Socialized Medicine

10 Aug

It kills people, rations care, and halts medical innovation.

Also, Hitler.  And Socialism.

HT Yglesias

41 Responses to “Socialized Medicine”

  1. Russell August 10, 2009 at 8:12 am #

    Anecdotes and gross misstatements. How about posting real information? I already posted the statistics on the countries of origin for medical patents granted in the United States. For those of you who missed it, over 47% originate in the US while the next closest country is Japan at only 8%. Of course, no one said that a socialized system halts innovation or prevents innovation, but you have to misrepresent in order to make your view look correct. The point is solely that the US is the most innovative and when you’re tampering with that system, you need to be careful that what you’re doing isn’t going to damage that as well.

    Personally, I have never said that socialism, or government run systems destroy innovation. I have made the point that there does seem to be a correlation, though, between more private systems and innovation (even if the government helps to fund much of that research) and that’s something that needs to be taken into consideration while addressing the health care issue.

    • Alan Bedenko August 10, 2009 at 8:49 am #

      In what way have you established that switching to the system laid out in HR 3200 would somehow quash innovation or patent-granting? You say you “need to be careful”, but haven’t established that someone is being careless. In fact, it was reported today that the White House may have cut some sort of deal with pharmaceutical firms, which will not only piss the left off, but also indicative of the fact that the administration is mindful of being “careful”.

      We are the largest developed country in the world – the only nations with larger populations are China and India, both of which are developing (at best).

      Now, it is difficult to establish, but would make some sense that the United States, given its population, would also have a larger volume of people and places that are involved in medical innovation of some sort. You’d have chemists, biologists, physicians, engineers, and myriad other specialties working on various items that could feasibly obtain a “medical patent”. I’d wager that we have more people doing that than any other country, so it would follow that we’d have more patents, as well.

      In other words, you haven’t established that the make-up of our system of health insurance and non-universal hybrid model of coverage is what drives innovation. It’s just post hoc ergo propter hoc.

      For what it’s worth, I’ll note that the next most populous industrialized country in the world after the United States is Japan, at number 10, and Japan offers its residents universal health care through a mandatory insurance scheme.

  2. Russell August 10, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    I never stated I establsihed that HR3200 would quash innovation. I never stated that any legislation being considered on the health care issue would. Please, try to keep the misrepresentations and misstatements to a minimum. What I stated is above and perfectly clear so try reading it again. I don’t see why, as I pointed out I’ve been saying, it’s so wrong for me to think that they should be careful when considering health care reform to protect innovation. Your point that the White House announced, just today, a provision that demonstrates they are being careful on this point only backs up what I’ve said, not counters it, so thanks for pointing that out.

    Yes, the US is the largest industrialized country, but that does not explain the entire difference. If you look at the numbers, population alone does not explain it. It is not like the patents are even closely proportionate to population size. Japan has about 40% of our population, but only 16% the patents the US does. The EU has a similar population to the US, but taken together, only 36% the patents the US has.

    And again, I thought I made it clear that I was not saying that the system caused it, just that there seems to be a strong correlation and that should convince people to at least carefully consider this issue when considering the whole health care reform. You’ve already stated they have recently taken steps that demonstrate they are being careful, so that’s a good thing. It doesn’t disprove my points, it substantiates them.

    • Alan Bedenko August 10, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

      1. EU is a false equivalence, since the topic, as you’ve framed it, is that the health insurance scheme somehow drives or fails to drive innovation. (Otherwise, you wouldn’t have brought it up originally and now in threads having to do with reformation of health insurance). Each member of the EU has a different health insurance scheme.

      2. There may be many reasons why, say, a Swiss pharma company may choose to do its testing and patenting in the US – reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do the way in which health care costs are paid out. It may have to do with legal convenience that is completely divorced from health care payment. But again, look at the table that you inserted elsewhere:

      It shows that almost 50% of all medical patents approved for use in the US originate in the US.

