Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A voice of reason and authority

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  • Russell Brown,

    One more point on so called "green tech" jobs that are going to be so wonderful. A study in Spain found that for every one "green job" created, 2.2 other jobs were destroyed. Maybe not after all.

    Important to sort out the bs from reality.

    James, that's not even a new talking point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    Even Libertarian David Kelley tried to get Perigo to understand what philosophers' mean when they say an argument is "valid", but he just didn't get it.

    It's really quite embarrassing. Perigo's insistence on an 'Objectivist' logic which somehow only works from true propositions to infer true conclusions is hilarious. Objectivists like to claim that their logic is the pure variety Aristotle was peddling but methinks Aristotle wouldn't recognise it.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I'd always had the idea Objectivist philosophy was bunk but I didn't realise they needed to invent their own logic to not prove their point with.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    Danielle wrote:

    "NZ's health system is better and cheaper by every measure than the US".

    As the Tui ad says, "Yeah right!!". If NZ's national health system is so good then why do so many NZers buy private medical insurance? Because they want healthcare when they need it, rather than having to go on a waiting list. You pay taxes for a system you pay private insurers to avoid. How is that a good deal?

    I much prefer the care I receive over here than in NZ. Compared with the dumps of hospitals in NZ (don’t try to tell me Wgtn Public, or even worse Hutt Hospital are great facilities), the hospitals I have been to in the US are excellent facilities. If you need something done, you can get it done when you need it. I slipped a disk in NZ, I waited weeks and weeks to see a specialist, and then was told that there was a 6 week waiting list to get a lumbar punch at Wellington Public (I paid to go private 2 days later). No thanks. Not doing that again. If you need a lumbar punch over here, you can get it done within a day or two.

    My Godmother in Chch got a cancerous lump on her chest, had to wait over 6 months to see a specialist by which time the cancer was inoperable, so now she is on palliative care waiting to die. No thank you very much, you can keep your national health nonsense and I and the 70 or 80% of Americans who are happy with their healthcare will have healthcare when we need it.

    That is not to say that there isn't a lot of reform that is needed over here to improve access and reduce costs. The most painfully obvious reform (of the many reforms) that is needed is tort reform, but the Dems don’t want to screw their trial lawyer buddies who fuck over the rest of Americans on a daily basis (and pay the Dems huge donations etc. to keep the racket going). Bob Beckel lays out tort reform in the article linked to below. Beckel is right, if Obama wants to reboot his failing healthcare push, offering up tort reform would do it in an instant. Tort reform, insurance reform and no public option. I would go for that tomorrow.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/08/18/dems_ace_in_the_hole_on_health_care_tort_reform_97919.html

    Healthcare is a monstrous topic. I will have to piece meal it

    When you eliminate illegal immigrants, people eligible but not enrolled for Medicare etc, people who are wealthy enough to buy med insurance but don’t bother, the true number of uninsured in the US is about 8 to 10m, not the 45m you here about all the time, that is a bs number. For $25b a year you could create a food stamps style program to help them, the govt would fund a basic insurance policy that could be used with private providers. I am all for that. Do it tomorrow. But not a public option that will so damage private insurers that according to many experts it will result in 80 to 100m Americans ending up on the public option costing untold billions a year when the US govt is already upto its eyeballs in deficits and debt.

    When Medicare was started, it was forecast that by1990 the program would cost $10B. It actually cost $100b. Only out by a factor of 10. Good enough for Govt work I suppose. And you wonder why people are leery of more govt involvement?

    Here is a good article explaining one of the many ways the big O is screwing the pooch on his healthcare push. He has yet to lay out anything resembling a coherent plan and constantly offering up contradictory and frankly ridiculous statements which have greatly reduced his credibility. If the big O is so smart, he is keeping it very well hidden in his efforts in this policy area.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aJ01reSCujDQ

    Some polling info showing the lack of enthusiasm for the current reform plan

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/august_2009/54_say_passing_no_healthcare_reform_better_than_passing_congressional_plan

    More polling info showing that most are happy with their current coverage. Of course everyone wants better and cheaper, but without fucking everything up and resulting in screeds of additional govt spending, and there are reforms that would do that, but not Obama and the Dem’s (so far).

