Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-29-2018, 09:27 PM
KarlGauss's Avatar
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Between pole and tropic
Posts: 7,727
The solution will be an experiment - US states as 'laboratories of democracy'

For a good while, like many politically naive people, I thought Trump himself was the issue. In retrospect, that would have been an almost charming situation, downright easy to undo compared to what I now believe is the reality - the utter corruption of the Republican Party; corruption to the point of subverting the American democratic process, and thus by implication, subverting American democracy itself. Today's Republicans have amply demonstrated that their overarching goal is fundamentally at odds with such a process and system: they seek to seize unfettered control of the US's social and political decision-making, and retain it everlastingly. It is a goal that would seem to be precisely the opposite of what the Founders intended.

I will not provide cites but am thinking of things such as weaponized-gerrymandering, federal judge stacking, but most especially, what's gone on in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Sadly (to this Canadian), I believe it's a fait accompli. Accompli at least for several generations. And, of course, it’s not become this way only in the US but in many places around the Globe where ‘liberal democracy’ had once taken some hold (although, for their own reasons, these non-US excursions into ‘illiberal democracy’ may be more likely to have a shorter lifespan than the one that seems to be unfolding in the US).

For those in the US who still treasure above all other political beliefs what I'll call the 'basic tenets of a liberal democracy’ - those that stem from the fundamental conviction that all citizens are equal - the only course of action may be to relocate (if not retreat) to to a state where such beliefs still hold and are likely to continue to hold for decades. An admittedly odious prescription for anyone sick in a red state.

The point remains though, that individual US states (i.e. each state's citizens) have considerable latitude in how they structure and support their societies (recognizing of course that such latitude does not and cannot extend to all aspects of society, e.g. various aspects of ‘gun rights’, foreign policy, trade, etc.,).

I only read recently of how US Supreme Court Justice Lewis Brandeis characterized the American states as “laboratories of democracy”. Indeed, it is in the states that the vital spirit of American democracy - the vision that earlier generations held and that held earlier generations together - must now incubate and renew. There is a certain irony, a comfort perhaps, in realizing how, in the end, ‘states rights’ was the issue, after all. But irony and comfort aside, I see no other solution to the current US social civil war.

(Until about eight weeks ago, I had been away from the Board for pretty much the whole of the Trump presidency (and the campaign). So, I may well have missed earlier discussion of, what seems to me, to be the pressing issue of the day - the future conception and implementation of American democracy. Apologies in advance, then, to those whose earlier thoughts I have missed (and also to those who would have had me frame things as an explicit debate).
  #2  
Old 12-29-2018, 10:54 PM
SamuelA SamuelA is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,786
So USA democracy - the code for the government - is buggy and flawed. The founding fathers were wise but they could not have possibly anticipated the issues we now have. Unfortunately, the way the code is written, our democracy is basically impossible to patch. It requires such an overwhelming majority to agree it can't be done.

So the flaws are here to stay. The state-wise formulation has a number of problems with it. One big one is that it creates situations where individual states cannot really act on their own as planned. One well know example is healthcare.

See, with national "single-payer" healthcare, since the federal government would then control about 98% of all health spending, healthcare providers would have to accept whatever price the government decides to pay. If the government offers less than the price of materials and space and a price per labor less than the wage a healthcare provider could get in another industry (like flipping burgers), yeah, they could say no, but any price above that, and they have to accept it.

However, if a state (Vermont) tries to offer single payer, the problem is that all the doctors and hospitals can just follow their wallets and leave that state unless the state pays exorbitant rates. Also, people sick with expensive illnesses can choose to move to that state and bankrupt the system.

This is just 1 of many examples where the "laboratories of democracy" idea fails to actually work. Many of these problems can only be addressed at the national level or they will never be fixed at all.

Anyways, this nation will continue to limp along despite the problems. It has been the unquestioned most powerful country in the world, in military, economics, and technology, since the 1940s. I think these problems may lead to a period of decline but can't really predict that with confidence. China has caught up most of the way, and the EU is closer to parity than it used to be, but neither power is at parity just yet.

Last edited by SamuelA; 12-29-2018 at 10:54 PM.
  #3  
Old 12-29-2018, 11:03 PM
asahi's Avatar
asahi asahi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 7,795
What's needed is a painful experience shared by the masses, a moment of collective consciousness in which we realize that our pro-slavery Constitution is obsolete and must be trashed and replaced with a new one that promotes true freedom and equality.
  #4  
Old 12-29-2018, 11:53 PM
Velocity Velocity is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 13,056
I think SamuelA has it. Some things, like single-payer, only work nationally and are disastrous on a state level. But if America gets redder and bluer, then it would eventually become two different Americas.
  #5  
Old 12-30-2018, 12:11 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Displaced
Posts: 15,580
Decentralized federalism became weakened by the rise of a broadly mobile population and modern communications and transportation. It is one thing to say Virginia will do things their way, Vermont will do it theirs, Wyoming will do their thing and California will do something else, when your populations, and more importantly, your holders of capital, are mostly stable on the land or around the industry centers and have hard-to-pull deep roots. But in the age of the TV networks, Interstate Highways, cheap airfares, employer flight, and the Internet and robotic markets, you lose that.

