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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#20301 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2022-August-17, 08:41

View Posthrothgar, on 2022-August-17, 07:05, said:

If we actually cared about this, we'd start by cracking down on advertising rather than affordability.

If America was serious about it, they would prevent drug companies from offering bribes to doctors for prescribing expensive named products rather than almost identical generics that cost a fraction of the price. This would affect the profits of the large drug companies and most doctors but be a major boon to patients as well as directly impacting health insurance costs for almost everyone. There's a good reason why UK drug prices came down massively when the foreunner to MHRA took most brand name produtcs off the NHS allowed drug list. America is not in a position to repeat that but at least cutting out bribes that adversely affect patients could be legislated against.
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#20302 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2022-August-17, 09:02

View PostGilithin, on 2022-August-17, 08:41, said:

If America was serious about it, they would prevent drug companies from offering bribes to doctors for prescribing expensive named products rather than almost identical generics that cost a fraction of the price. This would affect the profits of the large drug companies and most doctors but be a major boon to patients as well as directly impacting health insurance costs for almost everyone. There's a good reason why UK drug prices came down massively when the foreunner to MHRA took most brand name produtcs off the NHS allowed drug list. America is not in a position to repeat that but at least cutting out bribes that adversely affect patients could be legislated against.

If America was serious, we would also make it illegal for corporations to bribe members of Congress.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#20303 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2022-August-17, 09:34

View Postkenberg, on 2022-August-17, 08:12, said:

Whew. I listened to the first ten minutes, meaning I heard his answer to the first question. Linguistically speaking, "heard" means I heard every word. I am at a total loss as to what he actually said, as far as meaning is concerned. I might try for more later, but can't even say what I did not understand. Or, rather, I did not understand any of it. I googled intentism and found this link. https://www.deviantart.com/intentism The pictures are clear enough.

I am always up for something new, at least in theory, but I really had no idea what Chomsky was saying. If the first ten minutes had anything to do with the USA I missed it. Ancient Greece, India, China, Europe, and I guess USA got mentioned, but I could not see how any phrase was connected to any later phrase.

I am not rejecting anything here, I simply don't get it.

I suspect you and Chomsky are different Myers-Briggs types.

The first 10 minutes are interesting but not particularly relevant to this thread.

Chomsky's response to the question that starts at 10:43 is a good summary of Trump's appeal to the corporations and rich people who run this country and also of his appeal to the tens of millions of working class voters who these same corporations and rich people have been screwing for 40+ years.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#20304 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-August-17, 09:53

View Postthepossum, on 2022-August-16, 20:57, said:

How does giving MEdicare greater resources/power to negotiate cheap drugs with big-pharma play into possible unnecessary demand for said meds


A quick answer: I am not sure.

More detail: I belong to AARP and just a bit ago I got a phone call from the Maryland chapter inviting me to stay on the line for a discussion of the Inflation Reduction Act and specifically about drug prices. Chris Van Hollen, a US Senator for MD, was their main guest. The first caller had a question that has nagged at me. I did not feel the Senator answered it well. Here is what the caller said (my summary):

Quote

My wife has serious arthritis and is covered by Medicare and by Blue-Cross Blue Sheild. She takes medication that w/o insurance would cost [my approx to what he said] $3500 a month. Because of Medicare and BCBS we pay $90 a month. Suppose, now that Medicare can negotiate prices, that the negotiations on this drug fall through. No agreement is reached. Would this mean that the drug is no longer paid for at all by Medicare and so my wife would either stop taking it or we would pay the full price, minus whatever BCBS pays?



I am pretty sure that was the essence of the question. Van Hollen went on about how he and others had tried unsuccessfully to deal with the problems of private insurers but he did not address the question of what happens if, when Medicare negotiates, the negotiations don't come to an agreement. This can be a broad question, involving those who have supplemental insurance and those who don't. My insurance situation is almost identical to the caller's, and I have no idea what happens if a Medicare negotiation falls through the cracks.

This has been my question, and I thought the caller was very clear that this was his question, and as near as I could tell, it did not get answered.

There are a lot of questions to be addressed.
Ken
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#20305 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-August-17, 16:18

View Postkenberg, on 2022-August-17, 09:53, said:

I am pretty sure that was the essence of the question. Van Hollen went on about how he and others had tried unsuccessfully to deal with the problems of private insurers but he did not address the question of what happens if, when Medicare negotiates, the negotiations don't come to an agreement. This can be a broad question, involving those who have supplemental insurance and those who don't. My insurance situation is almost identical to the caller's, and I have no idea what happens if a Medicare negotiation falls through the cracks.

