Hiring Our First Employee: Enter Government Hurdles

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Tom Woods Liberty Classroom



I have my own business. It’s about as simple as a business can be.


We want to hire our first employees. In case anyone has any doubt whatsoever about how much more difficult/worse the government makes things for employers and employees (excluding income taxes and 15.3% Social Security & Medicare taxes!), check this out:


We have to worry about “wrongful termination.” Federal, state, and city law prohibit discrimination/harassment on the basis of the following protected categories: Race, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy), gender (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), age, physical, mental, or perceived disability, alienage or citizenship, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, genetic predisposition or carrier status, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation (including actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and asexuality), partnership status, and victim of domestic violence status.


We have to comply with the “Fair Labor Standards Act,” NY labor law, and the NY minimum wage ($12/hour effective 12/31/17). We have to comply with the “New York Paid Family Leave Act,” and the “NYC Paid Sick Leave Law.” We’ve been advised by both an accountant and an employment lawyer that we must retain a payroll provider just to be able to keep up with the constantly changing government rules.


We have to register with NY State as an employer. During the process, they ask questions that you literally can’t know the answer to at the time you’re registering. They also ask probing questions such as, “Does anyone work for you that you don’t consider to be an employee?” And guess what? The guidelines around what constitutes an employee versus a contractor are so vague that a lawyer who specializes in employment and a lawyer who specializes in our field can’t definitively advise us on what we can do to know whether we’re complying with the law.


We have to report to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, comply with the “Wage Theft Prevention Act,” and the “Immigration Reform and Control Act.”


We have to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, “NY State Disability Insurance,” and “Unemployment Insurance,” which “starts” as a 4-5% tax (you have to wait for the State to tell you after you register) and, presumably, goes up from there based on how well our company is doing. (There’s also another business tax on top of everything else that kicks in once we hit some arbitrary amount of profit.)


We need to deliver “workplace postings” to every employee, even though we don’t have a physical office. There’s a whole industry around this because the government doesn’t even provide the information in any kind of easily accessible way. (Check out complianceposter.com for fun.)


What a productive use of our time, energy, and the valuable resources we need to grow! I’m sure our customers love paying higher prices, since they have plenty of disposable income. I bet the people we hire actually prefer having chunks of money taken out of their pay before they get it, because they know they’re going to get every inflation-adjusted dollar back someday, and more!


Hey, at least we have a government making sure that we don’t do anything “wrong.” Otherwise we could lie, cheat, and steal, since that’s how you succeed in business! And at least we have a government doing everything possible to encourage our business to grow so that we can create jobs and prosperity!


Can’t wait to discover what other nonsense we have to deal with. These things do nothing but hurt everyone involved.

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RANK THEM: What is the Most Important Issue Facing the US Today?

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What is the most important issue facing the United States, today?
Tom Woods Liberty Classroom

If you had to rank the most to least important issues to you in regards to liberty in the United States, how would you rank them?

A. US foreign policy, interventionism, war
B. US Monetary Policy, The Fed, etc
C. Govt spending, taxes, etc.
D. Govt regulation and interference in the economy. (Min wage, ACA, etc)
E. The War on Free Speech (if you don’t know what this is, you’re a hate-filled, racist, misogynist, xenophobe!)
F. War on Drugs
G. The “Cultural Marxist” threat (Image Below)
H. Immigration
I. States rights/Succession
I. Energy Sustainability and Future Green/Renewable Policy
J. “muh roads”
K. Taco Tuesday only one day a week (Editor’s Note: should be higher?)
L. Climate Change
M. Other (comment below)

Let me know your order! Mine are in order.

Cultural Marxism:

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MISLEADING CLAIM: "If you work Full Time, You Should Live Comfortably!"

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Tom Woods Liberty Classroom

THE MISLEADING CLAIM: When did “if you work full-time, you should be able to comfortably afford shelter, food, and utilities” become an extreme leftist belief?

THE REALITY: The assertion is an example of both the strawman fallacy (misrepresenting an opponent’s argument to make it easier to attack) and the appeal to emotion fallacy (using emotional appeals over established facts). No decent human being, either conservative, liberal, libertarian, etc wishes to impede someone from being able to live comfortably and afford basic necessities.
Let’s address the first part of this claim: that of “if you work full-time, you shouldn’t be living in poverty.” The fact of the matter is, according to the US Census Bureau, approximately 98% of full-time workers (year round) are not in poverty. [a] To suggest that living in poverty while working full time is a huge problem in America demonstrates either ignorance or a complete malfeasance of facts.

Regarding housing costs, it is true that those have increased over time. A study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2005 found that since 1950, housing prices have increased by approximately 2% a year. [b]

There appears to be many factors for this, but two in particular are 1) – the median size and amenities of houses have increased, and 2) – land use regulations that drive the cost of housing up.

Per the Wall Street Journal, the median size of a new single-family home was 2,467 square feet last year, which was the biggest on record as of 2016. [c] Homes are 61% larger than the median size 40 years ago, and 11% larger than a decade prior. The WSJ further states that “American homes have not only been getting larger, they’re also including more bathrooms and amenities such as air conditioning. Some 93% of new houses had air conditioning in 2015 compared with 46% in 1975. About 96% of new homes last year had at least two bathrooms versus 60% four decades earlier.” Obviously, these factors play a role in pricing, a fact the WSJ also notes.

The second factor in the housing costs issue is that of land-use regulations. Writing for the Brookings Institute, Ed Glaeser states the following:

“How do we know that high housing costs have anything to do with artificial restrictions on supply? Perhaps the most compelling argument uses the tools of Economics 101. If demand alone drove prices, then we should expect to see places that have high costs also have high levels of construction.
The reverse is true. Places that are expensive don’t build a lot and places that build a lot aren’t expensive. San Francisco and urban Honolulu have the highest ratios of prices to construction costs in our data, and these areas permitted little housing between 2000 and 2013. In our sample, Las Vegas was the biggest builder and it emerged from the crisis with home values far below construction costs.”

Some may speculate that housing shortages (and therefore higher prices) are due to geographical limitations such as shortages of land. Glaeser, however, while acknowledging this is possibly a small factor, continues by saying:

“The primary alternative to the view that regulation is responsible for limiting supply and boosting prices is that some areas have a natural shortage of land.

Albert Saiz’s (2011) work on geography and housing supply shows that where geography, like water and hills, constrains building, prices are higher. He also finds that measures of housing regulation predict less building and higher prices.

