Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan and Dr. Seuss

Kevin Drum discusses the matter of Ron Paul in an exchange with Daniel Larison.

The back-and-forth began with Drum’s post “Crackpots Do Not Make Good Messengers,” which I’m going to quote at length because his whole point is that this list of complaints is not short:

Ron Paul is not a charming oddball with a few peculiar notions. He’s not merely “out of the mainstream.” Ron Paul is a full-bore crank. In fact he’s practically the dictionary definition of a crank: a person who has a single obsessive, all-encompassing idea for how the world should work and is utterly blinded to the value of any competing ideas or competing interests.

This obsessive idea has, at various times in his career, led him to: denounce the Civil Rights Act because it infringed the free-market right of a monolithic white establishment to immiserate blacks; dabble in gold buggery and advocate the elimination of the Federal Reserve, apparently because the global economy worked so well back in the era before central banks; suggest that the border fence is being built to keep Americans from leaving the country; claim that Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional and should be dismantled; mount repeated warnings that hyperinflation is right around the corner; insist that global warming is a gigantic hoax; hint that maybe the CIA helped to coordinate the 9/11 attacks; oppose government-sponsored flu shots; and allege that the UN wants to confiscate our guns.

This isn’t the biography of a person with one or two unusual hobbyhorses. It’s not something you can pretend doesn’t matter. This is Grade A crankery, and all by itself it’s reason enough to want nothing to do with Ron Paul. But of course, that’s not all. As we’ve all known for the past four years, you can layer on top of this Paul’s now infamous newsletters, in which he condoned a political strategy consciously designed to appeal to the worst strains of American homophobia, racial paranoia, militia hucksterism, and new-world-order fear-mongering. And on top of that, you can layer on the fact that Paul is plainly lying about these newsletters and his role in them.

Now, balanced against that you have the fact that Paul opposes the War on Drugs and supports a non-interventionist foreign policy. But guess what? Even there, he’s a crank. Even if you’re a hard-core non-interventionist yourself, you probably think World War II was a war worth fighting. But not Ron Paul. He thinks we should have just minded our own damn business.

Whew.

Larison objects, though, that despite his crankitude and all of that baggage, “Paul Has Been Good for Non-Interventionism“:

The amusing conceit in all of this is that Paul has been or will be bad for non-interventionism. Far fewer people paid any attention to these ideas just five years ago. Non-interventionism has gone from being a more or less marginal position to one that is starting to receive a lot more attention and at least a little serious consideration. It’s impossible to ignore that this wouldn’t have happened had it not been for Paul’s last two presidential campaigns.

Drum responds that “non-interventionism” has gained support in recent years for two big reasons that have nothing to do with Ron Paul: Iraq and Afghanistan.

That’s an important bit of context. So is this: Daniel Larison writes for The American Conservative, a publication co-founded by Pat Buchanan.

Buchanan has, for years, been a much more prominent spokesman and standard-bearer for “non-interventionism” than Ron Paul has ever managed to be. If liberals want to embrace Ron Paul due to his support for “non-interventionism,” then consistency requires that they embrace Pat Buchanan too.

It’s hard not to read Larison’s defense of Paul as a proxy defense of Buchanan. If Paul’s disagreeableness, oddball conspiracy theories, xenophobia, homophobia and racism can be forgiven due to his staunch defense of “non-interventionism” in a futile presidential bid, then by the transitive property of right-wing cranks, Pat Buchanan’s disagreeableness, oddball conspiracy theories, xenophobia, homophobia and racism can also be forgiven due to his staunch defense of “non-interventionism” in a futile presidential bid.

But I want to look one further step back from this discussion and question the assumption here that “non-interventionism” is a Good Thing.

I don’t think it’s a Good Thing because I don’t think it’s a thing at all. “Non-interventionism” is no more a principle than “interventionism” is. It’s not obvious to me that “never intervene” is a wiser, more sensible, more prudent or more just approach than “always intervene” would be.

It seems to me, rather, to be the sort of crutch one falls back on instead of engaging in the difficult, messy business of an actual principled approach to evaluating any given situation. It allows you to escape having to know or care at all about any particular situation, because you’ve got a one-size-fits-all answer to any and every question.

Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul both happened to be right in opposing the invasion of Iraq, but that had nothing to do with their principled evaluation of that situation. They’re more like my friend in algebra class in high school who always said that X=3. Sometimes X did equal 3, but even when he got the answer right it wasn’t because he understood the question.

“Non-intervention” may sometimes be the better course of action. It usually is. But it may also sometimes be the worse course of action. President Franklin D. Roosevelt spent three years battling against non-interventionists. I think that he and his supporter Dr. Seuss were right and their non-interventionist opponents were wrong.

President Bill Clinton chose to intervene in Bosnia. He chose not to intervene in Rwanda. One of those decisions was justified. The other proved to be a monstrous mistake.

Those same two cases — Bosnia and Rwanda — shaped the perspective of our current secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in response to Gadhafi’s lethal attempt to quash the uprising in Libya. The Obama administration chose the path of intervention in Libya, with an approach that in many ways mirrored NATO’s intervention in Bosnia. It confuses more than it clarifies to label that response as “interventionism” and to declare it indistinguishable from the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq.

I try to follow the just war tradition. That tradition cannot be classified as either interventionist or non-interventionist. What it does is provide two sets of principles — the first set is intended to help sort out when intervention is or is not justified and permissible, the second set is intended to help sort out what kind of intervention is justified and permissible. Overall, the tradition is intended to restrain, constrain, reduce and limit both the incidence and the execution of war, which it insists is never justifiable except in the very last resort, when every other alternative would be even worse. That’s not interventionism, but neither is it non-interventionism.

Nor can pacifism accurately be described as “non-interventionist.” Read any of the great advocates of pacifism and non-violence — Gandhi, Rustin, Yoder, King or Sharp — and you’ll encounter vehement denials of the accusation that they are advocating isolationism or non-interventionism.

So I don’t see why the non-interventionism of Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul should be seen as a principle shared by progressives or liberals. I don’t think it’s a liberal principle because I don’t think it’s a principle at all.

 

 

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  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    al- it’s self evident. Why do prices come down. as others have noted, if some huge amount of gold was discovered the price of gold would go down. If there were no competition in mining and there was only a few companies that were allowed to mine there wold be all sorts of problems, they would be able to drive the price up via cartel. Unless they were really sharp they would likely not have the ability to go everywhere they need to to find new discoveries.

    re: medical agencies. how do people know things are good now? reputation and the licensing agencies which have the power of law behind them but that certainly doesn’t elminate malpractice. Look sat the SEC, what they say doesn’t hold much water post madoff. In a free market they would have been driven out of business.

    If there was somehow no governemnt, would you not go to the doctor? forget wether libertarian healthcare is better or worse. how would you seek to remedy an ailment if the current system didn’t exist? that’s the idea here, rebuild logically from the grtound up.

  • ako

    If there was somehow no governemnt, would you not go to the doctor?
    forget wether libertarian healthcare is better or worse. how would you
    seek to remedy an ailment if the current system didn’t exist?

    If there was no government, there is a good chance I simply wouldn’t be able to pay to a doctor, or safely travel to one, and would rely on the “Rest and hope it gets better on its own” approach to medical problems (which works well for most things when one is basically healthy, however will occasionally lead to either a severe problem going untreated, or something that my healthy immune system can easily shake off being spread to people who can’t recover from it nearly as well). 

    If there was no government, it was safe for me to travel, and I somehow had a way of paying for it, I would go to whatever doctor I’d heard was good.  Without government regulation, this would read to a substantially increased risk of me falling into the hands of a dangerously incompetent doctor and suffering severe injury or death while seeking medical care.  Why would I want this?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The market for soda isn’t driven by massive information asymmetries.

    The market for health care is.

    That’s just one issue: the idealized model of the market works when buyer and seller have the same information. Joseph Stiglitz, among others. demonstrated this effect.

    In the case of soda, the exact production method may be a trade secret, but it’s pretty easy to figure out that Coke tastes a certain way, comes in a certain kind of container, and costs $x. Pepsi tastes different (ish), comes in a different kind of container, and costs $y. I mean, you don’t need much more information besdies “It tastes good” or “bleccch”.

    That’s really all it boils down do, and for soda drinks, you can pretty much take it or leave it unless you’re reeaaaallly thirsty and need a drink. But barring gouging a can still costs around $x, and the market, aside from food safety regs, pretty much can run itself with competition between Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

    Health – you can’t take it or leave it. If you fall ill or a part of your body doesn’t work anymore, you can either hope it gets better on its own (not recommended) or you can see someone who has spent years studying the human body and its maladies.

    This is the driver of the information asymmetry in health care, among other factors. You can’t possibly self-diagnose with the same degree of confidence that a doctor or other health professional can. You don’t have the $200,000 MRI, the fully equipped blood test lab, the X-ray technicians, the… (insert long list here).

    Left to the free market, this ends up being what economists call a market failure. The competition is ill-defined and vague, and there’s no simple basis on which to distinguish one doctor from another because the pricing is highly uncertain and highly variable.

    This is why governments have stepped in and created a rare case of monopsony buying power as the corrective measure. By, in effect, creating a single payer to a wide variety of medical professionals, the government, with its own well-staffed research people, can determine the true cost structure of providing medicine, and can name the pricing schedule for various treatment procedures.

    This is the origin of the Canadian health insurance system: single-payer health insurance.

    I can choose my own doctor.

    I can go to any hospital (though the closest one is usually better for obvious reasons!)

    I am not “rationed” any health care in any true sense.