This has been my question, and I thought the caller was very clear that this was his question, and as near as I could tell, it did not get answered.

There are a lot of questions to be addressed.


I'm not speaking for Van Hollen, but my guess is that he didn't know the answer, and there probably isn't an answer right now. Speaking from my experience reading a lot of pension related code and regulations, most congressional bills are written at the 30,000 feet level, meaning they are high level overflights with some basic concepts codified in the bill, but without detail about how things work at ground level where the work actually gets done.

In real life, a section of code from a bill might be a couple of pages, while the regulations could take a hundred or hundreds of pages. I expect that congressional staffers and staff from Health and Human Services will be hard at work drafting regulations for months so that the bill is workable in real life.
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#20306 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-August-17, 18:15

Here's a longer clearer exposition of Chomsky's views on the current state of American politics recorded last week in conversation with Richard Wolff.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#20307 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-August-17, 18:33

A major flaw with the argument of American industry/policy makers regarding the need for patent protection is that they are actually agrarian socialists: their profits belong to them and their costs must be shared by everyone.
See if you can work out what is wrong with the following statements remembering that the only reason that major companies succeed is because they get a highly educated workforce free of charge.

1. We need tax breaks to set up industry in America because labour costs are too high.
2. We need to overcharge for the drugs that we patent because we need the extra money to invest in new drugs.

When the Chinese government discovered that the USA was sending its soft plastics to China for recycling and that the company doing it was just making a tiny profit but at the cost of workers health that the Chinese community had to pay for, leading to a net loss, they shut it down.

In Australia we do something with a similar effect. If a company can't be profitable because of our stringent occupational health and safety laws it shuts down.
The problem is that we export our pain and import our pleasure. A kind of affective capitalism.

Eventually, the people suffering for our joy get annoyed and say genug ist genug.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#20308 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-August-17, 18:41

View Postjohnu, on 2022-August-17, 16:18, said:

I'm not speaking for Van Hollen, but my guess is that he didn't know the answer, and there probably isn't an answer right now. Speaking from my experience reading a lot of pension related code and regulations, most congressional bills are written at the 30,000 feet level, meaning they are high level overflights with some basic concepts codified in the bill, but without detail about how things work at ground level where the work actually gets done.

In real life, a section of code from a bill might be a couple of pages, while the regulations could take a hundred or hundreds of pages. I expect that congressional staffers and staff from Health and Human Services will be hard at work drafting regulations for months so that the bill is workable in real life.




Perhaps so, but the question was really important. It involves many people and the numbers often exceed the $3500 per month that the caller asked about. If this bill was passed with no consideration of what the effect would be in the situation the caller described, I would call that extremely irresponsible. Almost unbelievably irresponsible, and that leads me to think the answer is in the bill somewhere. I voted for Van Hollen, I wish him well, but if he came on the line incapable of answering such a basic question he was wasting everyone's time.

AARP calls every so often and offers me the opportunity t listen in on one of these townhouse meetings as they are called. Usually I just hang up but when this topic was announced I was thinking of becoming a caller. Then the first caller asked the question I would have asked as a caller. And then it didn't get answered. Or at least it was not answered in a way that I understood. Maybe the answer is "Well, wough luck" and Van H thought that was obvious and so went on to talk about the other efforts. If anyone reading this has any knowledge of the answer I would love to hear it, both for general interest and as a personal practical matter.

Maybe I will write to Van H. He is my Senator. Maybe I just didn't listen closely enough, but I tried.
Ken
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#20309 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-August-17, 18:42

Is there some benefit I overlook in the view that every action taken should be considered done to benefit a global conspiracy by elitists?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20310 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-August-17, 18:53

Politicians make a career out of not answering questions. The American politician has one job: get re-elected. What is said at an AARP meeting is meaningless, anyway, so it doesn’t matter if he didn’t answer as long as he sound convincing. BDE, we like to say.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20311 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2022-August-18, 03:30

Thanks for the discussion. I have been struggling over recent years trying to work out who/what/which philosophy is most responsible for the world's problems
Its not as simple as I used to think
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#20312 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2022-August-18, 04:06

General Michael Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama said:

I agree. And I was the CIA Director

Edward Luce of the Financial Times said:

I’ve covered extremism and violent ideologies around the world over my career. Have never come across a political force more nihilistic, dangerous & contemptible than today’s Republicans. Nothing close.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#20313 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2022-August-18, 04:07

View Posthrothgar, on 2022-August-17, 07:05, said:

If we actually cared about this, we'd start by cracking down on advertising rather than affordability.