But lack of land can’t be the whole story. Many expensive parts of America, like Middlesex County Massachusetts, have modest density levels and low levels of construction. Other areas, like Harris County, Texas, have higher density levels, higher construction rates and lower prices…

If land scarcity was the whole story, then we should expect houses on large lots to be extremely expensive in America’s high priced metropolitan areas. Yet typically, the willingness to pay for an extra acre of land is low, even in high cost areas. We should also expect apartments to cost roughly the cost of adding an extra story to a high-rise building, since growing up doesn’t require more land. Typically, Manhattan apartments are sold for far more than the engineering cost of growing up, which implies the power of regulatory constraints (Glaeser, Gyourko and Saks, 2005).” [d]

Regarding the second commodity listed in the meme, food, it’s likely counter-intuitive to many people, but cost of food as a proportion of one’s income has actually DECREASED dramatically since 1960, per the US Dept. of Agriculture. The chart in the article shows that the average share of per capita income spent on food fell from 17.5% in 1960 to 9.6% in 2007. As of 2013, it had inched up slightly to 9.9%. [e] As Annette Clauson, a USDA agricultural economist who helped calculate the chart’s data stated, “We are purchasing more food for less money, and we are purchasing our food for less of our income. This is a good thing, because we have income to purchase other things.”

Moving on to the last commodity mentioned in the meme, utilities, it is true that utility costs have risen in recent years. Electricity is the most commonly thought of, so for purposes of this post, electricity will the utility discussed. The LA Times has more on the rising electric rates and some of the reasons behind them. [f]

• In California, for instance, electricity prices rose 30% between 2006 and 2012, even after adjusting for inflation.

• “San Francisco-based Energy + Environmental Economics, a respected consultant, has projected that the cost of California’s electricity is likely to increase 47% over the next 16 years, adjusted for inflation”

• There are several reasons for higher utility rates, but some are:

  1. New federal regulations on toxic emissions
  2. Rules on greenhouse gases
  3. State mandates for renewable power
  4. Technical problems at nuclear power plants
  5. Unpredictable price trends for natural gas
    To make matters even worse, new emissions rules on mercury, acid gases, and toxics by the EPA are anticipated to cause substantial losses of the US’s coal-generated power. Historically speaking, coal has been the US’s largest and cheapest source of electricity. However, two dozen coal generating units (at the time of the cited article) were scheduled for decommission. Energy Department estimates that the decommissioning will reduce electrical capacity by 60 gigawatts of capacity. To put 60 gigawatts in perspective, this is the equivalent output of 60 nuclear reactors.


Renewable energy mandates, which are the law in 30 states, require the use of wind and solar energy, which are more expensive. As those sources are largely reliant on the weather, they require backup generation, which could add significantly to the consumer’s overall cost. In some cases, renewable power costs as much as TWICE the price of electricity from new gas-fired plants.

As we can see, a large portion of the reason for higher utility rates stems from regulatory mandates that only serve to make electric bills higher for consumers. Studies also show that higher utility rates have a negative effect on the low-income bracket in particular. [g]

In conclusion, the original meme gets it completely wrong on food costs and the relation between poverty and full-time employment. It correctly states the fact of increased housing and utility costs, but ignores the impact government regulation has had on those sectors. Therefore, the question posed should be:

So when and why did “let’s support government regulations to increase the cost of housing and utilities” become the mantra of those who purport to be on the side of “the people?”

SOURCES:
A: https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2017/demo/p60-261.pdf
B: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11129
C: https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2016/06/02/u-s-houses-are-still-getting-bigger/
D: https://www.brookings.edu/research/reforming-land-use-regulations/
E: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/03/02/389578089/your-grandparents-spent-more-of-their-money-on-food-than-you-do
F: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-power-prices-20140426-story.html
G: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/khalil-shahyd/study-highlights-energy-burden-households-and-how-energy-efficiency-can-help

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Will the Libertarian Party Sue Caucuses with "Libertarian Party" in their Name?

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Tom Woods Liberty Classroom

The Libertarian Party is going to attempt to sue caucuses that have the words “libertarian party” in the name next year if it is not voted down by the delegates at the convention.

This would affect the 2 biggest caucuses in the party that also happen to be more philosophically based: the Radical Caucus and the Mises Caucus.

It is my belief that there are interests in the party who have a desire to lock up the identity of the party away from a principled position so that when they likely gain debate access next time around, they will have full control of the party moving forward. They want to make this the Bill Weld party. This is a strong arm tactic.  Looking into it, the R and D caucuses sometimes have the word Republican or Democrat in the name, but never the word Party.

This affects all of us whether you like it or not, that party will color the view on what libertarianism is moving forward. Why is the LP, who got 3% during their biggest opportunity, doing this? Why is the chairman, Nicholas Sarwark, going on The Jason Stapleton Program and telling him his audience isn’t who the LP wants? Why is he baselessly painting the thought leaders such as Tom Woods and Jeff Deist as racists? Why are they adopting the losing tactics of the left (such as Identity Politics, Virtue Signaling, etc)? Don’t you think that rousing the Libertarian base to join the party to manage the growth of the party should be a priority? Why are they acting like straight up politicians? It’s almost as if they are paid to torpedo the party.

Whether you are into the Radical Caucus or the Mises Caucus, if you are one of those people who didn’t get in the LP because Gary Johnson and Bill Weld were a joke to you, we NEED your help, we need you to become delegates to stop this and to vote out this hostile beltway takeover that wants to neuter the message and embarrass and misrepresent us to the world. Get some pride in your beliefs and join the fight!

Here are the two largest Caucuses:
Libertarian Party Mises Caucus (LPMC)
LP Radical Caucus

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LIBERTARIAN BOOK CLUB: Resist Not Evil by Clarence Darrow

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We are a monthly book club for anyone who wants to learn more about Libertarianism. We will discuss each book’s chapter/section in separate posts, so everyone will be able to read along at their own pace. We typically also focus on books which are available for free so that everyone can participate.

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Clarence Seward Darrow (1857 – 1938) was an American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union. He wrote books on crime and punishment, as well as on the morality and origins of the system which are classics of the libertarian movement, and a cry for attention about all that is wrong in the legal system. Resist no Evil can be FOUND HERE and HERE.

Foreword by Douglas French
I love the fact that Douglas French starts with a truth I’ve recognized for a long time. I think it foreshadows how the book won’t necessarily conform to common allowable opinion.

We’re drawn to books that reinforce what we already believe. It makes us feel smarter that an author shares our opinion and provides words we can use to make our case on the off chance that’s required.

Specifically he discusses the party politics that are prevalent in the world today.

At the time I remember being on the fence, with a slight lean toward supporting capital punishment. The deterrence arguments resonated with me. … In the end, to not support capital punishment put a person with the bleeding heart liberals, company I didn’t want to be in. But this is the way with so many issues. Instead of analyzing the problem for ourselves, we let the group we identify with make the decision for us as to what we believe. A lazy way to live, requiring no thought, no study, no consideration, no introspection. Clarence Darrow does not allow for that. He does not allow you to sit in the jury box of public opinion and let the other jurors make up your mind.

