Can Americans FORCE A Health Care Fix?
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2018-12-04 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 156 references Ignore this thread
Can Americans FORCE A Health Care Fix?
[Comments enabled]

It's often asked -- how hard would it be, and would it involve extraordinary lawlessness (e.g. murder on a mass scale, civil war, etc) to fix health care?  Really fix it -- such as by demanding and getting passed something that looks like this?

Answer: NOT HARD AT ALL.

France is showing us this.

Their "yellow shirt" protests have exploded in size and popularity.  This, I remind you, is over a carbon tax on gas and diesel.

Something that is much less important than health care.

Oh, don't get me wrong -- a gas tax is a big deal, and Macron is finding out the hard way that "being green" has limits -- with those limits being found in people's wallets and the tolerance they have (or not, as the case may be) for an outright screwing.

But the screwing we take here in America is multiples of that imposed in France on gas and diesel.

The impact of these protests has to been to basically shut down tourism.  It's over.  Done.  Finis.  Kaput.  In the toilet.

Retail sales in the impacted French areas are off 35%.

How long can the economy survive such a hit?  Not very long!

What happens to tax revenues?  They get destroyed.

What happens to the government when faced with such a thing?  It either decides to start mass murdering people if they won't cut it out, which initiates a civil war, or it folds to their demands.

Guess what?  All government exists only as long as the people consent.

Oh, and the latest?  They won.

French Prime Minister is expected to announce a suspension of fuel tax hikes that have provoked a protest movement that has grown violent, according to French media.

I guess the French, ironically known as the folks from whom you can buy a great battle rifle -- never fired, only dropped once -- are proving to have far more willingness to push back against being screwed than Americans, even though their screwing is far less than the one we take in the medical sector on a daily basis.

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Rickysa
Posts: 2111
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And, it's gone....

Quote:
Macron makes U-turn on fuel-tax increases in face of 'yellow vest' protests



https://www.reuters.com/article/us-franc....
Mtdm
Posts: 511
Incept: 2009-07-23

NH
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The French are an irascible people with a long history of aggressive protests, strikes, trade disputes and suchlike. Leaving aside any comments about temperament and inclination toward such action, the bigger issue which I suggest would be repellent to most reasonable Americans is the predilection toward violence and disregard for personal property. For example, les gilets jaunes are, supposedly, protesting the government and its imposed tax: yet, they smash buildings and torch cars which belong to no-one in particular. Its the same with their historical protests: for example, the farmers blockade ports, and impede the passage of other private citizens, and destroy goods and vehicles.

Its also noteworthy that most of their protests have been made in favor of increased paternalism and handouts by the state: the fact that I may happen to sympathize with the object of their current designs does not mean I can support their methods.
Tdurden
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The French of recent decades indeed have earned the moniker "cheese eating surrender monkeys" which is a shame because they are descended from a tougher stock that, when faced with an out-of-touch/control elite, the people dragged them from their palaces and chopped off their heads. Boobus Amerikanus and the French have a lot in common...wherein both have had that capacity for revolt bread out of them.

But it looks like the French have found their hind legs again. Good on them! The rulers in this country would have no qualms whatsoever at sending in paramilitary "law enforcement" to crack as many heads and shoot as many in the back as required to gain compliance. I don't think I need to list all of the all too well known examples. But I will point out what all of that conditioning and example-setting got us is the shameful event in Boston just a few years ago where Americans were marched out of their homes at gunpoint as the pigs went house to house searching for one wounded, scrawny kid without so much as a whimper of protest or even an after-the-fact lawsuit.

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"I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next 10 generations that some favors come with too high of a price." -Vir Cotto Babylon 5
Aztrader
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The problem with getting people to protest healthcare is that so many are on the dole that a minority would be doing the protesting and the one's getting it for free would be ignoring them. The ACA subsidies make it look like you are getting your healthcare for almost free, but most folks have insane deductibles that they don't see until needed. It's like ignoring crime until you are attacked. The majority of people are zombies and don't have a clue. The poor who are given Medicaid or a state sponsored healthcare program, actually do get it for free and won't budge an inch. When the ACA passed, I wondered who would get the hardest and now we know that the self-employed, and those that make too much money at a job without benefits are paying the price to subsidize the rest.

The tax in France hit's almost everyone making it easy to attack. Telling someone that you are going to jack the cost of fuel so much due to climate change that hasn't been proven? That would get Americans off the couch.....
Franco
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Im from a third-world country but have been living in the USA for the past 23 years. When you move to another culture, there are head-scratchers that you eventually understand or accept, and there are a few other strange things that you never seem to fully come to terms with. The fact that in the 23 years that Ive been here there hasnt been a single general strike is utterly baffling to me.
Tickerguy
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@Franco -- Yep. Me too, and I was born here.

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Winding it down.
Click
Posts: 366
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Online
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France has a higher tax burden than any other country in the euro zone apart from Belgium. And a gallon of gas is $7 in Paris. Yeah, the French have got some good quality-of-life benefits; and I'll give them that; however, socialism always ends badly. It's just a matter of time.

