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Author Topic: renting out a house is armed robbery!  (Read 4494 times)
Hunterbunter
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February 29, 2012, 11:57:27 AM
 #41

No I wasn't assuming anything about the way you vote, I just find that people who receive money directly from the government tend to support the government. And people who defend the government in as emphatically as you do tend to be from the UK.

I'm just issuing a hypothesis to test my current model of prejudice!

I don't personally get anything from the Australian government other than what they provide everybody. I did briefly many years ago, but that was repaid many times over. I still defend the notion of government, independent of the notion of correct governance. I think libertarians have to give up this impossible idea of non-national-government, and just focus on what changes to government could make everyone slightly happier, and not just them.
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February 29, 2012, 12:01:37 PM
 #42

No I wasn't assuming anything about the way you vote, I just find that people who receive money directly from the government tend to support the government. And people who defend the government in as emphatically as you do tend to be from the UK.

I'm just issuing a hypothesis to test my current model of prejudice!

Prejudice is generally a weakness but my prejudice is that the more money you make, the more likely you are to be interested in living in a decent society.  A chicken sexer in Alabama who struggles to pay for electricity in his trailer park will be right wing as he cannot afford a cent in tax.  A billionaire will be left wing as he wants a safe place for his family to live and he wants a skilled workforce for his investments.

Of course, you may have better prejudices Smiley


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February 29, 2012, 12:03:14 PM
 #43

I pay a lot more in tax than I can ever hope to get out of the system and I own part of a public company.

I'm not actually saying the following is the case with you (how could I, I know nothing about you or your company); I'm merely saying that your evidence doesn't tell us anything.

Owning a public company and paying tax doesn't mean you aren't government funded (public sector employees often claim that they "pay their tax too", which is pretty bizarre when you think about where the tax that they "pay" comes from). Approximately £250 billion of the annual UK governmental expenditure is on services/goods supplied by private companies.  Undoubtedly some of that expenditure would still happen with the same companies if the £250 billion were left in the private sector; some of it most certainly would not.  The figure usually bandied around is that government spends between £1.50 and £2.50 for every £1 that the equivalent private sector spender would on the same production.

That means that of that £250 billion; at least £84 billion is wasted (in terms of opportunity cost).  If you happen to be one of the companies receiving that £84 billion, then you are (as near as makes no difference) just as much of a drain (and some might argue considerably more of one) as a benefits claimant.

A topical example is Emma Harrison, who ran a "welfare to work" private sector firm -- entirely taxpayer funded, who has recently resigned having failed and yet been paid £8.6 million.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2106051/Emma-Harrison-resigns-A4e-quitting-government-role-amid-fraud-claims.html

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February 29, 2012, 12:10:18 PM
 #44

...snip...

Owning a public company and paying tax doesn't mean you aren't government funded.  Approximately £250 billion of the annual UK governmental expenditure is on services/goods supplied by private companies.  Undoubtedly some of that expenditure would still happen with the same companies if the £250 billion were left in the private sector; some of it most certainly would not.  The figure usually bandied around is that government spends between £1.50 and £2.50 for every £1 that the equivalent private sector spender would on the same production.
...snip...

That figure is bogus.  Look at health expenditure in the UK vs the US.  The medicines cost the same to each country but the Americans are shafted by it all being done in private institutions.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2105680/This-woman-emergency-op-Americas-hospital-stars-NHS-So-did-best-care.html

Long article but the key fact is this :
Quote
Of course, looming over all of this is the price tag. In America, the bill that landed on my doormat a month after I was discharged was £63,500 ($100,000). That did not include bills for the surgeon, the anaesthetist, the radiology department and the pathology laboratory, which added up to an extra £3,322 ($5,227).

Thankfully, my insurance covered most of it, but I still have to pay £4,766 ($7,500) of it myself — what in British insurance terms would be known as an excess.  

The NHS was not free to me because I have not lived in Britain for so long. I have yet to receive the bill, but the published cost of a gall bladder removal by laparoscopy is around £3,000 in the UK, so I am expecting a similar charge for my appendectomy in London.


The private enterprise-based system is ridiculously more expensive.

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February 29, 2012, 12:23:19 PM
 #45

That figure is bogus.  Look at health expenditure in the UK vs the US.  The medicines cost the same to each country but the Americans are shafted by it all being done in private institutions.

The private enterprise-based system is ridiculously more expensive.

