life like most Chinese do. Democracy is something discussed about after solving this problem. It seems to me that Indian has democracy on the surface but its democracy does not benefit India. China does not have democracy but its government has accomplished something!


In a refugee camp, the reality for most people may be tents.  Tents
need not be a terrible thing if done correctly.

Some institutions provide only a small apartment space, more a
compartment space, for sleeping and changing clothes.  A modicum of
privacy is provided and some insulation regarding sound.  The bathing
and toilet facilities, kitchens, entertainment and other communal
areas such as meeting and workspaces, libraries, are mostly shared.

This may sound like "low living standards" but consider that college
dorms, nursing homes. cruise ships, many follow a similar pattern.
Cooking facilities are not provided with each sleep space.
Individualized sleeping spaces are way more private than rooms of
bunks which is how many people sleep in a small volume.

In any case, democratic forms of administration should be possible in
such circumstances as well.  The idea that you cant' have democracy
unless every participant is a "gentleman farmer" on at least 10 acres
of land has romantic roots in some theories, but lets not begin with
such restrictive assumptions.

Kirby
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

GS Chandy
In reply to this post by GS Chandy
He, Jing Yun (HJY) posted Dec 10, 2012 4:34 AM:

>
> I think that India needs to work out the problem how
> to improve ordinary people life by providing
> reasonable houses for people who live in not-so-good
> living conditions and by helping them obtain jobs so
> that they can live a life like most Chinese do.
> Democracy is something discussed about after solving
> this problem. It seems to me that Indian has
> democracy on the surface but its democracy does not
> benefit India. China does not have democracy but its
> government has accomplished something!
>
Robert Hansen (RH) posted on Dec 10, 2012 3:39 AM (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7934614) that GSC (along with Gary Tupper) seemed
> to be conflating democracy with economics and give
> short shrift to liberty, justice and freedom. Keep it
> simple. The haves and have nots.
>
> Bob Hansen
 
I'm generally in agreement with HJY that India has some democratic institutions and instruments 'on the surface' but this has not (adequately) benefited a great many (far too many) Indians.   AND also that China indeed - with little or nothing in the way of what is commonly understood to be democratic practice' on the surface - appears to have brought most Chinese people out of poverty and want.

It should NOT be inferred from the above that I am suggesting that India should go the route that China took.

I AM suggesting that the tools described in the attachments at the head of the post starting this thread could help:

- -- India in practice to bring about a real, much-needed transformation, through democratic means (deeper than 'democratic elections'), in the lives of its people.  I know that a great many Indians do want this to happen.  It does have to happen pdq if we are to survive as a nation much longer.  (This is my prime focus of interest and attention).

- -- China in practice to bring about a real, much-needed democratic transformation in China that could help it do - practically on the ground - MUCH more than it has succeeded in achieving to date: there is still a lot of poverty and deprivation in China amongst common people.

There is a lot that China does have to do (most urgently) in-house in order to gain real respect in the world.  In general, such Missions are for citizens of China like HJY to work towards.  I observe that there are many Chinese citizens - e.g. Ai WeiWei, for one well-known example - who are actually working, in practice on the ground, to alter the societal systems in China: such tools as I have described could help them very significantly indeed.  

- -- USA in practice to bring about a real, much-needed democratic transformation in the USA that could help it become - practically on the ground - the real 'leader of the free world' that it has incorrectly touted itself to be ever since when.   There is a lot that the USA does have to do in-house in order to become a 'leader of the free world' in reality rather than merely in empty slogans.  

I do want to observe to RH that he should try to learn to understand just what he has read before he falsely claims that GSC is "conflating democracy with economics and (giving) short shrift to liberty, justice and freedom".  

[I'd believe that RH is equally mistaken in ascribing such "conflation" to Gary Tupper as well].  

The tools that I suggest for problem-solving and decision making could help him work on Missions like:

- -- "to understand more accurately what I have read".  (But he has to want to do that).
- -- "to learn to use my own mother-tongue (US English) with some clarity and precision".  This is a most urgent need, as I see it, for RH - but he has got to want to do it.

If he were able somehow to work on such 'simple' Missions, that would very significantly help him to take up higher-level Missions as well.

GSC
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

Paul Tanner
In reply to this post by kirby urner-4
On Sun, Dec 9, 2012 at 3:44 PM, kirby urner <[hidden email]> wrote:
...

>
> Paul also thinks the US is in a position to follow Sweden, but I think
> psychologically the US is not mature enough at this point.  Remember
> the US and Sweden all but severed diplomatic relations during the
> Vietnam War.  Sweden was highly critical of the US in this chapter.
>
> This proves that the Feds have a very different mindset from the
> Swedes.  One cannot expect the Feds to have anything close to the
> collective intelligence of Swedes, if history is any guide.
>
> That's why I think my interest in letting companies offer health
> packages that take people out of North America for some procedures and
> treatments, if not physically then jurisdictionally.
>
> Perhaps I could buy into a Swedish outfit that helped run a network of
> hospitals and hospital cruise ships.  My contribution to the plan
> would be deducted from my pay check.  I could do this without
> surrendering US citizenship.
>
> I can well imagine global health care networks that offer care
> packages in various shapes and sizes.  It might be nice if the Feds
> were a part of the solution, not part of the problem, but evidence
> suggests such competence is not there.  We can't afford to just sit on
> our hands and wait for the Feds to become intelligent, contributing
> world citizens.
>
> Kirby

All of the above is just more BS about "those evil Feds".

Would Kirby have been in favor of "those evil Feds" helping blacks in
the South during the civil rights struggles of the 20th century,
knowing that "those evil Feds" via federal laws were the only hope for
those blacks? Or would he have promoted then what he promotes here,
promoting that since "those Feds are evil", the blacks would just have
to accept having to go to the bathroom in buckets they had to carry
with them? (This last is a reference to the fact of life for blacks
during segregation in the South, where if they traveled, they would
have to take buckets to pee in and defecate in, since the vast
majority if public places did not allow blacks into the restrooms -
they did not have two separate facilities for the differences
"races".) Would Kirby have been against all that federal civil rights
legislation?

Meanwhile, the suffering and death toll mounts in the US because of
lack or health care because people like Kirby stand in the way of the
only thing that could end all this suffering and death, which is
"those evil Feds" doing today what they did then in the 20th century,
realize that we are in a civil rights crisis that only "the evil Feds"
have the power to end, and use that power and end it.

