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The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government[W:261:356]

vash1012

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

1. Compared to any third-world nation you care to name, they're both QUITE regulated...which is why, when you go to either place you see clean, swept cities, nice smooth roads, safe neighborhoods to walk - all these require REGULATION and a healthy tax structure. You'll never go find a place with Really Low Taxes that has roads that compare to those of a first-world nation, because roads cost lots of taxpayer dollars.

2. You're still trying to compare CITY-STATES to NATIONS - and that's not even comparing apples to oranges. It's more like saying, "This molehill seems to be working out quite nicely - why can't that mountain be like this molehill." City-states don't face the same challenges as nations - Hong Kong's been under the protection of England (and America) and and China since it was founded and hardly counts as an independent entity. Singapore only received its independence from England in 1963. Both were made major centers of commerce not by their own efforts, but by those of the major nations that ensured their viability.

Okay? Try comparing apples with apples, and mountains with mountains.

And btw, you mentioned Australia. Last year, the Australian government raised minimum wage to A$15 an hour (about $15.30 USD). It's more than double the federal minimum wage in the United States. VERY nice place - you should visit there sometime. Perth is a lot like San Diego (only nicer), and Hobart (Tasmania) is a lot like Everett, Washington (only nicer).

You talk about comparing apples to apples, yet you scold me for comparing well performing countries to other well performing countries? Third world countries are not third world countries because they lack regulation. Its because they lack any kind of an economy which could support the things you mention. Compared to the European Social democracies, two of the three countries I mention ARE low regulation and low taxes. As far as them being city states and not nations, do you know what the 2 countries with the highest population per density in the world are (with over 1 million people)? Hong Kong and Singapore. So calling them mole-hills without challenges of "real nations" is a bit disingenuous. They certainly have challenges of their own. Different ones, to be sure, since as you point out, they are largely urban areas. Regardless, they have very successful economies using very similar formulas. My only point was this was that low taxes and low economic regulations do not automatically = third world country. These models CAN be successfully implemented and it absolutely does have a real effect on their economies. There is a reason Hong Kong and Singapore are both manufacturing hubs and financial centers of their region.

As far as Australia, you can argue with me all you want.. but it doesn't change the fact that they ARE widely considered to be an economically free country. Low tarifs, flexible interest rates, privately owned banks, and very limited barriers to entrepreneurial activities are the definition of economically free countries. I am aware they have higher taxes than us and a form of publicly provided health insurance. My main point with them is that you can have social programs WITHOUT having tightly regulated economies.

The essential premise of my argument is that a government intervention can sometimes help an economy if done right and it can sometimes severely hinder an economy if done wrong.. but it can't create an economy where one does not it exist. All first world counties have long established economies BEFORE they were social democracies. In Hong Kong and Singapore, their economies were CREATED by their economic policies, or rather the lack there of. China didn't make them the financial hub of the region anymore than England did Singapore. The free market principles which their economies operate did that.

And thanks for the travel tips for Australia. I do hope to make it there soon.
 

Glen Contrarian

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

It's not just a matter of regulations that hinder business. Laws that promote business, and policies that result in govt intervention in the market, are both "bad" according to the nonsense that the right wing spews

Both HK and Singapore have govts that are actively involved in the market. Singapore has a policy to promote home ownership (is subsidies), electrification (again, subsidies), laws which offer strong protectors to investors in corporations, etc

IOW, the ease of starting and running a business does not support the rightwing position if that ease is the result of govt policies and intervention in the marketplace.

To back up what you said, one time I was in Singapore and a tour guide told me how one-third of ALL their income goes into a mandatory savings account, and the money can only be used to buy residences or pay for higher education or medical treatment. Somehow I don't think America's conservatives would much appreciate being forced to set aside one-third of all their income and only be allowed to spend it on things the government says they could spend it on.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

No true conservative I know has any problem with the principles of good government and paying taxes. What we object to is the liberal version of government that believes it and only it has the answers for everything, wastes taxpayer dollars trying to prove it, and wastes far more taxpayer dollars trying to cover-up or correct their billion dollar blunders.