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/august_2009/confidence_in_u_s_health_care_system_has_grown_in_recent_months

    Not a comprehensive analysis by any means, but that is all I have time for now. It is a huge topic, you could write a book on it and I don’t have the time.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    So why doesn't Professor O'Hare resign from academia, enter Parliament and get in a position where he can directly influence government policy and legislation? Scientists aren't exactly an occupational group that is grossly over-represented in the legislature.

    I think he possibly considers that he's doing some good in his current job.

    I'm no expert on what he's saying, but shouldn't internationally recognised scientists and their research inform policy and law, which is exactly what he's asking for in the article?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    Danielle, that medical bankruptcy number is wrong by a mile. It is another bs number like the 45m uninsured number you hear about. I can't remember the real number right now, I will dig around and find out the correct one

    Russell, who cares if the 2.2 jobs lost for every green job created is “not a new talking point”, it is a correct one and blows a hole in the green job fantasy.

    On another topic, Russell, over the last number of years you were very strident in criticizing Bush and the Repubs for their deficits and debt. Fair enough. Perhaps I have missed it but you seem to have been rather silent, to say the least, while your beloved Pres O and the Dems have taken deficits and debt to unprecedented and previously unthinkable levels. And no, don't tell me it was all Bush's fault, O has piled on the spending on anything and everything these last 7 months.

    What gives Russell?

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    safe small local nuclear power stations, if the environmentalists let it happen!!

    Thats just hilarious.
    So is that on the building consent form?
    Nuclear power station must be small and safe.
    Are there any other aesthetic considerations a flower bed out front perhaps, or a small zoo for the kiddies.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1878 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    My Godmother in Chch got a cancerous lump on her chest, had to wait over 6 months to see a specialist by which time the cancer was inoperable, so now she is on palliative care waiting to die.

    You don't say. When my GP discovered a mysterious lump in my innards early last year I was in Christchurch Public Hospital that same evening. The op took place two and a half weeks later, and follow-up care has been faultless. No waiting list, and I don't have health insurance. This is par for the course for life-threatening conditions here. Either you're exaggerating, or your godmom's GP should be struck off, or she's living in a parallel universe.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    safe small local nuclear power stations

    Read an article a while back that laid out the current and future developments in this area. Might sound a bit out there, but apparently the technology it is on the way.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Some polling info showing the lack of enthusiasm for the current reform plan

    I wouldn't be keen on Obama taking Air Force One to Alaska to smother Trig Palin and execute any old person whose walker crossed his path either... There are perfectly rational critiques being made of 'Obamacare' from both the left and the right that don't pretend the status quo is working particularly well, but it would be nice if the clown school drop-outs pretending to lead the GOP would join them.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Either you're exaggerating, or your godmom's GP should be struck off, or she's living in a parallel universe.

    I'm amazed - amazed! - by the numbers of Republican-friends-and-relatives suffering so, so terribly in countries with socialised medicine at the moment. It's funny that you never hear about them at any other time...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    . I slipped a disk in NZ, I waited weeks and weeks to see a specialist, and then was told that there was a 6 week waiting list to get a lumbar punch at Wellington Public (I paid to go private 2 days later). No thanks. Not doing that again. If you need a lumbar punch over here, you can get it done within a day or two.

    Which proves, beyond any doubt, that James makes shit up as he goes along his addled way.
    From Wikipedia

    In medicine, a lumbar puncture (colloquially known as a spinal tap) is a diagnostic and at times therapeutic procedure that is performed in order to collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for biochemical, microbiological, and cytological analysis, or very rarely as a treatment ("therapeutic lumbar puncture") to relieve increased intracranial pressure.

    Maybe the "Wellington Public" he refers to was a Public bar, who knows?.Hey, James, don't you dare come back here and use our publicly funded health care when your life turns to custard and your insurance company rips you off.
    You, my boy, have not a clue.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    Joe, what I described happening to my Godmother did happen, it is still happening. In fact the govt has probably spent far more on her care since she became inoperable than they would have spent if they had operated immediately.

    When you have politicians, bureaucrats and unions involved, as you do in most national health systems, how can the consumer get a good deal? They are last on the pecking order.

