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      07-06-2013, 08:35 PM   #23
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Did you read my previous post? I tried to explain that the trends of capitalism also contribute to government debt. Yes, my state is billions of dollars in debt, but it's not just as simple as saying oh it's because of liberalism. There's more to our growing debt than just overspending. It's not that simple. California experienced declining state revenue in the late 2000s because of decreases in personal income taxes, corporate taxes, and other taxes due to the bad economy. At the same time, the population continued to increase so there were more people to account for with less money to work with. It was a no win situation. We had a recent budget crisis, but there's currently some restructuring going on with education and social services with the most recent budget. These things are always a work in progress. Right now, state revenues are surpassing expectation so that's a good sign. I don't know why you think people are leaving my state, but population is up according to 2012 census estimates. Housing market is doing great too. If people are dying to leave, why are home prices in my area up 32% from last year? Seems like people are fighting each other to live here. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...ltors-say.html

This is just like my example with Greece. They were hit hard by the global economic meltdown, and their tourism industry didn't recover, significantly decreasing their GDP. Factor in their problem with tax evasion, and you have a recipe for disaster. It wasn't just because of socialist government overspending. It was a combination of many global and local factors.

Why don't we also take a look at Texas, which is considered a low tax, low services state. Surely it must be all rainbows and sunshine over there without the evil life sucking California policies. Oh wait, Texas still has state debt just like any other state. I dunno how accurate usdebtclock is, but I'll use it since you referenced it. According to them, Texas has higher debt per citizen than California does ($10803 vs. $10783). Texas also has the same problems with poverty and healthcare too. If the free market is suppose to solve everything, why hasn't it happened? Regardless of tax rate, we all share the same problems.
http://usdebtclock.org/state-debt-cl...ebt-clock.html

So both a high tax state and a low tax state have stupid amounts of debt. There's obviously more to debt than just taxes, services, and spending. I'm not trying to say that capitalism is bad because blah blah blah. You have to realize that issues like this aren't just as simple as blaming a single factor.

Have a piece of humble pie, and take a look around the world on a case by case basis. We could learn a lot by opening our minds to how other countries approach their issues. If you haven't read my previous post, I would encourage you to do that before you respond.

Careful, he'll call you a typical Obama-loving far left liberal with no sense of individual freedom. Any challenge to his posts and his head explodes.
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      07-07-2013, 12:26 AM   #24
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Taking another look at the debt clock, it looks like our CA debt is counting down too haha.
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      07-07-2013, 06:01 AM   #25
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Taking another look at the debt clock, it looks like our CA debt is counting down too haha.
Is there any difference worth noting or investigating as to the type of debt one or another has?
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      07-07-2013, 12:54 PM   #26
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Not sure where the Debt Clock is getting its numbers (I can't see it on my iPad), but this chart shows all states, as well as pension liabilities (which I don't think show up in the state numbers):

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0All0h4lh_xOsdGlvbDBTRlZ5Tjk0elVjY0g5aGM5S0 E&pli=1

Texas has about 1/3 less population than CA, but has $286B in debt, vs. CA debt of $617B. Texas also has no state income tax, and is projecting a 2013 budget surplus of $8.8B.

Both states are trending up with employment - but CA has 8.6% unemployment, while Texas has 6.5%

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm

But all said, you would probably hate Texas - it's hot as hell.
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      07-07-2013, 01:32 PM   #27
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Yea, I didn't really do that much research on the actual amount of state debt. I was just using the same source as Andy. I'm not trying to argue that California is better than Texas. I'm just saying that despite the tax rate and policies, both states have similar problems, and blaming a single factor won't solve everything. There's way more to making governments work.

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      07-07-2013, 11:43 PM   #28
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Did you see where the Obama Administration is delaying the rule requiring employers to purchase insurance for their employees, or face a $2,000 fine per employee? Unfortunately, this extends the uncertainty of the cost of adding employees, and will most likely keep unemployment where it is today. The Immigration bill exempts new immigrants from Obamacare for 12 years, so employers will actually save the $2,000 penalty on any non-citizen they hire, over us citizens.

