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Jonathan Wagner  

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  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    @Todd I was speaking to John, and yes I was talking more about stabilization than globalization.

    @John There is a good talk by Steven Pinker that I like to recommend people watch about violence in the modern world

    There is actually a pretty big difference between sovereign wars, and piracy (or terrorist) wars. This is something I think really needs to be talked about. The economic and physical damage of chasing down the pirate (terrorist) Osama Bin Laden was astronomically more expensive than the USA maintaining stabilizing forces internationally. Chasing down pirates is not something new. Great Britain almost went bankrupt trying to do the same thing.

    Spend several hundred billion dollars stabilizing the world, that's horrible. Spend a trillion+ chasing down a terrorist or taking out governments that are not democracy, that's ok!

    The point I want to make is that I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I think there needs to be a distinction made between stabilization and interference. Protecting lanes for travel is completely different than trying to take out opposing regimes like Iraq and fulfilling PNAC wet dreams.
    Oct 19, 2013. 08:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    I guess I should state that I believe the best option is single payer health coverage systems. The fundamental problem with the concept of health insurance is that you can still get emergency care if you do nothing or don't have it. When people get sick and either don't pay or go bankrupt this cost is already translated to the tax payer.

    I cannot be stopped from getting emergency care in the USA, so in a round about way the USA already had a single payer healthcare system it was just completely broken. Obamacare is an attempt to fix a bad system but completely misses the core of the problem.

    The main argument I hear ad nauseam in support of Obamacare is this concept of unhinged liability, not having to pay for others getting sick. Everyone already does and has paid for everyone else getting sick before Obamacare was even rolled out. If Obamacare actually gets large participation, it might work, but other wise it just creating an additional financial burden on people.

    As for facism, I am not sure if you actually have a shallow understanding of it or if you are purposefully demonstrating a shallow understanding in order to make a point. Facism governments do not require dictators in a traditional sense. The authoritarianism can derive from a government entity or even a corporate one. When a government becomes so closely linked with private profit and regulation it starts to pick winners and losers. Since the government has a direct link to a large portion of citizen revenue any private entity they choose to work with instantly becomes a winner when applied at a national level. Facism does not come in a single shade.

    What other private industry in the USA has the government telling them how much profit they are "allowed" to make? This is so obviously the start of the USA's next complex, the first was the military industrial complex and now you have the health insurance complex.
    Oct 19, 2013. 08:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Stock Price May Be Out Of Gas [View article]
    @Don this might sound a little bit patronizing but when any stock is in a long term trend, and especially a new stock, pretty much every new high is an all time new high.

    If stocks reaching all time new highs are not a good reason for investment than I guess no one should of ever been in say cisco which ultimately gained something like 11,000%.
    Oct 18, 2013. 11:24 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    @David Here is the problem with this logic. When people don't have health insurance they will avoid preventative care or doing things that might cost them out of pocket. If they find themselves in a hospital it will be because they have become so bad they don't have a choice. At this point the cost to fix whatever issue the person has will cost significantly more.

    When the person bankrupts this will ultimately hit the tax payer anyways. This is the point people miss, when someone bankrupts it is the tax payer who pays their bill.

    This is why health insurance and this whole scheme is completely useless, it should all be scraped for proper single payer health coverage.
    Oct 18, 2013. 11:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    I will not argue over the validity of modern medicine/FDA, but what I will say is that in Canada they regulate drug prices heavily particularly for common drugs, it is one of the reasons the cost of healthcare in Canada is a fraction of the cost than the USA.
    Oct 18, 2013. 10:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    The last 100 or so years have been the most productive of pretty much all human history. From space travel, internet, to regrowing organs. I believe a large part of this is due to stabilization brought by the USA in particular.

    Do you know where we would be if the USA did not intervene with world war II? I doubt we would even have the internet right now. So I have to aggressively disagree with you, USA global stabilization is a very good thing.

    Military presence is not the same as police state, that is just being hyperbolic.
    Oct 18, 2013. 10:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    What many don't realize is that the US military is actually a world military. The US essentially subsidizes the rest of the world's military. Contrary to popular belief, I do not think the USA should reduce their military world wide.

    The presence of US troops every where has a neutralizing effect on the world. The effect is two sided. First, no one really wants to be aggressive when there are US troops everywhere, and secondly, no country wants to piss off the states and risk losing their military subsidy.

    The neutralizing effect has massive gains economically as well as supporting globalization. It is true that the USA takes a hit for this service, but there really isn't anyone else to do it. That said, the economic hit the USA would take by not acting as world police, in my opinion, would be far greater. There might be a temporary boom of activity but this would quickly shrivel if major instability worked itself into the global markets.

    Side note: I am not talking about wars, I am talking about US troops physically making up a portion of international armies.
    Oct 18, 2013. 10:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    Ya, I would agree with that to an extent. I am not sure a pure democracy would be very efficient especially since you would never get full participation. However, I still think things like war should go through a national ballot since at the end of the day it is citizens who are putting their lives on the line, not the politicians.
    Oct 18, 2013. 10:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    @MJ I am of the opinion that the USA should have constitutional amendments to implement true democratic philosophy for critical issues such as war. A nation wide Yes/No ballot should always be held before declaring war because it should not be the choice of a small group of representatives or one man (the president).
    Oct 18, 2013. 01:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    @User21284 the argument that mandated healthcare is similar to auto insurance is one that has been presented to me before. The main problem with this argument is that you can choose not to own a car and in doing so can choose not to get auto insurance.

