Linky Friday #74

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    L1: Well, duh. Bit premature at this point, mainly since I hate going to a place and having to “do for myself”, which is why I never use the self checkout machines in the grocery store unless I have only 1 or 2 items. But it’s coming yall. Change the market dynamics and this is what you get.
    L2: Anyone who’s spent any time in a large company can see the amount of time wasted. Internet, water cooler, gossip, etc. “Working” is not the same as “at work”.
    C2: Not sure how effective this would be given the effective counter measures they listed. That, and the fact that it shouldn’t be illegal anyway.
    C3: Yeah, that story was debunked a while ago. Bout time you guys got around to it ? Of course, if you actually read the methodology, it’s clear they included a lot more shootings that were non the alleged topic of the article-but what do you expect from these types?
    T6: You shouldn’t need to “sell” this to anyone. It should be their choice. If you’re an adult, you can evaluate the risks yourself. If you’re a kid, your parents can do it.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Damon
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      says:

      @da
      Re: C2. Are you saying drunk driving shouldn’t be illegal?Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to James Hanley
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        I’ve read arguments that we should be penalizing bad driving performance, not intoxication itself (swerving over the line because you are drunk, or tired, or messing with your phone, should all carry the same penalty, since all could have the same tragic results). I can kind of see the logic, though I’m not sure if I totally buy it.

        In my ideal world, any driver who did something that made the cop suspect they were not OK to drive would have to take a simulated driving test (maybe portable VR goggles/gear?) on the spot, and if they can’t pass, they are considered “impaired” (whether drunk, tired, stoned, emotionally upset, etc. is kind of irrelevant). Old people would hate this though. “Newfangled video games!”

        Also this:

        there seem to be some countermeasures, such as driving with windows open … “However, such situations are very easily detected by the system, which sends this information to the policeman indicating that the car should be checked.”

        I kind of don’t like, since it would seemingly say that driving with windows down (assuming weather conditions are normal) could be seen as “probable cause”. I drive with my windows down a lot, because I like the fresh air, and I do feel that it in general keeps one more alert, especially if you are a bit tired.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to James Hanley
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        Glyph,
        I’d rather we eliminate speeding, and penalize bad driving performance. The issue with driving while “under the influence” (including sleep deprivation in this one), is that one is not able to accurately judge how horrible of a driver one is.

        Also, how do you rate the driver who, in your VR game, attempts to launch missiles at the passing car? [yes, there are downsides to learning how to drive from video games.]Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to James Hanley
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        It’s already illegal to operate a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner. Drunk driving laws are redundant. And no, drunk driving shouldn’t be illegal. Given the wide differences between how various people react to the same amount of alcohol in their system, the legal definition of “impaired” is BS.

        “Scotty, warp power to the shields!”Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to James Hanley
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        says:

        Damon,
        except, they’re really, really not. You, after about 3 drinks, are probably significantly impaired. In fact, you might even be as impaired as a guy I know — when he’s sober.

        Difference is? He’s well aware of his reaction times, and compensates. You might not be (and probably aren’t) aware of how much of a deficit you’re racking up over your normal abilities.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to James Hanley
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        Damon,
        Also, the following distance you need goes up linearly by reaction time (unless you’re using other means to compensate). It’s hard for a cop to tell that, though, ain’t it? Ought we to ticket sober people based on a “two drink minimum” presumption of impairment?

        (actually, I might just like that…)Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to James Hanley
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        @Kim,
        My point is that the legal definition is .08 BAC. When you BAC is .08 you’re automatically guilty. Given that not everyone is equally impaired with a BAC of .08, the “threshold” is legally BS. Someone might be legally impaired at .03, or .09, or .10. That’s my point.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to James Hanley
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        says:

        Damon,
        Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could allow people to measure their own impairment before driving? (works way better for being drunk than being sleepy, mind).Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to James Hanley
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        My point is that the legal definition is .08 BAC. When you BAC is .08 you’re automatically guilty. Given that not everyone is equally impaired with a BAC of .08, the “threshold” is legally BS. Someone might be legally impaired at .03, or .09, or .10. That’s my point

        You seem to be under the impression the drunk driving laws were based on an individual’s driving ability, regardless of impairment, rather than as a aggregate bright line.

        Maybe you, driving at 75 miles an hour, are a far superior driver to everyone zipping along at 55. You’re still getting the ticket. Laws are written for the aggregate — whether it’s voting or drinking age, speed limit, or whatever BAC triggers you as ‘drunk’ for the purposes of ‘too drunk to legally drive’.

        It has the benefit of being simple, objective, and to the point — no judgement calls necessary. Just like requiring glasses or a license to drive, we require you to drive with a BAC under a certain amount.

        Because we’ve determined that BAC over that amount seems to result in more bad driving than we’re willing to tolerate.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to James Hanley
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        @morat20

        Your statement is false. “We” didn’t determine it at all. I certainly never agreed, much less voted for it. Therefore it was imposed on us. That alone makes it illegitimate.

        “It has the benefit of being simple, objective, and to the point — no judgement calls necessary. Just like requiring glasses or a license to drive, we require you to drive with a BAC under a certain amount.” Right, it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re really impaired or not, the number says you are by legal definition. Didn’t some administration basically say they could kill americans, or anyone for that matter, because they said it was legal? Nice.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to James Hanley
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        Not having an air-conditioned car is probable cause? Yeah, no chance for abuse there.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to James Hanley
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        I certainly never agreed, much less voted for it. Therefore it was imposed on us. That alone makes it illegitimate.

        Not a big fan of the republican form of government, I see.Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to James Hanley
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        @damon “I certainly never agreed, much less voted for it. Therefore it was imposed on us. That alone makes it illegitimate.”

        I only flag this, as an example of the sticky, fringe-sounding arguments that liberals hold up as How They Think.
        How do you imagine this sounds to the rest of us?

        “Only things I like are legitimate” is what it sounds like, with all the creepy authoritarianism that the sentence contains.
        Maybe thats not what you meant- but without considerable qualifiers, disclaimers, and hedging, thats what the quoted sentence means.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to James Hanley
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        @lwa

        L, First off, please don’t call me a Liberal. I’m not. As to how it sounds to the rest of you all? Or perhaps just you? Doesn’t matter to me.