This is not the thread for it; but the differences between the UK NHS and the American health system are considerably more complex than private/public division.

There is one thing for sure: America's private health system is not by any means a free enterprise.  If it were then there wouldn't be the metric tonne of legislation that gets passed regulating it.

Also: I'm not saying that government should do nothing.  I'm saying that government is a woefully inefficient spender.  Perhaps that comes with a trade off that you're happy with (like say by having a fully nationalised health service); but equally you must remember that every £1.50 that the NHS spends on bandages would be £1 were a private sector buyer to do the same.  If you run the bandage company that has the NHS contract, then you are getting 50% more than you should for your product; and are therefore a parasite.

Finally: ignore the NHS if you want.  That still leaves my point in tact: there are a great many private companies that are, in reality, no such thing -- they are entirely dependent on government money; and they wouldn't exist in the private-sector equivalent arrangement of the state.  (Still don't believe me?  Ask yourself how the multiple failures of the NHS IT system can cost £15 billion; while, say, Facebook can be floated at £50 billion and be dealing with far more data and far more people).

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February 29, 2012, 12:55:26 PM
 #46

...snip...

Also: I'm not saying that government should do nothing.  I'm saying that government is a woefully inefficient spender.  Perhaps that comes with a trade off that you're happy with (like say by having a fully nationalised health service); but equally you must remember that every £1.50 that the NHS spends on bandages would be £1 were a private sector buyer to do the same.  If ...snip...

Please provide a source for this.  It looks like a bogus number to me and we can't really have an intelligent conversation if one person is relying on made up figures.

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February 29, 2012, 02:29:18 PM
 #47

...snip...

Also: I'm not saying that government should do nothing.  I'm saying that government is a woefully inefficient spender.  Perhaps that comes with a trade off that you're happy with (like say by having a fully nationalised health service); but equally you must remember that every £1.50 that the NHS spends on bandages would be £1 were a private sector buyer to do the same.  If ...snip...

Please provide a source for this.  It looks like a bogus number to me and we can't really have an intelligent conversation if one person is relying on made up figures.

Firstly: I was using the figure 1.5 as illustrative for that example; I have no idea what it actually is for the NHS.  Whenever it's looked at (in various sectors) it's greater than one.  I can see no reason to suppose it's any different in the NHS.  The figure I always read as a rule of thumb is 1.5 (hence my "bandied about" in my earlier post).

Regardless, I don't know what you're going to do with them when you have them (I'm not holding my breath on "wow, you're absolutely right"), here's some evidence that government gets ripped off/is bad at spending:


So... a variety of numbers, all sharing one thing in common: the factor is greater than one.  I will be extraordinarily surprised if you can find a single report on government spending where the factor is less than one (excluding waving papers by Keynes, which are just wishful thinking not fact).

There's a reason for this, and it's not really government's fault directly.  Friedman:

Quote
There are four ways to spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why you really watch out for what you're doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well then, I'm not so careful about the content of the present, but I'm very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else's money on myself. And if I spend somebody else's money on myself, then I'm going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else's money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else's money on somebody else, I'm not concerned about how much it costs, and I'm not concerned about what I get. And that's government. And that's close to 40 percent of our national income.

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February 29, 2012, 02:46:52 PM
 #48

realnowhereman - are you really saying you made it up?  And based a post on it?

/boggles.

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February 29, 2012, 02:52:03 PM
 #49

realnowhereman - are you really saying you made it up?  And based a post on it?

/boggles.

98% of statistics are made up on the spot.  This isn't an academic journal and you are silly to think this forum is anything but people wasting time on pointless arguments.

That said, he explained the basis of his estimate and provided sources to back it up.  You are ignoring all that.

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February 29, 2012, 03:58:16 PM
 #50

realnowhereman - are you really saying you made it up?  And based a post on it?

/boggles.

No, if you read what I wrote, I said that people "bandy around 1.5 to 2.2", then i used the lowest of those figures in an example.  I can't find every blog I've ever read it in; but I provided enough links to show where I got that order of number from.  As notme says; I'm not writing to the standard of an academic journal, and sometimes one has to go from memory.

It certainly doesn't materially affect my point ... which was "you don't have to be employed by the government to be dependent on them".

I notice you haven't addressed that point.  Is the source of your "tax" and the work your "public company" does primarily the government?  (You certainly don't have to answer, it's none of my business).