One of the effects of the arrival of that age was the "nationalization" of local politics. Exposed to a national media reach, political influencers began to find it easier to get a rise out of their base over how in some other part of the nation, things were being done differently. Politicians who at one time could run on what was the best policy for Weekamucca County and exert leadership of conscience on "outside" issues became forced to take positions on an issue or another that mostly affects people somewhere else, based on what the partisan brain trusts came up with... because the strategists were using it as a "wedge". And now the officials are tied in to an ideologically rigid platform that leaves them little or no wiggle room.


Now, that there may be times where you have to make the locals catch up with history is sometimes inevitable. One large part of the US society, twice at a neat 100 year interval, had to have "their way of life" declared wrong (because it WAS wrong) and be compelled to change it or else -- once by force of arms, once by court orders and legislation on which the rest of the country overwhelmed them. Sometimes a nation's gotta do what a nation's gotta do.


But back to the OP, even if we maintain the Laboratories of Democracy model, there is a worrying aspect of going the "island state" way: the system is designed so that if the liberals self-segregate into the coasts and the big cities, that by itself magnifies the relative advantage of the reactionaries. Empty Wyoming has as many Senators as California. Gerrymandering means your state can have voted 60% for one party but still elect 3 out of 5 Congressmen for the other because half of those voters are crammed into just two of the districts...

...and if you were able to assure me that the people who moved to Liberalstan would be allowed to live and let live, that would be one thing. But you know the other side will just refuse to let them off so easy, even if just by undercutting them on beneficial regulations or economic policies.
  #6  
Old 12-30-2018, 12:11 AM
KarlGauss's Avatar
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Between pole and tropic
Posts: 7,727
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
I think SamuelA has it. Some things, like single-payer, only work nationally and are disastrous on a state level. But if America gets redder and bluer, then it would eventually become two different Americas.
But don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

There's lotsa stuff states can do (or tolerate) that have little or nothing to do with the federal government, especially with respect to 'social issues'. Legalization of marijuana, same-sex marriage, gambling, prostitution, certain immigration issues apparently, . . .

Maybe being a model for a 'better' democracy will become another action they might take.
  #7  
Old 12-30-2018, 11:08 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
2018 Midterm Prediction Winner
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 20,955
Here is my opinion. I'm from Indiana, which is a very red state. I've also spent time in California, which is a very blue state.

I never felt less free in Indiana than I did in California despite the massive political differences. I don't think my freedom really is restricted in Indiana other than maybe laws regarding marijuana (which isn't really that important to me anyway).

Also when people discuss how electing more democrats will somehow cause massive movements towards progress, I like to point out how that isn't true in california. California has a democratic governor, and democrats control 3/4 of the seats in the state senate and state assembly.

Nonetheless, California has the same problems democrats claim they want to solve. Their health care is brutal and overpriced. Their level of income inequality is insanely high. The poor are struggling. Workers have few rights at work. Unions barely exist (having said that, Californias rate of 15% is much better than the 5% rate seen in the south).

Maybe those issues need to be addressed on the federal level, but on the state level I haven't seem progress on them.

On the state level, a state may legalize marijuana and we are all supposed to act like it is some amazing advance. Meh, the reason MJ legalization got passed is because it doesn't offend the rich and powerful. Wake me up when a state passes single payer health care or the employee free choice act. Or they reduce their gini coefficient down to european levels.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 12-30-2018 at 11:11 AM.
  #8  
Old 12-30-2018, 11:27 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
2018 Midterm Prediction Winner
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 20,955
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
c
See, with national "single-payer" healthcare, since the federal government would then control about 98% of all health spending, healthcare providers would have to accept whatever price the government decides to pay. If the government offers less than the price of materials and space and a price per labor less than the wage a healthcare provider could get in another industry (like flipping burgers), yeah, they could say no, but any price above that, and they have to accept it.

However, if a state (Vermont) tries to offer single payer, the problem is that all the doctors and hospitals can just follow their wallets and leave that state unless the state pays exorbitant rates. Also, people sick with expensive illnesses can choose to move to that state and bankrupt the system.

.
This is true. Its also more or less true of taxation or unions. If California pushed for a 30% unionization rate and extremely high progressive taxes, companies and individuals will just move to another state.

But this is also true on a national level. A company can move if the nation itself becomes too expensive to do business in, and they do it all the time. So I don't know if nationalization is necessarily a solution to the issue.

And again on the subject of unions, some southern states have a 4% union rate, while Hawaii is at nearly 20%. So there is that.

