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07-13-2012, 10:56 AM   #241
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You can find examples of bad care in the VA and in the private sector, but for quite some time, patient satisfaction levels have tended to be higher for the VA than private insurers. Defense.gov News Article: VA Outranks Private Sector in Health Care Patient Satisfaction Patient satisfaction in VA medical centers and private secto... : The Health Care Manager The VA has also cut back on the ridiculous hours residents work, leading to higher satisfaction among these doctors. Study Finds Residents at VA Centers Report Greater Satisfaction After Duty Hour Limits Implemented -- AAFP News Now -- American Academy of Family Physicians

07-13-2012, 11:06 AM   #242
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
I don't buy the idea that regulations accomplish anything other than give people a false sense of security. There were regulations against what Madoff did. There were regulations against what Barclays did (and the FED knew about it since 2008). There are regulations against flying planes into buildings..... did it matter?
The argument that a given regulation accomplishes nothing by citing a few individuals or law breakers is not a good one. Regulation of course is aimed at reducing the overall rate of something - or increasing it, depending on what's aimed for. The fact that people run red lights and get into accidents does not invalidate traffic lights.

Also, taking an example of when photography changed the world (I think for the better, libertarians probably think for the worse): W. Eugene Smith's Minamata series.


Of course industry tried all the usual tactics to allow them to dump mercury, but public outcry caused regulations which curtailed the practice. Is there still mercury dumping? Probably. Is it on the pre-regulation scale? Definitely not.

Here's another thing about many regulations: initially 'controversial' because businesses resist these tooth and nail, eventually they become accepted as common practice... Yet, even more so than individual humans, corporations (and governments) will revert unless the regulations are enforced. The fact that they tend to be so complex (as I've written before) has to do with all the law suits filed by corporations & their lawyers' continuing search for loopholes and ways around the regulations. So if businesses just followed the damn laws instead of figuring out how to bypass them, the cost of regulation would be a lot less.
07-13-2012, 03:54 PM   #243
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
The argument that a given regulation accomplishes nothing by citing a few individuals or law breakers is not a good one. Regulation of course is aimed at reducing the overall rate of something - or increasing it, depending on what's aimed for. The fact that people run red lights and get into accidents does not invalidate traffic lights.

Also, taking an example of when photography changed the world (I think for the better, libertarians probably think for the worse): W. Eugene Smith's Minamata series.


Of course industry tried all the usual tactics to allow them to dump mercury, but public outcry caused regulations which curtailed the practice. Is there still mercury dumping? Probably. Is it on the pre-regulation scale? Definitely not.

Here's another thing about many regulations: initially 'controversial' because businesses resist these tooth and nail, eventually they become accepted as common practice... Yet, even more so than individual humans, corporations (and governments) will revert unless the regulations are enforced. The fact that they tend to be so complex (as I've written before) has to do with all the law suits filed by corporations & their lawyers' continuing search for loopholes and ways around the regulations. So if businesses just followed the damn laws instead of figuring out how to bypass them, the cost of regulation would be a lot less.
There does not need to be a regulation against mercury dumping. The people who are going to do it will, regardless of the regulations. What has curtailed the activity is the fact that people can seek huge monetary damages if health or property has been harmed by the dumping. What photographers and the media did was add transparency and shine a light on the issue. The regulations are irrelevant. If you can show you suffered harm from the dumping of mercury, then you will own the company. What happens to a company that gets caught dumping (even if there are no regulations)? The outrage from the public will bankrupt the company the the owners will have their faces plastered all over the internet and TV. The punishment imposed by the public and through civil suits will dwarf any government regulation or penalty.

The internet and individuals with cameras (still & video) will do more to combat abuse than any regulation. Civil courts and free markets will impose stiffer penalties than any government regulation. Anyone remember the ABC "Prime Time" story on Food Lion back in the 90's? They showed undercover video tape of Food Lion employees repackaging expired meats and unsanitary food handling conditions. Food Lion was the fastest growing chain at that time. The public reaction was so sever it almost bankrupted Food Lion. Food Lion was non-Union and had been fighting the union for years. Once the unedited tapes were in court (Food Lion sued ABC) we see that the events were staged by employees trying to unionize the workers and footage was edited to show Food Lion in the worst possible way. The Lion's Share ABC worked with the union to create the story and ended up paying $5,000,000.00 in damages to Food Lion. Public opinion and the free markets are much stricter than any government regulation.

The banks in the Cayman Islands are relatively unregulated (compared to American Banks) and offer no form of deposit insurance, yet people put millions in those banks. The banks in the Cayman Islands do report information to the IRS for US account holders. Why do people put millions in minimally regulated, uninsured banks? If you think it is for money laundering then you have seen too many movies. Their banks have an excellent reputation for quality investments and low risk. If that reputation were to come into question people would withdraw their money and the banks would fail. There is no need for regulations. Basic laws regarding property rights and civil liberties are all that need to be enforced.