If government stuck to the role it serves best, there'd be nobody complaining about government and everyone's taxes would be reasonable and provide good value for money.

Yeah, true conservatives like those who get us to invade nations on false pretenses, and who decide that women must have medically-unnecessary vaginal ultrasounds before an abortion, and that women who miscarry must report the miscarriage to the police within 72 hours or else, and let's not forget that it's the conservatives who decided that the government - unlike every other sizable entity - is NOT ALLOWED to negotiate with Big Pharma for lower prices.
 

blaxshep

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

... government - unlike every other sizable entity - is NOT ALLOWED to negotiate with Big Pharma for lower prices.

It absolutely DOES negotiate with Big Pharma over drug prices. What are you talking about?
 

Glen Contrarian

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

You talk about comparing apples to apples, yet you scold me for comparing well performing countries to other well performing countries? Third world countries are not third world countries because they lack regulation. Its because they lack any kind of an economy which could support the things you mention. Compared to the European Social democracies, two of the three countries I mention ARE low regulation and low taxes. As far as them being city states and not nations, do you know what the 2 countries with the highest population per density in the world are (with over 1 million people)? Hong Kong and Singapore. So calling them mole-hills without challenges of "real nations" is a bit disingenuous. They certainly have challenges of their own. Different ones, to be sure, since as you point out, they are largely urban areas. Regardless, they have very successful economies using very similar formulas. My only point was this was that low taxes and low economic regulations do not automatically = third world country. These models CAN be successfully implemented and it absolutely does have a real effect on their economies. There is a reason Hong Kong and Singapore are both manufacturing hubs and financial centers of their region.

As far as Australia, you can argue with me all you want.. but it doesn't change the fact that they ARE widely considered to be an economically free country. Low tarifs, flexible interest rates, privately owned banks, and very limited barriers to entrepreneurial activities are the definition of economically free countries. I am aware they have higher taxes than us and a form of publicly provided health insurance. My main point with them is that you can have social programs WITHOUT having tightly regulated economies.

The essential premise of my argument is that a government intervention can sometimes help an economy if done right and it can sometimes severely hinder an economy if done wrong.. but it can't create an economy where one does not it exist. All first world counties have long established economies BEFORE they were social democracies. In Hong Kong and Singapore, their economies were CREATED by their economic policies, or rather the lack there of. China didn't make them the financial hub of the region anymore than England did Singapore. The free market principles which their economies operate did that.

And thanks for the travel tips for Australia. I do hope to make it there soon.

Dude, you Just Don't Get It. You CANNOT compare city-states to nations. City-states don't have to provide infrastructure - roads, electricity, drainage, emergency services - over literally millions of square miles of rural areas whose citizens can't pay for all of it themselves - do you really think its an accident that the states that receive the most federal taxes while paying out the least are Southern states? City-states don't have to maintain huge militaries. Think about how well America's economy would do if we didn't have to sink $700B into the military every freaking year!

And THIS quote of yours: " In Hong Kong and Singapore, their economies were CREATED by their economic policies, or rather the lack there of. China didn't make them the financial hub of the region anymore than England did Singapore. The free market principles which their economies operate did that. " is simply ignorance. It was England's - and America's - militaries who protected these city-states as they grew. Do you really, truly think that if England and America didn't provide any protection, that these cities would have remained free? Do you really? What's more, BOTH of these cities were built on ENGLISH economic principles. For instance, Hong Kong's minimum wage is about half that of America's federal minimum wage, but nearly seven times that of the Philippines (where I've owned a business before). And you can read about Singapore's mandatory savings plan, which is like Social Security on steroids.

No offense, guy, but you really don't know what you're talking about.
 

Glen Contrarian

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blaxshep

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

The VA does, but Medicare and Medicaid can't - and they're much bigger than the VA. Obama wanted to repeal the prohibition, but couldn't.

I am not sure where you get your info but I work in pharma and I can tell you that we have to sell the government all the drugs we manufacture at a lower cost than any of the other distributors we deal with. It is a federal law. If we even cut a one time lower deal with any other distributor then we have to cut the government a rebate check.
 