Although written in 1902, Darrow anticipates the prison nation that America is today. The state is set up not to administer justice, but to punish. No victims are compensated, but the state gets its pound of flesh.

This reminded me of a Jason Stapleton Program show I was listening to recently. It discussed a Virginia man who was convicted of multiple counts of Grand Larceny (Theft greater than $200). The guy was stealing wheels off of cars and got sentenced to 132 years in prison. Jason Stapleton discussed why our system is apt to just throw people into prison and not have them work to repay the victims. Instead the victims got their tires stolen and THEN had to get taxed to support the criminal in prison for the rest of his life! Why not make the guy work with proceeds in reparations to the victims?

Darrow’s Introduction sums up well what we all know if wrong with our criminal justice system.

CHAPTER I: THE NATURE OF THE STATE
“The doctrine of non-resistance” that Darrow refers is generally defined as “the practice or principle of not resisting authority, even when it is unjustly exercised”. So if it’s the law, you follow it, regardless of morality. Looking historically, Slavery in the 1800s and locking Japanese Americans up during WWII come to mind. Looking at the present times, the examples of throwing people in jail for collecting rain water comes to mind. These Facebook stories usually have an abundance of “Well, don’t break the law and you won’t go to jail” comments.

To wit:

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“Instead of saying ‘Fuck the police’, why don’t you quit being so Japanese!”

Darrow suggests that, philosophically, it is man’s highest ideal to live a fulfilled life in peace, not coerced by government force.

Endless volumes have been written, and countless lives been sacrificed in an effort to prove that one form of government is better than another; but few seem seriously to have considered the proposition that all government rests on violence and force, is sustained by soldiers, policemen and courts, and is contrary to the ideal peace and order which make for the happiness and progress of the human race.

Great analogy comparing the rulers of ancient times- Basically the biggest man got a large club and enforced his rule as chieftain through force over his tribe. He used his power primarily to maintain power not for the betterment of those he ruled over. As one man cannot maintain power for long, he cronied his buddies as lieutenants to maintain power “and they were given a goodly portion of the fruits of power for the loyalty and help they lent their chief.” The parallels to today are evident.

From the early kings who, with blood-red hands, forbade their subjects to kill their fellow men, to the modern legislator, who, with the bribe money in his pocket, still makes bribery a crime, these rulers have ever made laws not to govern themselves but to enforce obedience on their serfs.

CHAPTER 2: ARMIES AND NAVIES
How is the authority of the state maintained? Darrow believes it to be maintained by force or the general threat of force. More generally, the power of armed men with all the ‘modern implements of death”. Specifically, 1) military personnel and 2) courts of justice, police and jails.

I don’t believe Darrow is being realistic (in his time, or ours) that all countries should not have a standing armies. Sure, idealistically, if there were no wars, these men and women could lead more productive lives and build skills and participate in tradecraft, but ever since Napoleonic times, we are required to have a standing army as long as our neighbor does. I don’t see the world’s militaries self-disintegrating any time soon.

I also found his ‘endless wars’ rhetoric to be quite interesting considering he wrote it Pre World War I, World War II, Korean War, Sino-Russo War, Vietnam War, Lebanon, Granada, Tanker War, Persian Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, War on Terrorism, etc. The world hadn’t seen nothin’ yet!

The nation that would today disarm its soldiers and turn its people to the paths of peace would accomplish more to its building up than by all the war taxes wrung from its hostile and unwilling serfs.

Overall, I agree with the travesties of war, but don’t agree with it’s pragmatic to think everyone will demilitarize.

CHAPTER 3: THE PURPOSE OF ARMIES
But in reality the prime reason for all the armies of the world is that soldiers and militia may turn their guns upon their unfortunate countrymen when the owners of the earth shall speak the word.  That this is the real purpose of standing armies and warlike equipment is plain to all who have eyes to see.

We can see how military equipment has been appropriated to our police forces (Thanks War on Drugs!) but I think the premise Darrow is extolling is something different. But thinking one caused the other is a fallacy of ‘Post hoc ergo propter hoc‘. Because the rooster crows as dawn, and then the sun rises at dawn, does not mean the rooster causes the sun to rise.

That the military is to be called on to directly suppress the free people isn’t something that we’ve seen consistently. I mean, the National Guard is called sometimes for riot control, but Darrow’s fears haven’t been consistently witnessed throughout the passing of time.

CHAPTER 4: CIVIL GOVERNMENT
As society reaches the industrial stage, it is easier and costs less waste of energy for the ruling class to maintain its supremacy through the intricate forms and mazes of civil government, than through the direct means of soldiers and guns. Civil governments, like military governments, are instituted and controlled by the ruling class. Their purpose is to keep the earth and its resources in the hands of those who directly and indirectly have taken it for themselves.

Darrow begins to build the case of morality here. Just because the courts are decreeing something, it must be obeyed at the threat of impounding property, kidnapping and imprisonment of men or, in some cases, killing the offender.

… the will of the sovereign is law, and the law is made for the benefit of the ruler, not the ruled.

Darrow says that even a newly established government receives the historical laws and decrees ‘based upon the old notions of properties and rights that were made to serve the rulers’ previous. But I find that lazy (mostly because I’m a pro-property rights). Sometimes those are inherited because they are superior based on merit.

I love his description of Lobbyists.

The man who possesses one sort of power, as, for instance, political privilege, is very friendly to the class who possess another sort, as, for instance, wealth, and this community of interest naturally and invariably arrays all the privileged classes against the weak.

I wish that Darrow, instead of just criticizing the natural tendency for some men to desire to rule over others, he could provide some solutions other than ‘We should just all live without government and its evils!’.

Order is more important than liberty, and at all costs order must be enforced upon the many.

Chapter 5

“All punishment and violence is largely mixed with the feeling of revenge, – from the brutal father who strikes his helpless child, to the hangman who obeys the orders of the judge; with every man who lays violent unkind hands upon his fellow the prime feeling is that of hatred and revenge”

^^ and this is what I have against retributive justice.

“In some inconceivable manner it is believed that when this punishment follows, justice has been done. But by no method of reasoning can it be shown that the injustice of killing one man is retrieved by the execution of another, or that the forcible taking of property is made right by confining some human being in a pen”

“To punish a human being simply because he has committed a wrongful act, without any thought of good to follow, is vengeance pure and simple, and more detestable and harmful than any casual isolated crime”.

“Such acts as these would almost never be repeated. Genuine repentance follows most really vicious acts, but repentance, however genuine, gives no waiver of punishment.”

Do you all feel that it is entirely the act of imprisonment itself and nothing in any violent criminal, whether by nature or nurture, that leads to recidivism?