      Why would medical patents for items approved for use in the US necessarily originate elsewhere? The article to which that table corresponds explains its relevance (within the context of IP issues in developing countries):

      Because patents are national, and the data refers to patents granted in the U.S., it is not surprising that the U.S. figures so prominently. Data problems notwithstanding, a contrast between the two tables suggests that the distributional effects of TRIPS’ provisions for pharmaceutical patents are even more heavily skewed in favor of developed countries. That is, while the top ten developing countries account for nearly six percent of patent applications at WIPO, the same countries account for less than two percent of medical patents granted in the U.S. In patent applications, the sub-total corresponding to top developed countries was 15.7 times greater than the sub-total for top developing countries. With regard to medical patents, however, the developed countries’ sub-total is 44.8 times greater. What this means is that the positive effects of strengthened IPRs – rewarding innovation – will be captured almost exclusively by firms in a handful of countries, while the negative effects of stronger IPRs – higher costs for medicines – are absorbed internally by developing countries.

      3. If you want to re-frame the argument to say that you’re just “concerned” and want people to be “careful”, the only rational answer to that is, “duh”. No one is trying to ram anything down anyone’s throat, and I dare say that there is, and has been, ample opportunity for anyone whatsoever to read the current bills and figure out what’s what, if they so choose.

      4. But ultimately, the gist of what you wrote was that we need to tread carefully because if we futz with our health insurance payment scheme, we may chill medical innovation. You had no basis in fact for that supposition and had laid no foundation for the underlying conclusion that the American health insurance system makes the US an alleged patent magnet.

      5. There are international patent treaty schemes to which the US is a contracting party. Perhaps it is easier, less onerous, or cheaper rules and fees relating to filing a patent in the US versus elsewhere, given that it has the same legal effect in the EU and Japan.

      6. The issue driving patents and innovation is more likely to be patent rights and exclusivity, rather than whether your MRI gets paid by Blue Cross / Blue Shield or a public option.

  3. Howard Goldman August 10, 2009 at 9:55 am #

    Alan, If not for freedom, democracy, capitalism, and the free enterprise system, the USA would still be among those “developing” nations that you mentioned.

    There are so many reasons to be proud of the accomplishments of the USA. I think you are selling us short and I find that surprising coming from you. Perhaps, understandably, you are caught up in the excitement over the current political debate concerning health care.

    By your own argument that China and India have higher populations than the USA, innovation is not simply a numbers game. The USA innovated more in 200 years than even the oldest and largest countries – and we started from such meager beginnings.

    Did they put Richard Nixon’s plaque on the Moon?

  4. STEEL August 10, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    Howard,

    No one here including Pundit is saying that The US sucks – just that parts of our system do. The reason the US is strong and wealthy is that we have always had a mechanism in place to fix stuff that sucks. The track record of the right of late has been to fix in place stuff that sucks.

    Russ

    You completely ignored every rebuttal I gave to your patent “proof” Japan and Europe have their own patent offices. Is it possible that their companies patent their products in their own country? Is it possible that their economy is focused on other technology? You show no cause and affect. Just sating something does not make it true.

    Example:
    “The united states is next to Mexico and Canada and it also has the most medical patents – The reason for US superiority in medical patents is because of its proximity to Mexico and Canada”

  5. Rottenchester August 10, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    Every time one of these threads comes up, we get a completely black-and-white argument: Without total license on the part of the drug companies, we’re not going to have innovation.

    Look, the drug companies innovate, but they also waste a shitload of money advertising (which in turn leads to a shitload of unecessary prescribing), they spend a whole lot of time and effort on me-too formulations only subtly different from other drugs in the same market (e.g., acid blockers, antidepressants), and they have not innovated enough in areas that are critically important (e.g., antibiotics).

    What’s wrong with a little constructive regulation in those areas? The “all regulation bad” argument is just too easy to trot out — it’s the kind of regulation.

  6. Russell August 10, 2009 at 11:21 am #

    STEEL, I don’t understand your example. What does proximity to Canada and Mexico have to do with anything? If you’re talking about closeness to other markets, look at the European Union. That’s one huge market that France, Germany, the UK, etc. all have access to and closer proximity.