Glen Contrarian

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

I am not sure where you get your info but I work in pharma and I can tell you that we have to sell the government all the drugs we manufacture at a lower cost than any of the other distributors we deal with. It is a federal law. If we even cut a one time lower deal with any other distributor then we have to cut the government a rebate check.

I can trust your word, or I can trust Health and Human Services:

Under Medicare Part D, sponsors negotiate rebates with drug manufacturers to reduce the costs of drug coverage. The Government is legally prohibited from being involved in these negotiations. In contrast, under Medicaid, drug manufacturers must pay rebates to State Medicaid programs according to a calculation defined by law. In simplified terms, the calculation uses a formula that incorporates:
the average price at which the drug is sold to wholesalers or retail community pharmacies,
the lowest price at which it is sold, and
the rate of inflation versus the rate at which the price of the drug increased.
As the numbers above show, Medicaid's system for determining rebate rates resulted in substantially higher rebates than Part D sponsors negotiated for the top 100 brand-name drugs. The inflation-based additional rebate in Medicaid's system is the primary reason for this. According to Medicaid Brand-Name Drugs: Rising Prices Are Offset by Manufacturer Rebates, although published prices and Medicaid payment amounts to pharmacies for brand-name drugs increased at about three times the inflation rate between 2005 and 2010, the Medicaid rebates that manufacturers paid to the States offset these increases.
Given the potential impact of rebates on beneficiary and Government expenditures, OIG recommends that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continually examine this issue.


I shouldn't have said 'Medicaid' since that is through the states. But the federal government (other than the VA) is legally prohibited from being involved in negotiations.
 

blaxshep

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

I can trust your word, or I can trust Health and Human Services:

Under Medicare Part D, sponsors negotiate rebates with drug manufacturers to reduce the costs of drug coverage. The Government is legally prohibited from being involved in these negotiations. In contrast, under Medicaid, drug manufacturers must pay rebates to State Medicaid programs according to a calculation defined by law. In simplified terms, the calculation uses a formula that incorporates:
the average price at which the drug is sold to wholesalers or retail community pharmacies,
the lowest price at which it is sold, and
the rate of inflation versus the rate at which the price of the drug increased.
As the numbers above show, Medicaid's system for determining rebate rates resulted in substantially higher rebates than Part D sponsors negotiated for the top 100 brand-name drugs. The inflation-based additional rebate in Medicaid's system is the primary reason for this. According to Medicaid Brand-Name Drugs: Rising Prices Are Offset by Manufacturer Rebates, although published prices and Medicaid payment amounts to pharmacies for brand-name drugs increased at about three times the inflation rate between 2005 and 2010, the Medicaid rebates that manufacturers paid to the States offset these increases.
Given the potential impact of rebates on beneficiary and Government expenditures, OIG recommends that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continually examine this issue.


I shouldn't have said 'Medicaid' since that is through the states. But the federal government (other than the VA) is legally prohibited from being involved in negotiations.

Read what you just posted again is says exactly what I just got done posting. True the government can not negotiate it's own price (Which would be tyranny BTW) but it does require the manufacturer to sell to the government at below the cost to distributors and when rebates undercut the government cost they must cut the government a check for the difference.
 

Glen Contrarian

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

It has that requirement for MedicAID - not MedicARE. Medicaid is run by the states. Medicare is a federal program. Here's a more concrete example:

By the design of the program, the federal government is not permitted to negotiate prices of drugs with the drug companies, as federal agencies do in other programs. The Department of Veterans Affairs, which is allowed to negotiate drug prices and establish a formulary, has been estimated to pay between 40% and 58% less for drugs, on average, than Medicare Part D. For example, the VA pays as little as $782.44 for a year's supply of Lipitor (atorvastatin) 20 mg, while the Medicare pays between $1120 and $1340 on Part D plans.

...