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February 29, 2012, 10:06:05 PM
 #51

realnowhereman - are you really saying you made it up?  And based a post on it?

/boggles.

No, if you read what I wrote, I said that people "bandy around 1.5 to 2.2", then i used the lowest of those figures in an example.  I can't find every blog I've ever read it in; but I provided enough links to show where I got that order of number from.  As notme says; I'm not writing to the standard of an academic journal, and sometimes one has to go from memory.

It certainly doesn't materially affect my point ... which was "you don't have to be employed by the government to be dependent on them".

I notice you haven't addressed that point.  Is the source of your "tax" and the work your "public company" does primarily the government?  (You certainly don't have to answer, it's none of my business).

I make game bots and sell to MMORPG gold farmers.  From time to time, I run my own gold farming operations. Its a global market and I'm pretty sure that no government agency has ever given me a penny.

http://www.ownedcore.com/forums/news/site-news/articles-interviews/329891-blizzard-honorbuddy-lawsuit-exclusive-interview-hawker-bossland-gmbh.html

Well, I read your links and none comes remotely close to confirming the ratio you suggest. You say you didn't make it up so I'll believe you.  But whoever posted it in a blog you read made it up.  Sit down and think through the example of bandages you gave and its obvious that there is no iron law it costs more for a public body to order a million bandages than a private body.

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February 29, 2012, 10:10:28 PM
 #52

Actually ... Turkeys that can get through holes in fences can "vote with their feet".

Awesome. I'm a turkey FYI, happily living in South Korea.

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February 29, 2012, 10:37:13 PM
 #53

Well, I read your links and none comes remotely close to confirming the ratio you suggest. You say you didn't make it up so I'll believe you.  But whoever posted it in a blog you read made it up.  Sit down and think through the example of bandages you gave and its obvious that there is no iron law it costs more for a public body to order a million bandages than a private body.

Logically, if public and private health were utilized under the same minimum-service standard, public should always be cheaper for healthcare because its profit is not measured in dollars. Technology advancements could still be developed for dollar profit and sold to public or private alike. In a 100% public and 100% private system, there are generally the same workers in either...that is, incompetence is everywhere, whereas in a split system (like in Australia), you see a lot more incompetence in the public system - people make their mistakes in the public system then graduate to the private system as consultants. This has the interesting effect of squeezing resources out of the public system and creating a lot more wastage in private...actually making public a worse place to be treated and private overly comfortable (but this is purely my own experience).

The incentive for healthcare can be life itself.
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February 29, 2012, 10:46:21 PM
 #54

Well, I read your links and none comes remotely close to confirming the ratio you suggest. You say you didn't make it up so I'll believe you.  But whoever posted it in a blog you read made it up.  Sit down and think through the example of bandages you gave and its obvious that there is no iron law it costs more for a public body to order a million bandages than a private body.

Logically, if public and private health were utilized under the same minimum-service standard, public should always be cheaper for healthcare because its profit is not measured in dollars. Technology advancements could still be developed for dollar profit and sold to public or private alike. In a 100% public and 100% private system, there are generally the same workers in either...that is, incompetence is everywhere, whereas in a split system (like in Australia), you see a lot more incompetence in the public system - people make their mistakes in the public system then graduate to the private system as consultants. This has the interesting effect of squeezing resources out of the public system and creating a lot more wastage in private...actually making public a worse place to be treated and private overly comfortable (but this is purely my own experience).

The incentive for healthcare can be life itself.

If you have a nationwide purchasing power and a humongous budget, you can get the best price possible.  That's why the UK system works - drugs and labour are bought for less.  Once you have a decent sized private sector, that huge budget is broken into competing sectors like private vs public, rich area vs poor area and the prices of labour and drugs shoots up.

Ireland is the classic example.  Its exactly as you say Australia is but the staff are better paid in the public sector and it pays more for drugs. 

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February 29, 2012, 11:40:15 PM
 #55

I'm still waiting for them to come up with a decentralized transit system and decentralized utilities. I'd do it myself, but I have no idea how such a thing could be possible, and, AFAIK, there are no historical examples.

[snip] In the modern world, examples of decentralized transit systems include 'jitney' cabs, Flinc (www.flinc.mobi), Avego (avego.com), Zipcar (www.zipcar.com) and RelayRides (www.relayrides.com); in addition to more obvious examples such as Greyhound (www.greyhound.com).
These things all require roads. Roads are a centralized transit system.


