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Beneficent Government To Ban Another Thing (Trans Fats)

We ban because we can.
Studies show the government cares about you more than you care about you, that the government loves you more than your fractured ability to love it back, that this most beneficent government, people to a man (and to a woman!), with infallible, caring, really quite brainy and ardent experts, knows what is best for you: best for you to eat, to drink, to read, everything.

I know what you’re thinking. But if the government occasionally has to lie to you, well, it’s for the greater good, for your greater good. The ends justify the means. And when the ends are bliss itself, human and earthly perfection, life without inequalities and disparities of any kind, then any means are the right means.

The hell with clinging to God and guns: the other G is where it’s at. The Government has your back, bro.

The latest bump to be removed on the path to Utopia are trans fats. The expert-filled Food & Drug Administration— without this watchful group to guide us people might eat brick dust1—has decided that you are not allowed to make a choice about whether to eat trans fats. They will ban them.

As I was writing this, a reporter came on the radio to announce the FDA will accept public comments about the “proposed” ban for the next so many days, “and then it will implement the ban.”

Yes, even reporters know what “public comments” means to agencies like FDA and EPA: nada, rien, nichts, nil, nix, nothing. (See how diverse I am?) They will do whatever they want regardless of what any member of the public says, and everybody knows this in advance.

I might remind you that the FDA is a part of the executive branch of our most wonderful government, and that bans such as this are not laws per se, but mere bureaucratic rules, fiats, made under the umbrella of whatever legislation the FDA’s clever lawyers might point to. Bans are, in effect, presidential actions. So much for Congress having the power to make laws. Truly, the Constitution is outdated.

I don’t give a damn about trans fats. The last time I thought about them was when Nanny Bloomberg—soon, alas, only citizen Bloomberg, replaced by a genuine communist; but never mind—bade the city ban them. I neither avoid nor seek trans fats. I have no idea, and have no interest in having any idea, how many of them I consume.

What’s that? You say “Research shows they’re bad for you”? So? What is that to you? You avoid them and leave me alone. Why force me to be like you? Are you worried about passive trans fatism? That stray molecules of trans fat from my cookie will waft to your gob and instantly cause your arteries to seize? Then stay far away from me.

Or are you so pathetic that you can’t exercise any self control and will gobble up any quantity of trans fats without Big Brother slapping your hand away? What an awfully sad person you must be.

“But if they government has determined that trans fats are bad, then there is no harm in banning them.” Two claims here, both wrong.

There is harm. The ban will cause a great many people inconvenience, loss of livelihoods, loss of freedoms, and so on. But worse will be in the increase in servility. People will assume the ban was right because it was the government that proposed it. Citizens are willingly entering into serfdom in exchange for a pittance.

The government may have determined trans fats are bad, but this is far from proof that they are. I have seen the statistical evidence against trans fats. It is poor, it is marginal, it is on the threshold of detection. It is ambiguous: not every study that seeks a connection between trans fats and, say, heart disease finds it.

This means the government’s claim that banning trans fats “could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year” is far from certain. Wait. Strike that. The government is 100% correct. Banning trans fats “could” save so many lives. That is logically true.

But the ban could also cause heart attacks and other deaths. That is also logically true.

The full truth is that nobody knows what the ban would do to the healths of Americans. This is not an argument in favor of a ban, in the form of some foolish precautionary principle, because we could say the same about any substance. Why not ban wheat or cars or #2 pencils because we have no idea of their effects?

We are under those sympathetic to the slogan “Whatever is not forbidden is mandatory.”


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1See this pdf on history of FDA banning drugs. Via MedicalSkeptic (@medskep).

72 thoughts on “Beneficent Government To Ban Another Thing (Trans Fats) Leave a comment

  1. “You avoid them and leave me alone.”

    You can’t, however. The FDA’s current regulations allow their inclusion in foods without notice on the label. They’re also created in the cooking process, if you’re using seed oils to cook with.

    Synthetic trans fats are a bad thing. Let’s take that as a given. The FDA is right to say that they’re not safe for human consumption.

    The real problem here is that the FDA was created in 1906, a short time after synthetic trans fats were invented. For 107 years, the FDA has been telling people that they’re generally recognized as safe to eat, even though the evidence, carefully parsed, indicated the opposite.

    (Btw, the whole “saturated fat is bad for you” argument was the result of studying synthetic trans fats in the middle of the last century. Scientists assumed that all saturated fats worked in the body the same way, so a study using Crisco meant that beef tallow (formerly used to fry McDonalds fries) was bad for you. What did McDonalds replace harmless beef fat with? Synthetic trans fats.)

    Industry has largely removed trans fats from the food chain, as evidence of their harm has become apparent. The FDA is bringing up the rear.

    As a regulator, it’s largely useless.

    That’s the real story here, IMHO.

  2. Tuck,

    Yes, you can avoid; of course you can. If you suspect your favorite processed food has it and it’s not labeled, ask its manufacturer. If he refuses to answer, refuse to buy his product. There is no manufactured food product that you are forced to buy, after all (not yet, anyway; but give the government time; they force you to buy private insurance). And if seed oils cause you concern, don’t use them. Just don’t ask the government to force me to live as you do.

    And, no, I won’t take as a given that synthetic trans fats are a bad thing. They might be; probably are for some, probably not for others. Smoking is also bad. But let people decide for themselves what they like. It should be the FDA’s job to present the best evidence, not make wholesale bans.

  3. “Just don’t ask the government to force me to live as you do.”

    Re-read my comment. I never said that I agree with the FDA’s ban, now did I? 😉

    “The FDA is right to say that they’re not safe for human consumption.”

    They are right to do so. But it doesn’t follow that they should ban them, any more than they should ban alcohol, or tobacco.

    The point of my comment was to note that the FDA is dreadful as a regulator. Relying on them to monitor the safety of the food supply is foolish, as they’re so beholden to industry that they cover up for industry, as the trans-fat issue demonstrates.

  4. This is off topic, but tangentially related.

    I read an article in the Wall Street Journal recently that the administration is going to send out 3.5 million letters to people who are behind on their student loan payments – to alert them to the four different government programs which allow you to pay based on your income, instead of a standard 10 year fixed rate loan payment.

    I was thinking as I read this article – it is not enough to simply have the government programs, now we need to hunt down people who may be eligible and alert them. I wonder if this is a proper role of government.

    Perhaps they will widen this practice and hunt down people who are eligible for food stamps and ask them why they are to stupid to apply? Or maybe they will suggest counseling for those to proud to be on the dole?

    Anyway – I thought it somewhat related.

