Feelings
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-10-08 13:32 by Karl Denninger
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Feelings
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Feelings have no place in a public-policy debate, and those who attempt to use such argument must be brought up on public fraud charges and imprisoned.

Yeah, I know, I'll get hate mail for that statement -- because it's true.

Let's just start with my recent post on Trump's administration and birth control.  The usual response to my argument is "well, what do you do with women who need the $200 pills instead of the $10 ones"?

My answer is simple: There are more options for birth control than pills, and it is precisely the obscuring of the price that allows someone to charge 20 times the going rate for a product that does the same thing.

In other words absent the "feelings" arguments there would be statistically zero $200/mo birth control pills sold because almost-nobody would pay that much money.  Those who had some legitimate medical reason to not use the $10 or $20 options would choose some other form of birth control (e.g. Depo, an IUD, being involved only with a man who has had a vasectomy on a monogamous basis, etc.)  The few who insisted on paying the $200 would be free to do so, but the lack of customers would cause the price to go down.  In fact I suspect the cost of making such $200 pills is not much more than the cost of making the $10 ones, and it is precisely that they are patented that prevents someone else from copying them at 1/20th the price.  That, in turn, means the only control on price is transparency and a market system where people pay out of their pocket what they think something is worth when examined against all the other alternatives by them.

Likewise, absent the "feelings" argument there would be no $500,000 cancer treatments either.  This, however, doesn't mean the treatment would not exist -- only that the price wouldn't.  Cancer patients would have to take the various treatment options and their published and verified effectiveness ratings along with price into account and choose.  Those who tried to gouge wouldn't get away with it because there's no market for that.  Those who had a superior and more-expensive product would get away with it if individual cancer sufferers deemed the price to worth it.  Again, patents make possible restrictions on duplication but a patent can't force you to buy.  If people have to write an actual check and can't force someone else to pay then the cost:benefit analysis becomes both exposed and judged by the person most-impacted by the decision -- the one with the cancer!

The "feelings" argument is that companies would not develop such treatments without the ability to charge $500,000.  Nonsense.  The profit motive is sufficient; if you think some company would not spend a billion dollars to make three because the market won't let them make $20 billion you're insane.  They most-certainly will if the treatment's effectiveness is actually higher or the price lower than the alternative and thus they can induce people to shift preference to them via market forces.

Those who argue otherwise are mentally ill and have no place in a public-policy debate. Kroger operates a large chain of grocery stores all across the country.  They do so with a profit margin of 1.32% and an operating margin of 2.61%, as of the current time.  This is a hundred billion dollar a year company in revenue.

Companies won't make drugs they can't charge $50,000 for when the cost of producing said drug is $50?  Like hell they won't; it is proved that firms will, because there are millions of companies that do operate on extremely tiny margins.  Perhaps Merck and Lily will not but someone will, because the profit motive is sufficient.  The existence of Kroger (and Walmart, for that matter, which operates at 2.47% profit margin!) is proof of that.

2.47% margin on $50 is a selling price of $51.24!

The feelings arguments about mass-homicides and gun control is another one.  Not one of these people gives a flying **** about people actually dying.  If they did they'd look at the facts and direct their attention to where the most people die, statistically, via direct and intentional acts of others.

First, we'd sum heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  That's about 850,000 people a year.  The common thread through all three is high-carbohydrate, high-glycemic index food consumption and obesity.  While not all of this is due to third-party influence a hell of a lot of it is -- "Tony the Tiger" anyone?   We would also take all of those so-called "body positive" people pushing that crap and prattling on about "healthy at any size" in an "educational" setting and eject them for trying to kill their students.  Those who did so in the context of any sort of advertising or promotion of a commercial product would get hard felony prison time for consumer fraud, be asset-stripped to their underwear and then thrown in this donkey pen with no pants.  (Warning: NSFW!)

