Yep. My insurance even covers that - an 8% surcharge on hospital bills (in
NY) to cover those who can't pay.
And that really means that with the reduced rates I get as part of a large
group, the individual who pays higher rates because he only can get a
private personal policy, pays even more. While I like paying the reduced
rates, it isn't fair for people like my coworker, who has to pay COBRA
rates for insurance.
Yeah, yeah ...
Some here in Jersey are looking forward to less taxes now they have elected
a new governor. Sounds good. Hope my real estate and schooltaxes would go
down too. Not holding my breath. Now that apparently some legal stuff is
hopefully nearing its end, the Radburn assessments are estimated to go
down, and that'll help my budget. But again: seeing is believing.
BILL! Doesn't that concern anyone that people casting those
: don't have any idea what they are voting for?
Sure they do. You can bet they know their major contributors -
personally. You act as if legislators have no contact with his
big-money donors. What is that, a blind trust? Baucus has reportedly
taken $10 million from the insurance industry going back some years. Do
you expect people to believe that he doesn't know where the language in
a pro-insurance piece of legislation comes from?
Who's being naive now?
Dave in Houston
Absolutely! Who knows more about an issue than the people or firms who live
with it every day. Who has more insight, a company with literally thousands
of man-years of directly applicable diligence and effort or a first-term
congressman whose major life experience is with alfalfa dryers?
Think about your local congressman. Do you want him setting the tariffs on
hydrogenated yak-fat? Does he know squat about the ramifications of the "Law
of the Sea" treaty?
The "problem" you cite - if there is one - is with the congressmen, not the
interested party providing what it believes is crucial information.
The "problem" with K-Street (a metonym for influence peddlers in DC)
is that they do not disseminate information that is in the public
interest, but rather their own. If congressmen knew what they were
doing, and weren't looking to become employed by these same peddlers
of influence after being ejected from office, perhaps they would view
them with more skepticism. As it is, they are simply buying influence
over laws and federal funding from morons hoping to profit at public
expense. There are many other sources for the information you mention
that are unbiased - but there's no money in that.
Yes, this is common. First, have you ever see an ad for a product touting
the superiority of the competition? Even our criminal justice system is
adversarial. Each side presents its most compelling case and the job of the
participants is to sort out the good from the bad. The evaluator(s) should
also take into consideration the source of the information given.
Secondly, I suggest there IS no source of unbiased information. Anywhere.
Thirdly, I stand by my position that the problem, if any, lies with the
congressman who cannot tell the difference between fact and fantasy or is
unwilling (or incapable) of either weighing the facts or the reputation of
Blame simply cannot be attached to the lobbyists.
That's why the "participants" make the salaries/benefits they do.
Theoretically. But it's apparently not enough for many. Ethics are
nearly nonexistent in many of the players. And that includes judges,
lawyers, congressmen, preachers, media, and your favorite corporation.
Not much. But it does exist. Even I'm not that cynical. ;-)
If there were no unbiased sources for truth there would be no
affordable technology or science or physics.
And by extension, the voters who put them there. Yet I consider it
improper that if a man does his job with integrity he makes what the
taxpayers allot for the job. But if he exercises poor judgment or
outright ignores the facts he is rewarded on the sly for doing favors
for those who desire them. IMHO that is a systemic defect which harms
us all. Remove the in-your-face temptation and most would relent.
Of course it can. It's called morality, decency, honor, honesty. Are
they the only ones at fault? Of course not. If lobbying didn't work,
people would stop paying them to shill. I'm not picking on any one
lobbyist, I'm picking on one facet of the system as it exists as a
whole. I could sell non-existent timeshares, bogus stocks, or crack on
the street corner. But I don't. Not from fear of prosecution, but
because I consider it bad for society - the one I live in and hope
will better itself. Additionally, lobbyists are paid huge sums of
money and where do you think these funds come from? You and I, every
time we buy a product from a company who employs a lobbyist. Most know
full well what they are doing and yet exercise no self-restraint in
the pursuit of the almighty dollar.
Ignorant voters, venal politicians, agenda driven lobbyists and media.
I understand what you are driving at, but at this rate we'd be better
of with a King. At least you'd only have one candidate to vet. ;-)
Read a book once wherein the protagonist was the wife of a professor of
mathematics. Her observation of the faculty and students was interesting. In
those disciplines where truth was empirical (math, physics, engineering,
etc.), neither the students nor faculty paid much mind to how they dressed.
Their socks didn't match, the colors clashed, and so on.
In those disciplines where "truth" was a matter of majority vote (English
Literature, History, Renaissance Poetry, etc.), everybody wore a uniform.
The men wore tweed jackets with leather elbow patches and the women wore
basic black with a string of pearls.
The fine arts people had the worst of both worlds: "Truth" was equivocal
(Mozart or Maler?) and their clothes were tatters.
I recall reading somewhere that some observer of human nature or other had
observed that "scientists are boring people with interesting ideas, artists
are interesting people with boring ideas".
I'll buy that - as a generalization. I should be able to quote the
source, as it sounds familiar, but memory fails me.
And I suppose that makes authoritarians boring people with boring
ideas. Sounds even more reasonable. :)
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