On the subject of health care, California has a bigger GDP and population than virtually every other nation with UHC. The only others bigger than California are Germany, the UK, France and Japan. There are dozens and dozens of other nations that have created UHC systems with far fewer people and economic clout than California. California has more people and more wealth than either Canada or Australia, yet those 2 nations built a UHC system.

Also, I'm under the impression that a lot of people who have expensive medical problems are already covered by federal health plans. Programs like medicare and medicaid cover a lot of the 5%. Health care costs in the US follow a power law distribution, and about 5% of patients make up 60% of medical spending (about 100k a year each in medical spending) but since they are on federal programs, i don't know if there is incentive for them all to move to a place like California.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion
  #9  
Old 12-30-2018, 11:50 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back.
Posts: 27,999
The solution will be an experiment - US states as 'laboratories of democracy'

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
So the flaws are here to stay. The state-wise formulation has a number of problems with it. One big one is that it creates situations where individual states cannot really act on their own as planned. One well know example is healthcare.

See, with national "single-payer" healthcare, since the federal government would then control about 98% of all health spending, healthcare providers would have to accept whatever price the government decides to pay. If the government offers less than the price of materials and space and a price per labor less than the wage a healthcare provider could get in another industry (like flipping burgers), yeah, they could say no, but any price above that, and they have to accept it.

However, if a state (Vermont) tries to offer single payer, the problem is that all the doctors and hospitals can just follow their wallets and leave that state unless the state pays exorbitant rates. Also, people sick with expensive illnesses can choose to move to that state and bankrupt the system.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
I think SamuelA has it. Some things, like single-payer, only work nationally and are disastrous on a state level. But if America gets redder and bluer, then it would eventually become two different Americas.

You're both buying into a false dichotomy: that UHC can only be done by the federal government, or by the states.

I'm continually bemused in the health care debates on these boards by this US tendency. The phrase "single payer" seems to be taken to mean that it must be a federal program, as in SamuelA's post.

That's not how single payer works in Canada and the UK. In Canada, there are 13 single-payers: the 10 provinces and the three territories. In the UK, there are four single-payers in the National Health Service, in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The role of the federal/central government in both Canada and the UK is to set out the general guidelines for the system and to provide funding. Actual health care delivery is the responsibility of the provincial/devolved governors, which also provide funding

It's that mixture of general central regulation and local implementation that makes the systems work in both countries.

The US invented modern federalism. I don't understand why both proponents and opponents of UHC and single-payer in the US see federalism as an obstacle to UHC, rather than a potential strength.

Last edited by Northern Piper; 12-30-2018 at 11:50 AM.
  #10  
Old 12-30-2018, 12:28 PM
SamuelA SamuelA is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,786
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
You're both buying into a false dichotomy: that UHC can only be done by the federal government, or by the states.

I'm continually bemused in the health care debates on these boards by this US tendency. The phrase "single payer" seems to be taken to mean that it must be a federal program, as in SamuelA's post.

That's not how single payer works in Canada and the UK. In Canada, there are 13 single-payers: the 10 provinces and the three territories. In the UK, there are four single-payers in the National Health Service, in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The role of the federal/central government in both Canada and the UK is to set out the general guidelines for the system and to provide funding. Actual health care delivery is the responsibility of the provincial/devolved governors, which also provide funding

It's that mixture of general central regulation and local implementation that makes the systems work in both countries.

The US invented modern federalism. I don't understand why both proponents and opponents of UHC and single-payer in the US see federalism as an obstacle to UHC, rather than a potential strength.
What you miss with your analysis is that nevertheless all 13 provinces do this. When we talk about "single payer", we are talking about 1 state not just acting on their own, because a single U.S. state is not powerful enough or large enough to unilaterally do this in a coupled system.
  #11  
Old 12-30-2018, 12:47 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back.
Posts: 27,999
That's exactly my point. That it's a mistake to talk about it was "either - or" states or federal gouvernement. What makes it work in Canada is cooperation between the federal government and the provinces. Provinces likely couldn't do it on their own. But the federal money makes it possible for all provinces and territories to have single-payer, without the federal government being in charge of health care delivery.
  #12  
Old 12-30-2018, 04:39 PM
CalMeacham's Avatar
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 43,138
Quote:
I only read recently of how US Supreme Court Justice Lewis Brandeis characterized the American states as “laboratories of democracy”.

Molly Ivins used to regularly refer to Texas (where she lived and about which she wrote) as "Our National Laboratory for Bad Government."
__________________
"Blue, Navy Blue, he's as blue as he can be;
'Cause my steady boy said "Avatar!" and joined the Na'avi."
  #13  
Old 12-30-2018, 06:08 PM
penultima thule penultima thule is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
What's needed is a painful experience shared by the masses, a moment of collective consciousness
There is the prospect that Trump could be a circuit breaker.
Which would be a pretty cheap get out of jail card, given how little of his agenda has actually been achieved.