One wonders because of how he talks so negatively about the US
government whether Kirby is actually promoting the killing of Medicare
and Medicaid (note that half of Medicaid goes to fund nursing home
care for poor old people), which would result in throwing all the old
people out into the streets and letting them all rot to death with no
health care or nursing home care.

Yes, that is what would be guaranteed to happen because I proved in

"Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7934201

and in prior posts

"Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7933893

and

"Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7933416

including all the links I gave that mathematically private charity
could never meet any more than a tiny few percentage points of the
total need.

I mean, all I'm talking about is simply more funding for these
existing programs so that the out of pocket costs could be lowered and
so that they could be expanded to everyone in the country who would
want to be on them.

I think people like Kirby have zero appreciation for how helpful
Medicare and Medicaid are to those who are on these programs - and how
viciously cruel it is to promote that those on these programs should
be thrown off them, or to promote that those not on those programs
should not be allowed on them even though these programs are the only
hope for the vast majority of those not on them to end their suffering
from no health care.

Note: And no BS that these programs are poorly run. Medicare Parts A
and B are vastly better run than private insurance companies in terms
of what is called the medical loss ratio, which is the percentage of
money going into the plan that actually gets spent on health care.
Roughly 97% of all Medicare Parts A and B money actually goes to
health care, while the average for the private health insurance
industry has been plummeting to where it now is only about 80%:

See what former insurance company executive Wendell Potter says - he
is now telling the truth about what they actually do.

"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x2419859

"WENDELL POTTER: Well, there's a measure of profitability that
investors look to, and it's called a medical loss ratio. And it's
unique to the health insurance industry. And by medical loss ratio, I
mean that it's a measure that tells investors or anyone else how much
of a premium dollar is used by the insurance company to actually pay
medical claims. And that has been shrinking, over the years, since the
industry's been dominated by, or become dominated by for-profit
insurance companies. Back in the early '90s, or back during the time
that the Clinton plan was being debated, 95 cents out of every dollar
was sent, you know, on average was used by the insurance companies to
pay claims. Last year, it was down to just slightly above 80 percent.

...

There was a time, in the early 1990s, when health insurance companies
devoted more than 95 cents out of every premium dollar to paying
doctors and hospitals for taking care of their members. No more. Since
President Bill Clinton's health reform plan died 15 years ago, the
health insurance industry has come to be dominated by a handful of
insurance companies that answer to Wall Street investors, and they
have changed that basic math. Today, insurers only pay about 81 cents
of each premium dollar on actual medical care. The rest is consumed by
rising profits, grotesque executive salaries, huge administrative
expenses, the cost of weeding out people with pre-existing conditions
and claims review designed to wear out patients with denials and
disapprovals of the care they need the most."

And Kirby thinks this obscenity by the insurance companies is good,
and at the same it is horrible what "those evil Feds" are doing,
saving countless lives and preventing vast amounts of suffering via
Medicare and Medicaid with that 97% efficiency?

I say it again: Let no one complain about "harsh light".
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

GS Chandy
In reply to this post by GS Chandy
Responding to Paul Tanner's (PT's) post dated Dec 10, 2012 7:55 AM (pasted for reference below my signature):

From my 'outsider view', I'd generally agree with PT's claim that 'private charity' would never be able successfully to take up the Mission of 'health care' of a nation, be it the USA or India or China.  In my view, there would have to be some kind of 'societal initiative' to accomplish national health care in the least successfully.  

I believe that PT may be mistaken in his idea that Kirby Urner is advocating that national health care be taken up by private charity.  For instance, here is a quote from what Kirby had posted:
>>
>> This proves that the Feds have a very different
>> mindset from the Swedes. One cannot expect the Feds to
>> have anything close to the collective intelligence of
>> Swedes, if history is any guide.
>>
To which circumstance, the evident 'solution' is:

"Raise the collective intelligence of US citizens!!!" - probably this will be found to be the ONLY way to arrive at resolution of the issue(s) involved.

In themselves, the health care issues (without taking 'collective intelligence' into consideration) are broadly as follows:

Quite sizable funding is required to operate any publicly funded health care system.

In view of the sizable funding required to provide some kind of effective health care access to all citizens, how to:

a) convince citizens that they should contribute to the health care program?
b) ensure that it is done effectively (by whichever may be the designated agency that takes it up)?

Both 'a' and 'b' above are essential.  

Public funding of any health care scheme cannot happen (in a democracy) if citizens are not convinced that they should contribute; citizens will not wish to contribute to an ineffective system (which is unfortunately what we have in place in most nations).  

[I don't know in adequate depth/detail how the Scandinavian nations are handling their health care:  probably, in view of their 'higher collective intelligence', they are doing a better job of it than either the USA or India!  You see how 'collective intelligence' comes into play even when we try to keep it out!]

I believe that - should the issue EVER be effectively discussed and decided - it will be found that a satisfactory health care system is actually not at all expensive to bring into being and put into place: it will certainly cost FAR less than the national losses due to illness, etc.  

At the same time, I believe the 'health care' idea would have to be changed quite significantly from the current one of 'sickness treatment and relief'.  It is known, for instance, that a great deal of illness is actually caused by unhealthy eating and living habits - and THAT is probably how universal health care can be economically provided by society.  

Of course, all of this will probably require a 'revolution in the way we think' to be brought about in people at large: see the attachments to the message at the head of this thread for information about practical tools to bring such a revolution into being.
>
> ...
>I say it again: Let no one complain about "harsh
> light".
>
I note: I'm not really worried about 'harsh light' being thrown on an issue.  Light thrown on an issue is always welcome, regardless of its intensity or quality.  

I'm primarily interested in 'effective resolution' of issues - and that rarely occurs when there's more sound created than light thrown.