    For most basic medical procedures, such as the ones I’ve had to undergo, the wait time has been minimal. I can literally walk into a clinic and be out inside of an hour – most of that being the standard “sit around and wait for the doc to finish writing up paperwork in the arcane script of the profession so he or she can get to you next” kind of thing.

    There’s really no magic voodoo to the Canadian system. No jackbooted thugs at my door demanding I see a certain doctor at gunpoint. No special little card (I’ve seen some people in the states who are on HMOs get one) indicating which doctors in the city I may see to be eligible for treatment. Et cetera and so forth.

    No, the system’s not perfect, but the long wait times you hear about are usually the result of provincial governments who thought they could pinch pennies and ended up looking very pound foolish. With proper and stable funding levels the system works quite well.

  • Lori

     
     I mean, you don’t need much more information besdies “It tastes good” or “bleccch”.  

    Actually, you need at least one other piece of information—is it poison? The government takes care of that now. In Libertopia I guess we’ll all have to have our own testing kits or we’ll have to pay an enormous premium to purchase soda from a “trusted seller” who can verify that the drinks are safe. For those can’t or won’t pay the extra charge soda will become just like illegal drugs are now—a total crap shoot where adulterating agents are probably responsible for as much or more harm than the drugs themselves. 

    At that point (some) people will look at poor soda drinkers the same way (some) people look at drug users now—they deserve what they get and if they die no one ought to really care. 

    That sucks badly enough, but at least soda, like street drugs, is an optional consumable. As you said, health care isn’t optional. The Libertarian view about incentivizing people to live healthy lives assumes that all illness is fundamentally within human control. If you just live right you’ll never get sick. I have no idea why how someone manages to reach adulthood without knowing that that’s superstitious nonsense, but it’s really tiresome hearing it come from people who are patting themselves on the back about how smart they are. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Actually, you need at least one other piece of information—is it
    poison? The government takes care of that now. In Libertopia I guess
    we’ll all have to have our own testing kits or we’ll have to pay an
    enormous premium to purchase soda from a “trusted seller” who can verify
    that the drinks are safe.

    Indeed. This is actually how food and safety regulations can correct an information asymmetry for us and make the market work better*, since now the consumer isn’t faced with the need to determine if food or drink is potentially unsafe.

    Libertarians: Information asymmetry isn’t an abstract concept. It is directly relevant to your health. The government can do collectively very easily what it would be very hard, individually, for each of us to do alone.

    * I expect a mass befuddlement among Libertarians and some Republicans at this insight.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    PJ evans- they actually required people to hand over their gold. pretty scary stuff. confiscating pieces of metal from people!

    al- http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/26/charities-skeptical-obamas-proposed-tax-change/O

    sorry for the FOX link but it was the best article. not only does raising taxes make giving to charity less likely but they want to lower the deduction you get.  There is a balance, practicaly speaking, between taxes and revenue but disincentivizing charitable giving at a moment when you have 48 million people living below the poverty line is terrible.

  • P J Evans

    if some huge amount of gold was discovered
    Major assumption, requiring suspension of disbelief: it’s like the assumption that there are major oil fields that haven’t yet been discovered that will somehow instantly reduce prices.

    forget wether libertarian healthcare is better or worse
    No. You’re the one who’s claiming that libertarians have better ways of doiing everything including healthcare. You brought it up, you have to provide the convincing arguments. Which, so far, seem to be all handwaving.

  • Lori

    Chris: if some huge amount of gold was discovered

    P J: Major assumption, requiring suspension of disbelief: it’s like the assumption that there are major oil fields that haven’t yet been discovered that will somehow instantly reduce prices.  

    It also assumes that new gold finds would be allowed to effect the market, which isn’t necessarily true. Look at how long the diamond cartels have been able to keep prices artificially high for something that isn’t actually all that rare. The government is not to blame for that and getting rid of the government wouldn’t fix it.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    neutrino- so what if you had a doctor who cheated all the way through medical school and was actually terrible. what would happen to that person? they would get sued and or their reputation would be so bad no one would go to them.

    “If you fall ill or a part of your body doesn’t work anymore, you can either hope it gets better on its own (not recommended) or you can see someone who has spent years studying the human body and its maladies.”

    getting close to a labor theory of value there. obviosuly you want someone with experience but as in the above example putting the time in doesnt mean you are a good doctor thoughI’m sure this is a very strong correlation don’t get me wrong. The problem is the costs with having fewer doctors because of this. it makes their services more rare and thus more expensive.

    I gotta go for now thanks for the responses guys and girls

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I’m not sure you’ve even really tried to address the points I’ve made regarding why Libertarian concepts of how the health care sector should operate end up having issues that would only magnify the problems extant in the US health care system as it is currently constituted.

  • P J Evans

     Your repeated attachment of the same charts is not impressing us. It’s attachment-spam at this point.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I’m not sure it’s Chris Hadrick’s fault at this point. Disqus somehow attached to one of my posts an old image, so it could be a hiccup in the software.

  • P J Evans

     Okay, but there should be a way to fix it.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    neutrino- so what if you had a doctor who cheated all the way through
    medical school and was actually terrible. what would happen to that
    person? they would get sued and or their reputation would be so bad no
    one would go to them.

    Wayyyy too many Libertarian excuses for pointed-out flaws in their philosophy seem to consist of “don’t worry, the FREE MARKET!!! will fix everything (once the body count gets high enough)!”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino
  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    PJ- I can’t figure out how to detach the charts sorry. as for evidence, these are basic economic laws. Yu want me to cite examples of when something became cheaper via competition and increasing the quanitity? cell phones, computers. or that people tend to buy things when they are cheaper? sales are a good example. am i answering your question.
     
    Ellie -http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/26/charities-skeptical-obamas-proposed-tax-change/O

    Obviosuly if you have less money to spend you will have less to give to charity. and making the deduction less also reduces incentive to give.

    neutrino- and unlike nixon FDR IS a genuine liberal hero.

  • ako

    NOt if there was chaos out there how would you go to the doctor.

    Ah, so you’re not talking about a realistic no-government situation like Somalia, but a purely imaginary libertarian version.

    So Im saying what do you look for in a physician. How does the
    government or the AMA determine what is a good physician and how is it
    not possible for private companies to do the same thing??

    What I want in a physician is someone who follows good medical practices.  And I don’t know how to tell if a doctor is doing that or not, because it requires specializes knowledge and education to figure that out.  It requires a lot of information, and if I was going to spend the time (and money) necessary to acquire all of the available information, get the education to help me understand it, and process it to judge how well physicians are doing by those standards, I wouldn’t be able to hold another job.

    Now I could hire a private company to review these standards for me, but there’s one problem with that.  Private companies exist to make as much money as possible, which significantly biases the results.  If there is more money in feeding me bad information than in feeding me good information, they will feed me bad information and keep taking my money as I get sicker and sicker.

    Now in Magical Libertarian Land, I’m assuming some unspecified mechanism would prevent businesses from forming trusts (as they historically did when the government didn’t stop them), so there’s always free market competition to eventually put the bad organizations out of business.  Which means I die of poor medical care, my family sues the company and loses because they can’t afford the high-powered legal representation the big company can pay for, the gradual accumulation of bad publicity may eventually drive customers away and if everyone’s lucky, a few decades after I die, that particular business will end.  (But, of course, new bad ones will keep springing up, because between the time of founding the company and the time of going out of business, there is a big pile of money to be made.)

    I still prefer the government version.

  • Anonymous

    Suppose I accept your premise that lower taxes means more money in the charitable-donation budget. (I don’t, but suppose I do.) What do you intend to do to protect the religious freedom of the atheist or Muslim or Pagan who finds herself reliant for food not on food stamps (because lower taxes means less money to fund food stamps) but on local Christian organizations, all of whom insist she convert to Christianity before they feed her?

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Obviosuly if you have less money to spend you will have less to give
    to charity. and making the deduction less also reduces incentive to
    give.

    As was previously said, “LOL HISTORYFAIL”.  Most of the US’s biggest charitable works were made back when the max tax rate was 90%.  Why?  Because guys like Carnegie KNEW they weren’t going to get to keep all that loot, so they might as well get a tax write-off for some of it.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    ako- “Now I could hire a private company to review these standards for me, but there’s one problem with that. Private companies exist to make as much money as possible, which significantly biases the results. If there is more money in feeding me bad information than in feeding me good information, they will feed me bad information and keep taking my money as I get sicker and sicker.”

    ?? right, they exist to make as much money as possible. Who’s point are you tryin to make?  they HAVE to give good information or they will go out of business. which is why the SEC, which have no good reason to do a good job, missed the boat on Madoff, Enron and every other scandal ever.

    I don’t think consomers would be willing to pay alot for bad information.

    “Now in Magical Libertarian Land, I’m assuming some unspecified mechanism would prevent businesses from forming trusts (as they historically did when the government didn’t stop them), so there’s always free market competition to eventually put the bad organizations out of business. Which means I die of poor medical care, my family sues the company and loses because they can’t afford the high-powered legal representation the big company can pay for, the gradual accumulation of bad publicity may eventually drive customers away and if everyone’s lucky, a few decades after I die, that particular business will end. (But, of course, new bad ones will keep springing up, because between the time of founding the company and the time of going out of business, there is a big pile of money to be made.)”

    thats more like what we have now. the corporations don’t need to form trusts, they own the government and can shape policy to make it impossible for smaller competitors.