        ““Only things I like are legitimate” is what it sounds like, with all the creepy authoritarianism that the sentence contains.” Actually, that’s your interpretation, coming through your filter. That’s actually an accusation that should be made for all those who think “there out to be a law” against whatever is their current bugaboo. That’s certainly not MY belief.

        Since “we” means all of us collectively, and I didn’t agree, support, or vote for it, “we” is false. Therefore, saying “we” voted for it and it’s what society wants, which is what Morat was saying, isn’t correct. Morat’s point, I believe, was the whole, “but this is a democracy and you have to an opportunity to vote if you don’t like it” is the same old canard. Right. “democracy” is just another example of the tyranny of the majority.Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to James Hanley
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        Your claims of tyranny would be more persuasive if you could point to some definition of legitimacy which didn’t just consist of “Stuff Damon doesn’t like vs Stuff Damon does like.”
        Otherwise you are functionally operating like Rick Santorum.

        Tyranny of the majority is a real thing, I agree. There are cases where the majority makes really stupid and evil decisions. Having a consittution which places a high barrier around certain things helps, having a republic helps, but in the end, democracy isn’t a magic solution to the real problem, which is human nature.

        Are you open to the notion that something can be wrong, even hurtful, and yet be a legitimate?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to James Hanley
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        It’s even simpler than that. If you want a road you can drive drunk on, build your own.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to James Hanley
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        Very nice, Mike.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to James Hanley
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        Just to play Devil’s Advocate here a touch for Damon’s benefit.

        AFAIK – The BAC of 0.08 is a federal recommendation that is set by the NTSB. This limit is not voted on (directly) by Congress.

        The use of the NTSB BAC is one of the requirements for states to get federal money for roads & highways, in much the same way that drinking ages & seat belt laws are used. So while states may “vote” to lower BAC or raise drinking ages, that decision is heavily leveraged with the cash payouts.

        So, the question is, was any such state vote an honest/legitimate vote (given that there was a pretty nasty condition attached to not voting a certain way). If you say yes, it was honest/legitimate, at what point does it become not so? To an extreme example, if the Chinese told Washington to allow them to Annex CA, or they would nuke every population center with more than 1M people, and DC voted for it…Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to James Hanley
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        @lwa
        I really fail to see the connection between “what Damon doesn’t like” and “legitimacy”. What I like has nothing to do with the legitimacy.

        “Are you open to the notion that something can be wrong, even hurtful, and yet be a legitimate?” I’m not sure what you mean. Example? I understand that something can be wrong, hurtfull, and legal. That doesn’t necessarily make it moral or “right”.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Damon
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      [T6] I’ve recently stopped wearing a helmet when I’m riding alone. I feel like a bit of a hypocrite about it because I wear one when I’m riding with my daughter, and am not sure how I will explain the discrepancy when she inevitably calls it out.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to dragonfrog
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        “Why are you calling me a hypocrite? I don’t see any …. oh, yeah. You’re right, but it never occurred to me. I guess my brain wasn’t working all that well. See, that’s what happens when you don’t wear a helmet!”Report

  2. Avatar aaron david
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    Regarding C1, a question for the lawyers here: What is the job of a defense attorney? Is it to get the client off, or to ensure that they get a fair and speedy trial? I am not trying to be snarky here, but I think that question is what is at the basis of these problems with public perception.Report

    • Avatar morat20 in reply to aaron david
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      To get their client off, actually. Adversarial system.

      The reason defense attorney’s are provided to those who can’t afford them is to ensure a fair trial and adequate defense, as is your right in this country.

      But the actual job is, well, to win. Same as it is for prosecutors. We’re just more sympathetic to prosecutors because they represent victims — so their misdeeds in going after the wrong folks have to be particularly egregious. Whereas defense attorney represent criminals or accused criminals, who aren’t quite so sympathetic.

      In short, defense attorneys are ethically bound to try every legal stratagem that might work to free their client, even if they know their client is guilty. If the public doesn’t like it, that’s really not the defense attorney’s fault — that’s how the entire justice system is set up. Failing to offer a full-throated, balls-to-the-walls, get-my-client free defense (regardless of guilt) would be a massive ethical lapse — and distort the judicial system to boot.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to morat20
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        To get their client off, actually

        So… Defense with a happy ending?Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to morat20
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        Defense with a happy ending?

        This explains why they are so expensive.

        To @aaron-david ‘s original question, the framing is wrong, it’s not an either/or thing.

        By trying to get their client off, they are doing their part to ensure the client gets a fair trial, since the state has far larger resources to throw at them.Report

      • Avatar aaron david in reply to morat20
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        @morat20 To a greater or lesser degree I agree with you, but I would guess that Joe Public might think the other way on this, which would explain the issues that the public has with the profession.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to morat20
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        The prosecutors job is not technically to secure a conviction but to serve the public interest. If a prosecutor thinks that the accused is not guilty they are supposed to say so to the Court and not fight the case. This doesn’t happen in practice a lot but thats the theory.Report

      • Avatar Jonathan McLeod in reply to morat20
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        I’d guess @glyph has it most right, but I’ll just add that it’s their job to get their client off (or get the best result for their client) within the bounds of a fair procedure. They’re not allowed to do absolutely anything to win (perjury, concealing evidence, etc.).Report

    • Avatar Francis in reply to aaron david
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      A defense counsel’s job is to zealously represent the interests of your client within the confines of your professional obligations. It’s the prosecutor’s job to ensure a fair and speedy trial.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Francis
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        Is it really the prosecutor’s job to ensure a fair trial? Or the judge’s?Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Francis
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        James:

        Yes, they represent the State (Prosecutor) and the State (Judicial branch) respectively. The defense attorney represents his client alone, whereas the other two are government.

        And the whole sixth amendment thing goes for speedy. For “fair” you’re really talking due process and a bunch of court stuff — but again, whatever ‘fair’ means in US law — the Judge and Prosecutor shoulder the burden of ensuring it, because they are the government (state, federal or local).Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Francis
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        whatever ‘fair’ means in US law — the Judge and Prosecutor shoulder the burden of ensuring it,

        OK, you can put your faith in a prosecutor’s duty to secure a fair trial, to follow due process faithfully. For my part, I think that’s so unrealistic it’s not even worth pretending that it’s the prosecutor’s job.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Francis
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        I didn’t say I put faith in it — the defense attorney’s job is to scream when it doesn’t happen. (There’s a reason the accused is guaranteed counsel).