Roads are an example of a decentralized transit system, if we are going to consider the infrastructure to be equal to the system.

Quote

 Also, aside from Greyhound, all these services can only move a few people at a time, making them far less energy efficient then trains and buses. They will be the first things to become infeasible when oil starts to get really scarce.


I would wager that the opposite is true, but time will tell.  In the meantime, I won't object to sceptism, but I wasn't suggesting that any of these systems had staying power, only that decentralized private transist systems actually exist.

Quote

As for decentralized utility services, that is really just you (or your condo association, etc) providing for itself as opposed to relying on the municipal water company or the power company to do it, but it's uncommon because the economies of scale tend to favor those municipal companies.  Even so, a local well for non-potable (i.e. toilet flushwater only) can pay for itself in no time, and there are many building in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky (where I live) that do have their own wells for that as well as for open cycle heat pumps.  I know of no private business that purifies it's own building potable water however, if only because of the liability if the filter should fail unnoticed and some old guy gets something from the water fountain that puts him in the hospital.  The municipal water service is indemnified from such events, so long as they can show that they made a 'reasonable' effort to monitor and prevent such things.

Likewise, anyone can put solar panels on their roof or buy a genset, but neither option compares to the peace and reliablility of the municipal power grid.
From this description, it would seem that the pressure for efficiency would push directly toward centralization. In the long run, my point still stands.

Not necessarily.  In the long run, access may prove to be more important than effiency.  I've seen a number of small PV installs around my city lately.  These people aren't putting them up for monetary reasons, primarily, unless they are stupid.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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March 01, 2012, 12:06:59 AM
 #56


If you have a nationwide purchasing power and a humongous budget, you can get the best price possible.  That's why the UK system works - drugs and labour are bought for less. 

Wait, the UK system works?  For whom?  It certainly didn't work for the guy who had to drink water from the hallway flowerpot.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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March 01, 2012, 02:10:46 AM
 #57


If you have a nationwide purchasing power and a humongous budget, you can get the best price possible.  That's why the UK system works - drugs and labour are bought for less. 

Wait, the UK system works?  For whom?  It certainly didn't work for the guy who had to drink water from the hallway flowerpot.

Way to use an abstract reference no one has heard of.

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March 01, 2012, 09:07:53 AM
 #58


If you have a nationwide purchasing power and a humongous budget, you can get the best price possible.  That's why the UK system works - drugs and labour are bought for less. 

Wait, the UK system works?  For whom?  It certainly didn't work for the guy who had to drink water from the hallway flowerpot.

Didn't you say you were ex Marines?  I think you will find that like the Marines, every large organisation has huge errors.  For example, I have an elderly wheelchair bound aunt who was travelling through Heathrow airport yesterday.  At some point, Omniserv, the American customer care company that helps disabled people in the airport, lost her.  Seriously, they could not find where she was left waiting and she was unable to attract anyone's attention so she missed her follow on flight.

The lesson?  None.  If you are shoving 50,000 people a day through any organisation, mistakes get made.  Only a lunatic would argue that all private customer care companies should be closed down on that basis.

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March 01, 2012, 09:35:01 AM
 #59

I make game bots and sell to MMORPG gold farmers.  From time to time, I run my own gold farming operations. Its a global market and I'm pretty sure that no government agency has ever given me a penny.

Fair enough.

Well, I read your links and none comes remotely close to confirming the ratio you suggest.

Eh, "remotely close"?  2.2 jobs destroyed for every one created;  3.7 jobs for every one;  1.1 (10%) over pricing in construction; 0.8 Keynsian multiplier = 1.25; 24 times too many flu jabs; 1.078 overspend in the NHS...

Whatever.  I use 1.5 as a rule of thumb... the links showed that isn't unreasonable.

As I said, I didn't expect any provision of evidence to affect you in any way.  You've got your ideas about the world, and I've got mine.  I would happily leave you to yours.  (The mark of the socialists though is that they aren't happy to leave me to mine). 

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March 01, 2012, 09:43:58 AM
 #60

realnowhereman - I can make lists of private organisations that get stuff wrong in a huge way.  Will that be evidence that all private organisations are bad?  Can I say that if one company has lost half of its shareholders funds, then all companies are going to lose 50% of the money you invest in their shares?

You can't just make up facts.  If you are making an argument based on a factual ratio, then have a factual source for the ratio.  Don't make it up.


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