    Somalia is in sub saharan Africa, theres all different types of failed states there. I’m thinking more along the lines of http://www.heritage.org/index/

    ross- the high price of healthcare makes people be overly cautious in deciding when to go to the doctor. If you were to lower prices they would be less so. if you were to lower prices MORE… beyond what their actual price is, people would tend to take advantage of that. it’s no different for healthcare than big macs.

    elllie- if the organization requires them to convert to christianity to recieve help it’s not a christian organization.

    “because lower taxes means less money to fund food stamps)”

    ?? food stamps are allocated via the budget, they aren’t a variable that goes up and down with tax revenues.

    again, most of your tax dollars go to RICH people, not poor people. the areas in and around DC are the richest in the country. If they were only, say, the SECOND richest in the country, I know that would hurt us as anation but I think we could survive.

    lori/ pJ – I wasn’t saying there are massive gold deposits that haven’t been discovered, I’m saying if alot of gold were to come onto the market it wold lower the price of gold.

  • Anonymous

    if the organization requires them to convert to christianity to recieve help it’s not a christian organization.

    BRB LOL FOREVER. Also, what the hell are they if not a Christian organization?

    If I respond any further to this libertroll, somebody smack me.

  • Lori

     
     they HAVE to give good information or they will go out of business.  

     

    LOL. I’ll give you this, you’re hilarious. You should consider taking your act on the road. 

  • http://dumas1.livejournal.com/ Winter

    ?? right, they exist to make as much money as possible. Who’s
    point are you tryin to make?  they HAVE to give good information or they
    will go out of business. which is why the SEC, which have no good
    reason to do a good job, missed the boat on Madoff, Enron and every
    other scandal ever.

    I don’t think consomers would be willing to pay alot for bad information.

    Gods below, do you think about the words you type at all?

    Taking money from would-be doctors (legitimate or not) in exchange for favorable ratings is the first revenue-enhancing move I see those companies making. It’s great to milk both sides. Case in point: the, you will notice, entirely private credit rating agencies, whose incentives were heavily weighted towards rating every mortgage-related security as high as possible.

    As for consumers, they will only leave the company if they know the information is bad. This leads us back to the information asymmetry inherent to medicine, with a layer of PR on top.

  • P J Evans

     He’s also never heard about the Better Business Bureau. which does exactly that: it gives better ratings to businesses that pay it. Or about Rand Paul’s ‘ophthalmology association’, which consists of him (and maybe some others) and is NOT accredited by anyone else. (I wouldn’t go to any doctor who invents an organization just to get a fancy certificate on their office wall. I’d suspect that all their others were also fake.)

  • hapax

    I don’t think consomers would be willing to pay alot for bad information.

    You don’t have to “think.”  It is a well-known FACT.  Ask anyone in the information business.  Ask me, that’s my job.

    Consumers are DESPERATE for help in cutting through the hard, messy, difficult business of sorting out tons of apparently-conflicting and ambiguous data to give them a clear, simple, yes-or-no answer:  Will this doctor help me?  Should I buy this stock?  Is this diet safe?  Is this a real job offer or a scam?  Am I going to be okay?

    They are so desperate that they don’t want to look at the information that I can give them for free.  I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked, begged, offered bribes to “just give me a name”, “just tell me yes or no”, etc., even when I tell them flat out that I am not qualified, that it is ILLEGAL (because of those protective regulations you sneer at) for me to do any such thing.

    You want proof?  Which “news source” is making the most money:  detailed analysis with citations?  Quick simplistic summaries?  Soundbites fluffed up with infotainment?  Or bombastic opinions masquerading as facts?

  • ako

    ?? right, they exist to make as much money as possible. Who’s point are you tryin to make?

    Let me make this clear.  Businesses exist to make as much money as possible.  Therefore, if there is more money in, for example, selling consumers bottles of plain water and making these sound like useful medicine than there is in selling actual medicine, guess what’s going to be sold?  (If you think this is too far-fetched to be possible, consider that billions of dollars are spent on homeopathic remedies in the US alone.)

    Somalia is in sub saharan Africa, theres all different types of failed states there. I’m thinking more along the lines of http://www.heritage.org/index/

    I’m confused.  Right near the top of the list is Singapore, a country that executes people for carrying heroin, forces everyone to serve in the military, imprisons people for writing books the government objects to, officially still officially lists gay sex as a crime, and beats people for such crimes as overstaying their visa, and bans chewing gum.    That really doesn’t sound like small government or increased personal freedom. 

    Also, that list is full of countries that actually have universal heath care, which seems to have very little in common with what Ron Paul advocates.  (If you want the US to become more like Canada, I advise you to find a different political label, as using “libertarian” to describe that will just confuse people.)

    I don’t think consomers would be willing to pay alot for bad information.

    How would they know it was bad information?  The only way for people to find out it’s bad information under a libertarian system with no government regulation is if there are enough people suffering and dying that there’s a clear correlation between the sickness and the product and they get together and share their personal stories enough that people have some idea of how much of an issue it is.  And tainted food and bad medical care aren’t always cases of “Take this and you fall ill on the spot”, but are often complicated things where you can’t figure out what exactly is going on without a controlled study.  Without any sort of neutral party to evaluate matters, people aren’t going to be able to know where the poison is or which doctors are dangerously incompetent.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I’m thinking more along the lines of http://www.heritage.org/index/

    Australia is number 3 on that list! We have strong regulation and society-funded universal healthcare. At last we agree — the US would be better off moving its healthcare system to one more like ours (aka less private sector control).

  • http://dumas1.livejournal.com/ Winter

    Therefore, if there is more money in, for example, selling consumers
    bottles of plain water and making these sound like useful medicine than
    there is in selling actual medicine, guess what’s going to be
    sold?  (If you think this is too far-fetched to be possible, consider
    that billions of dollars are spent on homeopathic remedies in the US
    alone.)

    My money would be on “patent medicines” concocted from whatever’s cheap and produces a bit of a high: meth, alcohol, cocaine, Ecstasy, etc. Something that makes the user feel like it’s working and can be sold as a sovereign cure for everything.

  • Lori

    Speaking of people who are divorced from reality, can we shift topics from the Almighty Paul and talk about another occupant of the GOP clown car, Rick Santorum? I thought I loathed him before, but I had no idea. Every aspect of his family history contradicts his politics and he doesn’t seem to even be aware of it. Or more likely he hopes that if he just pretends that his family history supports his politics no one will notice. 

    Grandpa Santorum: Immigrated from Italy. He was lucky to get into the US at all since he came right around the time racists passed an immigration law to keep out those dirty, non-white Italians. He came looking for freedom–and ended up a coal miner in a company town and paid in scrip. IOW, he was essentially a slave and apparently he was well aware of that. 

    http://crooksandliars.com/rick-perlstein/santorum-freedom-slavery

    Mom & Dad Santorum: Worked their entire adult lives for the VA. That’s where they met and they even lived in VA housing while raising their children. Dad Santorum said that the GI Bill was the greatest gift he ever received.  

    http://edgeofthewest.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/the-santorum-taint/

    Mrs Santorum: Experienced a problem pregnancy which would have killed her had it continued. Reports vary as to exactly what treatment she received, but the end result was that Mrs Santorum lives and the baby did not. However that occurred, her husband advocates laws that would make it impossible for other women to receive the same life-saving treatment. Because the Santorum’s life-threatening pregnancy was a “wrenching experience”, but other people in the same position are just baby killers. 

    http://jezebel.com/5873158/rick-santorums-anti+abortion-stance-would-have-killed-his-own-wife

    In spite of the fact that Rick Santorum apparently thinks the country is lousy with baby killers, he still thinks people should be forced to have children if they want to have sex. 

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/01/07/ladies-lets-all-calm-down/

    In short, W.T.F?

    I have never voted Republican in a national election and never expected to do so. However, I also never expected the GOP to get as bad as it is now and still continue to exist as a viable party. 

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Ellie – I’ve never heard of a charity organization that required conversion before they gave charity. I would not donate to one.

    Lori- as always no counterargument, just condescension. fine with me. all the more democrats to come over to our side when they see there are no answers on yours.

  • Lori

     
     I’ve never heard of a charity organization that required conversion before they gave charity. I would not donate to one.  

      
    You need a broader exposure to charities then, because there are plenty of them that use charitable service as a tool of manipulation. They don’t say that right on the website or the cover of the brochure. You actually have to apply some thought to what they do say. Things like “Using X to spread God’s love” is code for, “In order to get the service they have to listen to the sermon”.

     Lori- as always no counterargument, just condescension.  

    I did provide counterarguments and so have others. You mostly fail to respond to them directly (see Paul’s stance on abortion and GLBTQ rights) or you respond with counterfactuals which you label as self-evident truths. You make it pointless to do anything but mock you. 

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    neutrino- there is obviously demand for information regarding the safety of food.  people are willing to pay for that but to get it we have to fund bridges to nowhere, that’s the problem. People are saying ” I want the food safety information, but I don’t want the wars and the bridges to nowhere” now. There is too much waste in the government package deal.

    Also, if you like ugly looking cartoons with robot voices check out my play

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGkZxgzxTlk&list=PLFC0967FBEDE53CC1&index=1&feature=plpp_video

    it’s about liberty. it automatically goes to the next scene if you make it that far haha

  • Patrick Anderson

    Chris Hadrick: ” they HAVE to give good information or they will go out of business.”

    This really isn’t true.  The free market only works with information being readily and freely available to people as to the quality of businesses and their products.  There is no reason to assume this libertarian society would run any differently than the current one in regard to this sort of knowledge. 
    If a business is dishonest, it is in its own interest to keep people ignorant, through any means available.  Bribery, obfuscation through competing information sources, and flat out lies.