    A patent is granted in the US for products used in the US. A patent granted in Japan for a Japanese company does not mean it will not seek a patent in the US. Every country offers patents for the products used within its own borders, regardless of country of origin. I thought I already spoke to this in the other thread.

    Thanks for pointing out the obvious. I already stated that this was just a correlation. I made no statement about cause and effect. All I said was there seemed to be enough of a correlation that should cause people to at least carefully consider this, as BP pointed out they now are. I never said I proved anything.

  7. STEEL August 10, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    Russel,

    The fact that you don’t get my analogy IS the point I am making. There is no relationship-exactly! You have not connected the dots in your argument. I think it is logical that the richest most powerful most developed country in the world would have the most patents in its OWN patent office. You also completely ignore that Europe and Japan have their own patent offices. Did you count the unique patents listed there? Probably not. Your argument may or may not be valid but you have not shown any proof. Just saying something does not make it true!

  8. Russell August 10, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    STEEL, I have shown the relationship, just not a causal one. The relationship is called a correlation, a direct correlation if you want to be more precise. I didn’t just say something, I supplied the statistics. The source for the data is the US Patent and Trademark Office. If the subject is patents and the USPTO says something, that does make it true.

    Furthermore, the US is part of the WTO. It is an open and fair market and the most lucrative health care market in the entire world. Most any company (or country) would want to have their products in this market and they do. We have a global economy but there is no global patent office. Whether or not a Japanese company has something filed in Japan’s patent office does not mean they are not going to seek a patent in the US. There are no pending cases agaist the US in the WTO for closing its market to medical products from any country. Most any country, especially developed industrialized countries, sell their products in the US. Any innovation that’s out there is available in the US and the US is open to any in the future.

    Besides, when it comes down to it, what you’re arguing is not an important point anyway. We are talking about the United States and its health care system. Nearly 50% of medical patents that make their way into the US health care system/market originate in the US. That means that the overwhelming plurality of innovation this country uses to treat its patients originates in this country. That alone is enough for the point I’ve stated. And as BP already pointed out, the Obama administration has already taken steps to do exactly what I was saying earlier, so my point is valid.

  9. Russell August 10, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    Rottenchester, my statements are not black-and-white, even though BP has tried to misrepresent them that way. I have not said that socialism or a socialized system quashes all innovation. I merely stated, and showed statistics on a previous thread that backs this up, that there seemse to be a correlation between the level of innovation and the level of government control. That being the case, the point of your post summarized in your last line is very much in line with what I’ve been saying. They just need to be careful that the type of regulation does not constrain innovation.

  10. Mike In WNY August 10, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    Howard is correct. Also, more government involvement is a slippery slope that is virtually guaranteed to lead to an inferior, socialized health care system. Health care does have weaknesses and does need fixing, let’s not be foolish and rush into a solution that is worse than than the original problems.

    There has been no real debate considering all possible solutions because government does not want a cure that diminishes its control. Instead of the constant marginalizing of a market cure via the “evils of profit and capitalism”, let’s talk about the real benefits and affect.

  11. Russell August 10, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    Why is it that the main page says 11 comments, but when I click on that it only shows 8? I can’t even see my recent comments. This sort of thing has been happening a lot since the switch to the new format. Is it for purposes of moderating or is something wrong?

  12. STEEL August 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm #

    Russell.

    I can make a correlation between patent quantity and bird poop. That does not mean that any real facts are in support of a thesis. As a matter of fact there are many direct correlations showing that Government has increased the growth of American private industry – not to mention that a lot of medical research would not even be done without government funding.

    For instance. The big bad government built millions of miles of roads over the last 60 years making the American auto industry feasible. Speaking of the auto industry. Government forced the use of airbags in cars. Once implemented private industry discovered that people actually wanted safe cars and began to market the wonderful airbags they had in their cars. Recently private Auto industry crashed and burned because they ignored the need for fuel efficiency. The Government failed in its bid to force fuel efficiency. Imagine if American cars had been forced to be efficient prior to the gas price run up. These companies are now scurrying around trying to be innovative on efficient technology after the fact. Then there is the government funded space race of the 60’s and 70’s. Massive amounts of new technology came out of that government program. Our aerospace industry is advanced way beyond the rest of the world because of this government program.