GSC
Paul A. Tanner III posted Dec 10, 2012 7:55 AM:

> On Sun, Dec 9, 2012 at 3:44 PM, kirby urner
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ...
> >
> > Paul also thinks the US is in a position to follow
> Sweden, but I think
> > psychologically the US is not mature enough at this
> point.  Remember
> > the US and Sweden all but severed diplomatic
> relations during the
> > Vietnam War.  Sweden was highly critical of the US
> in this chapter.
> >
> > This proves that the Feds have a very different
> mindset from the
> > Swedes.  One cannot expect the Feds to have
> anything close to the
> > collective intelligence of Swedes, if history is
> any guide.
> >
> > That's why I think my interest in letting companies
> offer health
> > packages that take people out of North America for
> some procedures and
> > treatments, if not physically then
> jurisdictionally.
> >
> > Perhaps I could buy into a Swedish outfit that
> helped run a network of
> > hospitals and hospital cruise ships.  My
> contribution to the plan
> > would be deducted from my pay check.  I could do
> this without
> > surrendering US citizenship.
> >
> > I can well imagine global health care networks that
> offer care
> > packages in various shapes and sizes.  It might be
> nice if the Feds
> > were a part of the solution, not part of the
> problem, but evidence
> > suggests such competence is not there.  We can't
> afford to just sit on
> > our hands and wait for the Feds to become
> intelligent, contributing
> > world citizens.
> >
> > Kirby
>
> All of the above is just more BS about "those evil
> Feds".
>
> Would Kirby have been in favor of "those evil Feds"
> helping blacks in
> the South during the civil rights struggles of the
> 20th century,
> knowing that "those evil Feds" via federal laws were
> the only hope for
> those blacks? Or would he have promoted then what he
> promotes here,
> promoting that since "those Feds are evil", the
> blacks would just have
> to accept having to go to the bathroom in buckets
> they had to carry
> with them? (This last is a reference to the fact of
> life for blacks
> during segregation in the South, where if they
> traveled, they would
> have to take buckets to pee in and defecate in, since
> the vast
> majority if public places did not allow blacks into
> the restrooms -
> they did not have two separate facilities for the
> differences
> "races".) Would Kirby have been against all that
> federal civil rights
> legislation?
>
> Meanwhile, the suffering and death toll mounts in the
> US because of
> lack or health care because people like Kirby stand
> in the way of the
> only thing that could end all this suffering and
> death, which is
> "those evil Feds" doing today what they did then in
> the 20th century,
> realize that we are in a civil rights crisis that
> only "the evil Feds"
> have the power to end, and use that power and end it.
>
> One wonders because of how he talks so negatively
> about the US
> government whether Kirby is actually promoting the
> killing of Medicare
> and Medicaid (note that half of Medicaid goes to fund
> nursing home
> care for poor old people), which would result in
> throwing all the old
> people out into the streets and letting them all rot
> to death with no
> health care or nursing home care.
>
> Yes, that is what would be guaranteed to happen
> because I proved in
>
> "Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]"
> http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7934201
>
> and in prior posts
>
> "Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]"
> http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7933893
>
> and
>
> "Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]"
> http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7933416
>
> including all the links I gave that mathematically
> private charity
> could never meet any more than a tiny few percentage
> points of the
> total need.
>
> I mean, all I'm talking about is simply more funding
> for these
> existing programs so that the out of pocket costs
> could be lowered and
> so that they could be expanded to everyone in the
> country who would
> want to be on them.
>
> I think people like Kirby have zero appreciation for
> how helpful
> Medicare and Medicaid are to those who are on these
> programs - and how
> viciously cruel it is to promote that those on these
> programs should
> be thrown off them, or to promote that those not on
> those programs
> should not be allowed on them even though these
> programs are the only
> hope for the vast majority of those not on them to
> end their suffering
> from no health care.
>
> Note: And no BS that these programs are poorly run.
> Medicare Parts A
> and B are vastly better run than private insurance
> companies in terms
> of what is called the medical loss ratio, which is
> the percentage of
> money going into the plan that actually gets spent on
> health care.
> Roughly 97% of all Medicare Parts A and B money
> actually goes to
> health care, while the average for the private health
> insurance
> industry has been plummeting to where it now is only
> about 80%:
>
> See what former insurance company executive Wendell
> Potter says - he
> is now telling the truth about what they actually do.
>
> "
> http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.p
> hp?az=view_all&address=439x2419859
>
> "WENDELL POTTER: Well, there's a measure of
> profitability that
> investors look to, and it's called a medical loss
> ratio. And it's
> unique to the health insurance industry. And by
> medical loss ratio, I
> mean that it's a measure that tells investors or
> anyone else how much
> of a premium dollar is used by the insurance company
> to actually pay
> medical claims. And that has been shrinking, over the
> years, since the
> industry's been dominated by, or become dominated by
> for-profit
> insurance companies. Back in the early '90s, or back
> during the time
> that the Clinton plan was being debated, 95 cents out
> of every dollar
> was sent, you know, on average was used by the
> insurance companies to
> pay claims. Last year, it was down to just slightly
> above 80 percent.
>
> ...
>
> There was a time, in the early 1990s, when health
> insurance companies
> devoted more than 95 cents out of every premium
> dollar to paying
> doctors and hospitals for taking care of their
> members. No more. Since
> President Bill Clinton's health reform plan died 15
> years ago, the
> health insurance industry has come to be dominated by
> a handful of
> insurance companies that answer to Wall Street
> investors, and they
> have changed that basic math. Today, insurers only
> pay about 81 cents
> of each premium dollar on actual medical care. The
> rest is consumed by
> rising profits, grotesque executive salaries, huge
> administrative
> expenses, the cost of weeding out people with
> pre-existing conditions
> and claims review designed to wear out patients with
> denials and
> disapprovals of the care they need the most."
>
> And Kirby thinks this obscenity by the insurance
> companies is good,
> and at the same it is horrible what "those evil Feds"
> are doing,
> saving countless lives and preventing vast amounts of
> suffering via
> Medicare and Medicaid with that 97% efficiency?
>
> I say it again: Let no one complain about "harsh
> light".
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

Paul Tanner
On Sun, Dec 9, 2012 at 11:45 PM, GS Chandy <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Responding to Paul Tanner's (PT's) post dated Dec 10, 2012 7:55 AM (pasted for reference below my signature):
>
> From my 'outsider view', I'd generally agree with PT's claim that 'private charity' would never be able successfully to take up the Mission of 'health care' of a nation, be it the USA or India or China.  In my view, there would have to be some kind of 'societal initiative' to accomplish national health care in the least successfully.
>
> I believe that PT may be mistaken in his idea that Kirby Urner is advocating that national health care be taken up by private charity.  For instance, here is a quote from what Kirby had posted:
>>>
>>> This proves that the Feds have a very different
>>> mindset from the Swedes. One cannot expect the Feds to
>>> have anything close to the collective intelligence of
>>> Swedes, if history is any guide.
>>>
> To which circumstance, the evident 'solution' is:
>
> "Raise the collective intelligence of US citizens!!!"