    From what I read in NZ newspapers and hear from talking to NZ rellies, waiting lists for treatment in NZ are very real. Same for Canada and the UK. Medical tourism to the US by Canadians avoiding waiting lists is far from rare. If national care in Canada was so good and healthcare in the US so bad, why would that happen?

    Despite all the noise, Govt systems aren't perfect or a total disaster and private systems aren't perfect or a total disaster. But on balance across many industries, private solutions work better than govt systems.

    Would you want the National Food Service to provide your food, or private companies? I know my choice. Same for my healthcare.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Danielle, that medical bankruptcy number is wrong by a mile.

    OK, sure, whatever. I think the key point is not the number of bankruptcies (isn't *one* too many?), but the proportion of people who were supposedly *already covered* yet still went bankrupt.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    Okay so I used the wrong term, epidural injection of an anti inflammatory steroid.

    I thought a lumbar punch was the same as an epidural injection. Apparently not. Big deal Steve.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • Kong,

    No thank you very much, you can keep your national health nonsense and I and the 70 or 80% of Americans who are happy with their healthcare will have healthcare when we need it.

    NZers can get private care too. They just don't have to. Your Godmother, if she is not fictitious, could have paid to see a specialist. How old was she, btw?

    Since Jul 2009 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    When you have politicians, bureaucrats and unions involved, as you do in most national health systems, how can the consumer get a good deal? They are last on the pecking order.

    Let me rephrase that;
    When you have Accountants, Salesmen and Shareholders involved, as you do in the USl health system, how can the consumer get a good deal? They are last on the pecking order. Yeah, profits come first.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    In fact the govt has probably spent far more on her care since she became inoperable than they would have spent if they had operated immediately.

    I repeat - lack of early intervention causes such problems, you should be raising the issue of your relative's GP's competence, rather than twisting the circumstances to make a dubious political point.

    Suspected life-threatening cancers do NOT, repeat NOT, get placed on six month waiting lists in the Christchurch public health system. Suggesting that this is normal shows you to be either misinformed or a scoundrel.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    I'm amazed - amazed! - by the numbers of Republican-friends-and-relatives suffering so, so terribly in countries with socialised medicine at the moment. It's funny that you never hear about them at any other time...

    Well the topic has never come up here has it? Not that I have seen anyway. It is very real in my Godmother's case. I don't understand why she dropped her Southern Cross coverage.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I thought a lumbar punch was the same as an epidural injection. Apparently not. Big deal Steve.

    Yes, you seem to think a lot of things are something completely different, eh?. And yes when you make shit up and get it totally wrong it is a big deal. It means you have not a clue as to what you are waffling on about.
    Go bail out another banker.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    Kong,
    My God mother is 74. This has been going on for about 18 months or so, so that puts the initial stage at 72.

    Joe,
    No I am not misinformed or a scoundrel. This happened to her. As I understand it there are waiting lists for most heart related procedures, so why would a waiting list for anything else be a surprise? Go to the UK, Canada etc, it is all the same.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I slipped a disk in NZ, I waited weeks and weeks to see a specialist, and then was told that there was a 6 week waiting list to get a lumbar punch at Wellington Public

    The hell? A lumbar puncture isn't standard treatment for a disc injury, it's a test for meningitis and cancer and a bunch of other things. The four or so times I've had a disc injury, I've had physio care (which didn't really achieve much), was eventually referred to a specialist, who said about the same as the physio: that surgery was usually no better in terms of result than just letting it get better on its own, and maybe pilates or exercise would help. It wasn't life threatening, just uncomfortable, and it did get better on its own. And these days, Wellington Regional Hospital is quite flash.

    I read the other day that an insured person still had to pay US$22,000 towards the cost of giving birth, despite an uncomplicated pregnancy - her insurance plan only covered the first $3000 of costs. Contrast that with the cost in NZ - free with public and about $4000 for the whole lot if you want to go private.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    Steve, take a hike weiner.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    B Jones, I got the term wrong, I meant epidural injection.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    $22k for a pregancy is not anything like normal. I can't remember what my wife's 2 cost, single digit thousands of which we paid about $1000 out of pocket.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

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