    So you see there is no clear line that can be drawn proving that government inhibits innovation. That is just something you made up. Show direct scientifically provable correlations anything else is worthless in a real debate.

  13. The Humanist August 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

    “Did they put Richard Nixon’s plaque on the Moon?”

    No, because it would be more appropriate to put a plaque of Dwight D. Eisenhower (who signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, establishing NASA, in 1959) or John F. Kennedy (who announced the goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 60’s in a 1961 address to Congress) or Lyndon Johnson (who championed NASA from its start and whose administration drove the U.S. ahead of the Soviets in the Space Race) on the moon.

  14. Russell August 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    STEEL, I didn’t say that government involvement and funding is a purely bad thing. I already acknowledged that government funding has fueled some of this innovation. It’s more government control that is concerning.

    Scientifically provable correlations, if there is such a thing, wouldn’t amount to much more. It’s not the correlation that matters. It’s the causation. The correlation is just the first step in determining if there is a relationship. Next, you have to apply a theory as to how this relationship is linked. Then you have to derive a model that tests that theory. In the end, though, that model doesn’t actually prove the point, but it can substantiate the theory. If you take any kind of statistics and research course, you’d learn this. Since this is not something I’m getting paid to do, I am not about to do all the research to put this model together. There is still a noticeable correlation in the data. If you and BP do not want to accept my theory behind that, that’s fine. If you want to continue the research yourself, go right ahead. However, your counter-arguments to my theory do not automatically dismiss or disprove my theory. They just present other possible theories. Further testing would tell us more.

    And once again, I never said government inhibits innovation. Why is it so difficult for you people go comprehend things? Clearly, government enabled innovation. Innovation boomed when property rights, especially intellectual property, were granted. The only institution that can successfully grant and enforce rules regarding property rights is government. The question is what level of government involvement is best.

    BP, I believe there is a correlation between medical patents and health care systems. You seemed to acknowledge it in your first reply to me with your Japan comment, but if you want to go back on that now, that’s fine.

    Aside from this point, could you please tell me what’s going on with your site? Is this something you guys are aware of and are looking into? Seriously, it gets annoying when you’re having a back and forth with people and the comments are not properly updating, or the count on the main page is updating but not when you access the actually thread. I don’t think I’m the only one experiencing this. I know I’m not the only one experiencing this because I remember STEEL recently posting twice because his post didn’t show and someone else commeting on this on the moderation thread.

  15. Russell August 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    Besides, Alan, do you have any foundation for the false claims you made in the beginning of this post? I haven’t heard anyone say socialized health care halts innovation, just that it might constrain it. Even after I made it clear that that was all I was saying, you still went on as if I was speaking in absolute terms. So, do you have any real proof that people are saying what you claim their saying, that it altogether halts innovation? On the flip side, do you have any proof that it doesn’t constrain it?

    • Alan Bedenko August 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

      Why do you think this post was directed at you? You made it about you. I didn’t.

  16. STEEL August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Russ,

    I think I have already laid out several examples of how government involvement has been a tremendous asset to innovation and economic growth. SO we have established and you have agreed that Government is not a universally bad thing when it comes to the American economic system.

    On the other hand you say there is a relationship between our free market health insurance system and a high number of health related patents. But when asked to show how you come to that belief you tell us you have no time to find out why you believe that and tell us to go look it up ourselves. That is not a logical and fair way to debate. In a debate competition you would be shredded.

  17. mike hudson August 10, 2009 at 7:11 pm #

    pundit, find one dem congressman who will tell you that hr 3200 is what’s going to be passed. there isn’t one because that’s not what’s going to be passed. in the meantime, all this “rush limbaugh sez” vs. “rachel maddow sez” nonsense is a distraction. no one is even talking about health care. it’s now degenerated, on both sides, into an argument about who has the best team.