When it comes to firearms we'd be honest.  We'd point out that as gun ownership has gone up dramatically the rate of firearm deaths, for all reasons including suicide, has gone down dramatically.  From 1970 to 2015 the rate fell by almost 25%.  When it comes to black people the change is even more-dramatic; the rate of firearm deaths has fallen by almost 50%!  This isn't a "cherry pick" either; with the exception of a small increase from 1970-1980 and 2014-2015 the rate has declined on a general basis.  You'd never know this reading the paper of course because the truth is never told in that regard.  We would treat intentional falsehoods such as those run by politicians and the media as the public frauds that they are and indict the people who do so in an attempt to drive public policy -- especially when they make money by raising funds for "charities" and "causes" through such lies.  The raising of funds under false pretense is already a crime; we need no new laws, just enforcement of the ones we already have.

How about cancer?  The rate has gone down by about 12% since 1990.  Most of this is probably smoking-related; the largest change is in the lungs, and among men.  Other big changes are in colorectal, prostate, ovarian and cervix.  Note that this isn't cause of death, it's cancer incidence.

Guess what's gone up?  Chronic conditions -- by a lot.  You know where those conditions really start to get you bigtime?  45-64.  Do you know why?  Because your "all sizes are positive" feelings crap is a lie and 30 years later you're ****ed, that's why.

That garbage has led to a 30% increase in those with 4 or more chronic conditions in that age bracket from 2002-2015!  These are all severely-debilitating conditions:  hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, hepatitis, weak or failing kidneys, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or current asthma and most of them are associated with being obese.

What does "public policy feelings" bring us: Death.

Then we top death with entire industries that trade on feelings and promote them via the media, their lobbyists and politicians along with academics you allow to continue to remain employed in both public schools and universities who use your feelings to steal more than three trillion dollars a year from the public or approximately the mortgage payment on a middle-class house from each and every American family.

Just one of these diseases -- diabetes -- has roughly doubled in prevalence since 1988 from 5.2% to 9% of all persons over the age of 20.  That's crazy; 22% of persons over 65 are diabetic and damn near every one of those cases was not only preventable by not eating all those ****ing fast carbs it can be either largely controlled or even completely eliminated RIGHT NOW by cessation of putting those fast carbs down the pie hole!

Got that folks?  Feelings as public-policy prohibit us from telling Type II Diabetics (of which nearly all 65+ year old diabetics are) that they would either have partially controlled or even non-diabetic blood sugar levels if they stopped eating carbohydrates other than green vegetables.  We could not only stop the death we could stop spending $400 billion ****ing dollars a year subsidizing people's choice to kill themselves by stuffing their pie holes and that's just the public (government paid) cost.

These are medical and financial factsnot feelings.

Want more-crazy?  The disability percentage among adults is approximately one in three.  That's defined as "at least one basic actions difficulty or complex-activity limitation."  77 million people over the age of 18 claim same.  That's up from 61 million in 1997, or a 26% increase.  Care to bet what percentage of those are linked to obesity?  Want to bet it's in the 90% range?  If we stopped with the body positive and healthy at any size garbage this number would fall and if we told people the truth about eating fast carbohydrates and stopped coddling them if they insist on continuing to do so it would likely fall precipitously.

Again, these are medical and financial factsnot feelings.

When it comes to macronutrients 33% of the diet comes from total fat.  The problem is that only 11% is from saturated fats; the rest are vegetable oils which we know are unhealthy either because they're trans-fats or have a horrible Omega 3:6 balance.  At the same time 50% of the average caloric intake is from carbohydrates.

THIS SET OF INTAKES HAS TAKEN THE PERCENTAGE OF NORMAL WEIGHT ADULTS FROM 41.6 TO 28.9% FROM 1988 TO 2014, ALL ACCENTUATED BY "BODY POSITIVE" AND "FEELINGS" BASED NONSENSE SUCH AS "HEALTHY AT ANY SIZE" INSTEAD OF TELLING PEOPLE THE TRUTH: THEY'RE FAT, THEY'RE EATING THEMSELVES TO DEATH AND IT IS MOSTLY ABOUT WHAT THEY EAT THAT IS DRIVING THEIR DESIRE TO EAT MORE AND THUS BECOME EVEN LARGER!

SIX IN TEN 20+ YEAR OLDS ARE OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE AND THAT RATIO RISES TO AS HIGH AS EIGHT IN TEN AMONG MEN (AND 74% IN WOMEN) BY THE TIME THEY'RE 55!

