Socialists want to exorcise the O&G demon by 2030

Scary bedtime story worth reading.

Time to wake up and smell the coffee about the evil stupidity that is inexorably heading our way.

Doug Casey on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

America can’t stop talking about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).

AOC, if you haven’t heard, is a 29-year-old democratic socialist. Earlier this month, she became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

And that concerns me. I say this because her platform is every socialist’s dream. She wants Medicare to be free. She wants college education to be free. She wants to cancel student debt. She wants to hike the minimum wage to $15. And she wants to replace oil and gas with green energy by 2030.

Now, I realize these ideas might sound good to some people. But none of this would come free. It would require massive tax hikes and a lot more national debt. In short, she’s advocating for policies that often destroy entire economies.

Yet, she’s one of today’s most popular political figures.

I wanted to see what Casey Research founder Doug Casey thinks of AOC and her policies. So I got him on the phone to discuss his thoughts for this week’s Conversations With Casey…

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1 hour ago, Tom Kirkman said:

She wants Medicare to be free.

Like it has been in Australia for over 40 years.

1 hour ago, Tom Kirkman said:

She wants college education to be free.  She wants to cancel student debt.

Possible, but it's a very expensive additional cost.  Was proven too burdensome in Australia so instead we have a higher education contribution scheme which is very effective at recovering costs while not precluding a higher education due to financial barriers.

 

1 hour ago, Tom Kirkman said:

She wants to hike the minimum wage to $15.

Australia's minimum wage is $18.93/hour.

1 hour ago, Tom Kirkman said:

And she wants to replace oil and gas with green energy by 2030.

Some parts of her cake will be waiting to be iced a tad longer that.

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No such thing as free healthcare, the money just comes from taxes, so yeah, that will be tricky, not to mention the free college education. I suggest Cortez studies the Scandinavian healthcare systems. Not sure if college education is free there, though. @Rasmus Jorgensen should weigh in.

There is also a right and a wrong way to go about the free healthcare system. The wrong way is to have a package that covers a range of services but you don't get them immediately. Example: My brother-in-law got the flu, wanted to see an otolaryngologist, was told he had to wait for a month for an appointment or he could pay and get an appointment immediately. That's in Romania. Same here. Unless you're referred to a specialist from ER, you either wait till you get better or die, or you pay. So good luck making it work for a country as huge as the U.S.

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3 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

No such thing as free healthcare, the money just comes from taxes, so yeah, that will be tricky, not to mention the free college education. I suggest Cortez studies the Scandinavian healthcare systems. Not sure if college education is free there, though. @Rasmus Jorgensen should weigh in.

There is also a right and a wrong way to go about the free healthcare system. The wrong way is to have a package that covers a range of services but you don't get them immediately. Example: My brother-in-law got the flu, wanted to see an otolaryngologist, was told he had to wait for a month for an appointment or he could pay and get an appointment immediately. That's in Romania. Same here. Unless you're referred to a specialist from ER, you either wait till you get better or die, or you pay. So good luck making it work for a country as huge as the U.S.

Yet the money for healthcare (and a ton of other things) can come from elsewhere than taxes.  The problem with Leftists  ("Democrats" and "Progressives" in the USA) is that they have this mindless closed-cycle thinking:  either a service gets charged for, via some private insurance scheme - where the insurers grotesquely gouge the system for their own grotesque profits - or the public is taxed, and a bureaucracy gets installed by the govt to "oversee" the new system. 

Yet there is a third way, and that is the sale of govt services to willing buyers who are third parties.  One good example is the Quebec system, where one-third of the provincial budget is paid for by the sale of electricity via Hydro-Quebec, a provincial govt or "Crown" Corporation.  The govt ownership of HQ and its sale of electricity to the Americans is so successful that the province will be entirely debt-free within fifty years.  Meanwhile the physicians are on salary, along with the rest of hospital staff, and no patient is directly billed.   You have a similar system in France, including no-payment medications, and that seems to have worked well in the past  (dunno how it is working out today, with the govt under pressure). 

Where single-payer gets into trouble is when the costs are directly borne from only tax revenues. Then, inevitably, at some point the funds start to dry up and the level of those services decays.  And you see that in neighboring Ontario  (Canada), where they have not developed a good funding source and the govt effectively rations the services by both time and wait time. There, and in Romania, it looks like a good idea to be prudent and get the flu shot!

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They did, the whole family, a few years ago. They all got sick, which is not conducive to repeating the experiment. :D

Good for the Quebecois (is that correct?), well done. So they get money in the budget from the balance between electricity production costs and exports? As in, a state-owned company sharing its profits with, well, the population? Or I'm interpreting it wrongly.

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3 minutes ago, Marina Schwarz said:

They did, the whole family, a few years ago. They all got sick, which is not conducive to repeating the experiment. :D

Good for the Quebecois (is that correct?), well done. So they get money in the budget from the balance between electricity production costs and exports? As in, a state-owned company sharing its profits with, well, the population? Or I'm interpreting it wrongly.

Yes, roughly.   It is a bit more involved than that, as the "production costs" are basically zero  (in terms of marginal costs of extgra units of production), the big dollars are upfront for sunk costs of the dams and generators and transmission lines.  Once those are in, then it does not really cost that much to go run some more power.  And HQ also milks the power from Newfoundland (Labrador) where instead of having rivers run off the Quebec Plateau into James Bay, they run from the plateau into the Ocean.  So for example the rivers and the generators in Labrador are up at Churchill Falls, the power gets sold to HQ by the Newfoundlanders for a fraction of a penny, and then HQ resells it to the Yankees for a nickel or six cents.  All it does for that cash is put up the power lines.  Nice piece of business if you can get it. 

You have Quebecois correct, except the "c" in that instance has this little tail squiggle off the bottom to indicate a different pronunciation of the "c".  Most typewrites do not have that letter.    ḉ     There you go, found it.   It is pronounced more like a "q".  

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Ugh, why have just one diacritic on a letter when you can have two! 

This is really fascinating. And smart. But it seems it can't be applied universally, unfortunately. Still, that lady's idea of, what was it, 70% taxes for a certain income category, is extravagant, to say the least.

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3 minutes ago, Marina Schwarz said:

Ugh, why have just one diacritic on a letter when you can have two! 

This is really fascinating. And smart. But it seems it can't be applied universally, unfortunately. Still, that lady's idea of, what was it, 70% taxes for a certain income category, is extravagant, to say the least.

Not really.  At one point in recent times, within the last 60 years or so, personal income taxes topped out at 94%  (marginal bracket). 

Govt sales of services to the willing buyers is totally viable.   All govts have something special to sell, even the govt of Cameroon which has historically sold these colorful postage stamps to stamp collectors, which were then never used, thus "free money" to that govt.  Inside the USA, govts sell special services, from prostitution services in some counties of Nevada to auto registrations in Maine to incorporation certificates in Delaware. The States in southern New England and New York charge a property tax on autos, so savvy owners go register their cars in Maine, you pay the hundred bucks and get a Maine license plate, and your car is tax-free.  Same with yachts.  So the tax-loss States go and hire extra inspectors to run around and ticket or issue a "use tax" or demand registration locally of the Maine-plated cars. That is a classic bureaucratic response.  The result was the Vermont also started selling auto registrations.  What do they care?  Pay them the hundred bucks and the customer is happy, the car goes and sits in some garage in Massachusetts or Connecticut, and if they are stupid enough to attempt to do a property tax on that car, don't be surprised that the owner is aggrieved and works his way around it. 

Stupid, dull, unimaginative bureaucrats will always, totally, utterly, screw things up.  It is in the nature of things. 

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9 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Scary bedtime story worth reading.

Time to wake up and smell the coffee about the evil stupidity that is inexorably heading our way.

Doug Casey on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

America can’t stop talking about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).

AOC, if you haven’t heard, is a 29-year-old democratic socialist. Earlier this month, she became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

And that concerns me. I say this because her platform is every socialist’s dream. She wants Medicare to be free. She wants college education to be free. She wants to cancel student debt. She wants to hike the minimum wage to $15. And she wants to replace oil and gas with green energy by 2030.

Now, I realize these ideas might sound good to some people. But none of this would come free. It would require massive tax hikes and a lot more national debt. In short, she’s advocating for policies that often destroy entire economies.

Yet, she’s one of today’s most popular political figures.

I wanted to see what Casey Research founder Doug Casey thinks of AOC and her policies. So I got him on the phone to discuss his thoughts for this week’s Conversations With Casey…

There is no room for childish idealism in politics. all those ideas sound wonderful until you have to think them through to the end as to how they will be implemented. 

the notion that government should be involved in every facet of life is not only scary but foolish. 

nothing is free. when you accept that fact, you must acknowledge the systems that the government is partially involved in already and has mucked up beyond belief, and rethink not just of how it can be fixed, but how the mess can be undone entirely. 

These social programs are paid for by someone. That is the reality. 

the Healthcare System here is joke, with providers charging outrageous sums because insurance companies have crookedly agreed to cover that amount. it's all a racket but to try to fix it now after they messed it up is Ludacris. The only thing that can be done is to undo it entirely and start over. 

I'm not a big government proponent. the more things that get lobbed off to the government to control, the more things that will be messed up. 

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11 hours ago, Red said:

Like it has been in Australia for over 40 years.

Possible, but it's a very expensive additional cost.  Was proven too burdensome in Australia so instead we have a higher education contribution scheme which is very effective at recovering costs while not precluding a higher education due to financial barriers.

 

Australia's minimum wage is $18.93/hour.

Some parts of her cake will be waiting to be iced a tad longer that.

I can only back Red up. I come from Norway and the situation is pretty much the same here. We are the country in the west producing most oil/capita-way more than Canada, USA and Australia.
We are pretty much the arcetype of socialism here in Scandinavia.Compared to us AOC is equivalent with a Trump-supporter :)
That said, college education have never been completely for free, although it has never been close to enter Harward, Stanford & such.
Things happen fast over here now- every 3. car purchased is a Tesla or smth else with el-engine.
By 2022 our government's ambition is that every new car will be el or hydrogen-driven etc. Petrol will soon be extinct

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(edited)

I always marvel at the how the US collectively thinks. You have Medicare and Medicaid - so the old and the sick are already taken care of by your taxes yet you don't think the rest of the healthy people -who will one day be old and sick -should pay. That is kind of silly.

If I was king - I would spend more money on making your old age medicare work more efficiently. I would have society work to perfect that part of the system. Then, over time, I would slowly bring down the age that it kicks in -until you are all covered.

One of my sons worked in California last year so I filed his California/Federal taxes and also his Alberta/Federal taxes. The California taxes were higher so he ended up with a tax credit in Canada. So the California taxes were higher and did not include his healthcare and yet in Canada he is fully covered.

I also marvel at how Republican voters seem to not want healthcare and vote against it. If they are rich Republicans with a good company plan I can understand and yet the poor folks vote that way as well.

American voters all have to give up being Democrats and Republicans (for life it seems) and start voting based on what the party is offering and how it affects you personally and your family. You need to all start being independents -then the democracy actually will work.

In Canada we have more than two parties and can have minority governments and that seems to make everything into shades of grey which seems to work better that the two party system which seems either black or white.

Edited by Jeff_Calgary
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(edited)

I also find it very interesting that the word Socialist scares so many Americans. Your society, like ours and most of Europe and Australia, is a mix of socialism and capitalism. (No communism)

For example all of the following are 100% socialism in the US.

1) The federal and state governments and most municipal and county

2) The military -all three branches

3) The post office

4) garbage collection

5) Policing

6) Border Security, ICE, FEMA, Secret Service, Air traffic control, coast guard, Search and Rescue Medicaid and Medicare and THE WALL, etc etc.

7) Utility Suppliers in some cases

😎

😎

So the idea of being afraid of a bit more socialism in the medical areas is quite a paradox.

Edited by Jeff_Calgary
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12 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Yet the money for healthcare (and a ton of other things) can come from elsewhere than taxes.  The problem with Leftists  ("Democrats" and "Progressives" in the USA) is that they have this mindless closed-cycle thinking:  either a service gets charged for, via some private insurance scheme - where the insurers grotesquely gouge the system for their own grotesque profits - or the public is taxed, and a bureaucracy gets installed by the govt to "oversee" the new system. 