This is actually supports what I said. "The Feds" is just the type of
talk used by haters of the US government - it is not in the least talk
about the population of the US.

> - probably this will be found to be the ONLY way to arrive at resolution of the issue(s) involved.

All that is needed is to expand Medicare and Medicaid funding.

>
> In themselves, the health care issues (without taking 'collective intelligence' into consideration) are broadly as follows:
>
> Quite sizable funding is required to operate any publicly funded health care system.
>
> In view of the sizable funding required to provide some kind of effective health care access to all citizens, how to:
>
> a) convince citizens that they should contribute to the health care program?
> b) ensure that it is done effectively (by whichever may be the designated agency that takes it up)?
>
> Both 'a' and 'b' above are essential.
>
> Public funding of any health care scheme cannot happen (in a democracy) if citizens are not convinced that they should contribute; citizens will not wish to contribute to an ineffective system (which is unfortunately what we have in place in most nations).
>

The point of what I write is to educate people as to what the facts
actually are, to try to convince some to vote for universal health
care by voting accordingly for the party and people who would expand
the funding for the existing programs enough to achieve universal
health care.

Kirby, on the other hand, does the opposite - the point of his writing
is to achieve the opposite, to try to get people to vote against
universal health care by voting accordingly for the party and people
who would not expand and even start to cut the funding for even just
the existing programs.

Either government will be involved in helping to pay for health care
or it will not. Either government's present role in helping to pay for
health care will expand, stay the same, or it will contract.

I am arguing for it to expand. Kirby argues against that, with all
kinds of hints that he would like to see it contract.

The necessary result of it even just not expanding is that the only
thing left to meet all that growing unmet need is charity.

And yes, the unmet need is growing since the private marketplace is
rejecting a greater and greater percentage of the population, leaving
more and more with no health care. We now have close to 100 million
people - close to 1/3 of the entire population - that are either
under-insured with junk insurance with out of pocket expenses so high
they might as well not have insurance, or with no coverage at all.
(There are now more than 50 million with no health care coverage at
all.) And what has charity been doing all these years or that
population that has now swelled to almost 100 million? Almost nothing
in comparison to the total need, barely scratching the surface. And
what will charity do in all those future years? The same as it always
has, almost nothing in comparison to the total need, barely scratching
the surface.

Now do you see that he is in fact advocating that national health care
be taken up at least more and more by private charity? Now do you see
that what he arguing for - less government and more charity - would
result in increasing morbidity, suffering, and premature death, given
all the mathematical facts I gave?

I reiterate all those mathematical facts in my last post

"Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7934681

including all the links.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

Robert Hansen
In reply to this post by Gary Tupper

On Dec 9, 2012, at 5:44 PM, Gary Tupper <[hidden email]> wrote:

Robert: I take liberty, justice & freedom as 'givens' in a proper democracy - they are the fruits of a functioning democracy. But the rub is that these should be available to all citizens: the liberty to be poor, the justice for the select and the freedom to remain disadvantaged are not what I have in mind.

How is liberty, justice and freedom related to one's financial state? I grew up very poor, but I did not lack liberty, freedom or justice. I lacked money.

Bob Hansen


Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

kirby urner-4
In reply to this post by Paul Tanner
On Sun, Dec 9, 2012 at 10:31 PM, Paul Tanner <[hidden email]> wrote:

<< SNIP >>

> Kirby, on the other hand, does the opposite - the point of his writing
> is to achieve the opposite, to try to get people to vote against
> universal health care by voting accordingly for the party and people
> who would not expand and even start to cut the funding for even just
> the existing programs.
>

I don't think so Paul.  Our household benefits from Medicare as well
as Social Security.  Medicare is already a public-private endeavor
i.e. the government does not own the Catholic or other hospitals to
which remittance is made.  The largest supplier of oxygen is Apria --
again, not any more Federal than Federal Express.

> Either government will be involved in helping to pay for health care
> or it will not. Either government's present role in helping to pay for
> health care will expand, stay the same, or it will contract.
>
> I am arguing for it to expand. Kirby argues against that, with all
> kinds of hints that he would like to see it contract.
>

There's a double meaning to "contract" -- "KON tract" vs. "con TRACT"
that's obscuring your argument.

Definitely big governments should contract (con TRACT) in the
preferred USA model, as the bias is towards small and medium sized
businesses on Main Street.  The tattoo parlor and medical marijuana
dispensary gets the checks for those covered.  The big businesses tend
to be viewed with more suspicion as they're global and send jobs
overseas (although some smaller businesses do that too).

> The necessary result of it even just not expanding is that the only
> thing left to meet all that growing unmet need is charity.
>
> And yes, the unmet need is growing since the private marketplace is
> rejecting a greater and greater percentage of the population, leaving
> more and more with no health care. We now have close to 100 million
> people - close to 1/3 of the entire population - that are either
> under-insured with junk insurance with out of pocket expenses so high
> they might as well not have insurance, or with no coverage at all.

It's true that hospitals are closing their doors to large numbers who
have no coverage.  Lots more hospitals and clinics might be needed, to
avoid this.

Many Americans get whatever basic health care in prisons, given how
many Americans have prison as their lifestyle, at least in some
chapters.

The thing I was expressing to Paul was skepticism.   Big governments
may be up to the job of providing higher living standards, but not
every big government is big in the same sense.  Some are big dummies.

I don't think his Feds have the brains or the courage to be like
Swedes and take care of people with health care needs.  They let "mad
kings" like Nixon-Kissinger go on bombing-killing sprees with wild
abandon, plus there've been other orgies of violence ever since.
Gitmo is still open for business.

They have no discipline, these camo-wearing Americans, these Feds with
their herbicides and blow torches, taking out mom & pop crops, putting
a bullet into junior.  They're like the orcs in Lord of the Rings.

