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Julian Robertson Gonna Put You on a Diet, Fatty

Kushinator

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In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, hedge fund elder statesman and father of Tiger Balm, Julian Robertson, shared his thoughts on the Critical Topics of the Day, including the recent elections, quantitative easing, and most importantly: fat people. Read the full interview transcript here, or fast forward to about 6:30 for Fat Talk.

There's no fooling Robertson. He sees you there, mayonnaise flecking your third chin, reaching after that fallen french fry like some sort of beached Manatee. Robertson has his eye on the ball, always has, always will, so when he's of the opinion that winning a fight against American obesity could add $1 trillion to the GDP, you open your fat ears and listen.

You see, JR's a firm proponent of taxing the hell out of the fatties, and he's even willing to go on CNBC and publicly announce his running for "Obesity Czar," saying, "I would love to be the obesity czar. I mean, I think it would be a fantastic job. I don't know of a more important one in the United States and one that's simplistic enough to solve."

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JR believes tackling obesity (probably the no.1 issue regarding long run fiscal solvency IMHO) would add $1 trillion to the US economy. We do know that obesity costs about $130 per year, which would logically have a "cost push" effect on health care.

The leading causes of death in 2000 were tobacco (435 000 deaths; 18.1% of total US deaths), poor diet and physical inactivity (365 000 deaths; 15.2%) [corrected], and alcohol consumption (85 000 deaths; 3.5%). Other actual causes of death were microbial agents (75 000), toxic agents (55 000), motor vehicle crashes (43 000), incidents involving firearms (29 000), sexual behaviors (20 000), and illicit use of drugs (17 000).

source

If you want to contain health care costs; if you want to contain long term government spending; you have to contain obesity.

The cost of this epidemic completely exceeds the benefit.

Comments?
 

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JR believes tackling obesity (probably the no.1 issue regarding long run fiscal solvency IMHO) would add $1 trillion to the US economy. We do know that obesity costs about $130 per year, which would logically have a "cost push" effect on health care.


source

If you want to contain health care costs; if you want to contain long term government spending; you have to contain obesity.

The cost of this epidemic completely exceeds the benefit.

Comments?

If we cure every single disease in the world, we will still die. And we will live longer and suck up more resources in the process. Might be a popular bandwagon to climb onto, but, other than quality of life, solving the obesity problem isn't going to make much difference.
 

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If we cure every single disease in the world, we will still die. And we will live longer and suck up more resources in the process. Might be a popular bandwagon to climb onto, but, other than quality of life, solving the obesity problem isn't going to make much difference.

I highly disagree.

The problem with Obesity, is that it causes such a wide range of problems related to it, whether its Diabetes, Heart Disease, Liver Disease, stomach Cancer... all kinds of things that are HUGELY costly on a Health Care system.

The question you have to ask yourself at the end of the day is this: Do people have the right to be the size of a bus?

When I come down to the states, I am literally shocked, I don't say that lightly, it takes alot to surprise me... but when I see the size of some human beings, I cannot help but wonder, and even tempted to ask literally

"How did you get this large, how is this humanly possible, how are you still alive?"

I've seen whole families that are all massive... how did this happen? (Rhetorical)
 

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Without this guy, what would happen to all those restaurant jobs?

vi-creo3.jpg
 

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If we cure every single disease in the world, we will still die. And we will live longer and suck up more resources in the process. Might be a popular bandwagon to climb onto, but, other than quality of life, solving the obesity problem isn't going to make much difference.

Type 2 diabetes is expensive to treat, affects sufferers' long-term, overall health and longevity and severely diminishes sufferers' quality of life. It is also caused in 90% of cases by obesity and inactivity and will affect 1-in-3 Americans by 2050 according to the CDC. That is the US's ticking timebomb in the health arena. If you believe that having a sensible and urgent approach to dealing with it is bandwagon jumping, then I'd suggest you could be accused of complacency and a certain disregard for the welfare of your fellow Americans.
 

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I highly disagree.

The problem with Obesity, is that it causes such a wide range of problems related to it, whether its Diabetes, Heart Disease, Liver Disease, stomach Cancer... all kinds of things that are HUGELY costly on a Health Care system.

The question you have to ask yourself at the end of the day is this: Do people have the right to be the size of a bus?

When I come down to the states, I am literally shocked, I don't say that lightly, it takes alot to surprise me... but when I see the size of some human beings, I cannot help but wonder, and even tempted to ask literally

"How did you get this large, how is this humanly possible, how are you still alive?"

I've seen whole families that are all massive... how did this happen? (Rhetorical)

At the end of the day, the answer to your question is, "Yes, they do."