Estimating how much money could be saved if Medicare had been allowed to negotiate drug prices, economist Dean Baker gives a "most conservative high-cost scenario" of $332 billion between 2006 and 2013 (approximately $50 billion a year), and a "middle cost scenario" of $563 billion in savings "for the same budget window"

And how did this all happen? Read on:

Former Congressman Billy Tauzin, R-La., who steered the bill through the House, retired soon after and took a $2 million a year job as president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the main industry lobbying group. Medicare boss Thomas Scully, who threatened to fire Medicare Chief Actuary Richard Foster if he reported how much the bill would actually cost, was negotiating for a new job as a pharmaceutical lobbyist as the bill was working through Congress. A total of 14 congressional aides quit their jobs to work for the drug and medical lobbies immediately after the bill's passage.

This is what happens when you've got too much private money in government, and what happens when you've got a revolving door: "Get legislation passed that will make us billions, and we'll give you a nice cushy job when you get out of Congress!"
 

blaxshep

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

It has that requirement for MedicAID - not MedicARE. Medicaid is run by the states. Medicare is a federal program. Here's a more concrete example:

By the design of the program, the federal government is not permitted to negotiate prices of drugs with the drug companies, as federal agencies do in other programs. The Department of Veterans Affairs, which is allowed to negotiate drug prices and establish a formulary, has been estimated to pay between 40% and 58% less for drugs, on average, than Medicare Part D. For example, the VA pays as little as $782.44 for a year's supply of Lipitor (atorvastatin) 20 mg, while the Medicare pays between $1120 and $1340 on Part D plans.

...

Estimating how much money could be saved if Medicare had been allowed to negotiate drug prices, economist Dean Baker gives a "most conservative high-cost scenario" of $332 billion between 2006 and 2013 (approximately $50 billion a year), and a "middle cost scenario" of $563 billion in savings "for the same budget window"

And how did this all happen? Read on:

Former Congressman Billy Tauzin, R-La., who steered the bill through the House, retired soon after and took a $2 million a year job as president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the main industry lobbying group. Medicare boss Thomas Scully, who threatened to fire Medicare Chief Actuary Richard Foster if he reported how much the bill would actually cost, was negotiating for a new job as a pharmaceutical lobbyist as the bill was working through Congress. A total of 14 congressional aides quit their jobs to work for the drug and medical lobbies immediately after the bill's passage.

This is what happens when you've got too much private money in government, and what happens when you've got a revolving door: "Get legislation passed that will make us billions, and we'll give you a nice cushy job when you get out of Congress!"

Ok you may have a point, I know it is this way for medicaid but I do not know if medicare is different, I guess I assumed they were both that way.

I will see what I can find out on that.
 

head of joaquin

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Glen Contrarian

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Ok you may have a point, I know it is this way for medicaid but I do not know if medicare is different, I guess I assumed they were both that way.

I will see what I can find out on that.

I have a healthy respect for anyone who's man enough to say that. Too many times I've seen people - sometimes even myself - hold on to what they think even when the evidence indicates otherwise. Good on you!
 

vash1012

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

I can trust your word, or I can trust Health and Human Services:

Under Medicare Part D, sponsors negotiate rebates with drug manufacturers to reduce the costs of drug coverage. The Government is legally prohibited from being involved in these negotiations. In contrast, under Medicaid, drug manufacturers must pay rebates to State Medicaid programs according to a calculation defined by law. In simplified terms, the calculation uses a formula that incorporates:
the average price at which the drug is sold to wholesalers or retail community pharmacies,
the lowest price at which it is sold, and
the rate of inflation versus the rate at which the price of the drug increased.
As the numbers above show, Medicaid's system for determining rebate rates resulted in substantially higher rebates than Part D sponsors negotiated for the top 100 brand-name drugs. The inflation-based additional rebate in Medicaid's system is the primary reason for this. According to Medicaid Brand-Name Drugs: Rising Prices Are Offset by Manufacturer Rebates, although published prices and Medicaid payment amounts to pharmacies for brand-name drugs increased at about three times the inflation rate between 2005 and 2010, the Medicaid rebates that manufacturers paid to the States offset these increases.
Given the potential impact of rebates on beneficiary and Government expenditures, OIG recommends that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continually examine this issue.


I shouldn't have said 'Medicaid' since that is through the states. But the federal government (other than the VA) is legally prohibited from being involved in negotiations.