        My point is that the Judge and prosecutor have the duty to ensure the trial is fair. The judge more so than the prosecutor, but as the prosecutor represents the state, anything he does is magnified.

        Is it their job, their duty, to ensure the trial is fair. Rules of evidence are followed, the law is followed, the jury is impartial, etc.

        The defense attorney, in addition to representing is client, is there as a watchdog to ensure the state does not shirk in their duty.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Francis
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        Morat,

        Perhaps I shouldn’t have put it that way. So let me try this. Historically, in our colonial ancestor Great Britain, the job of the prosecutor was to convict. The defense wasn’t allowed to speak on their own behalf and weren’t allowed an attorney. Those two rights, among others, were hard fought victories for defendants. Those are constraints we put on the prosecutors because fairness was not their responsibility.

        Today that has not actually changed. We don’t expect prosecutors to ensure fairness. During voire dire, for example, we don’t have a rule that through voire dire prosecutors are supposed to ensure a fair jury as opposed to trying to select a convicting jury.

        The idea that the prosecutor, as the representative of the state, has a duty of fairness sounds like what we’d like representatives of the state to do, but I don’t think it matches anything in our legal history. And the theory of due process is largely a theory of constraining police and prosecutors. So it seems to me that even in theory we never actually have treated the prosecutor’s duties as ensuring fairness.

        If you can cite me some legal/political theory sources saying so, I’ll certainly entertain the idea. But I don’t think “representative of the state” is sufficient to get us there.Report

  3. Avatar Michael Cain
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    C6: According to the story, federal officials found five pounds of marijuana. Even in Washington, possession of that much is illegal unless you’re a licensed dispensary.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Michael Cain
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      5 lbs/5 defendants = 1lb per defendant. Not sure about the law, is that still illegal?

      Anyway, unless even 5 lbs could kill someone…who cares?

      http://www.newhealthguide.org/Can-You-Overdose-On-Marijuana.html

      What this means is that a person who weighs 140 pounds or about 63 kilograms would need to take in over 4 pounds of marijuana at once to reach the same levels as the large animal study and this still would has not been proven to be a fatal dosage. These studies have been ongoing over 30 years and researchers have yet to see a severe adverse event with the drug.

      Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Glyph
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        I’m in favor of legalization; I voted for it here in Colorado. I also favor reasonable regulation. I’d much rather that this case were being tried in state court, as a violation of the state laws and regs on medical marijuana practice, than in federal court for federal drug law violations (where it’s a slam-dunk win for the prosecutor, absent a jury that simply chooses to ignore the law).

        The Harveys appear to have been intentionally skating along the edge of the state restrictions on growing collectives, sometimes on the legal side and sometimes not. Certain paperwork is required to be kept. The number of plants is capped. Possession by the collective is limited to a total of 72 ounces, including what may have been incorporated in products (eg, edibles).Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Glyph
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        I do believe in this case, the state is asking the feds to let it go, & the feds are not listening, or at least, the US Attorney isn’t.Report

  4. Avatar James Hanley
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    M1. One of the complaints against Amazon is that they want to be able to offer customers aa orint on demand function when the publisher is out of stock. Assuming the publisher gets their cut, I’m not sure why they would object. The article I read also indicate that when a customer ordered an out of stock book, It would ship to Amazin, which would reship it. This makes little sense, it seems to me. The only beneficiary are the shipping firms.Report

    • Avatar aaron david in reply to James Hanley
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      @james-hanley My guess would be that Amazon wants to control the branding, making sure that it arrives in an Amazon labled package. Because to a certain degree, that is the only thing Amazon is selling.Report

    • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to James Hanley
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      “Assuming the publisher gets their cut, I’m not sure why they would object. ”

      When stupid things like this happen, there’s either a contractual obligation involved.

      I could see a printing house saying to a publisher “we are willing to print your books for one dollar each. In return, you may not have ANY other printing house print your books, even ones which we aren’t currently printing.” And the publisher signs up to that, saying (in 1992) “well it’s not like there’s ever going to be any other method of printing books, so that sounds OK to us!”Report

  5. Avatar Kim
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    Sports by county is an example of “what not to do” when color coding results. Seriously, that is completely impossible to read for more than 50% of the teams. Pittsburgh’s easy, though. I’m surprised to see Steelers fans in South Carolina — and in a couple of counties in Utah? Wtf? Portland and WV are easy to explain in comparison — though I’d have figured more penetration from TN.Report

  6. Avatar Kim
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    Quoting out of context:
    “lefty hippie enthusiasm for transgressive goat sex”

    yet another thing the extreme left and right have in common, I suppose.Report

  7. Avatar Kim
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    re: 538 on conservative/liberal commencement speakers.

    Molly Ivins not called as liberal (despite calling Chris Matthews liberal)?
    How… weird.Report

  8. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    L3: Sounds like this could be evidence of labor demobilization and that low skilled workers might be the most interchangeable. Liberals worry about formally decent manufacturing jobs being replaced by low wage and no benefit service jobs and contingency/contract labor. So I don’t see this as necessarily good.

    C5: Color me unsurprised. Forbidden fruit and all that.

    C6: I don’t know much about this but a lot of federal courts can act as their own mini-fiefdoms in terms of local rules and admissions. For example, becoming a member of the Northern District of California merely required me proving I was a member of the California bar, writing a check, and signing a form in the clerk’s office. The S.D.N.Y. has a more elaborate procedure with vouching and swearing in. The N.D.I.L has an even more elaborate procedure including a “general bar” and a “trial bar.” I think this needs to be reformed. I wonder if U.S. Attorney offices also have equal fiefdom powers.