  5. While I don’t eat tubs of Crisco, it is very nice to grease a pan with (for bread baking and what-not). It is very clean (as it doesn’t impart a flavor) and doesn’t burn at the levels of temps I expose it to. However, if the feds want to come after my bacon drippings, there might be trouble.

  6. Just curious as to how far you are willing to take that line of reasoning. If you replaced “trans fats” with “heroin”, your reasoning still holds up pretty well. Are you also in favor of drug legalization?

  7. I didn’t say I was in favor of the ban. Just curious if Briggs, who comes off as being pretty conservative with respect to politics, would be willing to extend his argument to recreational drugs.

  8. I can remember when the government was promoting trans fats because they were thought to be healthier than animal-based fats.

    No butter! use margarine!
    No lard! use shortening!

    Also note when they say ban the trans-fat they don’t actually say bring back the lard.

    As so hydrogenated soybean oil has been replaced with palm oil and coconut oil and in a short time the CSPI will realize that those alternatives are no healthier than the trans-fats before them, and there will me a movement to ban these oils.

  9. H. L. Mencken described public health as ‘the corruption of medicine by morality’. I would say it is the corruption of medicine by self righteousness. They know what’s good for you and they are going to compell you to be virtueous.

  10. RickA: Actually, this is nothing new. Thirty years ago when I was a social worker, I was “ordered” to go door to door in farm country to flush out those people who were just waiting for the chance to sign up for government assistance (WIC, fuel assistance, weatherization, etc.). I protested, but finally gave up, racked up a huge bill for mileage driven, covered as much of the county as I could and signed up one person (who was Apostolic and the church was furious with me). The government has always actively sought out people to get tied to the government gravy train. The longer train, the more catastrophic the derailment, but people are foolish and until the train leaves the rails, they go along thin, dumb and happy. By order of the government!

    Don’t know about Briggs, but I’m okay with legalizing heroin, etc. Years of saying just say no to bad drugs like heroin just lead to people switching to oxycodone because the FDA and doctors said prescription drugs were okay. Now they die from legal narcotics. I might want to segregate the hard core users for their safety and ours.

    Peanut butter as we know it is dead. The FDA is killing Skippy and Jif.

  11. Doug M,

    “I can remember when the government was promoting trans fats because they were thought to be healthier than animal-based fats.”

    Of course, and they will continue to do similar no matter what is currently in vogue and backed by “science”.** Evidence for the connection between ingestion of fats (among other things) and heart attacks is very weak. You can pretty much be sure whatever is promoted to replace trans-fats will eventually suffer the same fate.

    ** or following the EPA, which banned DDT despite the opinion of its own scientists, backed by nothing beyond the wish for more power.

  12. Sheri,

    “It I’m okay with legalizing heroin, etc”

    It once was legal and was marketed by Bayer (Heroin and Aspirin were once Bayer trademarks) as a cure for morphine addiction. Then we got heroin addicts. Now we also have methadone (a “cure” for heroin addiction) addicts.

    The thing is, most of the push behind drug bans and reducing addiction is the attempt to curb crime. The “it’s what’s good for them” is sales pitch. You’d think the lessons from the alcohol ban (increased and the organized crime) would sink in. Apparently not though. Now we have whole countries effectively controlled by drug traffickers.

  13. “Legally margarine must contain at least 80% fat to be called margarine. Any product containing less fat must be called a ‘spread’. While butter and margarine contain equal amounts of total fat, margarine contains much less saturated fat than butter at around 15%. This means it’s better for cholesterol levels and heart health and is the preferred choice of the Heart Foundation. ”

    This from a New Zealand site!

    We have a big Dairy Industry in NZ but obviously not as much “pull” as the U.S. Dairy Industry though I thought there was a lot of money to be made in Soya

  14. Your whining today is ridiculous. That trans fat are bad for human health is a well documented fact. The US is actually one of the last developed country to ban them. Trans fat are easily remove or replace by other non trans fat ingredient which means that people won’t even notice that they are not there anymore.

  15. Sylvain,

    Your entire comment fallacious. It is not true that trans fats are “bad” for human health. I have actually read the many of the medical papers and can assure you that by the time the evidence reaches the public it is exaggerated. Which you, as a regular reader, should have no difficulty believing.

    But, arguendo, assume that they certainly do slightly increase the risk of (say) heart disease in some but not all individuals. Grant it: believe it. Why, then, does it follow the government should ban it, keep me from accessing it. Why is it any of the government’s damn business? The most I am willing to allow is for the government to communicate what it knows about the risk. But banning? Nonsensical, hysterical overreach.

    Unless you are one of those fellows who believe people are too stupid to decide for themselves what they’re allowed to eat and that it is the government’s duty to keep people from harming themselves. That you?

    Why is it when a man entires government service he becomes all-wise, all-caring, incorruptible? Why is he just a man one moment, and therefore subject to beneficent guidance, but then more than a man then next when he becomes a non-ignorable bureaucrat?

  16. Briggs

    I agree with you. But what can be done about it! The juggernaut (government/public health etc.) is on a roll. Who is going to stop them? How? I am going to follow David Stoves advice, ship my oar and light my pipe!

  17. Sylvain: Was that an appeal to authority in your comment? Governments have banned them–therefore they are bad?

    People will notice in some foods. Many trans fats have been eliminated (I’m trying to find out if this is a total ban–as in NO trans fats whatsoever–right now, foods can be labelled as trans fat free and still have some trans fats. One of those is peanut butter.) but not all. Or the ban would not be necessary.

    Cigarettes are bad for you–why are they legal? If we are to protect people, why not ban cigarettes? Are we going to save people or not?

    Banning a food to save 7000 deaths a year, assuming that number has any basis whatsoever in reality, and 20.000 heart attacks is ridiculous. Where does it end? Do we ban foods that kill 5 people a year? 10? 20?

    Summary: To save a possible 7000 deaths and 20,000 heart attacks, the FDA is banning something that is in hardly any foods? Right? And this makes sense to you?

  18. Sylvain Allard.

    So! Do you not allow the medical authorities in New Zealand to affect opinions in N America…? Obviously we know best, ask any New Zealander.. (Diplomatic incident looming)

  19. Briggs,

    I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion that trans fat are not bad for health. Without actually agreeing with the number of heart attack they may create. The fact is simply they do help to augment the level of cholesterol in the blood circulatory network.

    Banning trans fat does remove any choice food. It just means that the food is prepared a little bit differently. You don’t actually by trans fat you buy something that contains trans fat. With the trans fat ban you can still buy the same brand of margarine you bought before without noticing the difference. Which make this a superfluous fight to have.

    There are ban that have much worst effect than this like DDT, or asbestos.