Okay, Medicare Part D is publicly sponsored, but privately ran by individual insurance providers. There are literally hundreds of different Medicare part D plans. Not to mention, Medicare part D plans don't buy drugs directly except for their own mail order pharmacies. It typically pays for them through a patient's pharmacy, so compared to the V.A. there is a middle man which, of course, increases the price. If the government was setting all the reimbursement rate for every plans, there would literally be no difference except for differences in gap coverage and premiums. Hardly enough difference to create any kind of competition. Medicare Part D is one of the primary reasons our growth in Medicare costs has been significantly lower than projected this year. Additionally, those Medicaid numbers sound nice to the public, but as a pharmacist I can tell you theres a reason you don't see independent pharmacies open in high medicaid population areas. That reason is that we have to sell MANY medicaid prescriptions at cost or below once you factor in overhead. It is next to impossible to make a profit in high medicaid areas unless of course you have a diversified service like CVS or Walgreens. If Medicare Part D would start paying the same as Medicaid, many pharmacies would simply go under.

One thing that Medicare cannot do which I find very silly is base coverage or denial of a new service based on cost which is why we are now occasionally paying for prostate cancer drug that costs $90,000 per monthly treatment and has been shown to only extend life by 4 months on average. CMMS isn't even allowed to factor cost in. There is literally no market for the high cost, low benefit drugs except for Medicare patients precisely for this reason, but God forbid we start that death panel debate again when someones says $270,000 is too much to pay to keep a guy alive for 4 months.
 

head of joaquin

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Okay, Medicare Part D is publicly sponsored, but privately ran by individual insurance providers. There are literally hundreds of different Medicare part D plans. Not to mention, Medicare part D plans don't buy drugs directly except for their own mail order pharmacies. It typically pays for them through a patient's pharmacy, so compared to the V.A. there is a middle man which, of course, increases the price. If the government was setting all the reimbursement rate for every plans, there would literally be no difference except for differences in gap coverage and premiums. Hardly enough difference to create any kind of competition. Medicare Part D is one of the primary reasons our growth in Medicare costs has been significantly lower than projected this year. Additionally, those Medicaid numbers sound nice to the public, but as a pharmacist I can tell you theres a reason you don't see independent pharmacies open in high medicaid population areas. That reason is that we have to sell MANY medicaid prescriptions at cost or below once you factor in overhead. It is next to impossible to make a profit in high medicaid areas unless of course you have a diversified service like CVS or Walgreens. If Medicare Part D would start paying the same as Medicaid, many pharmacies would simply go under.

One thing that Medicare cannot do which I find very silly is base coverage or denial of a new service based on cost which is why we are now occasionally paying for prostate cancer drug that costs $90,000 per monthly treatment and has been shown to only extend life by 4 months on average. CMMS isn't even allowed to factor cost in. There is literally no market for the high cost, low benefit drugs except for Medicare patients precisely for this reason, but God forbid we start that death panel debate again when someones says $270,000 is too much to pay to keep a guy alive for 4 months.

These are all good points. Note how Palin and her megaphone has totally poisoned the debate, so that any rational discussion of what Medicare should pay for immediately raises the specter of "death panels".

That's what conservative rhetoric on health care does: poisons the well.
 

Red_Dave

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

you're going to have to break all that down into smaller chunks. It would take days to adequately address everything that was in your post, and it would be so long probably no one would bother to read it.

him make indian learn read!!!!
 

vash1012

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Dude, you Just Don't Get It. You CANNOT compare city-states to nations. City-states don't have to provide infrastructure - roads, electricity, drainage, emergency services - over literally millions of square miles of rural areas whose citizens can't pay for all of it themselves - do you really think its an accident that the states that receive the most federal taxes while paying out the least are Southern states? City-states don't have to maintain huge militaries. Think about how well America's economy would do if we didn't have to sink $700B into the military every freaking year!