    R6: For all their sneers against elitism, Conservatives love their Harvard educated candidates like Tom Cotton.Report

  9. Avatar Kim
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    Missing from R1:
    Any effort — at all, from the Republicans to attract the techies to their side. Well, aside from money. But who the hell works for that?Report

  10. Avatar Michael Cain
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    A2: I sometimes think about the region from the Great Plains west and think about where you would draw state lines. Should every state have a sizable metro area? Should every sizable metro area be “saddled” with a big rural area for it to subsidize? I once carved out an all-rural “middle Great Plains” state after the vote about secession in several NE Colorado counties. The last cartogram in that post suggests just how empty the rural West really is. I think Road Scholar lives out in the middle of that hypothetical state, and could attest to how sparse the population is.

    And yes, when you dig into the details of western state budgets and tax revenues, the metro areas provide very sizable subsidies to the rural areas. No matter what the rural areas want to think.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Michael Cain
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      Depending on how you define “sizeable”, it’s not really possible to have one in every state. By my accounting, Montana and the Dakotas are without. I wouldn’t really advocate either of them being incorporated into other states. But where possible, yeah, I do think that you need to put the two together. Rural areas will complain about being outvoted, and urban areas will complain about maintenance of large areas with few people who nonetheless get services, but I don’t really see a more preferable way of doing it.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Will Truman
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        I often use “big enough to support a medical school and teaching hospital” as a rule of thumb. With a handful of exceptions, all pretty special cases like Mayo or Dartmouth, that seems to translate into about a quarter-million people for the metro area. Draw circles with radii of 250 miles around Spokane, Boise, Salt Lake City, Denver, Omaha, and Minneapolis and you pick up everything except the big empty chunk of eastern Montana, NW Wyoming, and the western Dakotas. With tongue mostly in cheek, add Calgary, Regina, and Winnipeg to the list of circle centers and I think you come very close to covering it all.

        Granted, the people that live in that part of the US probably hate the idea of parceling them out based on nearest city of that size. Certainly the 51st State group in Colorado and the State of Jefferson group in California seem to want to isolate themselves entirely from cities.Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Michael Cain
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      Actually, I’m still in the blue “behemoth” of East Kansas albeit toward the western border. FWIW, your proposed partition still only grabs about half of Kansas’ First congressional district.

      I’m to the point where I’m questioning the wisdom of insisting upon states incorporating both urban and rural areas. This came up most lately when statehood for D.C. was being debated, more informally on the internet than anywhere else really. It was soberly declared, particularly by conservatives like George Will, that the District couldn’t/wouldn’t be a “proper” state since, despite having plenty of people, it had no rural interests. My rejoinder would be that we have a number of states whose propriety isn’t questioned despite having very little urban interests.

      It’s the cities that should be doing the talking about secession and creating their own states. The ruralians constantly bitch and complain about the cities. Eff ’em.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Michael Cain
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      I think the single smartest line in that trio of articles about states is,
      Perhaps states are often too heterogeneous in their needs to really function as government units. But if that’s true, then it’s doubly true for our nation as a whole.

      Any wise analysis of states’ place in today’s world needs that as a foundation.Report

  11. Avatar LeeEsq
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    T2, T3: I think these were posted last week.Report

  12. Avatar Kim
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    F1: I hope Mike Dwyer reads this. It’s a bit of a sharp contrast (and explication, with all the links below) of why the poor aren’t marrying as much as they used to.Report

  13. Avatar Jaybird
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    [H1] A frequent suggestion for lowering health care costs is to cut physician salaries.

    Allow me to stand up and yell incoherently for a moment.

    Health care consists of two kinds of things. The time of skilled practitioners and the physical items involved in health care provision itself (everything from scalpels to medication to hospital beds).

    If we want more health care provided to people, it seems to me fairly important to ask “will this decision result in more health care or less health care?”

    It seems to me that if you cut physician salaries, you will have fewer physicians and, thus, fewer units of time of skilled practitioners to hand out.

    JESUS CHRISTReport

    • Avatar morat20 in reply to Jaybird
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      Interjection to note: Many who claim physicians are paid to much ALSO point out that one reason is medical education costs so much. (Private insurance companies were already putting a serious squeeze on compensation anyways, for everyone involved).

      Trying to address whether or not doctor’s are paid too much without addressing whether they spend too much to get that white coat is pointless. The two are pretty heavily connected.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to morat20
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        So we should cut physician salaries and use the savings to subsidize medical schools? How does that reduce the total amount spent on medicine? Especially when you take into account the fact that some people who get the medical school subsidies will never become doctors?Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to morat20
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        @brandon-berg

        That assumes that the price of medical school is even close to the actual cost, rather than wildly over-inflated thanks to all manner of interventions & signaling.Report

    • Avatar James Pearce in reply to Jaybird
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      Actually, I think the thinking is that if you cut a doctor’s pay, they’ll spend more time doctoring and less time on the golf course or flipping houses or all the other “leisure class” things they like to do.

      I say, cut their pay, give most of their duties to nurse practitioners, and live happily ever after.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to James Pearce
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        I wish my wife had time for leisure class things.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Pearce
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        Perhaps your sarcasm exceeds my ability to detect it and then I have to say “well done!” but if I read your statement as if it were written about my job I read “if you cut a sys admin’s pay, they’ll spend more time sys admining and less time (doing other things)” and then “I say, cut their pay, give most of their duties to frontline support, and live happily ever after.”

        I’m stuck thinking that there are some circumstances where this might work really, really well but the ones where it works really, really poorly is where you, seriously, need a sys admin.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to James Pearce
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        Jaybird,

        This is where you lose me. One of the many places you lose me, actually. THere are plenty of ways to cut healthcare costs and maintain the same (or maybe actually increase) the level of care provided. Your argument seems to be that cutting doctors pay is a bad idea.

        How ’bout we use a different term. We “phase out” the ridiculously high pay for something more commensurate with the services provided.

        Or (and again, I apologize since you lost me) are you arguing that “the market” has already spoken wrt doctor’s remuneration?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        I am saying that if we say “oh, let’s pay doctors less”, we will likely end up with fewer doctors.

        I mean, if we said “oh, let’s pay mechanics less”, do you think we’d end up with more mechanics or the same number of mechanics? It seems to me that we’d end up with fewer.

        If we said “let’s pay plumbers less”, we’d end up with fewer plumbers. If we said “let’s pay airline pilots less”, we’d end up with fewer airline pilots.

        For pretty much any job substantially over minimum wage, I’m trying to imagine an X for while “let’s pay X less” would end up with the same (or more???) Xes.