    Why should the government be involved? You are concerned about the US debt. A large part of that debt comes from people without health insurance going to the emergencies, where the hospitals have no choice but to take of them. These people who are unable to have preventive care like blood work and medication to help reduce cholesterol level like Lipitor. Banning trans fat is a good way to reduce the level of cholesterol in the population, at low to no cost.

    Helping to reduce the occurrence of certain diseases help reducing the amount of expenses in the health care system and reduce the government debt.

  20. Sheri,

    The difference between a ban for cigarettes which is a complete product and trans fat which is part of a process is two different things. With the trans fat bans which occurs at manufacturing, you keep buying the same thing you were before.

  21. Sylvain,

    Now you are sucking me into your vortex of fallacies, nonsense, and knee-jerk defense of the state.

    What does the debt of the US government — the concern of Briggs, et al. — have to do with the private debts of US citizens and corporations? (spoiler alert: nothing)

    “A large part of that debt comes from people without health insurance going to the emergencies, where the hospitals have no choice but to take of them.” Is this really your argument? (I’ll let you research and discover the fallacy in that claim.)

    And here I thought the US debt was a result of wealth transfers augmented by unneeded and overstepping agencies (e.g. FDA) that consume the income of the productive class while destroying incentives to produce via regulations, etc.

    Did you write, in spirit at least, this little primer of things to come, VRed Medicine: Socialized Health in Soviet Russia?

  22. Sylvain: Ridiculous statement. I am NOT buying the same thing I was before. I am buying a new product that no longer has trans fat. This sounds a lot like Obamacare and I can keep my own plan. No, I cannot keep my plan and I am not eating the same food. If it were the same, we would not need the ban.

    While Jim left it for you to do the research, I’m throwing out a few numbers:
    Since the cost for Obamacare is estimated at between $1.8 billion and $2.6 billion over 10 years, this is $18 to $26 billion. Current uncompensated care is around $41 billion. Now consider that there will still be uncompensated care and that a very large percentage of the applicants for Obamacare reportedly went on Medicaid, and there is not much to recommend Obamacare. It is quite likely that costs for Obamacare will actually exceed the $41 billion and still result in uncompensated care. I see no advantage to any of this. (The US debt is $16 trillion–you can calculate the percentage of $16 trillion that $41 billion compromises. I don’t think that’s a “large” part.)

  23. Sheri,

    If you like any fried food, you will still be able to by all the same fried food with no trans fat which will help you reduce your cholesterol level without changing any of your habit.

    A ban on cigarettes would prevent you to by any cigarettes. Pepsi and Coke used to have cocaine in their recipe. Did they lose any money because they removed this ingredient from their recipe. I think they have both done great since then. Also, companies often alter their product without any concern from their costumer.

  24. Briggs,

    Somalia seems to have the perfect example of the country you would like to have. There is practically no law, no security, no government. Anyone can by the gun they want, even a tank if they can afford it, or find it. You can eat what ever you want. There are no taxes.

    The perfect country for the tea party kind of folks. True freedom. In that country Rand Paul would be free to plagiarize anything he want. George Zimmerman would be free to shoot at anyone he would like.

    But how come is this country fairing so bad in all domain since it is everything you would like in a country?

  25. Sylvain: How do you not get that it is NOT the same food? If it were the same food, there would be no ban. My cholesterol is below average, so the government is not doing a thing for me except demanding a harmless ingredient be banned and removing my freedom of choice.

    A ban on cigarettes would mean you had to buy e-cigs. They’re the same thing as cigarettes, right? Except no fire, no ash, no toxic fumes. I think you would have to admit they are “the same thing” just as my fried foods and margarine are without trans fat. They are just a “reformulation”.

    I would guess Coke and Pepsi did lose money at first. Plus, with cocaine removed and later outlawed, we got the drug wars of today. Can I look forward to “trans fat” wars? (Yes, companies do change formulas–take New Coke for an example…..Oh, maybe a bad example. Luckily, the government did not mandate that one.)

  26. Sheri,

    You realize that trans fat occurs because of the way the food is prepared. It is not something they are adding to the mix. You can use Crisco grease which has no trans fat. You can use margarine with no trans fat. There are many alternative that will have no effect on the product other than removing the trans fat from it.

  27. Sylvain,

    The good thing about your fallacious argument is that it is both portable and scalable. So, in your world, an FDA ban of trans fats, salt, and sugar in food is not be a reduction in choice or liberty since the consumer could easily add those ingredients later. And there is no reason to stop there.

    Besides your nonsense (fallacious) argument that, because trans fats are leading the uninsured to the emergency room, the US debt is soaring, you employ the fallacy of equivocation in your use of the word “can.” What you really are arguing has nothing to do with can, it is all about must.

    Statism and the collective voice must provide some sort of maternal comfort to you. There is no other reason that you cannot see beyond the hypocrisies, such as Bloomberg and his soft, over-the-belt stomach pooch telling others what to eat in order to live healthy. Yet that man needs to be hitting the gym to sweat not a few pounds of blowhard blubber.

    But, to you, it’s all good — just another Marxist arguing that only the enlightened bourgeois can guide the proletarians to heaven on earth.

  28. Sylvain: If I understand you correctly, companies use trans fats for no other reason than they can. The choice of trans fats in no way affects taste, stability, cost, etc. Changing to another fat or other cooking/baking processes will not alter the product in any way? Then why does the FDA need to ban it? If there’s no noticeable difference, why do we need a ban? You have yet to answer my question. If it’s no big deal and consumers want it, the government would not have to get involved.

  29. Jim Fedako,

    Sorry but where did I mention sugar or salt?

    Trans fat ban is similar to the cfc’s i.e. the change is not expensive and there are/were readily available alternative.

    Salt and sugar are a very different story, some people might wish some regulation over them but their is a limit in practicality. You cannot buy a bag of trans fat by itself, but you can buy salt and sugar. You can only buy trans fat as a part of something else like cooking oil or grease.

    That trans fat raises the cholesterol level and that cholesterol causes cardiac problem is not contentious. That cardiac problems are an important part of the US expense is not contentious either.

    Here are two interesting article that makes my case:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/02/message-paul-ryan

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddhixon/2012/02/09/the-u-s-does-not-have-a-debt-problem-it-has-a-health-care-cost-problem/

  30. Sheri,

    The ban seems necessary because corporations don’t friggin care about you or your health. Corporations only move when they are force to. Do you think car are safer now because companies were enlightened, no it because the government imposed new standards, new regulation.

    In 2012, Québec had the lowest number of death and severe injury on its road since the 1940s, when there only a handful of car on the road. 2013, is even better. How was it achieved by forcing company to raise there safety standard.