WHAT'S EVEN WORSE AND IS ACTUAL CHILD ABUSE THAT WE REFUSE TO CALL WHAT IT IS AND PROSECUTE, INSTEAD AGAIN PLAYING THE "FEELINGS" CARD IS THAT NINE PERCENT OF CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF FIVE AND NEARLY EIGHTEEN PERCENT OF THOSE AGED 6-11 ARE OBESE!  THAT'S INSANE.

Now let's talk mental health.  There is a lot of noise made about this with Obamacare and the government.  However, from 1998 to 2014-15 there was no statistically-material change in the serious psychological distress rate; it went from 3.2% to 3.3% of the population.  This is statistical noise; that is, there has been no increase in serious psychological distress.  So much for the "feelings" argument that "the government" or "health insurance" hasn't provided sufficient psychological and/or psychiatric care, and that in turn has led to more severe mental distress.  That claim is a lie.

Now let me top off the stupid: All this "feelings" garbage is known and in fact proved to be a public fraud. How do we know?  Because only 9.2% of the population says they have "fair or poor" health yet 70% of the adult population is overweight and 38% are obese!

At the same time one in three adults rates themselves disabled in that they're either limited in basic human functionality or cannot perform at least one common but complex activity!

I could keep going for hours -- literally, but I don't need to.

When we shove 800,000 people in the hole a year, somewhere north of half of them due to "feelings" driving public policy, we have a whole ****-ton of mass-murderers and their screaming harpy behavior is directly responsible for that death rate.   No further debate on public health serves a legitimate purpose until that is put to a stop, especially when one looks at the TINY contribution that things such as firearm homicides (about 8,000, or roughly one percent) made to that count of 800,000 dead bodies each and every year.

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Tdurden
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I'm about to take ride down to the grocery store as I do almost every Sunday and I already know what I'm going to see. Almost all of the "handicap" parking spots are taken, one or two might be a very elderly person that has trouble getting around unassisted. Almost all of the others are people who are so obese that they have to bring their own "rascal" (most likely paid for by medicaid or some private "insurance") or one of the many battery powered scooters that the store is so nice to provide. Note that the overriding reason why these jabba the hut wannabes got the handicap parking tag is because they are morbidly obese.

Once inside, every one of the carts adjoining the scooters will be filled with cases of carbonated corn syrup beverages, frozen pizzas, brightly colored breakfast cereal, pop tarts, etc. And that's just the main course! Dessert is even worse. And my god, do they love them some dessert!

At some point they drive the scooters over to the pharmacy to pick up the refills for the diabetes meds and maybe a refill for whatever their kids school demanded they be put on to make them more manageable.

I try to time the grocery shopping trips to 4:00 AM when none of the circus freaks are there, but I can't always go at that prime time for peaceful shopping.

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Kareninca
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Antidepressants are a big problem, too. SSRIs raise your blood insulin level. For instance, Zoloft (aka Sertraline):

"There were no significant differences in physical examination (blood pressure, BMI, body weight, height, waist circumference) and laboratory findings (glucose, HDL-C, LDL-C, HOMA-IR and HbA1C levels) at the 12th week after of treatment with sertraline compared to pretreatment values. However, insulin levels at the 4th, 8th and 12th weeks significantly increased compared with pretreatment values. Likewise, triglyceride levels at the 8th and 12th weeks significantly increased compared with pretreatment values."
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article....

It is really insidious. A psychiatrist I saw a couple of years ago wanted me to try Sertraline; I'd taken SSRIs in years gone by and they really improved my mood; most of my female relatives are on them (actually most females I know generally are on them). I told him I was worried they would make me diabetic. He said well, just keep an eye on your blood sugar; test it. But that wouldn't work if this stuff raises your insulin level. If anything, a raised insulin level would improve your blood glucose level for a while (I've seen that in other SSRI studies, though it doesn't appear in this one). While it made you fat. When I was on SSRIs I gained the usual 30 pounds, when I stopped them the weight went away.

One in four American women takes mental health meds; mostly SSRIs. That is many millions of people raising their insulin levels and making themselves fat.
Tickerguy
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Yep....

But again, it's "feelings" that allow this to happen. We should be dealing in FACTS.

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Winding it down.