    Obfuscation works amazingly well.  If you get enough people all saying the same thing, most who hear it will accept it as being true, regardless of its actual authenticity.  This is true even of readily testable things, like the idea that vaccines cause autism. We (as a society) have done the research, and there isn’t any evidence to show this, yet a great many people believe it fervently.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Patrick Anderson, Winter- first let me state explicitly I’m not referring to any kind of libertarian  utopian society. I mean THIS society. what is the FDA? it’s a bunch of people who are hired based on their perceived expertise to arrive at sensible appraisals of various components of food industry. We give the government money, they hire these people. ostensibly they work for us to determine waht is safe for us. So, we could hire these exact same people and pay them the same or more and not pay for wars and so forth. what’s the problem?

  • P J Evans

    what is the FDA? it’s a bunch of people who are hired based on their
    perceived expertise to arrive at sensible appraisals of various
    components of food industry.

    Not just the food industry: also cosmetics and drugs. Most of the time they’re depending on information provided by the manufacturers. You should be able to see the potential problem there. And it isn’t caused by ‘big government’, but by people who want LESS government, and don’t want to pay for anything but their own personally-wanted stuff. JUST LIKE RON PAUL.

  • Kish

    Patrick Anderson, Winter- first let me state explicitly I’m not
    referring to any kind of libertarian  utopian society. I mean THIS
    society. what is the FDA? it’s a bunch of people who are hired based on
    their perceived expertise to arrive at sensible appraisals of various
    components of food industry. We give the government money, they hire
    these people. ostensibly they work for us to determine waht is safe for
    us. So, we could hire these exact same people and pay them the same or
    more and not pay for wars and so forth. what’s the problem?

    Can you tell the difference between “label stuck on food by disinterested evaluator reflecting the honest results of tests” and “label stuck on food by clever wordsmith reflecting what his/her employer wants potential buyers to believe about the food”?

    Right now, the latter is both illegal and likely to be found out quickly. Assuming, for the moment, that in your scenario it would still be illegal even though it’s not initiating force, how exactly would it be found out–short of giving your private enterprise so much government oversight that making it a private enterprise in the first place seems pointless?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    kish- the FDA is ostensibly an agency of people giving their expertise on things. they simply have a monopoly on that service by government fiat. what would government oversight do?

    If there were competing post offices would we have worse service? I doubt it.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    There are “competing post offices” of a sort: FedEx and UPS.

    Both are fast, but also expensive.

    They also both engage in dishonest practices regarding Canadian Customs “brokerage” fees – UPS more so than FedEx, but anyway, you get the point.

    In short, they exist to provide fast service between domestic urban centers in the United States, and while they will deliver to rural locations, it almost always costs more to get things shipped to you by UPS or FedEx than it would US postal mail.

  • P J Evans

     Might not be worse mail service, in cities, but everyone would be paying a LOT more money for it. In rural areas, you’d probably have to go to the private carrier’s nearest office, which might be a once-a-week trip, AND you’d pay extra for the privilege, as well as the much higher rates.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    neutrino- but for basic mail the post office has the monopoly. You aren’t allowed to set up a competing postal service.

    sgt pepper’s – I agree. There are 48 million people living below the poverty line under the current system. Our schools and healthcare are a joke and it all costs a ton. and we are dropping drones on people on the other side of the world. I’m not comfortable with having the moral culpability for that. i don’t think history will look kindly on it. It’s not the right or the left it’s the empire. we crossed the rubicon. We have to fight it. That’s what i believe.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I agree. There are 48 million people living below the poverty line
    under the current system. Our schools and healthcare are a joke and it
    all costs a ton.

    But when I asked you how healthcare should work you provided the example of a system that, quite literally, leaves the weakest members of society unsupported, with the justification that they’ll die off and leave society to the strong. That’s what is evil. You can’t support that and be a decent human being.

    and we are dropping drones on people on the other side of the world. I’m not comfortable with having the moral culpability for that.

    The aggressive military attitude of the US, in which it has been almost constantly engaged in warfare for generations, is not due to excessive government involvement in healthcare.

    My attitude to war lies somewhere between pacifism and very, very strict application of just war doctrine. If you want to break the military-industrial complex, I’m with you. But any philosophy that offers up the poor and the weak as casualties to achieving its goals, as libertarianism does, is broken. Replacing one evil for another is no moral act.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “(If you think this is too far-fetched to be possible, consider that billions of dollars are spent on homeopathic remedies in the US alone.)”

    so are you suggesting we ban homeopathic medicine? i’m sure big Pharma would be with you on that. if people want that stuff it’s their business.

    “The only way for people to find out it’s bad information under a libertarian system with no government regulation is if there are enough people suffering and dying that there’s a clear correlation between the sickness and the product and they get together and share their personal stories enough that people have some idea of how much of an issue it is.”

    So what if the thing that can save you isn’t being allowed on to the market because the FDA has decided it has to run more tests? So you die. where’s the morality in that? give me the medicine i’ll accept the risk. and again, whatever the FDA does we can hire people to do. we could hire the exact same personel! We just won’t have to also fund whatever hillary Rodham Clinton is talking about.

    and the government isn’t a neutral party. They are filled to the gills with corporate stooges. look at all the goldman sachs clowns in the Obama admin.

    and regarding Singapore- they have their own cultural baggage that affects the freedom of people in their country. Im’ not suggest we emulate that. it’s the index of economic freedom. It just says it’s easy to set up a business and hire people there and so forth there. Outside of that it has other less desirable traits but in general the countries at the top of that list have a higher quality of life than those at the bottom.

  • ako

    so are you suggesting we ban homeopathic medicine?

    No, I’m saying that companies will sell ineffective non-medicine when it makes them money, and the market doesn’t punish them for it.

    i’m sure big Pharma would be with you on that.

    You’re really fond of ignoring people’s actual points in favor of baseless “You, a liberal, are now on the side of something you hate!” assertions, aren’t you?

    give me the medicine i’ll accept the risk.

    See, I’d rather not take the risk of untested and unregulated medicine, and under a libertarian system, I will no longer have that choice.  I’ll be forced to accept the risk.

    They are filled to the gills with corporate stooges. look at all the goldman sachs clowns in the Obama admin.

    So replacing a system that’s tainted with corporate corruption with a system that consists entirely of those same corporations without any regulation is better somehow?

    they have their own cultural baggage that affects the freedom of people in their country. Im’ not suggest we emulate that.

    I’m confused.  What are you suggesting we emulate?  Canada?  Switzerland?  The “Probability Breach” comic? 

    it’s the index of economic freedom. It just says it’s easy to set up a business and hire people there and so forth there.

    So it’s possible to have high economic freedom and low personal freedom, and we shouldn’t necessarily emulate the policies of countries with high economic freedom, and it’s possible to have universal health care and still be a business-friendly environment.  What was your point again?

    For the record, I don’t care much about being able to set up a business quickly and easily.  I care a great deal about being able to express my opinion without being jailed.

  • Lori

    The fact that this:

     
    so are you suggesting we ban homeopathic medicine? i’m sure big Pharma would be with you on that. if people want that stuff it’s their business.  

    was your response to this

    “If you think this is too far-fetched to be possible, consider that billions of dollars are spent on homeopathic remedies in the US alone.”

     

    is a serious Logic FAIL and indicates some serious problems with the way you work through issues. 

    Sales of homepathic medications are evidence of people’s willingness to buy things that don’t work. Pointing that out has nothing whatsoever to do with banning homeopathy.

    Also, whether Big Pharma would like it or not is not the appropriate way to decide if homeopathy should be banned or not. 

     
    and the government isn’t a neutral party. They are filled to the gills with corporate stooges. look at all the goldman sachs clowns in the Obama admin.  

    To quote you, whose case are you making. Government has too many corporate stooges so the solution is to get rid of government and give the corporations direct control? Do you really not see why that’s a problem? I suppose you think that the magic of the Free Market will fix everything, but all available evidence says that it won’t so you’re going to need to come up with another response. 

  • P J Evans

    Actually, I suspect Big Pharma has no problem with homeopathic medicine. They make better profits on it.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    so are you suggesting we ban homeopathic medicine?

    Yes. I think it should be a violation of truth-in-advertising laws to market homeopathic products as “medicine”. If they’d like to sell them as a food product or candy or some sort of beauty product, that’s fine by me, but “homeopathic medicine” is a contradiction in terms, and selling a homeopathic product *as medicine* is *fraud*.

    i’m sure big Pharma would be with you on that.

    And Hitler ate sugar. So remember, if you take sugar in your coffee, you’re drinking coffee with HITLER.

    So what if the thing that can save you isn’t being allowed on to the market because the FDA has decided it has to run more tests? So you die. where’s the morality in that? give me the medicine i’ll accept the risk. and again, whatever the FDA does we can hire people to do. 

    Okay then. I’ll just roll 3D6 and…. Ooh. Sorry. Five. Your kidneys shut down, your liver turns to paste, and you now have four kinds of cancer. And you’re still dying of whatever you were dying from before.

    Too bad you didn’t get a six or better. Six to 14 gets you all of that, but the heroin it’s cut with stops you from caring.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    . Im’ not suggest we emulate that. it’s the index of economic freedom.

    I want freedom for ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS before I worry about the poor suffering corporations.  If you prick them, they DO NOT bleed.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    lori- corporations have power because of their connections to the government. they hate competition, that’s what K street is all about. there is no corporatism without government power. That’s what they are lobbying for, access to all that power. less tax dollars = less corporatism., more social power.