A better question might be "In light of their self-imposed ill health, do they have the right to the same healthcare at the same cost that you and I have?" In the past, that answer has been, "No, they don't." (Unless they were on Medicaid or Medicare) With Universal Healthcare, that answer just changed.

If we want to cure obesity, we do need a fat tax. Social engineering at its finest.

Nth degree obesity is an addiction just as sure as heroin.
 
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Kushinator

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If we cure every single disease in the world, we will still die. And we will live longer and suck up more resources in the process. Might be a popular bandwagon to climb onto, but, other than quality of life, solving the obesity problem isn't going to make much difference.

There is an issue with this argument. Assuming Americans live longer hence "suck up" more resources would only carry a 1:1 relationship if the word obesity has no meaning/value.

For instance, if we could map the lifetime consumption of obese people vs the lifetime consumption of non obese people; if your argument is to remain transative (not contradict itself), non-obese people will have to consume more resources than obese. Do you have a link to a source which states non-obese people have greater consumption?

Of course we do know that obese people eat more as well as consume a greater portion of health care services. 80% of diabetics are either overweight or obese.

To ignore the epidemic is equivilant to holding a blind eye to health care inflation.
 

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At the end of the day, the answer to your question is, "Yes, they do."

A better question might be "In light of their self-imposed ill health, do they have the right to the same healthcare at the same cost that you and I have?" In the past, that answer has been, "No, they don't." (Unless they were on Medicaid or Medicare) With Universal Healthcare, that answer just changed.

If we want to cure obesity, we do need a fat tax. Social engineering at its finest.

Nth degree obesity is an addiction just as sure as heroin.

The obese are forcing others to bear the some of the costs of their decisions. Do we continue to "socialize" the cost of obesity?
 

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There is an issue with this argument. Assuming Americans live longer hence "suck up" more resources would only carry a 1:1 relationship if the word obesity has no meaning/value.

For instance, if we could map the lifetime consumption of obese people vs the lifetime consumption of non obese people; if your argument is to remain transative (not contradict itself), non-obese people will have to consume more resources than obese. Do you have a link to a source which states non-obese people have greater consumption?

Of course we do know that obese people eat more as well as consume a greater portion of health care services. 80% of diabetics are either overweight or obese.

To ignore the epidemic is equivilant to holding a blind eye to health care inflation.

On average, treating an obese person cost $1,244 more in 2002 than treating a healthy-weight person did. In 1987, the gap was $272.
USATODAY.com - Health spending soars for obesity

Is this earth-shattering?
 

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So you admit your argument was contradictory.

What I'm saying is that it costs $1200 more to treat an obese patient than a person of normal weight.

Would ya'll want a fat tax that just allowed the government to get fatter and more intrusive in our lives?

Saying, ooooo, it costs $XXXX billions to treat obese people is misleading. What does it cost to treat non-obese people? Well, apparently, there's a difference of $1244....not exactly earth-shattering.

Obese people die younger. They are highly unlikely to end up in Alzheimer's wards sapping the system of $120K a year for 6-8 years or more.
 
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Kushinator

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What I'm saying is that it costs $1200 more to treat an obese patient than a person of normal weight.

Or, a 21% increase. As a greater percentage of the population becomes obese/overweight, this turns into an unsustainable trend.

There are two issues with this:
1.) It will require higher future taxation to pay for these increased health care costs.
2.) The impacts on health care costs force non-obese citizens to internalize the increased health care costs. This relates to more money going towards health care spending, and less towards "widgets". Therefore, such a continuation will "crowd out" other aspects of the US economy.
 

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JR believes tackling obesity (probably the no.1 issue regarding long run fiscal solvency IMHO) would add $1 trillion to the US economy. We do know that obesity costs about $130 per year, which would logically have a "cost push" effect on health care.



source

If you want to contain health care costs; if you want to contain long term government spending; you have to contain obesity.

The cost of this epidemic completely exceeds the benefit.

Comments?

It's wrong thinking. People who live longer end up getting things like cancer which is very costly. Also hip, knee replacements and any number of ailments due to old age. Plus they will be collecting much more in SS.
We should all try to live a healthy lifestyle, but the idea that it will cut costs in the long term isn't logical.
 

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Would ya'll want a fat tax that just allowed the government to get fatter and more intrusive in our lives?

The reason for a fat tax is because the actions that lead people to be obese come with implicit costs. For example, the amount of health care physicians is "fixed" in short time durations. When a physician spends time tending to an infliction caused by obesity, they have less time to spend on inflictions such as cancer, traumas, etc.... This necessarily forces the costs of tending to these inflictions to increase (either in the form of opportunity costs, or explicit costs).