        Congressmen, maybe?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        Looking at physician pay is, honestly, the wrong way to look at it. It is extremely likely that any meaningful bending of the cost curve will, in the aggregate, result in lower pay for physicians. It’ll mean less money in the system, which in turn will mean less money for people inside the system. From administration to physicians to nurses. But done wrongly – say by a flat reduction of fees without much fundamental change elsewhere – has the potential to backfire in a serious way and end up costing the system more.

        In the long run, it’s really difficult to talk about the number of doctors without looking specifically at governments, state and federal. I won’t say more here because I will be writing a post on it soon. But over the long term there isn’t terribly much threat to a doctor shortage except those imposed by an unwillingness to pay for their training and/or an unwillingness to license them. There is a danger of the career having a lot of bleed (which I might be worried about), and of the caliber of student that goes into medicine (which I am not really worried about), but neither of these are an inevitability.

        There is a real danger in the short term, though. Physician job satisfaction rates run the gamut, but tend to be lowest where we need them the most. Money is one of the the things that keeps things going. The cavalier manner in which people think “Hey, we can save money by paying physicians less!” is aggravating. One way or another, there are going to need to be changes. But it would be very easy to make cutting 3% off our health care tab could turn out to be very costly.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        There is also the difference between how much GP’s and specialists are paid. It might actually be good if GP’s got paid more but some specialists less.

        I understand why “pay docs less” is aggravating. There is also the drumbeat of “we can’t pay less for drugs without, pharm companies deciding to stop innovating” thing. I think that has always been a weak argument, but i’ll note that plans that leave millions uninsured have had a lot more umph and a lot more effect on the actual debate then the first two arguments.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        There is also the drumbeat of “we can’t pay less for drugs without, pharm companies deciding to stop innovating” thing.

        Given that expected payoff is one of the key factors in decisions regarding where to direct investment capital, how can this possibly be a weak argument? At least with doctor pay you can say that people will still become doctors because they really want to be, but people don’t invest in biotech and pharma because they’ve had a lifelong dream of investing in biotech and pharma.Report

      • Avatar James Pearce in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        My sarcasm was directly completely at the “If we pay doctors less, there will be fewer doctors” reasoning. No, if we pay doctors less, we can hire more of them. Supply and demand. The demand is there. Indeed, the demand is more than the supply, which is why doctors can command high pay.

        Increase the supply, meet the demand. That’s what I’m saying.

        From what I’m getting above, this is being countered with “Crimp the supply, don’t meet the demand, then profit.” Or am I just not understanding the nuances of the “If we paid them less, they’d all become stokebrokers” argument?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        Then I’m back to saying “switch out other jobs” and see if it makes sense.

        If we need more plumbers, it doesn’t make sense to say “let’s pay plumbers less and then we can hire more of them” if we have a shortage of plumbers.

        Or am I just not understanding the nuances of the “If we paid them less, they’d all become stokebrokers” argument?

        There isn’t a whole lot of nuance to my argument. It’s downright simple. If you want more Xes, it seems to me that the best way to get more Xes is to make Xing more attractive and more rewarding for people to X. Making Xing less attractive will result in less Xers.

        It strikes me as obvious to the point of being trivial.

        The argument “let’s make it *EASIER* to become a doctor!” strikes me as one that would result in more doctors. “Let’s make it less of a pain in the butt to pay off medical school debt!” strikes me as one that would result in more doctors.

        “Let’s pay doctors less!” strikes me as one that would result in fewer doctors.

        Now it does seem to me that you’re saying “we’re having doctors do things that could just as easily be done by people without an MD or DO or whatever the next big letters are” and I suppose that I can see the upside of having most trips to the hospital handled by people trained to handle the most common problems that most people who walk into hospitals or doctors offices have. This will be of great benefit for most problems.

        But there will be a handful of problems where this will not turn out well. At all. If that’s a price we’re willing to have other people pay, then awesome. Let’s do it. I’d just like to point out that there will be a price to pay and that it likely won’t be paid by me or people in my social circle.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @james-pearce,

        The law of supply says that as prices go up, supply increases, but as prices go diwn, supply decreases. So reducing the price we pay to doctors should– ceteris paribus–reduce the supply of them. Yes, you could afford to pay for more, but there wouldn’t necessarily be more doctors there to pay.

        Keep in mind doctors also forgoe several years of earning potential while they’re in medical school (more than MBAs do). Reducing the return on that forbearance is a discouragement, not an encouragement, for people to go to medical school.

        Reducing the cost of medical school might help. But as I understand it, that cost isn’t our main limitation on supply of doctors. Rather, seats in those medical schools is the limiting factor. So if we want to increae the supply of doctors we’ll need to expand our medical schools.

        We’ll also have to reduce the standards for entry. That may or may not be a problem. The limited seats in medical school could mean qualified people aren’t getting in, or the high demand and good pay could mean marginally qualified people are already getting in–I won’t pretend the expertise to say which.

        I think our bettet bet is to promote more use of “doctor’s lite,” like physician’s assisstants, allowing them to do more than they currently do.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        (The bottleneck is residency, not medical school.)Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        There is also the difference between how much GP’s and specialists are paid. It might actually be good if GP’s got paid more but some specialists less.

        Now this I can get behind! More seriously, it goes back to the point that I was making that looking at wages specifically for doctors is the wrong way to look at it. If we think that doctor pay is a problem (whether limited to specialists or physicians as a whole) the better question to be asking is why they’re taking home so much money and how. Then “fix the glitch.”

        To say that physician pay is not a monolith is an understatement. It’s not just in between specialties. When Clancy was looking for work, the compensation levels were between $110k/yr in Colorado to $375k a year in Texas, and this was entirely FP/OB! Are the physicians at that Texas hospital 3.75x more efficient than the ones in Colorado? Are they providing 3.75x better service? Is it that much more difficult to get physicians to move to Texas than Colorado? (Note, for Colorado, we’re not talking about some scenic resort town.)

        So assuming that we can’t justify the disparity (and I don’t think we can), we need to figure out how that Texas practice is making so much money as to be able to pay its physicians so much. I don’t want to cast aspersions, but I’ll bet that they have found some way to game the system. Legally, which is the part that needs to be looked at.