I'm thinking this delay is about saving the Immigration bill, and not about healthcare. Debt, taxes, and unemployment will remain high.
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      07-08-2013, 12:03 AM   #29
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Yea I read about that. They keep saying that businesses voiced concern over the frustrating insurance application process, but I'm sure there's more to the story. There's always going to be uncertainty in the free market. Hopefully this won't hurt consumer confidence. In terms of debt, taxes, and unemployment, we'll just have to hope that the economy continues its upward trend, but I too am skeptical. I also also want to say I appreciate that you keep a level head and not resort to using dogmatic arguments.

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      07-08-2013, 12:05 AM   #30
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I really don't enjoy talking about government policy and economic regulations. I think I've become so cynical of the whole thing. With big government and tight regulation, there's waste and abuse within the political system for power. With small government and little regulation, then you have to deal with unethical, greedy, and corrupt businesses that care more about money than human lives. Why does humanity have to suck so bad?

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      07-08-2013, 03:08 PM   #31
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Wow I just read this: http://www.businessinsider.com/orego...on-free-2013-7

As much as I want to say yay for Oregon, I feel like this could backfire too. People who get degrees in Art History or Greek Literature might not be the best candidates to give a free ride through college if they won't be able to have the salary to pay it back. There's already too many useless college grads out there. I don't want to discriminate, but maybe this should just be limited to students who pursue STEM fields.
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      07-08-2013, 05:31 PM   #32
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So you pay nothing up front, spend however many years you want in school, and the University has even less motivation to get you graduated? Seems like a dangerous model, and it sounds a lot like Greece's education system. Public Universities today are far too insulated from any form of accountability, and this goes even further.

Im understanding that CA universities continually change degree requirements, and as a result very few students graduate within 4 years. This is anecdotal - i need to dig out some facts.

But overall, it seems like a very bad idea.
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      07-08-2013, 06:41 PM   #33
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I don't know the exact details of fluctuating degree requirements, but mine stayed put when I was in college (class of 2010). I was able to graduate within 4 years, but I took summer school. For me, my school has tons of Biology majors so it was more about classes filling up too fast. I had my costs covered, but I still did my best to get out in 4 years. I knew other people who were taking loans and stayed for longer. There's definitely a problem with accountability here. Tuition has been skyrocketing, and there's no real oversight for the governing body of the University of California. It's been a real mess for the past few years. Prop 30 will help mitigate some mid-year tuition hikes, but I dunno how much that will help. I'm already pretty apprehensive about Prop 30. For us voters, it was either approve Prop 30 or the schools get no funding. That didn't really sit well with me. With the increase in state revenue, hopefully that will mean that schools will be kept adequately funded. Reform has to come from somewhere though. People nowadays are graduating with more and more debt.

For Oregon's plan, I think this type of approach could encourage the Universities to help their students graduate. If the students graduate on time, then they'll have the opportunity to start paying back the schools. The Universities won't get any money unless they help students graduate and land a job. But if the student has a degree in Norse Mythology, the school might not be able to make its money back haha. With our current system of tuition, I feel like schools want to keep as many students as possible so they can keep gouging them with tuition. While Oregon's plan isn't perfect, I think it has good intent. It's really dependent on the students, which I don't know if I have much faith in. The students with the best chances of paying the school back are probably those in the STEM programs.

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      07-08-2013, 10:57 PM   #34
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I didn't see the part about that being the only source of funding for the University - if that's the case, then it should instill a high level of accountability, as their payment would be based upon graduates earnings. But I would think they would simply cry poor sister to the state, and traditional funding would continue on top of what they would get from the students.

It kills me when school funding comes up on the ballot. Most people are willing to pay more for better schools for all. But when you look at the details, it often falls apart:

-Atlanta schools cost 2x the national average per student, but are very low performing
-The Univ of CA has over $80B in investments, and is still complaining they are broke

Here's a really disturbing website: http://www.edchoice.org/Research/Reports/The-School-Staffing-Surge--Decades-of-Employment-Growth-in-Americas-Public-Schools--Part-2.aspx

States like Virginia have more administrators and non-teacheing positions than teachers. The number of administrators has grown on average 7x faster than the number of students. It's out of control.
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      07-08-2013, 11:23 PM   #35
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Investments aside, the UC Regents were so ridiculous during the tuition hikes. They approved the absurd hikes, cut programs, and at the same time gave salary raises to a bunch of administrators who were already making 6 figures. The stuff they were doing was such bullshit.

