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(Talking Points Memo)   Pick your spin: 58% of Americans oppose Obamacare. 54% either approve or think it needs to go further   (talkingpointsmemo.com) divider line 232
    More: Interesting, obamacare, Americans, ORC International  
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1239 clicks; posted to Politics » on 27 Nov 2013 at 4:11 PM (39 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-28 01:32:00 AM
Apparently you can say whatever you want and pat yourself on the back, as long as you can change the color of your font. Fascinating. Wonder how tuckered out the success-deniers will be after dumping all over this thread today.
 
2013-11-28 01:33:51 AM

Triple Oak: Apparently you can say whatever you want and pat yourself on the back, as long as you can change the color of your font. Fascinating. Wonder how tuckered out the success-deniers will be after dumping all over this thread today.


genius!
 
2013-11-28 01:38:47 AM

Rhino_man: Brostorm: This thread is hilarious.  You guys really wan't to believe anyone opposed to this law are ignorant rednecks that don't know whats good for them.  Of course you know whats good for them, of course you do.

No, we understand that people who oppose the law but support all its parts are completely ignorant of what's in it, they just hate it because OBAMA SCARY AND FREEDOMS AND FURTHERMORE AND SUCH AS RUSSIA WHICH I CAN SEE FROM MY HOUSE.


Ugh... you made me think of Sarah.  But seriously, the right allows that drooling idiotbiatch to keep opening her fictionbox on national TV.  If they would drum out the obvious liars and crooks, the message may not be so unpalatable.  How about an intelligent representation of capitalism/individual responsibility and not a constant repeat of 'everything Obama likes or wants or farts about, we think must be Hitler'.

/you can't fix dumb, but you can force it into a corner and make it shut up
 
2013-11-28 01:41:37 AM
Well this thread has been quite informative. It has certainly earned GeneralJim a nice bright Red 5 color. Insulting other posters, pretending everyone who disagrees with you is a paid shill, all while providing no citations for incredibly dubious claims.

As to the whole BCBS "across state lines" thing. Say your ideal situation happens, all the component state insurance companies group into one company with countrywide plans. Now every insurance company transfers its headquarters to whichever state can create the most favorable conditions for them. Essentially a race to the bottom in terms of coverage quality, all to find the lowest tax rates and highest profit margins for the company, while having the weakest coverage requirements.

Anyway, I don't know why I'm even bothering with engaging in this. I'm sure GeneralJim's smug dismissal of all points made will come along all too soon. It takes intellect to actually argue a position, but affecting an attitude of flippancy and acting as if the very notion of a statement is ludicrous is very easy, and seems to be his preferred method of addressing dissent.
 
2013-11-28 01:51:56 AM

Sensual Tyrannosaurus: As to the whole BCBS "across state lines" thing. Say your ideal situation happens, all the component state insurance companies group into one company with countrywide plans. Now every insurance company transfers its headquarters to whichever state can create the most favorable conditions for them. Essentially a race to the bottom in terms of coverage quality, all to find the lowest tax rates and highest profit margins for the company, while having the weakest coverage requirements.


So eventually we'll have only one insurance plan, which is affordable and covers everything. And since everyone's on it, it may as well be paid with taxes and everyone with a social security number is automatically enrolled...
 
m00
2013-11-28 01:57:16 AM

CorporatePerson: Funny. All the Fark IndependentsTM I have favorited in Orange have been lamenting "If Only Obamacare had a public option we would have supported it" for the past few weeks.


I've been saying that from the beginning. The public option is literally socialism, which I am saying that I support. Wow, I'm such a right-wing mouth piece.

Uh...that was what the liberals wanted back in 2009, man. And all the tea party conservatives ever so concerned about size of government shot the idea down because socialism.

You're farking shameless.


I'm not a "tea-party conservative." So I guess that makes you a stereotyper. That's pretty shameless.
 
m00
2013-11-28 01:59:29 AM

whidbey: Actually the "proper Libertarian position" is to pretend the private sector can effectively provide social services to people.


Not really. That's exactly like a conservative saying "actually, the proper liberal position is to blah blah blah." You don't get to pretend to speak for the side you're against.
 