However the number of Trump supporters who have turned away from the fold seems to be negligible so at this stage the medicine is proving to be insufficiently bitter, particularly since it's only the libs and elites who seem to have swallowed it.

So the instigation is going to need to be something far worse than POTUS XLV.

Makes you thing just how riled up people must have been previously when they took the revolution/succession path.
  #14  
Old 12-30-2018, 07:37 PM
DinoR DinoR is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,214
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRDelirious View Post
Decentralized federalism became weakened by the rise of a broadly mobile population and modern communications and transportation.
There's a problem with your argument. Since we first started tracking internal migration in 1948, 2017 showed record low geographic migration in the US. Technology may enable moving around more often but we aren't actually doing it. We're moving less today than when the baby boom generation was being born. Technology does influence information and some of the nationalization of politics. It hasn't prevented a general decline in mobility.

Last edited by DinoR; 12-30-2018 at 07:37 PM.
  #15  
Old 12-30-2018, 07:42 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 30,583
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
What's needed is a painful experience shared by the masses, a moment of collective consciousness in which we realize that our pro-slavery Constitution is obsolete and must be trashed and replaced with a new one that promotes true freedom and equality.
How about conquest by a power with a pre-2001 attitude towards liberal democracy?
  #16  
Old 12-30-2018, 07:50 PM
The Tooth The Tooth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 4,451
We'll annex you all after Trump's done razing your system of government to the ground. How would you like to be a resident of the Southwest Territories without having to move house?
__________________
"It would never occur to me to wear pink, just as it would never occur to Michael Douglas to play a poor person." - Sarah Vowell
  #17  
Old 12-30-2018, 08:28 PM
SamuelA SamuelA is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,786
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
How about conquest by a power with a pre-2001 attitude towards liberal democracy?
Well, ultimately, this is what would do it. If we accept the reality that the USA is deeply flawed because while democracy is better than nothing, the USA's version of it has 250 year old unpatched bugs. And the codebase is locked except when an overwhelming majority of the populace agree to change it, and for reasons that are partly due to government policy caused by our faulty code, at least 40% of the population lives in a world of delusions fed by false information.

But it's still the most powerful nation and it has the largest economy and a very large tech sector. So it might take hundreds of years to collapse to the point that another peer nation could take over.
  #18  
Old 12-31-2018, 08:26 AM
survinga survinga is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: In the Deep South
Posts: 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGauss View Post
For a good while, like many politically naive people, I thought Trump himself was the issue. In retrospect, that would have been an almost charming situation, downright easy to undo compared to what I now believe is the reality - the utter corruption of the Republican Party; corruption to the point of subverting the American democratic process, and thus by implication, subverting American democracy itself. Today's Republicans have amply demonstrated that their overarching goal is fundamentally at odds with such a process and system: they seek to seize unfettered control of the US's social and political decision-making, and retain it everlastingly. It is a goal that would seem to be precisely the opposite of what the Founders intended.

I will not provide cites but am thinking of things such as weaponized-gerrymandering, federal judge stacking, but most especially, what's gone on in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Sadly (to this Canadian), I believe it's a fait accompli. Accompli at least for several generations. And, of course, it’s not become this way only in the US but in many places around the Globe where ‘liberal democracy’ had once taken some hold (although, for their own reasons, these non-US excursions into ‘illiberal democracy’ may be more likely to have a shorter lifespan than the one that seems to be unfolding in the US).

For those in the US who still treasure above all other political beliefs what I'll call the 'basic tenets of a liberal democracy’ - those that stem from the fundamental conviction that all citizens are equal - the only course of action may be to relocate (if not retreat) to to a state where such beliefs still hold and are likely to continue to hold for decades. An admittedly odious prescription for anyone sick in a red state.

The point remains though, that individual US states (i.e. each state's citizens) have considerable latitude in how they structure and support their societies (recognizing of course that such latitude does not and cannot extend to all aspects of society, e.g. various aspects of ‘gun rights’, foreign policy, trade, etc.,).

I only read recently of how US Supreme Court Justice Lewis Brandeis characterized the American states as “laboratories of democracy”. Indeed, it is in the states that the vital spirit of American democracy - the vision that earlier generations held and that held earlier generations together - must now incubate and renew. There is a certain irony, a comfort perhaps, in realizing how, in the end, ‘states rights’ was the issue, after all. But irony and comfort aside, I see no other solution to the current US social civil war.