I don’t know how it was in 1903, but I recently watched a few minutes of OJ Simpson’s bail hearing. His repentance definitely did not waive his sentence, but i think it had a lot to do with his early release.

“The safety aimed at through punishment is not meant the safety for the individual, but it is contended that the fact that one person is punished for an act deters others from the commission of similar unlawful acts; it is obvious that there is a large class who are not deterred by these examples, for the inmates of prisons never grow less . . . “

I am not for locking in people in cages (nor for the death penalty) but I never thought of imprisonment as a deterrent. If there were any point to it at all, I think it would be to prevent that particular individual from being able to violate others’ rights (except perhaps other inmates). If so, then imprisonment is not motivated solely by cruelty and hate as Darrow claims.

I did not realize his claim that public executions actually caused people to commit copycat crimes. I believe it but I wish he had actually documented this claim instead of just positing it.

Chapter 6

“The last refuge of the apologist is that punishment is inflicted to prevent crime”

“The theory that punishment is a preventive to unlawful acts does not seriously mean that it is administered to prevent the individual from committing a second or a third unlawful act.”

He goes one to talk about how if the punishment is to be a deterrent, then we should logically use only the cruelest methods of punishment, but we don’t, so therefore how can we claim that the punishment is a deterrent?

His point at the end of chapter VI that the state is constantly trying to “improve” prisons brings to my mind the prohibition in the Bill of Rights against cruel and unusual punishment. I find that a pretty problematic phrase, for who is to say that imprisonment itself is not cruel? I guess the fact that it is so common makes it not unusual.

Chapter 7

Darrow discusses, as the chapter title states, the cause of crime, and says that we should ponder on that. I have long felt that this is an important thing to consider, and this is why I am so interested in restorative justice. I feel that we should seek out WHY this crime happened and work to fix that through psychological means if possible.

 I think he is making the case for nurture as the cause of criminal behavior rather than nature. As such he points to the fact that inmates tend to be poorer than non-inmates. However he throws “mentally deficient” in there as well which is more nature than nurture. He seems to be making a class warfare argument, but I think he overlooks the possibility that more poor convicts than wealthy convicts does not necessarily mean there are more poor criminals that wealthy. That could be a result of disparities in the criminal justice system itself that allow more wealthy people to get away with the crimes they commit.

What do you think of his closing in that chapter? To wit:

“The jail and the penitentiary are not the first institutions planted by colonists in a new country, or by pioneers in a new state. These pioneers go to work to till the soil, to cut down the forests, to dig the ore; it is only when the owning class has been established and the exploiting class grows up, that the jail and the penitentiary become fixed institutions, to be used for holding people in their place.”

**Another class warfare argument**. But you could just as easily flip that. Perhaps it is not until the owning class is sufficiently established in a new settlement that there is enough stuff making it worth the while of the working class to try and steal, thus motivating the owning class to get around to building jails.

Chapter 8

“Reason and Judgement as well as an almost endless array of facts have proven that crime is not without its cause. In showing its cause, its cure has been made plain. If the minds and energies of men were directed toward curing crime instead of brutally assaulting the victims of society, some progress might be made”

“Nearly every crime would be wiped away in one generation by giving the criminal a chance. The life of a burglar, of a thief, of a prostitute, is not a bed of roses. Men and women are only driven to these lives after other means have failed.”

Tom Woods Liberty Classroom

Chapters 9-12
For a trial lawyer, Darrow sure has plenty of criticism for trial by jury. I am looking forward to the part where we get to his alternative.

“He cannot understand how a so-called thief should have forcibly taken a paltry sum. He cannot conceive that he, himself, could under any circumstances have done the like.”

Not sure if that is universally true. Don’t judges frequently consider mitigating circumstances in sentencing? In the film “Inherit The Wind” the jury found Cates guilty, but the judge fined him only one hundred dollars causing Brady to drop dead.
Chapter 13-15
I think in the Afterword Riggenbach gives Darrow entirely too much credit when he writes:

“This illustrates the extent to which the Clarence Darrow of 1902 was on pretty much the same wavelength as the Murray Rothbard of 80 years later.”

On the contrary, I submit that Darrow was the anti-Rothbard and that Riggenbach credits Darrow for things Rothbard wrote but that Darrow did not.

Here he comes blatant what was hinted at in the previous chapters-

“Most of the laws governing the taking and obtaining of property, which constitute the great burden of our penal code, are arbitrary acts, whose sole purpose is to keep the great mass of property in the hands of the rulers and exploiters and to send to jail those who help themselves and who have no other means within their power.”

What he is advocating here is closer to anarcho-communism than anarcho-capitalism and would prevent me from ever recommending this book, despite some of the good points he makes about the state and criminal justice earlier.

“These crimes are burglary, larceny, obtaining property by false pretenses, extortion, and the like. The jails and penitentiaries of every nation in the world are filled to overflowing with men and women who have been charged with committing crimes against property.”

I don’t know about 1903, but I would have no complaint if that were actually true today. But actually they are filled with victims of the drug war and people who have committed only various “crimes” against the state.

The way he concludes chapter 13 and chapters 14 and 15 are completely at odds with Rothbard’s analysis of property rights in *New Liberty*.

Chapter 16 was a big letdown
Here Darrow claims to offer his alternative to what he spent the last dozen chapters insisting does not work. His alternative amounts to ending punishment and adopting kindness instead. But he offers no concrete examples of how that operate in practice.

Say you are a parent and someone pre meditatively rapes and murders your children. What would Darrow say should be done with the offender. Certainly not put them on trial because no one is qualified to sit in judgement nor understand the perpetrator’s woes. Apparently the victims’ parents are just supposed to show the perpetrator love and kindness.

Riggenbach:

“I won’t leave you with the impression that Clarence Darrow was an early, unsung Rothbardian, because he wasn’t.”

**Talk about an understatement!**

Summary
There are some quotes in the book I like, especially in the first four chapters when he is trashing the state. But I have previously outlined my criticisms:

1. It is more a polemic than expository. He posits a lot of things without making an argument for them, citing examples to prove his case etc.

2. He spends chapters critiquing the criminal justice system, generating anticipation for his alternative, yet when he gets to that point, there really is not much substance at all. He COULD have advocated restorative justice, sure, but he really did not.

3. In the final two chapters he advocates class warfare – the forced redistribution of the property of the wealthy.

Initially I had hoped that this might at least be a book I could recommend to the left to help shake their confidence in the state, but ultimately it is not a book I would comfortable recommending to anyone.