2013-11-28 02:13:52 AM

grumpfuff: When your only tactics are to rage, and to call anyone who disagrees with you a troll or a paid shill, you might want to re-evaluate your choices in life.


Sometimes it feels good to vent some steam when someone's obviously lying.

Oh... you said *only* tactic.

Carry on.
 
2013-11-28 02:38:17 AM
How are those mutually exclusive? A majority of people:
1) Like the idea of the program
and 2) Think the current version doesn't do enough and needs serious improvement

Thus, they like the program, think it needs to go further, and disapprove of its present incarnation, putting them in both of those groups.
 
2013-11-28 02:45:30 AM
I'm able to get healthcare outside of my employer for $250/month, and that is for the more expensive packages, whereas the same coverage would cost nearly a grand before the ACA. What's wrong with this again? I just don't see why Republicans hate the fact that healthcare is, should I get it outside of my employer, is finally goddamn affordable to me.
 
2013-11-28 02:58:59 AM

Zeppelininthesky: Mrtraveler01: Zeppelininthesky: Someone is going crazy deleting posts.

'Tis the season.

Never mind, a troll got plunked.


Yeah, I'd complain but all this did was prove who the real shill is around here.
 
2013-11-28 03:11:39 AM

grumpfuff: Mrtraveler01: Zeppelininthesky: Someone is going crazy deleting posts.

'Tis the season.

I like how my comment that didn't reference any comment got deleted for referencing a deleted comment.


Happened to me once when a thread erupted into a giant multiprong flame fest. I figured I went too far somehow, and was let off easy. No complaint from me.
 
2013-11-28 04:23:43 AM

RoxtarRyan: I'm able to get healthcare outside of my employer for $250/month, and that is for the more expensive packages, whereas the same coverage would cost nearly a grand before the ACA. What's wrong with this again? I just don't see why Republicans hate the fact that healthcare is, should I get it outside of my employer, is finally goddamn affordable to me.


The guy explained it - his objection is that he feels that now the healthy and wealthy will be carrying the sick, old, and poor.
He actually finds the concept of "insurance" itself, as it works in Western culture, objectionable. He wants a sort of "Christmas Club" for health care like we have now - that allows companies to cherry-pick low-risk individuals to insure and kick sick people off their insurance, thus inflating their profits while providing little benefit to society.
That's why we pay more than any other country, but only get 65% of our people covered for that price - we are being robbed by an "insurance industry" that is hedging it's bets, and not really selling "insurance" at all.
The Ayn Randy types among us think that is great, and want to keep it that way - another American industry publicizing it's costs, and privatizing it's profits.
 And if you ignore their continual whining of "Obama lied" you realize that they know it too. They know they are defending a crooked industry from being regulated into an honest one, and their twisted, fiction-based morality actually supports that.
 
2013-11-28 05:24:35 AM

Mrtraveler01: Didn't we try this same stuff with the credit card companies, only to see them move to DE where the regulations favored them the most?


Simple enough, put the appropriate restrictions/controls on at the federal level, some stuff about them having to deal with people in their state of residence, under their state's rules.
 
2013-11-28 05:46:30 AM

jso2897: The Ayn Randy types among us think that is great, and want to keep it that way - another American industry publicizing it's costs, and privatizing it's profits.


I don't know about your strawman, but I consider myself a moderate libertarian and I'm incredibly dissatisfied with the current way healthcare 'insurance' is run.  I think the idea that you normally get your insurance through your work obscene.

My 'suggestion'.
1.  If your employer doesn't provide qualifying healthcare, they are required to deposit ~$1/hour(x2080 if you're salary and hours are not tracked) into a Healthcare Savings Plan for the individual.  The actual amount will be 1/2080 of the median annual healthcare cost for an individual
2.  You may, of course, deposit additional pretax money into the account, and/or deposit post-tax and claim it as a deduction.
3.  The money in the HSP can be used to pay for healthcare directly or purchase qualifying insurance plans.  There will be encouragements to buy at least a catastrophic plan
4.  Any healthcare expenses over a certain maximum(which I'd have to talk to the actuaries about) will qualify you for medicare.  I lean towards medicare over medicaid as if your bills are that high you're likely disabled.
5.  Under Medicaid if your income is low enough you can get assistance.
 