(Until about eight weeks ago, I had been away from the Board for pretty much the whole of the Trump presidency (and the campaign). So, I may well have missed earlier discussion of, what seems to me, to be the pressing issue of the day - the future conception and implementation of American democracy. Apologies in advance, then, to those whose earlier thoughts I have missed (and also to those who would have had me frame things as an explicit debate).
I have often been a fan of states experimenting with various things. It allows for pilot projects without impacting the entire country. A good example is Massachusetts, which was the de facto pilot for the ACA. They implemented it, and it went well, so that became the basis of Obamacare. Also, states are different in many ways, and need some flexibility on various items. What is necessary in California might be very different from South Carolina, for instance, on the water & forestry control front. New York is a high regulatory state, whereas Texas is not.

However, states don't always do the right thing. They can be incredibly regressive, such as in the voting rights arena in North Carolina. Very often, big government - which Libertarians fear - has to come rescue the individual from small government - a regressive state. An example is the Feds coming to oppose Southern States in their Jim Crow laws. Also, I was personally disappointed when my state, Georgia, didn't accept the Medicaid expansion. States don't always do the right thing.

Back to your original point about the problem being the Republican Party moreso than Trump, I agree. Trump is a symptom of the problem. He's the symptom, the really bad symptom, that the underlying problem produced. And right now, the Republican Party at all levels - national, state & local - seems to be marching in lockstep in a really bad direction. What this country needs right now is for the Democrats to win as many elections as they can at all levels.

I would like to gently push back on your view about people moving out of Red States. My state is backward in some ways. But overall, it's a good place. There are good people here of all political persuasions. I'd like for the Dems to regain some political power. But even under Republican control, Georgia is not hell on earth. I hope more Dems move into Georgia and help us wrestle control back from the Pubs. I do understand that in some situations, it's better to move than to stay and fight. I get that, and some of that will happen.

Last edited by survinga; 12-31-2018 at 08:27 AM.
  #19  
Old 12-31-2018, 09:36 AM
RitterSport's Avatar
RitterSport RitterSport is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
Here is my opinion. I'm from Indiana, which is a very red state. I've also spent time in California, which is a very blue state.

I never felt less free in Indiana than I did in California despite the massive political differences. I don't think my freedom really is restricted in Indiana other than maybe laws regarding marijuana (which isn't really that important to me anyway). ....
Aren't you a straight, white male? Do you think you'd feel less free in Indiana if you were a gay teen and the governor was pushing for gay conversion therapy? Do you think you'd feel less free as an accidentally pregnant woman in a state with just one abortion clinic?
  #20  
Old 12-31-2018, 01:33 PM
Velocity Velocity is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 13,056
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
How about conquest by a power with a pre-2001 attitude towards liberal democracy?
Any power likely and capable of conquering a nation like the USA by force sure isn't going to be liberal democratic.
  #21  
Old 12-31-2018, 01:41 PM
SamuelA SamuelA is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,786
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Any power likely and capable of conquering a nation like the USA by force sure isn't going to be liberal democratic.
Perhaps not. The EU would be the best example of a "soft conquest". The EU offers a bunch of carrots to member states - but requires that they adopt democracy, a stable government, various principles on human rights, allow free movement of other EU citizens, adopt the euro, and so on. Also total failure countries like Greece are being handled somewhat differently.

I could see a situation arising where a single world power manages to develop some really compelling technology. Something that requires a highly sophisticated economy to develop, a mass effort that uses software systems more sophisticated than anything we've ever seen. The product would of course be a medical system capable of curing almost all disease and reverting a person's biological age to their physical peak.

Anyways I could see the powers that have something like this using it as leverage. If you think about it, any nation that refuses terms is having it's own citizens die from disease by the millions every year. I don't know about you, but if China had this tech and I had to renounce my citizenship and flee this country to get it, I would. Wouldn't you? Wouldn't all your neighbors?

Last edited by SamuelA; 12-31-2018 at 01:44 PM.
  #22  
Old 12-31-2018, 04:26 PM
KarlGauss's Avatar
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Between pole and tropic
Posts: 7,727
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
I don't know about you, but if China had this tech and I had to renounce my citizenship and flee this country to get it, I would. Wouldn't you? Wouldn't all your neighbors?
You would do so only if you believe that what you've seen and heard about this tech is 'true', i.e. that you, yourself, will receive it and all its purported benefits.

I'm not sure that's something that can ever be said now. 'To be certain'. Rudy may have been on to something.
  #23  
Old 12-31-2018, 04:41 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
2018 Midterm Prediction Winner
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 20,955
Quote:
Originally Posted by RitterSport View Post
Aren't you a straight, white male? Do you think you'd feel less free in Indiana if you were a gay teen and the governor was pushing for gay conversion therapy? Do you think you'd feel less free as an accidentally pregnant woman in a state with just one abortion clinic?
Valid points. Also the minimum wage here is far lower than it is in blue states and big cities.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion
  #24  
Old 12-31-2018, 07:32 PM
SamuelA SamuelA is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,786
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGauss View Post
You would do so only if you believe that what you've seen and heard about this tech is 'true', i.e. that you, yourself, will receive it and all its purported benefits.