And THIS quote of yours: " In Hong Kong and Singapore, their economies were CREATED by their economic policies, or rather the lack there of. China didn't make them the financial hub of the region anymore than England did Singapore. The free market principles which their economies operate did that. " is simply ignorance. It was England's - and America's - militaries who protected these city-states as they grew. Do you really, truly think that if England and America didn't provide any protection, that these cities would have remained free? Do you really? What's more, BOTH of these cities were built on ENGLISH economic principles. For instance, Hong Kong's minimum wage is about half that of America's federal minimum wage, but nearly seven times that of the Philippines (where I've owned a business before). And you can read about Singapore's mandatory savings plan, which is like Social Security on steroids.

No offense, guy, but you really don't know what you're talking about.

Okay. Offense is taken when you tell someone they don't know what they are talking about, even if you say No offense first. So on to your points:

1. I have never, ever once in our entire debate said city-states were directly comparable to nations. I conceded that they do not have the same challenges a long time ago. I am not arguing with you on that point and never have. As I said, they have entirely different challenges being the most population dense countries on the planet. Do you dispute that being that population dense does not come with its own challenges that might very well be expensive?

2. We DON'T have to sink 700B into the military every year. Hopefully, we won't disagree on that at least. Maybe you aren't aware though that Singapore has its own army? Its actually the most technologically advanced in the area. Their growth has been maintained well after they stopped receiving assistance from England. I think its dismissive to still give credit to England for their success 47 years after they left. And more over, what difference does it make if they wouldn't have stayed free in 60 years ago if the success and progress I'm talking about is going on now? Singapore was a giant shanty town before they were given their independence so I really don't think your point applies to them. I understand for Hong Kong who is still protected by China, but I really don't believe that discredits their economic success as much as you do.

3. What differences does it make if they were built on "ENGLISH economic principles"? That is just a nonsensical point.

4. You keep harping on minimum wage. Minimum wage is one tiny component of economic freedom. Answer me this: Are Hong Kong and Singapore examples of economically free and successful economies RELATIVE to other economics (I have never asserted they were laissez faire)? If you assert they are not, then please explain and address why they are widely considered to be. I'm having trouble reconciling your opinion with that of economists here.. like Milton Freidman who called Hong Kong the greatest experiment in laissez fare economics in the world.

5. I stand by my quote which you disagree with. Their policies have had a direct effect on what type and how much international business they have attracted over the last few decades. I really don't see how this is arguable. Answer me this: Would Hong Kong and Singapore be manufacturing and financial hubs of their region if they had economic policies more similar to, lets say, France than what they have now? If you do not agree, please explain why.

To break it down, the only thing that I am asserting is that, while we don't have a great example of a large nation who has adopted a low tax, low regulation economic model and been able to sustain it, I believe that the success AND the composition of the economies in Hong Kong and Singapore which have the 3rd and 6th highest GDP per capita in the world is directly related to their economically free (relative to other countries) model is proof of the positive effects produced by this model. I believe that some of their style of government can be adopted in larger nations and it would result in more economic success. I do not believe that whether or not these countries have to provide infrastructure or a military or if they would have been able to protect themselves from being taken over 60 years ago discredits their success. I acknowledge that if these countries were to have to provide infrastructure over a larger, rural area and/or a military large enough to defend themselves that they would not be able to maintain as low of taxes as they do now, but I do not agree that they could not still continue the principles of their economic philosophy if this were the case. I also acknowledge that they do not entirely abstain from government intervention in their economies, but again, they are still considered widely to be the most economically free countries and that is for a reason.

To sum up what I believe is your point, and please correct me if I am wrong, you do not believe the success of these country economies could extrapolated at all to larger nations. You believe that the condition of their not having to provide a military and/or rural infrastructure sufficiently discredits these countries being used as an example of the success of a more free economic model.

If this is the case, then we are at an impasse, I am afraid. We fundamentally disagree on the concept proposed at its most basic level and I doubt you will change my opinion or I yours. I would appreciate it, if you wish to continue our discussion, if you would refrain from insults. We may disagree, but I am not baseless in my opinion.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

You haven't been paying attention, have you? The European nations that most strongly went for austerity after the Great Recession are the ones in the biggest trouble - Greece, Spain, England, and Italy. The rest of the nations may not be recovering as well as America did, but America had this little something they didn't - it was called the STIMULUS PACKAGE. And even the IMF is starting to admit that austerity was a mistake.