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Jason Stapleton Program: Net neutrality explained in under 3 minutes

A snippet from The Jason Stapleton Show

The Jason Stapleton Program episode #627 http://ift.tt/2uksxHo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYoOSHYXI3c

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Source: Liberty LOL – Jason Stapleton Program: Net neutrality explained in under 3 minutes

Jason Stapleton Program: Personal Responsibility

A snippet from The Jason Stapleton Show

http://ift.tt/2nFonXq http://ift.tt/2ucIONY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ4ixdufqjc

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Source: Liberty LOL – Jason Stapleton Program: Personal Responsibility

DMR: The Lack of a Republican Health Care Strategy is Appalling

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Tom Woods Liberty Classroom

I’ve been watching the health care debate over the last few weeks very closely. It’s one of the most important policy challenges facing this country–second only to the national debt and the economy. So far, it seems that the GOP’s strategy can best be summarized in the following manner.

PLAN A: Quickly, quietly, and in the most partisan manner possible, secretively draft a very bad piece of health care legislation and then rush it out for a vote before the rest of Congress or the public can read it and see how bad it is.

Result: Failed (in a matter of days).

PLAN B: Quickly, quietly, and in the most partisan manner possible, secretively draft a very bad piece of health care legislation that makes only the bare minimum of improvements on Plan A’s bill and then rush it out for a vote before the rest of Congress or the public can read it and see how bad it is.

Result: Failed (in a matter of days).

PLAN C: Simply give up on any sort of reform at all and instead just repeal Obamacare.

Result: Failed (the very next day).

PLAN D: Simply give up even on efforts to repeal Obamacare, hope it fails (no matter how many Americans that hurts), and then see if we can quickly, quietly, and in the most partisan manner possible, secretively draft a very bad piece of health care legislation and then rush it out for a vote before the rest of Congress or the public can read it and see how bad it is.

Result: Does it really matter? (If the plan succeeds, then the country fails. If the plan fails, then the country fails.)

CAVEAT 1 TO PLANS A THROUGH D: If possible, vote on bills before the CBO has had a chance to evaluate them because when you’ve written bad bills, objective assessments are not your friend.

CAVEAT 2 TO PLANS A THROUGH D: If possible, convince junior members of Congress to ignore the fact that insurance companies, doctor groups, patient groups, government researchers, university researchers, and non-profits all oppose the bill–a rare instance of complete unity across the health care stakeholder spectrum. (In other words, convince more junior members of Congress to ignore the fact that the only people who support these bills are the more senior members of Congress who paid staffers to write the bills for no other reason than to be able to say that they fulfilled a campaign promise. They might as well just pass a blank sheet of paper that says “Obamacare Repeal” and then pat themselves on the proverbial back.)

The political calculation of Mitch McConnell, who is quite possibly one of the worst Republican leaders currently living–and very near the worst even if we also include those who are no longer living as well as those who have never lived–also is absolutely impossible for more rational minds to grasp. First he decides to put up for vote a bill that stands no chance of passing. No surprise here: It fails. Then he calculates that drafting another bill that stands no chance of passing is just what the doctor (no pun intended) ordered. Lo and behold, it fails too! Finally, he decides simply to repeal Obamacare outright, and what do you know: This effort failed before he’d even written the bill.

He has now nearly single-handedly assured the GOP, which is running the least productive government in history, of a significant black eye in next year’s elections. Let’s be honest: Even though I’m a Republican, I’m well aware that since the GOP took control of the government, absolutely nothing has happened that would give the American people any confidence that we are actually able to govern. The GOP can’t pass bills through Congress even though we control BOTH houses of Congress, and we certainly aren’t bothering to lift a finger to bring on board any Democratic support. (They did this to us, so we should do it to them, right? The American people are paying us large salaries simply to do unto the others as they did unto us, right?)

What ever happened to reaching across the aisle, sitting down in good faith, and speaking in terms of what is good and bad for the American people? What ever happened to setting aside partisanship and simply committing to drafting the best piece of health care legislation possible? What ever happened to the idea that it’s better to do something right or to not do it at all? What ever happened to the idea that it’s better to do something right than to do it fast? What ever happened to wanting to craft into legislation ideas that would garner overwhelming support, not ones that are considered an utter blowout if they can pass one house of Congress by just one vote?

What ever happened to the fact that the point of being in office isn’t to defeat the other side but is to win for the American people?

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Source: Liberty LOL – DMR: The Lack of a Republican Health Care Strategy is Appalling

Health Care Reform: Let's Knock Out the Easy Stuff We All Agree On First

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Dear Mr. Republican writes:

The Republican Party is in control of both houses of Congress and the White House. Why then are we having such difficulty passing health care reform? Never mind convincing Democrats to sign on: Why are we having such difficulty convincing members of our own party to support the House and/or Senate measures?

Answer: Misplaced focus.

Both the House and Senate are singularly focused on cutting costs to the government–and not just any costs: only short-term costs. This could only work if health care were only a matter of dollars and cents (short-term dollars and cents, that is). This is not the case however, especially when government cost-cutting leads to higher costs for individual citizens through higher premiums, less coverage, etc. These are the inevitable results of both the Senate and the House bills.

Furthermore, the primary mechanism by which these bills lower short-term costs (and, ironically, the primary mechanism by which they inadvertently raise long-term costs) is by kicking people off their insurance plans–plans that, in many cases, people bought with their own money. The “to-cover-everyone-or-not-to-cover-everyone” ship has sailed, however. That argument is over. If you thought that extending coverage to everyone was painful, just wait until you see what happens when you take that coverage away.

Obamacare increased costs, instituted a Constitutionally-dubious individual mandate, and imposed onerous regulations on health care providers. On the other hand, it expanded coverage, protected those with preconditions, and implemented free-market exchanges (albeit very flawed ones) whereby people can purchase health insurance with their own money. The answer isn’t to wholesale repeal Obamacare. That’s the uncomfortable reality that we conservatives find ourselves in: we’ve campaigned for more than seven years on repealing it only to find that repealing it isn’t the right answer. As I said, despite all its negative aspects, it does indeed have merits as well.

The answer, then, is to FIX Obamacare. Our health care system is enormous: 18% of GDP. No single bill can fix such a large and complicated system all at once. We should expect it to be accomplished in steps over time, and that is precisely what we should be doing. We should not be repealing the other party’s efforts every few years and starting over. We should be cumulatively fixing problems as we can–making improvements and adjustments where we can, when we can.

At this point, our focus should be trifold: (1) ensuring universal coverage, (2) increasing quality of health care services, and (3) lowering costs both to the government and to individuals.

Single-payer systems are the most obvious way to ensure universal coverage, and they are much in style on the Left. I must apologize to the Democrats though: I dismiss that option out of hand. These systems are running enormous deficits in Europe and, in some cases, they are in the process of cutting services. Only in very small, homogeneous countries are they not adding to government deficits appreciably. The United States is the third largest country on Earth, with health care costs that run into trillions of dollars annually. This is not a cost that our government can afford, especially now that our national debt already exceeds 104% of GDP. (No, a single-payer system would not lower costs enough to make it affordable for the government unless quality were severely sacrificed.) Single-payer options are non-starters for me. Period.