  31. Sylvain,

    “The ban seems necessary because corporations don’t friggin care about you or your health.”

    And governments do?

    Did you somehow miss the lessons of the 20th century?

    “Salt and sugar are a very different story, some people might wish some regulation over them but their is a limit in practicality.”

    And governments apply practical limits? I repeat myself: Did you somehow miss the lessons of the 20th century? Ever hear of … say … Cambodia?

    In response to your Ryan article: What in the world does that have to do with your argument that trans fats will lead uninsured (acting individuals) to hospital (corporate entities) emergency rooms, thus raising the US debt. Ever hear of the non sequitur?

    To the Forbes article: the red herring. How in the world does a discussion of public (government) debt become a discussion on health care costs? Substitute rising costs for … say … milk and movie tickets and you can make a similar claim with graphs and all. But those claims are not responses to the question at hand: the public debt.

    Again, I assume you are happy in maternal warmth of your statist, collectivist views.

    But I’ve been sucked into your vortex much too long. If you ever get beyond philosophical mother’s milk, I’ll engage again.

  32. The government’s and advocates’ exaggeration of the negative health effects of trans fat is one thing that bothers me here. Deadly, artery clogging, dangerous, toxic, even poisonous are words that are bandied about. When you dig up the evidence, buried under layers and layers of circular references, you see that it comes down to a study of two that correlated trans fat consumption to certain cholesterol levels, which are in turn correlated by other studies to heart disease. That’s far weaker evidence than the words imply. And let’s face it, the 7000 lives comes from a made-up model that can’t be tested. I also find it rather strange that trans fats in butter and other animal products are left out of the ban. Butter has as much trans fat as Crisco these days. Instead of taking a hard look at the possibly “deadly” trans fat in butter, advocates and government seem to be bending over backwards to play down possible negative effects. There may be reason to down play these “natural” trans fats, but the evidence that they are any safer is weak, and the government’s casual attitude toward them is at odds with the hyperbole in its attitude toward synthetic trans fat.

  33. Sylvain: Why should the government care about my health if I am too lazy or stupid to care about it? Why is the government my nanny? You apparently believe people are stupid, lazy and incompetent and need to be watched all the time. By whom? A committee of people who managed to promise to be nannies to the lazy in return for unlimited power over their lives? Sounds more like a zoo than a society.

    It is truly sad that you find yourself unable to research car safety, food safety, or virtually anything else. Perhaps one day you will evolve to that point, but I am not holding my breath. In the meantime, subjecting everyone to your nanny state is cruel and vindictive–and act of jealousy and hatred. If only the nanny state were capable of dealing with that problem…….

  34. “And governments do?

    Did you somehow miss the lessons of the 20th century?”

    It may not always have been the case but the raise in quality of life in the last 50 years seems to demonstrate that fact.

    “And governments apply practical limits? I repeat myself: Did you somehow miss the lessons of the 20th century? Ever hear of … say … Cambodia?”

    Are you seriously comparing the US democratic government to the despotic government of the Khmer rouge of Pol Pot?????

    “In response to your Ryan article: What in the world does that have to do with your argument that trans fats will lead uninsured (acting individuals) to hospital (corporate entities) emergency rooms, thus raising the US debt. Ever hear of the non sequitur?”

    Both Article demonstrate how the US debt is linked to healthcare crisis.

    Here is how trans fat is related to this:

    That trans fat raises the cholesterol level and that cholesterol causes cardiac problem is not contentious. That cardiac problems are an important part of the US expense is not contentious either.

    I don’t know how much it will reduce the cost but the main fact is that if less people suffer from high cholesterol, you will reduce you cardiac illness that are an important part of the heathcare cost.

  35. Sheri,

    How does it become nanny state that the government interdict bad product on the market?

    The government imposes 100s of safety standard in cars, does it means that you can’t buy a cheap car today.

    A Ford model T was sold for about 260$ in 1920 (about $3159 today) and it had very little equipment. You can still buy a new car today for 10000$, which has a lot more equipment and quality. Yet the $10000 car is submitted to the same government standard than a $100k car

  36. All,

    I have a bunch of friends who gratefully, willingly, and eagerly swallowed the official explanation of “Obama didn’t lie.” A friend of mine insists that the policies which wouldn’t be canceled had to be canceled. She said living with the old policies was like living in a house that didn’t pass building inspection.

    Only the government knows what’s best for you.

    Strange sheep who begged to be fleeced.

  37. Sylvain,

    You are a piece of work (an idiom that should not be confused with a compliment — though the word I thinking of uses four of the letters found in idiom).

    You argued, “Why should the government be involved? You are concerned about the US debt. A large part of that debt comes from people without health insurance going to the emergencies, where the hospitals have no choice but to take of them.”

    Note: To be defined as “without health insurance” means the individual … get this … does not have insurance. And … get this as well … the individual does not have any insurance, neither medicare nor medicaid.

    So, once again, what do uninsured individuals using (but not paying for) the resources and services of private entities (hospitals) have to do with the public (government) debt?

    None of the linked articles support your claim — none. I am looking for something — anything — from you that defends your argument, besides your standard obfuscation and fallacies, of course.

    Note: By the way, this is not an argument, “It may not always have been the case but the raise in quality of life in the last 50 years seems to demonstrate that fact.” It is a statement that holds little meaning (unless, as always, you muddle your arguments so that you can slip out of their internal contradictions).

  38. Sylvain,

    To this point, “Are you seriously comparing the US democratic government to the despotic government of the Khmer rouge of Pol Pot?????”

    I would not be shocked that, during the initial stages of the Nazi terror, someone said something along the lines of, “Are you seriously comparing the German democratic government under Hindernburg to the despotic government of the Communist Party of Stalin?”

    Oops … forgot … Stalin was the overseer of the glorious dictatorship of the proletariat and not a despot (sarcasm).

    Keep in mind that you claimed ultruism on the part of government, in general. I refuted with history. You then played the red herring. Will the fallacies never stop?

  39. Sylvain: Do you understand what “nanny state” means? If the government intervenes and demands changes to products “for our own good”, that is a nanny state. That is what nannies do: make sure you do what they consider to be in your best interest. Like a shepherd to sheep. Sheep are pretty stupid, so they need guidance. When people become stupid enough, I suppose you can argue they need a shepherd–but what you are actually saying is people are just stupid and cannot take care of themselves. If you would just say people are stupid and lazy and can’t take care of themselves, at least that would be honest, rather than trying to say the government is required to provide nannies for us.