And I wouldn't call what just happened a real victory, either. The government has promised to delay raising taxes. That's all. It might become a genuine victory when the guillotines come back into service. Until then France shall remain kafkaesque. And even if the heads roll once again in France, the final outcome shall probably be more Marxism, not less. The French are indeed that ****ing stupid --- like everyone else in the EU and beyond.

As far as the butt ****ing Americans are taking goes, I expect that to continue, too --- with more Marxism yet to come in the near future.
Whitehat
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while we might debate whether the why or what or even how of the protestors is good, there is no doubt that this is an example of what works. shutting down a major component of the economy, in this case tourism, along with other economic consequences got the ruler's attention and action. it should also be noted that this protest in France is to a great extent by an underclass that they created often through import, but still it works. we should note this if we keep too many disenfranchised people around such as south american illegals they could eventually show us how it is done.

what is the USA's economically most important thing, buying ****. if a mass of people firstly did not buy anything but the essentials even trimming those, downsized their lives, even managed to work much less, the rulers would take notice big time. what if greater than 30% less stuff was sold this holiday of financial obligation? and not purchased after the holiday either. no hotel rooms or airline tickets or fuel to visit, everyone stays home and promises to do the same next year. what if many college students simply dematriculate, permanently?

the reason the above does not happen is twofold. we are not a unified people anymore, oftentimes actively despising our fellow countrymen. and the debt-system keeps things from getting too bad; they have not become bad enough yet. when a mass of people start wondering whether the lights stay on tomorrow or if the choice starts becoming utilities or food, been there, then the fun begins.

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There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.
snow, seasons, distance and dirt roads: SSDD
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7)
Asimov
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France has a bit of a mixed reputation. You've got the whole ww2 thing... and then you've got the french revolution.

I promise you, macron is thinking about the latter - not the former. So are the people.

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It's justifiably immoral to deal morally with an immoral entity.

Festina lente.
Tickerguy
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When I see the yellowshirts erect a guillotine right near the Louvre or Eiffel Tower I'll definitely sit up and pay attention.... and yes, I do believe Macron is thinking about the possibility of exactly THAT happening.

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Winding it down.
Burke13
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@Franco - I was just a little kid at the time, but do remember boycotts and strikes happened regularly in the U.S. back in the late 70s and very early 80s. Absolutely nothing since then. What happened in the early 80s that made both boycotts and strikes go away? I'm sure it's not the only contributing factor but if I had to single out one thing, I'd say it was the 35-year continual lowering of interest rates from 1981-2016.
Whitehat
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@Burke13 -- you nailed it! the debt system kept people from realizing that we as a country and individually could not really afford to keep up appearances. then for good measure being highly leveraged without the ability to save, people did not dare to stop working. like it was planned.

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There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.
snow, seasons, distance and dirt roads: SSDD
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7)
Mangymutt
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I am a little surprised no one has brought up the carbon tax in France is a direct tax on the consumer, they are literally having to chose between ,or filing up. With an added benefit of being forced to pay more for their food, as the cost of getting it to the self has increased too.

Most of the taxes here in the states are somewhat hidden, even ACA is somewhat a hidden tax. Even though many people see it on their tax forms, very few actually have to pay the costs directly out of pocket. And beyond that many of the costs are meshed within the criminal billing system health care is using. People who fall into a certain bracket qualify for Medicare, in many employer provided packages the worker does not see a direct hit to their pay check, they just see they are being taxed at "$$$$.cc" more for their "benefits".

Of course the large companies, Walmart and what have you have ways around paying those costs, but if you are self employed or are a small business you feel the pain of this tax. If the vast majority of people were forced to pay this out of pocket every pay period, I believe they would revolt. But for now most of our taxes are deferred to another day, to another generation.

Burke13 sums up something that has been discussed on Market-Ticker several times and once that unpaid, unfunded wave of costs that have been pulled forward comes due there will be hell to pay. But for now more people are believing they are getting something for free, or close to it, than those who are actually being forced to pay out of pocket for non-existent services.
Dennisglover
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Indeed, "getting something for free". That one just sets me completely on an orbital trajectory burn.

My Mother is 88 years old, on Medicare of course, but also on pensions from her last husband's work, and is so addicted to Ambien that she can't imagine going to sleep without taking her few micrograms a few times a night. Last week she ran out and had to go a night without "Mother's Little Helper". She's been taking the stuff for at least 20 years (which is/should be strongly discouraged by any physician worthy of the title).

So she made it to the doc's office and he gave her a new prescription. The pharmacy wouldn't fill the entire 30 pills, but "lent" her enough to last at prescribed dosing until the insurance company will allow a new refill. The best I can determine is the prescription is for 30 pills in 30 days, and insurance won't allow that to be breached; pharmacies apparently can provide little "loans", though.

Yesterday she got the full refill (minus the ones previously lent, you see).

Her major pride in the whole thing was that the refill "only cost her" something like a dollar. Now, the one time I had a prescription for Ambien, twenty pills cost me $75 after the insurance company allowed it, and while I really liked getting knocked out in that way my doctor wouldn't renew the prescription, on account of the dosing guidelines he knew about.

Her physician used to be mine, too. I fired him about 18 months ago. Pill-pusher!

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TANSTAAFL
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