  18. Pete at BuffaloStuff.net August 10, 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    @Russell – That’s the problem when anyone make these assertions. They can’t prove it. Did FDR lengthen the Depression? Can’t prove either way. We can argue it with good points on both sides, but can’t actually prove it. Does raising taxes stop people from investing? Clinton raised taxes and people invested like crazy in the Tech sector. It makes sense….Economics 101, right? And yet there were people investing like crazy. So….will a less capitalistic approach to medicine squelch innovation? I think no, because people who innovate do it because they see problems and then find solutions. They are hardwired for it. It isn’t always the person who comes up with the idea who also comes up with the money….so, innovation will still happen. The second question is whether people will still invest. I think people who invest will still invest because it is what they do. Like with high taxes….it is better to invest and make a million to be taxed on than to not make the million at all. I think the same is true with the medical field. There will be someone out there willing to take a lower return on investment and still make money.

  19. Russell August 11, 2009 at 8:44 am #

    BP, I never said it was about me. I asked if anyone at all said that socialism, or a socialized system haults innovation, anyone at all, like you claim. I used the example that you misrepresented what I said in my post to reflect the absolute tone even though what I said was clearly not absolute. So, I’m still asking, given your penchant for misrepresenting opposing views, if you have any evidence whatsoever that anyone at all said that it haults innovation.

    STEEL, I presented my data. You have not presented any data. I would be shredded? Just because you don’t like my data doesn’t mean you win. You have not presented anything as compelling, let alone more compelling, than what I’ve said and shown. What I am saying is that to show impeachable evidence or statistically significant findings would take a much larger study. There are large research organizations dedicated to this. It is a workload that I am not willing nor able to take on at this point, especially not for some pointless blog discussion. If you want to do a comprehensive economic evaluation of this issue, be my guest. Just because I do not want to dedicate a month of my time to research and model building does not mean you are correct. There is enough evidence out there to support my claim and I am satisfied with it. I’ve presented it and my claim has already been substantiate by the real players in this issue. That’s enough for me. You have not disproven anything I’ve said or presented any real data to counter it.

    Pete, there are people that get paid to look into these things. They cannot be proven, but they can be substantiated. The problem is there are no absolutes in the social sciences. We usually deal with confidence bands of 95% to 99%. So there will be those 1 in 20 cases or 1 in 100 that counter the main findings. That does not invalidate the findings, though. It just means that there will be outliers. That’s good, though, because falsifiability is a criteria for the scientific method. STEEL seems to think falsifiability is the destruction of any theory he does not agree with, but he couldn’t be more wrong. It is actually part of the foundation, a necessary criterion.

  20. STEEL August 11, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Russell

    You have not presented anything. You told ME to go look up your proof! You should not have to spend any time looking this stuff up You presented it as an undeniable truth which means (to me) that you have already done the rigorous research and found the information that supports your thesis. If you have not then what you are saying is no better than saying patent quantity is dependent on the number of rainy days in Phoenix. No one has “destroyed” your theory I have not even denied its possibility. All I am saying is that you have not presented anything that backs it up. I have listed multiple other possible reasons for there being more American Patents in the American patent office and you have ignored them all.

    • Alan Bedenko August 11, 2009 at 11:34 am #

      STEEL – his point was that most patents for medical items to be sold and used in the US are filed in the US. Because that’s what that table showed. It made no point about health insurance payment or our intellectual property laws or how medical innovation is supported or stifled by various programs or initiatives. His point was that it is; that it exists. And, ya know, be careful.

  21. Russell August 11, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    I’ll take that as a no, Alan. You wonder why your site has become a hotbed of name calling at the expense of real debate, then you go and post baseless accusations like this that you cannot back-up once called out. You follow that up with another thread labelling opponents as dumb. Your site is becoming exactly what you’ve made it.

    STEEL, I posted the data on another thread and you know it. I shouldn’t have to repost over and over just because you choose to ignore it. You obviously lack logic skill so the difference between theory, causal statements and correlations is lost on you.