        That’s an extreme example, but the nation over it would be worthwhile to look at a lot of places and ask how specifically they are generating the sort of revenue to make the administrators’ and physicians’ salaries possible?

        Instead, the way these conversations often hinge is that since they’re making “too much” generally that we should just cut service rates across the board or something. At best, that means that the bloke in Colorado is now making $80k a year one in Texas is making $300k. The latter taking a bigger hit numerically, but the one in Colorado is probably feeling it more. Is that what we want?

        And that doesn’t even account for the fact that Texas might try to make up for the shortfall by getting some new equipment to run a higher volume of profit-making tests to make up for the fact that each of them are not as profitable as they were. All of which is to say that we still wouldn’t have addressed some of the fundamental problems and that failure could actually lead to increased rather than decreased costs.

        (Here’s an example of how costs might increase: Practice X runs Test Y about 20 times a month. Doing that, it costs them $150 to run the test. They get $250. They rake in $2000 a month and the system pays $5000. Cut the fee to $200 and they try to run it 30 times a month. They’re now only raking in $1500 a month. Progress? No, because now the system is paying $6000.)Report

      • Avatar James Pearce in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        ““Let’s pay doctors less!” strikes me as one that would result in fewer doctors.”

        I can certainly understand that worry in the abstract, but in the real world? The demand is too great for there to be “fewer doctors.” There would be fewer doctors making Maserati money, that’s true, but it doesn’t follow that doctors would flee the profession and not be replaced, which would have to happen before we get a “fewer doctors” result.

        What is more likely to happen, and has been observed to happen in other industries, is that the older juiced-in cohort just dies out and the younger generation that comes in to replace them are paid less and are less juiced-in.

        That can happen just as easily at the hospital as it did on the factory floor.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        “What is more likely to happen, and has been observed to happen in other industries, is that the older juiced-in cohort just dies out and the younger generation that comes in to replace them are paid less and are less juiced-in. ”

        Could I have an example of this? I’m trying to think of examples and the main ones coming to mind are things like “post-offshoring tech support” for entry level tech jobs… which, I’m noticing, is bearing fruit such as “fewer people who have the background to become mid-level tech guys to replace the mid-level tech guys who are becoming high-level tech guys”.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @james-pearce
        You’re focusing solely on the demand side and ignoring the supply side. Until you actually look at that you’re not looking at the whoke picture. Given that Brandon, Jaybird, and I are all trying to point out the supply side of the issue to you, your continuing failure to address it is puzzling. None of us are arguing against the existence of demand–we accept that as part of the equation. But even if there’s lots of demand, if people aren’t willing to pay sufficiently, the supply won’t come. More precisely, in that case there’s not truly “demand” in an economic sense, since demand is degined as ability and willingness to pay–if we’re not willing to pay, then we don’t have the type of demand that stimulates supply.

        @will-truman,
        Are there too few residency spots for all the people graduating medical school? What are those who don’t get spots doing? Or am I misunderstanding you?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @james-hanley Medical schools have been opening and expanding. The end result is that residencies are accepting fewer foreign grads and more domestic ones. But the number of physicians produced remains the same.Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        “Lets pay fast food workers less” means there will be fewer fast food workers?

        Or conversely, “Lets raise the minimum wage” means there will be a greater supply of fast food workers?
        As much as I would like this logic, I’m not sure it holds up to empirical examples.

        As for the older juiced in cohort, I am thinking of autoworkers, where the older ones get the fat union contracts, while the younger ones get less. Yet we don’t see a shunning of auto plant work.

        What this looks like to me is that quip attributed to George Carlin, where we need to pay rich people a lot, otherwise they lose incentive, whereas we need to pay poor people very little, lest they lose their incentive.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @brandon-berg and I guess also towards James. If docs got paid less and pharma made less money that would only make a significant difference if there was a huge, like really big, change in how much they made. If Big Pharma Co only make 900 million on a their new drug instead of 1 billion they are still making a big profit. The argument that if pharma makes less they will stop making drugs assumes that is they will stop engaging in their profitable business unless they make however much they say they should make. If a doc, on avg, only makes 150k per year instead of 160 k is that really likely to result in any change in the large number of people who want to be docs? I just can’t see that. This is not an all or nothing argument where pharma gets what it wants now or are not allowed to make a profit.

        It should be noted that when talking about big pharma they have managed to get some protections for their profit line though having the gov not be allowed to negotiate prices. The free market (snicker) R’s were all for that and the D’s were split but gave into that to prevent the pharma companies from helping to torpedo any reform.

        I’m not sure how doc salaries are averaged but there is one part of some doc incomes that certainly might be a small part of why our HC costs so much. There are docs that partner up to buy various bit of high tech gear which gives them a really strong incentive to order a lot of tests using that gear.Report

      • Avatar James Pearce in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @james-hanley

        “The law of supply says that as prices go up, supply increases, but as prices go diwn, supply decreases. So reducing the price we pay to doctors should– ceteris paribus–reduce the supply of them.”

        Isn’t this a bit of an oversimplification, and an incorrect one at that?

        Demand for medical services is fairly constant. But we’re going to get a shortage of doctors if the supply increases? Pretty sure that’s not how it works.

        Also:

        “Keep in mind doctors also forgoe several years of earning potential while they’re in medical school”

        They have no “earning potential” in the medical field prior to accreditation, so no, they forgo nothing. This can be said of professional athletes, but not doctors.

        That said, I’m in agreement that “our bettet bet is to promote more use of “doctor’s lite,” like physician’s assisstants, allowing them to do more than they currently do.” It was, after all, my original point.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        Well, if your take on the difference between doctors and fast food workers is that they’re just in different social classes/castes, I can totally see the argument that all we need to do is pay doctors less and then we’ll have more money to pay for more doctors.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        “In the medical field” is an unnecessarily limiting qualifier.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        The law of supply says that as prices go up, supply increases, but as prices go diwn, supply decreases. So reducing the price we pay to doctors should– ceteris paribus–reduce the supply of them.