Yet there is a third way, and that is the sale of govt services to willing buyers who are third parties.  One good example is the Quebec system, where one-third of the provincial budget is paid for by the sale of electricity via Hydro-Quebec, a provincial govt or "Crown" Corporation.  The govt ownership of HQ and its sale of electricity to the Americans is so successful that the province will be entirely debt-free within fifty years.  Meanwhile the physicians are on salary, along with the rest of hospital staff, and no patient is directly billed.   You have a similar system in France, including no-payment medications, and that seems to have worked well in the past  (dunno how it is working out today, with the govt under pressure). 

Where single-payer gets into trouble is when the costs are directly borne from only tax revenues. Then, inevitably, at some point the funds start to dry up and the level of those services decays.  And you see that in neighboring Ontario  (Canada), where they have not developed a good funding source and the govt effectively rations the services by both time and wait time. There, and in Romania, it looks like a good idea to be prudent and get the flu shot!

So, let the government compete with private industry in medical care yet subsidize the government? That sounds like what we are already doing with sliding scale payments. Health departments do that and often non-profit hospitals write off bills. I applaud President Trump's push to make more generic medications available and lower the price of some common prescriptions. 

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(edited)

2 hours ago, Jeff_Calgary said:

I also find it very interesting that the word Socialist scares so many Americans. Your society, like ours and most of Europe and Australia, is a mix of socialism and capitalism. (No communism)

For example all of the following are 100% socialism in the US.

1) The federal and state governments and most municipal and county

2) The military -all three branches

3) The post office

4) garbage collection

5) Policing

6) Border Security, ICE, FEMA, Secret Service, Air traffic control, coast guard, Search and Rescue Medicaid and Medicare and THE WALL, etc etc.

7) Utility Suppliers in some cases

😎

😎

So the idea of being afraid of a bit more socialism in the medical areas is quite a paradox.

America is already spending much more than it should on government programs of all kinds. To add any more government spending is foolish IMHO. See http://www.usdebtclock.org/ We need to decrease government spending not increase it. Also see States with highest debt https://howmuch.net/articles/the-united-states-of-debt

Edited by ronwagn
added reference
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(edited)

8 hours ago, Erik Halvorseth said:

I can only back Red up. I come from Norway and the situation is pretty much the same here. We are the country in the west producing most oil/capita-way more than Canada, USA and Australia.
We are pretty much the arcetype of socialism here in Scandinavia.Compared to us AOC is equivalent with a Trump-supporter :)
 

Ja, Erik, but remember, you have those fabulous women!  That's enough to mesmerize any male, Norwegian or American, into voting for -  well, the system that produced "her"!   image.png.2a2afa3d282acc9849bed96460c37751.png

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6cDjl28KN4

Edited by Jan van Eck
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'America is already spending much more than it should on government programs of all kinds. To add any more government spending is foolish IMHO.' 

Canada system costs 2/3 of the US system and covers everyone plus has better outcomes. (Do some googling -it is true!) You will not run into any Canadians that want your system. I consider 'Freedom of Worry' to be the best 'freedom'. Europe seems to think the same way.

The car is broken, you need a car, fix the car or buy a new one. Seems neither is happening -but you are talking about going to Mars.

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22 hours ago, ronwagn said:

America is already spending much more than it should on government programs of all kinds. To add any more government spending is foolish IMHO. See http://www.usdebtclock.org/ We need to decrease government spending not increase it. Also see States with highest debt https://howmuch.net/articles/the-united-states-of-debt

So true!  Pointing at countries like Australia for free government healthcare does not really tell the true story since its population is 25 million.  We have that many illegal immigrants we're paying for and our Medicaid system is going to collapse since we currently have 70 million on Medicaid, which includes children, the disabled, the elderly who did not contribute to Medicare under Social Security.

On becoming a green country without oil and gas is an expensive and thought provoking experiment that I don't believe the United States can afford to try.  Huge batteries and 800 to 900' windmills piercing the landscape wherever you turn is not something I believe we want to experience in the reality of how we actually want to see the world.  Just reading the information on the wind turbines that GE is building for crossing the oceans is a concern.  How do these wonderful green energies actually impact our environment on a giant scale.  Wind currents, migration patterns and cooling temperatures from huge solar farms.  Me, I'd rather see a pump jack or Christmas tree in my backyard than a giant windmill noisily breaking into a peaceful night or  pigeon poop all over the roofs of homes filled with solar panels and birds nests. 

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23 hours ago, Jeff_Calgary said:

'America is already spending much more than it should on government programs of all kinds. To add any more government spending is foolish IMHO.' 

Canada system costs 2/3 of the US system and covers everyone plus has better outcomes. (Do some googling -it is true!) You will not run into any Canadians that want your system. I consider 'Freedom of Worry' to be the best 'freedom'. Europe seems to think the same way.

The car is broken, you need a car, fix the car or buy a new one. Seems neither is happening -but you are talking about going to Mars.

I don't want the government to limit me or anyone else from using private medical providers. Many Canadians have to come to America for healthcare. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2016-08-03/canadians-increasingly-come-to-us-for-health-care

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7 hours ago, JoMack said:

So true!  Pointing at countries like Australia for free government healthcare does not really tell the true story since its population is 25 million.  We have that many illegal immigrants we're paying for and our Medicaid system is going to collapse since we currently have 70 million on Medicaid, which includes children, the disabled, the elderly who did not contribute to Medicare under Social Security.

Australia has a medicare levy to assist cover "free" health care.  Our friends privately pay into a fund offering highest heathcare cover so they can choose doctor/hospital and so called medical "extras" (like physio, dental, etc).  So, if you can afford it, and you want it, you can go "private" in Australia.

Suggesting our small population is an advantage is a furphy  - it's really about how the tax cake is cut.  There are other nations with "universal health care" which also seem to be able to run reasonably sound economies, so it is curious that the USA could not.  I personally see this issue as one of political will.

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On 1/14/2019 at 6:12 PM, Erik Halvorseth said:

I can only back Red up. I come from Norway and the situation is pretty much the same here. We are the country in the west producing most oil/capita-way more than Canada, USA and Australia.
We are pretty much the arcetype of socialism here in Scandinavia.Compared to us AOC is equivalent with a Trump-supporter :)
That said, college education have never been completely for free, although it has never been close to enter Harward, Stanford & such.
Things happen fast over here now- every 3. car purchased is a Tesla or smth else with el-engine.
By 2022 our government's ambition is that every new car will be el or hydrogen-driven etc. Petrol will soon be extinct

Except for exports, I imagine? :) What worked for you, I believe, was a little thing called "long-term thinking", which a lot of countries seem to lack. You don't just have oil, you are investing the oil money smartly and share the benefits around.

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14 hours ago, ronwagn said:

I don't want the government to limit me or anyone else from using private medical providers. Many Canadians have to come to America for healthcare. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2016-08-03/canadians-increasingly-come-to-us-for-health-care

A few impatient Canadians do go to the US for elective surgeries if they can afford it. But that is elective surgeries. More Americans unnecessarily die each year due to lack of coverage than Canadians going for hips and knees.

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We have 22 T in debt.  That's $180,000 per person, per year.  Socialized medicine will cost an additional $3.2 T a year.  Congress continues to raise the debt ceiling so we will add $1 T a year.  It is unsustainable to have an additional $3.2 T for socialized medicine.  AOC wants to raise taxes on the rich by 70%.  Most understand that most of the billionaires she plans to tax don't take much income so where will she go for her dream of socialized medicine for the U.S.  The middle class.  So, when we have outspent our total GDP which we have started to do already, the collapse of our economy will follow.  As far as Australia is concerned, my friend there said she doesn't go to a doctor she needed since her out of pocket costs were too high.  So, the Australian system does work since there are no price controls on doctors it appears.  In the case of the AOC- Bernie Sanders, et al. models, price controls will be embedded in their plans for Medicaid for all and our healthcare system will be in the model of the 3rd world since doctors will flee.

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And as a side note, the doctors in the U.S. will flee to Australia.

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2 hours ago, JoMack said:

And as a side note, the doctors in the U.S. will flee to Australia.

Why would they do that? I think that would result in much lower pay. Do you have a reference?

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4 hours ago, Jeff_Calgary said:

A few impatient Canadians do go to the US for elective surgeries if they can afford it. But that is elective surgeries. More Americans unnecessarily die each year due to lack of coverage than Canadians going for hips and knees.

Do you have a reference to back that up? Anyone can go to an emergency room if they have a life threatening problem. 

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