Misterrc
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I found the psychiatric information shocking considering how many pill poppers we have nowadays vs when I was a kid. (30 years ago, boy I'm getting old) Though, based on my personal experience, I think the SSRIs and SNRIs should be a category 2 controlled substance and come with black box warnings about the extreme physical dependence they can cause. It's been almost a year now and I'm only down to 56% of my starting 300mg/day dose of Effexor XR. Even at my glacial taper pace it is hell, but I have started noticing small improvements elsewhere. Almost like some part of my brain that has been drugged to sleep has started waking up... And this info is now pretty common now but they are still selling this stuff by the truckload. But it would be silly of me to believe that people's health and well being would be more important than profits.
Onelegged
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Amen, brother.

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Quik49
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Had the teevee on while getting the garage ready for winter when a commercial for Mickey D's comes on....some "grandma" pushing thier chicken strips as hers....then goes on to loaf in a chair or the pool because she has all this free time on her hands.....oh, did I mention the guy on grandma....yeah eat teae and look like this....wtf is wrong with people....

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Spazzoidal
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It's amazing that even with the ability to know the truth, no one wants to face the truth. Today it is simple to uncover why we get fat, and why high insulin, which leads to inflammation, is the root cause for most of our western diseases.

I wonder if everyone knew how carbs make you sick, would enough people really change to have a measurable impact?

What would be the impact to our country if diets focused on lower insulin and thus lowering inflammation?
Mangymutt
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It is the exploitation of feelings that is the problem.

You have a vibrant, artist, beautiful daughter who, I truly hope is able to achieve the success she and you believe/feel she should.

I have a son close to her age who is vibrant, less than artistic but has his own set of skill and is good looking (Thanks to his mother) and I hope for great success from him also,as I believe and feel he can achieve it.

(That said I have another son....I am just happy he is working)

If I posted something truly tragic happened to either son, I am sure you and others would be sympathetic and may even feel bad for the situation.

But beyond that you and everyone else would not care. As it is my tragedy to deal with, how MY life's experiences say I should.

Bad things, good things happen to us all the time what may be awesome for my son, your daughter will yawn about, that is life.

It is my humble opinion that the goal of universal health care (and other centralized programs) is, is for us to collectively pay for the bad things that happen to others on a daily basis.

I as many others have tried to talk to people about how stupid and ridiculous health insurance is, yet 99% of the time they bring up someone they are related to and how that person needs the insurance. How do you talk common sense to someone with that mind set? You don't.

Feelings are GREAT!!! But exploiting them under a single umbrella is wrong. And like so many other government sponsored programs/ideas forces us into collective action, which no one can win....Expect those who sponsored the programs.

Oh I get and understand what your point is. But I am looking at it from our feeling being socialize and there is no way to win that argument as everyone wants their feelings to the front of the line.

Thanks for that post, I appreciate..... And feel :) you are spot one, but good luck putting any logic into that or ANY collective national issue.
Quik49
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Crap....it was the gut on grandma...not the guy.....lol

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Burya_rubenstein
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Well, there shouldn't be anything wrong with chicken strips. (Just skip the fries and throw away the bun.) OTOH, it *is* McDonalds, so who knows for sure...
Aquapura
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Quote:
Well, there shouldn't be anything wrong with chicken strips.


My spouse works for an agriculture company. Can't speak for McDonalds specifically but a lot of "inexpensive" meat has soy added. Unless you are buying raw unprocessed meat be very wary of what you're actually getting.

Ginnie
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I place a large helping of blame on doctors for our medical care mess. They don't tell their patients the truth about any treatments. They lie about the true effectiveness of many cancer treatments and never tell the truth about the risk vs. reward of chemo and radiation. I remember when they would chastise their overweight, smoking, drinking patients every time they had a doctor's appointment. My dad was overweight and smoked - he never left the doctor without a diet printout and a lecture to stop overeating and smoking. People are bad too because many would have a fit if a doctor "judged" them obese and told them to change their eating habits.

Fast forward to today and my husband has high blood sugar (Type 2). The doctor doesn't say one word about weight but prescribes medicine after medicine to lower blood sugar. And when blood pressure was up one visit tried to prescribe those pills, triglycerides high on another visit, statins - he declined both and on his next visit the problems had resolved. If he'd taken those pills that would have gotten his prescriptions up to 5 for an initial problem of moderately increased blood sugar.