    • Alan Bedenko August 11, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

      Ah, Russell. Just admit that the table you presented didn’t mean what you purported it to represent and be done with it. No need to get all hissy about it. This is what you said before you produced that table:

      just that our health care system overall is. That’s backed up by how much innovation has originated in our system. It is still, by far, the world leader in patents and developments in drugs, treatments and technology. In that sense, it is the world leader and no one comes close. Many believe the fact that it is primarily a private system contributes to that. So in the end, there is no proven system in the world that parallels what the US would need, one that provides insurance for 300 million people, while keeping costs and taxes low, without major limits on services or doctors, and promotes this level of innovation.

      Emphasis mine.

      Your table, on the other hand, merely revealed that the US is the leader in patents issued for devices being sold in the US, by country of origin. It was not a table showing and comparing the number of patents for medical items that were issued in every country worldwide, which was the point you were trying to make. In other words, the table had little to do with your original point, so you had to make some WTO gobbledygook up about it, bypassing other, more relevant IP-specific treaties that exist.

      This is the part where you acknowledge that the table didn’t prove your original assertion and that you’re frankly not sure which country has the most medical patents out of any in the world.

      Glad I could clear that up for you.

  22. Russell August 11, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    BP, I clearly stated what the table says when I first posted it and every time it came up after. As I stated clearly, it still gives strong evidence and reason to be concerned about innovation, even if just focusing on our system. If your counter arguments were true, then the other countries wouldn’t ever seek a patent in the US. If it’s cheaper and easier to do it in their own country, then why are there thousands of foreign companies filing for patents in the US? You’ve changed your tune about it a couple times now, even giving two different explanations of the table in your two most recent posts. You originally accepted the premise and even added a supporting point. I guess over time you thought about it and realized you prefer to attack me than actually accept anything I post so you had to change your tune and back-pedal on what you said.

    The point still remains that clearly this blog and everything you’ve been complaining about lately, are the result of your actions and your tone. You’ve set the standard that’s lowering the level of debate on this site. You antagonize the libertarians. You resort to name calling and not just when you’re provoked. You focus on mocking the opposition rather than defending your view or those that you support. You posted a baseless accusation that you cannot back up on the origin post of this thread. Ignore those points all you want while you formulate a new misrepresentation of my data. In the meantime, your blog continues to head the direction you don’t want it to go, but it’s only following your lead there.

    • Alan Bedenko August 11, 2009 at 1:32 pm #

      If your counter arguments were true, then the other countries wouldn’t ever seek a patent in the US. If it’s cheaper and easier to do it in their own country, then why are there thousands of foreign companies filing for patents in the US? You’ve changed your tune about it a couple times now, even giving two different explanations of the table in your two most recent posts.

      What evidence do you have that they don’t file patents in their own country? You’re the one making all kinds of assertions about the filing of patents in the US somehow proving some larger point about our health insurance system. The burden of proof would, it appear, lie with you.

      You originally accepted the premise and even added a supporting point. I guess over time you thought about it and realized you prefer to attack me than actually accept anything I post so you had to change your tune and back-pedal on what you said.

      You asserted that we should be “careful”. My response was, “duh”. But going back and re-reading the thread and the context within which you inserted that table, and then heckled Steel to respond to it, it occurred to me that, it didn’t even remotely prove what you posted it for.

      Now, on to the non-topic airing of grievances.

      The point still remains that clearly this blog and everything you’ve been complaining about lately, are the result of your actions and your tone. You’ve set the standard that’s lowering the level of debate on this site. You antagonize the libertarians. You resort to name calling and not just when you’re provoked. You focus on mocking the opposition rather than defending your view or those that you support. You posted a baseless accusation that you cannot back up on the origin post of this thread. Ignore those points all you want while you formulate a new misrepresentation of my data. In the meantime, your blog continues to head the direction you don’t want it to go, but it’s only following your lead there.

      Christ almighty, if this isn’t the pot calling the kettle black. Russell, you are the last person to lecture me about tone. You are constantly, routinely, and reflexively hyper-defensive and obnoxious to me and other commenters on this site. I antagonize the libertarians? What do you care? You antagonize practically everybody.