    “leaves the weakest members of society unsupported, with the justification that they’ll die off and leave society to the strong. ”

    I never said that. The weakest members of society are unsupported NOW. I want to remedy that, not make it worse. inflation, for example, hurts the poor far more than the rich, that’s why i favor a gold standard. inflation punishes savers. You need savings in a society despite the nutty pronouncements to spend spend spend from the nuts from the right and left alike.

    “Sales of homepathic medications are evidence of people’s willingness to buy things that don’t work.”

    how do you know they don’t work? the argument is false because it accepts the notion that because it isn’t sanctioned by the state it’s bad. When was the last time anyone paid attention to the 2,2,3,5 or whatever it is we are supposed to eat from wach food group. it changes all the time. No one knows “the truth”. whatever happened to challenging authority?

  • hapax

    how do you know they don’t work? the argument is false because it
    accepts the notion that because it isn’t sanctioned by the state it’s
    bad.

    Do you even think this stuff through before it spews out of your fingers?

    We know homeopathy doesn’t work because scientific study conclusively demonstrates it doesn’t work.

    We know homeopathy doesn’t work because there is no physical mechanism by which it CAN work.

    I don’t need “the state” to sanction physical laws.  I need “the state” to support the education of people to make them competent to understand and apply these physical laws, to provide a neutral party (not being paid by Big Pharma OR the homeopathic industry) to investigate these claims, to disseminate the results, and to punish those who choose to continue to make fraudulent claims despite the scientific results.

    Because it is more efficient for a society to do this as a whole, and to collect a small amount of money from each member of the society who benefits, than for every individual to do it for themselves.  Because it is less expensive to put this work in the hands of those who are supposedly intent on accuracy and the public good as their highest goals (whether or not they are absolutely pure from any taint of corruption), than in the hands of those who are explicitly motivated by maximizing profits, and have a financial stake in falsifying the results.

    Is this really so hard for you to understand?

    But then again, we see that you keep linking to Fox News.  No wonder you’re resistant to the concept that people might willingly sell and consume false information….

  • Anonymous

    *fishsmack*

    I never said that. The weakest members of society are unsupported NOW. I want to remedy that, not make it worse.

    So you’re for a minimum wage that’s a living wage? Or you’re for reverse taxation such that anyone earning below a living wage gets extra money from the government to bring them up to a living wage? (That way no one has to rely on private charity that may not be forthcoming.) Good to know.

    “Sales of homepathic medications are evidence of people’s willingness to buy things that don’t work.”

    how do you know they don’t work?

    Because they’re HOMEOPATHIC, moron. Homeopathic, definition: “A system for treating disease based on the administration of minute doses of a drug that in massive amounts produces symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those of the disease itself.”

  • ako

    how do you know they don’t work? the argument is false because it
    accepts the notion that because it isn’t sanctioned by the state it’s
    bad.

    Are you serious?  Are you actually serious?  You think that people who disbelieve in homeopathy are only doing so because it isn’t government approved? 

    I don’t think that homeopathy works because 1) diluting stuff doesn’t make it stronger, no matter how much you shake it, and 2) “Stuff that induces the same symptoms as the disease in higher doses” is not a reliable way to find medicine that cures things.

    And no, that doesn’t mean I’m going to take away your little bottles of plain water.  I just don’t think they should be treated as the equivalent of real medicine.

  • Lori

     
    corporations have power because of their connections to the government.

    Connections to government are one way that corporations can gain power, but they aren’t by any means the only way. Getting rid of government will not reduce corporate power. Your belief that it will is naive and shows that you haven’t studied history at all. The only place the world works as you believe that it does is inside the heads of Libertarians. Out here in the real world where we all have to live, unchecked corporate power turns the bulk of the population into virtual slaves. You need to take your blinders off and read up on the Gilded Age because your knowledge base is seriously deficient. 

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    “Sales of homepathic medications are evidence of people’s willingness to buy things that don’t work.”

    how
    do you know they don’t work? the argument is false because it accepts
    the notion that because it isn’t sanctioned by the state it’s bad.

    I am reasonably certain that homeopathy doesn’t work because if it DOES, about half of what we think we know about biology and physics is flat-out wrong.

    Also because if homeopathy was real, a single glass of tap water would be the most powerful medicine (or possibly poison) known to humanity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    It’s not so much that homoepathy is dangerous but that it’s ineffective. It’s essentially water given a fancy name. It won’t poison you but if you have a serious medical problem it will do nothing to help you because it’s just water.

  • Ima Pseudonym

    I can add to this.

    I can be reasonably certain that homeopathy doesn’t work because:

    (1) One of the basic principles states that the more diluted a solution is, the more effective that solution is, and many homeopathic solutions are so dilute that they contain, on average, not one single molecule of the active ingredient(s). 
    (2) No experiment has shown that clusters of water molecules carry any sort of a “memory” of the chemicals with which they have been in contact, and that they don’t typically last long enough to do anything, even in the event that they somehow DID.  Homeopathy advocates occasionally claim that the process of succussion–that is, shaking or whacking the solution against something–is what makes the solution effective–for all intents and purposes, they’re invoking magic. 
    (3) Homeopathic treatments have not been shown in controlled experiments to be any more effective than placebo at treating any medical condition.

    Unless some or all of these change, then there’s little reason to conclude that there’s anything to homeopathy except quackery. 

  • FangsFirst

    Okay, so let’s take a really simply set of hypotheticals for this free market solution BS:

    Slow-acting poisons. Placebo medications and similar “cures” that do nothing in reality.

    Tell me how quickly those companies are going to go out of business again?

    If people are dying of cancer 40 years on, who the fuck is going to be identifying this in product X? Seriously. So, Company manufacturing Product X is now in business for 40 years before they are put out of business by the Super Magic Free Market™

    If people are not being cured by Magic Product Y, but believe they are and have been convinced by slick marketing and paid “professionals” (since we no longer want regulation on what a professional is AT ALL…or at least a decentralized form, meaning to find a professional you can trust, you have to find a professional judge of professionals you can trust, which means you have to find a judge of professional judges…) that it is?

    That business survives. These businesses have no reason to not survive, because no one is testing their products. Or if they are, well, who cares? What’s going to happen? Their competitors come out and say their product is poison? Whooptydoo. We have no regulations on making crap up now, so we don’t know if it actually IS poison or their competitor just wants you to think it is. And we can’t do anything about it anyway. Okay, it’s a lie. Who the hell holds them accountable? It’s not regulated!

    The central premise is the same as the working model for communism and a lot of other nice ideas: “People will choose the best thing for the common good.”
    Look, I’m really up on people. Often probably more than I should be. One of the first things I started commenting on here was my reluctance to assign labels of “racist” to some comments, because I suspected racism might be inaccurate and disinterest in the poor more accurate. I think, given a system, most people will operate by the rules.

    But I know from my own experience and from observing on macro and micro scales, that those boundaries are so grey that some things can be shifted pretty easily and leave people thinking they’re still doing all right.

    It could even be, “Hey, we don’t KNOW it’s poison..” or even the sincere belief that it probably isn’t. Cloud that with, “I see the risk as really low and the profit margin really high,” throw in the people who aren’t that ‘average’ and ARE sociopaths and psychopaths: it doesn’t work. It can’t work.

    No system can be perfect, but when you start decentralizing, you’re left with nothing BUT competition on EVERY level. Or you’re left with no options. Either way, there’s nothing to trust even a little. Not to take FDA recommendations with a little salt, which is reasonable, but to have to analyze the ever-loving shit out of everything forever, because there’s no sense of accountability, beyond the dubious claim that people will lose business if they’re assholes.

    I’ve got news for you: plenty of people are assholes and still in business. And it’s not because of regulations. It’s because the motivators that exist are often monetary, both in maximizing profit on the part of businesses and on the part of minimizing cost for consumers. People will take endlessly shitty treatment if it saves them money.

    It’s a lovely idea. But people are people so it won’t work.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    ako- “No, I’m saying that companies will sell ineffective non-medicine when it makes them money, and the market doesn’t punish them for it. ”
     
    the people byu it of their own volition. it’s their money. people see astrologers of their own volition. Shuold we have a government bunch of astrologers to police the other ones?
    “You’re really fond of ignoring people’s actual points in favor of baseless “You, a liberal, are now on the side of something you hate!” assertions, aren’t you?”
    because that’s how corporations trick people. see how green we are, lets pass thes green laws. meanwhile they have horrible polluting plants in Vietnam and China that add as much to global warming as anything despite all their green talk.
     
    “replacing a system that’s tainted with corporate corruption with a system that consists entirely of those same corporations without any regulation is better somehow?”
     
    yes because they wouldn’t be able to manipulate the laws. what is wall street without washington? and vice versa
     
    “For the record, I don’t care much about being able to set up a business quickly and easily.”
     
    well people who are entrepenours do. and I never said it was impossible to have universal healthcare and a good economy. there are all sorts of systems that work in different ways democracy, monarchies, republics. staying out of prolonged military conflicts, not screwing up the economy with over regulation or weird corporatized slective  de regulation ( and Bailouts) and spying on people. I want the US to be #1 for all forms of freedom.

  • Anonymous

    the people byu it of their own volition. it’s their money. people see
    astrologers of their own volition. Shuold we have a government bunch of
    astrologers to police the other ones?

    Astrology is for fun, and I’m a little disturbed that you don’t see the difference between an astrologer reading a horoscope and a surgeon cutting you open.