He has lost 30 pounds and on his last visit the doctor said "If you keep losing weight, you're going to cure yourself." Now why did she never mention losing weight? Why did she never counsel even cutting out sweets? She obviously knew what works but is content prescribing multiple pharmaceuticals instead of giving sound medical advise. I call it malpractice. My husband is still losing weight and eating LCHF. He quit the pills a little early because of side effects (for which he'd have been given more pills). His blood sugar is very close to optimal and has done nothing but improve since the day I cleaned the carbs out of the house.

If he'd been uneducated, a very compliant patient or a big baby who wanted his sweets no matter what (I've heard those people), he'd be on 6 or more pills by now, still carrying excess weight which sapped his strength and muddled his mind. Doctors and patients are choosing to keep people walking (or scootering) around half alive rather than cutting out junk food and pills and living with energy and a clear mind. It's criminal and I don't see how we can afford as a nation for it to continue but I don't see an end in sight either.
Goforbroke
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Related ...

https://www.wsj.com/articles/farewell-va....

Quote:
At least half of U.S. states have schools that have stopped naming valedictorians, or now name multiple, to head off what school officials say has become unhealthy competition among students.


Sigh.

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, and not our Darkness, that most frightens us. -- Marianne Williamson
Radiosity
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Aquapura: sausages have the same issue over here. Supermarket bought stuff is generally 50-70% actual pork if you're lucky, the rest of wheat and other garbage. If I want real sausages, I head to the butcher and spend a little more to get ones that are closer to 99% pork (or beef or whatever).

So even if you're aware of the problems with wheat and the like, you still have to be super careful to check the ingredients list on prepackaged meats to be sure you're not stuffing that crap down your pie hole without realising.
Tickerguy
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Quote:
Aquapura: sausages have the same issue over here. Supermarket bought stuff is generally 50-70% actual pork if you're lucky, the rest of wheat and other garbage.

That's because the crap is cheaper.

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Winding it down.
Radiosity
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Karl - exactly. Mass produced garbage for the masses, heh. I either go for raw meat (minced or whatever) or whole pieces of chicken including the skin. Sausages and other crap that's bulked out with what amounts to poison went off my menu years ago, largely thanks to your posts on the subject of eating and health.

I already ate decently anyway (high fat, moderate protein), but I enjoyed pasta and potatoes and all that on the side of most meals until 4 or 5 years ago. These days? Nope.
Burya_rubenstein
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Aqua and Radiosity: I stopped eating any "meat" whose evidence of origin is destroyed by grinding (sausage, hamburger, etc.) a long time ago amid news that, suffice it to say, far worse things than Carbs were sometimes ending up in the stuff. My minimum requirement for something that claims to be meat is recognizable muscle fibers.

Last night I got chicken leg quarters for 40 cents a pound at a local supermarket. They look for all the world like someone cut the legs off some chickens and put them in a plastic bag.

As for the above mentioned chicken strips, I did include a disclaimer about it being McDonalds.
Mangymutt
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WOW - Radiosity, that may explain a lot to me, thanks.

I read the label and it "looks" very low carb, but if any wheat is put in as a filler it destroys what I am wanting. Although I am truly surprised by what you say, I am not the least bit surprized....yea puzzle that one out.

For all those that think or believe eating healthy is more expensive, well it is, but it is also WAY cheaper than eating Cheerios and Doritos, not just health costs, but food costs too.

I have never been a pork eater, just not my thing, but I do like bacon, but bacon in my house is not always the easiest thing to make, so I switched to sausage. I actually learned to enjoy sausage,(NOT that sausage you perverts) Now that I find out the thing I have learned to enjoy, sausage, may be filled with wheat,(No offense to you Radiosity, or Karl for backing him up) I need to do the research to find out if that is true.

I may now need to drive across town to get my sausage (You perverts) which will be a hit to my wallet, but if I consume less of it, it is worth it.