Free markets eliminate the complexity. To use the credit rating agencies as an example. Prior to the regulations the agencies worked for the buyer and IF you wanted to hire an agency to evaluate the quality of the debt in question you could, but you did not have to. You could buy un-rated debt. Several companies developed reputations for high quality debt and they could sell on reputation. If the debt is structured so that it is too complicated for the buyer to understand they can hire a rating agency, but that adds cost and lowers the value of the debt. Sellers had an incentive to provide high quality debt that was not complex in structure. Since the credit rating agency worked for the buyer, they had every incentive to protect the buyer from buying toxic debt. How much of the current crisis could have been avoided if the current regulations had not been in place? A Brief History of Credit Rating Agencies: How Financial Regulation Entrenched this Industry's Role in the Subprime Mortgage Debacle of 2007 - 2008 | Mercatus

You may not like my use of specific examples to prove a point, but I think it is pointless to talk is broad/vague/general terms. The real world effects are not broad/vague/general. I prefer to look at real world effects of these regulations. Rating agencies made billions, debt sellers made billions, and debt buyers/taxpayers got screwed. Who were these regulations designed to protect?
07-13-2012, 05:15 PM   #244
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
There does not need to be a regulation against mercury dumping
When you start your post with a sentence like that, you loose any credibility you had.

So corporations should just be allowed to poison our air and water as much as they want until we find out about it have horribly disfigured children and then sue for damages? What the hell is wrong with you?

Republicans are against any and all regulations for one simple reason, IT COSTS MONEY TO COMPLY WITH REGULATIONS. Republicans are against anything that touches the bottom line of corporate America, plain and simple.

Not every regulation is perfect, but I'd rather we didn't go back to this Cuyahoga River - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Free market and no regulations gets us right back to that, is that what you really want?

07-13-2012, 05:41 PM   #245
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
There does not need to be a regulation against mercury dumping. The people who are going to do it will, regardless of the regulations. What has curtailed the activity is the fact that people can seek huge monetary damages if health or property has been harmed by the dumping.
So you prefer tort law to prosecutors? Should we do away with laws against murder? Just let the families sue.
07-13-2012, 06:30 PM - 1 Like   #246
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
There does not need to be a regulation against mercury dumping. The people who are going to do it will, regardless of the regulations.
Horsesh!t. We wouldn't need regulations regarding dumping mercury (or any other toxic chemical or waste) if companies weren't in the habit of dumping hazardous products. Corporations generally operate under the theory that if it isn't illegal, it is legal.
07-14-2012, 07:14 AM   #247
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Corporations generally operate under the theory that if it isn't illegal, it is legal
...and if it is illegal, find a way to do it anyway...
07-14-2012, 07:16 AM   #248
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The actual standard may be that if it is not illegal and it makes your shareholders money, then you are obligated to your shareholders to do it.

07-14-2012, 08:01 AM - 1 Like   #249
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder:
What has curtailed the activity is the fact that people can seek huge monetary damages if health or property has been harmed by the dumping.
What rubbish.

One individual has the ability to destroy the aquifer for a hundred farm families in an area. What in the hell makes you think that one offending individual has the ability to pay a "huge monetary damage" to the hundred other families in the first place? What in the hell makes you think that any amount of money can pay for the damage done to those farm families and will compensate them for the destruction to their way of life for generations to come?

The above is not theoretical it happened in my area. Guess who is paying the "huge monetary damage" - all of us.

I get so sick of this primitive simple-minded juvenile way of looking at life.

Last edited by wildman; 07-15-2012 at 06:16 AM.
07-16-2012, 06:41 PM   #250
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If there were no regulations against something it may be more difficult to collect damages from those doing that something. Seems that we have many many regulations and laws prohibiting actions or inactions and yet people break those laws or regulations like Madoff. But people rape and murder too so those laws are not effective so as long as some ignore a regulation or law that reg or law should be repealed and left to the market place?

Free market place results in the cheapest costs each and every time. In the case of health care systems the US has the least expensive system of the top 16 developed countries with the exception of 15 other countries. Single payer systems may not work for all things but it seems to for health care. Single payer is not government run although studies have shown that some things are more efficient run by governments than private corporations (prisons for one).

As an aside in the remarks about corporations finding ways to dump toxic matter illegally, it is some times the case of employees taking the easy way or being lazy , some times managers trying to look good by saving money and some times corporations just doing things wrong to make more money but in all cases it is people making decisions that could adversely effect other people's health safety and lives. I for one would not want to depend on my health by my ability to sue a company rather than regulations prohibiting the action in the first place. Money does not replace good health. At work I spend some of my time and effort to insure that we follow regulations and work with others who do the same with hazmat. It is easier and cheaper to do it the correct way in the long run but it is easier for us to make the case to managers if there are regulations in place than just explaining to them that it is the right thing to do.
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