We should be thinking outside the box about revolutionary improvements that capitalize on what have always been the bedrock strengths of our economy: free markets and innovation. If I were a dictator, these are the reforms I’d enact:

(1) Protections for those with preconditions.

(2) Repeal of the individual mandate but with a caveat: Those who are able to purchase health insurance but choose not to do so must go on a payment plan for any ER trips or other medical services–including catastrophic ones–and must pay 100% of their own costs at no cost to the government. (Those who are unable to afford health insurance would be covered as they are now. If they lost their coverage, then they would go to the ER for all medical problems, and you know who pays that bill: taxpayers. This is even more expensive than insuring them.)

(3) Change the Obamacare exchanges from many state-based ones to one national exchange. This would add many more options for people to choose among and would subject all insurance companies to nation-wide competition.

(4) Bar the selling of health insurance to individuals in any way other than through the national exchange.

(5) Institute a nation-wide health care regulatory framework. As it stands, health insurance companies can monopolize individual states. It’s time that we subjected them to free-market competition that involved every company in this country, not just those in respective states.

(6) Increase the tax incentives for people to use Health Savings Accounts (HSA), which give Americans 100% control over their own health care without the interference of insurance companies or considerations of doctor networks, covered/non-covered services, etc. These tax incentives should extend both to individuals and to companies that offer HSA’s to their employees and contribute to them.

(7) Require all hospitals, clinics, etc. to publicly publish prices for all services offered. This would enable people to begin searching for value as we do with all other products and services.

(8) Following up on number 7, require all hospitals, clinics, etc. to report RESULTS–good and bad–as well. When Americans know results and prices, they can start to make informed, free-market decisions about health care, and hospitals, clinics, etc. will have to compete both on price and on quality.

(9) Reform the malpractice environment. The cost of malpractice insurance is too high, and the caps (when they exist) are too high. I understand that having to undergo surgery again to remove a tool that a doctor left behind is terrible, risky, and costly. It shouldn’t happen. That said, it does sometimes happen, and you shouldn’t get to sue and become a multi-millionaire as a result of it. Malpractice has gotten out of hand and is driving up costs.

(10) Stop having Medicare and Medicaid pay for services. Instead, institute “pay for results.” This would lead to higher reimbursement for preventative medicine and higher reimbursement for services that lead to better results. There’s no reason that a CT scan needs to cost $3,000 here when it costs the hospital almost nothing to administer it and when it costs only $200 in some other countries. This is what happens when you pay only for services: it creates incentives to perform a lot of them and to charge as much as possible for them. Under a “pay for results” system, that CT scan would be reimbursed commensurate with its results as part of a broader treatment plan.

(11) Fraud in Medicare and Medicaid is somewhere between $50 billion and $150 billion annually. It’s time that we cracked down on that with a vengeance. There should be a severe mandatory minimum sentence for anyone caught defrauding ANY welfare service–health care or otherwise–and for those who facilitate it.

(12) Require all medical providers who accept government-sponsored patients to use electronic-only record systems. It’s time to step into the 21st Century.

(13) Block hospital mergers that lead to regional monopolies. Hospitals have long argued that allowing them to consolidate without limit enables them to cut costs for patients. This is patently false. A Bloomberg study recently confirmed what we really all new: hospitals generally increase costs even further after consolidating. Thus, costs go up and alternatives down. The same goes for health insurers.

These things cannot be done secretly. Why is McConnell writing health care bills in secret and then trying to immediately rush them to a vote before anyone has read them? Why is he twisting arms by telling GOP senators that if they don’t vote for it, he’ll seek a bipartisan solution? Since when is bipartisanship a threat? Isn’t reaching across the aisle in order to solve problems exactly what we pay these people to do? Basically, McConnell is threatening to simply do his job, which is plain odd. That itself seems like a form of malpractice.

I’m concerned that the goal of the Republican Party’s health care efforts has become simply to repeal Obamacare, not to actually offer more coverage at a lower price for higher-quality services. We’ve lost sight of the goals. The goals are to reign in deficits and increase quality, not to simply repeal a certain bill.

While we bicker about three bad health care bills (Obamacare, House bill, and Senate bill), real health care reform languishes. Tax reform languishes. The national debt grows. China usurps our leadership role in certain areas. Amtrak train derailments have become more common than safe arrivals. Other countries increase their lead on us in the public transportation arena. American companies move overseas. Wages remain largely stagnant. North Korea continues to work toward a deliverable nuclear weapon that they promise they’ll deliver to the continental U.S. at some point.

These are real challenges that must be tackled, and it’s time that we started to tackle them. My party has exactly zero accomplishments to its name so far, and we’ve been in complete control of the government for nearly six months. Distractions like the “voter fraud” commission and loss of sight of true goals are the cause.

 I think that the above proposals would go a long way toward fixing our health care system and reducing government deficits. If we could talk about those–and the corresponding specifics of other issues–then I think we’d finally be on track to doing good work for this country and her citizens.

Tom Woods Liberty Classroom

libertyLOL’s response:  Negative. REPEAL.

The end result of more regulation is ONLY higher prices. More regulation? More Government interference? More expensive. NOTHING GOVERNMENT CAN DO CAN RESULT IN LOWER COSTS (Economics in One Lesson-Hazlitt)

Most would prefer the doctor, network and cost of the care they received prior to ObamaCare. Sure there’s some precondition cases that have sob stories. So here’s how to fix:

1) Repeal

2) Get government out of the way of charity. I often give to GoFundMe pages for people with problems. Last week I actually heard someone say “Why should I give to that person, that’s why I pay taxes”. What a horrible thing to say but it’s the result of exporting our personal responsibility to each other to a monstrosity of a federal government.

3) Instill Price Transparency, Allow HSAs to prevent ill effects of the Third Payer Problem.

4) Decrease barriers to entry for those wanting to become doctors (increase supply of care brings down costs).

5) Incentivize and Educate on Preventative Care (eating spinach instead of Big Macs).

6) Allow selling of insurance plans across borders (even national borders), competition increases innovation, value and decreases costs.

I truly believe that getting out of the market’s way in Health Care could find us in 5-10 years with phenomenal system. One where I feel sick, I click on an app in my phone, a physician Skypes with me or comes to my house, he/she puts a prescription in to the local CVS and it arrives that evening by UberMeds.

I only really disagree with your #1, 3 and 4

I truly believe that getting out of the market’s way in Health Care could find us in 5-10 years with phenomenal system. One where I feel sick, I click on an app in my phone, a physician Skype’s with me or comes to my house, he/she puts a prescription in to the local CVS and it arrives that evening by UberMeds.