The expense of eating is up front, we eat, we pay, the cost of our health care is hidden (VERY much, like Karl's post about birth control i.e."feelings"...I mean who does not like to ****)we do not pay for it until years later. But the sad thing is, is we are LIED to about it, eat this, eat that, blah, blah,blah, and well in most cases it is cheaper to eat this or that and honestly in my opinion a little (Very little) of this or that will not harm you, but we see the cheaper stuff and buy it, not realizing 2 or 3 hours late we will be hungry , again for the same crap, we just ate.

So thank you Raidiosity (other may have said it before you, but I did not see it correctly) pointing out that store bought sausage may actually come (you perverts) to being on my do not eat list.

Pay for it now, or pay for it later, but do not make others pay for or feel like they should pay for your habits.

Feelings really are great, but making others pay for those feelings is asine.







Misterrc
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But.. but... if we don't make someone else pay for our own choices we'd have to actually accept responsibility for ourselves and our actions which would imply that a lot of the bad things that happen to us is our fault and that hurts our feelings. And we can't have that...

Ok, sarcasm aside, why is it so hard to take responsibility for oneself? I was raised to be self-sufficient, to take responsibility for myself and my actions, and to accept that my choices have consequences; both good and bad. The feelings of self-worth, pride, and accomplishment that comes with this thought process far outweighs the occasional times where I've had to suck it up, admit I screwed up, and take responsibility for my mistakes. But knowing I'm responsible for myself also provides incentive to endeavor to make correct choices because having to admit wrong and fix my mistakes sucks.

The same applies to my prescription meds situation. (SSRIs/SNRIs and benzos for 25 years now) I may not have known then what I know now, but I still took the medications without question all these years. That's on me so I don't entirely blame the medical industry, though they still have pissed me off.

I also used to be very much into the carbonated liquid sugar. I used to live off mountain dew and fast food. By genetic luck of the draw, my family has always metabolized this type of junk rather well and I haven't struggled with weight or diabetes. But I doubt that will last forever. After college the fast food habits fell off but I still continued with the soda until I reached a point several years ago when I found that I couldn't handle the caffeine any longer. But I just resorted to non-caffeinated drinks. When I started my Effexor weaning process around new years I had read that pumping myself full of sugar also probably does not help, so I dropped it cold turkey. Now, I've been about 30 pounds overweight since post college after 2000. It isn't much for my height, but since dropping just the soda about 15 of that has dropped off and I still continue on a slow weight loss.

Now I just need to get more active. I used to do cross country and track in high school/college but as I went into technology I got more sedentary. Again, no real weight or health issues. My BP, glucose and cholesterol are all excellent but I believe the genetic lottery is more the reason than anything. I know I would feel better overall if I was more active and that is also on me, and nobody else. I also have a small spare tire because the extra pounds refuse to evenly distribute. But I know what I have to do and the choice is mine alone. And not making such a choice is also my responsibility, just like choosing what I eat or what chemicals I put in my body...

Hopefully I can instill most of the right values in my children. There's so little of it left out there.
Orionrising
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Incept: 2017-01-26

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powe....

hmmm...

"
Friess added that he is partly motivated by his concerns about the nations health-care system and his desire to see health-care providers publish prices. Those concerns, he said in the email, might be enhanced by a position in the Senate. "

that's not something I have seen a possible candidate say before.
Jack_crabb
Posts: 5264
Incept: 2010-06-25

Peoples' Republik of Maryland
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Quote:
that's not something I have seen a possible candidate say before.


Trump did when he was running for the nomination. Then the pertinent points disappeared form his website - never to be mentioned again. (As an aside, that is one big reason our genial host cannot stand the current President.)

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Molon Labe
Where is Henry Bowman when you need him?
How many are willing to pledge this? We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor
Tickerguy
Posts: 150044
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Quote:
Trump did when he was running for the nomination. Then the pertinent points disappeared form his website - never to be mentioned again. (As an aside, that is one big reason our genial host cannot stand the current President.)

Exactly, and that people refuse to hold the entire ****ing COUNTRY to account for not shoving this up his and the entire RNC's ******* until they can TASTE IT is why I'm DONE.

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Winding it down.
Jack_crabb
Posts: 5264
Incept: 2010-06-25

Peoples' Republik of Maryland
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Can't argue with your logic, Karl. Utterly disgusted with the American public.

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Molon Labe
Where is Henry Bowman when you need him?
How many are willing to pledge this? We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor
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