    Are you seriously suggesting that it would be okay for a quack to butcher a patient like that? Because that’s what’s going to happen if doctors don’t need to be accredited and are completely unsupervised. The average person doesn’t know the difference between a real doctor and a charismatic fraud until it’s too late. There’s no “of their own volition” here because they don’t have access to the information.

    yes because they wouldn’t be able to manipulate the laws. what is wall street without washington? and vice versa

     Stop big business from manipulating the laws… by removing the laws? Can you see how that might be problematic?

    well
    people who are entrepenours do. and I never said it was impossible to
    have universal healthcare and a good economy. there are all sorts of
    systems that work in different ways democracy, monarchies, republics.
    staying out of prolonged military conflicts, not screwing up the economy
    with over regulation or weird corporatized slective  de regulation
    ( and Bailouts) and spying on people. I want the US to be #1 for all
    forms of freedom.

    It is already very easy to start a business in this country. Unless you’re incorporating, it takes very little paperwork and no oversight whatsoever. If you want the liability benefits of a corporation without the tax disadvantages of one, you can operate a regular partnership as an LLC or an S Corp — both very easy to do. If there are problems with the way the state governments in US treats businesses in this country, it has very little to do with how easy it is to start a business. And since nearly all of the laws that affect businesses are state laws (not federal), there is very little that a President Paul could do to change that.

  • ako

    the people byu it of their own volition. it’s their money

    I’m specifically responding to the bit where you said that you didn’t think people would be willing to pay a lot for bad information.  People are willing to pay a lot for bad information and bad products formulated on such transparently false ideas as “Diluting stuff makes it stronger”.  The market doesn’t stop people from selling ineffective medicine or false information (such as the astrology you mentioned), and if it’s sold right, people will buy it.

    Shuold we have a government bunch of astrologers to police the other ones?

    Why on earth would I want that?  What sort of bizarro strawman version of me are you constructing in your head?

    because that’s how corporations trick people.

    So you’re trying to trick me the same way corporations trick people?

    yes because they wouldn’t be able to manipulate the laws.

    No, they’d be able to pollute, pay starvation wages, cheat investors, and give dangerous jobs to children without any government interference.  How is that better?

    staying out of prolonged military conflicts, not screwing up the economy
    with over regulation or weird corporatized slective  de regulation
    ( and Bailouts) and spying on people.

    If that’s what you want, why are you willing to have it wrapped up in all of the Ron Paul shit (denying people health care, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.)?  If you’re not going with a major party, why not go with a party that has less toxic shit associated with it?

  • Lori

     
    the people byu it of their own volition. it’s their money. people see astrologers of their own volition. Shuold we have a government bunch of astrologers to police the other ones?   

    Consulting an astrologer is optional 100% of the time. The vast majority of people will have some occasion when they have to consult a doctor. Do you not understand why that makes a difference? 

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “That business survives. These businesses have no reason to not survive, because no one is testing their products.”

    If you had cancer, which I hope you do not have, why would you byu such a product. There is still a thing called science.

    “Who the hell holds them accountable? It’s not regulated!”

    the market holds them accountable. I’m Steve i tried product a I feel great, I’m Bill i tried product B I feel Horrible.

    I’m Oki i am a scientist who used to work with the FDA and now works for the …Whole Foods green Energy reveiew and this matches my research.

    The FDA is ostensibly something we want right? thats why the government funds it. ther eis DEMAND for such an agency. for their WORK, regardless of who or what it is named.

    “People will choose the best thing for the common good.””

    No I’m not  saying that. there are tons of cheats and cut throats out there and they shuold be prosecuted. Instead our government bails them out. none of these regulations work. Sarbanes Oxley didn’t prevent the crash and it takes up tons of time and money leaving only the companies with the most cash the ability to compete. I was just listening to a woman who recently closed her commodities brokerage business (because of the dmaage done by MF Global, whole other story) and she had to spend 15-20 percent of her profits on paperwork for sarbanes oxley and MORE for the Patriot Act.

  • Lori

     
    If you had cancer, which I hope you do not have, why would you byu such a product. There is still a thing called science.  

     

    I have to agree with hapax. I don’t believe that you’re thinking about these things at all. 

    First problem, you misunderstood the scenario Fangs First was asking about. 

    Second, exactly how do you think independent scientific research is going to be conducted in the world of free markets and no government? We already know what happens when private entities control research that indicates that their product is unsafe—it gets buried or distorted. IOW, in the world you’re advocating that would effectively be no true science. 

  • P J Evans

    I don’t think hse has ever heard of the hearings about tobacco use and cancer. It would be interesting to watch hir head explode at the executives lying their tails off about not knowing about the studies showing the connection.

  • FangsFirst

    If you had cancer, which I hope you do not have, why would you byu such a product. There is still a thing called science.

    Thanks to Lori for already mentioning you misunderstood.

    I realize that, like I often do, I glossed. Let me attempt to corral my words and put this more to the point:

    In this unregulated free market world, a business creates, well, let’s say it’s a food product. It has arsenic in huge amounts. Tons of people die or feel ill. Okay, that’s probably gone pretty quick. With you there. I think that’s not an unfair guess.

    But let’s say another company creates a different food product. In it are trace amounts of what adds up to a poison. No one dies of it for years, and even then people don’t make the connection, because it’s years later–they’ve eaten, drunk, and generally used all sorts of products and environments in that time. How do we know that that product needs to be tested?

    If it’s a carcinogen previously unidentified, or the company doesn’t actually know that that component is carcinogenic, how does it EVER get identified?

    There’s not a central agency that has to allow every food product on the market.

    The company doesn’t have to be malicious or evil, they could just be ignorant and in a rush to get their product to market for business reasons. They could make up an agency and put that stamp on it, thinking they *know* their product is safe and they don’t need to slow it down.

    Ta da! A company has, even unintentionally, managed to poison a chunk of the populace because you removed all regulation. It wasn’t evil, or callous, it just did something dumb for business reasons. And no one knows. No one can call them out, and even if they do, how long has the product been on the market?

    So yeah. It might go out of business. After poisoning people for decades. Or it might not, as people might never think, “Oh! All of these people who died of cancer drank Nusoda!” Because cancer is not something with a solitary cause. So they wouldn’t go, “Hmm, cancer patients, let’s poll them on drinks and compare notes,” as you’d end up with people who got cancer by other methods and think, “Well, that isn’t in common.”

    But if you have things being consistently tested? If you have someone who goes through each and every single product that comes out and verifies certain elements or combinations aren’t there?

    Yeah. People are lazy, or careless and things will slip through. But you have some kind of net over all of it. Instead of nets here and there, with plenty of fish just ignoring nets and swimming straight on through.

    It doesn’t work.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    sgt peppers’ “Australia is number 3 on that list!”

    you mean people aren’t stabbing each other in the street and jumping off of buildings due to the stress of living in a somalia like situation?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I don’t do homeopathic medicine. or use it or practice it.

  • P J Evans

    I don’t do homeopathic medicine. or use it or practice it.

    And apparently you know MUCH less about it that the people here who also don’t use it, but who pay attention to reality.

  • hapax

    I don’t do homeopathic medicine. or use it or practice it. I don’t know anything abuot it.

    And yet, despite this massive information disparity, you are STILL protected from it being sold as “medicine” by those who DO know something about it — through the magic of government regulation!

    Hurrah!

  • ako

    Before assuming that non-libertarians can only think something is stupid or terrible on “The government doesn’t like it and I believe everything the government says” grounds, I suggest you find out what that thing actually is and whether there are any really obvious reasons for thinking it’s a stupid or terrible idea.

    I also suggest you abandon your “You like it?  So does Nixon/Big Pharma/The Devil!*” approach to arguing.  It didn’t convince me the first time I heard “Hitler was a vegetarian!”, and it’s not likely to convince anyone here.  It merely annoys people and increases the amount of anger in the conversation.

    *Please don’t accuse me of misquoting you.  This was comic hyperbole and not a literal repetition of your statements.

  • P J Evans

    This isn’t the only place the Paulistas are trolling.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    lori =” Out here in the real world where we all have to live, unchecked corporate power turns the bulk of the population into virtual slaves”

    more condescension. I have a job thank you. the government doesn’t “check” corporate power. They run the government.

    “Second, exactly how do you think independent scientific research is going to be conducted in the world of free markets and no government”

    foundations, colleges, same as now.

    ellie-

    “So you’re for a minimum wage that’s a living wage? Or you’re for reverse taxation such that anyone earning below a living wage gets extra money from the government to bring them up to a living wage? (That way no one has to rely on private charity that may not be forthcoming.) Good to know.”

    no. the wage is whatever someone can afford to pay met with whatever someone agrees to be paid. if my boss was forced to pay me twice what I made now he wouldn’t be my boss because he’d be out of business or working 18 hour days.

    Where would government get “extra money” they’re double digit trillions in debt!

    the best way to help people make more money is by having a better economy, if jobs are less scarce wages will have to go up to attract workers. No one is going to work for 8 dollars an hour if the guy down the street is paying 10. and they will pay 10 if they can afford it, if not they will go out of business.

    Ross- I admit i know nothing abuot homeopathic medicine but ban it? seriously? is it that dangerous?

    thanks for all the responses sorry if i either didn’t answer you or not to your satisfaction. this has been fruitful I will return tomorow. I’m going to go do something else besides type.

  • hapax

    “Second, exactly how do you think independent scientific research is
    going to be conducted in the world of free markets and no government”

    foundations, colleges, same as now.

    /blink blink/

    Okay, that’s it.  I call Poe.

  • Lori

     
    more condescension. I have a job thank you.  