      And I didn’t “misrepresent” “your” data. It wasn’t your data, it was someone else’s data, first of all. Second of all, you produced it in a thread having to do with health insurance reform to make the point that the US has more worldwide patents for medical items than any other country in the world, but it wasn’t at all what it proved. Not even a little bit.

      I mock the opposition, and that’s bad? What would you have me do? Write a glowing post about someone who’s running against Pedro Espada? Or expose Pedro Espada for the piece of shit he is? Because it’s fascinating that no one makes that point, (i.e., that I just mock and go negative) about, e.g., Espada, but in health care or McPalin, it’s bad. Give me a break. No – let me explain why Len Lenihan is great, instead of posting why Steve Pigeon sucks.

      Finally, as to the “original premise of this post”, we have heard for years how health insurance reform will stifle innovation. If you want to get into a semantic pissing match over the word “kill” versus the word “stifle”, go ahead. Sometimes my posts use hyperbole. I don’t know if you noticed that. Anyhow,

      This wouldn’t be necessary to discuss if people didn’t think reform would kill or stifle innovation.
      This seems to make that point.
      But you’re probably right. I can’t back up the origin of this thread.
      Not at all.

  23. Russell August 11, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    FINALLY, after asking numerous times you finally backed up your statement. Only one of them actually makes the absolute claim you did, but it’s something.

    And talk about a semantics pissing match, obviously it’s not my data but any reasonable person would understand when I said “my” I meant what I posted. It’s clearly from the USPTO and I stated that, but I guess I’m not dealing with reasonable people.

    I find it weird that I would have to debate the possibility of increased government control constraining innovation with you. After all you’ve posted about communism and life under a communist regime, I would think you more than anyone on here would know that more freedom generally leads to more innovation. Don’t get you underwear all bunched up that I invoked the term communism, either. I am not saying that the proposed health care reform is communist. I’m merely using examples of the two extremes. On one end is a free system and on the other is a centrally planned system. As you move from free to more government involvement/central planning, it’s generally understood you have less innovation. Plenty of post-communist studies indicate this. I thought your own experience did as well.

    If you think I’m the pot calling the kettle black, then you should really be concerned. You set the tone on this entire site, not me. You’re the common thread on the problem threads, not me. You’re reaping what you sowed. My alleged hyper-sensitivity is only due to a reaction of the treatment I receive on this site. Even on the rare occasion when I agree with you, or President Obama, or any other pet issue of the left, I am still attacked and called names. I’ve never complained about it. I just responded in kind. Perhaps now I take things a little too personally on here, but that’s because the attacks against me have been very personal. You threatened to moderate name calling and personal attacks, and did for a short period, but allowed regular attacks on me to continue. Now you wonder why I’m hyper-sensitive on here.

    Look, I understand this is your site and you can monitor it how ever you want. I accept that whenever I post. However, I just think it’s odd that you complain about the level of discourse of this site, solicit suggestions on how to correct it and then carry on with the personal attacks and name calling, setting the tone for low discourse. No moderating would be necessary if you realized you lead by example.

  24. Pete at BuffaloStuff.net August 12, 2009 at 7:48 am #

    @Russell – If it’s so bad in Punditville why do you exercise your free choice and come here?

  25. Russell August 12, 2009 at 8:05 am #

    Pete, I’m not the one complaining, BP is. I merely explained why things are the way they are. It’s all a product of BP. He’s the one that sets the tone on here, not me.

    • Alan Bedenko August 12, 2009 at 8:41 am #

      Pete, I’m not the one complaining, BP is. I merely explained why things are the way they are. It’s all a product of BP. He’s the one that sets the tone on here, not me.

      So, it’s ok for you to be a dick because you think I behave like a dick. Gotcha.

  26. Russell August 12, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    No. I have no idea how you got that from what I said, but you perfectly illustrated my point. I am this way on here because this is how I am treated on here. This tone persists on your site because this is the tone you’ve set for your site. Thanks.

  27. Russell August 12, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

    BP, the things you ignored or chose not to post on said much more than anything you did post.