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Dear Mr. Republican’s Response:

(1) I didn’t advocate for more regulation. I advocated for smarter regulation. Right now we have 51 health care regulation systems in place. I’m advocating eliminating 50 of them.

(2) Repealing Obamacare wouldn’t lower costs. It would only lower the rate at which they are increasing. That’s not the only point though. The number of uninsured people would increase to more than 40 million, and they would impose an enormous long-term cost through ER visits since that’s the only way those people interact with medical facilities.

(3) Giving to GoFundMe accounts is great, but that’s not a serious national health care policy. We can’t base our health care system on GoFundMe accounts.

(4) Increasing the supply of doctors doesn’t drive down costs. Even Pfizer’s last CEO admitted this (Pfizer, of course, profits from the actions of doctors). Doctors charge the “going rate” for their services because their costs are kept largely a secret. Patients cannot price shop. We need more doctors for a lot of reasons, but that won’t lower costs–at least not until we require them to public publish both costs and results.

(5) As far as selling health insurance across borders, preventative steps, etc. I agree with you. I endorsed all of those in my post.

Libertarian Shirts Libertarian Country Liberty
libertyLOL’s response:

1) Good,

2) you’re thinking short term, Eliminate Obamacare and the free market will rush to profit off the immediate gap. People could be re-insured on Day 2.

3) Wasn’t saying GoFundMe specifically, but charities in general are exponentially more efficient in providing care than government.

4) Through price transparency, which you advocate, this problem is solved. Yes, right now a supply might not change prices, but that’s because the current systems is garbage, which we both agree. Once we have transparency, doctor’s salaries become supply/demand enforced by the market.

5) Look at us! 98% in agreement! Let’s go change the world! (But Repeal first :P)

Dear Mr. Republican:

I’m not thinking short term at all. I’m advocating against that. Repealing Obamacare would cut costs to the government in the short-term and raise them over the long term. You don’t pull the rug out from under people without another plan in place. Millions of Americans would suddenly lose access to everything except an ER. That is a recipe for disaster. You’re forgetting that the health care industry does not operating according to supply and demand. It’s not a free-market industry. Obamacare isn’t the reason for that though. Even before Obamacare, the health care industry did not respond to the laws of supply and demand. That was one of the fundamental problems. Patients have no access to information, and markets are monopolized. More doctors simply led to more doctors charging high fees.

Charities are not a viable national health care strategy. Charities are a supplement. They’re great–they just can’t be THE plan.

Anyway, we had a TON of problems before Obamacare came along. Repealing Obamacare won’t solve problems that already existed, and forcing millions of people into ER’s without insurance certainly won’t solve anything. It’s time for a good, comprehensive plan.

libertyLOL:

You don’t pull the rug out from under people without another in place” is talking point. The rug should never have been there. This just proves that entitlement programs never actually go away. Cheat to get them in place, no one will have the balls to remove them.

Agreed, it’s a complex problem. I’m just pushing harder on allowing it to become a free-er market. 5-10 years, we could lead the world in Xrays-R-Us specialty stores and AmazonMobileCatScan drive-by trucker units.

Look at the price trends of ‘non regulated’ or cosmetic surgeries. We’ve seen LASIK and Breast Implant prices drop precipitously, but the quality has only gotten better.

The government doesn’t sit around and write thousands of pages of regulation in these areas.

Normal healthcare? Care quality and choice have dropped, prices have increased…

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Source: Liberty LOL – Health Care Reform: Let's Knock Out the Easy Stuff We All Agree On First

Every Statist Healthcare Talking Point Rebutted

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Tom Woods Liberty Classroom

From Senator Cornyn’s Facebook Video. Senator Cornyn is one of my two senators in Texas, his video pleads to his constituency that we can’t possible repeal ObamaCare:

The Choice
Right now we have a choice: to continue the Obamacare status quo or to deliver on our promise with better care.

My immediate thoughts: REPEAL IT

Republicans have won many elections promising you would. Republicans have passed REPEAL legislation over 50 times in the past 7 years knowing good and well that President Obama wouldn’t sign it. Now it’s time to get rid of it.
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But Liberty Lover, you must personally benefit from a Repeal? What’s in it for you?

We all benefit from getting the government out of health care. I’m unaffected but cool assertion that I’d only want a repeal for selfish reasons.

Everyone is affected by health care. To think otherwise is to delude yourself!

I’m Active Duty military, take care of my body, monitor what goes into it and am responsible for my life choices. Keep trying.

The moral argument is to get the government out of health care. In 5-10 years when I get sick, I want to be able to Skype with a physician through an app, get a prescription from the nearest CVS, and have it delivered by UberMeds that evening.

Government bureaucracy limits innovation and cost cutting initiatives. It’s why even poor people can afford flat screen tvs and smart phones these days (but not health care).

It’s why breast augmentation and Lasik surgery has ONLY GOTTEN CHEAPER, while the quality has only gotten BETTER. Hint: it’s not regulated by government.

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So you’re taken care of, just screw the rest of us, huh?

Repealing this governmental monstrosity is best for my children, my family, my friends and my countrymen. So I guess there is THAT bit of selfishness in me. Also, I see you haven’t learned your lesson from the last time we let Goverment run more things we depend on. So I’m doing it because I care for you, too, even if you haven’t learned yet. You’re welcome.

Well, are you going to choose not to use the VA for your health care after you get out of the military because it is government run?

When I know prices, I’m able to choose to go pay cash at a local clinic instead of wasting 13 days of my life waiting for the VA (because my time is money)

There’s corruption in Big Government, feel free to talk to people on the inside.

AHA! The hypocrisy of you being in the military and getting socialize health care and not wanting us to have it! Checkm8, lolbertarian!

Because we see the effects! The government can’t even take care of veterans (An extremely tiny cross-section of Americans). But you think they can get it right for everyone?

You’re obviously not active duty so I’ll open the curtains so you can see government-led healthcare.

​I get ibuprofen. For EVERYTHING.

I waited over two years to get a full-thickness tear (front and back) in my labrum fixed.
I’m so blessed! I wouldn’t wish it on you.

Individualism means taking care of yourself and being responsible for your own actions.

It’s not moral to steal from everyone in order to take care of your body. You do it.

Well, the VA outperforms the private sector by far…but you will not hear that on your corporate media channel.

Look at this RAND Report: Quality of Care in VA Health System Compares Well to Other Health Settings!

From your own report:

“The RAND study found there was too little information related to timeliness, equity, efficiency and patient-centeredness to reliably draw conclusions about how the VA system compared to others across these dimensions. “

That article talks about QUALITY, i.e. ‘When we finally get around to cutting you open, it’s a good cut’.