I'm sad that Paul only has this failing poor excuse for a government
to look up to, to think of as maybe getting "big" someday (in the
sense of wise).  Sweden's leaders likened the USA's actions to those
of Nazi Germany during the height of the Vietnam War.  That's when the
US ambassador with withdrawn (for a second time?) by the piggish
cowards in DC and their fraudulent military (the good guys of whom
were in open or behind-the-scenes mutiny).

Good luck getting universal health care from such brainless
warmongering numbskulls Paul, seems like a long shot.

I think a better plan would be for the 50 states to gradually distance
themselves from DC and make stronger alliances with more mature states
that are more likely to last.  But if you want to bolster DC then I
say go for it.  Make it the object of your prayers.  I just don't see
history as being on your side, that's all.

Kirby

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

Paul Tanner
On Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM, kirby urner <[hidden email]> wrote:
...Our household benefits from Medicare as well
> as Social Security.
>

Then why are you against increasing Medicare funding and spending so
that patients' out of pocket costs can do down as well as making it
available to everyone who wants to be on the program?

>> Either government will be involved in helping to pay for health care
>> or it will not. Either government's present role in helping to pay for
>> health care will expand, stay the same, or it will contract.
>>
>> I am arguing for it to expand. Kirby argues against that, with all
>> kinds of hints that he would like to see it contract.
>>
>
> There's a double meaning to "contract" -- "KON tract" vs. "con TRACT"
> that's obscuring your argument.
>

This is just beating around the bush. Big government in a particular
instance like heal are can mean simply being a big financial
instrument by which people get their health care because of getting it
paid for.

I am not arguing for the Federal government to be the only actual
provider of health care. (Where it is, is does one of the best jobs in
the world - see the below for proof of the fact that the VA hospital
system is one of the best in the world.) I argue only that it should
be the entity that should finance it - let the private entities that
presently deliver it continue to do so.

So this is still you being against Medicare being expanded to a
universal health care financing system, single payer.

>> The necessary result of it even just not expanding is that the only
>> thing left to meet all that growing unmet need is charity.
>>
>> And yes, the unmet need is growing since the private marketplace is
>> rejecting a greater and greater percentage of the population, leaving
>> more and more with no health care. We now have close to 100 million
>> people - close to 1/3 of the entire population - that are either
>> under-insured with junk insurance with out of pocket expenses so high
>> they might as well not have insurance, or with no coverage at all.
>
> It's true that hospitals are closing their doors to large numbers who
> have no coverage.  Lots more hospitals and clinics might be needed, to
> avoid this.

This is not just hospitals. It's the entire delivery system, including
doctor offices and clinics.

> The thing I was expressing to Paul was skepticism.   Big governments
> may be up to the job of providing higher living standards, but not
> every big government is big in the same sense.  Some are big dummies.
>
> I don't think his Feds have the brains or the courage to be like
> Swedes and take care of people with health care needs.
>

Your hatred of the US government blinds you to the truth, which is
that it is so capable and is doing so:

"How Veterans' Hospitals Became the Best in Health Care"
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1376238,00.html

Quote:

"If you're surprised, that's understandable. Until the early 1990s,
care at VA hospitals was so substandard that Congress considered
shutting down the entire system and giving ex-G.I.s vouchers for
treatment at private facilities. Today it's a very different story.
The VA runs the largest integrated health-care system in the country,
with more than 1,400 hospitals, clinics and nursing homes employing
14,800 doctors and 61,000 nurses. And by a number of measures, this
government-managed health-care program--socialized medicine on a small
scale--is beating the marketplace. For the sixth year in a row, VA
hospitals last year scored higher than private facilities on the
University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index, based
on patient surveys on the quality of care received. The VA scored 83
out of 100; private institutions, 71. Males 65 years and older
receiving VA care had about a 40% lower risk of death than those
enrolled in Medicare Advantage, whose care is provided through private
health plans or HMOs, according to a study published in the April
edition of Medical Care. Harvard University just gave the VA its
Innovations in American Government Award for the agency's work in
computerizing patient records.

And all that was achieved at a relatively low cost. In the past 10
years, the number of veterans receiving treatment from the VA has more
than doubled, from 2.5 million to 5.3 million, but the agency has
cared for them with 10,000 fewer employees. The VA's cost per patient
has remained steady during the past 10 years. The cost of private care
has jumped about 40% in that same period."

> I'm sad that Paul only has this failing poor excuse for a government
> to look up to, to think of as maybe getting "big" someday (in the
> sense of wise).
>

Like I said, your hatred of our federal government has blinded you to
the truth that it has and still does much good even in just health
care, whether it in the delivery it via the VA hospitals or just
financing it via Medicare and Medicaid.

> Good luck getting universal health care from such brainless
> warmongering numbskulls Paul, seems like a long shot.
>

Yes, people like you standing in the way of expanding Medicare to all
who wish to be one it does make it more difficult to expand Medicare
to all who wish to be on it.

>
> I think a better plan would be for the 50 states to gradually distance
> themselves from DC and make stronger alliances with more mature states
> that are more likely to last.
>

Oh, sure, the conservative "let the states do it" mantra.

Just like "the states" "did it" with respect to all of the following
further below - NOT!

Never mind learning from history.

Never mind that the federal government doing good via federal
legislation and/or federal courts AGAINST what so many states wanted
to do is why we have these facts: The "whites are the master race"
Confederacy - the actual precursor to German Nazism - did not last in
the US. Jim Crow laws were killed. Segregation was killed. Civil
rights greatly expanded. The environment was saved from a very bad and
worsening situation, and from there we have much improvement - see the
Clean Water Act and its followup as an example:

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/blogs/the-clean-water-act-turns-40

Quote: "1972 was a watershed year for American water. That fall, an
unusually unified Congress overrode President Nixon's veto and passed
the Clean Water Act, a historic law that transformed the country's
relationship with its water supply....Before the Clean Water Act, only
about a third of U.S. water was safe for swimming or fishing; the rest
was fouled by sewage, oil, pesticides and heavy metals. The country
was losing up to 500,000 acres of wetlands per year, and 30 percent of
tap water samples exceeded federal limits for certain
chemicals....After four decades under the CWA, an estimated 65 percent
of U.S. waterways now pass the fishable/swimmable test, while average
wetland losses have fallen below 60,000 acres per year. And according
to a 2012 EPA report, 90.7 percent of U.S. community water systems met
"all applicable health-based standards" in 2011...."There's a huge
amount to celebrate in terms of progress," says Scott, who serves as
communications director for Clean Water Action. "But at the same time,
clean water is very easy for people to take for granted because of all
the success we've had.""