        If it’s a LAW, then it’s incorrect to say that reducing the price paid to doctors should reduce supply, but that it WILL do so. Of course, one of the fixed variables upon which the Law is based is not only that demand for medical services is fixed, but that demand for being a doctoris fixed as well. But there’s no reason to assume that the demand for being a doctor is tightly correlated with the income doctors receive. In fact, anecdotal evidence based on the Kaiser Permanente model suggests that practicing doctors are very willing to make less income in exchange for all the perks Kaiser provides.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        practicing doctors are very willing to make less income in exchange for all the perks

        I admit to being sloppy in my phrasing. Whenever I say “pay doctors” or the like, I should be saying “reward doctors” or similar.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        Jaybird,

        I get that, but it seems to me the part of James Pearce’s upthread comment you focused on was the line “cut their pay”, which led the discussion in the direction of monetary compensation (and the mechanisms by which pay could be actually “cut”) instead of his broader point, which was that NPs can (and increasingly do) perform many of the services traditionally provided my MDs at lower cost and (potentially!) increased service provision (since the price of NP services will be less than those of an MD).

        So I think we’ve been discussing this issue in the opposite direction that Pearce was intending. I take his point was that one way to reduce medical costs and maintain service provision is to increase the number of NPs providing front line medical services. That’s a different argument than the one you’ve been critiquing, it seems to me.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        Well, to be honest, I didn’t get the idea that the idea was “cut their pay but increase their non-monetary compensation”. For the record, I am 100% down with the idea of exploring things that are worth X+Y dollars to doctors but only cost X dollars. Everybody wins with that.

        As for the idea of NPs taking on more of the load… well, there will be a large number of folks who won’t see the difference between that level of care and the level of care provided by an MD or DO or whatever. Awesome. The problem, it seems to me, is when you get into the exceptions. Maybe there will be relatively few exceptions. I certainly hope so… because it seems like a way to say “by lowering the quality of the health care provided, we can provide more of it”.

        Hey, it’s true. Most people don’t need diamond-level health care. Thank goodness for that.Report

      • Avatar James Pearce in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @jaybird

        “Could I have an example of this?”

        A car factory in Detroit versus a car factory in Chattanooga. Does that illustrate my point?

        @james-hanley

        “Given that Brandon, Jaybird, and I are all trying to point out the supply side of the issue to you, your continuing failure to address it is puzzling.”

        I have addressed it. What I have gotten in response is a bunch of bunk economics.

        Increasing supply leads to shortages?

        Demand means “ability to pay?”

        I’m kind of getting the sense that you guys would probably agree with me, but I’m not using the right buzz words.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        Is busting the Doctor’s Union on the table? I’m generally a supporter of private-sector unions but… I’m willing to discuss it.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @james-pearce

        “The law of supply says that as prices go up, supply increases, …”
        Isn’t this a bit of an oversimplification, and an incorrect one at that?

        How is it incorrect? This is basic economics. It’s a starting point, and particular real-world details can affect it at the margins, but as a general principle it absolutely holds. It’s not oversimplified, but the basic idea is simple–as the price of something goes up, more people want to get into that business because there’s money to be made. As the price goes down, fewer people want to go into it because there’s less money to be made. (as greginak indirectly notes, how many more or fewer depends on how much the price changes). But this is standard in every intro econ book, so I’m not sure why you’d think it’s incorrect.

        Demand for medical services is fairly constant. But we’re going to get a shortage of doctors if the supply increases?

        I never said we’d get a shortage if supply increases, unless I inadvertently typed in a fundamental error. I said that “demand” that isn’t real demand (that is, isn’t backed by willingness to pay) isn’t going to stimulate more supply.

        They have no “earning potential” in the medical field prior to accreditation, so no, they forgo nothing. This can be said of professional athletes, but not doctors.

        They forgo other earning opportunities. They have other earning potential, so yes they do forgo earnings while their in medical school.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @stillwater

        I have a colleague who used to work in health care administration. She eventually realized how many mid-career doctors wanted the hell out, but couldn’t figure out how to make a transition. She set up a successful business counseling mid-career doctors on how to shift into other careers, so there’s a market for that, and we might not want to read too much into doctors not quitting their profession mid-career.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        I think everyone here is cool with mid-level providers (PA’s and NP’s), which is one of the reasons for the focus on the other.

        Even so, the notion of just swapping doctors for MLPs has its limitations. Because MLP’s have their limitations. Most people who see doctors could just see MLP’s, But a lot can’t, and the differences are tangible. One of the (many, many) things that lead to the deterioration of my wife’s previous job was an increasing reliance on MLP’s (in the ER, specifically), which lead to more hospital admissions which lead to more on call nights spent at the hospital than at home.

        It’s not terribly unlike Medical Assistants vs nurses. MA’s can do a lot of what nurses can and MA’s are good for alleviating the shortage. But when my wife went from having an MA to having an RN, it was one of the few tangible improvements of her job situation (along with her “leisure class” decision to work 45 hours a week instead of 65).

        I used to be much more optimistic about MLP’s (and MA’s) than I am now. Their role is nonetheless crucial. I suspect as the physician shortage gets worse it will become even moreso. But there are definite limitations there that make “Forget the doctors and their exorbitant pay, we’ll just get more MLP’s” less than satisfying. Even if it’s the best solution we’ve got.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @james-pearce

        Increasing supply leads to shortages?

        Nobody is saying any such thing. What we’re doing is denying that paying doctors less so you can spread that pool of money around will actually increase supply.

        Demand means “ability to pay?”
        That’s a fundamendal definition in economics.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @will-truman

        No doubt we need to figure out where MLPs are sufficient and where not. And I think we have the technology–if we employ it–to track outcomes sufficiently well that we could increasingly discern these things.

        But when the nurse could clean out the cut on my forehead and sanitize the area, but the doctor had to come over to put the glue on my forehead, that sure seems unncecessary.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @james-hanley Oh, I agree that there are regulatory barriers that need to be looked at. This is a problem in the medical community at large. My wife has delivered somewhere near 1000 babies and could not get privileges to deliver babies in most hospitals. But a part of what I was saying was that apart from the question of what we let and don’t let MLP’s do, there is the question of what they actually can do. Your example* seems pretty clearly a case of “let”… but my ran into “can’t” do with regularity. I mean, one MLP may know exactly how to do it and another may not. Clancy’s call-in rate differed from MLP to MLP based on (I would guess) training level and confidence level.