I don’t disagree. My shoulder surgery went well. But that’s because I was referred out to a civilian provider which some would say ‘is of same quality as other civilian providers’.

So, No. VA does no ‘outperform private sector by far’. That would be an inaccurate assertion.

But if 20 million people are kicked off healthcare and have to go back to using the ER as primary care, your healthcare costs will go up.

First off, we’ve written about this 20 million people will die claim. Taking talking points from politicians (and parroting them over and over) makes you a “Useful Idiot”. There’s also a great video you should watch if you haven’t already:

More specifically, what do you think would happen with 20 million uninsured?

Let the free market work. If 20 million people get kicked, are you telling me companies wouldn’t be jumping all over to profit from these people who need coverage? They could all be covered before lunch the next day. 20 million citizens is an amazing market share that any company would want a slice of!

Do all 20 million expect to be in the emergency room for primary care before then? No.

The bigger issue here is the assumption that government is our only solution out of this. When government creates problems, the answer can’t be more government.

Unlike boob jobs and Lasik, most medical procedures are not optional. Free market dynamics do not work when consumers don’t have free choice.

The problem then isn’t choice, it’s price transparency. Almost everything is optional or preventable (other than birth defects, yes even most cancers are preventable). Your beloved government intervention has led us to a point where we don’t even have price transparency. Yeah, we should have MORE government…

What happens without price transparency?

What happens when I go to a restaurant and there are no prices because I don’t have to pay? I’m ordering steak. I don’t get the salad, I don’t get the chicken. I get a couple drinks to start, the sampler for an appetizer, the steak, and of course “Yes, I’d love to see the dessert menu!”. Thanks for covering my costs! Google Third Payer Problem or watch this video:
With price transparency, my wallet guides me in all my life decisions. I might even wake up early for a jog, quit smoking, skip the drive-thru, etc knowing that these choices will cost be in the long run. Without price transparency, what are people doing for preventative health care? Many do nothing, that’s what insurance is for, silly!

What I find immoral is that insurance companies clear nearly 80% profit margin from costly premiums, stealing from 200 million plus citizens. Insurance companies and big Pharma is our problem, not government

I agree with you! What gives them the right to do this? What gives them the power? What prevents a smart citizen like yourself from saying, screw you, I’m going to, instead of paying these outrageous premiums, go over here to a competing company instead? (hint: government)

In a free market, my inner entrepreneur would see 80% margins for an insurance company and say, “Damn, I need to start an insurance company” and I would swoop in and take all of their customers with a much more modest 70% margin (only to get outdone by another company of greedy capitalists who only want 60%).

This continues until margins are so lean, I’d need to innovate to bring higher quality or lower prices in order to stay salient. (This is Austrian Economic Theory).

None of this works if the government keeps passing laws which ARE WRITTEN BY THE INSURANCE COMPANIES TO PREVENT COMPETITION.

So, No. I don’t think you should keep hoping and praying that the government will pass another bill (written by the insurance companies) and expect it to be in my best interests.

Look at us agreeing!

All I see is hypocrisy. It’s OK for tax payers to pay for YOU the military, but not the unhealthy.

The right to life should include the right to be treated by a medical professional.

“The Right To Life” should be Universal!

Universal healthcare works in other countries. Just because it sucks in the US doesn’t make it a bad idea. But, please continue to yammer about moral obligation while you simultaneously seek to strip millions of people from healthcare. There’s absolutely not a smidge of cognitive dissonance there.

Yes these are actual comments.

I ask my friend, “How much do you donate?”

I believe in other’s health so much that I donated 18% of my salary last year to health charities alone. If you believe it to be important, you walk the walk. You don’t virtue-signal your representative into stealing from everyone to support things you care for, YOU support things you care for.

The military’s justification is specifically in the constitution (Government will protect Life, Liberty and Property) and I won’t be made to feel bad about any hypocrisy.

Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place. -Frederic Bastiat

If you think health care should be a Right, agitate to get the constitution changed. Maybe even spare a bit of your own dime?

If the ‘right to life’ included the Right to Medical Healthcare, who provides it in Venezuela? I mean, it’s a right.

How can a right not being given freely? There’s a difference between positive rights and negative rights.

If I am a doctor, you are not entitled to my time and services. If you are, that’s called slavery. Doctors HAVE to provide a service to everyone because it’s your right to their time and services? That doesn’t jive.

Under that logic, why wouldn’t Food be a Human Right? I mean, you need it to live. Why don’t we require stores to give out food and be open 24 hours a day? It’s our Right!

The Air Force also isn’t in the constitution. Shall we disband it now or wait until the morning?

**FACEPALM**

I’m a licensed professional counselor- intern, working in a public mental health facility, providing services to low income individuals and families. I also donate to organizations that I think will protect the needs of our most vulnerable, including planned parenthood and the ACLU, who both get recurring donations from me. Clearly, I’m a liberal. I also pay about $35k in taxes, most of which are allocated to our bloated military budget.

Great, a ‘professional’ ‘intern’ that thinks they are doing their part and aren’t required to do ANYTHING else to help those without insurance.

You obviously hate the military, you keep bringing us up. But you get no bonus points for tax money, we all pay it.

Plot twist: I’m also for limited military, slash it in half (to start), quit giving out foreign aid which could go to your beloved ‘Single Payer’. I want to reduce that tax burden so that YOU can’t blame it on me and YOU’LL have more money to give! Win win win!

I am a nurse, with a population health case management background. I have experience in reviewing health disparity research data, identifying best practices, and implementing such best practices to yield stronger patient outcomes at the organizational level.

Perfect! Thank you for what you do. Are you clinical or research at the moment? If clinical, does your clinic accept cash or insurance only?

We accept all forms of reimbursements…how is that pertinent to our discussion?

I wanted to ask about the price differential ‘when you take cash’ vs. ‘when you bill insurance’.

Then I was wondering how much of the billed service gets auto-negotiated down, what is the final disposition of payment?

I’d love to know the size of your staff that strictly ensures compliance? Or do you have to outsource it?
What is the effect on this expense on the final cost?

No response yet

It’s been an absolute blast! I’m truly not trying to win any arguments, just spread a message.

Maybe if we extend Obamacare and more people die because of it, we’ll learn. And then we get Single Payer and you get to experience how government can run health care like a DMV and we’ll learn from that as well.

I’m here hoping at some point you’ve been exposed to the message of Limited Government and the power of Free Markets so you know that’s there IS a better way.To be honest, I’d love everyone to have ‘free healthcare’ but giving bureaucrats in Washington that power hasn’t worked in the past and won’t work for something so important.

I’m not against the end result, it’s the method. Politicians, even Sen Cornyn here, doesn’t care about you, they care about power.

Wishing you health and happiness.

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Source: Liberty LOL – Every Statist Healthcare Talking Point Rebutted