    Mandated health insurance is linked directly to your life. That said I don't think mandate healthcare is an issue of concern, the concern is the precedents that are being set. The supreme court came down that the fine is nothing more than tax, but the alarming thing is it is a "tax" that has no benefit to yourself. If you don't get healthcare, pay the fine, and get into an accident you will be responsible for 100% of your medical bills. So there are two precedents that are being set, the first is requiring people to purchase a private product or be fined and the second is the that you are now potentially paying a penalty instead of taxes.

    Fines are used all the time as behavioral modification, such as traffic tickets, but this (Obamacare) to me is very odd. You now have fines being bundled directly into your taxes in an attempt to encourage behavioral modifications.

    Also, I would never dismiss any portion of a political philosophy if it can be practically implemented in a beneficial way, that includes facism, though history has shown that many of these political systems don't work as advertised as soon as you involve humans. All that said, people often align themselves with political philosophies that best benefit themselves. Rich conservatives will naturally have an inclination to support the quality of the minority, and poor liberals will support philosophies that benefit the majority. Personally, I am a benefactor of modern economic and political systems so I would not want to live in a political system that takes away my personal freedom that I have obtained through birth right, white, intellectually capable etc..
    Oct 18, 2013. 01:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    You bring up a lot of interesting points, instead of answering every question what I will say is how I believe it should work and actually does kind of work right now.

    What you have in the USA is a socialistic democracy where socialism is primarily used for infrastructure. This is what I believe socialism should be used for. Providing a socialistic infrastructure allows for proper competition which keeps prices down. For instance imagine if you wanted to start a company but had to build all the roads, hire a military to protect it etc.. It would be very cost prohibitive and eventually you would have monopolies and corporate consolidation which is the primary negative of capitalism.

    When you have a proper infrastructure capitalism can function on top of it in a very efficient way. So I don't believe the government should become involved in producing food but they should be responsible for catalyzing its creation.

    To me, healthcare is an infrastructure issue, as odd as that sounds. People can't function or work if they are not healthy. Furthermore healthcare is something that has inelastic demand, so left uncontrolled, there would never be a good reason for its cost to every truly come down. The choice between living or dying is not really much of a choice, most people would choose living and bankruptcy than death and solvency.

    There are a host of other reasons why healthcare should not be solely controlled by the private sector. I know some republicans see national healthcare as an attack on freedom, but I think that is a little absurd to be honest. Healthcare insurance companies are companies that are responsible for killing people when they pull coverage, refuse to pay things, or make people avoid going to hospitals because of costs.

    If you want to believe in that kind of capitalism, than mugging people at gun point should also be a valid enterprise.
    Oct 17, 2013. 09:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    As any society advances, humans gain more rights. When we were living in forests, we didn't have the right to security or running water. The family unit was the first form of socialism to ever exist (sharing food and resources with family), it was let humans thrive beyond neanderthals.

    While the rest of the world is guaranteeing healthcare as a human right, the USA is fighting against it, it would be like fighting against running water. If you went back 500 hundred years and proposed basic plumbing I am pretty sure you would hear the same arguments you are hearing today against healthcare. Too expensive, will destroy the "private" water industry etc..

    America has fundamental misunderstanding of what socialism is, in fact America is so ignorant that in order to try and avoid "Socialism" they implemented a fascist (nazi) healthcare system.

    You essentially have a government mandating the purchase of products from profit seeking private enterprises. This is not something socialists do, that is something fascists do. The fact that America is not aware of what is going on shows how rapidly the American empire is falling.

    The country that was built around giving people rights has no interest in providing something that is necessary for living, healthcare.

    Unfortunately the logic you are espousing is horribly flawed because you misunderstand the relationship of labor to money. If you have 50 billion dollars you can't buy 100,000 Lamborghinis because not that many exist and to produce that amount would take quite some time. Money means nothing without labor, this is the primary flaw of any kind of "wealth distribution" theory because society requires labor and if everyone has money there would be no incentive for labor, so you would either get black markets or rapid inflation.

    Under extreme socialistic philosophy (which I don't believe in) everyone is required to work, and people would have to work jobs that they might not particularly want to, the sacrifice of choice of labor translates to a reduced labor load for everyone involved.

    To quote office space regarding if everyone had a million dollars, "No, you're working at Initech because that question is b****** to begin with. If everyone listened to her, there'd be no janitors, because no one would clean s**** up if they had a million dollars."
    Oct 16, 2013. 08:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    I would agree with that. This whole situation just goes to show you how oblivious people are when it comes to the American monetary system.

    People are treating the USA being temporarily in default like debt is being written off. I am pretty sure there is not a nation on the planet that would allow their USA debt to be written off.
    Oct 16, 2013. 12:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    The USA will never default, period. Even if they don't manage to raise the debt limit in time, the moment it is raised they will retroactively pay all their debts.

    As long as the usa can print money it is literally impossible for them to "actually" default. They can default in abstract sense due to inflation, but there is nothing stopping them from paying debt with freshly printed money.
    Oct 16, 2013. 12:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Default Has Already Begun [View article]
    This situation is hilarious, do you honestly think the USA won't meet its debt obligations? Everything that is going on right now is political circus and posturing, but let's all be realistic, even if the USA doesn't hit the "deadline" for raising the debt limit that doesn't stop them from doing it the next day or even the next week and retroactively paying any missed payments in the same way they are retroactively going to do it for government workers.

    The USA will pay their debts with printed money and continue on printing up this market for awhile longer. NEVER bet against the government, if you think this is a bear sign, you're not paying attention.
    Oct 15, 2013. 11:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment