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21 September 2010

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graywolf

Dr. Silverman:
Medicare is so successful that Doctors are beginning to drop it. It's extremely low payment levels cause the private insurance to make up part of the loss in hospital and doctor billing.
But, trivia aside, my overall argument is about the gross incompetence and lack of accountability in government.
In my previous life, I had some experience with the SEC (the outfit that missed Madoff).
SEC : A collection of clock-watching losers who understand so little about trading as to be dangerous - which they are.
I don't accept that these operational security foul-ups were isolated.
Imagine all the ones we don't know about?
Obviously we need some form of government - just to keep us from killing each other, if for nothing else.
But, as the inherent nature of government is political, inefficient and unaccountable, we need to ensure that government is limited and minimized.
Otherwise, it will grow itself (Parkinson's law) into an overreaching, over powerful, deadening bureaucracy - which many of us think is already here.

samuelburke

i just want to see how much americans can take from this shitty little racist colony before pushing back.

we know that some sectors of the intelligence community are in bed with these losers what about the rest?

steve

A simple question that is perhaps--or probably--based on my ignorance of most things intelligence:

What is the status of American intelligence that actually does intelligence work on Israel? By that, I mean American intelligence actually working for America as opposed to Americans working for Israel under some pretense.

Adam L Silverman

Graywolf: doctor reimbursements for Medicare are set by law. That's not the bureaucracy, that's Congress. And every year, rather than actually fixing it and setting a proper formula for reimbursement indexed for inflation, members of Congress put in one year fixes. Here too, though, it's the same issue: if you opened up the pool of Medicare to more people, specifically younger and healthier ones, costs would come down.

Now I fully agree that the SEC has been toothless and that even the quality folks in it have been essentially prevented from doing proper enforcement. But there's a reason for this: when you gut the regulations, continually limit the number of enforcement officers, and, as Michael Lewis identified in his recent book on the economic crisis, pay them a pittance of what the folks they're supposed to regulate make, you get bad enforcement. And then there's the same issue we have with food inspection: FDA and USDA with competing, but not always or often overlapping charters, reduction in the number of inspectors and ability to enforce, and gutting of the regulations. There are certainly something that make sense to be privatized, for economies of scale, across the public sector. At the same time we function on a social contract: we all give up something to achieve something communally through the distribution of public goods. That's the way it's supposed to work. To do that you have to have the government deliver public goods because quite honestly they often can't be done for a profit or shouldn't be done. I don't want the work COL Lang or Mr. Giraldi did subject to a corporate profit consideration; that just completely destroys the all too fragile intelligence cycle.

steve

In my ideal world--Obama's counteroffer to Netanyahu:

The release of Pollard in exchange for the release of 10,000 Palestinians rotting in Israeli prisons.

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