2013-11-28 06:05:40 AM
Just pissed off they messed up the implementation so bad and so visibly
 
2013-11-28 06:09:37 AM

Virulency: Just pissed off they messed up the implementation so bad and so visibly


No, they didn't.  One web site offered as a tool to help comparison shop for insurance that was a little overwhelmed isn't anything to get worked up about.
 
2013-11-28 06:13:03 AM

Firethorn: jso2897: The Ayn Randy types among us think that is great, and want to keep it that way - another American industry publicizing it's costs, and privatizing it's profits.

I don't know about your strawman, but I consider myself a moderate libertarian and I'm incredibly dissatisfied with the current way healthcare 'insurance' is run.  I think the idea that you normally get your insurance through your work obscene.

My 'suggestion'.
1.  If your employer doesn't provide qualifying healthcare, they are required to deposit ~$1/hour(x2080 if you're salary and hours are not tracked) into a Healthcare Savings Plan for the individual.  The actual amount will be 1/2080 of the median annual healthcare cost for an individual
2.  You may, of course, deposit additional pretax money into the account, and/or deposit post-tax and claim it as a deduction.
3.  The money in the HSP can be used to pay for healthcare directly or purchase qualifying insurance plans.  There will be encouragements to buy at least a catastrophic plan
4.  Any healthcare expenses over a certain maximum(which I'd have to talk to the actuaries about) will qualify you for medicare.  I lean towards medicare over medicaid as if your bills are that high you're likely disabled.
5.  Under Medicaid if your income is low enough you can get assistance.


That might be a very sound plan, but it's hardly one Ayn Rand would approve of, and what I originally said stands as correct.
You might want to try starting an argument with somebody who has a difference of opinion with you, and cares.
 
2013-11-28 06:40:54 AM

Mrtraveler01: GeneralJim: Mrtraveler01: So you think that BCBS of Michigan is going to compete with it's sister company BCBS of Massachusetts?

Do you really think that these won't all eventually consolidate in one state resulting in even LESS competition?

People who drone on with that talking point don't understand the complexity behind it.I'm just going to let your demonstration of your ignorance stand on its own.  I rest my case.

So how does having insurance companies consolidate in one location create more competition?

Go on, humor me. Tell me how I'm ignorant in pointing out that the best case scenario is choosing between BCBS in State A vs. BCBS in State B? Tell me how much different the two options would be. Tell me how the worst case scenario to your plan results in only one Blue Cross Blue Shield and how that somehow creates competition.

Go on, humor me with your flawed plan.


Well presumably a lot of states are small enough populations that not every insurer bothers to create a branch in every state, so for the largest states you might be right, but for the majority of states it would mean every insurer would be available to everyone.

/not that I necessarily think it is a good idea due to the race to the regulatory bottom effect that is bound to happen, but there should be at least some increase in competition over probably the majority of the population even if there are some states that already have every insurer in them and see no benefit
 
2013-11-28 07:10:48 AM

jso2897: That might be a very sound plan, but it's hardly one Ayn Rand would approve of, and what I originally said stands as correct.
You might want to try starting an argument with somebody who has a difference of opinion with you, and cares.



1.  Do you have some special insight into Ayn Rand that allows you to predict her approval/disapproval of something?
2.  You said 'Ayn Randy types', which in my experience tends to be strawmen much like people talking about 'tea partiers'.

There are plenty who disapprove of Obamacare that also disapprove of the state before it.  Varying from 'more free market' types like me* to those who want outright single payer 'socialized' medicine.  There are also plenty who 'approve' because, well, they have good coverage(or think they do) and thus don't care.

*My five points are hardly the whole plan, but I don't want to write a book.
 
2013-11-28 07:17:48 AM

Firethorn: jso2897: That might be a very sound plan, but it's hardly one Ayn Rand would approve of, and what I originally said stands as correct.
You might want to try starting an argument with somebody who has a difference of opinion with you, and cares.


1.  Do you have some special insight into Ayn Rand that allows you to predict her approval/disapproval of something?
2.  You said 'Ayn Randy types', which in my experience tends to be strawmen much like people talking about 'tea partiers'.