Then of course we have Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

I again  reiterate all the facts I gave and documented in

"Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7934201

and in prior posts

"Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7933893

and

"Re: WG 13 Announcement: CERME 8 [Turkey]"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7933416

and

"Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7934681

including all the links I gave that mathematically private charity
could never meet any more than a tiny few percentage points of the
total need, and also such facts that federal government programs like
Medicare are vastly more efficient at financing health care than
private insurance companies.

I now include "the states" as those things that like private charity
have proved that they are not up to the task of "doing it" - at least
the vast majority are not.

"Let the states do it"?

There has never been anything standing in the way of them doing it.
Yet the vast majority them never do, with many of them dragged kicking
and screaming by the federal government to doing the right thing.

Even now, we still have 41 states letting the vast majority of their
homeless (because this vast majority do not have children under 18)
and also vast numbers of their working poor rot, REFUSING to let these
people get health care assistance or food assistance, REFUSING to let
these people on Medicaid or Food Stamps.

I again point out the facts for those who are ignorant of the facts:
The vast majority of the health care needs of these above people are
NOT met by the emergency rooms (ERs)! The ERs do do NOT give the vast
majority health care care to these people above! Why? Because they are
legally obligated to ascertain only whether a presented condition
meets a certain legal definition of a life-threatening emergency and
then if it does, to treat it only for as long as it meets this
definition. If it does not meet said definition, you are shoved out
the door with a referral that useless for a who do have the money to
pay for their health care. The vast majority of health care needed to
prevent preventable loss of life or limb or to stop suffering does NOT
meet such a definition! Which is why the vast majority of the homeless
continue to suffer and have much lower life expectancy and partly why
in the US there is still a correlation among those under age 65 and
not allowed on Medicare or Medicaid such that the poorer people are,
the higher their mortality rates.

Note: This obscene correlation used to exist in the US for those aged
65 and above and in Canada for all ages, but no more. This is no more
for them because of FEDERAL government mandated universal health care.

Back to the fact that ERs do NOT give the vast majority of needed
care: This law that they must give even just emergency care regardless
of ability to pay was passed by the FEDERAL government in 1986 over
the objections of Republicans, who objected so much they filibustered
it in the Senate - it only was barely passed the way Obamacare was
passed, via so-called budget reconciliation, which is a way to pass
some laws in the Senate so that 60 out of 100 votes are not needed,
but a simple majority of at least 51 votes (the US Vice President
casting vote 51 in case of a 50-50 tie).

I mean, good God, even just this obscenity of these above horrors
experienced by these above homeless and otherwise poor people people
in all those states and the obscenity of why these horrors persist -
and that the states did nothing with respect to mandated even just ER
care - should be enough for anyone who actually has a conscience to
see that the conservative mantra "let the states do it" is just plain
evil.

For the people of the vast majority of states, for all these areas I
mention above and more, history has proved that the federal government
is the only hope for getting the job done in terms of meeting all that
growing unmet need being created by the incapability of the private
marketplace and private charity to getting the job done.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

Robert Hansen
So what will you do when they cut back on these programs Paul? Both the dems and the reps agree that they have to be curtailed, they just don't want to do it just yet (the Greece strategy several years ago)

Bob Hansen

On Dec 10, 2012, at 3:02 PM, Paul Tanner <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Then of course we have Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

kirby urner-4
In reply to this post by Paul Tanner
On Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 12:02 PM, Paul Tanner <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM, kirby urner <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ...Our household benefits from Medicare as well
>> as Social Security.
>>
>
> Then why are you against increasing Medicare funding and spending so
> that patients' out of pocket costs can do down as well as making it
> available to everyone who wants to be on the program?
>

I never said I was against increasing Medicare funding.

That's just your slovenly misdirected logic showing again (par for the course).

What I expressed was skepticism that your basket case weapons addicted
Uncle Sam could be trusted to responsibly shift his priorities from
attacking the defenseless (e.g. Panamanians) with expensive hardware
(Apache helicopters in that case, in need of easy targets) versus
actually getting serious about health care for its citizens.

You keep bringing up Sweden as if the Feds were anywhere close to that
competent, and I think that's just a pipe dream on your part.  There's
no evidence the Americans have that level of social IQ.  That's like
expecting monkeys to type Shakespeare.

>> I don't think his Feds have the brains or the courage to be like
>> Swedes and take care of people with health care needs.
>>
>
> Your hatred of the US government blinds you to the truth, which is
> that it is so capable and is doing so:
>

I wouldn't call it hatred so much as pity for a sorrowful empire that
has over-stretched and committed many gargantuan blunders.

If every high school had voting machines which students were welcome
to study and use, if civics were taught, if public education were to
train future presidents and all that entails, then maybe we'd be in a
different position, and I've been advocating such things for decades.

I think there are ways to help Americans become smart enough, such
that they actually get a working democracy.  It's not just about
funding though, it's about overhauling the curriculum (includes all
media, not just wood pulp textbooks).

As long as the curriculum is so over-specializing and divorces science
from technology from engineering from anthropology from math, then I
think there's no hope of enough intelligent adults to achieve critical
mass.

Critical mass has not been achieved to date, and I think it's because
the curriculum is so poor, the math curriculum included.

You're typical in thinking it's all about money, and if we just dialed
back to the Clinton era or something, that all would be well.
Thinking it's all about money is one of the hallmarks of the
overspecialized in that they don't think realistically about bread and
butter issues.

They haven't studied General Systems Theory, only Economics (if that).
 Economics makes them dumb about the world.  They're too far removed
from the realities involved, too removed from science and engineering.

> Like I said, your hatred of our federal government has blinded you to
> the truth that it has and still does much good even in just health
> care, whether it in the delivery it via the VA hospitals or just
> financing it via Medicare and Medicaid.
>

I'm happy for whatever good it does, I just don't think it will ever
approach Sweden's level of effectiveness in terms of intelligence or
efficiency.