And on top of all that, guy, think on this - all the First World nations are STILL First World nations even with everything that happened in the Great Recession - their populations are STILL far better off than those in Third-World nations whose economies operate mostly on libertarian principles. I've spent quite a bit of time and own a house in one such nation - I do have a clue as to what life is like in a Third-World nation, and yes, most Third-World economies are build on low taxes and almost no regulation and no worker rights and Big Business is completely unfettered, just like how America's conservatives think we should operate...and the nation still gets nowhere.

Oh, yeah - there's one more thing: look at all the First-World socialized democracies that either weren't touched by or recovered quickly from the Great Recession: Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, South Korea, Taiwan, and a certain nation right next door - Canada! They're all doing quite well, thank you very much!

And I notice you haven't pointed out why NO nations - none, zero, nada, ZILCH - that operate with low taxes and little or no regulation have made it to first-world status. Think on this, guy - in baseball, who do you bet on? Do you bet on the ones who operate the way you think they should? Or do you bet on the ones who WIN? So it goes with nations - all the First World nations have something in common, and that in and of itself should give you a clue as to what it takes to become a First World nation.
The bolded portion is not true at all. African nations in particular have incredibly corrupt governments with equally repressed markets. Australia, Switzerland, and Canada are considered some of the freest economies in the world--even above the US.
 

vash1012

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

These are all good points. Note how Palin and her megaphone has totally poisoned the debate, so that any rational discussion of what Medicare should pay for immediately raises the specter of "death panels".

That's what conservative rhetoric on health care does: poisons the well.

I found it so unfortunate that some good changes were derailed by the whole death panel thing. End of life expensive is a sizable proportion of our medical expenses and I believe its one area where we can make the most impact on cost with the least impact on quality of life. The idea of paying a doctor a one time fee to discuss end of life care options with a patient was a good one. Doctors now do not want to do it because its such a difficult thing to talk about and there are 0 incentives to do so. I don't even know how they were able to spin it into a death panel. Its a doctor asking you how you want to be treated when the end is near. The frequency with which good policy changes get derailed by outrage from people who don't check their sources is so frustrating.

P.S. I hate Sarah Palin.
 

vash1012

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

The bolded portion is not true at all. African nations in particular have incredibly corrupt governments with equally repressed markets. Australia, Switzerland, and Canada are considered some of the freest economies in the world--even above the US.

Completely agree. I'll state it again: Third world countries are not third world because of the nature of their government. Its the fact that they have no economy to speak of that makes them poor. When you have nothing to sell, very little skilled labor, and a non-existent tourist industry, you have nothing to tax so if they are low tax, low regulation its because they can't afford to be anything else. Many of them are low tax relative to our country, but most of them are NOT low regulation. Minimum capital requirements to start businesses, high tariffs, RAMPANT government corruption, complicated processes to obtain permits.. these things are ubiquitous in third world countries. I wonder if the poster you originally quoted believes installing a European style government would fix their problems?

I'll say it again: Government intervention can help or hurt an economy, but it can't create one where it doesn't exist.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

The bolded portion is not true at all. African nations in particular have incredibly corrupt governments with equally repressed markets. Australia, Switzerland, and Canada are considered some of the freest economies in the world--even above the US.

How much first-hand experience do you have in third-world nations? The corruption is there because the governments are small enough to drown in a bathtub. When you pay policemen a mere pittance, how do you think they're going to find enough money to feed their families? When you pay low-level government functionaries a pittance, again, how do you think they're going to get the money to feed their families? And as these people slowly move up the ladder, they carry that tradition of corruption with them...and it spreads and perpetuates through the society as a whole.

If you want a nation with a low level of corruption, you MUST, repeat MUST pay your government workers well enough so that the naturally-more-honest ones won't be forced to engage in corruption just to feed their families. And that, sir, requires higher tax rates.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

How much first-hand experience do you have in third-world nations? The corruption is there because the governments are small enough to drown in a bathtub. When you pay policemen a mere pittance, how do you think they're going to find enough money to feed their families? When you pay low-level government functionaries a pittance, again, how do you think they're going to get the money to feed their families? And as these people slowly move up the ladder, they carry that tradition of corruption with them...and it spreads and perpetuates through the society as a whole.