There are plenty who disapprove of Obamacare that also disapprove of the state before it.  Varying from 'more free market' types like me* to those who want outright single payer 'socialized' medicine.  There are also plenty who 'approve' because, well, they have good coverage(or think they do) and thus don't care.

*My five points are hardly the whole plan, but I don't want to write a book.


Good.
 
2013-11-28 07:23:48 AM
Damn.  General Jim is gone.  Those are the types of "discussions" I enjoy reading because the responses to his insanity from others gives much more detailed and factual answers than usual.  Thanks for the run, GJ.  You were hilarious while you lasted, even if you didn't know what in the hell an ad hominem is.

I shall miss the green...
 
2013-11-28 09:44:17 AM

Wake Up Sheeple: grumpfuff: Mrtraveler01: Zeppelininthesky: Someone is going crazy deleting posts.

'Tis the season.

I like how my comment that didn't reference any comment got deleted for referencing a deleted comment.

Happened to me once when a thread erupted into a giant multiprong flame fest. I figured I went too far somehow, and was let off easy. No complaint from me.


The deleted post simply noted the amount of posts that had been deleted so far. I know why it got deleted. They could have been honest about it, at least.
 
2013-11-28 10:14:52 AM

Zeppelininthesky: Mrtraveler01: Zeppelininthesky: Someone is going crazy deleting posts.

'Tis the season.

Never mind, a troll got plunked.


Ol' green may not be a troll.  There was a good psychological analysis of him done by a Farker some time back (I want to say it was Dr. Mojo PhD, but I'm not certain), suggesting that he isn't doing it out of pleasure of angering others (troll-like behavior), but rather because it was compulsive. I wish I had saved the link, but sadly I didn't and I cannot find it now.
 
2013-11-28 10:27:20 AM

mgshamster: Zeppelininthesky: Mrtraveler01: Zeppelininthesky: Someone is going crazy deleting posts.

'Tis the season.

Never mind, a troll got plunked.

Ol' green may not be a troll.  There was a good psychological analysis of him done by a Farker some time back (I want to say it was Dr. Mojo PhD, but I'm not certain), suggesting that he isn't doing it out of pleasure of angering others (troll-like behavior), but rather because it was compulsive. I wish I had saved the link, but sadly I didn't and I cannot find it now.


Ask and ye shall receive.

www.fark.com/comments/6995138/75580040#c75580040
 
2013-11-28 10:37:07 AM

grumpfuff: mgshamster: Zeppelininthesky: Mrtraveler01: Zeppelininthesky: Someone is going crazy deleting posts.

'Tis the season.

Never mind, a troll got plunked.

Ol' green may not be a troll.  There was a good psychological analysis of him done by a Farker some time back (I want to say it was Dr. Mojo PhD, but I'm not certain), suggesting that he isn't doing it out of pleasure of angering others (troll-like behavior), but rather because it was compulsive. I wish I had saved the link, but sadly I didn't and I cannot find it now.

Ask and ye shall receive.

www.fark.com/comments/6995138/75580040#c75580040


You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.
 
2013-11-28 11:33:30 AM

m00: whidbey: Actually the "proper Libertarian position" is to pretend the private sector can effectively provide social services to people.

Not really. That's exactly like a conservative saying "actually, the proper liberal position is to blah blah blah." You don't get to pretend to speak for the side you're against.


Ya really. And I wouldn't be admonishing others about "pretending" anything. Libertarians are afraid of government. Why would they/you be in favor of socialized medicine?
 
2013-11-28 12:01:52 PM

grumpfuff: Wake Up Sheeple: grumpfuff: Mrtraveler01: Zeppelininthesky: Someone is going crazy deleting posts.

'Tis the season.

I like how my comment that didn't reference any comment got deleted for referencing a deleted comment.

Happened to me once when a thread erupted into a giant multiprong flame fest. I figured I went too far somehow, and was let off easy. No complaint from me.

The deleted post simply noted the amount of posts that had been deleted so far. I know why it got deleted. They could have been honest about it, at least.