I think that's a mathematical impossibility given the low collective
IQ of Americans more generally.  They are too easy to bully and
bamboozle.  Americans are easy to fool and behave foolishly as a
result.  They live in relative misery compared to what they could have
had by now, had they lived up to their true potential.

So I think it's more likely that Americans will continue to fall
further and further behind as investors and planners continue to work
around them, building up webs of trust in which the Americans are not
included.  Living standards will continue to increase faster
elsewhere.

I'm not saying I want this to happen, I just think it's a logical
consequence of a collapsed foreign policy and a legacy of elective
first strike attacks on other sovereignties.

Americans have lost their credibility and gravitas and it's not clear
to me that the USA as a sovereignty will continue to have much clout,
or really has much today beyond the lipservice many give it (while
snickering behind closed doors).

It's certainly very far from being a superpower if it ever was one.

We can see what happens though.  My challenge to the Americans is to
prove me wrong and to get their act together.

>> Good luck getting universal health care from such brainless
>> warmongering numbskulls Paul, seems like a long shot.
>>
>
> Yes, people like you standing in the way of expanding Medicare to all
> who wish to be one it does make it more difficult to expand Medicare
> to all who wish to be on it.
>

I'm not standing in the way.  I'm eager to improve STEAM education so
we have fewer "adults" who think primarily in terms of money and think
that's "mature".

>
> Oh, sure, the conservative "let the states do it" mantra.
>
> Just like "the states" "did it" with respect to all of the following
> further below - NOT!
>

Alaska might have a better future getting closer to Russia.
Washington might annex itself to Canada eventually.  Texas could go
its own way.

Already Canada has been a major source of affordable pharmaceuticals
and many USAers take their retirement in Mexico, where care is more
affordable.  South Africa is attractive for similar reasons.

We'll see what happens.

If the USA manages to hold itself together, maybe that will be because
it got smarter and more compassionate, and that might be a good thing.

> Never mind learning from history.
>
> Never mind that the federal government doing good via federal
> legislation and/or federal courts AGAINST what so many states wanted
> to do is why we have these facts: The "whites are the master race"
> Confederacy - the actual precursor to German Nazism - did not last in
> the US. Jim Crow laws were killed. Segregation was killed. Civil
> rights greatly expanded. The environment was saved from a very bad and
> worsening situation, and from there we have much improvement - see the
> Clean Water Act and its followup as an example:

I don't think you've studied history much.  The "master race" dogma
permeated the North as well and lots of research into Eugenics that
inspired Hitler and his contemporaries was funded by such as the
Rockefeller Foundation.

Read 'War Against the Weak' by Edwin Black if you want more of the
history there.

> "Let the states do it"?
>
> There has never been anything standing in the way of them doing it.
> Yet the vast majority them never do, with many of them dragged kicking
> and screaming by the federal government to doing the right thing.
>

Nor were the Feds barred from taking their responsibilities seriously
as health care providers.  Lets look at Katrina.  Lets look at BP's
attack on the Gulf.  Doctors have been seeing lots of cases resulting
from exposure to Correctsit.  How are the Feds responding even now?

Lets look at a pie chart and see what their priorities are instead.

Lets add up all the elective wars and subtract every killing committed
in those wars as one less American life saved, i.e. when you add up
what's done by Medicare, make sure you subtract every family member
killed by a bomb or drone that was made by Americans to be used
against others.

> Even now, we still have 41 states letting the vast majority of their
> homeless (because this vast majority do not have children under 18)
> and also vast numbers of their working poor rot, REFUSING to let these
> people get health care assistance or food assistance, REFUSING to let
> these people on Medicaid or Food Stamps.

These are the same people that get elected to the Federal government.
Like I said, prospects are not looking good for Americans.

>
> I again point out the facts for those who are ignorant of the facts:
> The vast majority of the health care needs of these above people are
> NOT met by the emergency rooms (ERs)! The ERs do do NOT give the vast
> majority health care care to these people above! Why? Because they are

Having worked around hospitals and having family working in an ER, I
don't believe I'm unfamiliar with the facts.

I do know my friend Nick, essentially homeless but with friends, was
able to get kidney dialysis for some months thanks to a Nixon Era law
which gives even the indigent access to kidney dialysis.  He was also
able to get a place to live through social services.  He held on for a
few months in this condition.

I took him to the ER myself when he showed up from Seattle, trusting
Providence more than University of Washington I suppose.  Choice is a
good thing.

>
> I mean, good God, even just this obscenity of these above horrors
> experienced by these above homeless and otherwise poor people people
> in all those states and the obscenity of why these horrors persist -
> and that the states did nothing with respect to mandated even just ER
> care - should be enough for anyone who actually has a conscience to
> see that the conservative mantra "let the states do it" is just plain
> evil.
>

Yes these are the same heartless / stupid / slow Americans who get
elected to the Federal government.

I don't know how you expect this hellish backward destructive nation
to ever become another Sweden.

Maybe, with better education, but that could take decades.

> For the people of the vast majority of states, for all these areas I
> mention above and more, history has proved that the federal government
> is the only hope for getting the job done in terms of meeting all that
> growing unmet need being created by the incapability of the private
> marketplace and private charity to getting the job done.

I'm guessing their fate will be to die in the streets then, cold and
uncared for.

I've been urging more nations with Peace Corps type operations to send
teams to North America to help out.  You say such charitable
activities could never make up for what the states and Feds are not
doing, and I tend to agree.

But I just don't think the Feds have it in them to take health care
more seriously.  That's not why people go to Washington DC.  They want
to feather their own nests.  They want a slice of the pie.  They take
money from their paymasters and craft legislation full of loopholes.

Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm not standing in the way of Americans getting
their act together.  I just see little evidence that they're able to
do so.  I'm looking at the track record.  These people hate health
care don't they.  They eat bad foods, smoke a lot, are malnourished,
and they wreak havoc beyond their borders, killing and maiming without
discipline and for no good reasons.  They even murder doctors.  What
else can I say?

Their collective IQ is just too low for such challenges, I think
that's manifestly obvious.  But maybe they can still learn from other
countries.

I'm glad you've picked Sweden as a role model, unrealistic as that is.

Like Baby Huey wanting to be Superman.
http://www.comicvine.com/baby-huey/29-2943/  ("someday I'll get
smart!").