I am genuinely concerned about the apparent nexus (?correct word) between advertising, corporations and government
To think that health consumption is driven by advertising and media and not by doctors or health research or anything much
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#20314 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-August-18, 04:14

If two very senior opinion leaders in America are unable to think of a political force more dangerous than a bunch third-rate Hermann Göring lookalikes then all hope is lost.
Unless they mean that stupidity, greed and gormlessness, constitutes a dangerous political philosophy.






non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#20315 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2022-August-18, 06:46

Dwight Garner at NYT said:

https://www.nytimes....dit_nn_20220818

“Breaking History” is an earnest and soulless — Kushner looks like a mannequin, and he writes like one — and peculiarly selective appraisal of Donald J. Trump’s term in office. Kushner almost entirely ignores the chaos, the alienation of allies, the breaking of laws and norms, the flirtations with dictators, the comprehensive loss of America’s moral leadership, and so on, ad infinitum, to speak about his boyish tinkering (the “mechanic”) with issues he was interested in.

This book is like a tour of a once majestic 18th-century wooden house, now burned to its foundations, that focuses solely on, and rejoices in, what’s left amid the ashes: the two singed bathtubs, the gravel driveway and the mailbox. Kushner’s fealty to Trump remains absolute. Reading this book reminded me of watching a cat lick a dog’s eye goo.

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#20316 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-August-18, 08:07

View Postthepossum, on 2022-August-18, 04:07, said:

I am genuinely concerned about the apparent nexus (?correct word) between advertising, corporations and government
To think that health consumption is driven by advertising and media and not by doctors or health research or anything much


If advertising didn't work, there wouldn't be gigantic advertising firms that made all sorts of $$$
Why would you expect that they health care industry is any different than the rest of society?

Please note: A whole bunch of the advertising is directed at Doctors so there are enormous second order effects here as well.
(There's also all sorts of direct bribes, but lots of effort at advertising)

Take a look at the balance sheets of the Pharma companies here in the US and look at the amount of money that is spent on advertising versus research.
Its truly remarkable.
Alderaan delenda est
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#20317 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2022-August-18, 09:05

View PostChas_P, on 2022-August-15, 18:46, said:

I'm not looking for sympathy. I come here principally for amusement.

I have to agree with you here. It has been clear for some time that you come here principally for the amusement of trolling. The best thing that can be done with trolls is to ban them from the forum website. Where that is not possible, the next best approach is to avoid feeding them as much as possible. I don't wish you any ill and I don't even know if you are genuinely racist or if it is just part of the troll persona you have adopted. I do wish that you would find something more productive to do with your life though. At some point you will surely wake up and realise how much time and effort has been wasted here. Until that time, you have my pity if not my respect.
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#20318 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-August-18, 12:26

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-August-17, 18:15, said:



Definitely clearer (not longer) but the first one might be more interesting if I could ever decipher it.
Ken
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#20319 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2022-August-18, 12:29

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said:

I think there's probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different, they're statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#20320 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-August-18, 12:48

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-August-17, 18:53, said:

Politicians make a career out of not answering questions. The American politician has one job: get re-elected. What is said at an AARP meeting is meaningless, anyway, so it doesn't matter if he didn't answer as long as he sound convincing. BDE, we like to say.


This is very cynical and, I think, misguided. A guy phones in to the AARP session and asks his question. I hear his question and realize it is exactly the question I had. This makes it a fair bet that there are several others out there with the same question since the question appears to me to be very substantial and apply to many people.

The Dems would like to win some elections this fall. If no one is at all open to any discussion whatsoever then we are all wasting our time discussing matters. Discussion assumes that someone will give some consideration to something. The Inflation Reduction Act is regarded as a big deal. Congress has had other recent successes. Perhaps some people have some questions, perhaps the answers will influence how they view these accomplishments.

Or we can just say it all doesn't matter.

Chris Van Hollen is a pretty decent guy as far as I know. I am prepared to give him some leeway here. Perhaps, if I read his extended interview all the way through and carefully, I would think better of it.

Call me hopelessly naive, but I think the best way for the Dems to approach the fall elections is to put the accomplishments of Congress in front of the voters, explain the benefits, answer questions accurately, and make a point of the fact that if we want more such accomplishments in the future it is important to vote for Democrats in the fall. Of course this approach might fail. Giving up is sure to fail. And success and failure come in degrees.
Ken
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