Saying, ooooo, it costs $XXXX billions to treat obese people is misleading. What does it cost to treat non-obese people? Well, apparently, there's a difference of $1244....not exactly earth-shattering.

Why do you ignore the costs that do not show up instantaneously? Money is flowing into obesity research because it is a major cause of sickness/death. That leaves less funding available to other ailments.

Obese people die younger. They are highly unlikely to end up in Alzheimer's wards sapping the system of $120K a year for 6-8 years or more.

So instead of being a productive member of society, earning a salary, saving for retirement, etc..., the tax payer is forced to pick up the tab.

I always wonder why the demand for socialism is arbitrary.
 

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It's wrong thinking. People who live longer end up getting things like cancer which is very costly. Also hip, knee replacements and any number of ailments due to old age. Plus they will be collecting much more in SS.
We should all try to live a healthy lifestyle, but the idea that it will cut costs in the long term isn't logical.

Of course it is; consider the increasing cost of tending to the obese, as the complexion of the nation becomes more and more obese. This is commonly referred to as a non-sustainable trend.
 

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The reason for a fat tax is because the actions that lead people to be obese come with implicit costs. For example, the amount of health care physicians is "fixed" in short time durations. When a physician spends time tending to an infliction caused by obesity, they have less time to spend on inflictions such as cancer, traumas, etc.... This necessarily forces the costs of tending to these inflictions to increase (either in the form of opportunity costs, or explicit costs).

I kinda' think this is reaching a bit.

Why do you ignore the costs that do not show up instantaneously? Money is flowing into obesity research because it is a major cause of sickness/death. That leaves less funding available to other ailments.

Life is a major cause of sickness/death. The cause of obesity doesn't take a lot of research. It's from eating too much. Spending money on researching obesity would seem to be ridiculous. Spending money on developing a strategy to encourage people to eat healthy would make a lot more sense.

I always wonder why the demand for socialism is arbitrary.

Don't understand what you mean. This statement should be aimed at GoldenBoy, yes? Anyone who advocates that "the state" begin a Weight Watchers campaign would seem to be as far from Libertarian as one could get.
 

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I kinda' think this is reaching a bit.

In a country that has seen obesity rise 37% in the past decade, in which the cost differential has reached 21%, this is a very basic synthesis.

Life is a major cause of sickness/death. The cause of obesity doesn't take a lot of research. It's from eating too much. Spending money on researching obesity would seem to be ridiculous. Spending money on developing a strategy to encourage people to eat healthy would make a lot more sense.

The bold is a straw-man. How much money is spent on gastric bypass surgery on a yearly basis? Is this an increasing trend?

Don't understand what you mean. This statement should be aimed at GoldenBoy, yes? Anyone who advocates that "the state" begin a Weight Watchers campaign would seem to be as far from Libertarian as one could get.

Obesity creates a negative externality in which all tax payers, consumers of health care, consumers of food, etc..., are forced to internalize the costs. This equates to coherrced socialization of the costs of obesity. The cost of these bad choices is spilling over into other parts of society.

So my question again is: Why is it ok for certain aspects of society to have their costs socialized, but not others?
 

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In a country that has seen obesity rise 37% in the past decade, in which the cost differential has reached 21%, this is a very basic synthesis.

The bold is a straw-man. How much money is spent on gastric bypass surgery on a yearly basis? Is this an increasing trend?

It's all too easy to single out obesity as a national health crisis. Stats on obesity mean nothing until/unless they are compared to the costs of treating non-obese people....throughout their lives. I don't think there are such stats, frankly. But my common sense tells me that if people end up dying by drying up and blowing away, our social resources will be taxed far greater than the cost of "sin behaviors."

Obesity creates a negative externality in which all tax payers, consumers of health care, consumers of food, etc..., are forced to internalize the costs. This equates to coherrced socialization of the costs of obesity. The cost of these bad choices is spilling over into other parts of society.

I don't argue with that. Yes, there's a cost to it. Just like there's a cost associated with those people who engage in other risky behaviors -- also and always at society's expense one way or another. Other bad choices that spill over? Let me count the ways.

Teach people to eat healthy. Give them stores in their neighborhoods in which they can buy real food. Teach self-esteem. But don't be taxing "unhealthy food," as this just allows the government to grow even larger than it is already.

So my question again is: Why is it ok for certain aspects of society to have their costs socialized, but not others?

I still don't understand this in context to what we're talking about. Whose costs are socialized in relation to this discussion?
 