    I wasn’t being condescending, I was stating a fact. It doesn’t matter that you have a job now. We aren’t talking about now. We’re talking about your imagined post-government freedomland. 

    If you think that government is currently totally controlled by corporations then what purpose do you think will be served by getting rid of government? If you’re thinking that government takes your money at the point of a gun and corporations won’t, allow me to introduce you to Blackwater/Xe/Academi. You should also look into the history of the Pinkertons.  

  • Lori

     
     We are lucky that some poltiicians like gingrich, Nixon and john edwards are one dimensionally villainous 

     

    What in the world are you talking about? In what alternate universe does it make sense to group those three people together? 

    John Edwards is not villainous. He’s an asshole in his personal life and if I had the misfortune to be his wife I’d have kicked him in the balls so hard he’d never have gotten up off the floor, but that’s not villainous. To the best of my knowledge no super hero has ever fought The Adulterer. (For the record, that’s sarcasm, not condescension.)

    I think it’s fair to call Nixon villainous, but he was hardly one-dimensional. 

    For Gingrich one dimensionally villainous is probably a fair cop. He’s done and said many horrible things, but they all come back to his giant ego. 

    None of that has anything to do with your argument about government and corporations. 

  • Anonymous

    thanks for all the responses sorry if i either didn’t answer you or not to your satisfaction. this has been fruitful

    No, it hasn’t been fruitful, and it hasn’t been fruitful because you are either incapable of or unwilling to offer a coherent argument. In lieu of addressing you opponents strongest arguments you construct straw men. When called upon for evidence you rely on assertions of self evidence and thought experiments that give the opposite result to the one that was actually obtained in the real world. You leap from topic to topic without bothering to make connection between them. When you do bother to provide sources, they are either know liars, or you misrepresent their content.

    We’re not unsatisfied with your arguments because we’re biased, we’re unsatisfied with your arguments because you’re really bad at arguing.

  • Lori

     
    No, it hasn’t been fruitful, 

     

    I’m going to hope that it has been fruitful in the sense that it has given Chris things to think about, and that away from the heat of argument some of it will sink in. 

    Maybe s/he will actually do some reading on the Gilded Age. Even the article I linked to a while ago about Rick Santorum’s grandfather would be a good start. 

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I’ll just add this: the dailykos article was alot like this one and wihtout the funky albeit rascist cartoons. I don’t understand this whole “alliance” thing anyway. You gyus vote against wars for your allegedly progressive reasons and we’ll be against them for our ghastly rascist reasons. What more of an “alliance” does there need to be than that?

  • Lori

     What more of an “alliance” does there need to be than that?  

    One that doesn’t result in votes for a racist, misogynist, homophobic crank. 

  • JohnK

    I think the problem with this debate is that some of us think that privatization and free-market economics are an end in and of themselves and some of us think that free-market/privatization are just (one) method to achieve an end.

    There are plenty of things that the free market can do very well. There are also things that it doesn’t do very well. It’s easy and comforting to take a dogmatic approach towards these complicated issues. I wish I could believe that the reason people get sick or out of shape is because of some apocryphal government subsidy for disease. I wish I could believe that left completely unregulated, all bad actors in the economy will be run out of business before they can hurt someone.

    I also wish that Bambi’s mother didn’t have to die.

    Unfortunately, real life is way too complicated.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “I’m going to hope that it has been fruitful in the sense that it has given Chris things to think about, and that away from the heat of argument some of it will sink in. ”

    still more condescension from Lori. nice defense of John Edwards, yeah he’s super classy.

    consumer- “I want freedom for ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS before I worry about the poor suffering corporations. If you prick them, they DO NOT bleed.

    Economic freedom isn’t freedom for corporations. it’s entrepenours of all types. They have special knowledge so they emply it and bear risk. without that you’d have no economy.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Economic freedom isn’t freedom for corporations. it’s entrepenours of
    all types. They have special knowledge so they emply it and bear risk.
    without that you’d have no economy.

    You think that getting rid of the social safety net, a move that will leave anyone who isn’t already a multimillionaire clinging to any job they can find as if it’s the only thing between them and dying in a gutter, which it WOULD be, would somehow result in MORE people willing to ‘bear risk’?

    Does. Not. Compute.

    “I’m going to hope that it has been fruitful in the sense that it has
    given Chris things to think about, and that away from the heat of
    argument some of it will sink in. ”

    still more condescension from Lori. nice defense of John Edwards, yeah he’s super classy

    We’re being condescending to you because you come across as horrifically IGNORANT.  Try to do something about that, would you?

  • Lori

     
    You think that getting rid of the social safety net, a move that will leave anyone who isn’t already a multimillionaire clinging to any job they can find as if it’s the only thing between them and dying in a gutter, which it WOULD be, would somehow result in MORE people willing to ‘bear risk’?  

     

    Maybe the idea is that people will be willing to bear more risk because they’ll have nothing to lose? 

    Obviously that’s not true, but equally obviously the fact that something isn’t true doesn’t prevent Chris from believing it. 

  • Lori

     
    still more condescension from Lori. nice defense of John Edwards, yeah he’s super classy.   

     

    What is your obsession with condescension? How old are you?

    I didn’t say that John Edwards is classy. In fact I said quite the opposite. Not being classy does not equal being villainous. Nice attempt to distract from the fact that your original comment didn’t make any sense though. 

     
    We agree that there is to be no alliance between left and paleo-liberertarian right. I’m a little worried now about an alliance between the left and neoconservatives on “humane” interventionism. I ‘m used to neocons evoking ww2 and America First in regards to Paul and Buchanan they did it all through the last decade. didn’t think I’d see it at a progressive board.   

    And again, way to dodge the point. You really don’t seem to have followed this discussion at all, so I’ll make you happy and take back my earlier “condescending” comment. This discussion has clearly not been fruitful.

  • P J Evans

    What is your obsession with condescension? How old are you?

    I’d estimate a mental age of eleven or less, based on willingness to believe whatever hse’s told by an authority figure, and unwillingness to do actual research or adjust views when hir BS is called out.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    What is your obsession with condescension?

    “You may have the facts on your side, but you’re stating them in a way that hurts my feelings offends me.  THAT MEANS I WIN.”

    Or something like that.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    The index of economic freedom isn’t a measure of which country has the smallest social safety net. i don’t know why your joining those two issues there. the hellholes are at the bottom of that list not the top.

  • P J Evans

     FAIL.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “What is your obsession with condescension?”

    I should be asking you that question

     How old are you?

    more condescension!

    what point was i dodging. Did you make a point about the gold standard vs fiat currencies?

  • Lori

     
    Did you make a point about the gold standard vs fiat currencies?  

    Did you? If so, you really need to clarify what Edwards, Nixon & Gingrich have to do with the gold standard vs fiat currencies. 

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    you guys are gettin cranky!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    you guys are gettin cranky!

    At this point I have to suggest that you’re not interested in engaging in any substantive way on any topic. You keep hopping hither and yon and seeming to revert to basic Libertarian talking points rather than attempting to make a coherent case for how the changes you suggest might benefit society as a whole, or even just a sizable number of residents within it.

    You can’t simply suggest that free-market solutions will help without being cognizant of when the free market may fail.

    You can get monopolies, price fixing, failure to adequately inform consumers, failure to do proper fiduciary duty*, and so on.

    In effect, the best regulations essentially save the free market from itself, and work to keep it operating as best as it can as an approximation to the ideal free market.

    Where that isn’t possible, the government can and should step in. Most Libertarians I know of recognize even this and express a “minarchist” ideology which relegates the government to ensuring the security of the nation within and without, so that the police forces and the military remain the province of the state rather than private agencies.

    What Liberals** prefer is a much broader scope for government activity, even to the extent of stepping in even when a private sector approach might work as well as a government approach.

    * an example of this might be conspiring to misappropriate funds from a company you work for and concealing this by manipulating the financial statements. A form of this is what did in Tyco, Accenture (what used to be Arthur Andersen) and Enron, when it was revealed that the executive officers of the companies involved conspired to misappropriate substantial sums from their companies.

    ** I’ve seen the term with the capital “L” used a lot by Libertarians, admittedly less pejoratively than I’ve heard it from Republicans.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never understood where, on a libertarian account, government regulations come from. After all, it is a libertarian article of faith that the free market is obviously and unambiguously superior to regulation in all things, but even a cursory overview of the past 200 years of the history of the english speaking world gives the libertarian worldview a collossal challenge. Why, in the libertarian view, has it taken the USA seventy years to see that child labour laws are harmful, and why can’t we see the harm in the historical record? Why hasn’t regulation caused something *worse* that the Triangle Shirtwaist incident? Why do *fewer* people die of food poisoning and food-borne pathogens since the establishment of the FDA? Why were the only two diseases ever eradicated not eradicated by the free market? Why was the internet a *government* initiative?

    Not that I expect an answer form our newest troll, but what is the sophisticated libertarian response?

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Not that I expect an answer form our newest troll, but what is the sophisticated libertarian response?

    I think it’s something like “well, now that the government’s done THAT, we don’t NEED them any more.”  For the same reason it’s PERFECTLY LOGICAL to shut down the fire department after they’ve put out one fire.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    fangs first- again, I’m not opposed to an agency that provides the services that the FDA does. This part of the conversation started out in response to an author wanting to eliminate the American Medical associate because it was leading to too few doctors which led to too high costs.  It’s a radical idea for sure but neither he nor I took aim at the FDA or the srvice it provides.  Could what the FDA does conceivably be handled by the free market is the question. We have ascertained there is DEMAND for their services the way there is demand for other basic neccessities. No argment.

    re: homeopathy from what you gyus are saying it seems like snake oil but I just can’t imagine banning it. Some things people need to figure out for themselves.

