T Nation

"Stem Cell Secrets Exposed" Video


#516

Small government =/= anarchy


#517

Because anti-trust laws are anti-competition laws not anti-monopoly laws, specifically, and abusing a patent is an anti-competition matter; except, you want the fed to do the abusing in this case.


#518

Moment if solidarity. All bickering aside.

Killer dad joke. :+1:


#519

Thank you, sir.


#520

A little off-topic here, but I always get a kick out of people who insist that a particular industry, a particular business or even a particular organization is somehow special, exempt from the core principles and practices that make other organizations hum along. This can take many forms, ranging from people inside the organization making bad decisions based in magical thinking to people outside the organization passing policy based in magical thinking. The common denominator I observe is an inability to articulate the details or rationale behind this thinking coupled with a stubborn insistence that the outcomes they predict will somehow materialize. In other words, Bernie Sanders would fit right in with the worst of middle management.

I’ve spent most of my adult life working with Enterprise Resource Planning software. In simple terms, it is a database that models financially and operationally significant transactions that take place in an organization day-to-day, month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year. Turning it on takes a little bit more than popping the DVD in and hitting “install”, but it is something that we know how to do fairly well at this point. I recently completed a short contract with a government entity that was two years behind schedule on a low-complexity ERP implementation project that was originally supposed to be done in one year.

Three years into a supposedly one-year project I was the first to inform project leadership that an entire branch of government was running Macintosh, which the solution was not designed for. Nobody bothered to take into account that several thousand people did not have access to a computer when the entire solution was predicated on everyone having exactly that. New requirements that could have been gathered with a series of hour-long phone calls at the start of the project were popping up every week, all because of magical thinking by bureaucrats who said the right things to higher-ranking bureaucrats but failed to do the things necessary to succeed, then got rewarded for it.

The project was recently cancelled, with little fanfare of course, and nearly 9 figures of taxpayer money is down the drain with absolutely nothing to show for it.

By the numbers, this particular government entity is among the better-run entities you’ll find. A local government entity in California recently sued SAP, insisting that their failure to implement the best ERP software in the world was because the most successful ERP software in the world doesn’t work. It’s laughable.

I was a conservative before this contract, but now that I’ve had a very close look at how this rather significant entity operates, I’m giving anarchism and nihilism a lot of consideration. Hence my de-facto position that government should be kept as far away from business as possible unless a very clear case can be made that it should interfere.

I’m still waiting for someone to make that case. Let’s hear some price control and market interference success stories!


#521

Public utilities.


#522

Flint Michigan?


#523

Don’t forget rolling blackouts in California!


#524

Their prices have never been lower. I know a couple people in the surrounding area. HYUGE savings.

Are those a result of price control? Serious question, I’m intentionally not well informed on CA


#525

@countingbeans brought this up when the whole net neutrality thing came up, how has telephone poll technology improved since they became a public utility? Still just big ass pieces of wood, right?

And, ftr, beans and I disagreed pretty vehemently in that thread, but it’s a good point.


#526

I’m open to your suggestion. But the premise of either approach is that we conclude that prices can reach a point above which it is fair to charge them under certain circumstances.

Disagree with that approach? Ok, that’s fine. What that means in health care is that wealthy people will be able to afford the cutting edge treatments and drugs, and less wealthy ones won’t. So, health will be tiered out based on wealth. If you’re good with that, again, fine.

I’m not. If we are talking about X- Boxes, I’m with you. Talking about health care? Nope, some things are beyond the amoral treatment of the market.

The government would be demanding another condition in exchange for a special privilege the government has granted. You don’t seem to appreciate that we’re operating in the space of a government privilege - the profits these companies make are a function of the privilege. That’s fine, we accept that, but it isn’t an open, free-for-all market.

And this privilege is essentially a mutually beneficial deal - we’ll grant you the privilege of monopoly in exchange for (more) rapid innovation. And it’s worked pretty good for a while, except that the producers have gone overboard with abusing monopoly pricing.

Now, we ask demand another condition as part of the deal to remedy that new problem. It’s not unfair to do so. That innovation isn’t very useful if it threatens to bankrupt the system and the innovation’s beneficiaries.

So, go back to the table and renegotiate the deal.


#527

Absolutely.

Edit: That wasn’t the only factor in play, but it was YOOOGE. The take-away from this is that so-called “forward-looking” policies fail to take into account the many complexities that market forces do (read: smaller units making a series of good, or at least better, decisions).


#528

Hopefully he was arguing that phone technology has improved tremendously despite being a utility.


#529

Glad you added this part.

I agree price control didn’t happen perfectly there and caused some heartache.

That being said, on the whole its been an absolute success irt price controlling utilities.


#530

That depends on how success is measured. My state of Maine has very high utility prices, especially for businesses, and that is a major, major concern. I spent four years working with a manufacturer that was one of the largest electricity consumers in the state. They moved a great deal of their operations to a different state for two reasons. Utilities cost and a toxic labor union that did little to help its members and much to harm the business.

Of course, Democrats making it hard for businesses to do business does much to impoverish the people, which tends to result in more votes for Democrats. It’s a win/win if you’re someone who gets by on making magical promises that never materialize to stay in power.


#531

High relative to what? Relative to other states or relative to what they’d be without govt intervention?

Given the price controls were put in place to save the masses from the true effect of supply and demand, and were off the backs of a HEAVILY subsidized industry, I’d be interested in seeing an all in scoring system where public utilities aren’t a shining success of price control.


#532

Sure, that’s the premise and if we agree there is a price above which is not fair (I don’t, but for discussion sake) it would make more sense (to me) to audit the costs incurred on each drug as opposed to using an median from outside the US.

Okay, and? Isn’t that how all of those more socialized countries do it now? Cadillac plans and all that.

If we’re going to control the price of drugs so everyone can afford them (which is a misnomer because the wealthy pay for the drugs of many of the less wealthy / poorest anyway and the middle/working class generally is subsidized by their employer) then I think we should also control what said people put in their bodies. Why stop at controlling prices? Why not force outcomes on the other end too?

Ya, Lando learned this one the hard way. Private industry should pray the fed doesn’t alter the deal further, right?

You’re right, I don’t operate under the assumption the benevolent government allows for profitability. Companies spend tens of billions and, in many cases, a decade plus to develop a drug that works and the government aporoves of, but they only make money because of government privilege? Come on.

Sanders goal, and the ops, is exactly that, bankrupting the system and putting a government controlled tax provided alternative in place.

Sure, change patent law.

He was talking specifically about land line technology, which really hasn’t. My argument was the improvement came in other forms cell phones, voip, etc…


#533

Lol just because you don’t have new poles in the ground doesn’t mean there hasn’t been improvement. Talk to any IT guy about the differences in how phone companies work internally now vs 30 years ago


#534

He was referring specifically to the physical infrastructure, but like I said, we didn’t agree…


#535

The government granted nothing. A company invents a product or service and gets a patent/copyright on it. The government produced nothing. The idea of patent protection exists in every market worldwide (except China). This isn’t a right wing idea. Arguing the government “granted” that IP is like arguing the government “grants” you a cease and desist award in a lawsuit, rather than adjudicates.

I guess what we’re asking is does a person/firm own their intellectual property?