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Branko Milanovic

Posted by pnbrown z6.5 MA (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 29, 13 at 19:24

I have been reading references to ideas from this economist in several books lately. He specializes in the causes and possible solutions for inequality in wealth distribution around the world.

Linked is a piece where he analyzes several quite interesting proposed theories to mitigate unequal income.

Here is a link that might be useful: native talent should not be compensated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Branko Milanovic

I'll wager he'll be poisoned to death by a Russian or American oligarch within the year. We can set up squares and a PayPal account in 5 minutes.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

"... political philosophers and economists do provide us with some answers which, when translated in political terms..."

Mr. Milanovic is pretty easy on the brain, IOW, he keeps it simple, stupid. I'd love to know (or would I) how either method could possibly be employed. And even though the ultimate (idealistic) goals of both plans are noble, IMO, realistically we'd still end up with an oligarchy.

But maybe that's just me.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

All the methods are difficult and complex, including the taxation schemes that exist.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

This idea of taxing talent is a new one to me. Taxing inherited wealth is an old idea, beloved and hated depending on the luck of parentage. Talent is also an inheritance, and so if one believed in taxing tangible inheritances one might believe in taxing talent.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

One of the reasons there is such a furor over Obamacare is that its a not very thinly disguised redistribution of wealth.

Taxes on the insanely profitable medical device companies, limits on the profits of insurance companies, small surcharge on wealthy individuals, redistributing that, in the form of affordable health care, to those who can't afford it.

Which explains the hysteria re Obamacare of the 'defend-the-rich-at-all-costs set'.

As well, as the enormously liberating effect this will have on those who are no longer tied to meaningless jobs because of health insurance.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

David: "As well, as the enormously liberating effect this will have on those who are no longer tied to meaningless jobs because of health insurance."

I'm almost afraid to ask what David means by that.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

I know at least a dozen people who would quit their stinkin' jobs tomorrow if they didn't have to keep them for the health insurance.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

I, too, know quite a few who would switch career choices in a heartbeat.. but for insurance. They need to keep working at a job they hate because they have to cover their family's medical expenses.

David doesn't mean people would just stop working.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

DH and I are very close friends with a couple. He is almost 74 and working at a hard job, has cancer and is undergoing chemo for it. He still works because his work provides much better coverage for prescription drugs which would cost them $4,000 a month if they did not have that coverage. If they had Medicare Part D, it would cost each of them several thousand dollars a year.

It is absolutely shameful that we, as a hugely rich country, inflict the high costs of medical care on people, causing bankruptcies, illness and stress, and not seeming to care in the least that we are doing so.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

Our National Health Service is more than just a free for everyone health provision - it is a genuine social movement akin to popular socialism. Until the US is willing to detoxify the very idea of socialism (the cold war has been over for a long time, now - call it egalitarian humanism or some other such nondescript term)), there will never be a reasonable debate about universal healthcare.....and how EVERYONE benefits.
When everything, including care and compassion, is monetarised, surely the obvious failures can be grasped.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

Well done, Camp.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

I cannot imagine my choice in a career being driven by a need for health insurance. It's just such a foreign concept.

Universal health care allows people to take risks in their careers, start their own businesses, move to jobs with better opportunities.

Health care should not be tied to employment it is an unnecessary tether.

Universal healthcare does not destroy the economy, take away from personal responsibility or ambition...quite the contrary.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

  • Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 17:42

David, I used to be one of those people that couldn't retire due to HC costs. The monthly HC premiums for a married couple were higher than the home mortgage. I too know of several x-co-workers who's mortgages are keeping them on the job. Growing a good portion of one's own food helped to tip the balance here.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

Can some one explain to me rationally , without all the death panel carpola, why so many Americans are so opposed to universal , single payer, healthcare?

I understand why the Health care Insurance industry lobbies so hard to keep it at bay...but why do regular folk balk at it?

Heck even in Canada the conservatives would give up their first born before losing their healthcare.

I don't get the objection...and I'm not trying to be argumentative...I just don't get it. it makes no sense.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

  • Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 17:56

Chase, it's the death panels.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

In the Canadian and British systems, who decides about the whole end-of-life thing? Are they different?


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RE: Branko Milanovic

What end of life thing????

What I can tell you is that , in Canada, ALL medical decisions are between the patient, doctor and family/ medical power of attorney . No one else, no insurance company, no government bureaucracy nothing else is involved.

And that is the real facts.......


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RE: Branko Milanovic

Chase, its two things.

After 5 years of listening and participating in this debate, I really think it boils down to some people see health insurance/health care as a privilege that Americans should earn/pay for themselves. Somebody getting it for free? Using my tax dollars? NO!!!

And you can argue 'till you're blue in the face that they pay for it already, the money it saves, end up with a healthier, more productive society that lifts all boats, etc. and it makes no difference.

Second, its political. 'Obamacare' (essentially making private insurance obligatory) is the same thing Nixon, The Heritage Foundation, McCain etc, etc, etc, have proposed for years now - its a Republican idea. Versus the single payer concept that liberals prefer and Obama talked about during his 2008 campaign - which went nowhere.

But now, everybody is against this Republican idea because Obama proposed it.

See anybody from the right opposed to Obamacare offer up a better way to cover everybody? No.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

I don't understand the opposition, either... a system that would include and help all citizens, be less costly in the long run, and provide the same kind of care we get from good doctors and such now... why wouldn't someone want a universal health care system?

In my opinion, it has to do with politics, misunderstanding of the facts, greed, and self-interest.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

I don't have the time to do anything other than post a few thoughts for you. I don't have the time to defend it from your attacks. Not that this all hasn't been said before.