  • Lori

     
    Could what the FDA does conceivably be handled by the free market is the question.   

    No, and we’ve explained why not.

  • FangsFirst

    re: homeopathy from what you gyus are saying it seems like snake oil but
    I just can’t imagine banning it. Some things people need to figure out
    for themselves.

    You were already told: no one is talking about banning it. At all.

    the free market drove down the costs of computers to the extent that anyone could afford them.

    …the free market that has been regulated? And still is? so it works WITH regulation?

    This part of the conversation started out in response to an author
    wanting to eliminate the American Medical associate because it was
    leading to too few doctors which led to too high costs.  It’s a radical
    idea for sure but neither he nor I took aim at the FDA or the srvice it
    provides.

    Well Ron Paul has taken aim at the FDA AND the service it provides, and you’re here to defend him, so, uh, too bad? He’s against centralized regulation. The end!

  • Lori

     
    You were already told: no one is talking about banning it. At all.  

    Chris does not seem to understand that “it should not be legal to sell it as medicine” is not the same thing as “it should be banned”. 

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    So we have a legal, part of the government food and drug adminstration now. yet, we have homeopathic …stuff being sold as medicine. so as it turns out the FDA doesn’t prevent fraud very well!

    fangs first – well I asked consumer if he wanted to ban it and he said yes. So you want to ban it …being sold as medicine but not ban it ban it. thats not that big of a deal, its still getting sold it just has one word less on a package. why bother?

    and my point about the internet was if we didn’t all have personal computers the internet wouldnt’t be of much use to us. and we have computers because of competition and the market. of course at the same time the internet is a selling point for these computers. I’ll give the state some credit on that.

  • Anonymous

    yet, we have homeopathic …stuff being sold as medicine. so as it turns out the FDA doesn’t prevent fraud very well!

    The point isn’t that the FDA and other federal administrative agencies prevent fraudulent medicine from existing — no one can do that.The point is that it gives people an opportunity to tell the difference. It gives people the opportunity to walk into a drug store and choose whatever medicine they would like, and the opportunity to go to the mystical faith healer next door and choose whatever they would like from there, knowing that the mystical faith healer isn’t actually a doctor. The faith healer can sell any potion he would like; he just can’t put water in a medicine container and tell you that it’s Benadryl. No one is stopping you from eating newt eyeballs and horseradish; the only thing we’re doing is preventing you from telling someone that newt eyeballs is really Aspirin and horseradish cures AIDS.

    Do you get it now? It’s not about stopping people from taking whatever medicine they like. It’s about making sure that people who buy medicine are getting what they ask for, not whatever the manufacturer or the clerk or whoever felt like putting in the bottle. It’s about making sure that the meat you bought at the grocery store isn’t filled with maggots or encrusted with human feces. It’s about making sure you can go outside without suffocating on toxic smog. It’s about making sure that your drinking water doesn’t glow in the dark.

    You believe in freedom, but are you really free if you don’t know what you’re eating or what you’re drinking?

  • FangsFirst

    You believe in freedom, but are you really free if you don’t know what you’re eating or what you’re drinking?

    Considering the ideology seems to be “ignorance=freedom”–yes! Absolutely!
    I can never be more free than when I am not shackled by the limitations imposed by knowing with conviction what I am ingesting!

    Plus it takes all the mystery out of things. Gosh.

  • ako

    So we have a legal, part of the government food and drug adminstration
    now. yet, we have homeopathic …stuff being sold as medicine. so as it
    turns out the FDA doesn’t prevent fraud very well!

    Do you not recognize the existence of partial success at all, or only when it’s being done by the government?  People have better information now, and are better equipped to make choices.  In an unregulated market, the main difference is that there’d be fewer sources of information pointing out that homeopathic medicine is ineffective, or certain herbal remedies are dangerously toxic, or that certain stuff being promoted as medical treatment hasn’t been shown to do any good, and giving people a better chance to make choices.  It doesn’t perfectly prevent the dangerous bullshit, but nothing can do that, and it works better than a completely unregulated market.  Better is a good thing. 

  • Apocalypse Review

    Wikipedia isn’t an authoritative source, granted, but the site notes that the regulatory structure of the FDA, from the very beginning, was compromised by the presence of a homeopathic doctor helping write the laws that governed it. This is an early example of “regulatory capture” in which the regulated bodies (corporations, individuals) get too close to the regulators with the resulting effect that the regulation itself becomes weaker or less vigorously pursued.

    Regulatory capture is a symptom of a regulatory apparatus compromised by policies that favor easing the hand of government on corporations. As such it can be traced to, in particular, Reaganite policies in the 1980s and following Republican-influenced policies in the years since then.

    As such I would say that the homeopathic loopholes in the FDA procedures bear all the marks of the problems with unregulated medical remedies: lack of effective quality control; persistent adulteration of the product (note the presence of alcohol permitted, which is an antibacterial agent in its own right); claims may be made about the product without effective legal remedies for making false or inaccurate statements; et cetera and so on.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Regulatory capture is a symptom of a regulatory apparatus compromised by
    policies that favor easing the hand of government on corporations.

    “…which is why new need to abolish ALL government regulation!  Then the Free Market can make everything perfect!”

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    How did I end up defending homeopathic medicine?

    apocalypse review – “As such I would say that the homeopathic loopholes in the FDA procedures bear all the marks of the problems with unregulated medical remedies: lack of effective quality control; persistent adulteration of the product (note the presence of alcohol permitted, which is an antibacterial agent in its own right); claims may be made about the product without effective legal remedies for making false or inaccurate statements; et cetera and so on”

    but they ARE regulated. right?

    The regulations bear the hallmarks of unregulation?

  • Lori

     
    How did I end up defending homeopathic medicine?  

    Being an ideologue tends to lead a person down dome strange paths. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The FDA does not regulate homepathic remedies with the same vigor as it does more conventional remedies. Weaker regs = more chanciness in the meds. It’s no surprise.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “The point isn’t that the FDA and other federal administrative agencies prevent fraudulent medicine from existing — no one can do that.The point is that it gives people an opportunity to tell the difference.”

    OKay but in this case aren’t you guys saying that they are NOT currently doing this re: homeopathic medicine?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    ako- Okay, so this is what they’ve done: they’ve analyzed homeopathic medicine and arrived at the conclusion that it isn’t good.

    Now, how did we hear about this opinion of theirs? did they do like a press release or something?  Is there a statement on the package of homeopathic medicine or would a clueless person such as me have to “dig” to an extent?

    I mean, basically it sounds like they are Siskel and Ebert giving it a thumbs down and not much beyond that.

  • ako

    They require supplements that claim to alter the structure or function of the body (such as anything that claims to treat illness) to carry the following disclaimer “This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is
    not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease”.  If you read the packaging, it’s there.  Granted, it’s not as effective as it could be, but it does provide a way for people who are interested in finding out the distinction to read the package and tell whether they’re getting real medicine or not.  (I’ve done this before, particularly with cold remedies.)

    So it requires the effort of reading the box, but it isn’t incredibly difficult to find, and even companies that would happily claim to have effective medicine aren’t allowed to lie like that. 

    You should really start looking up some of this stuff yourself before trying to persuade other people of your ideas.

  • Anonymous

    Here you go: these articles — one two, three, and four. I chose these fourarticles because they’re in plain English and designed to be easily readable; you don’t need to have a hard science background to understand them. You don’t need to read all of them — each one explains what homeopathy is, the assumptions behind it, and why these assumptions are not borne out by actual scientific testing.

    I get what you’re trying to do — you’re trying to say that government doesn’t need to regulate everything. But in doing so, you’re inadvertently wading into an area of law and science that you don’t seem to actually understand. If you don’t know what homeopathy is, what business do you have lecturing people about how effective it is compared to regular medicine? If you don’t know how homeopathy is regulated, how can you seriously expect people to take you seriously when you try to criticize regulations that you don’t even really understand what they do or even what they are?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    ako- I’m not trying to persuade anybody of anything. I’m asking you about the FDA’s policy regarding homeopathic medicine.

  • ako

    In that case, here is some good information on FDA regulation of dietary supplements: http://www.fda.gov/food/dietarysupplements/consumerinformation/ucm110417.htm

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    john k – thank you for the links. I’m not pretending to know anything abuot homeopathy I was just trying to figure out what the FDA does to inform people that it is apparently not good.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I wonder if the FDA label has affected the sale of homeopathic medicine at all. I bet it hasn’t.

  • http://www.internationalpatentservice.com/trademarksearch.html USPTO Trademark Search

    So then: Ron Paul. Should we lefties be happy he’s in the presidential
    race, giving non-interventionism a voice, even if he has other beliefs
    we find less agreeable? Should we be happy that his non-mainstream
    positions are finally getting a public hearing? This is a depressingly
    common view.

  • http://www.internationalpatentservice.com/trademarksearch.html USPTO Trademark Search

    “I’ll tell you what happens to you — you find out as Richard Nixon once
    told me that when you are down or have either got a problem you find out
    who your friends are,” Buchanan said. “And both in ‘92 and a ‘96 I was
    astonished. You know, I challenged George Bush and ‘92 and we did great
    in New Hampshire, and ol’ Newt Gingrich down there comparing me to David
    Duke in Georgia because I was coming out for a border fence along the
    San Diego line.”

  • Opulence

    Wow, this made me like Ron Paul even more. I guess you can’t reason with an obama lover. They are just too dumb to realize that Obama and Bush are one in the same.


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