    It doesn’t matter if I can buy a cheap car or not. Fact is, I cannot buy any car without the demanded safety features of the government. Since you are now onto car safety, the obsolete hero of car safety, Ralph Nadar, threw out all safety concerns and went with cars with plastic bodies and lousy crash test results but would get 50 mpg. So the hero of car safety was willing to through everyone under the (natural gas) bus to save the world from non-existent climate change. So the government and Ralph only cared about your safety when it fit their agenda. Now you can die in a car as long as it gets proper mileage. Not seeing the altruism here. Not at all.

    As for the uninsured increasing the debt, I don’t see that you did the math I injected. Plus, every person Obamacare enrolls in medicaid, which is very common at this point, adds to the debt. Every subsidy he hands out adds to the debt. Every part of Obamacare with the exception of people paying full price for insurance, adds to the debt. And forcing 85 year old men to purchase policies with pregnancy coverage is, how do we say this?–just plain idiotic.
    It’s a complete train wreck. (Briggs–I’m guessing your true believer has never bought a house after an inspection and then discovered the inspection was worthless and the house is a disaster. Of course, she could probably rationalize that too.)

  40. Jim Fedako,

    “So, once again, what do uninsured individuals using (but not paying for) the resources and services of private entities (hospitals) have to do with the public (government) debt?”

    Who do you think was compensating these private entities for the care they were giving to the uninsured? Where do you think the $716 billions cut in transfer of payment to these private entities come from in Obamacare? Most of those people will now be insured so the hospital will be paid, the government will not have to pay for them. Get it! or is this a concept to had to understand down south.

    What did happened in the last 50 years if not the government investing massive amount in R&D, and providing services that companies had no interest in. When government spends money it creates works. How much work go0gle could create if they were not sitting on their 60$ billion in cash they have at the bank. That money is removed from the economy.

    “I would not be shocked that, during the initial stages of the Nazi terror, someone said something along the lines of, “Are you seriously comparing the German democratic government under Hindernburg to the despotic government of the Communist Party of Stalin?””

    Hitler and Stalin were world apart. Hitler was very popular with the German people who saw their standard of leaving rise fast. Of course, the situation was different for minorities, but during the 1930s German unemployment was practically nil.

    As for the Bolshevik revolution it succeeded because the disparities were so great that people simply didn’t offer any support to the tsar.

    That you use history to refute anything is ludicrous. Your history is learned from crack pot idiot.

  41. Sheri,

    Obamacare will lower the deficit according to the CBO. Treating people before they get to the emergencies actually reduce the cost of care. Why do you think healthcare is much cheaper in other countries around the world. By the way, per capita, Canada spends about the same as the USA in R&D.

    You realize that cars today are much safer than that of the 60s. They did a front impact test between a 50s-60s car and a Ford Taurus in the 1990s. The result: all passage dead in the 60s car, while cuts and bruises were the result in the Taurus. Even if cars are lighter today, and made of plastic, cars are much safer than ever before.

    Should drunk driver be allowed to drive freely? Should people be allowed to drive at 150 miles per hour?

  42. Sylvain: Depends on when the estimate was made by the CBO and a number of other factors. See http://money.cnn.com/2013/10/28/news/economy/obamacare-deficits/index.html

    Historically, the pilgrims managed to cross the ocean, land, start colonies and write a constitution all on their own. Somehow, you see humans as devolving to helpless babies. What’s so great about devolving? If your logic were applied, the human species would be extinct. (I’m skipping your ridiculous statements on having laws versus having nannies, knowing you will never actually engage in intelligent discussion.)

    You still did not do the math–what percentage of the US deficit does Obamacare save, assuming current uncompensated care is around $41 billion and the deficit is $16 trillion? Answer that, and maybe I’ll be impressed enough to continue this conversation. Maybe not. It’s up to you.

  43. Sylvain,

    Do some research. Please.

    But to assume arguendo that government is compensating hospitals for uncompensated care, hospitals would not be claiming they provide charitable care, have to write-off bad debt from bills never to be paid, etc.

    In other words, hospitals would be agnostic over ability to pay since (as you claim), in the end, government foots the final bill regardless of a patient’s intent or ability to pay.

    But that is not our world here in the US, is it?

    Yes, there are programs to redistribute funds to hospitals based on indigent care — not actual care of specific patients, but a modeled program of redistribution based on the general amount of uncompensated care by hospital.

    But your claim is around the uninsured. That class is made up of folks (like my sister-in-law), who, for various reasons, choose not to buy insurance. The public debt can not be attributed to them.

    By the way, had you done your research, you would have known that those programs have nothing to do with insurance. Many folks are insured and cannot pay their deductibles or copays. Those programs apply to these payment shortfalls as well, assuming the patient is indigent.

    “So, once again, what do uninsured individuals using (but not paying for) the resources and services of private entities (hospitals) have to do with the public (government) debt?”

    This is left undefended. The uninsured and indigent are not equivalent classes.

    “How much work go0gle could create if they were not sitting on their 60$ billion in cash they have at the bank. That money is removed from the economy.” Wow. So you are a Keynesian as well as a Marxist. What do you think banks due with deposits from entities like Google? (spoiler: they invest those deposits in activities that appear a priori to be productive). So Google’s savings is the startup investment in the next great idea. (note: This is where you reach back into the writings of Lenin and call me a petty-bourgeoisie philistine and a parasitic excrescence).

    “As for the Bolshevik revolution it succeeded because the disparities were so great that people simply didn’t offer any support to the tsar.” Please! The revolution was simply a manifestation of the material dialetic of history (sarcasm).

    By the way, just between you and me, The Bolshevik revolution had nothing to do with the tsar — he abdicated nine months earlier. Hmmm.

    Maybe “[y]our history is learned from crack pot idiot.” Whatever that means.

  44. “Historically, the pilgrims managed to cross the ocean, land, start colonies and write a constitution all on their own.”

    You realize that these people were constituting a State by themselves. They had much stricter rule to abide by, under either eviction to be burned at the stake in Salem. Back then people were told what they could and couldn’t eat. They had to get married and have children. Any society have rules to abide by and usually the smallest center have the strictest rule (ex: Jones cult in the 70s, Koresh in the 90s were completely isolated from the rest of the world).

    “You still did not do the math–what percentage of the US deficit does Obamacare save, assuming current uncompensated care is around $41 billion and the deficit is $16 trillion? Answer that, and maybe I’ll be impressed enough to continue this conversation. Maybe not. It’s up to you”.

    1) I should have said budget, 2) the deficit was 1.1 Trillion in 2012, the debt is over 16 trillion. 3) Per capita the federal government in the USA pays about $4400 while it doesn’t cover all citizen, Canada’s government pays about $3100. A difference of $1300 per persons. This means the USA pays $390 billion more than other countries with similar quality of care.