I'm not sure that's something that can ever be said now. 'To be certain'. Rudy may have been on to something.
It seems like something that couldn't be faked. And I am assuming the other nation with this kind of tech would allow wealthier and more educated Americans to jump ship to their side.
  #25  
Old 01-02-2019, 09:41 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
2018 Midterm Prediction Winner
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 20,955
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
It seems like something that couldn't be faked. And I am assuming the other nation with this kind of tech would allow wealthier and more educated Americans to jump ship to their side.
If the US had an immigration deal with Europe similar to what the EU has within its own borders I could see a lot of human capital leave the US.

Brutal, overpriced health care. Insane politics. Lack of respect for science and minorities. Lack of labor laws. These things all damage quality of life for societies more productive members.

I think the US would undergo a brain drain, at least somewhat, if it were easier to immigrate to Europe, Canada, Australia, etc. Especially when real time translation devices become mainstream in a few years.

The best of the best in most fields would probably stay here due to our tertiary education system being world class, but a lot of skilled technicians and middle management types would leave if they could.

But even the best of the best may leave, China is trying to create a society friendly to entrepreneurs.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 01-02-2019 at 09:45 AM.
  #26  
Old 01-02-2019, 09:48 AM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 80,841
Our system is designed so that every state can try something different, and then whatever solution is the worst ends up being implemented nationally. The incentives are perverse.
  #27  
Old 01-02-2019, 09:48 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
2018 Midterm Prediction Winner
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 20,955
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
Perhaps not. The EU would be the best example of a "soft conquest". The EU offers a bunch of carrots to member states - but requires that they adopt democracy, a stable government, various principles on human rights, allow free movement of other EU citizens, adopt the euro, and so on. Also total failure countries like Greece are being handled somewhat differently.

I could see a situation arising where a single world power manages to develop some really compelling technology. Something that requires a highly sophisticated economy to develop, a mass effort that uses software systems more sophisticated than anything we've ever seen. The product would of course be a medical system capable of curing almost all disease and reverting a person's biological age to their physical peak.

Anyways I could see the powers that have something like this using it as leverage. If you think about it, any nation that refuses terms is having it's own citizens die from disease by the millions every year. I don't know about you, but if China had this tech and I had to renounce my citizenship and flee this country to get it, I would. Wouldn't you? Wouldn't all your neighbors?
Do you think any one nation could maintain a monopoly in something like that? The government espionage and corporate espionage would spread that technology pretty fast.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion
  #28  
Old 01-02-2019, 10:41 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 12,047
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
If the US had an immigration deal with Europe similar to what the EU has within its own borders I could see a lot of human capital leave the US.

Brutal, overpriced health care. Insane politics. Lack of respect for science and minorities. Lack of labor laws. These things all damage quality of life for societies more productive members.

I think the US would undergo a brain drain, at least somewhat, if it were easier to immigrate to Europe, Canada, Australia, etc. Especially when real time translation devices become mainstream in a few years.

The best of the best in most fields would probably stay here due to our tertiary education system being world class, but a lot of skilled technicians and middle management types would leave if they could.

But even the best of the best may leave, China is trying to create a society friendly to entrepreneurs.
If Europe, Canada, and Australia have immigration laws that deter / prevent "societies more productive members" / "a lot of skilled technicians and middle management types" from immigrating, they're doing it wrong.
  #29  
Old 01-02-2019, 11:07 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
2018 Midterm Prediction Winner
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 20,955
It is pretty difficult for an American to get residency in Europe or Canada. If it were easier I'm sure a lot of talented people would leave America due to health care and politics.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion
  #30  
Old 01-02-2019, 11:19 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 12,047
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
It is pretty difficult for an American to get residency in Europe or Canada. If it were easier I'm sure a lot of talented people would leave America due to health care and politics.
Ok, what's the source of your certainty? Did you read a poll? Conduct a study? Is it just based off personal conversations you've had with a few acquaintances? Something else?
  #31  
Old 01-02-2019, 04:14 PM
SamuelA SamuelA is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,786
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Ok, what's the source of your certainty? Did you read a poll? Conduct a study? Is it just based off personal conversations you've had with a few acquaintances? Something else?
Have you looked at the forms? It's a pain in the ass. We can look at the requirements for a specific nation after work later. Name a country that is higher than the USA on the human development index you think is easy to emmigrate to from USA.

Last edited by SamuelA; 01-02-2019 at 04:15 PM.
  #32  
Old 01-02-2019, 05:04 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
2018 Midterm Prediction Winner
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 20,955
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Ok, what's the source of your certainty? Did you read a poll? Conduct a study? Is it just based off personal conversations you've had with a few acquaintances? Something else?
On election night 2016 The Canadian immigration website was overloaded with traffic and crashed.