Kushinator

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It's all too easy to single out obesity as a national health crisis. Stats on obesity mean nothing until/unless they are compared to the costs of treating non-obese people....throughout their lives. I don't think there are such stats, frankly. But my common sense tells me that if people end up dying by drying up and blowing away, our social resources will be taxed far greater than the cost of "sin behaviors."

Your "common sense" lacks theoretical and empirical backing. Consider the tobacco regulation and pigouvian taxation.

I don't argue with that. Yes, there's a cost to it. Just like there's a cost associated with those people who engage in other risky behaviors -- also and always at society's expense one way or another. Other bad choices that spill over? Let me count the ways.

You have to engage in a cost benefit analysis, in which societal benefit is > societal cost.

Teach people to eat healthy. Give them stores in their neighborhoods in which they can buy real food. Teach self-esteem. But don't be taxing "unhealthy food," as this just allows the government to grow even larger than it is already.

I agree, education has an important role in reversing negative behaviors. However, you cannot expect bad behavior to instantaniously diminish becaue of educational opportunnity. Pigouvian taxation is therefore necessary.

I still don't understand this in context to what we're talking about. Whose costs are socialized in relation to this discussion?

Socialization of costs does not always require government. Negative externalities that cause deadweight loss force the cost to be imposed on all of society, thereby socializing the cost on all society. Internalizing the externality via taxation to diminish quantity demanded allows for a more efficient outcome.
 

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Something else to consider:

Currently, more than 64% of US adults are either overweight or obese, according to results from the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). This figure represents a 14% increase in the prevalence rate from NHANES III (1988-94) and a 36% increase from NHANES II (1976 -80). (Prevalence is the percentage of the population that falls into the designated category.)

obsefig2.gif


NAASO, The Obesity Society
 

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The obese are forcing others to bear the some of the costs of their decisions. Do we continue to "socialize" the cost of obesity?

This is exactly why if we are to continue to be free we have to take individual responsibility for our lives. It's not the government's job to take care of us from cradle to grave.
If they do, they have the power to tell us how to live our lives. What to eat, what to drive, where we live, what bulbs we use, what appliances we use, what the temperature we live in, what schools to go to, what subjects we take, what careers we'll have, how many children we can have, what surgeries we'll be allowed, what medicine they allow, what doctor to see, what hospitals we use, what trees we can cut, what trees we can plant, how much water we can use, when we can use it, what we can throw in the trash, what we must recycle, what color our roofs are..........see...
this is where we are headed when we start trying to control a person's diet.
If you can control what a person eats you can control any aspect of their lives.
Until there is a real cure for obesity, people have a right to be as big as a bus, just as gays are allowed to have gay sex that may lead to AIDs though we have no cure or as people are allowed to over indulge in alcohol or any number of dangerous behaviors.
 

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The obese are forcing others to bear the some of the costs of their decisions. Do we continue to "socialize" the cost of obesity?

Just curious.... Obesity is not against the law.
Being in this country illegally is. Do you agree that we should stop them from forcing us to bear the costs of their decisions? How many of them have babies here each year? How many of them show up in emergency rooms when they get sick?
If we aren't going to take care of that abuse to our health care system, then I think we should get off the backs of our fat citizans.
 

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Until there is a real cure for obesity.

I'm sorry. A cure for Obesity? You believe this is something that has to be cured?

How about not becoming a fat gluttenous distgusting blob in the first place.
 

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This is exactly why if we are to continue to be free we have to take individual responsibility for our lives. It's not the government's job to take care of us from cradle to grave.
If they do, they have the power to tell us how to live our lives. What to eat, what to drive, where we live, what bulbs we use, what appliances we use, what the temperature we live in, what schools to go to, what subjects we take, what careers we'll have, how many children we can have, what surgeries we'll be allowed, what medicine they allow, what doctor to see, what hospitals we use, what trees we can cut, what trees we can plant, how much water we can use, when we can use it, what we can throw in the trash, what we must recycle, what color our roofs are..........see...
this is where we are headed when we start trying to control a person's diet.
If you can control what a person eats you can control any aspect of their lives.
Until there is a real cure for obesity, people have a right to be as big as a bus, just as gays are allowed to have gay sex that may lead to AIDs though we have no cure or as people are allowed to over indulge in alcohol or any number of dangerous behaviors.

The article i referenced pertained to a pigouvian solution, in which taxation is used to "internalize the externality". How much does obesity cost taxpayers on a yearly basis? Why not push the costs off on those who enact such a..... way of life.
 

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I would be for his..eh..er, program…with this caveat. Find another way of determining obesity. The BMI index that insurance companies use don’t work when a person does a lot of strength training.
 
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