        (This is true among physicians as well. Clancy and a coworker may both be family practice MD’s, but she knows how to do (or is comfortable doing) things that he can’t and vice-versa. Some people get out of residency ready to perform endoscopies, but Clancy unfortunately didn’t. But she can do C-Sections and other doctors didn’t get enough deliveries in residency)

        * – I should add… there may be something other than regulatory going on here. By putting glue there or whatever, your doctor became involved in the whole thing, which affects billing rates. This ties back to what I was saying about the “how” being as important as the “how much.”Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        (In case I was unclear in the previous comment, but “can’t” I do not mean “is not allowed to by law, regulation, and/or hospital privileging” but rather “Does not know how” or “Has maybe a textbook knowledge but does not have sufficient experience to feel comfortable doing it.”)Report

      • Avatar James Pearce in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @jaybird “Is busting the Doctor’s Union on the table?”

        Absolutely. Although in my mind, it won’t be “busting” a “union” so much as Uberizing a cartel.

        @james-hanley
        “as the price of something goes up, more people want to get into that business because there’s money to be made. As the price goes down, fewer people want to go into it because there’s less money to be made.”

        Sorry, professor, but that is not “the law of supply and demand.” That is, however, good entrepreneurial advice.

        Also:

        “I said that “demand” that isn’t real demand (that is, isn’t backed by willingness to pay) isn’t going to stimulate more supply.”

        We’re talking about medicine, not consumer products. If I’m unwilling to pay for a new TV, then I do not “demand” a new TV. However, a diabetic’s “unwillingness*” to pay for insulin shots, however, does not mean that they no longer demand insulin shots.

        (*Which could just be an inability as opposed to an unwillingness)Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        James,

        I think that’s right, insofar as I’m aware of this stuff. Granted, I’m not directly a part of the medical community (my wife is and lots of folks in our circle are) but from what I’ve gathered there is no shortage of doctors and NPs who are ecstatic when Kaiser hires them. I also know a few MDs who are retiring from their practices (early, they’re not oldsters) because the grind of being part of a for-profit private practice isn’t attractive to them anymore. Granted, they’ve already made enough to retire on, but still …Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @james-pearce

        that is not “the law of supply and demand.”

        No, it’s just the law of supply. Supply curve slopes upward. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Your argument works out to supply curves sloping downward.

        ““I said that “demand” … (that is, isn’t backed by willingness to pay) isn’t going to stimulate more supply.”

        We’re talking about medicine, not consumer products. If I’m unwilling to pay for a new TV, then I do not “demand” a new TV. However, a diabetic’s “unwillingness*” to pay for insulin shots, however, does not mean that they no longer demand insulin shots.

        Yes, from the economic meaning of demand, it means exactly that. They may desperately want, and desperately need, those insulin shots. But if they can’t pay for them, or get someone else to pay for them, then their want does not affect the market as demand.

        Look, if you want to make an economic argument, it behooves you to know the basics. So far you don’t know either the law of supply or the definition of demand. Again, you don’t have to take my word for it. I’m not pulling rank as a professor. These definitions are on the web, so please take what I’ve said with a thousand grains of salt and go look it up for yourself.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        Although in my mind, it won’t be “busting” a “union” so much as Uberizing a cartel.

        The number one problem you’re going to have is overcoming a populace who will *DEMAND* yellow cabs and they don’t care how much yellow cabs cost and so get that goddamn app out of my face, and so on.

        But the whole “expectations of the populace” is pretty much behind the infinite demand for health care in the first place so if you figure out a way to get them to prefer Uber to Yellow Cab in this instance, I’ll applaud you.

        My expectations of the expectations of the populace, however, are such that I don’t imagine me needing my clapping gloves any time soon.Report

      • Avatar James Pearce in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        @james-hanley

        “Look, if you want to make an economic argument, it behooves you to know the basics. So far you don’t know either the law of supply or the definition of demand. Again, you don’t have to take my word for it. I’m not pulling rank as a professor. These definitions are on the web, so please take what I’ve said with a thousand grains of salt and go look it up for yourself.”

        Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be doing that. What I’ll do instead is get out of these weeds. I don’t really care about a doctor’s rate of pay.

        At least not enough to argue with someone who makes no attempt to understand my point, then insults my intelligence to make his.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Pearce
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        says:

        Actually, I’m quite sure you’re intelligent enough to understand the the law of supply and the economic definition of demand.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to James Pearce
        Ignored
        says:

        James P.,

        James H isn’t insulting your intelligence. At least I don’t think he is (fwtw). All he’s doin is mentioning that the words both you and he are using are technical terms with precise (and within a context, unambiguous) meanings. JH is coming at this stuff from an angle where those definitions matter – are crucial, in fact – when talking about substance. You’re comin at this stuff from an angle where the substance matters more than the technical definitions. But I’m with James on this issue: it’s hard for a person who uses words with a certain precision to argue substance without that precision, and unfortunately, precision – when available – is a bit of a trump card.Report

      • Avatar James Pearce in reply to James Pearce
        Ignored
        says:

        Thanks, Stillwater, but I’m, ahem, intelligent to know when someone is being patronizing. This isn’t the first time a debate on substance has devolved into an argument over semantics.

        I will concede the economic definition of demand.

        And I will again say that reducing doctor’s pay will not result in fewer doctors. It will result in medicine being a less prestigious occupation, but since people demand need medical services, we would not face a doctor shortage as suggested above.Report

      • Avatar James Pearce in reply to James Pearce
        Ignored
        says:

        And I messed up my formatting….

        That snarky “strike” was meant only for the word “demand,” which was used in error and was so stricken.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Pearce
        Ignored
        says:

        Now we’re taking away money payments *AND* prestige?Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Pearce
        Ignored
        says:

        James,

        You misrepresented my argument as “Increasing supply leads to shortages,” and accused me of “bunk economics.” And you’re complaining that I insulted you?

        That’s so rich I can’t swallow it.Report

  14. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    Out of curiosity does anyone know why the articles are no longer showing comment counts. It’s inconvenient as heck.Report

  15. Avatar Brandon Berg
    Ignored
    says:

    Another great moment in anti-landlord law.Report

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