It may not happen today, but if Americans knew they could have the health care and labor laws of Canada or Europe anytime they wanted, I'm sure many highly skilled people would leave.

Not everyone, but I'm guessing 5-10% or more of adults would seriously consider it.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion
  #33  
Old 01-02-2019, 06:16 PM
Akaj's Avatar
Akaj Akaj is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Chicago-ish
Posts: 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tooth View Post
We'll annex you all after Trump's done razing your system of government to the ground. How would you like to be a resident of the Southwest Territories without having to move house?
Where do I sign?
__________________
I'm not expecting any surprises.
  #34  
Old 01-02-2019, 07:30 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back.
Posts: 27,999
Dibs on the Dakotas!

Except we'd merge them into one province and re-name them "Lower Saskatchewan".
  #35  
Old 01-02-2019, 08:31 PM
penultima thule penultima thule is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Dibs on the Dakotas!

Except we'd merge them into one province and re-name them "Lower Saskatchewan".
What would be your master renovation plans for Mount Rushmore ... and the Crazy Horse Memorial for that matter?
  #36  
Old 01-02-2019, 09:02 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Trantor
Posts: 12,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
You're both buying into a false dichotomy: that UHC can only be done by the federal government, or by the states.

I'm continually bemused in the health care debates on these boards by this US tendency. The phrase "single payer" seems to be taken to mean that it must be a federal program, as in SamuelA's post.

That's not how single payer works in Canada and the UK. In Canada, there are 13 single-payers: the 10 provinces and the three territories. In the UK, there are four single-payers in the National Health Service, in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The role of the federal/central government in both Canada and the UK is to set out the general guidelines for the system and to provide funding. Actual health care delivery is the responsibility of the provincial/devolved governors, which also provide funding

It's that mixture of general central regulation and local implementation that makes the systems work in both countries.

The US invented modern federalism. I don't understand why both proponents and opponents of UHC and single-payer in the US see federalism as an obstacle to UHC, rather than a potential strength.
Everything in this is accurate, but essentially irrelevant. In Canada, the federal government mandated that each province and territory create a single payer system and set up fairly strict rules on what it had to cover (basically most things except dental, still not covered), copay (permitted at first, then banned) and deductible (banned). If the US federal passed such a law, it would be thrown out by courts so fast, you would have to duck.

The best proposal I have heard is to have the eligibility age for medicare gradually decline, so that the change comes slowly. That would leave the federal government take over. It would also leave deductibles and copays, not to mention doughnut holes, in place, but hey, you can't win them all.

I suspect that if the Taft-Hartley act hadn't replaced the Wagner act (which allowed closed shops--real agents for discrimination), it would have been thrown out by now. The real mistake was giving states the option of opting out of the union shops. That led to the race to the bottom that has destroyed unions. Maybe that was intentional. Truman vetoed it, but it was passed over his veto.
  #37  
Old 01-02-2019, 10:35 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back.
Posts: 27,999
No, the Canada Health Act and its predecessors didn't mandate or require the provinces to provide Medicare. That would be unconstitutional. Parliament doesn't have that authority under the division of powers.

Rather, the Feds in Canada used the power of the purse, just like the Feds in the US did with the Medicaid expansion in the AMA. Nor did they threaten to take any established funding away from the provinces, which was held to be unconstitutional in the SCOTUS.

The Canadian Feds offered money to the provinces for health care, on conditions that the provinces comply with requirements like comprehensive coverage and portability. A province didn't have to accept it, but it was financially too good an offer to turn down. All the provinces opted in.

Why would that be unconstitutional in the US?
  #38  
Old 01-03-2019, 09:40 AM
Akaj's Avatar
Akaj Akaj is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Chicago-ish
Posts: 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Dibs on the Dakotas!

Except we'd merge them into one province and re-name them "Lower Saskatchewan".
Oh, come on, you can do better than that: Baja Saskatchewan.
__________________
I'm not expecting any surprises.
  #39  
Old 01-03-2019, 10:00 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 12,047
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
Have you looked at the forms? It's a pain in the ass. We can look at the requirements for a specific nation after work later. Name a country that is higher than the USA on the human development index you think is easy to emmigrate to from USA.
I'm not claiming there is such a country. I accept WC's claim that it's difficult and believe that "they're doing it wrong". I'm also unconvinced by WC's website anecdote that "many highly skilled people would leave". I think it's at least as likely that the people crashing the Canadian immigration website were losers and morons, immature and prone to emotional reactions.
  #40  
Old 01-03-2019, 12:46 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back.
Posts: 27,999
The solution will be an experiment - US states as 'laboratories of democracy'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akaj View Post
Oh, come on, you can do better than that: Baja Saskatchewan.


No, if we went bilingual, more likely Bas-Saskatchewan.