"Can some one explain to me rationally , without all the death panel carpola, why so many Americans are so opposed to universal , single payer, healthcare?"

FREEDOM. People are willing to die for that. You need examples?

"be less costly in the long run,"

In the long run, Socialist programs don't work. And because they don't work, there's a constant need to "fix" them. Less and less freedom. The end result is the USSR, Mao.....

Need an example?

"Health care should not be tied to employment it is an unnecessary tether."

...

"I know at least a dozen people who would quit their stinkin' jobs tomorrow if they didn't have to keep them for the health insurance."

In FDR's time, during the war, rather than let the market determine salaries, ( shortage of men in the workplace), controls in the workplace were put into place. Companies couldn't compete for workers with direct money so they began offering things like medical insurance.....

And here we are, today, trying to "fix" that problem. Less freedom piled onto less freedom.

"And you can argue 'till you're blue in the face that they pay for it already, the money it saves, end up with a healthier, more productive society that lifts all boats, etc. and it makes no difference."

If I were as shortsighted as you and the rest of the crew here, I'd be for universal healthcare, too.

"be less costly in the long run"

Tell that to the millions and millions of dead Chinese under Mao, Russians under Stalin.

"In my opinion, it has to do with politics, misunderstanding of the facts, greed, and self-interest."

Not mine, maybe yours. Your greed, your self-interest, wanting someone to foot your bills for you. Who cares how it affects your grand kids?

If I were as shortsighted as you, I'd be for it, too.

I wish I had the time to answer your rebuttals, but I have taxes to do. Someone's gotta do it.

(See, I didn't even mention death panels. After I finish paying my taxes, we can discuss that.)

"We got it made. Never have to be concerned about where our next meal is coming from. Never have to worry about a place to sleep. All our medical expenses are covered. What more could a man ask for?"


Hay


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RE: Branko Milanovic

Freedom only works if everyone has equal access to the same freedoms.

And Hay seems to be forgetting about all those millions of people that don't have access to the same freedom of choice in affording good health care as he seems to have access to.

The idea that socialistic programs don't work is a fallacy... as evidenced by the many nations that already enjoy universal health care systems.

Why is that so hard to look at objectively and without GOP speak blurring one's vision?


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RE: Branko Milanovic

So funny Hayski, thinking we don't know the difference between social democracy and dictatorships masked as Communism, like China post-WWII or France post-revolution but pre-Napoleonic.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

  • Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 14:21

Sounds like the USA is the only non-commie nation left, right Hay?
Universal health care will surely be the death of us.......though at a later age.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

There are no death panels, Hay... your media lies to you.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

This from PolitiFact:

"Death panels. This falsehood, our 2009 Lie of the Year, started after an early draft of the bill sought to allow Medicare to pay for doctors’ visits in which patients discussed end-of-life care, such as living wills. The critics labeled it suicide counseling. Conservative superstar Sarah Palin amped up the debate in August 2009 by declaring on her Facebook page, 'The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care.' But there was never any panel like that in the bill. Recently, Palin has defended her comments, pointing to the Independent Payment Advisory Board as a death panel. Either way, the claim is ridiculously false and earned a Pants on Fire."

The Medicare provision referred to in the above material from PolitiFact is addressed here:

"January 5, 2011
The Obama administration has suddenly pulled the plug on a new regulation that made voluntary end-of-life counseling a reimbursable service under Medicare.

The provision, introduced as a regulation in November to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA), had taken effect January 1.

This is the second time that Medicare reimbursement for end-of-life counseling, also called advance care planning, has been shot down. An early version of healthcare reform legislation in 2009 called for paying physicians to engage their Medicare patients in advance care planning. However, this measure was withdrawn after critics, including former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, charged that it amounted to an attempt to save money by hastening the death of the elderly with the help of federal 'death panels,' which were erroneously said to be authorized by the bill.

The provision reemerged after the passage of the ACA, which reimburses physicians for an annual wellness visit with Medicare patients, an extension of the one-time 'Welcome to Medicare' visit already in place. The Welcome to Medicare visit can include advance care planning as one of its reimbursable components. In final regulations spelling out how it will implement the ACA, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made advance care planning an optional annual wellness visit component as well.

The regulation drew applause from leaders of organized medicine and physicians involved in end-of-life care, but ACA opponents contended that the Obama administration was sneaking its 'death panel' ideology back into the law.

A story published by the New York Times yesterday quoted an unnamed Obama administration official as saying that the provision for advance care planning had not appeared in a proposed version of the CMS regulations published in July for the sake of soliciting public feedback. Instead, it appeared only in the final regulations published in November.

'We realize that this should have been included in the proposed rule, so more people could have commented on it specifically,' the official was quoted as saying.

A spokesperson for the US Department of Health and Human Services told Medscape Medical News that the New York Times story was correct.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment."

So, yeah; "the provision for advance care planning had not appeared in a proposed version of the CMS regulations published in July for the sake of soliciting public feedback. Instead, it appeared only in the final regulations published in November," and they "realize that this should have been included in the proposed rule, so more people could have commented on it specifically," and "A spokesperson for the US Department of Health and Human Services told Medscape Medical News that the New York Times story was correct," and "The White House did not respond to a request for comment."

So some major transparency on the part of the White House might have prevented this issue being beaten to death, and the wrong information maybe would not have continied to circulate. But there it is; bottom line: no 'death panels'...at this time.

.

Here is a link that might be useful: No Death Panels


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RE: Branko Milanovic

End of life counseling is in no way the same thing as a death panel.....not even close.


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RE: Branko Milanovic

I agree with Chase... plus, there are reasons for political spin of words. They're called votes.


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