It's probably a drop-down list to pick from, and "referencing a deleted comment" is the catch-all that won't require an action against you -- or something to that effect.
 
m00
2013-11-28 03:00:25 PM

whidbey: m00: whidbey: Actually the "proper Libertarian position" is to pretend the private sector can effectively provide social services to people.

Not really. That's exactly like a conservative saying "actually, the proper liberal position is to blah blah blah." You don't get to pretend to speak for the side you're against.

Ya really. And I wouldn't be admonishing others about "pretending" anything. Libertarians are afraid of government. Why would they/you be in favor of socialized medicine?


Well, I hope you read these words with a clear and open mind.

Libertarians aren't anarchists. Libertarians believe in a functioning government that services the people. That's right -- the Constitution has the Federal Government doing things like providing a mail service. Minting currency. Making treaties. Declaring War. Regulating interstate commerce. Protecting citizens from state law which violates the Bill of Rights. So clearly, government exists to provide services, and in the general sense to secure liberty and freedom. Sometimes these necessitate programs which could only be defined as socialism in the strictest sense of the word. For example, in order to ensure fairness in the court system, government has to provide public defenders... and those public defenders have to be as good as publicly paid prosecutors. This is the only way to ensure fair trials. Absent this, only the rich get justice. This is a convenient thing for billionaires who want to shroud their greed and lust for inequality with the veneer of a political philosophy. But it's not Libertarianism.

So Libertarianism isn't about wanting no government. It's about wanting a focused government, that does a limited set of things that are clearly defined. This is a philosophy rooted in the practical, and indeed there are some things that it is simply more practical for the federal government to do.

Also the founders were very clear -- that the Bill of Rights does not enumerate all rights. It only enumerates some rights, and over time future Congresses will find it necessary to add more rights to the Constitution. And indeed we have, with equal protection. I have a right to my property (and common property such as air and water), and the only way to secure this right is regulate heavy industry that would seek to pollute my land. So the EPA (in concept) should exist -- note this is different than the discussion of whether the actual EPA we have today is a proper implementation.

So the question really becomes: is healthcare a function that government should be providing to secure a right? The same way in which government provides public defenders to secure a right to a fair trial. The same way in which we have an EPA to secure my personal property rights, and rights to common property -- air, water, etc.

So an honest Libertarian would be for socialized medicine if one or two things could be demonstrated:
1) Socialized medicine is an logical method of securing an accepted right
2) It is more practical for the federal government to provide medical care

I think 1) is be a debatable point. Some people believe that a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can only be secured if we have socialized medicine. Others do not. Discussions of "what is a right" are valid in a Republic. There are no easy answers.

2) is not debatable. Privatized healthcare does not work for most Americans. Insurance companies drop coverage for arbitrary reasons, use lawyers to screw people at their weakest, to cheat Americans out of a service they paid for. Privatized healthcare works for the rich, the same way in which high-paid lawyers work for the rich. We need the medical equivalent of public defenders. It doesn't have to be the absolute best service, but it has to get the job done. If someone wealthy wants to pay for a doctor at a boutique clinic, let them. Get a private nurse, private room with a TV, let them. But the rest of us need to be taken care of, and the free market solution isn't working.

Libertarian principles do not advocate using a free market when it doesn't work, or isn't appropriate. The free market will not ensure fair trials or property rights, or enforce contract law, or protect my freedoms. Libertarian principles merely say if government is to provide a service: define the service exactly, and set limits and keep it as focused as possible so that it is only as large as necessary.

Government should be a whitelist of things it does do, not a blacklist of things it does not do. Sadly, today we live in the latter. Again, Libertarians aren't anarchists.
 
2013-11-28 04:10:44 PM

m00: So Libertarianism isn't about wanting no government. It's about wanting a focused government, that does a limited set of things that are clearly defined. This is a philosophy rooted in the practical, and indeed there are some things that it is simply more practical for the federal government to do.


Well, obviously, there are things we would disagree on in terms of "practical." For example, it's "practical" to limit corporations in terms of what they donate to campaigns, initiatives and honestly anything where they have a stellar advantage over commoners trying to change things. It's practical to regulate business. It's practical to address climate change. It's practical to raise taxes to pay for social programs and other things.