Last edited by Northern Piper; 01-03-2019 at 12:47 PM.
  #41  
Old 01-03-2019, 01:11 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 40,413
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
What's needed is a painful experience shared by the masses, a moment of collective consciousness in which we realize that our pro-slavery Constitution is obsolete and must be trashed and replaced with a new one that promotes true freedom and equality.
Seeing problems though the very American perspective of "it's what the written constitution says, specifically, that is the problem/solution" is reeeeeeally missing the point.
__________________
Providing useless posts since 1999!

Last edited by RickJay; 01-03-2019 at 01:13 PM.
  #42  
Old 01-03-2019, 02:10 PM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 58,254
Here's a thought: alter Senate voting power based on a state's growth in population since the previous census. The senators from ten states that have shown the most population growth each get an extra half-vote (thus the state overall gets the equivalent of three votes in the Senate) while the senators from the ten states that have shown the least growth (or the worst shrinkage) each lost half a vote, thus the state overall gets one vote in the Senate. This lasts ten years until the next census. States that encourage reproduction or immigration get rewarded with increased influence over future policy, states that are shrinking are similarly penalized.
__________________
Don't worry about the end of Inception. We have top men working on it right now. Top. Men.
  #43  
Old 01-03-2019, 03:11 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 12,047
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
Here's a thought: alter Senate voting power based on a state's growth in population since the previous census. The senators from ten states that have shown the most population growth each get an extra half-vote (thus the state overall gets the equivalent of three votes in the Senate) while the senators from the ten states that have shown the least growth (or the worst shrinkage) each lost half a vote, thus the state overall gets one vote in the Senate. This lasts ten years until the next census. States that encourage reproduction or immigration get rewarded with increased influence over future policy, states that are shrinking are similarly penalized.
Sure, we're just going to need a unanimous amendment ("... no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.") to make that happen. I think I can guess at least 10 states that are not going to give consent.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 01-03-2019 at 03:12 PM.
  #44  
Old 01-03-2019, 03:27 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The land of the mouse
Posts: 48,504
Where does "unanimous" come from? You quoted from a restriction on a states-initiated amendment convention, which has never happened.
Quote:
Article V

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
  #45  
Old 01-03-2019, 03:55 PM
Akaj's Avatar
Akaj Akaj is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Chicago-ish
Posts: 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
Here's a thought: alter Senate voting power based on a state's growth in population since the previous census. The senators from ten states that have shown the most population growth each get an extra half-vote (thus the state overall gets the equivalent of three votes in the Senate) while the senators from the ten states that have shown the least growth (or the worst shrinkage) each lost half a vote, thus the state overall gets one vote in the Senate. This lasts ten years until the next census. States that encourage reproduction or immigration get rewarded with increased influence over future policy, states that are shrinking are similarly penalized.
Plausibility aside, I don't get this at all.

Rewarding growing states with extra political power would only ensure that those states can double down on policies that helped them grow in the first place. North Dakota, for instance, could use its extra vote to weaken environmental laws limiting fracking, leading to more fracking and more population for North Dakota. Meanwhile, struggling states would find it that much harder to influence federal policy that could help them revive.

Plus, why would we want to encourage higher birthrates?
__________________
I'm not expecting any surprises.
  #46  
Old 01-03-2019, 03:56 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 12,047
I'd always read it to apply to any amendments, regardless of if they're proposed by a convention or by Congress.
  #47  
Old 01-03-2019, 04:03 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The land of the mouse
Posts: 48,504
It's only one sentence, however convoluted the structure may be. The meaning and context are already provided. Anyway, the part about what's unamendable can itself be amended.

Again, where do you get "unanimous"?

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 01-03-2019 at 04:05 PM.
  #48  
Old 01-03-2019, 04:24 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 12,047
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
... Again, where do you get "unanimous"?
from the part I quoted earlier: "... no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate." I take that to mean that if someone wants to pass an amendment that would deprive state(s) of "equal suffrage in the Senate" it must do so with their consent.

I suppose I could concoct a bizarre scenario where an amendment to strip a particular state of half its Senators got the required 38 states' ratification, plus that state's consent, and wouldn't have to be "unanimous". Is that your point?

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 01-03-2019 at 04:25 PM.
  #49  
Old 01-03-2019, 04:31 PM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 58,254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akaj View Post
Plausibility aside, I don't get this at all.
It's a suggestion to (slightly) mitigate the disproportionate influence of low-population rural states, if those states are not growing in population. If there's a complaint that more people move to urbanized states and those states grow in population while not gaining any extra influence in the Senate, this is meant to address that.

Looking at the lists of fastest- and slowest-growing states, I see under this scheme, Utah would gain and New York would lose. Oh, well...
__________________
Don't worry about the end of Inception. We have top men working on it right now. Top. Men.
  #50  
Old 01-03-2019, 04:35 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 12,047
As delighted as I'd be if Senators Romney and Lee were to get half of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand's vote, I'd oppose this.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:48 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017