If you want a nation with a low level of corruption, you MUST, repeat MUST pay your government workers well enough so that the naturally-more-honest ones won't be forced to engage in corruption just to feed their families. And that, sir, requires higher tax rates.

The right wing likes to pretend that the corruption of any govt official is always the result of a powerful Big Govt when, in reality, it's usually the result of a weak and small govt.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

Completely agree. I'll state it again: Third world countries are not third world because of the nature of their government. Its the fact that they have no economy to speak of that makes them poor. When you have nothing to sell, very little skilled labor, and a non-existent tourist industry, you have nothing to tax so if they are low tax, low regulation its because they can't afford to be anything else. Many of them are low tax relative to our country, but most of them are NOT low regulation. Minimum capital requirements to start businesses, high tariffs, RAMPANT government corruption, complicated processes to obtain permits.. these things are ubiquitous in third world countries. I wonder if the poster you originally quoted believes installing a European style government would fix their problems?

I'll say it again: Government intervention can help or hurt an economy, but it can't create one where it doesn't exist.

Like I asked the other guy, how much first-hand experience do you have in third-world nations? If you go there, you find that in most (but not all) cases, business can do pretty much what they want because they own the government. The government is nowhere near powerful enough to enforce regulations throughout the nation, and often not even within the nation's capital. That's something else the small-government crowd doesn't get: a strong government is your ONLY - repeat, ONLY - protection against the vagaries of Big Business. When business screws you over big time, who do you turn to? The only thing you can turn to is to the government via the courts or the politicians. Even the press can't help you if the government isn't weak enough to hold Big Business to account for what it does wrong.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

The bolded portion is not true at all. African nations in particular have incredibly corrupt governments with equally repressed markets. Australia, Switzerland, and Canada are considered some of the freest economies in the world--even above the US.

FYI, the economies of Australia, Switzerland, and Canada are quite regulated - try opening a business in any of them. What's different is that their governments are strong enough to ensure a level playing field, which enables the companies that function better to have a better chance to succeed.
 

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Re: The Case in Support of HIgh Taxes and Big Government

To Vash1012:

First, please accept my apology - I shouldn't have posted offensively. I'll try my level best not to do that again.

1. Then why are city-states even a part of the discussion? They're molehills and don't belong in a discussion about mountains.

2. I'm retired Navy and I strongly agree we spend far too much on the military, and the first thing I'd deep-six are my beloved aircraft carriers. Yes, I know Singapore has an army - actually, according to the Singapore military member I shared a beer with at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, their military is small enough that they can have their military cross-train in all segments of their military - land, air, sea. Not everyone can do every job, but they're very well familiar with each other's jobs. But the key is, their military is small, and only has to worry about defending ONE city - not a whole doggone nation and all its overseas interests.

3. No, it's not nonsensical at all. Where do you think Singapore and Hong Kong got their economic traditions from? And what about their legal systems that keep down the level of corruption? And the governmental system that ensures comprehensive support for their economic and physical infrastructure?

4. Again, why are we even discussing city-states? They're molehills, and you can't expect mountains to look or function like molehills.

5. You just can't get over the fact that they're city-states, can you? Using city-states to make points about how the economics of major nations should work, simply. does. not. work.

You said, "while we don't have a great example of a large nation who has adopted a low tax, low regulation economic model and been able to sustain it, I believe that the success AND the composition of the economies in Hong Kong and Singapore which have the 3rd and 6th highest GDP per capita in the world is directly related to their economically free (relative to other countries) model is proof of the positive effects produced by this model." Guy, the models for city-states does NOT work for major nations. Molehills aren't mountains and you shouldn't expect mountains to be like molehills. It's like looking at a really good Little League team and saying, "Well, the Yankees would be even better if they were like this!" Major nations have a vast host of concerns that city-states do NOT...and it is that 'vast host of concerns' that negates any positive model from the city-states that you might feel applies.
 
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