    In 2008, 86% of Canadian supported the Canadian health care system.

    “A new poll conducted by Nanos Research points to overwhelming support (86.2%) for strengthening public health care rather than expanding for-profit services”

    http://medicare.ca/new-poll-shows-overwhelming-support-for-public-health-care

    Meanwhile in the US 75% were not satisfied by the US health care system.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/150788/americans-maintain-negative-view-healthcare-coverage.aspx

  45. Jim,

    What do you think charitable deduction do in an income tax report if not reduce the amount.

    ‘Wow. So you are a Keynesian as well as a Marxist. What do you think banks due with deposits from entities like Google? (spoiler: they invest those deposits in activities that appear a priori to be productive). So Google’s savings is the startup investment in the next great idea. (note: This is where you reach back into the writings of Lenin and call me a petty-bourgeoisie philistine and a parasitic excrescence).”

    Actually in the US they don’t loan money to much people lately. The rich prefer NASDAQ, NYSE, which do create wealth but not much of anything else. Stock market only profit companies when they inject new stock to gain some cash to build something. after that it is only the trader that makes money of stock price. Real creation of wealth comes from production and manufacturing which create jobs something that is seriously lacking in the US.

  46. Sylvain,

    Come on …

    “What do you think charitable deduction do in an income tax report if not reduce the amount.”

    Would you also claim that homeownership is responsible for the public debt? Hmmm.

    “Actually in the US they don’t loan money to much people lately.”

    What does that statement mean? Who are they?

    If you are refering to banks, the Fed refutes your claim. Outstanding loans are once again at record amounts.

    “Real creation of wealth comes from production and manufacturing which create jobs something that is seriously lacking in the US.”

    No. That is Keynesian nonsense. Real wealth comes from investments in capital production.

    Also, your argument is the entity Google, but you discuss “the rich.” Are you claiming “the rich” refers to the court-recognized person that is Google? Or are you waving the red herring once again.

  47. In addition, there is this from above, “Who do you think was compensating these private entities for the care they were giving to the uninsured?”

    That was your claim. Will you defend it?

    Seriously, I wish you would defend your original claims instead of continually birthing illegitimate ones when challenged.

  48. Sylvain:

    And Canadians come to the USA for health care they cannot get in their own country. Yes, Americans now buy drugs from Canada, which will cut into new drug development which means Canadians will have to increase their research funds and medical costs or do without. That Canadian system really isn’t nirvana, it seems.

    I have no idea what your point is with your second paragraph. It makes no sense whatsoever. I also doubt it’s accurate, since witches were not burned at the stake in Salem. Nor were people required to get married, etc. What variant of American history do they teach in Canada? A very colorful, but not very accurate one, it seems.

    It’s interesting that Medicare recipients would be in favor of Obamacare, since cuts to Medicare pay for part of Obamacare. Seems to me these people are in favor of losing their benefits? How does that make sense? Oh–they don’t really understand, do they????

    Not satisfied with the current system does NOT mean they want Obamacare. According to the very same Gallup poll, 55% of Americans are not in favor of Obamacare. Nor are the uninsured running in and signing up–guess they don’t want it either. Maybe we should export it to Canada?

  49. Sheri,

    Yup, dismiss an entire argument on a simple mix. If the witches were not burnt at the stake they were hang. The argument is that you pretend that the pilgrim flourished without the assistance of any State or government.

    The reality is that they had a State and a government even if the form was different than the one you have today. Unless you actually believe that witches exist (or existed) and that they have (or had) to die for the good of society. But then again it was a government that decided that these women behavior did not conform to their society.

    “And Canadians come to the USA for health care they cannot get in their own country”

    Demonstrably false:

    From:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Canada#Canadians_visiting_the_US_to_receive_health_care

    “A study by Barer, et al., indicates that the majority of Canadians who seek health care in the U.S. are already there for other reasons, including business travel or vacations. A smaller proportion seek care in the U.S. for reasons of confidentiality, including abortions, mental illness, substance abuse, and other problems that they may not wish to divulge to their local physician, family, or employer.”

    “In a Canadian National Population Health Survey of 17,276 Canadian residents, it was reported that 0.5% sought medical care in the US in the previous year. Of these, less than a quarter had traveled to the U.S. expressly to get that care.”

    These articles are also interesting but too long to quote:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/myths-about-canada-us-health-care-debunked-2012-08-09

    http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_12523427

    Why would Americans buying drugs from Canada affect how much money is affected to research and development?

    The survey poll I took Where from 2008, i.e. before Obamacare. In most poll, when people are ask why they disapprove of the law about 40% say it is because it doesn’t go far enough. So they would be in favor if the law went further.

  50. Didn’t dismiss the argument on a simple mix–pointed out a factual error.

    The pilgrims did flourish. Otherwise, we would still be a British colony. I never said they flourished without government. I said they flourished without a nanny state. Again, if you are incapable of comprehending the difference, there’s nothing I can do to redeem or alter your sorry state.

    “Why would Americans buying drugs from Canada affect how much money is affected to research and development?”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1936287/
    “The pharmaceutical industry criticizes the reimportation practice due to the potential harm to the recovery of the research and development (R&D) costs required for new drugs (Danzon 1998; Danzon and Kim 1998)”
    From the “beloved” AARP:
    http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/health/ib62_can_rx.pdfCanadians coming to US for health care:

    Another viewpoint:
    http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/11/report-thousands-fled-canada-for-health-care-in-2011/

    Don’t know who they surveyed on Obamacare, but there is talk of repealing it, modifying it, and pretty much liberals are starting to run from it. It’s too much like “Hillarycare”, which bombed out because you couldn’t keep your doctor or your plans. That was political suicide. Why do you think they sneaked Obamacare through as quickly as possible and said we had to “pass it to know what was in it”. Perhaps you enjoy your government lying and breaking promises, but not everyone finds being lied to enjoyable.

  51. Sheri,

    How much more of a nanny state would kill women who were doing nothing wrong? (unless you believe in witchcraft). How much more than a nanny tell people what they have to believe in, that doesn’t give you the choice to have or don’t have children?

    About the drug reimportation, you realize that this is the US company that complain about the effect on research, not Canadians. Canadians complains about the risk of drugs shortages.

    The Frasier institute research provided by the daily caller is somewhat misleading.

    1) they are estimation, not raw numbers.
    2) As it was mentioned in my first link, which was commenting a AARP study that you can see here:

    http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-03-2012/myths-canada-health-care.html

    Instead of talking to physician, they talked to facilities to know how much Canadian they served. They saw few of them.