I'm sure the administrators in Virginia are paid more than teachers too. It really saddens me that teachers are so underappreciated. They're doing all the hard work and making more of an impact but don't get any thanks or compensation.

Public Institutions are no better than Monsanto or Big Oil in my eyes. Why do people have to be so awful?

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      07-08-2013, 11:48 PM   #36
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Investments aside, the UC Regents were so ridiculous during the tuition hikes. They approved the absurd hikes, cut programs, and at the same time gave salary raises to a bunch of administrators who were already making 6 figures. The stuff they were doing was such bullshit.

I'm sure the administrators in Virginia are paid more than teachers too. It really saddens me that teachers are so underappreciated. They're doing all the hard work and making more of an impact but don't get any thanks or compensation.

Public Institutions are no better than Monsanto or Big Oil in my eyes. Why do people have to be so awful?
It's all to common the awful ppl typically shit on everyone on their way to the top, and viciously protect their roles or ineptness via attacking those around them.
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      07-10-2013, 10:50 AM   #37
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There's a simple reason tuition + subsidies are skyrocketing while school performance is essentially unchanged for 30+ years:

http://reason.com/reasontv/2012/09/0...nd-teachers-un
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      07-10-2013, 10:27 PM   #38
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There's a simple reason tuition + subsidies are skyrocketing while school performance is essentially unchanged for 30+ years:

http://reason.com/reasontv/2012/09/0...nd-teachers-un
I'm not sure how much K-12 funding affects University tuition, but it's true that unions can be just as exploitative as corrupt businesses. I'm pretty sure we all know that the UAW falls under that category as well.

I don't think the underachievement can't be entirely blamed on the teachers' union though. I feel like a big reason is also that American students have no real interest in academics in general. Think about what kids in the US aspire to be and what our society as a whole values. The biggest concerns young people have these days are stupid things like movie stars and athletes. So much money circulates around trivial entertainment, and college football programs bring in so much funding to the school. It's just not cool to be a nerd.

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      07-11-2013, 10:27 AM   #39
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You are so full of Bullshit!!!! The U.S. has healthcare, globally, second to none. Post your facts otherwise if you dispute it.

The reason folks come to the U.S. for surgery, involved medical procedures, etc, is because European socialism has weakened the healthcare elsewhere. Címon, think it through. It is the same thing that is happening in the US and will get worse if obamacare goes full force. Aside from sky rocketing healthcare costs since obamacare was passed, physicians are turning away all folks who are on Medicare and Medicaid. It is because the government will not fully reimburse the cost, the physician incurs of providing the healthcare services to this group of folks. Do you really think the physician is going to work for free? Why do you think there is a massive shortage of physicians in America? Why have an abundance of practicing physicians quit, or changed careers? And most of all, what do you think the quality of physicians, who get into the business moving forward will be? This is the very essence of why healthcare in socialized countries offers subpar care. What person, in their right mind, is going to make the personal sacrifice of going to school for 10 or more years to become a physician if the pay isnít commensurate? In the meantime, what do you think will happen to the quality of healthcare in America as obamacare is fully implemented at the same time there is a huge shortage of physicians to serve the folks?
There are about 600K-800K inbound medical tourists to the US per year, on average (NB, this cites a Deloitte report whose link doesn't work): http://www.medicaltourismmag.com/det...q=234&issue=11

Thing is, some anecdotal estimates put the number of Americans leaving the States for medical treatment at 650K: http://blogs.reuters.com/from-reuter...ism-by-country

This article indicates that almost 1M people from California alone are seeking healthcare in Mexico each year. http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/...57C40C20090813

The study cited is here: http://www.uclahealth.org/body_sanmo...etail&ref=1206

The most obvious reason is due to the extreme cost of healthcare in the US. You're absolutely right that the medical system in the US ranks amongst the best in the world. But that becomes irrelevant if people can't afford it and can get the same procedures elsewhere at better prices and at the same quality. And this is what's happening; nobody should infer that Americans would check into the roach motel for their bariatric surgery. Germany sees a high volume of patients from other countries for example; they have twice as many hospitals per capita vis-a-vis the US, and the cost is about half of that in the US. So a lot of patients in Europe and the ME go there for various treatments instead of the US when their own countries lack the requisite level of scope in their medical systems. http://www.medical-tourism.com/country/germany.html