Government should be a whitelist of things it does do, not a blacklist of things it does not do. Sadly, today we live in the latter. Again, Libertarians aren't anarchists.

I'm not seeing that. So far, the libertarian argument appears to be "leave me alone, government is too big/too evil/etc."

Libertarian principles do not advocate using a free market when it doesn't work, or isn't appropriate. The free market will not ensure fair trials or property rights, or enforce contract law, or protect my freedoms. Libertarian principles merely say if government is to provide a service: define the service exactly, and set limits and keep it as focused as possible so that it is only as large as necessary.

Then you should totally be in favor of regulating business, taxing them and for that matter pressing them to improve their human rights issues in terms of labor and other things. Again, I don't see libertarians championing any of these things.

The problem I have is that it doesn't go beyond ideology in actual practice. Any possible attempt at progress could be viewed as a Constitutional violation. And I honestly don't understand how you can be a socialist and a libertarian at the same time.

I think 1) is be a debatable point. Some people believe that a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can only be secured if we have socialized medicine. Others do not. Discussions of "what is a right" are valid in a Republic. There are no easy answers.

This is no longer debatable. The private sector has failed tens of millions of people and it is honestly a public health issue. The government has to step in. Again, I don't see libertarians "forcing" big business to improve their game. It takes a representative democracy and strong laws.

Well, I hope you read these words with a clear and open mind..

I did. Very well said. I still have the same criticisms, that libertarians talk a good game at times, but I'll be damned if they know how to get off the drawing board.  Being "socially liberal" is more than just a philosophy.
 
m00
2013-11-28 05:28:11 PM

whidbey: I did.


Thank you for reading! It's nice to know that people still do that on Fark :)

What's really asinine is the Libertarian party is a mess, due to the influence of big money. I think being Libertarian is almost opposed to extreme wealth, because the 1% today subsist on corporate handouts. Unfortunately, access to an audience is only achieved with money. The libertarian argument you read about is put forth by corporatists with an audience who can't say "we're greedy and want to enslave people," so they spin it as some other ideology. Libertarians just aren't organized enough to fight back.

I'm starting a business right now, and it kills me how easy the big players in my industry have it. There's grant money specifically for people in my situation starting a business. Paid for by tax dollars. You know where this money goes? The big corporations who have the lawyers and staff to nail the application process, make contacts in government to expedite the process. I would actually be better off if the grant money intended for me didn't exist, because not only do I have to compete with the big guys... but I'm paying taxes to give them more money which I then have to compete with :/ That's really what's at the heart of Libertarianism for me.

The principle that any well-intentioned block of money earmarked for the poor, or needy, or start-up businesses... will get hijacked by the rich. And it happens all..the..time. Like the fact the US subsidizes sugar production, and that basically goes to two billionaire brothers living in Florida using that money to import slave labor and wreck the local economy. This is awful, right?

So here is my conundrum, and if you have any answers please tell me: Corporations do a lot of harm, but any attempt by the government to regulate them is instantly co-opted by the lobbying efforts of those same corporations to benefit them even more.

My Libertarian answer is limit government to a narrow focus where it's easier to hold them accountable, because we expect them to do less things. Please, regulate the hell out of anyone with a factory that's dumping garbage into streams. I don't really care if  the government regulates education standards of schools that are administered by state governments... because it's not something that's killing me or depriving me of freedom. Having contaminants in the water will.

The Federal Government should protect the hell out of our freedoms. I strongly believe in civil liberties. But look at all the alphabet agencies of security apparatuses that we have, spying on our communications. Secret courts. We're paying government with our tax dollars to spy on us, and throw us in jail and ruin our lives if we get caught with a joint (although thankfully that's changing).

As for socialism, well the fact is Government exists to provide a service. At a fundamental level. Tax people, and provide a service. If you do not believe this, you are an anarchist. The debate amongst intelligent people is what are those services, and what's the scope.

The Libertarian argument for socialist medicine is simply that it's clearly the only way the American people can get their money's worth. It's the only way to actually ensure your rights as a human being. The alternative is to heavily regulate the insurance industry, but as I said earlier... regulations are generally subverted by the same corporations they propose to regulate. And I think that's what we're seeing with the ACA.