    Often when Canadians go to the US the care will be payed by the government precisely because a region may have a shortage of resources (doctors, nurses, equipment).

    For Obamacare, don’t forget that the website still have some glitches. What is important is the number of people that will be signed up by March 31.

    As for the cancelations of coverage. 1-These people can get another plan and most likely for less money. 2- the law can easily be changed to authorize these plans, and it seems that it could pass congress fast enough.

  52. Sylvain:
    Killing witches was not a nanny state. You still don’t understand the difference. The Salem witch trials went on for a little over a year. They were a local phenomena. Witch trials in Europe went on for 300 years, in countries where people had no role in government, but thought the government should act in their interests (i.e., take care of them). Your example is hugely flawed.

    Yes, on the drug info, and I realize that many of your claims are by made by Canadians not in the USA (yours included) or/and socialst/leftists groups here in the USA. We can play dueling websites all day.

    I did read that Canadian are sent here due to waiting lists–but that just proves my point. There are shorter waiting lists here. I’m fine with Canadians coming here–we’ll take your health care money any time. I’m just saying…..

    You mean that $600 million dollar disaster of a website? I’d be an idiot to trust a government that couldn’t even make a simple website.

    No, not for less money. That’s the problem. 20 year old men are paying for maternity coverage. Yes, it could be fixed–it’s called “repeal the law”.

    Your outlook and logic is cause for celebration among con men. I bet I could talk you into regulating computers and requiring you buy a $5000 one (no cheap computers–UV rays and stuff), buying $200 a month internet (so those who can’t afford great internet will have it) and you’d be really happy to pay $20 of your $30/hr wages for others to have computers and great internet. Call me when you get it passed–I’m the one selling the computers. 🙂

  53. Sheri,

    My example went further than the witches. In Europe, the prosecution rate was largely due to local “prosecutor”. In some area they were more zealous than other.

    The pilgrim state was very much of a nanny state. It was going in all their society home telling how they had to live, what they could or couldn’t do.

    Some example from here:

    http://fr.slideshare.net/AmyBurk/the-puritans-in-colonial-america

    A law forbade the wearing of lace (isn’t this a ban)
    A man could not have lon hair.
    A 1647 law forced anytown with more than 50 people to have a teacher paid by the town.

    Who was that government to tell its people what they could and counldn’t wear.

    There was no freedom of speech concerning the religious dogma.

    The main point is that any government is in some way a nanny state. Anytime there is a bunch of people together you will have to compromise and the state might ask something of you that you don’t agree with, but a stronger state lead to a more peaceful state.

    “Yes, on the drug info, and I realize that many of your claims are by made by Canadians not in the USA (yours included) or/and socialst/leftists groups here in the USA. We can play dueling websites all day”

    This is a genetic fallacy to which Briggs often refer to.

    The Frasier instute “research” that you link to is based on estimation from Canadian doctor. The AARP is true direct contact with intitution US hospitals that gave their raw Data. Estimate and raw data are different.

    Waiting time are affected by different factor that include the number of people seeking care (100% here are treated), availability of doctors and equipment. Sometimes Equipment may break, a female doctor might have a kid, decide to work less hours or take longer vacation. And some year more people might need certain care. Big cities attracked more doctors and usually have shorter waiting time than in regions. Ontario the most populated province (concentrated around Toronto) as the shortest waiting time. Manitoba is one of the lowest density of population and the longest waiting time, mainly because they lack personal (doctor, nurse, etc.)

    From the AARP research you can see that the majority of Canadian that goes to US hospital are tourist that need emergency care (0.11% of all canadian that goes to the US). Only 0.05% of them go for elective care and most have their care paid by their provincial government.

    It is hard to comapare a system where everyone can see a doctor anytime they want with a system where a large part of the population get to the hospital as a last resort. Here anyone who receive a prescription for an MRI will get one. In the US you will get one only if the insurance accept to pay for it, or if you pay it from your own pocket. Of course, in Canada people can pay from their own pocket to get an MRI in a private clinic.

    In the US you have shorter waiting list because only the people that can afford to go see the doctor get to see it.

    Does a women get pregnant by herself? It is quite normal that men should pay for a condition they help the woman in. Even more that many get raped.

    We do have program to help poor family buy computer and get access to cheap high speed internet access. And yes, we pay taxes for that which goes to the people who build the computer and provide the internet access, which creates work.

    I have no kid but I still pay taxes that help family who do have kids. I’m okay with it. Even though we pay more taxes in the end the our purchasing power is similar than that seen in the US.

  54. It depends on why lace was banned and why long hair was forbidden. I would not consider requiring education and a paid teacher a nanny state. I would consider a standard curriculum, government reviews of standards and the federal government determining curriculum a nanny state (like we have today).

    If there was no freedom of religious speech, why did they add the first amendment? I guess they came to their senses and dispensed with that part of the nanny state?

    Yes, it is a genetic fallacy. That was my point. You used the fallacy, I gave additional examples.

    Seriously, you need to actually study the US health care system, not read books or wherever you’re getting your examples. In the US, any one can see a doctor. If they don’t have insurance or can’t afford to pay, they go to the emergency room. Yes, it costs more, but they are not denied service and can see a doctor. Many people chose not to see a doctor and there are those who could but would rather whine and be martyrs in attempts to freeload off those who work.

    No a woman does not get pregnant by herself. Some sperm donor was involved and he should be providing the insurance coverage, not some innocent and uninvolved 85 year old male. That was my point.

    Wow, if I move to Canada I can get piles of free stuff. Maybe we in the US should just move to Canada and you all can pay for our stuff too! You love helping people and you love paying taxes. Maybe we can start a movement –off to Canada and the utopian freebies! (No, we are not going to work–we’re broke from traveling up there. You won’t care–you love to pay for other’s expenses. See you soon–have my freebie package ready.)

    PS–The only people I have heard say they don’t mind paying more taxes to help others are the freeloaders getting their medicaid, school, houses and cell phones paid for. Or democrats who are lying profusely and really don’t pay any more taxes than they have to. I have not heard people who worked hard, paid for their educations on their own, started their own business without government money, etc make those statements. I also notice no one does this voluntarily–they have the government steal from their neighbors and redistribute. If you’re so altruistic, why does the government need to be involved? You all could just get everyone together and set up charities and throw in all the money you want.

    This is not about helping others–it’s about stealing money from those who earn it and giving it to those who don’t. Forcing those who work to pay for those who don’t–that’s why Obamacare is currently mostly medicaid, NOT insurance. It’s hand-outs to those who will not work.

  55. Sheri,

    You make my point that a nanny is whatever decision a state takes that you don’t like.