  28. Alan Bedenko August 12, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    IIRC, we had a discussion about this several months ago where I invited people (in particular, you Russell) who wanted to guest post about something they thought I was ignoring to let me know and I’d let them, or at least consider it.

    So, as far as I’m concerned you bitching about what I omit or fail to post about is a moot issue and I reject it out-of-hand.

    There could be a million reasons why I don’t post about something or do post about something, and for you to infer anything from my omission is ridiculous. I don’t post anything about animal cruelty, but that doesn’t mean I’m a big fan of dragging dogs behind cars.

  29. Russell August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    BP, nice spin. I haven’t said anything about your postings since that truce. I didn’t even say anything about your hypocritical attack of Rus Thompson and what he does or does not post. That was not the point of my comment. It was that it was interesting and very telling the things you decided to comment on and respond to in this little back and forth and what you chose not to comment on, or could not defend or rebuttal.

    • Alan Bedenko August 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

      BP, the things you ignored or chose not to post on said much more than anything you did post.

      On this site, when you’re referring to something I write, a post is a post. A comment is a comment.

      Frankly, as far as this thread is concerned, I’ve established everything I need to. I’ve backed up every assertion I’ve made, which is more than you can certainly say. But yeah, you’ve blamed your own condescension and obnoxiousness on what you perceive to be my condescension and obnoxiousness. If it was such a horror, you’d refrain.

      Because you don’t, you’re pretty much estopped from complaining about it, as your hands are also unclean.

      And just as I was about hit reply on this comment, you posted this:

      So I should have used “comment” or “respond” rather than post to aviod your fake confusion.

      Actually, my confusion was genuine, otherwise I wouldn’t have cited the earlier post. I’m so glad you could avoid being a condescending prick. Must definitely be my fault, because I’m somehow forcing you or giving you license to be pricky.

      Here’s a tip – I can be a fucking asshole sometimes, but I always wait to behave like that at someone in comments or in a post unless someone else takes the first shot. Take responsibility and ownership for your own behavior.

      Also, congratulations on trolling the thread way off-track.

      Have a nice day.

  30. Russell August 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    So I should have used “comment” or “respond” rather than post to aviod your fake confusion.

  31. STEEL August 13, 2009 at 12:28 am #

    Anyway, I am still not getting the link between the number of patents and the way we insure our citizens. The chart said nothing about that and I looked everywhere.

  32. Russell August 13, 2009 at 8:36 am #

    BP, there’s a difference between an arguement with a person and what you post for this site. I think it’s fair game to comment on what you ignore in a back and forth, but I accept that it’s not for what you post to the site. Whether or not I start my own blog on this site has nothing at all to do with what points you’re ignoring or not responding to with me. It does, however, apply if I were talking about the main daily posts. There is a difference. They are two completely different things.

    I did not take this off course. Looking back at this thread, it looks like I stuck to it until you came in with personal attacks on me. If you and STEEL didn’t like the data or how I used it, that’s one thing. We all presented our sides to defend or attack the data or substance of the discussion. You’re the one that made it personal. You lowered the tone. You turned it into mocking and name calling. You lowered the level of debate.

    I have taken responsibility and ownership of my behavior, but I do not believe that you’re only like this after being provoked. You provoked on this thread. The original post was a provacation. I was called names and I never called anyone anything. It’s the normal course on here. I am regular attacked personally, but that’s perfectly acceptible to you. Even when you monitored that behavior on this site, you still allowed it against me. Yes, I can be annoying and get under people’s skin but I have been careful to not make it personal lately. The same cannot be said for you and most of the people in discussions with me.

  33. Russell August 13, 2009 at 8:42 am #

    STEEL, I thought that part of the discussion was settled. I held that the chart appeared to show a correlation between private health systems and innovation. You and BP do not accept that and that’s fine. I already said that it would take more work than it’s worth to demonstrate this more fully. However, there is a huge body of literature out there, mostly out of communist and post-communist studies, that indicate there is a strong relationship between private ownership and innovation while more government involvement and central planning has been seen to constrain innovation and advancement. I also made the point that I think BP, more than anyone on this site, knows this because of his experience and knowledge of life under communism.

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