Kirby

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

Paul Tanner
In reply to this post by Robert Hansen
I and others like me will just keep speaking the truth and all the
documented fact including via all the links that I put forth in

"Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7935045

with the expectation that as the percentage of the population losing
their lives and limbs and otherwise suffering unnecessarily rises
without end, enough of the voting population will no longer listen to
those who promote the rejecting of Conscience and instead accept and
heed Conscience and start to vote accordingly.

On Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 4:02 PM, Robert Hansen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> So what will you do when they cut back on these programs Paul? Both the dems and the reps agree that they have to be curtailed, they just don't want to do it just yet (the Greece strategy several years ago)
>
> Bob Hansen
>
> On Dec 10, 2012, at 3:02 PM, Paul Tanner <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Then of course we have Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

Paul Tanner
In reply to this post by kirby urner-4
On Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM, kirby urner <[hidden email]> wrote:
...
>> Then why are you against increasing Medicare funding and spending so
>> that patients' out of pocket costs can do down as well as making it
>> available to everyone who wants to be on the program?
>>
>
> I never said I was against increasing Medicare funding.
>

You never said that you were for it.

Question 1: Are you for it?

Question 2: Are you against it?

Question 3, if you are for it: Are you for increasing it to the degree
I put forth above? If not, to what degree are you for it?

As far as I'm concerned, your venomous rhetoric against out federal
government is a form of beating around the bush to avoid stating your
positions clearly, which tells me that you actually are against
increased funding for Medicare - and other such programs such as
Medicaid and Food Stamps and VA Hospitals and all the other good
things that our federal government does, especially to the degree that
I put forth above and in my many past posts.

I hope that you will answer these questions - but alas, I predict that
you will not and will just keep beating around the bush.

But I will just keep speaking the truth and all the
documented fact including via all the links that I put forth in

"Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?"
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7935045

with the expectation that as the percentage of the population losing
their lives and limbs and otherwise suffering unnecessarily rises
without end, enough of the voting population will no longer listen to
those who promote the rejecting of Conscience and instead accept and
heed Conscience and start to vote accordingly.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

Robert Hansen
In reply to this post by Paul Tanner
You didn't answer my question. Just assume that your analysis is wrong and we don't find an extra trillion dollars just to pay for what we are spending, let alone another trillion dollars on top of that trillion to pay for what you suggest, even more. Just assume that. What will you do then? Do you have a personal plan in case this money ship does not arrive?

Bob Hansen


On Dec 10, 2012, at 5:06 PM, Paul Tanner <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I and others like me will just keep speaking the truth and all the
> documented fact including via all the links that I put forth in
>
> "Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?"
> http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7935045
>
> with the expectation that as the percentage of the population losing
> their lives and limbs and otherwise suffering unnecessarily rises
> without end, enough of the voting population will no longer listen to
> those who promote the rejecting of Conscience and instead accept and
> heed Conscience and start to vote accordingly.
>
> On Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 4:02 PM, Robert Hansen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> So what will you do when they cut back on these programs Paul? Both the dems and the reps agree that they have to be curtailed, they just don't want to do it just yet (the Greece strategy several years ago)
>>
>> Bob Hansen
>>
>> On Dec 10, 2012, at 3:02 PM, Paul Tanner <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> Then of course we have Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?

Paul Tanner
My personal plans? What do you mean? My personal health care needs?
I'm OK there - what about you?

I see suffering all around me - people losing their lives and limbs
totally unnecessarily and otherwise suffering, and I see some people
responding to all that in a way showing that they have no conscience,
where they do not believe in the Christian ideal put forth in Acts 2
and 4, where the early Christians in response to an initial encounter
with God gave us the Christian model of how to take care of each other
on needs (not non-needs), where they practiced heavy duty collectivism
and redistribution, people with money putting all or some of their
money into a central treasury out of which all their needs were met.
It's very clear that the countries that most practice the New
Testament ideals of this social democracy are the Scandinavian
counties.

But if you are talking about about what is going to happen to all
those people who are suffering and dying if this county continues to
turn its back on them by refusing to back increasing revenues for the
federal government to at least where they were under Clinton toward
the end of his second term (more than 20% of GDP, compared to today's
15% of GDP - that more than 5% difference equaling not far from an
extra 1 trillion per year) as a foundation for more increases later,
well, isn't it clear that they will continue suffering and dying? And
your response to all that suffering and dying?

By the way, yet again, this fact: We do not need to balance the
budget, only get the annual deficit as a percentage of GDP below the
annual growth rate as a percentage of GDP, to cause the total debt to
fall as a percentage of GDP. If the growth rate were an annual rate of
3%, then an annual deficit of 2.9% would be fine; if spending were
25%, but revenues were 22.1% and growth was 3%, then fine. In such
cases, the total debt always goes down as a percentage of GDP.

And in case you do not know, even people in Wall Street like Warren
Buffet say that federal government spending should always be larger
than revenues, but where the annual deficit as a percentage of GDP is
below the annual growth rate as a percentage of GDP. They say this
because they know that that's the only way to maximize ongoing growth.

On Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 6:37 PM, Robert Hansen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> You didn't answer my question. Just assume that your analysis is wrong and we don't find an extra trillion dollars just to pay for what we are spending, let alone another trillion dollars on top of that trillion to pay for what you suggest, even more. Just assume that. What will you do then? Do you have a personal plan in case this money ship does not arrive?
>
> Bob Hansen
>
>
> On Dec 10, 2012, at 5:06 PM, Paul Tanner <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I and others like me will just keep speaking the truth and all the
>> documented fact including via all the links that I put forth in
>>
>> "Re: Democracy - how to achieve it?"
>> http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7935045
>>
>> with the expectation that as the percentage of the population losing
>> their lives and limbs and otherwise suffering unnecessarily rises
>> without end, enough of the voting population will no longer listen to
>> those who promote the rejecting of Conscience and instead accept and
>> heed Conscience and start to vote accordingly.
>>
>> On Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 4:02 PM, Robert Hansen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> So what will you do when they cut back on these programs Paul? Both the dems and the reps agree that they have to be curtailed, they just don't want to do it just yet (the Greece strategy several years ago)
>>>
>>> Bob Hansen
>>>
>>> On Dec 10, 2012, at 3:02 PM, Paul Tanner <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Then of course we have Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
12