So, not being an anarchist, I'm not arguing that socialism is good. Only that sometimes it's necessary (like my example with public defenders). And I think with healthcare, it's pretty clear that it is.
 
2013-11-29 02:32:28 AM

whidbey: Well, obviously, there are things we would disagree on in terms of "practical." For example, it's "practical" to limit corporations in terms of what they donate to campaigns, initiatives and honestly anything where they have a stellar advantage over commoners trying to change things. It's practical to regulate business. It's practical to address climate change. It's practical to raise taxes to pay for social programs and other things.


Keeping in mind that if you as a dozen libertarians for their positions that you'll get at least two dozen answers, and that I consider myself a 'moderate libertarian/practical minarchist':
1.  I disagree on the 'practicality' of limiting corporate donations.  All that happens is that the professionals hide the money transfer better and you get 'swiftboat' campaigns that cause chaos because they're not under the control of ANY politician running for office.  We can't do much more and still have free speech.  The rules actually inhibit those trying to break into politics outside of the established organizations(who know every loophole they put in).
2.  We can argue about regulating business all day, but as m00 says, while we might disagree with how government organizations like the EPA go about their business, in generall we're in support of them doing so.  Personally, I tend to be in favor of 'pollution taxes' where you set charges per ton of sulfer, lead, mercury, or whatever released, with the amount set on the basis of how toxic it is (1M tons released = $1B damage = $1k per ton).  Let's not play games with exemptions, allowable levels, fines that are cheaper than controls, etc...
3.  Like many libertarians, I really, really like the idea of a balanced budget.  The federal government is so large that even it's construction projects(equivalents to buying a house) are constants.  Now, I'm a bit more fiscally advanced than most and happen to agree with Keynesian economic theory, so I modify it to 'Balanced on average'.  IE they can run a deficit some years during economic depressions, but to counter that they need to run a surplus during boom years.

I'm not seeing that. So far, the libertarian argument appears to be "leave me alone, government is too big/too evil/etc."

I'll admit that there are some anarchists who are trying to whitewash themselves and call themselves libertarians.  Besides that, current libertarian thought is indeed that the government is too large and inefficient, and it gets complicated trying to boil it down to fit onto a billboard.

Then you should totally be in favor of regulating business, taxing them and for that matter pressing them to improve their human rights issues in terms of labor and other things. Again, I don't see libertarians championing any of these things.

Ever hear 'the cure is worse than the disease'?  In championing too many small issues you make things worse overall.  Some of my positions can be seen as very 'big government' on the surface, it's just that the idea is that by doing something like ensuring our prisons are effective at reform might increase their cost and intrusion in the short term, the idea is that by having fewer repeat criminals we actually save money in the long run, and need fewer prisons.

The problem I have is that it doesn't go beyond ideology in actual practice. Any possible attempt at progress could be viewed as a Constitutional violation. And I honestly don't understand how you can be a socialist and a libertarian at the same time.

Is being a socialist actually a good thing?  Does it have to be a bad thing?  I'm more of a neutral position; I'll at least listen to them, they might have something good to say.  Meanwhile they should look at me as the guy who breaks out the spreadsheets to determine if their 'pie in the sky' proposal actually has a chance of working.  As for the constitution, it has and can still be amended.  Sometimes that is the proper procedure, though that could be considered more of a constitutionalist viewpoint than a libertarian one.

m00: So, not being an anarchist, I'm not arguing that socialism is good. Only that sometimes it's necessary (like my example with public defenders). And I think with healthcare, it's pretty clear that it is.


Even my 'free market' proposal for private healthcare concentrates on getting the 'insurance' companies out of the process as much as possible.  Follow the money:

1. You work for your Employer
2. Your employer selects an insurance company/program and pays them.  Ergo the insurance company isn't interested in pleasing you, but your employer.
3. You go to a health care provider(doctor, clinic, lab, etc...)
4. They bill your insurance, which is paid for(and selected by) your employer

That's way too disassociated for my tastes - it's a lot easier for me to get a new car insurance company if I don't like the one I'm with, and health coverage is far more important.  I believe if the average transaction is a person paying their provider directly that you'd eliminate a lot of billing paperwork and confusion, and reduce expenses all around.
 
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