It's up to debate how reliable the "inbound/outbound to US" numbers are because the entities touting the numbers tend to have some vested interest in a result and large, round numbers tend to make the biggest psychological impact on people. So the above could very well turn out to be incorrect but these are the figures available as and when I searched them. It would be interesting to see what info exists to the contrary.
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      07-12-2013, 12:40 AM   #40
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A couple of thoughts:

- the 1M people leaving CA and seeking treatment in Mexico could be mostly Mexican citizens returning home for care, because they don't have healthcare in the US. It could also be those same people (and perhaps others) going to Tijuana for pharmaceuticals.

- one HUGE reason healthcare is so expensive in the US is our legal system. Lawyers here can take a case on contingency (they get paid only if they win - if they lose, they have only lost their time), and there is no downside. In every other country, the loser in a court case pays everyone's court costs - which pretty much eliminates lawsuits that are questionable. It's called "English Rule."

The cost of lawsuits in healthcare (and malpractice insurance) shows up in our healthcare costs. The Trial Attorney's lobby is the one of the largest political contributors. Glad that we have a bunch of lawyers setting healthcare policy...
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      07-12-2013, 03:00 PM   #41
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A couple of thoughts:

- the 1M people leaving CA and seeking treatment in Mexico could be mostly Mexican citizens returning home for care, because they don't have healthcare in the US. It could also be those same people (and perhaps others) going to Tijuana for pharmaceuticals.

- one HUGE reason healthcare is so expensive in the US is our legal system. Lawyers here can take a case on contingency (they get paid only if they win - if they lose, they have only lost their time), and there is no downside. In every other country, the loser in a court case pays everyone's court costs - which pretty much eliminates lawsuits that are questionable. It's called "English Rule."

The cost of lawsuits in healthcare (and malpractice insurance) shows up in our healthcare costs. The Trial Attorney's lobby is the one of the largest political contributors. Glad that we have a bunch of lawyers setting healthcare policy...
Both valid points. I think Mexican citizens going from Cali to Mexico are about half the overall figure. There will certainly be more from other states as well going to both Mexico and Canada, in addition to more exotic locales.

I have to say, I agree with you that the legal system is flawed here, and for exactly the reason you state: un/underemployed lawyers can sue anybody for anything without any fear of accountability for dishonesty. But special interests are what they are. If it were up to me, I'd not allow lawsuits for medical problems. If a doctor screws something up badly enough, s/he should lose their license to practice medicine, plain and simple. Not run to the golf course while their lawyer runs interference.

Is there any info on the broader effect that lawsuits are having on the system? For example, why would sue-happy states (cough, NY and Cali) cause MRIs to be so much more expensive than they are elsewhere (I'm not trying to be flippant; it's a genuine question)? To what extent are medical professionals gouging their patients? If an MRI can cost $500 in one hospital and $1800 in another within a given market, then to what extent we are outside the realm of a litigation problem?

Last edited by pt; 07-12-2013 at 03:02 PM. Reason: Quoting post responded to b/c of shift to second page.
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      07-12-2013, 03:27 PM   #42
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I thought this was interesting in regards to the rising cost of health care.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_...ts_and_pricing
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      07-12-2013, 10:37 PM   #43
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The Wikipedia article doesn't take in the cost of litigation - it just says that costs vary widely between states. That's true - but a lot of the reason is that some states have passed Tort Reform (which limits the amount you can sue a doctor/hospital, in the absence of gross negligence), and some states have not. Insurance cost varies widely between states as well, because states differ on what they require insurers to cover. Insurance costs more in states where they are required to cover adoption and trans-gender surgeries, for example. And if you live in one state, you can't purchase a policy from another state - that's illegal.

IMHO, if the federal government was serious about health reform, they would have made Tort Reform mandatory, and allowed us to purchase insurance across state lines. These two issues would have driven down the costs for most Americans. But instead, the issue has been politicized.
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