    It is normal for a State to ban things that can arm its citizen, even more when there are easy low cost replacement. You have no problem having the state infringed on other peoples freedom as long as you agree with it.

    The genetic fallacy is to dismiss an argument based on its sources. I demonstrated a study with better methodology and data. The Fraser institute result is an estimate based on a 13% answered survey. Who is the more likely to answer their survey other than the people who usually agree with there point of view.

    The AARP is based on raw data. The hospital know how many Canadian patient they see in a year, and this is between 0-1 per month, including emergency care.

    So I didn’t employ a genetic fallacy but you did.

    In the US if a patient doesn’t have the money to cover is care he will be treated and then they will sue him for the care that he received. If it happens that you inherited a house, well you then lost it. if you have nothing than they write it off, and get reimburse in credit tax. In the USA, if you can’t afford your care they will do the minimum for you. They will not install a new hip if you go to the emergency being unable to walk. In the USA you had life cap, the threat of losing coverage.

    It would be cheaper for the US to provide preventive care (which is not cover in the US) than treat people that are near death in the emergency. Once again, in Canada everyone is covered. It is the doctor that decides if you have an MRI or not. We have waiting list but more people do receive care.

    The funny thing is that in the last election, only 3 of the State that carried Romney actually give more money than they receive from the Washington. While most of the State that voted democrat received less than they gave. Why are the poorest voting against their own interest.

    You misunderstand how Canada works. The government provide several services that everyone has access too. University is about $1,300 for everyone not just the poor. Free care is for everyone, though some people prefer to pay for private care and deduct from their taxes. School is free for everyone, but if some parent prefer private school then the government will cover 60% of the cost. We offer 5 weeks paid off for partner in a couple who have a child and about 45 for the other. Couple choose which one gets what. Social security has no limit in time but the amount is minimal. Although there are always around 300k people on it, most people stay less than 15 month, unless they are single mother or handicapped. We have “universal” day services that lack sufficient places.

    Providing computer and internet services makes it easier for people to find work by applying online for job that are farther. It also helps the kids to integrate more easily and maybe develop interest.

    Paul Ryan’s and Mitt Romney’s family were at some point on social security. If it is so addictive why aren’t they still on it. My cousin was on it and yet he was able to find a job and he has been off of it for the last 5 years and he is now paying income taxes.

    Able body on social security are a minority. More likely people that receive it are having a hard time in their life and need temporary help. JK Rollings in the UK was on social security when she wrote her first Harry Potter book. It is a lot more complicated than maker versus taker.

  56. Wow, Canada is indeed a Utopia. I have decided that I am packing up and moving to Canada where I can get free food, free housing, free computers, free everything (I am disabled according to some criteria so it won’t be problem). And people are really, really happy to pay taxes in Canada so I can have these things. Plus, I remember crime was low or non-existent in your past postings. Meanwhile, I live in a repressive, horrible country that is out to kill its citizens. Guess I won’t get anymore answers typed. I’m packing up and moving to Utopia. I’ll use your information when I fill out my application to immigrate to Canada and claim political refugee status. Why should I stay here and live under tyranny? Thank you for opening my eyes. Au revoir and see you soon.

  57. Sheri,

    Then why aren’t people staying on it. Why Romney and Paul didn’t stay on it. Why did my cousin find a job if his life was so good.

    The answer is that they have nothing and that they are only surviving. They find job because they want to live.

  58. Blah, blah, bitch, bitch, cry cry, why don’t all of your haters collaborate and purchase some island in the Pacific and go start your own country. Yeah our government has a lot of issues, what government doesn’t? I can’t even think of another country I’d rather be a citizen of. This whole rational about the government impeding on your rights and freedoms would be laughed at by most foreigners. Go to North Korea and bash the government and see what happens. Proud to be American and ban trans fats, I really don’t give a rats ass.

  59. Never trust anybody who uses “issues” as a euphemism for “problems.” Go get ’em Get A Life! The government never makes mistakes and it cannot be questioned. To do so is unpatriotic.

  60. Dear all U.S citizens who scorn other countries.

    Come to New Zealand, we criticise the government all the time. We pay for our Health Care in the main through taxes on food and other things called Government Services Tax. We pay for insurance against natural disasters and when we have colossal disasters we get paid back. slowly and not enough to our way of thinking but we get it in the end. Of course we then criticise the Government’s handling of the said disasters and subsequent rebuilding but that is another matter. We consider ourselves a Parliamentary democracy and are in the Commonwealth of Nations which still stays together for mutual advantage, though the Canadians take the moral high ground a bit too often, to our way of thinking. Make New Zealand your choice but sorry to say you can’t buy this or other Pacific Islands these days

  61. M.E. Wood,

    When you claim that “we” get paid back in the end should “we” suffer from a collossal natural disaster, I assume your claim is realy this: those who suffer from a collossal natural disaster get paid back in the end.

    So who pays them? And what does it mean to “get paid back”?

    Also, you claim “[w]e consider ourselves a Parliamentary democracy and are in the Commonwealth of Nations which still stays together for mutual advantage…” Who are “we” in that assertion? And who reaps the “mutual advantage”?

  62. Sorry……Goods and Services Tax not Government Services Tax. It is placed on most things even food.

    The reason you can’t buy Pacific Islands is that the South Pacific Ocean has been divided already. Large areas of ocean belong to Pacific nations because of large economic resources not just fish and marine life but minerals on the shallower sea beds. So you would need a Navy to defend your little island from nations who have an eye to aggrandisement.

  63. M E Wood,

    Actually, I am making a point. Some benefit under this system while other lose. Based on your use of “we,” I assume that you are a beneficiary.

  64. Sorry I don’t understand you. Are you talking about our disaster insurance known as EQC? We all pay for this (all people purchasing goods) and we also pay insurance on our property. This insurance is paid to us. with the addition of the EQC money. New Zealand has a lot of natural disasters and expects more.
    For Example
    Earthquakes have been happening in Canterbury New Zealand for about three years with much destruction of property. Many people are still living in damaged houses after one of the bigger shakes, that in 2011. The EQC pays for repairs to houses in various ways. You can look this up if you are really interested. and are not just putting me down. Yes, my house has been damaged. it has been repaired after a few earthquakes but some of these repairs have been damaged in further shakes. Not only Canterbury but the whole of New Zealand has been reviewing public buildings and closing those which do not come up to the new earthquake building expectations as a large damaging quake is expected on the Alpine Fault.
    http://www.eqc.govt.nz/ Sorry I took so long to reply as I’m getting my house ready for cosmetic repairs some time soon and don’t read blogs often. See this for information on number and location of quakes http://quake.crowe.co.nz/Last24HoursCanterbury/

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